Belarus inspects tactical nuclear weapons

  • 8 May, 07:29

Belarus conducted a surprise inspection of nuclear exercises on Tuesday, following Russia's announcement of nuclear drills near the Ukraine border.

President Alexander Lukashenko ordered the inspection. Belarus stated on Tuesday that it initiated a surprise examination of its non-strategic nuclear weapon carriers upon Lukashenko's directive. This declaration followed Russian President Vladimir Putin's order for nuclear drills in Russia, sparking concerns about potential nuclear usage in Ukraine. Non-strategic nuclear weapons, also referred to as tactical nuclear weapons, are intended for battlefield use and can be delivered via missiles. While they are less destructive than strategic nuclear weapons used to annihilate entire cities, they still pose significant harm and have never been employed in combat.

The Belarusian Defense Ministry stated in a release, "In accordance with an order from the President of Belarus, a sudden inspection of non-strategic nuclear weapons carriers is being carried out." This inspection will evaluate the "planning, preparation, and use of strikes with tactical nuclear warheads" and will involve a squadron of Su-25 aircraft.

Although Belarus does not possess its own nuclear arsenal, it agreed last year to host Russian tactical warheads amid escalating tensions over Ukraine. These maneuvers, conducted jointly with Russia, commenced as Putin was sworn in for his fifth term, with a pledge to safeguard Russia's security.

Last year, Russia deployed some of its tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus, which shares borders with Ukraine as well as NATO members Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, an authoritarian leader, has relied on close ties with Russia and offered his country as a base for the conflict in Ukraine. Moscow has stressed that the tactical nuclear weapons stationed in Belarus remain under Russian military jurisdiction.


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