Russian Defence Ministry announces tactical nuclear weapon deployment drills

Russia’s Defence Ministry has announced plans to carry out military exercises simulating the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons, a statement issued on Monday said.

The exercise would be held “in order to improve the readiness of non-strategic nuclear forces to fulfill combat missions”, and would involve missile formations in Russia’s Southern Military District, as well as the country’s aviation and naval forces.

The exercise is aimed at maintaining “the readiness of personnel” and “non-strategic nuclear weapons combat units” in order to ensure Russia’s “territorial integrity and sovereignty”, the statement said, adding that another goal of the drills is to respond to “provocative statements and threats by certain Western officials” against Russia.

No date was given for the drills, but the ministry’s statement said that they would be held “in the near future”, adding that they were being prepared on Vladimir Putin’s instructions. No further details have been made available.

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