Russia's nuclear forces are running drills after Biden pledged more advanced rocket systems for Ukraine

Russian ICBM military missiles launcher seen during the Victory Day Parade at Red Square May 9, 2016 in Moscow, Russia. Russia marks the 71st anniversary of the victory over German Nazis.
A Russian ICBM launcher seen during a Victory Day Parade at Moscow's Red Square.Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images
  • Russia is conducting drills with its nuclear forces, according to the Interfax news agency.

  • The news comes after President Joe Biden announced that the US would send rocket systems to Ukraine.

  • Among Russia's nuclear forces is the "Yars" ICBM, which can strike targets up to 6,500 miles away.

Russia's nuclear forces are conducting drills involving "intensive maneuvering" of its missile forces, the Interfax news agency reported on Wednesday, citing the Russian defense ministry.

News of the exercises in the Ivanovo province came after President Joe Biden revealed on Tuesday that the US would provide "more advanced rocket systems" to Ukraine.

About 1,000 military personnel and more than 100 pieces of equipment are taking part in Russia's latest exercises, Interfax reported, citing a defense ministry report.

The maneuvers involve Russia's Strategic Missile Forces "bringing missile systems to field positions, making marches up to 100km [62 miles] long," and organizing camouflage and combat security, the report said, per Interfax.

The equipment used by the Strategic Missile Forces — Russia's main nuclear deterrence division — includes the "Yars," an intercontinental ballistic missile with a range of up to 6,500 miles, per Interfax. Such a range would allow the multiple-warhead missile to strike any target in the US.

Following Biden's announcement on Tuesday, Russian TV host Olga Skabeeva said that the US would "cross a red line" if it provided Ukraine with the advanced long-range rocket systems it had been asking for, per CNN. She said the act would be considered an attempt to "provoke a very harsh response from Russia," the outlet reported.

Russia's nuclear forces have been on high alert since February 27, three days after the start of the war in Ukraine. Some of the Kremlin's top officials have repeatedly made veiled warnings of nuclear war since the beginning of the conflict but have often also backtracked on their comments.

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