Russia Begins Nuclear Drills in Apparent Warning to the West over Ukraine
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By The Smartencyclopedia Newsroom with Agencies

Moscow, Russia – Russia’s military has commenced exercises involving tactical nuclear weapons, which were announced by Russian authorities earlier this month in what appears to be a warning to senior Western officials who have discussed the possibility of deeper involvement in the war in Ukraine.

This marks the first time Russia has publicly announced drills involving tactical nuclear weapons, although its strategic nuclear forces routinely conduct exercises.

According to a statement released on Tuesday by the Ministry of Defence, the initial phase of the new drills involves “practical training in the preparation and use of non-strategic nuclear weapons,” including the nuclear-capable Kinzhal and Iskander missiles.

The maneuvers are taking place in the southern military district, which encompasses Russian regions in the south, including areas bordering Ukraine; Crimea, which was illegally annexed from Ukraine in 2014; and four Ukrainian regions that Russia illegally annexed in 2022 and partially occupies.

The drills were announced on May 6, with the Ministry of Defence stating they were a response to “provocative statements and threats from certain Western officials regarding the Russian Federation.”

Tactical nuclear weapons include air bombs, warheads for short-range missiles, and artillery munitions designed for battlefield use. They are less powerful than strategic weapons, which are massive warheads that arm intercontinental ballistic missiles intended to destroy entire cities.

The announcement followed statements by French President Emmanuel Macron, who reiterated that he does not exclude sending troops to Ukraine, and UK Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron, who said Kyiv’s forces would be able to use British long-range weapons to strike targets inside Russia.

The Kremlin branded these comments as dangerous, heightening tensions between Russia and NATO.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on May 6 that Macron’s statement and other remarks by British and US officials had prompted the nuclear drills, calling the remarks “a new round of escalation.”

The Russian drills represent a significant escalation in the already high tensions between Russia and the West, especially in light of recent declarations of continued Western support for Ukraine. Conducting these exercises in such a sensitive area close to the ongoing conflict underscores the seriousness with which the Kremlin views the statements and actions of Western officials.

International security experts and political analysts are closely monitoring these developments, considering them a potential precursor to more direct confrontations if tensions are not managed. The international community continues to call for dialogue and diplomacy to prevent further escalation in the conflict that is already devastating Ukraine.

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