Russia simulated nuclear-capable missile launches

Moscow said on Wednesday that its army had simulated the firing of nuclear-capable missiles in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, as Russian forces continue their offensives in Ukraine.

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This announcement comes at 70e day of the Russian intervention in Ukraine, which caused thousands of deaths and caused the largest refugee crisis in Europe since the Second World War, with more than 13 million people displaced.

After sending troops to Ukraine in late February, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued thinly veiled threats hinting at a willingness to deploy tactical nuclear weapons.

During military maneuvers in the Baltic Sea enclave between EU member countries Poland and Lithuania on Wednesday, Russia simulated “electronic launches” of nuclear-capable Iskander mobile ballistic missile systems, said the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Russian forces carried out single and multiple strikes on targets that simulated missile system launchers, airfields, protected infrastructure, military equipment and command posts of a fictional enemy, the statement said.

After having carried out the “electronic” shots, the soldiers carried out a maneuver to change position in order to avoid “a possible retaliatory strike”, according to the Ministry of Defense.

Combat units also practiced “operations under radiation and chemical contamination conditions.”

More than 100 soldiers participated in these exercises.

Russia placed its nuclear forces on high alert shortly after sending troops to Ukraine on February 24.

Mr Putin has warned of “lightning-fast” retaliation in the event of direct Western intervention in the Ukraine conflict.

According to observers, in recent days Russian state television has tried to make the use of nuclear weapons more acceptable to the public.

“For two weeks we have been hearing on television that the nuclear silos should be opened,” Dmitry Muratov, editor of an independent Russian newspaper and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, said on Tuesday.

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