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Watch video of Russia's tactical nuclear weapons exercise

Russia has begun the first phase of exercises to simulate preparation for the launch of tactical nuclear weapons, the Ministry of Defense said on Tuesday (21).

The exercises were ordered by President Vladimir Putin earlier this month. The Russian government has linked the training to what it calls “militant statements” by Western officials that it says have created threats to Russia's security.

Watch video of Russia's tactical nuclear weapons training

The Russian Foreign Ministry cited comments from French President Emmanuel Macron, who suggested the possibility of sending European troops to fight Russia in Ukraine, and British Foreign Secretary David Cameron, who said Ukraine had the right to use weapons supplied by London to attack targets inside Russia.

Security analysts say the exercise was intended as a warning sign from Putin to dissuade the West from delving deeper into the war in Ukraine, where it has supplied weapons and intelligence to Kiev but refrained from sending troops.

The Defense Ministry said the first phase of the exercise involved Iskander and Kinzhal type missiles.

The aim is to ensure that units and equipment are ready for “the combat use of non-strategic nuclear weapons to respond to and unconditionally guarantee the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Russian state in response to provocative statements and threats by individual Western authorities against Russia ”. Federation”, according to the ministry.

The exercises involve missile forces in Russia's Southern Military District, which is an area near Ukraine and also includes parts of Ukraine that Russia now controls.

Belarus, where Russia said last year it was deploying tactical nuclear weapons, will also be involved in the exercises, the two countries said.

Tactical, or non-strategic, nuclear weapons are less powerful than strategic weapons designed to destroy entire enemy cities, but they still have vast destructive potential.

Source: CNN Brasil

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