Russia starts exercises with Yars intercontinental ballistic missiles
Russia began exercises with the Yars intercontinental ballistic missile system and several thousand of troops, its defence ministry said on Wednesday, in what is likely to be seen as another attempt by Moscow to show off its nuclear strength.
President Vladimir Putin has aimed to make the Yars missile system, which replaced the Topol system, part of Russia's "invincible weapons" and the mainstay of the ground-based component of its nuclear arsenal.
"In total, more than 3,000 military personnel and about 300 pieces of equipment are involved in the exercises," the defence ministry said in a statement on the Telegram messaging service.
The drills involve the Strategic Missile Forces comprehensive control checking of the Omsk missile formation together with a command and staff exercise with the Novosibirsk missile formation equipped with the Yars systems.
During the exercises, the Yars mobile systems will conduct manoeuvres in three Russian regions, the ministry said, without identifying the regions.