A short range Iskander ballistic missile would be the likely delivery mode if Russia wanted to use a tactical nuclear weapon against Ukraine, military experts say


  • A Ukrainian intel official said Russia had ordered an evacuation of nuclear weapons from a facility in Belgorod
  • Belgorod-22 nuclear storage facility is only a few kilometers away from the conflict based on a map
  • Two anti-Putin armed groups have crossed the Russian-Ukrainian border to "liberate" Belgorod

Ukrainian intelligence suggests that Russia has moved its nuclear weapons from a storage facility in the Belgorod region, which shares a border with Ukraine.

In a TV newscast interview, Andriy Yusov, the representative of the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine, said they had received information about the movement of Russian nuclear weapons in Belgorod.

"The Belgorod-22 facility – a storage facility for nuclear weapons – Ruscists are also evacuating from the area near Grayvoron [a city and district in Belgorod]," Yusov said, Ukrainska Pravda reported.

Visegrád 24, an Eastern Europe-based online news outlet, posted a map of Belgorod on Twitter, showing the location of the nuclear weapons storage facility and the towns where volunteer fighters against the Moscow regime fight against Russian troops.

Russia has transported its nuclear weapons from Belgorod after two armed groups sympathetic to Ukraine and against Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a military operation inside the Russian territory.

Yusov insisted that Ukraine had nothing to do with the conflict in Belgorod. However, he confirmed that the Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK) and the Freedom of Russia Legion led the combat operation inside the Russian territory.

Yusov said the two volunteer groups wanted to "liberate the territories of the Belgorod region from the so-called Putin regime and push back the enemy in order to create a secure zone to protect the civilian population of Ukraine," according to The Insider, a Russian independent news outlet.

RDK confirmed crossing the Russian-Ukrainian border in a Telegram post and uploaded videos showing men in military fatigue standing in front of several village signs with the names of three Russian villages.

The two anti-Putin armed groups also announced the "liberation" of two Russian villages, Kozinka and Grayvoron, at around 2 p.m. (GMT+3).

Meanwhile, Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov accused the Russian volunteer fighters of being a "sabotage group" belonging to the Ukrainian forces after crossing the border.

Gladkov said the "Russian Armed Forces together with the Border Guard Service, the Russian National Guard and the FSB, are taking necessary measures to eliminate the enemy."

The Belgorod governor added that two civilians were injured after the village of Glotovo in the Grayvoronsky District was shelled. The injured Russians were already taken to the regional hospital to treat mine blast wounds.

Meanwhile, Russian state-owned media outlet RT reported that "Ukrainian saboteurs had seized" the House of Culture in Gora-Podol.

As the news of a conflict in Belgorod reached Kremlin, Putin's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the Russian president had already been briefed about the incident, Russian state-owned news agency TASS reported.

Peskov said there were sufficient Russian forces and equipment to counter the armed groups, adding that the attack aimed "to divert attention from the Bakhmut area."

Ukrainian soldiers and volunteer fighters inspect a destroyed Russian tank in eastern Ukraine