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Russia carries out nuclear submarine drills in Barents Sea

In this photo released by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on April 13, 2021, Russian nuclear submarines Prince Vladimir (above) and Yekaterinburg are harbored at a Russian naval base in Gazhiyevo, Kola Peninsula, Russia. (Vadim Savitsky/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)
In this photo released by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on April 13, 2021, Russian nuclear submarines Prince Vladimir (above) and Yekaterinburg are harbored at a Russian naval base in Gazhiyevo, Kola Peninsula, Russia. (Vadim Savitsky/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)

Russian nuclear submarines sail off for drills in the Barents Sea and mobile missile launchers roam the taiga following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s order to put the nation’s nuclear forces on high alert amid soaring tensions with the West over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russia’s Northern Fleet says several of its nuclear submarines are involved in exercises to “train maneuvering in stormy conditions.” It says several warships tasked with the protection of the area near the Russian naval bases on the Arctic Kola Peninsula will also join the maneuvers.

And in the Irkutsk region in eastern Siberia, units of the Strategic Missile Forces move the Yars intercontinental ballistic missile launches to disperse in forests to practice secret deployment, the Russian Defense Ministry says in a statement.

The military didn’t say whether the drills were linked to Putin’s order on Sunday to put the country’s nuclear deterrent on high alert amid the war in Ukraine, and it was unclear whether they represent any change in the country’s normal nuclear posture.

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