- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Russia is staging wide-scale military exercises in Siberia involving its strategic missile forces in a show of nuclear strength amid the fighting in Ukraine following Moscow‘s invasion more than a year ago.

Russia’s Defense Ministry announced the drills this week on its Telegram social media site. The ministry called the exercise a “comprehensive control check” of the missile formation based in Omsk in Siberia’s southwestern region.

More than 3,000 troops and about 300 pieces of equipment and weapons are involved in the drills, Russian officials said Wednesday.

“The commission of the Strategic Missile Forces Command will check the coherence of the actions of military personnel in the performance of tasks,” Russian defense officials said on Telegram.

The nuclear-tipped RS-24 Yars intercontinental ballistic missile is the backbone of Russia’s strategic missile force. According to open sources, it is believed to have a range of about 7,000 miles and an estimated maximum speed of about Mach 20 (about 15,200 mph). 

During the drills, “special attention” will be paid to the use of drones of “various modifications,” officials in Moscow said.

“Strategic missilemen will carry out a set of measures to camouflage and counter modern aerial reconnaissance means in cooperation with formations and units of the Central Military District and the Aerospace Forces,” the Defense Ministry said on Telegram.

Russian officials did not say whether any test launches are part of the missile drills.

• Mike Glenn can be reached at mglenn@washingtontimes.com.

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