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Russia Ukraine War Moscow Tactical Nuclear Weapons To Belarus, US Slams Move Vladimir Putin Order Sergei Shoigu

Russia on Thursday proceeded with a plan to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus in the Kremlin’s first deployment of such bombs outside Russia since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union. This development comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the United States and its allies of fighting an expanding proxy war against Russia after he sent troops into Ukraine 15 months ago.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said that the tactical nuclear weapons were already on the move as per an order signed by Putin, though there was no confirmation of that from the Kremlin, news agency Reuters reported.

“The movement of the nuclear weapons has already begun,” Lukashenko said in Moscow, where he was attending talks with other leaders of ex-Soviet states.

When asked whether the weapons were already in Belarus, he said: “Possibly. When I get back I will check.”

As per Reuters, the US State Department denounced the deployment plan, however, it said that Washington does not intend to alter its position on strategic nuclear weapons or has so far seen any signs Russia was preparing to use a nuclear weapon.

Putin announced the plan for the nuclear deployment in an interview with state television on March 25

Belarus has borders with three NATO members — Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia. Russia will remain in control of the weapons.

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West Doing All It Can Do “To Prolong And Escalate The Armed Conflict In Ukraine”: Russian Defence Minister

“The collective West is essentially waging an undeclared war against our countries,” Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said at a meeting with his Belarusian counterpart in Minsk, Reuters reported citing Russia’s defence ministry.

According to the Russian Defence Minister, the West was doing all it could “to prolong and escalate the armed conflict in Ukraine.”

He said the documents he was signing in Minsk were related to the process for storing tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus.

Shoigu said that Iskander-M missiles that can carry conventional or nuclear warheads had been handed to the Belarusian armed forces while some Su-25 aircraft had been converted for the possible use of nuclear weapons.

“Belarusian servicemen have received the necessary training,” Shoigu was quoted as saying.

“Latest Example Of Irresponsible Behavior”: US On Russia’s Nuclear Deployment

Meanwhile, US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said that the plans are “the latest example of irresponsible behavior that we have seen from Russia since its full-scale invasion of Ukraine over a year ago”, as quoted by Reuters.

He reiterated Washington’s warning that the use of chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons in the Ukraine war would be met with “severe consequences”, without mentioning further details.

“I will just add we have seen no reason to adjust our strategic nuclear posture or any indications that Russia is preparing to use a nuclear weapon,” Miller told the media, as quoted by Reuters.

At several instances, Putin warned that Russia, which has more nuclear weapons than any other country, will use all means to defend itself. He also said that the Ukraine war as a battle for the survival of Russia against an aggressive West.

Meanwhile, the United States and its allies deny that they want to destroy Russia while also dismissing the allegation that the Ukraine war is in any way linked to post-Soviet enlargement of NATO.

Russia’s Tactical Nuclear Arms

Belarus has borders with three NATO members — Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia. Russia will remain in control of the weapons.

Tactical nuclear weapons are deployed for tactical gains on the battlefield. They are usually smaller in yield than the strategic nuclear weapons designed to destroy U.S. or Russian cities, as per Reuters’ report.

Russia is said to be numerical far superior to the United States and the NATO military alliance when it comes to tactical nuclear weapons. The United States believes Moscow has around 2,000 such working tactical warheads, the report mentioned.

On the other hand, the United States has around 200 tactical nuclear weapons, half of which are at bases in Europe.

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