Ukraine Reports Russia Is Practicing Its Readiness For Nuclear Conflict

Russian missile launcher
A mobile launcher with a Topol-M missile travels along the Red Square during a military parade in Moscow May 9, 2010. Ukraine has reported seeing the Russian military carrying out nuclear drills. Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

Ukraine's military intelligence claims Russia's nuclear forces have begun training, simulating the conditions of a large-scale conflict.

Kiev's military intelligence posted a statement on Facebook Wednesday, reporting that Russia's 33 Guards Rocket Army, based in the western Siberian city of Omsk, had kicked off a nuclear combat practice drill.

"The aim of the exercise is to check the readiness of Russia's strategic missile troops on duty, to carry out objectives in the conditions of a large-scale conflict with the implementation of nuclear arms," the statement read.

According to Ukrainian intelligence, Russian forces are planning to carry out another drill next month. However, so far the Russian Ministry of Defence has not announced either drill.

A spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Defence was not immediately available to comment on Ukraine's allegations.

Last year Russian President Vladimir Putin boasted that the Russian military will soon receive 40 missiles, capable of penetrating the missile shield being developed by the U.S. and NATO allies over Eastern Europe.

Russia has previously publicized its drills of its missile troops, which are within its remit to conduct. Such drills have worried western governments, especially when they appeared to be a preparation to target them specifically, with NATO recently accusing Russia of practicing a nuclear strike on Sweden, during one such drill.