Russia announces nuclear forces drills amid rising tensions with Ukraine


Russia has announced nuclear forces drills for this weekend amid rising tensions with Ukraine and western warnings of an invasion of the former Soviet state.

The large nuclear drills will be used to display Russia’s nuclear arsenal, one of the biggest in the world, to other countries as tension in the region rises, The Associated Press reported. 

The announcement of the drills comes as U.S. envoy to the Organization for Security and Co-operation said Russia has between 169,000 and 190,000 troops at Ukraine's border. On Jan. 30, that number was at 100,000 troops. 

"Colleagues, this is the most significant military mobilization in Europe since the Second World War," Ambassador Michael Carpenter stated.

Multiple U.S. officials, including President Biden, have warned of a “very high” chance that Russia could invade Ukraine. 

Earlier this week, Russia claimed they were scaling back their military presence on the border, an announcement that has been deemed false by western countries and U.S. officials told The Washington Post was a deliberate ruse to mislead the world. 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday detailed possible false flag operations Russia could use in order to justify invading Ukraine.

"We are aware that Russia is intent on creating a pretext to justify an invasion into Ukraine," Carpenter said. "Therefore, we must resolutely rebut the false narrative about a Ukrainian 'escalation,' which finds no evidence whatsoever in the reports of the OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission."

Violence has begun in Ukraine as Russian-backed separatists began a shelling operation on the village Stanytsa Lugansk in the Luhansk region, reportedly hitting a school building.

Oksana Markarova, Ukraine’s ambassador to the U.S., called the act "a brutal violation of the cease-fire" agreement.

Biden will participate in a call with NATO leaders on Friday as NATO allies have bolstered their military presence, saying it is to deter Russian action. 

NATO allies have threatened harsh sanctions against Russia if it were to attack Ukraine, but the U.S. has denied any military support such as troops would go to Ukraine to fight.

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