Russia Monitor is a review of the most important events related to Russian internal and external security, as well as its foreign policies.
Date: 31 October 2022 Author: Grzegorz Kuczyński
Russia Intimidates West With Nuclear Weapons
Russia’s nuclear drills are part of the country’s effort of scaring Western states off with possible nukes to be used in the Russia-Ukraine war. The Ukrainian government has said it suspects Russia is planning its own false flag operation. Russia has also waved the nuclear blackmail, a strategy that the Kremlin has followed since it invaded Ukraine. Moscow is aware that it will not intimidate Ukraine. Instead, it hopes to send a message to Western states, mostly Germany and France, that a nuclear option is still on the table.
The Kremlin said Russian President Vladimir Putin on October 26 remotely observed exercises codenamed Grom-2022 by his nation’s strategic nuclear forces. Russian state television showed a video of Putin observing the drills on a huge television screen, with comments from military leaders. In the broadcast, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the drills involved a nuclear submarine, long-range aircraft, and multiple practice launches of ballistic and cruise missiles. Russia conducted nuclear exercises, working out a “massive” nuclear strike at the Kura test site in Kamchatka. A Yars land-based intercontinental ballistic missile was test-fired from the northern Plesetsk launch site. A Sineva intercontinental ballistic missile was launched from a submarine in the Barents Sea. As part of the exercise, Tu-95 strategic bombers also launched cruise missiles at practice targets. In the past, Russia would usually stage its nuclear drills at this time of the year. The Russian nuclear 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. The Kremlin has one goal: to escalate its nuclear threats further in the West. Interestingly, Russia staged a nuclear drill on February 19, just five days before invading Ukraine. Moscow saw a two-year hiatus in staging nuclear exercises. Not incidentally, having watched a video feed of the launch, Putin attended a meeting with the intelligence chiefs of several former Soviet countries, claiming the West was “pumping” Ukraine with weapons. Putin himself repeated the dirty bomb claim. “We know about the plans to use the so-called dirty bomb for provocations,” he said. If Russia uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine the United States has warned Putin there will be “catastrophic” consequences. The West has delivered a firm response to the Russian strategic nuclear drills.
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