Russian nuclear subs spotted leaving base in sign Moscow increasing strategic readiness

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The move would suggest that the Kremlin is increasing its strategic readiness to deploy its nuclear arsenal. It comes as Vladimir Putin ordered his military top brass on Sunday to put Russia’s nuclear deterrence forces on hight alert. Images taken on Monday by the Sentinel-2 satellite show that two ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) from Russia’s Northern Fleet had departed their Gadzhiyevo base sometime since February 23rd.

Social media user The Lookout broke the news in a tweet, in which they wrote: “Sentinel-2 imagery earlier today, shows that 2 x NORFLT SSBNs has departed Gadzhiyevo sometime since the 23rd.

“2 or 3 SSBNs remains alongside.

“This is similar to Nov/Dec ’21, and during the last strategic exercise.

“Indicates a gradual approach to increased strategic readiness!

The SSBNs are capable of deploying submarine-launched ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads.

They became a major weapon system in the Cold War because of their nuclear deterrence capability.

The submarines can fire missiles thousands of kilometres from their targets, and acoustic quieting makes them difficult to detect.

Yesterday, Mr Putin summoned his Defence Minister, Sergey Shoigu, and his Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces, Valery Gerasimov, to a meeting at the Kremlin.

The Russian President gave his nuclear order at the meeting, before issuing a statement on national television.

He said: “Senior officials of the leading Nato countries also allow aggressive statements against our country, therefore I order the Minister of Defence and the Chief of the General Staff to transfer the deterrence forces of the Russian army to a special mode of combat duty.”

“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.”

On Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the nuclear order had been given, as a result of remarks made by the British Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss.

He said: “Statements were made by various representatives at various levels on possible altercations or even collisions and clashes between Nato and Russia.

“We believe that such statements are absolutely unacceptable.

“I would not call the authors of these statements by name, although it was the British Foreign Minister.”

Talks between Ukrainian and Russian officials began today in Belarus, in an attempt to end the fighting.

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Vladimir Medinsky, a Russian negotiator, said Moscow wanted to reach an agreement that was in the interests of both sides.

However, hopes are not high that the talks will lead to any resolution of the conflict.

Ukraine’s President Volodymr Zelenskiy said yesterday: “Let them try so that later not a single citizen of Ukraine has any doubt that I, as President, tried to stop the war.”

Despite the talks taking place, there was no let up in the Russian attack in Ukraine.

The northeastern city of Kharkiv came under ferocious bombardment from Russian artillery strikes, which targeted residential areas.

Dozens of people were injured and hundreds more wounded, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry said.

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