Russia’s Defense Ministry announced Wednesday that around 1,000 members of its nuclear forces staged drills outside of Moscow following an announcement by President Biden that the U.S. is sending “more advanced rocket systems and munitions” to Ukraine.
“In the Ivanovo region, autonomous launchers of the Yars mobile ground-based missile system of the Teikovsky formation of the Strategic Missile Forces perform intensive maneuvering actions on combat patrol routes as part of the exercises,” the Interfax news agency quoted the Ministry as saying.
“Strategic rocket men are working on the issues of bringing missile systems to field positions, making marches up to 62 miles long, dispersing units with a change in field positions, their engineering equipment, organizing camouflage and combat security,” it reportedly added.
Earlier, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said “we believe that the United States is purposefully and diligently adding fuel to the fire” by sending the new weaponry to Ukraine, according to Reuters.
Biden said the weaponry is part of the latest military aid package for Ukraine, but stressed that his administration is not enabling the Ukrainians to strike outside their own border.
Rebekah Koffler, a former DIA intelligence officer and the author of “Putin’s Playbook: Russia’s Secret Plan to Defeat America, told Fox News Digital that the drills on Wednesday show that “Putin almost certainly is signaling to Washington that he would use his nuclear trump card, if Moscow thinks that it observes any indications and warnings that Ukraine is targeting Russia proper or if things are about to escalate otherwise.
“Russia has a preemptive doctrine and views tactical nuclear weapons as a battlefield capability — not simply a deterrent,” Koffler also said. “This doctrine is more dangerous than the doctrine that the Soviets adhered to during the Cold War because it views limited nuclear warfare as a viable battlefield option, rather than a psychological weapon.”