Vladimir Putin watched as Russia’s armed forces conducted nuclear drills amid growing fears that Moscow could provoke a major escalation of the war in Ukraine.

The President of Russia watched the video communication tests that had been planned for some time from his office.

During the exercise, the country’s nuclear forces performed multiple practice launches of ballistic and cruise missiles.

Putin nuclear drills as US warns of ‘serious mistake’ – Ukraine

This was stated by the Minister of Defense of Russia, Sergei Shaigu Mr. Putin led a training exercise that he said was being conducted to practice launching a “massive nuclear strike in response to an enemy nuclear strike.”

The maneuvers came after Mr Putin warned that he was prepared to use “all available means” to repel attacks on Russian territory, with clear reference to the country’s nuclear arsenals.

During the exercise, test launches of a ground-launched intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) were conducted, the launch of the Sineva ICBM by a Russian nuclear-powered submarine, and Tu-95 strategic bombers fired cruise missiles at training targets.

The U.S. said it had received word that Russia planned to conduct a routine military exercise and that the country had complied with the terms of the latest arms control agreement between the countries.

To prepare the country’s nuclear forces and demonstrate their combat readiness, annual military exercises are held with the participation of land, sea and air components of the nuclear triad of the Russian Federation.

Russian nuclear submarine with ballistic missiles “Tula” during exercises in an undisclosed location

But the last ones happened in the middle Moscow warns of a Ukrainian conspiracy to detonate a radioactive device, commonly known as a “dirty bomb,” in a false flag attack to blame Russia.

Putin reiterated that statement on Wednesday, and Shaigu also discussed the issue with his Chinese and Indian counterparts.

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What is a dirty bomb?

Ukraine and its Western allies have strongly denied the allegations, with the Ukrainian government saying it suspects Russia is planning its own false flag operation.