AP: Russia is Conducting Exercises with Nuclear Submarines and Missiles
Russian nuclear submarines are launching exercises in the Barents Sea, and mobile missile launchers are moving through the snow-covered forests of Siberia after President Vladimir Putin ordered the nuclear forces to be put on special alert, the Associated Press reported.
Russia's Northern Fleet said in a statement that several of its nuclear submarines were involved in exercises aimed at working out “maneuvering in stormy conditions”. They will also include several warships tasked with protecting the Kola Peninsula, where several naval bases are located.
In the Irkutsk region, units of Russia's strategic missile forces with Yars intercontinental ballistic missile launchers are moving through forests to work out covert deployments. Russia's armed forces have not said whether the exercises are related to Putin's order Sunday to put the country's nuclear forces on special alert. It is also unclear whether the exercises are a change in the normal training of nuclear forces or a bluff.
Recent statements by Putin and other Russian officials show that the Kremlin sees Western sanctions as a threat equivalent to military aggression. Yesterday, Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of Russia's Security Council, responded to a comment from French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire that the EU would launch a total economic and financial war against Russia, saying “Measure your words, gentlemen! And don't forget that in the history of mankind, economic wars have often become real.”
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