Putin on Wednesday said that Russia’s nuclear forces would improve “combat readiness.”
Putin has made a number of nuclear threats since the war in Ukraine began.
On Tuesday, Putin made a rare admission that the war has not gone to plan for Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said that Russia’s nuclear forces would improve “combat readiness,” making yet another reference to his country’s nuclear arsenal as Russian forces continue to face difficulties in Ukraine.
“The armed forces and combat capabilities of our armed forces are increasing constantly and every day. And this process, of course, we will build upon,” Putin said during a televised meeting with Russian military officials, per the Moscow Times.
The Russian leader, who in the early days of the Ukraine war said he was placing Russia’s nuclear deterrent forces on high alert, also said Russia would “improve the combat readiness of our nuclear triad.”
Putin has been condemned across the world over the repeated nuclear threats he’s made since launching an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, with the US repeatedly decrying the Russian leader for nuclear saber rattling. That said, some military analysts and nuclear experts believe that such rhetoric from Putin is largely designed to deter the West from continuing to provide military aid to Ukraine.
The war in Ukraine has gone poorly for the Russian military, which is estimated to have suffered 100,000 casualties since invading in late February. Russia’s forces have lost ground to Ukrainian troops in recent months, including in Ukrainian territories that Putin illegally annexed in September. Last month, Russian troops retreated from Kherson — the first major city that Russia captured following the invasion.
Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, the head of the UK’s armed forces, in comments last week said that “Russia is losing” in Ukraine and “it will only get worse” for Russian forces. Radakin underscored that Russia is facing a “critical shortage of artillery munitions,” which hampers its ability to conduct offensive ground operations.
Putin’s comments on Wednesday came as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was set to visit Washington, DC, to meet with President Joe Biden and deliver an address to Congress. The day prior, Zelenskyy visited with Ukrainian troops in Bakhmut, a city in Donetsk that’s seen fierce fighting. Russia has vied to capture Bakhmut for months.
The Russian leader on Tuesday made a rare admission that the war has not gone to plan for his forces, citing the “extremely difficult” situation in occupied Ukrainian territories.
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