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Belarus announces participation in nuclear exercises with Russia

Belarus stated this Monday (10) that its Army was participating in the second phase of Russian exercises ordered by President Vladimir Putin to practice the readiness of tactical nuclear weapons.

The first phase of the exercises was held in southern Russia last month, which nuclear analysts said was a warning sign from Putin to dissuade the West from becoming more deeply involved in the war in Ukraine.

Belarusian Defense Minister Lieutenant General Viktor Khrenin said the exercises were a proactive measure to “increase our readiness to use so-called retaliatory weapons.”

“Now, more than ever, we are determined to respond to any threat to our country and the Union State” between Russia and Belarus, he declared.

He did not say where the exercises were taking place or what types of weapons were involved. Belarus borders three NATO countries – Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.

“We do not aim to create any tension in regional security issues. We do not project relevant military threats to third countries or anyone else,” Khrenin added.

“We are a peaceful state, we do not threaten or seek confrontation with anyone, but we will keep our powder dry!”

Putin and Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko announced last year that Russia was transferring some of its tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus. These are warheads designed for battlefield use, as opposed to long-range strategic weapons intended to destroy entire enemy cities.

Some Western analysts believe that tactical nuclear weapons have acquired greater importance in Moscow’s thinking since the start of the war in Ukraine, where its conventional forces struggled in the first two years.

In theory, the use of such a weapon could deliver a stunning shock to the West without necessarily triggering a full-blown nuclear war, although the risk of triggering a cycle of escalation would be enormous. Since the first day of the war, Putin has repeatedly warned the West about the size and power of Russia’s nuclear arsenal.

Source: CNN Brasil

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