Eastern Europe

Belarus Has Begun Receiving ‘Powerful’ Russian Tactical Nukes

An Iskander Missile

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Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has told Russian state media that Minsk has begun receiving Russian tactical nuclear weapons that Russian President Vladimir Putin had previously would be stationed in Belarus.

In comments to Russian TV channel Rossiya-1, Lukashenko noted that the weapons being transferred are three times more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped by the U.S. on Japan during World War II.

“We have missiles and bombs that we have received from Russia,” Lukashenko said during an interview which was also picked up by Belarusian state news agencies.

“The bombs are three times more powerful than those (dropped on) Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” he boasted.

The tactical nukes stationed in Belarus will remain under the control of the Russian military. Moscow has also not indicated any changes to the country’s nuclear use doctrine, which only allows for the use of nuclear weapons if Russia and its population come under existential threat.

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As Putin and Lukashenko proceed with their decision to transfer some of Russia’s Iskander hypersonic nuclear missiles to Belarus, the Biden administration has condemned Putin’s decision and “irresponsible nuclear rhetoric” and noted that “no other country is inflicting such damage on arms control, nor seeking to undermine strategic stability in Europe.”

While the West has viewed the stationing of Russian nuclear weapons on Belarusian territory as a major provocation, NATO has not escalated its rhetoric regarding the situation.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin has been quick to remind NATO and the West that Washington has nuclear weapons stationed in 5 non-nuclear states throughout Europe.

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