Lonely Putin presided over strategic drill same day as parliament revokes ratification of nuclear test ban treaty
A Sineva missile was launched from the Delta-IV class Tula submarine in the Barents Sea, while a Yars missile took off from Plesetsk in Arkhangelsk region and a cruise missile was launched from a Tu-95MS strategic bomber, the Kremlin reported on Wednesday.
The Defense Ministry has posted videos of the allegedly involved sea, air- and ground-based launches.
“The level of preparedness of military command and control bodies, the skills of management and operational personnel in organizing the command and control of subordinate forces were checked,” the ministry’s statement in the evening said.
Photos posted by the Kremlin show Vladimir Putin sitting alone in his command bunker, talking with the military commanders via video link.
This is unlike previous years when the supreme commander was leading the Grom drills from the operation room at Russia’s National Defense Management Centre side-by-side with the country’s military leaders. In 2022, Putin shared his bunker with Belarus dictator Aleksandr Lukhashenko who was invited to Moscow to oversee Russia’s nuclear deterrence drill.
Grom-2023 was expected to take place this week, as previously reported by the Barents Observer based on closure of air spaces at the locations of launches and impacts of the different missiles.
The Federation Council, the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, on October 25 unanimously voted to revoke the ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Next step is for Putin to sign the law which takes Russia out of the 1996 agreement not to conduct full-scale nuclear tests.