Russian military forces are expected to continue with pre-planned nuclear testing at the same time as similar NATO drills are expected.
NATO announced Friday the launch of its annual “Steadfast Noon” exercise Monday. The drill involving 14 countries is expected to mobilize about 60 aircraft in regions near the United Kingdom, Belgium and the North Sea. NATO does not plan to use live bombs.
“The exercise, which runs until (Oct. 30), is a routine, recurring training activity, and it is not linked to any current world events,” NATO said of the exercises.
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The aircraft include fighter jets, surveillance and tanker aircraft and U.S. B-52 long-range bombers, NATO said.
Russia is also expected to move forward with pre-planned nuclear testing this month, annual nuclear drills often called “Grom” that normally take place in late October.
Putin has repeatedly suggested in recent weeks that Russia would resort to nuclear weapons if the country’s territory is threatened.
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Tesla CEO Elon Musk, whose public musings on the conflict between Ukraine and Russia have rustled feathers internationally, speculated on the possibility of nuclear war.
“But surely no reasonable person would launch nuclear war?” Musk asked rhetorically.
“The problem with that logic is if we were dealing with reasonable people, we wouldn’t have war in the first place.”
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The Biden administration will send Ukraine a new $725 million military aid package and other assistance as Ukraine continues to fight Russian forces, the White House said Friday.
The move comes as European defense leaders had pledged weapons and air defense systems to Ukraine, and as Russia has unleashed a bombardment of missile strikes targeting Kyiv and other regions.
Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.