Russia To Practice Tactical Nuclear Weapons Drills In Attempt To Deter West

Russia's defense ministry announced on May 6 that Russia will conduct military drills, which will include practice for deploying tactical nuclear weapons, in response to perceived Western threats made by European leaders.

Russia To Practice Tactical Nuclear Weapons Drills In Attempt To Deter West

The Kremlin announced on May 6 that it would conduct and organize drills that would also include practice for the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons, in a direct response to statements from leaders in France and the UK suggesting that Ukraine could be given direct military assistance.

The comments included statements from French President Emmanuel Macron who suggested that he has not yet ruled out sending troops to Ukraine, and British Foreign Secretary David Cameron, who claimed that Britain will provide Kyiv support in the form of long-range strike weapons to engage targets deep in Russian territory.

Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, suggested that these comments increased the risks of a nuclear confrontation.

In a separate statement, the Russian defense ministry claimed that the exercises are intended to increase the readiness of “non-strategic nuclear forces to fulfill combat tasks” and seek to ensure Russia’s preparedness to defend its territorial integrity “in response to provocative statements and threats by certain western officials.”

In a statement later on Monday, the Russian foreign ministry commented on the drills, claiming that the announcement’s intent was to “cool down hotheads in the west,” who are “deliberately leading the situation towards a further escalation of the Ukrainian crisis towards an open military clash between NATO countries and Russia.”