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Russian President Vladimir Putin has downplayed upcoming military exercises involving tactical nuclear weapons, which are set to take place in southern Russia and Belarus. 

Russia’s Defense Ministry announced these drills on Monday, citing recent threats from Western nations as a justification for the exercise. “There is nothing unusual here, this is planned work,” Putin commented. He added, “It is training. We hold them regularly. This time they are held in three stages. At the second stage, Belarusian colleagues will join our joint actions.”

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Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who appeared with Putin, noted the collaboration on these drills. “There were probably dozens in Russia, so we synchronized. And the general staffs, as the Russian defense minister told me, have already begun to execute these instructions,” Lukashenko stated.

The Pentagon has criticized Russia following this announcement, noting that this was a pattern of “irresponsible rhetoric” coming from Russia. The Pentagon added that they had not seen anything that would force them to adjust their nuclear posture. 


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