Rusia-(Berberanews)-In a major escalation of tensions with the West over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin has ordered Russian nuclear deterrent forces to be placed on high alert.
On Sunday, Putin said that senior NATO countries had made “aggressive statements” while imposing harsh financial penalties on Russia and himself.
The president instructed the defense minister and the chief of the military’s general staff to place the nuclear deterrent forces under a “special regime of combat duty” at a meeting with his top officials.
The command enhances the possibility that tensions could escalate to the point where nuclear weapons will be used.
The Kremlin announced that it has successfully test-fired hypersonic and cruise missiles at sea and on land. The military drills were also overseen by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, a Putin ally.
“This appears to be another another step by President Vladimir Putin to demonstrate that he is still a force to be reckoned with,” Jabbari added.
The US reacted to Putin’s declaration by accusing him of creating threats in order to justify “more aggression.”
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations, strongly opposed Putin’s action.
In an interview with CBS, Thomas-Greenfield said, “It suggests that President Putin is continuing to escalate this war in a manner that is simply intolerable.”