ballistic missile exercise
Moscow reports simulated nuclear attack
Observers warn that President Putin is trying to make the use of nuclear weapons acceptable to the Russian population with propaganda on state television. According to the Kremlin, the military is now practicing “electronic launch” of nuclear-armed ballistic missile systems in Kaliningrad.
Russian forces in Kaliningrad have simulated attacks with nuclear-capable missiles amid the offensive in Ukraine, according to Moscow sources. As part of a drill, about 100 soldiers simulated the “electronic launch” of mobile ballistic missile systems with Iskander-type nuclear weapons, the Defense Ministry said. The armed forces practiced attacks against military targets of an imaginary enemy and how to react to a counterattack.
Since the start of the military operation in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has signaled his readiness to use Russia’s tactical nuclear weapons. At the end of February, Russia put its nuclear forces on high alert. The Kremlin chief also warned of “swift” retaliation if the West intervened directly in the Ukrainian conflict.
Observers say Russian state television has tried in recent days to make the use of nuclear weapons acceptable to the public. “For two weeks, we have been hearing on our television screens that the nuclear silos must be opened,” Russian journalist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Dmitry Muratov said on Tuesday. “And we also hear that if arms deliveries to Ukraine continue, these terrible weapons should be used.”
“It would be the end of humanity”
Muratov warned against taking Russian propaganda about the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine lightly. “I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of nuclear weapons being used,” said the editor of the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta. Contrary to propaganda claims, the use of such weapons “would not mean the end of war”, Muratov said: “It would be the end of humanity”.
Muratov described President Vladimir Putin’s “absolute and unlimited” power as the most frightening development in Russia. If Putin decides to use nuclear weapons, “no one can stop him…not parliament, not civil society, not the public.”
CIA boss Bill Burns also stressed in mid-April that Putin’s nuclear threats should not be taken lightly. Referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Burns said: “Given the possible despair of President Putin and the Russian leadership, given the military setbacks suffered so far, none of us can underestimate the threat of a possible use of tactical or low-yield nukes. Shoulder. We don’t,” Burns said.
By tactical nuclear weapons, we mean nuclear weapons whose range and explosive power are significantly lower than those of strategic nuclear weapons. They could theoretically be used in combat as a powerful alternative to conventional weapons. With his policy, US President Joe Biden is trying “to avoid a third world war, to avoid a threshold above which…a nuclear conflict becomes possible”, declared the head of the CIA.