Russia evacuates nuclear warheads amid Ukraine incursion

    Ukraine launched an operation into Russia in the morning of May 22 focused on the outskirts of Belgorod, where the Ukrainians initially took three settlements.
    A Russian border crossing in the Belgorod oblast was reportedly destroyed by artillery shelling from the territory of Ukraine. After that, the incursion of troops supported by armored vehicles from Ukraine into the Belgorod oblast began.
    This operation had both a political and strategic objective.
    The political objective was to embarrass the Russians, who were very slow to respond to the incursion and to take attention away from the huge Ukrainian army failure in Bakhmut.
    The strategic objective was to get their hands on nuclear warheads that were stored at location “Object 1150” near the settlement of Grayvoron, home of Russian military unit 25624, part of Russia’s strategic rocket forces.
    It is an “Object C,” which is the conventional name for Russia’s central nuclear weapons storage base, Ukrainska Pravda reported. At the last minute, the Russians apparently removed the nuclear warheads, according to both Russian and Ukrainian sources.  
    The 240mm RD14 nuclear warhead stored at Grayvoron can be fitted to the 3VB11 self-propelled Tyulpan mortar, the largest mortar in the world. The improved nuclear warhead has an explosive power of more than 2 kilotons.  
    Had Ukraine been able to capture these warheads, they could have mated them to tactical missiles without great difficulty. 
    Exactly why Russia kept these weapons less than 15 kilometers from the border is not clear, but it was reckless to do so. Their capture could have led to a nuclear conflict.
    The incursion was allegedly run by a so-called Legion for Russia that included a Russia volunteer corps. In fact, it was a Ukrainian army and intel operation.
    Unless the Ukrainian forces can pull back across the border fairly quickly, they are likely to be annihilated.
    The Legion “Freedom for Russia” and RDK (Russian Volunteer Corps), which allegedly comprise Russian citizens who decided to fight on the side of Ukraine and joined the International Legion of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, claimed its fighters crossed the Russo-Ukrainian border and entered the Belgorod oblast from the territory of Ukraine.
    The Legion “Freedom for Russia” and RDK announced on their official Telegram channels that their troops advanced deep into the Russian territory and engaged with Russia’s forces in several towns in Belgorod oblast, namely Kozinka, Gora-Podol, and Grayvoron (the latter being around ten kilometers from the Russo-Ukrainian border), and called on residents of the Russian border regions to stay at home and “not resist.”
    Shortly after this, locals in Grayvoron started to report gunfire in their town.
    A representative of the Legion Freedom for Russia told Suspilne, a Ukrainian news media outlet, that they are creating a “demilitarized zone” in the Belgorod oblast of Russia, on the border with Ukraine, from where Russian troops will not be able to shell Ukrainian civilians.
    Andrii Yusov, Ukraine’s Intel spokesperson, said that the combat operation in Russia’s Belgorod oblast might be an attempt to establish a “security zone” to protect Ukrainians from Russian attacks.
    However, Andrii Yusov said that Ukraine had nothing to do with the events taking place in the Belgorod oblast and claimed that the fighting there was being waged by local anti-Putin forces comprising Russian citizens only.
    Adviser to the head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Mykhailo Podoliak, denied the involvement of Ukraine in the incursion into Russia’s Belgorod oblast.
    “The only driving political force in a totalitarian country of tightened screws is always an armed guerrilla movement. Ukraine is watching the events in the Belgorod region of Russia with interest and studying the situation, but it has nothing to do with it. As you know, tanks are sold at any Russian military store, and underground guerrilla groups are composed of Russian citizens,” Podoliak wrote on Twitter.
    At around 6 pm, the governor of Belgorod oblast, Vyacheslav Gladkov, informed on his official Telegram account that a counter-terrorist operation had been announced in the Belgorod oblast “to ensure the safety of citizens in the Belgorod region.”
    President Vladimir Putin has been informed about the incursion of “Ukrainian saboteur groups” into Belgorod oblast, Russia’s presidential spokesman Dmitri Peskov told RIA Novosti, a Russian news media outlet.
    According to Peskov, Russian forces tried to “squeeze Ukrainian saboteurs out of Russia and destroy them.” Peskov claimed that the purpose of the “Ukrainian sabotage” was to divert attention from the Bakhmut direction to minimize the political effect of the “loss” of Bakhmut.
Users of Guests are not allowed to comment this publication.