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Russia to Hold Major Nuclear Exercise

by Mike Hoffman on September 4, 2014

Russian-Missile-600x400The Russian military branch responsible for the country’s nuclear arsenal will hold a nuclear exercise in September that will include over 4,000 Russian troops, according to reports out of Russia.

Russian Defence Ministry officials announced that nuclear forces will conduct “combat missions in conditions of active radio-electronic jamming and intensive enemy actions in areas of troop deployment.” Russian troops will also work to counter “irregular units and high-precision weapons.”

The announcement comes as NATO leaders meet in Wales to discuss the conflict in Ukraine and the war in Afghanistan. The exercise also comes days after  Russian President Vladimir Putin highlighted his nuclear force at a youth forum.

“I want to remind you that Russia is one of the most powerful nuclear nations,” Putin said. “This is a reality, not just words.”

Russian Maj. Dmitry Andreyev, an official in the strategic rocket forces, said MiG-31 fighter-interceptors and Su-24MR reconnaissance aircraft would take part in the exercise.

Last summer, Russian Tu-95 Bear nuclear bombers flew simulated bombing runs against California and Alaska. Russian nuclear forces also tested their abilities to transport tactical nuclear weapons near its border with Europe.

Russia continues to train pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine and flood the area with Russian weapons and armored vehicles. The U.S. has countered by sending troops to the region to hold exercises of their own.  About 200 paratroopers from the U.S. Army’s 173rd Airborne Brigade will travel to Ukraine.

In remarks to the Naval War College in Rhode Island, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that Russian President Vladimir Putin bore sole responsibility for the Ukraine crisis.

“It’s one individual – it’s the Russian president who continues to take very dangerous escalatory action,” Hagel said.

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

amauyong September 5, 2014 at 2:07 am

hmm….Nato say gonna form another rapid reaction force of 4000+ troops…

Russia now says gonna have a nuke exercise also with 4000+ troops…

Tit for Tat….so…kid kid at a playground somewhere…zzz

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blight_qwerty September 5, 2014 at 10:19 am

If the SRF is talking about countering precision weapons and irregular troops, does that mean this is an exercise concerning short-ranged nuclear weapons instead of the long-ranged stuff (which presumably would be so deep into Russia irregulars and precision weapons aren't likely to be a problem)? Perhaps mobile Iskanders and the like.

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blight_qwerty September 5, 2014 at 4:12 pm

And of course, the Iskandars do not appear to have a nuclear payload option. And I think SRF is just the long-ranged stuff…so I am trying to figure out what the tactical weapons are. ALCM? TBMs?

"Russian nuclear forces also tested their abilities to transport tactical nuclear weapons near its border with Europe."

Which is probably where the irregular troops and jamming comes into things.

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blight_qwerty September 5, 2014 at 4:28 pm

As far as I can tell, the TBM platform with nukes might be the Scarabs.

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Muttling September 6, 2014 at 12:17 am

According to NATO and the Russians, the Iskander-M is nuclear capable. Given that is has a payload of up to 700kg, it's not hard to see them being able to put nuclear warhead on it.

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retired462 September 5, 2014 at 9:06 am

It is going to show the world that Russia is NOT living up to their nuke treaties, and yet we are. Time to back out of previous commitments with Russia.

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blight_qwerty September 5, 2014 at 10:17 am

Which nuke treaties? As far as we can tell, Russia continues to abide by INF. ABM was folded so we could deploy the expanded missile defense system, since ABM only allows for point defense, with Russia chosing defense of Moscow and the United States briefly trying defense over the Dakotas before giving up.

There are arms control treaties regulating quantities of nuclear weapons; and it's always an interesting question to determine if compliance with those counts is truly possible. Their drills are probably what they have been missing out on for the last ten years. The only really intimidating thing about Russia's land forces is the use of TEL's instead of hardened siloes. Some kind of tracked TEL that could cross the border into Canada and fire ICBM's into Russia instead of being stuck in north and south dakota would present a first-strike problem for the Russians. That said, all eyes are really on the nuclear deterrent that hasn't been mentioned: the submarine force.

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Bernard September 5, 2014 at 10:25 am

Excellent point. Nuclear submarines are way scarier than these trucks. They pretty much out-mode the other methods of delivery and guarantee "mutually assured destruction."

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xXTomcatXx September 5, 2014 at 5:12 pm

The US nuclear triad is more like the nuclear Sai.

