Russia launches nuclear weapon tests as furious Putin blasts ‘Western aggression’

Russia launches nuclear weapon tests as furious Putin blasts ‘Western aggression’

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GB News
Oliver Trapnell

By Oliver Trapnell

Published: 06/05/2024

- 08:39

Updated: 06/05/2024

- 12:54

The Russian MoD said the tests are set to take place ‘in the near future’

Vladimir Putin has instructed the Russian Ministry of Defence to conduct a test of non-strategical nuclear weapons.

In a dramatic escalation of tensions between Russia and the West, the Russian president made the order in response to “Western aggression”.

He added that the exercises were also aimed at protecting Russian sovereignty.

Although an exact date for the test has not been revealed, the Russian Ministry of Defense said the tests would take place “in the near future”.

In a message on Telegram, the Russian MoD said the tests would take place “in response to provocative statements and threats by individual Western officials against the Russian Federation”.

Vladimir Putin and nuclear explosion

Vladimir Putin has ordered a test of Russia's non-strategic nuclear weapons

Reuters/Getty Images

Russian media quoted the Ministry as stating: “On instructions from the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, in order to increase the readiness of non-strategic nuclear forces to carry out combat missions, the General Staff has begun preparations for holding exercises in the near future with missile formations of the Southern Military District with the involvement of aviation, as well as naval forces.”

Just a few hours after the statement, Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, warned of a “world catastrophe” should Western forces place troops in Ukraine.

He wrote: “The chorus of irresponsible scoundrels among the Western political elite calling for troops to be sent to a non-existent country is growing.

“Now it includes representatives of the US Congress, French and British leadership, and individual madmen from the Baltic states and Poland.

“They also call for the active use of their missile weapons, which they supplied to the Banderaites, throughout Russia. And this is not a spring aggravation, but a cynical calculation for political dividends.

“There is some kind of total degradation of the ruling class in the West. This class really does not want to logically connect elementary things.

“Sending your troops to the territory of Ukraine will entail the direct entry of their countries into the war, to which we will have to respond. And, alas, not in the territory of Ukraine.

“In this case, none of them will be able to hide either on Capitol Hill, or in the Elysee Palace, or in 10 Downing Street.

“A world catastrophe will come.

“By the way, Kennedy and Khrushchev were able to understand this more than 60 years ago. But the current infantile morons who have seized power in the West do not want to understand.

“And that is why today the General Staff began preparations for the exercises, including activities for practical testing of the preparation and use of non-strategic nuclear weapons.”

The explosive order comes just months after Putin signed a law withdrawing Russia’s ratification of the global treaty banning nuclear weapons tests.

At the time, Washington expressed deep concern about Russia's decision, adding that it was a step in the wrong direction.

“Russia's action will only serve to set back confidence in the international arms control regime,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement back in November.

Vladimir Putin

Russia has the world's largest arsenal of nuclear weapons


Moscow claimed that by withdrawing from the treaty, it was bringing itself closer in line with the US which never ratified the treaty.

It is not clear from today’s statement whether nuclear material will be detonated or whether the tests will focus on the missile delivery system.

Russia has the world's largest arsenal of nuclear weapons.

Russian ICBM

A Russian MIRV-equipped thermonuclear armed intercontinental ballistic missile. The MIRV system permits a single missile to deliver multiple nuclear warheads to different targets.

Getty Images

Russia has ramped up weapons production and is now forecast by the United States to manufacture more artillery this year than all of Nato's 32 members combined.

“We are now at the stage of open confrontation, which, I hope, will not result in a direct armed conflict,” Russian Ambassador-at-Large Grigory Mashkov told the state RIA news agency.

Accordingly, Mashkov said, it will be necessary to take “further steps to strengthen the country's defence capability, including building up the missile arsenal, in order to discourage any potential enemy from testing Russia's strength”.

Mashkov said Russia was already doing a lot in this area but that more was needed given what he said was the growing threat from the West and the technological advances in most types of missiles, from tactical to inter-continental.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Russia is set to spend 7.1 per cent of its GDP on the military, or more than a third of total government spending, in 2024.

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