NATO to hold nuclear deterrence exercise as Russia rages at Ukraine

An annual NATO exercise focused on nuclear weapons deterrence will take place next week in a regular show of force displayed against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine.

“Now is the right time to be firm and to be clear that NATO is there to protect and defend all allies,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, a former Norwegian politician, told reporters Tuesday. “It’s a routine exercise, and it’s an exercise to ensure that our nuclear deterrent remains safe, secure, and effective.”

Fourteen NATO allies participated in the October 2021 installment of Steadfast Noon, as the annual exercise is known, and the alliance emphasized that “no live weapons are used.” These drills coincide with the Kremlin’s attempt to deter the Western allies from providing Ukraine with long-range missile systems as Russian President Vladimir Putin tries to batter Ukrainian society into submission following a series of setbacks for Russian forces.

“President Putin is failing in Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said. “His attempted annexations, partial mobilization, and reckless nuclear rhetoric represent the most significant escalation since the start of the war. And they show that this war is not going as planned.”

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