Russia is Practicing Nuclear-Capable Missile Strikes

As it continues its invasion of Ukraine.
Russian military vehicles drive along the Garden Ring road towards the Red Square for a rehearsal of the Victory Day military parade, in central Moscow on May 4, 2022. Russia will celebrate the 77th anniversary of the 1945 victory over Nazi Germany on May 9.
Photo/s: Natalia KOLESNIKOVA / AFP

Russia on Wednesday said its forces had practiced simulated nuclear-capable missile strikes in the western enclave of Kaliningrad, as Moscow pressed its military campaign in Ukraine.

The announcement came on the 70th day of Moscow's military action in the pro-Western country, with thousands killed and more than 13 million displaced in the worst refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.

READ: Russia Warns of World War 3 after Top U.S. Officials Visit Ukraine

After sending troops to Ukraine in late February, Russian President Vladimir Putin has made thinly veiled threats hinting at a willingness to deploy Russia's tactical nuclear weapons.

During Wednesday's war games in the enclave on the Baltic Sea located between EU members Poland and Lithuania, Russia practiced simulated "electronic launches" of nuclear-capable Iskander mobile ballistic missile systems, the defense ministry said in a statement.

The Russian forces practiced single and multiple strikes at targets imitating launchers of missile systems, airfields, protected infrastructure, military equipment, and command posts of a mock enemy, the statement said.

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After performing the "electronic" launches, the military personnel carried out a maneuver to change their position in order to avoid "a possible retaliatory strike," the defense ministry added.

The combat units also practiced "actions in conditions of radiation and chemical contamination".

The drills involved more than 100 servicemen.

Russia placed nuclear forces on high alert shortly after Putin sent troops to Ukraine on February 24.

The Kremlin chief has warned of a "lightning-fast" retaliation if the West directly intervenes in the Ukraine conflict.

Observers say that in recent days, Russia's state television has attempted to make nuclear weapons use more palatable to the public.

"For two weeks now, we have been hearing from our television screens that nuclear silos should be opened," Russian newspaper editor and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dmitry Muratov said on Tuesday.


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