Live Updates: Russia’s War in Ukraine
Concerns over the use of nuclear weapons in the war in Ukraine continue to rumble as Moscow sends mixed messages.
Russian Ambassador to the UK Andrey Kelin told CNN on Wednesday that Moscow would not use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, but on the same day President Vladimir Putin led a training exercise practicing delivery of a massive nuclear strike.
« Russia will not use nuclear bombs. That’s out of the question, » Kelin told CNN chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour during an interview in London.
« Defense Minister [Sergei] Shoigu assured every minister that we were not going to use nuclear weapons…that’s what the minister of defense and our president said.
However, on the same day, Russia’s Strategic Deterrent Forces conducted a training exercise to carry out « a massive nuclear strike in response to an enemy nuclear attack », according to a Kremlin statement.
The drills involved practice launches of ballistic and cruise missiles, he added.
« On the Kura range in Kamchatka, the intercontinental ballistic missile Yars was launched from the Plesetsk cosmodrome and the ballistic missile Sineva was launched from the Barents Sea, » the statement said.
Russian Tu-95MS military jets were used for the air cruise missile practice launches, the statement said.
Putin, who is the supreme commander of the Russian army, also heard a report from Shoigu during the training exercises.
The Kremlin statement said that checks were also carried out regarding the level of readiness of the military command and the skills of the leadership and operational staff in the organization of Russian troops.