Russia's Major Nuclear Drills: A Response to NATO Troop Deployment Threats in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the holding of nuclear exercises, in which troops stationed near Ukraine will participate, in response to "threats" from Western leaders to Moscow, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced today

by Sededin Dedovic
Russia's Major Nuclear Drills: A Response to NATO Troop Deployment Threats in Ukraine
© Rob Stothard / Getty Images

The Russian nuclear exercises announced for today are "a response to the words of Western representatives", including French President Emmanuel Macron, about the possible sending of NATO soldiers to Ukraine, it was explained today in the Russian capital.

The Russian Ministry of Defense quickly reacted to those statements, announcing the organization of nuclear exercises in the near future. The drills are planned alongside troops deployed near the border with Ukraine, in response to what Russian authorities call "threats" from Western leaders.

The Kremlin confirmed that the statements of Macron, British and American representatives served as the driving force behind this step. Dmitriy Peskov, Kremlin spokesman, emphasized that Western leaders have expressed their intention to send military forces to Ukraine, which, according to him, would pit them against the Russian army.

This escalation of tensions was assessed as very dangerous, and the French president's rhetoric received particular condemnation. "They talked about the desire and even the intention to send armed contingents to Ukraine, that is, to place NATO soldiers against the Russian army," said Peskov.

In this handout image provided by Host Photo Agency, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov speaks during a briefing© Handout / Getty Images

Macron's repeated suggestion of sending Western troops to Ukraine, if there is a "breakthrough of the front lines" by Moscow and if Kiev requests it, further heated up the already tense situation.

Rejecting this possibility, according to the French president, would be ignoring the lessons learned during the previous years, when NATO countries first ruled out sending heavy military equipment to Ukraine, only to later change their minds.

These statements by Macron have already caused reactions before, especially when he mentioned the possibility of sending troops to Ukraine in the future at the end of February. Most European countries, as well as the USA, distanced themselves from such positions, although some later brought certain changes in policy due to the progress of Russian forces in the east of Ukraine, France Press reports.

Russian President Vladimir Putin reacted to these statements by ordering nuclear exercises to be held in the near future. These drills will include troops deployed near Ukraine and are aimed at preparing the military after provocative statements and threats by Western officials, as noted.

The Ministry of Defense of Russia announced that during the exercise numerous measures will be taken for the preparation and use of non-strategic nuclear weapons. These exercises are aimed at increasing the readiness of the personnel and equipment of the units for the combat use of non-strategic nuclear weapons, with an emphasis on the response and ensuring the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Russian Federation.

"During the exercise, a series of measures will be taken for the preparation and use of non-strategic nuclear weapons," the Ministry announced via Telegram. It will include air force, naval forces and forces from the Southern Military District, which covers areas along the border with Ukraine and which, according to Moscow, have been annexed.

This activity comes in the context of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine since February 2022, underscoring Russian statements about the possibility of using nuclear weapons, which is part of Russia's nuclear doctrine that foresees the use of nuclear weapons exclusively for defensive purposes or in the event of an attack on Russia with weapons of mass destruction.

, or in case of aggression with conventional weapons, which threatens the sovereignty of the country. In addition to military actions, during the summer of 2023 Russia deployed nuclear tactical weapons in Belarus, its closest ally and neighbor of the European Union.

This decision further increased fears and tensions in the region. Vladimir Putin emphasized in an interview that Russia will resort to nuclear weapons only in the case when the survival of the state is threatened or when serious damage is caused to its sovereignty and independence.

These statements clearly show the seriousness of Russian attitudes towards the use of the nuclear arsenal. In essence, this cycle of escalating tensions between Russia and the West, especially regarding Ukraine, poses a serious challenge to international security.

While the West expresses concern over Russian military activities in the region, Russia insists on its sovereignty and right to defense. Despite diplomatic efforts to calm tensions, the situation in and around Ukraine remains tense and represents a potential source of conflict that would have serious consequences for global stability.

Therefore, it is important that all parties show maximum restraint, especially when it comes to incendiary statements like Macron's or rattling nuclear weapons like Putin's. It is necessary to avoid a scenario that could have catastrophic consequences for the whole world, and nuclear exercises definitely do not instill security in citizens. Ordinary citizens of any country just want an end to tensions and for Europe to finally return to "normal life".

Russia Ukraine Vladimir Putin