From the desk
Putin attends nuclear weapons exercise
10/26/2022, 3:50 p.m
Despite Western rejection, Russia is sticking to its claim that Ukraine intends to detonate a nuclear-contaminated bomb on its own soil. Kremlin chief Putin says the risk of a global conflict is high – and is following an exercise by the Russian nuclear forces.
In the afternoon, Russian head of state Vladimir Putin attended an exercise by his country’s “strategic deterrent forces,” one of whose tasks is to respond to the threat of a nuclear attack. “Under the leadership of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Vladimir Putin, the strategic deterrent forces on the ground, at sea and in the air have held training,” the Kremlin said. The exercise serves to prepare for a possible hostile nuclear attack on Russia, RIA quoted Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu as saying. The Kremlin provided photos showing Putin following the exercise via video link.
The exercise included launching ballistic missiles and cruise missiles. Among other things, ballistic missiles were fired from the Kamchatka Peninsula and from the waters of the Barents Sea in the Arctic. Long-range Tu-95 bombers were also involved in the exercise. “The tasks set for the strategic deterrence exercise were fully met. All missiles reached their target,” the statement said. The task of the Russian “strategic” armed forces is, in the broadest sense, to respond to external threats, including in the event of nuclear war. They are armed with ICBMs, long-range strategic bombers, submarines, ships and naval aircraft. The exercises took place against the background of the Russian offensive in Ukraine and the crisis between Moscow and Western countries. Russian government officials have repeatedly threatened to use nuclear weapons in the event of an existential threat to Russia.
At a meeting with heads of state from former Soviet republics before the training session, Putin said Russia was aware of Ukrainian plans to use a dirty bomb containing radioactive material. Putin went on to say that the risk of a global conflict is high. The safety precautions of infrastructure facilities should be increased.
USA: “There is no truth to the allegations”
A “dirty bomb” consists of radioactive material released with conventional explosives. Unlike an atomic bomb, there is no nuclear chain reaction. Russia made the allegations public on Sunday, while Ukraine, the United States, France and Great Britain rejected them. Despite this, Russia persists in claiming that Ukraine has such a bomb and intends to use it. Moscow has not presented any evidence. Rather, Russia is suspected of preparing to use a “dirty bomb” in Ukraine itself.
US National Security Council communications director John Kirby said after a debate at the UN Security Council on the issue that there was absolutely no truth to the Russian claim. “It’s just not true. We know it’s not true,” Kirby said. “We have seen in the past that the Russians have occasionally blamed others for things they intended to do.”
The Russian military said on Monday that it had prepared its armed forces for use in radioactive conditions. This was announced by the head of Russia’s nuclear, biological and chemical protection forces, Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov in a media briefing.