Russian President Vladimir Putin observed nuclear drills from his situation center in the Kremlin together with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko, the Russian president's press office said Saturday.
Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti reported that Putin launched the planned ballistic and cruise missile exercises shortly before 5.30 a.m. ET on Saturday.
Over the past week, the Russian president has focused international attention onto a series of military drills that have tested Russia's conventional military power.
Putin said Friday that "an active phase exercise [of military drills] is underway."
"Tomorrow we will even take part together in one of the serious events in this complex of military cooperation,” Putin added, speaking at a televised meeting with Lukashenko in Moscow.
According to a news release from Putin's press office:
- Russia's Aerospace Forces successfully launched Kinzhal hypersonic missiles.
- Ships and submarines of the Northern and Black Sea Fleets launched Kalibr cruise missiles and Zirkon hypersonic missiles at sea and ground targets.
- Russian forces carried out a launch of the Iskander land-based cruise missile from the Kapustin Yar test site in Russia's southern Astrakhan region.
- Russia launched a Yars intercontinental ballistic missile from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia toward the Kura test site on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia's far east.
- Tu-95m strategic bombers fired air-launched cruise missiles to hit targets at the Pemboi and Kura ranges.
- The strategic nuclear submarine Karelia of Russia's Northern Fleet launched a Sineva ballistic missile at the Kura range from the waters of the northern Barents Sea.
"The exercises of the strategic deterrence forces were planned earlier, during which the readiness of the military command and control bodies, launch combat crews, crews of warships and strategic missile carriers to perform the assigned tasks, as well as the reliability of the weapons of strategic nuclear and non-nuclear forces, was checked," the statement read.
"The tasks envisaged during the exercise of the strategic deterrence forces were completed in full, all missiles hit the designated targets, confirming the specified characteristics," it added.
This post has been updated.