Headline RoundupMarch 27th, 2023

How Will Russia Positioning Tactical Nukes in Belarus Impact the Ukraine War?

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia plans to station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, its western neighbor that sits to the north of Ukraine.

Real Danger or Empty Threat? Putin has previously issued nuclear threats in response to western nations’ support of Ukraine. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby indicated this development was another threat aimed at reducing western support of Ukraine, stating, “we have not seen any indication that he’s made good on this pledge or moved any nuclear weapons around. We’ve, in fact, seen no indication that he has any intention to use nuclear weapons, period, inside Ukraine.” However, Newsweek quoted Mark Voyger, former U.S. Army advisor, warning western nations to be “mindful of all these movements of the Russian leadership.”

Tactical Nukes: According to the Associated Press, tactical nukes are short-range nuclear weapons intended for use on battlefields. They are far smaller than long-range nuclear warheads, which AP states are “capable of obliterating whole cities.” United States intelligence reports Russia is in possession of roughly 2,000 tactical nuclear weapons.

Russia-Belarus Relationship: Belarus served as a staging ground for Russian forces at the start of the invasion. Russia’s failed advance to Kyiv in the initial days of the invasion began in Belarus, with troops pushing south into Ukraine before stalling. Newsweek credits the relationship between the countries to Belarus’s economic reliance on Russia and Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko’s debt to Putin for saving his regime from toppling during pro-democratic protests in 2020.

Featured Coverage of this Story

More headline roundups

AllSides Picks

More News about Ukraine War from the Left, Center and Right

From the Left

From the Center

From the Right