Ukraine: Russia announces maneuvers and firing of its strategic forces this Saturday
Sylvie Claire / February 18, 2022
Russia announced on Friday that it would conduct, under the supervision of Vladimir Putin on Saturday, maneuvers of its strategic forces, including the firing of ballistic and cruise missiles, in the midst of a crisis with the West.
On February 19, under the leadership of the Supreme Commander of the Russian Armed Forces Vladimir Putin, a planned exercise of strategic deterrence forces will be held, the Defense Ministry said, quoted by Russian news agencies.
According to Moscow, ballistic and cruise missile launches will take place as part of the exercises. They will also involve soldiers from Russia's Southern Military District, aerospace forces, strategic forces and the Russian Northern and Black Sea fleets.
These maneuvers aim, according to the ministry, to test the readiness of the forces involved and the reliability of strategic nuclear and non-nuclear weapons.
Russian strategic forces, in their broad definition, are designed to respond to threats including nuclear war. They are equipped with intercontinental-range missiles, long-range strategic bombers, submarines, surface ships and a naval air force carrying long-range conventional missiles.
On Friday, the Ukrainian army and the pro-Russian separatists accused each other of new bombardments in the east of the country, plagued since the day before by an outbreak of violence against the backdrop of fears of an attack by Moscow.
Ukrainian authorities reported 20 ceasefire violations by the separatists overnight, while pro-Russian rebels reported 27 shots fired by the Ukrainian army.