Russia notifies US it will carry out nuclear drills amid 'dirty bomb' allegation
Russia has notified the US that it will engage in nuclear exercises, heightening tensions and questions around its intentions.
Such drills are part of Russia’s annual ‘Grom’ strategic nuclear forces exercises, according to the US government.
‘The US was notified, and, as we’ve highlighted before, this is a routine annual exercise by Russia,’ said Air Force Brigadier General Patrick Ryder on Tuesday.
He did not provide more information.
Russia has fired intercontinental ballistic missiles during its past annual exercises. It is required to provide advance notice around missile launches under the New START Treaty.
The drills come at a sensitive time in the global state of affairs.
Russian authorities called Western powers on Sunday and Monday to convey their allegations that Ukraine is planning to use a ‘dirty bomb’ on its own land. Moscow took the allegations to the UN Security Council on Tuesday.
‘We’re quite satisfied because we raised the awareness,’ said Russia’s Deputy UN Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy.
‘I don’t mind people saying that Russia is crying wolf if this doesn’t happen because this is a terrible, terrible disaster that threatens potentially the whole of the Earth.’
Both Western and Ukrainian officials have flagged the allegations as fake and a pretext for escalating warfare between Russia and Ukraine.
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden warned Russia that using a lower-yield ‘tactical’ nuclear firearm would be an ‘incredibly serious mistake’.
‘I’m not guaranteeing you that it’s a false flag operation yet, we don’t know,’ said Biden. ‘But it would be a serious mistake.’
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Russia’s allegations show it is scheming an attack with an explosive with radioactive material and plans to blame Kyiv.
Meanwhile, US State Department spokesman Ned Price highlighted how crucial it is for Russia to follow through with its obligation to send a notification about its exercises.
‘While Russia engages in unprovoked aggression and reckless nuclear rhetoric, these notification measures do ensure we’re not taken by surprise and reduce the risks of misperception,’ said Price.
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