Ukraine update: Russia says nuclear arms treaty talks with US ‘difficult’ and ‘a two-way street’

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News


Russia’s defense minister said on Tuesday that talks between Washington and Moscow on a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) are “a two-way street” and that the situation has become “difficult.” Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu made the remarks at an international security conference in Moscow, according to Reuters.

“The agreement remains in force until 2026,” Shoigu added. “On the Russian side, obligations are being fulfilled, the declared levels of carriers and warheads are maintained within the established limits.”

The START treaty limits the number of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) and nuclear warheads the U.S. and Russia can possess. 

Shoigu also took the opportunity to declare that the Kremlin has “no need” to use nuclear or chemical weapons in Ukraine, calling speculation to the contrary “absolute lies.”

“From a military point of view, there is no need to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine to achieve the set goals. The main purpose of Russian nuclear weapons is to deter a nuclear attack,” Shoigu said.

“The media are spreading speculation about the alleged use of Russian tactical nuclear weapons in the course of the special military operation, or about the readiness to use chemical weapons. All these informational attacks are absolute lies.”

Shoigu alleged that The U.S. and Britain are dictating Ukraine’s military operations and that NATO had increased its troop deployment in eastern and central Europe “several times over.”

A new study suggests that roughly 5 billion – 75% of the world’s population – would die as a result of a full-out nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia, providing further concerns over stalled talks. The report published in Nature Food journal asserts that while many would die in initial blasts the majority of deaths would come as a result of starvation as a nuclear war would decimate global food production.

“The data tells us one thing: We must prevent a nuclear war from ever happening,” said co-author of the study Alan Robock.

Massive explosions in Crimea fuel speculation of targeted attacks by Ukraine

At least two people were injured in two separate fires Tuesday in Russia-annexed Crimea, forcing the evacuation of around 2,000 residents, according to an Associated Press report. One of the fires followed reports of major explosions.

The latest incidents follow multiple explosions that occurred last week at Russia’s Saki air base near Novofyodorovka village in Crimea that Ukrainian officials said destroyed nine Kremlin warplanes, fueling speculation that Ukraine is targeting the peninsula its president vowed to reclaim last month.

Ukraine has not directly confirmed responsibility for any of the recent explosions.

“Crimea occupied by Russians is about warehouses explosions and high risk of death for invaders and thieves,” wrote Ukrainian presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak in a tweet after the fires were reported.

Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti also reported Tuesday that a transformer substation in Crimea’s Dzhankoi district had caught fire. Russia’s Energy Ministry later reported that the flames had been contained.

Britain’s Defense Ministry released an intelligence update Tuesday stating that Russia’s Black Sea Fleet warships “continue to pursue an extremely defensive posture,” with ships clinging to the coastline. The ministry added that the “limited effectiveness” of Moscow’s fleet “undermines Russia’s overall invasion strategy. This means Ukraine can divert resources to press Russian ground forces elsewhere.” 

Russia also continued pounding Kharkiv with shelling overnight. Regional governor Oleh Syniehubov reported that one civilian was killed and two others injured in the attack he described as “one of the most massive shellings of Kharkiv in recent days.”