Published: 10:22, May 22, 2024
Russia says begins tactical nuclear weapons drills
By Xinhua
This video grab from a handout footage released by the Russian Defence Ministry on May 21, 2024 shows Russia's missile forces holding a tactical nuclear weapons drills in the southern military district of the country. (PHOTO / AFP)

MOSCOW - Russian military has begun the first stage of military exercises involving tactical nuclear weapons, the Russian Defense Ministry said Tuesday.

The drills, which will include "practical training in the preparation and deployment of non-strategic nuclear weapons", began in the country's Southern Military District, according to the ministry.

Russian forces were practicing obtaining "special ammunition" - meaning nuclear warheads - for Iskander missiles, equipping launch vehicles with them and "covertly advancing to the designated position in preparation for missile launches".

Russian Aerospace forces were also practicing the fitting of special warheads to Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, and flying into designated patrol areas.

READ MORE: Russia to hold military drill to boost non-strategic nuclear readiness

The defense ministry said earlier this month that the exercise is aimed at maintaining the readiness of personnel and equipment for the combat use of non-strategic nuclear weapons to respond and ensure Russia's territorial integrity and sovereignty, adding that the drills are a "response to provocative statements and threats of individual Western officials against the Russian Federation".


With Reuters inputs