Saturday, 19 February 2022 11:49

Putin launches nuclear war drills

The exercise is taking place amid tensions with the West over Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin launched strategic drills on Saturday, and is following the exercises from the situation center in Moscow, along with Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko.

The drills involve both nuclear and non-nuclear weapons, and are being held amid the escalation in eastern Ukraine and continuing tensions with NATO. The Russian Defense Ministry said ahead of the maneuvers that they would include the "launching of ballistic and cruise missiles." The air force is set participate along with the country’s Northern Sea and Black Sea fleets.

An RS-24 Yars intercontinental ballistic missile has been launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northwestern Russia, to hit a target in the Kamchatka Peninsula in the country’s Far East, after traveling around 5,700km (3,540 miles).

The nuclear-powered Karelia submarine has fired an R-29RMU Sineva ballistic missile from the Barents Sea in the Arctic, also targeting the Kamchatka polygon.

Ships and submarines from Russia’s Northern and Black Sea fleets fired Kalibr cruise missiles. They also launched a Zircon anti-ship hypersonic cruise missile, one of the country’s newest weapons designed to destroy large aircraft carriers and other large enemy vessels.

Large Tu-95 strategic bombers, meanwhile, struck targets on Kamchatka and in western Russia.