Russia has yet to notify the United States of exercises of its nuclear force that Washington expects Moscow will carry out soon, a senior US military officer said on Monday (17 October).
The United States claims that Russia may launch test missile launches during its annual “Grom”, exercises of its strategic nukes forces. This could be in just a few days.
According to the New START Treaty Russia must provide advance notification of missile launches under international law, U.S. officials state. The US military official spoke on condition of anonymity, saying that this has not yet happened.
According to the military official: “No, we haven’t received any type of notification.”
The drills pose another challenge for the United States and its allies. Russian President Vladimir Putin openly threatened to use nuclear weapons to protect Russia during its unravelling invasion of Ukraine.
However, Western officials expressed confidence that they could tell the difference between a Russian drill or any move by Putin in order to fulfill his threats.
Russia attacked Ukrainian cities using drones on Monday morning rush hour, killing at most four people in an apartment block in Kyiv. This is the latest wave of what the West and Ukraine call deliberate strikes on civilian targets.
A US military official denounced the Russian strikes and said they were intended to terrorize Ukraine’s civilian population.
The military official spoke on condition of anonymity and said that Russia had deliberately targeted civilian infrastructure and other targets to inflict terror among the Ukrainian population.
The White House stated that the United States would hold Russia responsible for “war crime”, which was a term used last week by America’s top general at Brussels.
Russia denies that it targeted civilians during its “special military operations” in Ukraine. It was launched on 24 February, and included the largest annexation in Europe of any territory since World War Two.
According to the US military, history has shown that such air campaigns can backfire on people who attempt to psychologically disable them.
The official stated that it doesn’t work and added that it had actually increased the resolve among the Ukrainians.
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