The defense ministry of Russia announced on Wednesday that it has started drills with its Yars system of intercontinental ballistic missiles and several thousand soldiers. This is likely to be perceived as another attempt by Moscow to demonstrate its nuclear power.
The Yars missile system, which replaced the Topol system, is part of Russia’s “invincible weapons” and the main element of the ground-based component of its nuclear arsenal, according to President Vladimir Putin. “The exercises involve more than 3,000 military personnel and about 300 pieces of equipment,” the defense ministry said in a statement on the Telegram messaging service.
The drills include the comprehensive control checking of the Strategic Missile Forces of the Omsk missile formation and a command and staff exercise with the Novosibirsk missile formation equipped with the Yars systems.
The ministry said that the Yars mobile systems will conduct maneuvers in three regions of Russia, without naming the regions. “Also, strategic missilemen will perform a set of actions to hide and counter modern aerial reconnaissance means in cooperation with formations and units of the Central Military District and the Aerospace Forces.”
The Yars mobile intercontinental ballistic missile systems have few confirmed tactical and technical characteristics, such as an operational range of 12,000 km (7,500 miles). Military bloggers claim that the systems can carry multiple nuclear warheads that can target independently and can be mounted on truck carriers or deployed in silos.
Russia has carried out numerous military exercises on its own or with other countries, such as China or South Africa, since launching an invasion of Ukraine in February last year.