Russia Begins Second Stage of Tactical Nuclear Drills With Belarus

Russia's non-strategic nuclear exercises involving the Leningrad military district and the navy make use of Iskander missiles, its defence ministry said on Wednesday.
FILE PHOTO: A view shows an Iskander missile launching system capable of carrying a nuclear warhead during the second stage of tactical nuclear drills of the armed forces of Russia and Belarus at an undisclosed location, in this still image from video released June 11, 2024.
FILE PHOTO: A view shows an Iskander missile launching system capable of carrying a nuclear warhead during the second stage of tactical nuclear drills of the armed forces of Russia and Belarus at an undisclosed location, in this still image from video released June 11, 2024. Russian Defence Ministry/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

(Reuters) - Russia's non-strategic nuclear exercises involving the Leningrad military district and the navy make use of Iskander missiles, its defence ministry said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Russia said it started a second stage of drills to practice deployment of tactical nuclear weapons alongside Belarusian troops, after what Moscow called threats from Western powers.

"The personnel of the missile formation of the Leningrad Military District are practicing combat training tasks," the ministry said in a statement on the Telegram messaging app.

These included obtaining special training ammunition for the Iskander-M operational-tactical missile system, equipping launch vehicles with them and covertly advancing to the designated position area for preparations for missile launches, it added.

"The crews of navy ships involved in the training will equip sea-based cruise missiles with special mock warheads and enter designated patrol areas," the ministry said.

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Clarence Fernandez)

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