Russian Drills Feature Special Delivery of Dummy Nuclear Warheads
Russian Drills Feature Special Delivery of Dummy Nuclear Warheads

Russia conducted military drills involving the deployment of dummy nuclear warheads to forward storage points and airfields, according to reports from Russia's elite nuclear unit.

The exercises, ordered by President Vladimir Putin, were in response to perceived threats from Western nations, including discussions suggesting that Ukraine could use Western-supplied weapons to strike deep into Russia.

Drills took place in southern Russia, near the Ukrainian border, and involved soldiers from the Leningrad military district in the northwest. The maneuvers included mobile missile launchers, the aAr force, and Navy.

In a rare statement, Russia's 12 Main Directorate (12 GU MO), responsible for guarding and maintaining Russia's nuclear arsenal, confirmed the drills. They stated that the exercises would be analyzed to make improvements in the training of non-strategic nuclear forces.

The directorate announced, "We ensured the delivery of nuclear training munitions to the field storage points of the missile brigade's positional area and the operational airfield of assault aviation."

Footage released by the defense ministry showed Russian sailors focusing on a dummy target and counting down to launch, including pressing the "launch" button.

Russia has accused the United States and its European allies of escalating tensions by providing billions of dollars worth of weapons to Ukraine, some of which have been used against Russian territory.

While all major nuclear powers conduct drills, it is uncommon to link them explicitly to a current crisis, as Russia has done with Ukraine.

By conducting these drills, Russia aims to send a message to the United States and its European allies that allowing Ukraine to use increasingly advanced Western weapons against Russia could lead to serious consequences.

The United States has stated that it has not observed any change in Russia's strategic posture, although senior U.S. intelligence officials acknowledge that Moscow's statements about nuclear weapons must be taken seriously.

Russia and the United States possess the majority of the world's nuclear weapons, holding approximately 88% of the global total, according to the Federation of American Scientists.

The United States has approximately 100 non-strategic B61 nuclear weapons deployed in five European countries, with another 100 within its own borders, according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Russia is estimated to have about 1,558 non-strategic nuclear warheads, although the exact number is difficult to determine due to secrecy, according to arms control experts.

Last week, Putin stated that many of Russia's tactical nuclear weapons have a power of 70-75 kilotons, approximately five times the size of the U.S. nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.

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