Russia prepares for nuclear readiness exercises in response to ‘Western threats’

The General Staff of Russia's Defence Ministry, on the orders of President Vladimir Putin, has commenced preparations for exercises aimed at "increasing the readiness of non-strategic nuclear forces to carry out combat missions," reports the Russian Defense Ministry.

During these drills, the Defence Ministry intends to practice issues related to "the preparation and use of non-strategic nuclear weapons" (also known as tactical nuclear weapons). The purpose is to "unconditionally ensure the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Russian state in response to provocative statements and threats from certain Western officials" directed at Russia.

The exercises are scheduled to take place "in the near future." They will involve missile units from the Southern Military District and will include the participation of aviation and Naval forces. The exact location where these drills will be conducted has not been disclosed.

In late February 2024, The Financial Times reported on obtaining secret documents concerning Russia's tactical nuclear weapons. According to these documents, Russia's threshold for the use of such weapons is lower than is officially proclaimed by Russian authorities. The documents suggest the military could deploy tactical nuclear arms in the event of a Chinese troop incursion, as well as to "deter states from aggression... or the escalation of military conflicts."

  Russia, NATO