Putin's last stand: Russia moves missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads to Finland

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Video posted on Russian social media showed military trucks carrying Iskander ballistic missiles – which can carry nuclear warheads – moving through the country, reportedly on a highway to Vyborg, near the Finnish border.

The apparent deployment came just a day after Finland and Sweden each announced formal plans to apply for membership of Nato.

Russia’s foreign ministry warned yesterday that the move was a ‘grave mistake’ and would have ‘far-reaching consequences’.

Vyborg is located just 30 miles from Finland and 135 miles from Helsinki, putting it well within missile range.

The Iskander is a short-range ballistic missile developed by Russia that went into service in 2006 to replace the Soviet-era Scud and Tochka rockets.

Iskanders are the workhorse of Russia’s missile forces and can perform a wide variety of roles depending on the warhead they are fitted with.

Warheads include thermobaric, cluster, armour piercing, bunker-busters, and electromagnetic for taking out radar systems.

But the most eye-catching of the Iskander’s warheads is a nuclear charge, thought to be around four times as powerful as the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.

The missiles have a range of up to 300 miles and are most-commonly carried by road-mobile launch vehicles, which makes the missiles much harder to find and destroy.

The new deployment to the Finnish border also comes as Nato began staging a huge drill in Estonia to rehearse its response to an attack from Russia. 

Some 15,000 troops from 10 different countries – including Finland, Sweden and a small detachment from Ukraine – will participate in the exercise dubbed ‘Siil’ or ‘Hedgehog’ which will take place just 40 miles from the nearest Russian base. 



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