Russia will no longer inform the U.S. about its nuclear forces and missile tests, the latest in a series of decisions widening the political gulf between the two powers as the war in Ukraine roars on with no end in sight.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow has halted all information exchanges with Washington. The announcement comes weeks after suspending participation in the last nuclear arms agreement with the U.S – and days after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus, which sits on the borders of Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania.
Ryabkov’s announcement also came as Moscow deployed mobile launchers in Siberia, an apparent show of the country’s nuclear capability.
The U.S. and Russia have for years shared data about the state of their nuclear forces and exchanged warnings about test launches. The communications helped ensure that neither country mistakes a test launch for a missile attack.
►The Russian defense ministry said strategic military training has begun with the Yars intercontinental ballistic missile system, which has a range of about 7,000 miles.
►Spain will send the first six of 10 Leopard 2A4 tanks it has pledged to Ukraine in April, Spanish news outlet El País reported.
The Russian mercenary Wagner Group probably is working to consolidate gains in Bakhmut to push toward the city center and expand its zone of control, a Washington-based think-tank says. The Institute for the Study of War says in its latest assessment that Russian forces appear to have advanced into an additional 5% of Bakhmut in the past week and now occupy roughly 65% of the city.
Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin was less measured Wednesday, saying Kyiv’s efforts to defend Bakhmut have “practically destroyed” the Ukrainian army.
Bakhmut is a transportation hub for both sides in the hotly contested Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, and fierce fighting has raged there for months.
Contributing: The Associated Press