Medvedev: The Capitol, Elysée, Downing Street, nuke-exercise begins

On May 6, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, disclosed some important news regarding Russia’s nuclear activities via his X [formerly Twitter] account. He revealed that the General Staff is currently prepping for a military exercise. This training involves the assembly and utilization of non-strategic nuclear weapons. The significant announcement was perfectly timed, coinciding with an identical revelation by Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov at exactly 0500 EST. 

Peskov connected these exercises to recent declarations from the Western world regarding their willingness to deploy troops to Ukraine. The presidential press secretary tagged these declarations as potentially dangerous. He argued that the extraordinary surge in tensions, which he deemed unprecedented in its intensity, calls for special attention and extraordinary measures. 

Medvedev, on his part, likened some members of the US Congress, along with the French and British administrations, and what he termed as “some crazy Baltic states and Poland,” to a “choir of irresponsible scoundrels”. Medvedev advocated for the deployment of their missile weapons, which were previously dispatched to Ukraine, across the entire Russian border.

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Capitol Hill, 10 Downing Street, and the Elysee Palace

Medvedev attributes these actions to a calculated political gain, identifying what he perceives as decay in the Western ruling elite. According to him, this group fails to draw simple logical conclusions. His sharp statement insinuates that “important international figures, regardless of whether they reside in Capitol Hill, Elysée Palace, or 10 Downing Street, wouldn’t escape in the event of a global disaster,” his Twitter post highlighted. He draws parallels between the current situation and the Cuban Missile Crisis that the world faced several decades ago. However, he vocally critiques today’s Western leaders, contending that they lack the wisdom of their Cold War counterparts such as Kennedy and Khrushchev. 

In an additional but related development, the Russian press has insinuated that the British Ambassador to the Russian Federation has been summoned to the Foreign Office. However, neither the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office [FCDO] nor the Russian Foreign Ministry have corroborated this report. 

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Reports of the ambassador being summoned were paired with statements made by France’s President Macron, suggesting possible troop deployment to Ukraine, were Ukraine to request it. Furthermore, the reports indicated that the UK could potentially deliver long-range weapons, without any precautions about their usage deep within Russia’s borders.

What are these exercises?

A large-scale exercise involving tactical nuclear weapons or forces in the Southern Military District would be significant, especially considering that Ukraine is actively striking in the Rostov Oblast and even further afield. If these weapons are transported to air bases or frontline facilities, the potential for escalation and miscalculation significantly increases. 

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A military exercise to prepare and deploy a non-strategic nuclear weapon, also known as a tactical nuclear weapon, involves several stages. The first stage is the planning phase, which includes determining the target, the type of weapon to be used, and the method of delivery. The second stage involves the physical preparation of the weapon, which may include assembly, testing, and loading onto the delivery vehicle. 

The third stage involves the actual firing or deployment of the weapon. Depending on the method of delivery, this could involve launching from a submarine, dropping from an aircraft, or launching from the ground. The fourth stage involves analyzing the results of the operation to determine its effectiveness. Finally, the fifth stage is the post-operative phase. This includes debriefing personnel, analyzing the entire operation, and identifying lessons learned. This phase is critical for improving future operations and ensures the continued effectiveness of the Army’s non-strategic nuclear capability.

Types of Russian non-strategic weapons

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The Russian Federation maintains a diverse arsenal of weapons. One type is nuclear depth charges, which are designed to be dropped from aircraft or deployed from surface ships or submarines to attack enemy submarines. Another type is nuclear torpedoes, which are self-propelled underwater projectiles designed to detonate upon reaching a predetermined target. 

Russia also possesses nuclear artillery shells. These are essentially standard artillery shells but with a nuclear warhead. Russia’s arsenal also includes nuclear land mines. These devices are placed in the ground and detonated either by a timer, remote control, or the presence of a vehicle or person. 

Another category includes air-to-surface missiles, which are designed to be launched from aircraft at ground targets. These can carry nuclear warheads and are designed for use against a variety of targets, including enemy air defenses, infrastructure, and troop concentrations. Finally, there are short-range ballistic missiles, such as the Iskander-M, which can carry nuclear warheads and are intended for use against targets such as enemy troop concentrations, command posts, and infrastructure.

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