Home » World holds breath as Russia ‘begins’ use of nuclear weapons

World holds breath as Russia ‘begins’ use of nuclear weapons

Russia has begun training for the “use of nuclear weapons” in response to “threats” from The West, the country’s defence ministry has announced.

In a Telegram post published on Tuesday, the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation announced: “In accordance with the instructions of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, the first stage of the exercise with practical testing of the preparation and use of non-strategic nuclear weapons began in the Southern Military District under the leadership of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces.”

Officials said as part of this stage, “the personnel of the missile formations of the Southern Military District are practising combat training tasks of obtaining special ammunition for the Iskander operational-tactical missile system, equipping launch vehicles with them and covertly advancing to the designated position area in preparation for missile launches.”

“The personnel of the aviation units of the Russian Aerospace Forces involved in the exercise practice equipping aviation weapons with special warheads, including the Kinzhal aeroballistic hypersonic missiles, and flying into designated patrol areas,” it added.

The Defence Ministry also said that, as previously reported, the ongoing exercise is “aimed at maintaining the readiness of personnel and equipment of units for the combat use of non-strategic nuclear weapons to respond and in order to unconditionally ensure the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Russian state in response to provocative statements and threats of individual Western officials against the Russian Federation.”

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Non-strategic, or tactical nuclear weapons, are small nuclear warheads and delivery systems that are intended for use on the battlefield, or for a limited strike, taking out enemy targets in a specific area without unleashing wideranging radioactive fallout.

Strategic nuclear weapons are larger and designed to be fired at a long range, even on other continents.

It’s just the latest spine-chilling threat the Kremlin has made towards nations that have supported Ukraine with military aid since Russia‘s invasion began in February 2022.

Former President and top ally of Vladimir Putin, Dimitry Medvedev, has made repeated reckless threats to use nuclear weapons against Russia‘s enemies if they interfere in support of Kyiv.

Concerns about Russia‘s wider ambitions have led various NATO nations to reassess their readiness for a wider conflict and move to beef up their militaries.

It comes as a retired general told The Daily Express that the even “elderly” missles Putin’s troops are using in Ukraine could hit the UK within 90 minutes – and Britain lacks the defences to stop them.

Sir Richard Barrons estimated shots fired from within Russia would take less than two hours to make their way to the island and noted the error margin would be very limited.

Sir Richard warned the UK lacks the defence capabilities to push back on such missile attacks, leaving the country at severe risk of major damage.

Asked whether the British Armed Forces would be able to repel a Russian missile attack, he said: “No, of course not.

“The UK does not have the air and missile defence that Ukraine has, for now. We’ve not needed it.”

The military expert said that while Russia has been relying on “elderly” missile models, they would still be fairly accurate.

Sir Richard told The Sun’s World at War: “The sort of missiles that fall on Kyiv could fall on London. And Kyiv’s air defences are way, way better.

“Even a quite elderly Russian cruise missile, I’m going to cite Kh-101 released from an aircraft over western Russia, arrives in London 90 minutes later with a 500-kilogram explosive warhead and an accuracy of two meters.

“So pick your door in Downing Street.”

Russia‘s Kh-101 stealth missiles are hard to detect as they can absorb radar signals, travel up to 2,800km and would be able to strike most of Europe bar Spain.