Russian Defense Minister puts nuclear forces on high alert

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has directed the country’s military to keep its strategic nuclear forces on high alert, as Russia’s military operation in Ukraine enters its 32nd day.

Servicemen line up by Yars intercontinental ballistic missile systems during a ceremony to send military hardware near Moscow as part of preparations for the Victory Day parade in Moscow’s Red Square. (Photo: Getty)

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu held a meeting with senior officials in Moscow on March 26. This is the first time in about two weeks that Mr. Shoigu has spoken publicly,.Attending the meeting were Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov.

Shoigu said that the Russian military will continue to provide weapons and equipment to Russian forces on the front lines in Ukraine. He said the priority is to provide long-range high-precision weapons, aircraft equipment, and maintain the combat readiness of strategic nuclear forces .

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on March 26 asked Western countries to provide part of their arsenals to Ukraine.

Many Western countries have promised to provide anti-aircraft missiles and some small arms, but Zelensky said Kyiv needs tanks, planes and anti-ship systems. “This is what our partners have,” asserts Mr. Zelensky. He said Ukraine only needed 1% of NATO’s planes and 1% of its helicopters and would not ask for more, according to Reuters.

President Zelensky has repeatedly affirmed that Russia will seek to expand in Europe if Ukraine falls. However, NATO rejected Zelensky’s proposal to create a no-fly zone, arguing that creating a no-fly zone and sending planes to Ukraine could lead to a wider war.

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