The Russian military on Friday announced massive drills of its strategic forces, brutal recall of the country’s nuclear power amid fears in the West that Moscow is preparing to invade Ukraine.
The Defense Ministry said Russian President Vladimir Putin will personally oversee Saturday’s exercise, which will involve several practice spear of intercontinental ballistic missiles and cruise missiles.
The ministry said it planned the maneuvers some time ago to check readiness of Russia military order and personnel as well as the reliability of its nuclear and conventional weapons.
The war games follow of US President Joe Biden warning on Thursday that Russia could invade Ukraine within days.
Western fears focus on about 150,000 Russian soldiers – of which about 60% of Russia’s comprehensive ground forces – concentrated near the borders of Ukraine. The Kremlin insists that it has no plans to invade.
But Moscow demanded that the United States and its allies keep Ukraine and other ex-Soviet nations out of NATO, don’t deploy weapons in Ukraine and pull back NATO forces from Eastern Europe.
Washington and its allies have bluntly rejected Russian demands and Moscow has threatened to take ‘undetermined’military-technical measures” if the West continued to obstruct.
Russia holds massive drills of its strategic nuclear forces on an annual basis, but the planned maneuvers for Saturday ostensibly involve the Black Sea Fleet. The fleet is based on the Crimean peninsula, which Russia annexed to Ukraine in 2014.