Belarus orders surprise inspection of nuclear forces – DW – 05/07/2024

The Armed Forces of Belarus began this Tuesday (05/07/2024) a surprise inspection of the tactical nuclear forces located on its territory by order of President Alexandr Lukashenko, a day after his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, announced maneuvers with the same type of weapons in the south of the country.

“Today we received the order from the Supreme Commander of the Belarusian Armed Forces to hold a surprise inspection of forces and means carrying non-strategic nuclear weapons,” declared the Belarusian Defense Minister, Victor Khrenin.

Specifically, Defense noted on Telegram that the exercises will review the combat readiness of an Iskander tactical missile systems division and a squadron of Su-25 aircraft.

“The inspection will be carried out in strict accordance with the regulatory time established by the supreme commander. Within its framework, the entire set of planning, preparation and use of tactical nuclear systems actions will be supervised,” he added.

Lukashenko commented on the start of the maneuvers and noted that this is the first time that tactical nuclear forces located in Belarus have participated. “The inspection has an exclusively defensive character,” he stressed.

“Containment” weapons

The president added that Belarus has no intention of fighting anyone and stressed that nuclear weapons are “containment.”

The day before, Putin ordered the Russian Armed Forces to carry out maneuvers with tactical nuclear weapons “shortly” due to “threats” from the West.

These missile maneuvers, in which both aviation and the Navy will participate, will be carried out by the forces of the Southern Military District, which borders Ukraine.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said in his daily telephone press conference on Monday that the exercises are a response to claims by French President Emmanuel Macron and other senior British officials.

“They spoke about the willingness and even intention to send military contingents to Ukraine, that is, to put NATO soldiers against the Russian military. This is a new spiral of escalation of tension. It is unprecedented and requires a special attention and special measures,” he said.

Putin at the time approved the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, a country from whose territory Russian troops entered Ukraine in the first days of the current war.

ct (efe, afp)

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