Russia launched multiple nuclear missiles as part of a readiness drill conducted on Wednesday, sensing a dark warning to the US and allies. President Vladimir Putin monitored the launch of strategic nuclear weapons including ballistic and cruise missiles as Moscow held a show of force.
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said the aim of the practice launches was to test the readiness of Russia's strategic offensive forces for conducting 'massive nuclear strike' in response to any enemy nuclear strike.
Putin had earlier warned that he was not averse to using all means available to stop any force from threatening the security and integrity of the country. The Kremlin said land, sea, and aviation deterrence forces participated in the military drill.
According to the Russia Today, Yars intercontinental ballistic missile was launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Arkhangelsk Region. The nuclear ICBMs obliterated targets located on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia's Far East, the report said. Meanwhile, the Sineva ballistic missile was launched from the Barents Sea, from a Russian nuclear submarine. Russia's Tu-95 strategic bombers also participated in the missiles launch drills.
Tactical Nuclear Strike and Dirty Bomb
The missile tests come at a time when there are increasing concerns that Russia might launch a tactical nuclear strike in Ukraine, a rumor Moscow has clearly rejected. Russia has also said Kyiv could use a dirty bomb in order to frame Russia.
Significantly, the nuclear drills were the first since the start of the Ukraine war in February. In September, Putin shifted gears in the ongoing war against Ukraine with the announcement that he had ordered a partial mobilization in the country. This came in the seventh month of the war and after Russia suffered strategic setbacks in the northeastern war front.
Using All Means Available
This was also the first Russian 'mobilization' since World War Two. In a recorded message telecast on state TV, Putin attacked the West and warned that he would not buckle under the "nuclear blackmail".
"If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we use all available means to protect our people - this is not a bluff," Putin had said in the address to the nation. He said the West wants to destroy Russia and that Ukraine's people are turned into 'cannon fodder' by the West.
Meanwhile, the US said that Moscow had passed on advance information on the planned nuclear drills to test its nuclear capabilities. According to the Pentagon and US State Department, Russia complied with the terms of the arms control treaty in place between the nuclear-armed rivals.'