These areas marked red in the Russia's Arctic were closed off with warnings to civilian air traffic on Wednesday as the Ministry of Defense and Kremlin launched a massive nuclear weapons exercise. Source: NotamMap / Google Earth / Barents Observer

Russia tested all legs of nuclear triad over the Arctic

Ballistic missiles were launched both from a nuclear submarine in the Barents Sea and from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in Arkhangelsk region towards the Kura range on Kamchatka. Cruise missiles were launched toward targets in the Komi Republic from strategic bombers.
October 26, 2022


For the second time this year, President Vladimir Putin ordered a massive nuclear weapons exercise. Last time was a few days before the invasion of Ukraine in late February.

The October 26 strategic drill included all three legs of Russia’s nuclear triad; submarine, land-based missiles and long-range bomber planes.

“During the event, the level of preparedness of military command and control structures, and the skills of the leadership and operation staff in the troops were checked,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

The President’s office added that all tasks were fulfilled, all missiles reached their targets.

While Putin oversaw the exercise, his Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, General Valery Gerasimov, gave the orders to the involved strategic nuclear forces.


Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, General Valery Gerasimov gave orders to the different units of Russia’s Strategic nuclear missile forces. Screenshot from video by the Defense Ministry



Gerasimov detailed which units participated.

“The following are involved in the training: the Yars mobile ground missile system of the strategic missile forces, the strategic ballistic submarine “Tula” of the Northern Fleet, two Tu-95 strategic long-range missile carriers,” the General said.


“Tula” is a Delta-IV submarine, like this one previously seen by the Barents Observer in the Barents Sea. Photo: Thomas Nilsen


The Norwegian news collaboration Faktisk Verifiserbar on Wednesday published a satellite image of Gadzhiyevo naval base, home to the Northern Fleet’s ballistic missile submarines. 

The image is captured earlier in October and shows a Delta-IV class submarine at the loading facility for missiles at the base on the coast of the Barents Sea. 


Gadzhiyevo naval base on the Kola Peninsula. This satellite image from October 7th shows that five of the ballistic missile submarines are at port of which one, a Delta-IV, is moored at the loading facility for missiles (to the right in the picture). A multi-purpose Akula class submarine is also at the piers. Photo courtesy of Planet Labs / Faktisk Verifiserbar 




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