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Russian mercenary rebellion threatens country’s nuclear security

After the rebellion by the Wagner group – a Russian mercenary organization fighting in Ukraine’s war alongside Moscow troops – threatens to invade Russia’s capital this weekend, concerns about the security of Russia’s nuclear arsenals are revived.

Afraid of even a bloody battle happening, the leader of the mercenary group Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhinordered his fighters back to their camps.

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Fears in the West are that factions could gain access to nuclear bombs in the country led by Vladimir Putin, raising questions about what would happen to Russia’s nuclear arsenal amid domestic turmoil.


Soldiers of the Wagner Group positioned in Rostov-on-Don, Russia (Photo: Reproduction/REUTERS)


US officials say they see no immediate threat to Russia’s strategic and tactical security. Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Kremlin, said the deal succeeded in sending Wagner fighters back to their camps, with the aim of avoiding clashes and bloodshed.

The former US intelligence commander reported that images of tanks on Russian streets brought to mind the failed 1991 coup by Communist hardliners that raised concerns about the security of the Soviet nuclear arsenal and the possibility of Wagner operatives stealing a nuclear warhead.

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With approximately 5,977 nuclear bombs estimated last year, Russia’s nuclear arsenal is the largest in the world. The United States already has about 5,428 warheads.

The current scenario of concern is the possibility of a military faction gaining decision-making capacity over some of these weapons, should there be divisions over the war in Ukraine.

The riot started after Yevgeny Prigozhin shared messages on social networks last Friday (23). In publications, the head of the group accused the Russian Ministry of Defense, headed by Sergei Shoigu, to carry out an attack against its fighters and claimed that many died. The Russian government has denied the allegations.

Featured Photo: Troops of the Wagner mercenary group. Playback/Reuters

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Russian mercenary rebellion threatens country’s nuclear security

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