Russian Federation Defense Ministry on Friday announced massive nuclear triad exercises with ballistic and cruise missile launches, despite extreme tensions surrounding Ukraine.
“On Saturday, February 19, under the leadership of Russian President Vladimir Putin, a planned exercise of strategic deterrence forces will be held,” the Defense Ministry said in a release on Friday.
In addition, the Aerospace Forces (VKS), the Southern Military District (SMD), the Strategic Missile Forces, as well as the Northern and Black Sea Fleets will be involved in the drills.
The Ministry of Defense added that the exercise of the strategic deterrence forces was organized “to check the readiness of military command and control bodies, launch combat crews, crews of warships and strategic missile carriers to carry out their tasks.”
Last week, a Russian defense source also told news agency TASS that the nuclear exercise, known as ‘Thunder’, would involve all three prongs of Russia’s strategic nuclear forces, testing firing procedures from land, sea and air.
Nuclear drills are held frequently in Russia, but the decision to proceed with such exercises in the face of the tension circling Ukraine will give world powers more cause for concern.