Published On: Sat, May 11th, 2024
World | 4,872 views

WW3 fears as satellite images show Putin’s nukes ’20 miles from Ukraine’ | World | News

Vladimir Putin has reportedly moved nuclear weapons to a military base just miles north of the Ukrainian border. Shocking satellite images captured by Maxar and analysed by the New York Times shows a Russian base in Belarus with “features unique to nuclear storage facilities”.

The images have sparked concern that Russia could launch nuclear strikes against Ukraine, as fears of WW3 escalate.

The nuclear weapon storage facility is just 32 kilometers (20 miles) north of the Ukrainian border near the town of Osipovichi, according to Belarusian news outlet Nexta. The same facility was used to store nuclear weapons during the Cold War.

However, it remains unclear whether the facility already houses nuclear weapons or not. If nuclear warheads are on the base, it would mark the first time Russia has stored them outside the country since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

In early 2023, President Putin said that Russia would soon be completing work on a “special storage for tactical nuclear weapons” in Belarus.

This comes as the Russian leader again raised the spectre of nuclear war this week. In a speech to mark Russia‘s victory over Nazi Germany, President Putin referred to Russia’s arsenal of nuclear weapons – the largest in the world.

He said: “Russia will do everything not to allow a global conflict, but at the same time, we will not let anyone threaten us. Our strategic forces are always at combat readiness.”

On Monday, the defence ministry said the Russian leader had ordered the military to hold drills rehearsing the use of tactical nuclear weapons in response to “provocative statements” from Western leaders.

The drills mark the first time since the 2022 invasion that Russia will carry out tactical nuclear weapons exercises near the Ukrainian border.

It is believed to be a response to Emmanuel Macron’s suggestion of sending NATO troops to fight in Ukraine as well as comments by Lord David Cameron that the UK would permit Ukraine to use-long range weapons against Russian territory.

On Friday, senior Russian security official Dmitry Medvedev added that the aim of nuclear exercises is to work out the response to Ukrainian attacks on Russian soil.

The former Russian president, who is now deputy chairman of Russia‘s security council, warned the West that Russia could attack not only Ukraine in response to such attacks.

Deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said the drills were a warning to the West not to escalate tensions with Russia further.

Mr Ryabkov said: “We are warning our adversaries that their escalationary tendencies make it necessary for us to take steps to essentially strengthen our deterrence.”

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