Russian troops practiced missile strikes and chemical attacks in the western exclave of Kaliningrad.
Kaliningrad, the site of a recently-renovated nuclear weapons bunker, is a Russian exclave wedged between Lithuania and Poland.
According to The Sun, Russian troops practiced “electronic launches” of nuclear-capable Iskander mobile ballistic missile systems. The US has previously said that the Iskanders are a violation of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty due to their range.
Russia’s defense ministry also said the 100+ member combat units also practiced “actions in conditions of radiation and chemical contamination”.
Watchdogs warn that Russia’s state television has focused on delivering pro-nuclear propaganda to the public lately.
“For two weeks now, we have been hearing from our television screens that nuclear silos should be opened,” Russian newspaper editor and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dmitry Muratov said.
Russia’s ally, Belarus, has suddenly begun large-scale drills to test their combat readiness.
The combined actions have observers concerned that Russia is preparing to escalate its war with Ukraine around May 9th, when the country celebrates “Victory Day” commemorating the defeat of Nazi Germany. The country typically marks the occasion with a military parade and speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin.