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Russia delivered its first nuclear weapons to Belarus

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Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Friday 16 June that he had transferred the first nuclear weapons to Belarus, embodying the proliferation announced by Moscow in March.

“The first nuclear warheads have been delivered to the territory of Belarus. This is only the first, by the end of summer, the end of the year, we will complete this work in full.He said during an economic forum in St. Petersburg (northwest), which was broadcast live on Russian television, but Agence France-Presse was unable to attend it because it was not accredited.

sequel after announcement

Global rearmament and escalation

He pointed out that “deploy tactical nuclear weapons” In Belarus it was the result of an agreement announced in March with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who lent his country’s territory to Russia to attack Ukraine. According to him, this is a deterrent to “Those who think of inflicting a strategic defeat on Prussia”.

Fear of escalation of the conflict

These first deliveries appear to have been accelerated, as Vladimir Putin said again on June 9 that the deployment would take place in July. In doing so, he would have contradicted Alexander Lukashenko who confirmed, on the contrary, on May 25 that the first warheads had already arrived in his country.

The Russian president announced on March 25 that Moscow would deploy nuclear weapons. “tactics” On the territory of Belarus, a country on the doorstep of the European Union, raising fears of an escalation of the conflict in Ukraine.

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The announcement sparked criticism from the international community, and Westerners in particular, especially since the Russian leader, since the start of his attack on his Ukrainian neighbor in February 2022, raised the possibility of resorting to atomic weapons.

sequel after announcement

“Tactical” weapons, not “strategic”

The so-called nuclear weapons “tactics” They can cause massive damage, but their radius of destruction is more limited than that of nuclear weapons “strategic”.

In early April, Russia said it had begun training the Belarusian military in the use of nuclear weapons. “tactics”.

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In addition, Vladimir Putin has reported in the past that ten aircraft have already been equipped in Belarus to use such weapons, and that a special warehouse will be completed by July 1.

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