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News > Russia

Russia Begins Military Exercises With Tactical Nuclear Weapons

  • Russian soldiers unload missile system components, May 21, 2024.

    Russian soldiers unload missile system components, May 21, 2024. | Photo: X/ @runews

Published 21 May 2024

At this stage, the military is practicing the reception of munitions for Iskander missile systems.

On Tuesday, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that forces from the Southern Military District, which borders Ukraine, began maneuvers with tactical nuclear weapons.


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Previously, on May 6, President Vladimir Putin announced the execution of these exercises in response to threats from the West.

"In accordance with the order of the Russian Armed Forces' supreme commander, the first stage of practical exercises for the preparation and use of non-strategic nuclear weapons began in the Southern Military District," the Ministry of Defense said.

At this stage, the military is practicing the reception of special munitions for Iskander tactical missile systems, their installation on missiles, and covert movement to launch positions.

Units of the Aerospace Forces will practice the placement of special projectiles in aircraft, including Kinzhal hypersonic aeroballistic missiles, and flights to designated patrol zones.

"This maneuver aims to maintain the readiness level of personnel and equipment of tactical missile units in order to absolutely guarantee the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Russian state in response to provocative statements and threats from some Western politicians," the Defense Ministry stated.

At the beginning of May, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov linked this military exercises to statements by French President Emmanuel Macron and other senior British officials.

"They spoke about the readiness and even intention to send military contingents to Ukraine, that is, to put NATO soldiers in front of Russian military personnel. This is a new spiral of escalation of tension. It is unprecedented and requires special attention and special measures," he said.

In 2023, Russia revoked the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), although it maintains the moratorium as long as the US does not conduct such tests.

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