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Putin raises nuclear alert level to 'special combat readiness'

According to widespread news reports, the Kremlin has raised Russia’s alert level of nuclear status getting the attention of U.S. and NATO allies

February 27, 2022 10:49am

Updated: February 28, 2022 8:49am

As the developing crisis in Ukraine continues to escalate, Russian President Vladimir Putin shocked the world Sunday morning by announcing he had ordered Russian nuclear forces on high alert or “special combat readiness” or “special regime of combat duty.”

Putin said he was raising the status in response to what he called “aggressive statements” from leading NATO powers. 

“Western countries aren’t only taking unfriendly actions against our country in the economic sphere but top officials from leading NATO members made aggressive statements regarding our country,” the Russian president declared in comments that were televised to his citizens. 

The new order means Putin is ordering his forces to prepare Russia’s nuclear weapons for increased readiness for a possible launch, raising the threat that Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine and the West’s response could lead to nuclear action that the world has not seen since the end of the Second World War when the U.S. bombed Japan. 

Since the inception of the conflict, widespread reports have indicated Putin has tried to use the west as a justification for his invasion into Ukraine with the Russian people and even his own forces. There have even been reports some Russian soldiers may not have known the invasion was imminent and were led to believe the original incursion to Ukraine’s borders as part of a military drill. 

Putin blamed statements from NATO officials and lashed out against the more recent sanctions against Moscow and himself. 

In the midst of the continuing development, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said a delegation is willing to meet with Russian officials as Moscow’s troops continue to take heavy losses while attempting to advance upon Kyiv.