‘Need to keep nuclear weapons in good shape!’ Russian envoy defends Putin nuclear drills

Ukraine: Russian ambassador sets ‘30th February’ invasion date

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Sky News presenter Trevor Phillips demanded to know whether the Russian decision to carry out missile drills this weekend could be responsible for escalating the danger with Ukraine. However, Dmitry Polyanskiy shrugged off the suggestion, arguing it was not down to the world to tell Russia when it can and can not carry out military exercises in its own territory. Mr Phillips called Vladimir Putin a “smart man” who knew the optics of the drills would send a strong message to the world with Mr Polayanskiy simply suggesting Russia needs to make sure its nuclear arsenal is in “good shape”.

Speaking on Sky News, Mr Phillips wanted answers from Russia over the testing of missiles over the weekend.

He said: “But one thing that we are absolutely certain about is that Mr Putin has said that he is going to conduct nuclear drills and he will oversee them himself.

“Isn’t that a rather dangerous escalation of the situation which you yourself have just been describing as a tense one?”

Mr Polyanskiy replied: “I don’t think that everybody should tell us when we should or shouldn’t conduct drills.

“Our drills have happened before, we announced a number of drills beforehand, by the way, these were these in [Belarus] that also were not in the centre of attention…

“They are now being presented as a kind of Russian alleged escalation, this is not true.

“I don’t think that our drills on our territory should worry anyone.”

Mr Phillips said Putin knew that the drills would not reduce tensions and it was likely a show of force from Russia on the situation.

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The ambassador added: “If you have nuclear weapons, of course, you need to keep them in good shape.

“So those are necessary from time to time… there are a lot of issues I think that the world should be preoccupied with more than our drills on our territory.”

Mr Putin announced there would be military drills held over the weekend and personally oversaw the exercises from the Kremlin.

The Russian defence ministry released footage of the missiles being tested, including one video which appeared to show a missile missing its target.


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An RS-24 Yars intercontinental ballistic missile was also captured on film as fears grow over Russia invading Ukraine.

President Joe Biden announced this week he was “convinced” Russia will stage an invasion against Ukraine as a large percentage of them move to “attack positions”.

Mr Biden believes Mr Putin will attempt to target Kyiv with Vice-President Kamala Harris appearing before the Munich Security Conference on Saturday morning to lay out America’s position.

She said: “Make no mistake, the imposition of these sweeping and coordinated measures will inflict great damage on those who must be held accountable.”

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