Russia-Ukraine War: Putin Puts Nuclear Forces On ‘High Alert’
Russia President, Vladimir Putin has on Sunday ordered his defence chiefs to put the country’s nuclear “deterrence forces” on high alert and accused the West of taking “unfriendly” steps against his country.
A country’s “nuclear deterrent” refers to nuclear weapons available as a form of defence to prevent attacks from other nations.
On Thursday, Putin invaded Ukraine, its neighbour to the south-west, heightening the tension between the countries which started in 2014.
In a video of him on Sunday during a meeting with security chiefs, Putin said the decision followed “unfriendly” economic sanctions against Russia.
“Dear colleagues, as you can see, not only do western countries take unfriendly economic measures against our country — I mean the illegal sanctions everyone knows about — but also the top officials of leading NATO countries allow themselves to make aggressive statements with regards to our country,” Putin was quoted as saying according to a translation by Channel 4 news.
That is why I order the defence minister and the chief of the general staff of the Russian armed forces to put the deterrence forces of the Russian army into a special mode of combat service.
You see that Western countries are not only unfriendly to our country in the economic sphere — I mean illegitimate sanctions. Senior officials of leading NATO countries also allow aggressive statements against our country.
Recall that the Russian president on Thursday ordered the invasion of Ukraine, sending shockwaves around the world.
Russian ground forces have pressed into Ukraine from the north, east and south but have encountered fierce resistance from Ukrainian troops, the intensity of which has likely surprised Moscow, according to Western sources.
Ukrainian authorities describe some Russian troops as demoralised and exhausted, claiming that dozens have surrendered.
With the latest development, international tensions are now already soaring over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and Putin’s order will cause further alarm.
Moscow has the world’s second-largest arsenal of nuclear weapons and a huge cache of ballistic missiles which form the backbone of the country’s deterrence forces.
The development comes days after Putin warned of severe consequences if foreign countries interfered in the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
Meanwhile, Russia has been hit with several sanctions amid the invasion, including the announcement by the United States (US) to slam “sweeping financial sanctions and stringent export controls that will have a profound impact on Russia’s economy, financial system, and access to cutting-edge technology”.
US, United Kingdom, European Union and Canada, on Saturday, also agreed to remove “selected” Russian banks from SWIFT international payment system.