Russia has launched cruise missiles with simulated nuclear warheads over Ukraine, according to reports. Ukraine-based media outlet Defense Express claimed one of the X-55 type missiles shot down over Kyiv contained a “screwed-on” block which acted as an imitator of a nuclear warhead.
In a post shared on Telegram in which they used a disparging nickname for Vladimir Putin’s forces, the Strategic Communications Center of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (StratCom) said: “Simply put – for this strike, the Orks took at least one Kh-55 from their ‘nuclear arsenal’, ‘unscrewed’ the nuclear warhead from this missile and replaced it with an empty ‘block’, and fired at Ukraine.
“Although we will not rule it out that as events develop, at least a few such missiles will appear today.”
The latest development maybe be another attempt to spook the West, given Putin’s bellicose rhetoric since the start of the war on February 24.
There has been widespread speculation that the Russian President could use tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
However, he appeared to tone down his stance last month at a conference of international foreign policy experts, saying there was “no need” to resort to their use.
He also cited what he saw as former UK Liz Truss’s willingness to use nuclear weapons, adding: ““What were we supposed to think?
“We saw that as a coordinated position, an attempt to blackmail us.”
Russian airstrikes targeted Ukraine’s energy facilities again yesterday, killing at least seven people were killed and wounding more than two dozen others.
Two days earlier, Putin unleashed a barrage of more than 100 missiles and drones which knocked out power to 10 million people in Ukraine.
It also resulted in a missile landing in Poland, killing two people.
Authorities still were trying to ascertain where that missile came from, with indications pointing to a Ukrainian air defence system seeking to counter the Russian bombardment.
In eastern Ukraine, Russia “launched a massive attack on gas production infrastructure,” said the chief of the state energy company Naftogaz, Oleksiy Chernishov. He did not elaborate.
Russian strikes also hit the central city of Dnipro and Ukraine’s southern Odesa region for the first time in weeks and hit critical infrastructure in the northeastern Kharkiv region near Izium, wounding three workers.
The head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Andriy Yermak, called the strikes on energy targets “naive tactics of cowardly losers”.
(More to follow)