Russian President Vladimir Putin revealed that a first batch of tactical nuclear weapons has been stationed in Belarus, serving as a reminder to the West of Russia's capabilities. The deployment of these shorter-range nuclear weapons is seen as a strategic move to deter any potential strategic defeat against Russia. Putin made the announcement during Russia's flagship economic forum in St Petersburg, emphasizing that the use of nuclear weapons would only be considered if Russia's territory or state were threatened.
Belarus, a key ally of Russia, previously facilitated Putin's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year. The recent deployment of tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus further solidifies the cooperation between the two nations. Putin confirmed that negotiations with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko resulted in the movement of these weapons, with more expected to be deployed by the end of the summer or year.
In response to Russia's actions, Ukraine has been ramping up its counteroffensive measures, causing tensions to escalate between the two countries. Putin, however, dismissed Ukraine's efforts, claiming that Russian forces had not encountered significant success and that Ukrainian forces stood no chance against Russia's military might.
The developments surrounding the deployment of nuclear weapons in Belarus have drawn international attention. Belarusian President Lukashenko previously stated that his nation had received the first part of the weapons from Russia, including missiles and bombs reportedly three times more powerful than those used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The news raised concerns globally, with the United States expressing skepticism about Russia's intentions to use nuclear weapons against Ukraine.
While tactical nuclear weapons are designed for battlefield use and limited strikes, they can still have significant destructive capabilities. The deployment of such weapons in Belarus has raised alarms among Western nations, who closely monitor Russia's actions and their potential implications. China, a key player in global affairs, has also cautioned against the use of nuclear weapons in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.