Russia’s strategic nuclear forces have practised a massive nuclear strike in response to an enemy nuclear strike; the exercises were led by Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin’s official website has reported.

During the training, as noted in the press service of the Russian president, there were practical launches of ballistic and cruise missiles.

Thus, the military launched the Yars intercontinental ballistic missile from the Plesetsk test cosmodrome at the Kura test site in Kamchatka. A Sineva ballistic missile was launched from the waters of the Barents Sea from the nuclear-powered strategic missile submarine cruiser Tula, and air-launched cruise missiles were launched from Tu-95MS long-range aviation aircraft.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that during the exercises, among other things, the military practised “a massive nuclear strike by strategic offensive forces in response to an enemy nuclear strike.”

On 18 October, the State Duma passed a bill to withdraw ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The document was introduced in the State Duma on 13 October following Vladimir Putin’s statement at a meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club that it was possible to consider withdrawing ratification of the nuclear test ban treaty because the United States had not ratified the treaty.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier that passing a law to withdraw ratification would not mean Russia would start conducting nuclear tests.

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was adopted at the UN General Assembly session in 1996. The document did not enter into force because not enough countries signed it. The US signed it but did not ratify it.

There have been no nuclear tests involving the detonation of an actual atomic charge in modern Russia. The last test in the USSR was conducted in 1990. In February 2023, Putin instructed to ensure that the Novaya Zemlya test site is ready for a nuclear weapons test if the United States leads one first.

In September this year, Mikhail Kovalchuk, president of the Kurchatov Institute National Research Centre and Putin’s friend, suggested testing nuclear weapons on Novaya Zemlya to “scare the West.” He recalled that in 1961, the USSR tried the most powerful thermonuclear bomb in history, with a capacity of more than 50 megatons, in response to the aggressive rhetoric of the United States. “Here is the same situation now. It is enough to conduct tests on Novaya Zemlya,” Kovalchuk said. – Just once, at least. And everything will fall into place.

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