International

Putin watches first Russian nuclear drill since invasion of Ukraine

At a time of heightened tensions with the West following his eight-month-long war in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has presided over yearly nuclear drills by Russia’s strategic nuclear forces.

According to the Kremlin, ballistic and cruise missiles were fired from the Arctic and Far East.

In accordance with the New Start arms treaty’s provisions, the US was informed of the drill.

The launches occurred in response to Russia’s unfounded accusations that Ukraine is about to use a “dirty bomb.”

The Russian claims have been universally regarded as fake by Western nations since it is an explosive device packed with radioactive substances.

Additionally, Kiev has issued a warning, citing the accusations as evidence that Moscow may be preparing such an assault.

Military authorities in Washington noted that the Russians were abiding by their commitments under weapons control by informing the US prior to the exercise.

Additionally, NATO is conducting its own nuclear drills in northwest Europe under the name Steadfast Noon. Up to Sunday, training flights involving 14 nations were being conducted over Belgium, the UK, and the North Sea, according to the Western Defensive Alliance.

The campaign in southern and eastern Ukraine was waning as Russia conducted its exercises.

According to Sergei Shoigu, Russia’s defense minister, the drill was intended to simulate launching “a huge nuclear strike by the strategic nuclear forces in retaliation for the enemy’s nuclear assault.”

The Kremlin reported that a Sineva ballistic missile was shot from the distant Kura test facility in Kamchatka province in Russia’s Far East and a Yars intercontinental ballistic missile was launched from Plesetsk cosmodrome, around 800 kilometers (500 miles) north of Moscow.

It continued by saying that every rocket hit its mark.

Russian television showed President Putin watching a video clip of the launch. Additionally, video of his remarks at a gathering of local intelligence services, in which he reiterated his allegations of a Ukrainian dirty bomb plan, was released.

Additionally, he repeated other unfounded accusations made by Russia against Ukraine in recent months, such as the claim that the US had used Ukraine as a “testing ground for military biological experimentation.”

Oleksiy Reznikov, the minister of defense of Ukraine, stated on Wednesday, “My personal belief is that Putin won’t use nukes.” Separately, he said that rainy conditions had hindered Ukraine’s counteroffensive in the south.

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Graphic showing estimated number of Russia's strategic nuclear warheads

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