Russia ramps up tactical nuclear arms drills

The Russian military is ramping up military exercises involving the simulated use of tactical nuclear weapons. This comes as the Group of Seven nations is discussing ways to support Ukraine.

Russia's defense ministry announced on Thursday that dummy nuclear warheads had been delivered to the storage depots of its missile and aviation brigades.

The ministry has been releasing footage of the drills on a daily basis. One image shows personnel engaged in a training exercise involving a mobile, short-range missile system called the Iskander. Another video shows military personnel on a ship taking aim at a dummy target and pressing a launch button.

Last month, Russian defense officials announced that the first stage of exercises involving tactical nuclear weapons had begun in the Southern Military District, which also serves as a base for Russia's offensive in Ukraine.

The forces of Moscow's ally Belarus are taking part in the second stage of the exercises. Those drills started this week.

The latest training exercises reportedly involve units from the Leningrad military district. The district is located on the land border that Russia shares with NATO members, such as the Baltic nations and Finland.

Russia is apparently trying to step up pressure on Western countries while the G7 summit is taking place in Italy. An international gathering is also scheduled to be held in Switzerland on Saturday. Those participating in that meeting will discuss a peace plan put forward by Ukraine.