Ukraine war update: Russia freezes inspections of its nuclear arsenals 

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News


Russia announced a freeze on U.S. inspections of its nuclear arsenals Monday, breaking the terms of an arms control treaty. Moscow claims that Western sanctions have disrupted its ability to conduct similar inspections of U.S. facilities by its own monitors.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said sanctions on Russian flights have prevented its military experts from visiting U.S. nuclear weapons sites under the New START nuclear arms control treaty, claiming the sanctions have unfairly given Washington “unilateral advantages,” according to reports by The Associated Press.

The ministry argued that the freeze is allowed under the pact’s “exceptional cases” language, adding that inspections could resume if the impediments created by the sanctions are resolved.

“Russia is fully committed to abiding by all of the provisions of New START, which we see as a crucial tool for maintaining international security and stability,” the Ministry said as it called for a “thorough study of all existing problems in this area, the successful settlement of which would allow a return to full-scale application as soon as possible of all verification mechanisms of the treaty.”

The New START treaty was entered into between former U.S. President Barack Obama and former Russian President Dmitry Mdvedev in 2010. The pact caps both countries’ nuclear arsenals at 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers and includes on-site inspections to monitor compliance.

The Biden administration has thus far not provided a public response to the inspection freeze. 

Russia’s announcement came on the same day U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on nuclear-armed countries to abide by the no-first-use commitment of their atomic arsenals amid increasing global tensions that have revived the nuclear arms race.

Ukrainian troops blow up Russian tank with American javelin missile

Footage released by the 93rd Mechanized Brigade of the Ukrainian Ground Forces on Aug. 6 shows Ukrainian soldiers blowing up a Russian tank with an American-made Javelin anti-tank guided missile, Reuters reported Tuesday. The location of the strike was described only as “somewhere on the frontlines in Ukraine.”

Ukraine’s Office of Strategic Communications of the Armed Forces (StratCom) also publicized the images.

Ukrainian and British military authorities have separately confirmed that Russia is fortifying its positions and the number of its troops in Ukraine’s south, where Ukraine has been wielding a counteroffensive to reclaim territory with some success.

The U.K.’s Ministry of Defense noted that Moscow’s forces “are almost certainly amassing in the south, either waiting for a Ukrainian counteroffensive or preparing to attack. Long convoys of Russian military trucks, tanks, artillery, and other things continue to move from the Donbas to the south-west.” 



U.S. sends Ukraine $1 billion weapons package, largest to date

Back in Washington, the Department of Defense announced the 18th and largest drawdown of security assistance for Ukraine Monday with a price tag of $1 billion. 

“This is the largest single drawdown of U.S. arms and equipment utilizing this authority to date,” Colin Kahl, the undersecretary of defense for policy, said in a DoD press release. “The package provides a significant amount of additional ammunition, weapons, and equipment — the types of which the Ukrainian people are using so effectively to defend their country,” he added.

The new U.S. arms shipment includes additional precision-guided ammunition for U.S.-made high mobility artillery rocket launchers (HIMARS) and howitzer systems, twenty 120 mm mortar systems 20,000 rounds of ammunition, munitions for advanced surface-to-air missiles (NASAMS), 1,000 Javelin systems, and hundreds of AT4 anti-armor systems, according to the Pentagon. 

“These are all critical capabilities to help the Ukrainians repel the Russian offensive in the east, and also to address evolving developments in the south and elsewhere,” Kahl said. 

According to the Pentagon, the U.S. has sent $9.1 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the Feb. 24 invasion through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative and the presidential drawdown authority.