The Russian Ministry of Defence has released these images showing what it says are “intensive manoeuvring operations” involving its nuclear-capable Yars intercontinental ballistic missile systems.
The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a statement on Wednesday, 1st June at 6 AM, that the Yars mobile missile systems, which can carry nuclear warheads and which boast a reported range of over 10,000 kilometres (6,200 miles), were performing “intensive manoeuvring operations on combat patrol routes in the Ivanovo Region”.
The Ivanovo region lies east of the Russian capital Moscow and the images, filmed by the Russian MoD, show soldiers removing camouflage from what appears to be a mobile Yars missile system. The vehicle can then be seen making its way along a dirt track while being escorted by troops.
The MoD added that “about 1,000 military personnel are involved in the exercises”, which also involve “more than 100 pieces of equipment”.
The MoD said that the exercises include “strategic rocket men work[ing] out the issues of bringing missile systems to field positions, making marches up to 100 kilometres [62 miles] long, dispersing units with a change in field positions, their engineering equipment, organising camouflage and combat protection.”
The Russian MoD also said: “At the same time, a number of measures are being taken to detect, block and destroy conditional saboteurs, including the use of new Typhoon-M combat anti-sabotage vehicles equipped with unmanned aerial vehicles.
“In addition, during the manoeuvres, the Listva remote demining vehicle was used to escort the Yars mobile ground-based missile system on combat patrol routes.
“According to the legend of the exercise, conditional saboteurs planted remotely controlled explosive devices on the route of the column. The MDR neutralised them on the side of the road.
“One of the highest priority tasks of the exercise was to work out a wide range of issues on the search for and destruction of conditional sabotage and reconnaissance formations in the daytime and at night.
“A commandant’s service has been organised along the routes of autonomous launchers, which is engaged in the protection of a convoy with large-sized equipment and monitors its passage through control points.
“The exercise makes it possible to improve the level of training of personnel, the coherence of formations and military units of the Strategic Missile Forces.”
The move comes after President Joe Biden said that the US will send Kyiv more advanced rocket systems that will help to strike enemy forces from a longer distance. These rocket systems have double the range of the rocket systems currently being used by Russian forces and are much more accurate.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on 25th February, one day after the invasion of Ukraine began: “Whoever tries to interfere with us, and even more so, to create threats for our country, for our people, should know that Russia’s response will be immediate and will lead you to such consequences that you have never experienced in your history.
“We are ready for any development. All decisions in that regard have been made.”
The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on 14th April: “The prospect of nuclear conflict, once unthinkable, is now back within the realm of possibility.”
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have reported that from 24th February to 1st June, Russia lost about 30,700 military personnel.
The Ukrainian military added that Russia had lost 1,361 tanks, 3,343 armoured fighting vehicles, 659 artillery systems, 207 multiple launch rocket systems, 94 anti-aircraft systems, 208 warplanes, 175 helicopters, 519 tactical unmanned aerial vehicles, 120 cruise missiles, 13 warships, 2,290 military vehicles and fuel tankers, and 49 units of special equipment over the same period.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called Russian strikes on a nitric acid tank in the besieged eastern city of Sievierodonetsk “madness”. Residents of Sievierodonetsk have been warned to remain in bomb shelters and to prepare masks to protect against toxic fumes.
Analysts say up to 70 per cent of the city is now controlled by Russian forces, with almost all critical infrastructure and housing destroyed.
European Union leaders have reached an agreement to ban 90 per cent of oil imports from Russia, but they remain undecided on gas imports.
Despite setbacks in eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian troops have made advances in Kherson in the south and around Kharkiv in the north-east.
Today marks the 98th day of the invasion.