Putin has forces train tactical nuclear weapons to deter the West in Ukraine

Putin has forces train tactical nuclear weapons to deter the West in Ukraine
Putin has forces train tactical nuclear weapons to deter the West in Ukraine
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The exercise is a new attempt by Russia to deter the West from greater involvement in military support for Ukraine. Since his large-scale invasion of Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly threatened to use nuclear weapons to keep the West at bay so that Russia can destroy Ukraine undisturbed.

The Russian army is training its armed forces more often for strategic nuclear weapons. The exercise with non-strategic nuclear weapons – also called tactical nuclear weapons – announced on Monday should increase the preparedness of the armed forces to carry out combat missions, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

Russia links the exercise to statements in Europe and the US about a possible deployment of soldiers to Ukraine. Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov spoke on Monday of “a completely new round of escalation of tensions”, which calls for “special measures”.

Former President Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, tried to reinforce the threat. Sending soldiers would mean “direct entry into the war” for Western countries and justify a Russian response “outside the territory of Ukraine,” Medvedev wrote on Telegram on Monday.

The Kremlin refers to statements by French President Emmanuel Macron, who in February was the first Western head of government to say that he “could not rule out” a broadcast. Last week, Macron reiterated that he believes a mission is not unthinkable if Russia breaks through the Ukrainian defense lines and if Kiev asks for soldiers. “I have a clear strategic goal: Russia cannot win in Ukraine,” Macron said in an interview with The Economist. “If Russia wins in Ukraine, there will be no security in Europe.”

Governments of other NATO member states have distanced themselves from Macron’s statements. However, a British MP recently said that a NATO training mission far from the front line is “worth considering”. Hakeem Jeffries, the chairman of the Democrats in the US House of Representatives, said last weekend that there is “a significant probability” that the US military will have to intervene in the conflict “if Ukraine falls”.

Ukrainians have only asked the West for weapons to defend themselves, but are not receiving enough to stop the Russian invading army. On Sunday, the Russian army dropped a 1,500-kilogram hover bomb on the village of Monachynivka in eastern Ukraine, killing an 88-year-old woman. At the front, Russia occupied two small villages on Monday after heavy shelling with howitzers and drones.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Putin forces train tactical nuclear weapons deter West Ukraine

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