Russia carries out annual nuclear exercises

Moscow, Oct 26 (EFE).- Russian president Vladimir Putin on Wednesday oversaw the country’s annual nuclear drills, the first to take place after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The so-called Grom (“Thunder”) drills simulated an atomic response to an “enemy nuclear strike,” Russia’s defense minister Sergey Shoigu said, according to state news agency TASS.

Shoigu informed Putin on the progress of the drill, which lasted only a few minutes.

Putin observed the drill via videolink.

The exercise saw Russia’s strategic nuclear forces launch ballistic and cruise missiles from the atomic submarine Tula, two Tu-95MS strategic missile-carrying bombers and a Yars intercontinental ballistic missile from the Plesetsk spaceport.

The Russian military also launched Sineva ballistic missiles from the Barents Sea in the far north, to Kamchatka, in the far east.

Grom exercises are made for testing the level of preparedness of the command centers of the nuclear forces.

Russia informed the United States that the drills would go ahead, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

The Kremlin on Wednesday said all objectives had been met during the drills.

Russia’s war games coincided with Nato’s annual nuclear deterrence exercises, known as Steadfast Noon.

On February 27, three days after launching its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Kremlin raised its level of nuclear deterrence alert, raising fears in Ukraine and the West over the possible use of atomic weapons.

In recent days, Russia has warned several Western powers and China that Ukrainian forces were planning to use a so-called dirty bomb – an explosive laden with radioactive material.

The claims have been dismissed by Kyiv and its Western allies. EFE mos/aef/jt

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