Russia conducts simulated nuclear strike


Russia’s military conducted exercises with nuclear-capable missiles Oct. 25, shortly after the State Duma unanimously voted to revoke ratification of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The Russian Strategic Missile Forces command claimed the exercises were part of a regularly scheduled annual training drill held every October. But Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu saidthe exercises were to simulate a retaliatory nuclear strike to be carried out if Russia were attacked with nuclear firepower first. The Russian military widely publicized videos of the exercises across state media. According to the Kremlin, the exercises were overseen by President Vladimir Putin from a Moscow command center.

The Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which Russia signed in 2000, has never come into full force due to lack of ratification by eight countries, including the United States. Chairman of the Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, cited this as a major reason for revoking the ratification. On his Telegram account, Volodin called US failure to sign the treaty a “double standard.” (Jurist, BBC News)

NATO is meanwhile completing its own annual nuclear exercise, dubbed “Steadfast Noon,” with up to 60 aircraft carrying out a series of training flights over southern Europe for 10 days starting Oct. 16. (NATO)

The twin drills come amid an intensification of fighting in Ukraine. Fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces has escalated significantly in and around the town of Avdiivka since Oct. 10. The town lies close to the city of Donetsk, which is controlled by Russia, making it a strategic point in the contest for control of Ukraine’s Donbas region, which Russia has declared unilaterally annexed. (PRI)

Photo: Kremlin

  1. Russia withdraws as signatory of global nuclear test ban

    Russian President Vladimir Putin on Nov. 2 signed a bill that withdraws Russia as a signatory to the global nuclear test ban treaty. In response to Russia’s withdrawal the executive secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization, Robert Floyd, called the action “very disappointing and deeply regrettable.” Floyd previously stated that Russia’s action “goes against renewed global determination to see [the treaty] enter into force.” (Jurist)

  2. Putin threatens nuclear strike on West —again

    President Vladimir Putin of Russia said the West faced the prospect of nuclear conflict if it intervened more directly in the war in Ukraine, using an annual speech to the nation on Feb. 29 to escalate his threats against Europe and the United States.

    Putin said NATO countries that are helping Ukraine strike Russian territory or might consider sending their own troops “must, in the end, understand” that “all this truly threatens a conflict with the use of nuclear weapons, and therefore the destruction of civilization.”

    “We also have weapons that can strike targets on their territory,” Putin said. “Do they not understand this?”

    This latest in a series of nuclear threats from the Russian leadership comments by President Emmanuel Macron of France this week raising the possibility of sending troops from NATO countries to Ukraine, a scenario the Kremlin said would lead to the “inevitability” of a direct conflict between Russia and the Western alliance. (NYT)

  3. Putin threatens nuclear strike on West —again

    Asked in an interview with Russian state television March 13 about possible use of nuclear weapons in the Ukraine war, Vladimir Putin initially denied he was considering it. But he quickly reiterated that the use of nuclear weapons is spelled out in the Kremlin’s nuclear doctrine, which sets out the conditions under which it would use such a weapon: an attack using nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction, or a situation in which “the very existence of the state is put under threat.”

    “All that is written in our strategy, we haven’t changed it,” Putin said.

     “Weapons exist in order to use them,” he added. (AP, Reuters, PBS)

  4. Russia to hold drills to simulate nuclear weapon use

    Russia has announced drills to simulate the use of battlefield nuclear weapons in its war with Ukraine. This follows French talk of sending its own troops to Ukraine and the UK’s approval of Ukraine using British weapons to strike inside Russia. A Kremlin statement on the war games said, “We hope that this event will cool down the hotheads in Western capitals.” (PBS NewsHour)

  5. Russia holds tactical nuclear weapons drills near (or in?) Ukraine

    Russia’s military says it has begun tactical nuclear weapons drills near the border with Ukraine. The exercises are taking place in Russia’s Southern Military District, which according to the Kremlin includes parts of Ukraine that are considered annexed territory. It is the first time Russia as announced drills involving tactical nuclear weapons. (DW)