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Russia's Non-Strategic Nuclear Forces Begin Second Stage of Exercises: MoD

© Photo : Social MediaSecond stage of Russia-Belarusian non-strategic nuclear forces exercises
Second stage of Russia-Belarusian non-strategic nuclear forces exercises - Sputnik India, 1920, 11.06.2024
Russia conducted the first stage of the exercises in May, where nuclear missions, including deploying Iskander missiles, were its prime focus.
Russia has launched the second stage of its non-strategic nuclear forces exercises, the country's Ministry of Defense (MoD) said on Tuesday.
The defense forces of both Russia and its close ally Belarus will devise plans for deploying weapons in combat that are currently being used in the second phase of the drills, the MoD added.

"In accordance with the decision of the President of the Russian Federation, the second stage of the exercise of non-strategic nuclear forces has begun," the statement reads. "During the exercise, issues of joint training of units of the armed forces of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus for the combat use of non-strategic nuclear weapons will be worked out".

Explaining the move, Moscow underlined that the main aim of the military drill was to maintain the operational readiness of troops in addition to keeping the equipment in the best shape possible for "the combat use of non-strategic nuclear weapons" in both states in a bid to ensure the two nations' territorial integrity and sovereignty.
"Such exercises and maintaining combat readiness are very important to us," Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary to the Russian President, told media persons during a press conference.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin said that Russia's non-strategic nuclear exercises were essential for President Vladimir Putin's forces to maintain their combat readiness, especially at a time when tensions have been rising in Europe due to the "hostile actions" of the US and its allies towards Russia.

"There is a rather tense situation on the European continent, which is provoked every day by new decisions and actions hostile towards Russia by European capitals and, above all, Washington. This provocation occurs on a daily basis," Peskov highlighted.

Underscoring the worldwide attention given to the drills, Peskov described them as normal practice.
"If there are certain types of weapons, then, accordingly, the Armed Forces must maintain their combat readiness at the proper level and conduct exercises," he concluded.
According to Sergey Shoigu, a secretary of the Security Council, Russian exercises with non-strategic nuclear weapons is an adequate response to active participation of NATO military in fighting in Ukraine.
Meantime, the first stage of the drills was held on 21 May where the service members of the Southern Military District obtained training in operating the Iskander operational-tactical missile system. Besides, they learned how to equip their launch vehicles with their special ammunition.
Furthermore, MiG-31 fighters and Tu-22 missile-carrying bombers played a key role in those exercises performed last month.
In this handout photo from the U.S. Air Force, an airman guides an F-16 Fighting Falcon during training at Al-Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Jan. 24, 2022.  - Sputnik India, 1920, 30.05.2024
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