Russia Sends Mixed Messages on Nuclear Weapons, Increases Concerns

Moscow has been sending out mixed messages over the use of nuclear weapons in the war in Ukraine, pushing concerns to rumble on, CNN reports.

Speaking with CNN’s Chief International Anchor Christiane Amanpour in a sit-down interview in London on Wednesday, Russia’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom Andrey Kelin assured that Russia is not going to use nukes in Ukraine, citing Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu assured every minister that using nuclear weapons is out of the question.

At the same time, the Kremlin statement announced that Russia’s Strategic Deterrence Forces led by President Vladimir Putin conducted on the same day a training exercise in delivering a massive nuclear strike in response to an enemy nuclear attack.

The statement said that the drills involved practice launches of ballistic and cruise missiles, noting that the Sineva ballistic missile was launched from the Barents Sea while the Yars intercontinental ballistic missile was launched from the Plesetsk cosmodrome at the Kura range in Kamchatka.

According to the statement, the practice launches of the air-based cruise missiles were performed by using the Russian military jets Tu-95MS. Among the aims of the drills were the checks on the Russian military command’s level of preparedness and the skills of the leadership and operational staff in organizing Russia’s troops.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told state news agency TASS that Putin is expected to deliver an extensive speech Thursday followed by a discussion at the Valdai Club – the think tank and discussion forum in Moscow – without saying which topics specifically Putin will address.

Peskov, however, noted that the event titled “A Post-Hegemonic World: Justice and Security for Everyone” promises to be “very important.”