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ISW explains why Russia conducts nuclear weapons drills

ISW explains why Russia conducts nuclear weapons drills Russia is trying to persuade the world to actions beneficial to it (photo: Getty Images)

Russia's nuclear exercises are intended to intimidate Western politicians and compel them to voluntarily take actions beneficial to the country, according to a report by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

The Kremlin continues to wield its nuclear weapons as part of a reflexive control campaign to influence Western decision-makers, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). This is evidenced by the recent nuclear exercises conducted by the Southern Military District.

One pro-Kremlin blogger directly linked these exercises to attempts to influence Western decisions, including recent discussions about restrictions on Ukraine's use of Western weapons to target military objectives in Russia.

ISW's assessment confirms that Russia's tactical nuclear weapons tests are part of the Kremlin's reflexive control campaign. Russian Federation often uses nuclear sabre-rattling to influence Western decision-makers and sway them to capitulate.

"Reflexive control is a key element of Russia’s hybrid warfare toolkit — it is a tactic that relies on shaping an adversary with targeted rhetoric and information operations in such a way that the adversary voluntarily takes actions that are advantageous to Russia," the report states.

The Institute noted that the US and Western policies limiting Ukraine's ability to attack military targets in Russia seriously undermine Ukraine's ability to defend itself from Russia's current offensive operations in the northern Kharkiv region or in any area along the international border where Russian forces may decide to conduct offensive operations in the future.

Russia's nuclear blackmail

On May 21, the Russian Federation began the first stage of training with the use of non-strategic nuclear weapons. Within its framework, the Iskander complexes and Kinzhal missiles are being used.

The Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense reminded that nuclear blackmail is a regular practice for the Russian Federation.

President Zelenskyy stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not use nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon confirmed that the US has not allowed and does not allow its weapons to be used against military targets on the territory of the Russian Federation.