War in Ukraine, day 803 | Vladimir Putin orders nuclear exercises in response to Western remarks

(Moscow) Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday ordered the upcoming holding of nuclear exercises in response to comments by Western leaders, including his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, concerning the possible sending of NATO soldiers to Ukraine, according to the Kremlin.

Since the start of the conflict in Ukraine in February 2022, Vladimir Putin has blown hot and cold on the possible use of nuclear weapons.


Military demonstration on May 9, 2022

This time, the exercises announced by the Ministry of Defense should allow the Russian army to “train in the preparation and use of non-strategic nuclear weapons”, designed for use on the battlefield and capable of being launched directly by missiles.

The ministry assured that this was in response to “threats” made by Western leaders against Russia.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri Peskov then denounced their “intention to send armed contingents to Ukraine, that is to say, to place NATO soldiers facing the Russian army.”

He pointed the finger at Emmanuel Macron, whose “very dangerous rhetoric” he criticized, as well as British and American representatives.

The French president recently raised the possibility of sending Western ground troops to Ukraine if Moscow breaks through “the front lines” and if Kyiv requests it.

He had already expressed this idea in February, creating an outcry among Kyiv’s allies, even if some have since taken a step in his direction, particularly in the face of the Russian push on the eastern front.

The Russian military exercises, ordered by Vladimir Putin, will involve the air force, the navy and forces of the Southern Military District, which is based very close to Ukraine and notably covers Ukrainian regions which Moscow claims to annex, according to the ministry Russian Defense.

However, their date and location were not specified, as were the number of soldiers and equipment mobilized.

Russian nuclear doctrine provides for a “strictly defensive” use of atomic weapons, in the event of an attack on Russia with weapons of mass destruction or in the event of aggression with conventional weapons “threatening the very existence of State “.

Six dead near Belgorod

A Ukrainian explosive drone strike in the small village of Beriozovka, in the Russian region of Belgorod, also left at least six dead and 35 injured, according to Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov.


Two small trucks “which were transporting employees to their workplace, and a car were attacked by the Ukrainian army using kamikaze drones,” the official detailed on Telegram.

Two small trucks “which were transporting employees to their workplace, and a car were attacked by the Ukrainian army using kamikaze drones,” the official detailed on Telegram.

One man is in “serious condition”, Mr. Gladkov said, while the other people, injured “more or less seriously by shrapnel”, were transported “to medical centers in the region”.

According to regional authorities, the affected vehicles belonged to a local meat production company.

The Belgorod region is regularly targeted by attacks by the Ukrainian army, with Kyiv saying it is doing so in response to daily bombardments by Russian forces on Ukrainian cities for more than two years.

On December 30, 2023, the city of Belgorod, capital of the eponymous region and located 60 km from the village of Beriozovka, was hit by the deadliest attack on Russian soil since Moscow’s offensive against its Ukrainian neighbor in February 2022 (25 dead and around a hundred injured).

This new Ukrainian attack comes on the eve of the inauguration in the Kremlin of Vladimir Putin, who will officially begin a fifth term as president on Tuesday, and three days before the May 9 celebrations of the Soviet victory against Nazi Germany.

Part of these festivities, which generally attract large crowds throughout the country, was canceled by the authorities for security reasons linked in particular to the conflict in Ukraine.

reference: www.lapresse.ca

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