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Andy September 5, 2014 at 11:48 am

I was wonder if these missiles are still functioning since they design and built back in the 70's-80's…LOL

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tmb2 September 5, 2014 at 4:48 pm

Ours do.

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murf September 8, 2014 at 6:44 pm

We didn't start a war with the people who maintain ours. (Ukraine designed and maintains the Russian Satan missile.)
That wasn't terribly smart of Putin. So much for him being a genius.

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Atomic Walrus September 5, 2014 at 2:32 pm

Putin is gambling on the notion that the US won't risk nuclear confrontation on the behalf of Ukraine or NATO allies. That's not surprising for an ex-KGB officer – they used to try to play on the same notion during the Cold War. The antidote is to remind Putin about the "mutual" part of MAD doctrine.

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blight_qwerty September 5, 2014 at 4:04 pm

On a lesser scale, are both sides willing to go conventional? If Russians are already in Ukraine, we already have our answer.

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xXTomcatXx September 5, 2014 at 5:19 pm

Ukraine is neither NATO nor EU. Economically speaking, I don't believe the EU nations would standby if Russia would treat either Latvia or Estonia the same way. As a result I believe the US would be obligated to respond in defense of the EU.

That being said, I think Putin realizes that those two (and Poland via Belarus) are off limits.

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blight_qwerty September 5, 2014 at 7:32 pm

"Ukraine is neither NATO nor EU"

Which makes it a perfect clandestine battleground between the empires, doesn't it? Winner gets to eat the cake.

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citanon September 7, 2014 at 1:52 am

Afghanistan proved that we are willing to bleed Russia dry by supplying weapons. If there is further push in Ukraine, and Obama pulls his head out of the sand, the time may come to do that again.

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Atomic Walrus September 8, 2014 at 12:49 pm

I'm not sure – there are substantial Russian populations in all of the Baltic republics, and there are some signs that Russia is already starting to stir things up there. Putin knows that an outright invasion will result in a NATO military response. The old KGB approach that they'll be using is to try to instigate events at a level short of war, hoping to create dissension within NATO ranks. Examples would be staging protests or terrorist acts against the governments by pro-Russian factions, or trying to provoke oppression of ethnic Russians. Responding to that type of low-level insurgency takes confidence and leadership – not something we're seeing a lot in the West these days.

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LOL September 8, 2014 at 11:21 pm

LOL. You are nowhere near the level of intelligence you think you have. If the US is half as good as you believed, it would have gone into Ukraine with full force.

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Chris September 5, 2014 at 4:43 pm

The last few times they held exercises they invaded someone.

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blight_qwerty September 5, 2014 at 7:39 pm

And during a time of financial depression that led to no exercises they still invaded Chechenya (to disastrous results).

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bart hooliman September 5, 2014 at 9:50 pm

name a decade since ww2 where America did not invade someone.

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Muttling September 6, 2014 at 12:26 am

Who did they invade in October 2013? That was the last time they held one of these exercises.

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Darren M September 5, 2014 at 5:24 pm

this is what we get for supplying Afghan militants with stingers and weapons back in the 80's when russia was in Afghanistan. now our partners are getting the same thing done to them.

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blight_qwerty September 5, 2014 at 7:31 pm

And they deserved it, for giving the North Vietnamese integrated surface to air missile systems.

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citanon September 7, 2014 at 1:53 am

You're naive if you think the Russians actually care about precedents. They are doing in because they can. Did it throughout the Cold War, and so did we.

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Jeff September 6, 2014 at 5:24 am

The hell with the damn russians. They may have been invited to play with the rest of us kids in the sanbox, but let's just kick the sand into their faces!

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superraptor September 6, 2014 at 7:59 am

In 2010 Obama had all 200 US Navy tactical nuclear missiles destroyed. The USN now has no tactical nukes for self defense in case of a nuclear cruise missile attack on its ships which is something the Chinese Navy is contemplating in case of conflict. Russia has hundreds of nuclear navy based missiles and torpedoes and could wipe out the entire USN in one coordinated attack. If we want to give the USN a fighting chance in a major war with Russia or China, it is imperative that a US-led congress pushes legislation to reequip the USN with tactical nuclear cruise missiles. We also need to revamp our nuke labs so that we can produce plutonium ptis again and we need to develop a small nuclear warhead for JASSM-ER and LRSAM

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Menzie September 7, 2014 at 2:43 pm

"it is imperative that a US-led congress pushes legislation"

….Ummm… as opposed to a what led congress? A Canadian led congress or a Vietnameses led congress…or lets say a Porpise led congress? I am sure it was just a mistype. But its a doozie.

