September 25, 2022

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Russia to supply nuclear-armed missiles to Belarus

(CNN) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that Russia would transfer nuclear-capable Iskander-M missile systems to its ally Belarus in the coming months.

At a meeting in St. Petersburg, Putin told Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko that, according to the Kremlin, missile systems can “use both ballistic and cruise missiles in conventional and nuclear versions.”

As part of that, Russia began its invasion on February 24 Belarusian territory, The border with Ukraine in the north. Throughout the war, Moscow used Minsk as a satellite base, including for several Russian air operations in Ukraine. Intelligence Collected by NATO surveillance aircraft.

On Saturday, Ukraine said Russian forces had fired several missiles from Belarus into Kiev, Chernihiv and Sumi.

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia on June 17.

In a speech to the crowd, Lukashenko expressed his “stress” to Putin that US and NATO planes near the Belarusian border were “training to carry nuclear weapons.”

Putin was asked to consider an “equivalent response” to the planes or to change the Russian warplanes currently stationed in Belarus to “carry nuclear weapons.”

Putin responded by saying that there was “no need” to fit US aircraft, suggesting that Belarus could convert its own Su-25 aircraft into nuclear-capable aircraft.

“This modernization should take place in the aviation industry in Russia, but we will agree with you on how to do it. Accordingly, start training the flight crew,” Putin said.

What is Iskander-M?

According to Jane’s Defense, the Iskander-M is a Russian-built short-range ballistic missile system capable of carrying conventional or nuclear weapons up to a maximum of 500 kilometers (310 miles).

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The weapon uses optical and passive guidance systems to maneuver its targets, and the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance says it will strike them with a variety of warships, including cluster munitions, vacuum bombs, bunkers and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) warships.

Iskander-M was first used during the Russia-Georgia conflict in 2008, when it was used by the Russian military to target targets, according to the coalition.

CNN has approached the Pentagon to comment on Lukashenko’s claims.

G7 and NATO summits

The meeting between Russia and the Belarusian powers came a week before the summits in Europe, where the bitter war in Ukraine, entering its fifth month, will be front and center.

Leaders from Japan, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, the European Union and host Germany will meet on Monday for a seven-member delegation.

US President Joe Biden is waiting Announce new restrictions And military assistance with European allies during his visits to Germany and Spain. The G7 and NATO summits will hear from the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zhelensky, who has continued to appeal to the United States and other countries for further assistance.

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In his midnight speech on Saturday, Zelensky said “sanctions against Russia are not enough” and called on Western partners to provide more “armed assistance” to Ukraine.

“Air defense systems, modern systems owned by our allies, should not be in training areas or storage facilities, but they should be in the Ukraine where they are needed now,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military on Saturday confirmed the use of an advanced multi-missile rocket system (MLRS). Issued by the United States To attack Russian targets. Valery Zalushny, Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine, released a video showing high-mobility artillery rocket systems. HimmersLaunching his missile at night in an unspecified place.

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CNN reports that HIMARS arrived in Ukraine on Thursday, citing the country’s Ministry of Defense.

The fall of Chevroletonetsk

On Saturday, the head of the city’s military administration, Oleksandr Strike, said in the eastern Ukraine that the city of Severdonetsk was “completely under Russian occupation” after months of fierce fighting and bloodshed. Severodonetsk is one of the last large Ukrainian forts in the region.

Regional military officials said on Friday that the last troops in Severdonetsk had been ordered to withdraw because they could no longer maintain their positions. It effectively ceded the city to Russia and brought the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine almost completely under Russian control.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Saturday that its forces had now taken control of the entire left bank of the Shivarsky Donets, the eastern bank of the river, and all borders of the Luhansk People’s Republic.

Defense Ministry spokesman Lt. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Russian forces had “completely liberated the Voronov and Sirodin settlements, as well as the cities of Chevrodonetsk and Borivsky, from the Luhansk People’s Republic.”

CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, Tim Lister and Olga Voitovych contributed to the reporting.