Vladimir Putin watched on today as Russia simulated a ‘massive nuclear strike’ with practice launches of ballistic and cruise missiles.
The despot remotely observed the annual exercise, called ‘Grom’ or ‘Thunder’, which uses test launches to put Moscow’s nuclear forces through their paces in a show of force designed to deter and intimidate foes.
Defence minister Sergei Shoigu reported to Putin that the drills were intended to simulate a retaliatory ‘massive nuclear strike’ by Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday monitored drills of the country’s strategic nuclear forces involving multiple practice launches of ballistic and cruise missiles
Russia’s Yars intercontinental ballistic missile is launched during exercises held by the country’s strategic nuclear forces at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome
A Russian Sineva intercontinental ballistic missile is fired by the nuclear-powered submarine Tula during today’s exercises
Drills involved the launch of a Sineva ICBM by a Russian nuclear submarine in the Barents Sea
The manoeuvres followed Mr Putin’s warning about his readiness to use ‘all means available’ to fend off attacks on Russia’s territory in a reference to the country’s nuclear arsenals.
Wednesday’s drills involved the test-firing of a Yars land-based intercontinental ballistic missile from the northern Plesetsk launch site and the launch of a Sineva ICBM by a Russian nuclear submarine in the Barents Sea.
As part of the exercise, Tu-95 strategic bombers also launched cruise missiles at practice targets.
The Kremlin said that all tasks set for the exercise were fulfilled and all the missiles that were test-fired reached their designated targets.
Such drills involving land, sea and air components have taken place on an annual basis to train the country’s nuclear forces and demonstrate their readiness.
The Biden administration said on Tuesday that Russia gave notice it intended to stage routine drills of its nuclear capabilities.
As part of the exercise, Tu-95 strategic bombers also launched cruise missiles at practice targets
Wednesday’s drills involved the test-firing of a Yars land-based intercontinental ballistic missile
The Russian despot monitored the drills from the Kremlin as the country’s strategic nuclear forces practised multiple launches of ballistic and cruise missiles
The Pentagon and US State Department said Russia had complied with the terms of the last US-Russia arms control agreement in notifying Washington of the upcoming tests.
The Russian exercise comes amid Moscow’s warnings of a purported Ukrainian plot to detonate a radioactive device commonly known as a ‘dirty bomb’ in a false flag attack to blame Russia.
Ukraine and its allies strongly reject the allegation.
There are fears that Russia is pushing the claims because that it what the Kremlin is planning to use the deadly device that uses explosives to scatter radioactive waste.
Putin told a meeting of intelligence officials from the CIS group of ex-Soviet countries that the West was ‘pumping’ Ukraine with heavy weapons, adding: ‘There are also plans to use a so-called ‘dirty bomb’ for provocations.’
Shoigu today called his counterparts from India and China to convey Moscow’s concern about the purported Ukrainian plan.
Russia’s Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile is test launched in April as the nuclear threat ramps up
He voiced Moscow’s concern about ‘possible Ukrainian provocations involving a ‘dirty bomb” in the calls with his Indian counterpart, Rajnath Singh, and China’s Wei Fenghe, according to the Russian Defence Ministry.
The conversations followed Shoigu’s calls with British, French, Turkish and U.S. counterparts Sunday in which he made the same claim. Britain, France, and the United States rejected that claim as ‘transparently false.’
Despite the Western dismissal of the Russian claims, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov insisted that ‘we have the information that there is an ongoing preparation in Ukraine for such a terror attack.’
‘We will continue to energetically inform the global community about what we know to persuade it to take action to prevent such irresponsible action by the regime in Kyiv,’ Peskov told reporters.
Moscow also took its accusation to the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday, voicing its concerns during a closed-door meeting.
A destroyed car is seen in the town of Balakliia, liberated by the Ukrainian Armed Forces
A view of the damaged gas station after the Russian missile attacks in Dnipro, Ukraine
Russia has not made public the evidence that it asserts it has, but says it has prepared its troops to work under conditions of nuclear contamination.
Its deputy U.N. ambassador, Dmitry Polyansky, told reporters after the Council meeting that it had passed intelligence information to Western counterparts with the ‘necessary level of clearance’.
Britain’s Deputy U.N. Ambassador, James Kariuki, called the allegations ‘pure Russian misinformation of the kind we’ve seen many times before’.
Russia targeted more than 40 villages around Ukraine over the past day, Ukrainian officials said Wednesday, killing at least two people and sustaining the terror that forces people into air raid shelters each night.
Russian forces launched five rockets, 30 air strikes and more than 100 multiple-launch rocket system attacks on Ukrainian targets, the Ukrainian armed forces general staff said.
A view of damage in the retaken territory in the north of the Kharkiv Oblast as Russia-Ukraine war continues
Residents clean debris at Zestafoni Street in the Zaporizhzhia region damaged by fighting
A Ukrainian official reported Wednesday that a Russian strike hit a gas station in the city of Dnipro, killing two people, including a pregnant woman.
The governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region, Valentyn Reznichenko, said four people wounded were hospitalized.
Mykolaiv, a southern port city near the war’s front line, is among the places where residents have lined up to receive rations of bread and canned food as increases in food prices and losses of income add to the war-time burdens of low-income households in Ukraine.
Several buildings and neighborhoods were struck in Mykolaiv on Tuesday, though it was still unclear if there were any casualties, according to local authorities.
Missiles continued early Wednesday morning.
The sole food distribution point in Mykolaiv allows each person to receive free bread once every three days. Many must walk long distances to collect the essential food items for their family.