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superraptor September 8, 2014 at 4:55 am

oops u are right it should have said GOP led congress.
All those years in retirement are getting to me. At least u seem to agree with the rest of my comment

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majr0d September 8, 2014 at 1:53 pm

You're wrong there also. Congress includes the Senate which is led by the Democrats.

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Superraptor September 8, 2014 at 11:13 pm

I think the Dems will loose the Senate in 2 months. You also seem to agree with the rest of my comment

LIAM September 7, 2014 at 6:36 am

…what is old is new….welcome back to Cold War 2.0!!

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superraptor September 7, 2014 at 9:35 am

there will not be a cold war because our great leader is still cutting our nuclear arsenal and defense spending. We may end up being atomic vapor with China and Russia laughing

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jg cat September 8, 2014 at 11:25 am

don't under estimate Putin.

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IronV September 8, 2014 at 12:37 pm

Hope they don't blow themselves up…

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William J Kincaid September 8, 2014 at 1:31 pm

Nothing should worry Americans more than the fact that, while we have shockingly ignored our nuclear TRIAD weapons and delivery systems for the last 10 years, the Russians have put top priority into developing new, better, bigger nuclear weapons, as well as servicing those presently in their arsenal. The status-quo we held back during the Cuban Crisis no longer exists. The Russian nuclear forces presently are superior to ours. Both Putin and Obama know this. How did we permit ourselves to get into this frightening predicament!!!

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superraptor September 8, 2014 at 11:28 pm

Obama is doing what he always said he wanted to do, get rid of US nukes. But that the tea party GOP went along with it is astounding. And Russia may not even be the main threat. In 10 years we may be staring at 30000 strategic amd tactical Chinese nuclear warheads. Yet I have not seen one GOP proposal calling for building new nukes and expanding our nuclear arsenal or giving the USN their tactical nukes back for self-defense. We easily could have a much more lethal force by building 4 Virginia subs per year with 2 of those yearly produced subs equipped with a missile compartment that can hold VLS tubes for different type of missiles including intermediate range nuclear missiles. This would cost some extra money, but we can afford to spend 200 bill/extra/yr on defense if it means not falling prey to a first nuclear strike

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Arif September 8, 2014 at 6:05 pm

I think American and Zionist are playing the game to control, Today Russia is not 1991. Russian are far more advance, wealthy and wise. Russians known American military is tired of war fight and they lost all wars and they are short of ammunition and weapon to fight a big war. They also know as well UK too that Russians are strong, Eastern Europeans dump and believe what American say. How cam US or NATO defend against nuke. Even no Air defense system can defense Russian Nuke missile which travels at speed of 10,000 km/p also each of Russian missiles carry 5 war heads. This conflict in Ukraine led by US made big blunt risk to EU and their economy.

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murf September 8, 2014 at 6:53 pm

Russia's economy is circling the drain. Today oil dropped below 100 USD per barrel and is heading south. After 90 USD Russia has to start cutting or tapping it cast reserves. The Ruble is down to 39 to one dollar. The per capita GDP is on par with Gabon.
Yea their real wealthy.
As for the US running out of ammo. Just ask ISIS what they think of our ammo shortage.

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Edward M. Soria September 8, 2014 at 7:29 pm

Guest
Putin is playing a mind game and selling wolf tickets and being stupid and starting WW111 is not an option… however, proxy wars are possible. Putin is not going to inflict return fire on his own country but he will allow it on his borders with the same tactics as China used in Korea-volunteers. Putin is trying to set up the western nations and especially America with this façade… the answer to this KGB is economic strangulation.

Soria35

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Rotwang September 12, 2014 at 6:37 pm

Two Near Earth Objects are due to pass dangerously close to Earth on the 14th and the 16th of September, 2014. Just after the Chelyabinsk asteroid exploded over Russia on 15 February of 2013, the Russian Missile Forces went on full alert even going so far as to send Tu-95's to attack Guam on the next day — http://rt.com/usa/tu-95-guam-pentagon-spending-37

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LOL September 8, 2014 at 11:31 pm

LOL. As if it would matter one bit to you if either side of the crooks "won" the "election".

Perhaps you should spend the rest of your retirement figuring out why the US is going down the toilet, and who have been in control of the government from behind the scene.

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majr0d September 8, 2014 at 11:41 pm

Yes on the Nukes. Fingers crossed on the Senate.

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