Russia’s military might has now been thoroughly debunked as little more than a myth, thanks in no small part to Vladimir Putin’s complete and abject failures in Ukraine, and fears of a Hail Mary play from the Kremlin continue to rise within the global community.
Putin himself, along with a great many of his mouthpieces in the media, have been threatening the use of nuclear weapon to win the war – a move that would surely bring grand condemnation from the west. So far, however, these have been merely threats and threats alone.
But, as Ukraine continues to make advances on territory that Russia recently “annexed” via sham votes, a major piece of the Russian nuclear picture is on the move.
A series of BPM-97 armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and other military vehicles were seen travelling through central Russia in a clip posted on the Telegram messaging app by pro-Russian channel Rybar on Sunday.
The APCs are thought to have been upgraded with more capable turrets, reinforced ambush and mine-proof armour and an air purification system designed to allow its occupants to operate effectively in the face of sustained infantry attacks.
Such advanced military hardware, the likes of which have scarcely been deployed on the frontlines in Ukraine, reportedly belong to the 12th Main Directorate of the Russian MoD.
Here is why that’s worrisome:
This specialist division is dedicated to the storage, maintenance and provision of weapons to the likes of the Strategic Rocket Forces, a Russian military branch that controls nuclear missiles and forms a key part of Putin’s nuclear programme.
Military analyst Konrad Musyka claimed the deployment of such units could signal a coming escalation in the conflict from the warmongering Russian president or constitute a precursor to large scale nuclear drills.
It comes as NATO warned member states that Russia’s state-of-the-art Belgorod nuclear submarine has left its White Sea base, while key Putin ally Ramzan Kadyrov said Russia’s military should use ‘low-yield nuclear weapons’ to turn the tide of the war in Ukraine.
Rumors of Putin’s declining health have some international observers worried that the Moscow madman may not be concerned with the consequences of using a nuclear weapon in Ukraine, as he won’t likely around to face them.