The Russian president ordered the nation’s nuclear deterrence forces to be placed on high alert Sunday following “aggressive statements” from NATO related to the Russian military operation in Ukraine. Earlier, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss warned that if Russia wasn’t “stopped” “in Ukraine,” the situation could escalate into a conflict with NATO.
Russia’s ground, air and submarine-based nuclear deterrent forces have begun standby alert duty with reinforced personnel, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has informed President Putin.
“The Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation, Army General Sergei Shoigu, has reported to Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation V.V. Putin that, in accordance with his order, the duty shifts of the command posts of the Strategic Missile Troops, the Northern and Pacific Fleets, and Long-Range Aviation Command began to carry out combat duty with reinforced personnel,” the MoD told reporters in a statement Monday.
Putin asked Shoigu and Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov to put the Russian armed forces’ strategic deterrent on “special combat duty mode” on Sunday. The president ordered the heightened alert status to be implemented after alleging that “top officials of leading NATO nations” had indulged “in making aggressive statements about our country.”Putin did not specify who these “top officials were,” but just hours before his comments, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss declared that unless Russia’s ongoing military operation in Ukraine to demilitarise the country was “stopped,” the situation could “end up in a conflict with NATO.”