Russia Carries Out Nuclear Drills After US Announces Sending Rockets To Ukraine
RUSSIA - Around 1,000 servicemen of the Russian nuclear forces began exercises with over 100 vehicles in the Ivanovo province northeast of Moscow, Russia, according to the Russian defense ministry.
The drills follow an announcement by U.S. President Joe Biden that the United States will be sending "more advanced rocket systems and munitions" to Ukraine in response to Russia's invasion on the country.
The Russian defense ministry stated, "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".
"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 continued.
Dmitry Preskov, who is a Kremlin spokesperson said, "we believe that the United States is purposefully and diligently adding fuel to the fire" for sending the missiles to Ukraine.
Biden announced that the United States will be sending medium-ranged rocket systems to Ukraine in order to aid the country's forces, but said on Monday that the United States was "not going to send to Ukraine rocket systems that can strike into Russia".
The decision to send the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) was made on the condition that Ukraine doesn't use it to launch strikes across the border into Russian territory.
The missile systems are a part of a $700 million dollar security assistance package that will include helicopters, Javelin anti-tank systems and tactical vehicles.
Biden said "We are not encouraging or enabling Ukraine to strike beyond its borders. We do not want to prolong the war just to inflict pain on Russia".
Biden also said "I know many people around the world are concerned about the use of nuclear weapons. We currently see no indication that Russia has intent to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, though Russia's occasional rhetoric to rattle the nuclear saber is itself dangerous and extremely irresponsible".
"Let me be clear: Any use of nuclear weapons in this conflict on any scale would be completely unacceptable to us as well as the rest of the world and would entail severe consequences".
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that the United States is "mindful of the escalation risks in everything we're doing associated with this", and said that the U.S. has no intention of direct conflict with Russia.
"President Biden has made clear we have no intention of coming into direct conflict with Russia,” he said. “We don’t have an interest in the conflict in Ukraine widening to a broader conflict or evolving into World War III. … But at the same time, Russia doesn’t get a veto over what we send to the Ukrainians" he stated.