December 7, 2022
As the Russia-Ukraine war continues, a new report says a train transporting equipment related to the nuclear weapons division of the Russian Defense Ministry has been seen on the move....

As the Russia-Ukraine war continues, a new report says a train transporting equipment related to the nuclear weapons division of the Russian Defense Ministry has been seen on the move.

The U.K.’s Daily Mail reported Monday that a pro-Russian channel on the Telegram app posted a clip Sunday of military vehicles and armored personnel carriers moving through central Russia.

But unlike other Russian military equipment, these particular vehicles and APCs might be tied to the part of the Russian military that has a hand in controlling nuclear missiles and weapons, the report said.

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The vehicles and equipment seen on the move are more advanced than what has been seen on the Ukrainian front, the Daily Mail reported.

It said the equipment belongs to the 12th Main Directorate of the Russian Ministry of Defense.

This division is focused on the storage and care of major Russian weapons for branches such as the Strategic Rocket Forces (RVSN), which controls Russian nuclear missiles, the report said.

Footage of the train was shared on Twitter.

In response to the footage of this equipment move in Russia, Konrad Muzyka, an independent defense analyst with expertise in Russia and Belarus, said it could mean several things.

“Does that mean that this video shows preparations for a nuclear release? Not really,” he tweeted Sunday. “There are other more likely explanations.

“1) It could be a form of signalling to the West that Moscow is escalating.

“2) Russian RVSN forces usually train extensively during autumn.

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“3) Russia may conduct GROM strategic deterrence exercise in October, so this train could be showing a prep for this drill.”

While the train might not indicate Russia is preparing to make a nuclear move, it comes after several comments from Russian President Vladimir Putin in which he warned that his country will continue to fight.

On Sept. 21, he announced he would be calling up more troops and partially mobilized reservists, The Associated Press reported.

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In that address, the Russian leader accused the West of engaging in “nuclear blackmail” and hinted his country might employ nuclear weapons.

“When the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, to protect Russia and our people, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal,” Putin said.

He made similar warnings once again after Russia annexed four Ukrainian territories last week.

On Friday, Russia formally annexed the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions as well as the Russian separatist regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.

Afterward, Putin once again made a speech in which he declared Russia would defend itself, including the new territories, “with all the forces and means at our disposal,” The New York Times reported.

John Kirby, a spokesman for the Pentagon, called such comments “irresponsible” on “Good Morning America” on Monday, ABC News reported.

“They are continuing to be irresponsible rhetoric coming from a nuclear power. There’s no reason for him to use that kind of bluster, those kinds of threats,” Kirby said.

The movement of the Russian equipment also comes just as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization warned that a Russian nuclear submarine appeared to have left its base in the White Sea, the Daily Mail reported.