Russians Conduct Huge Nuke Drill

Tuesday, March 5, 2013
By Paul Martin

Russian nuclear forces hold large exercise involving movement of strategic and tactical warheads

BY: Bill Gertz
FreeBeacon.com
March 5, 2013

Russian nuclear forces conducted a major exercise last month that tested the transport of both strategic and tactical nuclear weapons near Europe, according to United States officials.

The exercise raised concerns inside the Pentagon and with the U.S. European Command because it was the largest exercise of its kind in 20 years and involved heightened alert status of Russian nuclear forces.

The nuclear drills were part of other military maneuvers in Russia carried out between Feb. 17 and Feb. 21.

The exercises followed a recent surge in Russian strategic bomber flights that include a recent circling of the U.S. Pacific island of Guam by two Tu-95 Bear bomber and simulated bombing runs by Tu-95s against Alaska and California in June and July.

Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Wesley P. Miller sought to play down the nuclear exercise but declined to comment on the movement of nuclear weapons and whether nuclear forces went on a heightened state of alert. “We don’t comment on intelligence matters,” he said.

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