Home Asia Russia Plans Exercise With Tactical Nuclear Weapons To Counter Western Threats

Russia Plans Exercise With Tactical Nuclear Weapons To Counter Western Threats

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov inspect new types of weapons at the headquarters of the joint group of forces in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, in this picture published May 1, 2024. ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. MANDATORY CREDIT.

On Monday, Russia announced plans to conduct a military exercise that will incorporate training with tactical nuclear weapons. This decision follows what the defence ministry described as provocative threats from the West. The ministry stated that President Vladimir Putin ordered the exercise to assess the combat readiness of the non-strategic nuclear forces. Missile formations in the Southern Military District and naval forces will take part.

“During the exercise, a set of measures will be carried out to practise the issues of preparation and use of non-strategic nuclear weapons,” the defence ministry said.

Russia has the world’s largest arsenal of nuclear weapons.

The exercise is aimed at ensuring Russia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty “in response to provocative statements and threats by certain Western officials against the Russian Federation”, the ministry said.

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Putin’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine touched off the worst breakdown in relations between Russia and the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, according to Russian and U.S. diplomats.

Russia portrays the conflict as a confrontation with the West, which, according to Putin, overlooked Russia’s overtures of friendship following the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991 and attempted to assert control over Ukraine while expanding NATO eastward.

Conversely, the West and Ukraine are determined to continue their efforts until Russian forces are vanquished. They describe the conflict as an imperialistic endeavour by Russia to reclaim Ukraine and reintegrate it into Moscow’s sphere of influence.

(With Inputs From Reuters)