June 10 – June 16, 2024
Security issues

Belarus and Russia practice using weapons of retaliation in the second phase of exercises

The situation got worse
Belarus and Russia practice using weapons of retaliation in the second phase of exercises

Minsk and Moscow continue to rattle nuclear weapons, conducting the second stage of joint exercises of non-strategic nuclear forces. The exercise is set against the backdrop of a new Kremlin ultimatum demanding that the West and Ukraine cease combat operations.

The second phase of the exercises involving non-strategic nuclear forces is underway. The exercises focus on the joint preparation of the armed forces of Russia and Belarus for the combat use of non-strategic (tactical) nuclear weapons (TNW). Officially, the exercises are aimed at maintaining the readiness of personnel and equipment of TNW combat units to ensure the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Union State.

The Russian Ministry of Defense reminded that during the first stage, personnel of missile units of the Southern Military District practiced receiving training munitions for the Iskander operational-tactical missile complex, equipping missiles, and covertly moving to a designated positioning area to prepare for launches. In turn, personnel of the aviation units of the Russian Aerospace Forces practiced equipping with training warheads of aviation strike means (including the hypersonic aeroballistic missiles “Kinzhal”) and flights to designated patrol areas. The footage released by the military department shows the preparation of Iskander operational-tactical missile complexes, flights of at least three MiG-31 fighters, and two long-range missile carrier bombers Tu-22.

During the second stage, issues of joint preparation of Belarusian combat units and Russian nuclear support units were practiced. During the execution of tasks, the 12th Main Directorate of the Russian Ministry of Defense delivered training nuclear warheads to field storage sites. Along with Belarusian military personnel, missile preparation in special equipment and suspension of aviation strike means under carrier aircraft were carried out. A separate focus was on ensuring combat duty with training nuclear warheads.

According to some reports, Belarusian military personnel will soon practice various elements of preparation for the use of nuclear weapon carriers. This involves the Iskander complexes, as well as a squadron of Su-25. Additionally, the Belarusian missile complex “Polonez-M” is also being brought into the training.

The Russian Ministry of Defense states that the results of the exercises will be reviewed for each training issue to determine further improvements in the preparation of non-strategic nuclear forces. The goal of further exercises is to ensure the completion of tasks under various military-political scenarios.

The Belarusian military department explains the conduct of the second stage by geopolitical realities and the increased tension in the region due to Western actions. These actions include:

– Uncompromising aggressive policy in military activity;

– Lack of readiness for constructive dialogue;

– Failed attempts to involve Belarus in the epidemic of “color” revolutions and crush it with economic sanctions;

– Plans to use military force against Belarus, including statements about the permission to strike with weapons supplied to Ukraine, against the territory of the Russian Federation and Russian military facilities on Belarusian territory.

Minsk asserts: by conducting the exercises, the army consistently strengthens its defensive potential, systematically enhancing readiness to use so-called weapons of retaliation.

The Belarusian military-political leadership insists it does not seek to create tension in ensuring regional security and is not aiming for confrontation. Meanwhile, the main initiator of these exercises, Vladimir Putin, again threatens to launch nuclear strikes against Western countries if they continue to provide military support to Kyiv and if Ukraine does not agree to capitulate.

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Once a week, in coordination with a group of prominent Belarusian analysts, we provide analytical commentaries on the most topical and relevant issues, including the behind-the-scenes processes occurring in Belarus. These commentaries are available in Belarusian, Russian, and English.

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