Belgorod may therefore be intended as a spy-mother ship, carrying Poseidons across ocean expanses to their release locations, deploying them, then recovering them on mission completion.
Anti sub technology is expensive... I would say that the Belgorods most appealing feature would be at a time of tension it could sail to the southern oceans... south pacific and south atlantic.... middle of nowhere... and just sail around changing depths and direction and just really getting lost... when ordered to launch it could fire its weapons rather rapidly and they would zip away at the sort of speed that no following sub or ship could really deal with using conventional weapons, but the point is that sending sophisticated subs or surface vessels let alone a carrier group to follow these subs would be expensive and you lose them and you probably wont find them again without dedicating a lot of resources.
It could be used to attack western sub bases at times when the most western SSBNs are in port, or it could nuke the sonar beds they use to track Russian subs, though they are largely non functional now AFAIK.
I think using them as a drone does not make a lot of sense in the same way that I think using Sarmat as a satellite launcher would not be a great idea... a more conventional... more disposable and cheaper drone could be used instead of a super doomsday nuclear powered weapon.
Its not about actually doing a first strike, its about the ability to do and deliver a threat to the US homeland that mirrors the threat the US is directing to Moscow. Tsirkon equipped Poseidon or nukes in space would do that.
I think you are ignoring their massive ego... even with such things in place they will have no idea they are there so it wont effect them at all, and if somehow it was revealed and confirmed defence mode will suddenly be applied... stupid Russian weapons will fail to work properly against super US made space defence forces that will save us from everything...
The Russians have had Kh-101s and Calibres for decades and the west really didn't notice them till they started using them in Syria... they have had Kh-32s and Kh-22s for a very long time and they just pretend they wont be very accurate, or their SAMs will just shoot them down etc etc etc.
The media will only tell them when the US MIC wants more money to develop a counter.
IMHO nukes in space would not really be that expensive. as you can just modify the software on the avangard gliders.
The problem there is that nukes in space would be easy to deal with... most anti satellite weapons should be able to destroy them... and when they do they will have to take out all Russian satellites just in case they have nukes... which means earth orbit becomes a fragmentation storm that will wipe out all satellites eventually...
When the risk to the USA matches the risk to Russia then we are at detente again.
The Americans don't see any other country as its equal... they will come up with something that will save the day... their economy is broken and they are fighting Russia and want to fight with China... they are delusional... it is best to step back and let them destroy themselves... no need to attract their attention... that is a chainsaw they are swinging and they don't care who they get with it.
The US believes that Russian subs can be tracked and defeated if necessary as they are large and have a significant heat sig.
The public might think that, but the military people who are closer to the front line than the political power lunches know better.
No, its a bad idea.
Did you see Space Cowboys too?