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Ukraine: Russia’s Nuclear Deterrent Forces Placed On Alert

Ukraine: Russia’s Nuclear Deterrent Forces Placed On Alert

Russian president Vladimir Putin has ordered Russian nuclear deterrent forces to be on alert amid the escalating situation in Ukraine.

Russian president Vladimir Putin has ordered Russian nuclear deterrent forces to be on alert amid the escalating situation in Ukraine.

Tensions have been rising between Russia and the West after a list of sanctions were unveiled on the country, alongside the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's (NATO) decision to deploy additional air, land and sea forces to eastern Europe.

In a meeting with his top officials on Sunday, February 27, Putin accused NATO powers of having made 'aggressive statements' towards Russia.

Russia's defence minister and the chief of military's General Staff have since reportedly been ordered by Putin to put the country's nuclear deterrent forces in a 'special regime of combat duty'.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin (Alamy)
President of Russia Vladimir Putin (Alamy)

In comments which were televised, Putin accused not just Western countries of 'unfriendly action', but also NATO of contributing to frosty relations, AP reports.

As per Sky News, the Russian President said: 'As you can see, not only do Western countries take unfriendly measures against our country in the economic dimension – illegitimate sanctions that everyone knows about.

'But also the highest-ranking officials of leading NATO countries are allowing themselves to make aggressive statements in relation to our country. For this reason I order the minister of defence and the chief of general staff to put deterrent forces on special combat duty.'

Putin's order has now raised concerns over whether nuclear weapons are set to be used amid Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera explained how the Russian president has already given a 'coded warning' about the potential use of nuclear weapons, when Putin warned last week that anyone who tried to 'hinder' the country would see consequences 'you have never seen in your history'.

However, just because the weapons have been put on alert, does not mean the president intends to use them, it just means that they can be launched more quickly.

Corera said he views Putin's latest move in putting nuclear deterrent forces on alert as a very public warning against NATO to stop getting involved and giving support to Ukraine.

Currently, NATO has more nuclear weapons collected than Russia and so could destroy the country if such weapons were to be utilised.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the United Nations, responded to Putin's announcement from Moscow.

She stated: 'President Putin is continuing to escalate this war in a manner that is totally unacceptable. And we have to continue to condemn his actions in the most strong, strongest possible way.'

Despite how Putin has publicly praised the Russian military's efforts since crossing the border four days ago, the president is reportedly 'furious' that the invasion hasn't been as 'easy' as he first thought, the Mirror reports.

While Putin's thanks could appear to signify that the invasion is going well for Russia, the UK's Ministry of Defence has claimed that the number of Russian casualties is 'likely greater than acknowledged by the Kremlin'.

The Ukrainian military has also alleged that the Russian federation armed forces have suffered the 'worst number of fatalities in its existence,' and the latest figures released by Ukrainian Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malya estimate that as of today, February 27, around 4,300 Russian servicemen have been killed, although the number is yet to be confirmed.

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information 

Featured Image Credit: Sky News/ Alamy

Topics: Russia, Ukraine, Vladimir Putin