MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin has overseen military drills enacting a retaliatory nuclear strike, a media report said.
Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu described the aim of the drills as testing “Russia’s strategic offensive forces’ readiness to conduct a massive nuclear strike in response to an enemy nuclear strike”, RT reported.
According to the Kremlin, land, sea and aviation deterrence forces took part in the maneuvers. Targets located on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia’s Far East were obliterated by the Yars intercontinental ballistic missile, fired from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Arkhangelsk Region, and the Sineva ballistic missile, launched from the Barents Sea. Tu-95 strategic bombers also took part in the exercises, RT reported.
Putin ordered the readiness level of Russia’s strategic nuclear forces to be increased in late February, days after Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine.
In recent weeks, the US and several other Western powers have claimed that Moscow is planning to conduct a tactical nuclear strike in Ukraine — which the Kremlin has vehemently denied.
Moscow has accused Ukraine of preparing to set off a ‘dirty bomb’ to frame Russia. Defense Minister Shoigu called his colleagues in the US, the UK, and several other nations to share Moscow’s concerns, RT reported.
Ukraine has rejected the allegations as “absurd”.