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WorldAsiaPutin sets date for deployment of 'tactical' nuclear weapons in Belarus

Putin sets date for deployment of ‘tactical’ nuclear weapons in Belarus

A Kremlin statement quoted Putin as saying: “Everything is going according to plan, everything is stable.”

The two presidents agreed earlier on the plan to deploy short-range nuclear missiles on the territory of Belarus, a close ally of Moscow, on the condition that the missiles remain under Russian command.

And last month, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko announced that Russia had started transferring nuclear weapons to his country, in translation of the proliferation announced by President Vladimir Putin last March.

“The transfer of nuclear weapons has begun,” Lukashenko said.

The Russian president announced on March 25 that Moscow would deploy “tactical” nuclear weapons in Belarus, located at the gates of the European Union, which raised fears of an escalation of the conflict in Ukraine.

The announcement drew criticism from the international community, especially Western countries, noting that the Russian president had hinted since the start of the military operation in Ukraine in February 2022 that he might use nuclear weapons.

Last April, Russia announced that it had started training Belarusian military personnel in the use of “tactical” nuclear weapons.

Putin previously announced that 10 planes had been outfitted in Belarus to use similar weapons, stressing that a special warehouse would be completed by July 1.

Advantages of Tactical Nuclear Weapons

Tactical nuclear weapons are most often distinguished by their size or range or their use for limited military purposes without overwhelming an entire area and causing widespread radioactive fallout. Russia is the world’s leading nuclear power, with a stockpile of around 4,500 nuclear warheads, according to estimates by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. The short range tactical weapon comes with small nuclear warheads that support a guidance system and a powerful warhead. The range of tactical nuclear weapons is less than 500 km by land and up to 600 km by air and sea. Tactical nuclear weapons are divided in terms of strength into two types, the first is more powerful than the bomb that fell on Hiroshima, and there are other weapons whose destructive power is nothing more than shots of artillery. Tactical nuclear warheads can be loaded onto different types of missiles that typically carry conventional warheads, such as cruise missiles and artillery shells. According to US intelligence, Russia has approximately 2,000 tactical nuclear weapons.

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Arab Desk
Arab Desk
The Eastern Herald’s Arab Desk validates the stories published under this byline. That includes editorials, news stories, letters to the editor, and multimedia features on easternherald.com.

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