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Russia-Ukraine War: Nuclear missile forces, Northern and Pacific fleets placed on 'enhanced combat duty', says Russia's defence ministry

 Putin’s move came after US and western allies agreed to impose sanctions on the Russian central bank and eject a group of the country’s lenders from the Swift messaging system.


Nuclear missile forces, Northern and Pacific fleets been placed on 'enhanced combat duty': Russia's defence ministry

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Sunday that he was putting Moscow’s nuclear forces on a “special regime of combat duty” in response to “aggressive statements” coming from Western powers.

According to comments attributed to the Russia Interfax News Agency, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said: "There were unacceptable statements about possible conflict situations and even confrontations and clashes between Nato and Russia."

Russia's defence minister Sergei Shoigu told Putin that “shifts on duty at the command posts of the Strategic Missile Forces, the Northern and Pacific Fleets, and the Long-Range Aviation Command began to carry out combat duty with reinforced personnel,” Interfax quoted the ministry as saying.

Speaking at a meeting with his top officials, Putin told his defence minister and the chief of the military’s General Staff to put the nuclear deterrent forces in a “special regime of combat duty.”

The order means Putin has ordered Russia's nuclear weapons prepared for increased readiness to launch, raising the threat that the tensions could boil over into nuclear warfare. In giving it, the Russian leader also cited hard-hitting financial sanctions imposed by the West against Russia, including Putin himself.

Reportedly, Putin on Sunday had ordered his military command to put Russia’s deterrence forces – which include nuclear arms – on high alert, citing what he called aggressive statements by NATO leaders and Western economic sanctions against Moscow.

"Western countries aren't only taking unfriendly actions against our country in the economic sphere, but top officials from leading NATO members made aggressive statements regarding our country," Putin had said in televised comments on Sunday.

Putin’s move came after US and western allies agreed to impose sanctions on the Russian central bank and eject a group of the country’s lenders from the Swift messaging system.

Meanwhile, ceasefire talks between Russian and Ukrainian officials began on the Belarusian border on Monday as Russia faced deepening economic isolation from around the world four days after invading Ukraine.

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