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Russia starts tactical nuclear training near Ukraine

by Reporter - May 22 155 Views 0 Comment

Putin called the drills a message to the West not to exacerbate tensions further' earlier this month.

Russia has initiated 'tactical nuclear drills' near the Ukraine border.

The initial phase of the exercises will incorporate Iskander and Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, which are perceived as a cautionary message to Ukraine's Western allies.

Russian forces have initiated military exercises near Ukraine, simulating the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons. Moscow claims that this response results from perceived threats from Western officials regarding heightened engagement in the conflict.

Russian officials stated that earlier this month, Vladimir Putin ordered the drills as a cautionary measure to discourage further escalation of tensions with the West.

The Kremlin has expressed strong dissatisfaction with French President Emmanuel Macron's suggestion of deploying European troops to Ukraine to confront Russia.

Additionally, UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron's statement supporting Ukraine's use of weapons supplied by London to target Russian sites has further aggravated tensions.

On Tuesday, the Russian defence ministry released video footage that revealed trucks transporting missiles to a designated field, where launch systems had been set up.

Additionally, troops at an airfield were seen preparing a bomber that would potentially carry a nuclear warhead.

The drills are currently being held in Russia's southern military district, with its headquarters in Rostov-on-Don. This district shares a border with Ukraine and encompasses areas that are under Russian occupation.

In a significant development, the ministry has announced the commencement of the first stage of the drills. This phase primarily focuses on honing the skills required to load launch vehicles, drive to launch sites, and efficiently load planes with cutting-edge hypersonic Kinzhal missiles.

Russia possesses a wide range of weapons systems that can deploy tactical nuclear warheads. These warheads are specifically designed for battlefield use, in contrast to strategic warheads that have the potential to cause mass destruction in urban areas.

In contrast to strategic weapons, which have been the focus of arms control agreements between Russia and the US, tactical weapons have remained unrestricted by any such pacts. Russia has chosen not to disclose any information regarding the quantity or specifics of these weapons.

In the early days of its invasion of Ukraine, Putin made frequent references to Moscow's nuclear arsenal, emphasising his commitment to use any means necessary to protect Russia.

After being convinced by Chinese officials to back down on his nuclear threats, he appeared to adopt a more moderate tone. However, he recently issued a warning to Nato countries, cautioning them about the potential of inciting a nuclear war if they were to send troops to Ukraine.

During a recent speech commemorating the Soviet Union's triumph in World War II, he emphasised the constant preparedness of the country's nuclear arsenal.

In another development on Tuesday, a former Russian general who had previously raised concerns about the challenges his troops encountered in Ukraine was apprehended on charges of bribery.

Maj Gen Ivan Popov, the former commander of the 58th Combined Arms force stationed near Zaporizhzhia, revealed last summer that he was dismissed from his position following his efforts to address critical issues on the battlefield.

These issues encompassed the absence of counter-battery fire and the alarming number of casualties resulting from Ukrainian attacks.

Popov seemed to criticise the army head, Valery Gerasimov, and the then defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, who were both influential military figures. He accused them of betraying the country.

Amidst the most extensive reshuffle in the defence ministry and the army since the war in Ukraine began over two years ago, Popov's arrest has sparked speculation of potential additional purges.

In a surprising move earlier this month, President Putin replaced his trusted ally Shoigu as defence minister. In a shocking turn of events, two additional high-ranking defence officials have been apprehended on corruption charges.

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