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Following ‘threats’ from West, Russia begins preprations for nuclear drills near Ukraine

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Russian ballistic missile system.

Russia has initiated preparations for missile exercises near Ukraine, simulating the use of tactical nuclear weapons in response to perceived threats from Western officials, BBC reported.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov characterised recent statements by French President Emmanuel Macron and British Foreign Secretary David Cameron as a “new round of escalation.”

Macron’s refusal to rule out potential French troop deployments to Ukraine and Cameron’s comments on Ukraine’s use of British weapons against Russia were cited by Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs as contributing to heightened tensions.

The ministry warned that any strikes by Ukraine using British weapons could prompt targeting of British military assets in Ukraine and beyond.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the tactical nuclear drills, expected to involve missile, air, and naval forces in the near future. Tactical nuclear weapons, unlike strategic ones, are smaller and intended for battlefield use without causing widespread radioactive fallout.

NATO and European leaders have condemned Russia’s actions as “dangerous” and “irresponsible,” with calls for de-escalation. Ukraine’s foreign ministry has urged countries not to recognize Putin’s presidency following his inauguration for a fifth term, while diplomatic responses from various European nations vary.

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