Russian forces held drills this week simulating nuclear-capable strikes close to European Union borders, the Russian Defense Ministry has revealed.
Members of the Baltic Fleet held war games Wednesday to “deliver mock missile strikes with the crews of Iskander operational-tactical missile systems” in Kaliningrad, the press service of the Western military district said in a statement.
The drills, held near the borders of EU-member states Poland and Lithuania, come amid increasingly unhinged attempts by Kremlin mouthpieces in Russia’s state-run media to sell the idea that a nuclear strike is inevitable.
RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan last month said it is “more probable” Russia’s war in Ukraine will end in a nuclear strike than Vladimir Putin simply backing down.
On Russia’s state-owned Channel One, Russian lawmaker Aleksei Zhuravlyov and TV host Olga Skabeyeva went even further, openly discussing the prospects of Moscow lobbing nuclear missiles at the United Kingdom, Germany and France.
Putin himself has hinted at nuclear strikes, telling lawmakers last week that Russia will unleash “lightning-fast” retaliatory strikes if anyone dares “to intervene in the ongoing events” in Ukraine.
“We have all the tools for this, things no one else can boast of having now. And we will not boast, we will use them if necessary. And I want everyone to know that,” he said.
While the Russian Defense Ministry statement on Wednesday’s war games didn’t explicitly mention simulated nuclear strikes, Iskander missiles, with a range of around 300 miles, are known to be capable of carrying nuclear warheads. From Kaliningrad, Western Ukraine, Poland, the Baltic States, and even parts of Germany would be within striking range.
The servicemen who took part in the drills were also said to have practiced “actions in the conditions of radiation and chemical contamination of the area.”