Earlier, at a meeting with Sergei Shoigu and Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov, Vladimir Putin ordered that the strategic deterrent forces be placed in a special contingency regime.
“The highest-ranking officials in the leading NATO countries are also making aggressive statements against our country, which is why I order the Minister of Defense and the Chief of the General Staff to transfer the Russian army’s deterrence forces to a special combat service,” Putin said. sa. He stressed that the West is taking illegitimate sanctions against Moscow.
“The strategic deterrent forces are the basis of the Russian Armed Forces’ force. They are designed to deter aggression against Russia and its allies, to defeat the aggressor, including in a war using nuclear weapons. The strategic deterrent forces include the Strategic Offensive Forces (SNA). and the Strategic Defense Forces (SOS), “states the Defense Terminology Handbook (STOS), published on the Department of Defense’s website.
According to the handbook, the strategic deterrence force includes the strategic missile forces, as well as formations and units of strategic and long-range bombers from Aerospace Forces, as well as submarines and surface vessels equipped with both nuclear and non-nuclear long-range precision weapons.
“We are talking about activating backup and backup communication channels to communicate orders for the use of strategic weapons. This probably means in practice that the order for a retaliatory strike, in any case in the situation, is implemented. It is first and foremost a response scenario, perhaps a reciprocal one, because there is no need to make announcements if you are going to strike first, “Dmitry Stefanovich, a researcher at the Center for International Security at IMEMO RAS, told Gazeta.ru.
He noted that this signal from Russia was perceived correctly. “NATO countries immediately began declaring that they had no aggressive intentions against Russia,” Stefanovich said.
According to military expert Dmitry Litovkin, Russia’s strategic deterrent forces are always on alert, but now “it has become clear to the international community that Russia is ready to use nuclear weapons”. “The computers in the nuclear control system will go on a flight mission for each specific missile that is on standby within a few seconds,” Litovkin said.
He noted that if we are talking about strategic aviation, it is very possible that this order involves the suspension of cruise missiles with nuclear warheads aboard strategic aircraft carriers such as the Tu-160 and Tu-95.
“In the case of submarines, they are usually empty at bases, it is possible that they are currently equipped with ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads. And we always have a ground grouping in constant combat readiness, as it represents the main potential of the nuclear deterrent forces and is definitely ready for immediate use – military personnel are constantly on duty there, says Litovkin.
According to the editor of the magazine Arsenal of the Fatherland, the military expert Alexei Leonkov, putting the nuclear weapons triad on high alert means that it is ready to respond immediately to all threats that Russia considers significant for itself.
“Therefore, Putin warned the United States and NATO of the most terrible consequences for them. For example, Britain openly declares that it wants to destroy the Russian economy – this is a direct threat. So we tell them: if you jerk, a rocket will fly in, you will not be able to stay, said Leonkov.
According to him, the procedure for putting nuclear weapons on high alert takes some time. This means increased duty, the work of all systems of detection – the Russian nuclear triad “now works fully, controls both air and outer space.”
“And think of the coordinates of the objects that have already been entered – the missiles know where to fly. The basis for the retaliatory strike is silo-based ground installations and mobile launchers. The second level – submarines, they go into combat service. Bombers are the third,” says Leonkov.
At the same time, he emphasized that the measure taken was defensive. “No one has changed the military doctrine, Russia has a defensive one,” the expert concluded.