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Russia says it practiced large-scale nuclear strike

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk October 25, 2023 10:38 PM 2 min read
A Russian nuclear missile rolls along Red Square during a military parade on June 24, 2020, in Moscow, Russia. (Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)
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Russia has allegedly successfully rehearsed a large-scale retaliatory nuclear strike, using ground, sea, and air components of the country's nuclear forces, the Kremlin's press service claimed on Oct. 25.

The tests included a Yars intercontinental ballistic missile launched from a cosmodrome in Arkhangelsk Oblast, a Sineva ballistic missile launched from a nuclear submarine in the Barents Sea, and TU-95MS bombers launching cruise missiles, Moscow claims.

The exercise, reportedly carried out under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin, involved delivering a "response to an enemy nuclear strike," Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on state TV, the BBC reported.

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The announcement comes just as the Russian Parliament approved the country's withdrawal from the nuclear test ban treaty the same day.

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) has been signed by 187 countries since its origin in 1996, but several, including the U.S., have not ratified it.

As a result, it has never officially come into force, but in practice, it has introduced a taboo on testing nuclear weapons.

Russia signed the CTBT in 1996 and ratified it in 2000. No country besides North Korea has officially conducted a nuclear test in 25 years.

Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia's permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna, initially claimed that Russia has no intention to test its nuclear arsenal unless the U.S. does so first.

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