May 29, 2022

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Expert on Russia's nuclear missile test: - A psychological game

Expert on Russia’s nuclear missile test: – A psychological game

On Wednesday, Russian authorities said that Russian forces had conducted simulated exercises with missiles that could be equipped with nuclear warheads.

– As I see it, it is a threat in the sense that it is a reminder that Russia is a nuclear power. It may be an attempt to scare decision makers into becoming more cautious.

Palle Ydstebø, Lieutenant Colonel and Head of the Land Energy Department at the Military School, told TV 2.

Nuclear missile: Russia conducted tests today, Wednesday, on missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons. The image is from a similar test in April. Photo: AP/NTB

– psychological game

Observers said that Russia’s state television has tried in recent days to make nuclear weapons more acceptable to the people.

“More than two weeks ago, we heard from our television screens that nuclear weapons silos must be opened,” says Peace Prize-winning Russian editor Dmitry Muratov.

Ydstebø believes the intent is to influence psychological warfare.

Its purpose is to create uncertainty and division among different countries about whether Russia is serious. In many ways, this is used as part of the psychological game that takes place between the two parties, says Ydstebø.

He believes that the West takes the threat seriously, but the threshold for actually resorting to nuclear war is high – for Russia, too.

Daredevil: In eastern Ukraine, Russian progress is slow.  Photo from Donetsk region on Wednesday.  Photo: Alexei Alexandrov/AP/NTB

Daredevil: In eastern Ukraine, Russian progress is slow. Photo from Donetsk region on Wednesday. Photo: Alexei Alexandrov/AP/NTB

Two directions are possible

Next Monday, the calendar shows May 9 – A An important history of Russia and President Vladimir Putin. On this date in 1945, Russia celebrated the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

Ydstebø believes that one can expect “everything and nothing” from the Russian team this day.

On the one hand, the show can be carried out as if nothing had happened, and it might even mention that the special military operation is going as planned.

Alternatively, one could choose to declare war and thus begin mobilizing. Then there are great powers that Russia can muster, but it will be very costly.

Important date: The commemoration of the end of World War II on May 9 is of great significance in Russia.  Photo from the celebration in 2021. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/AP/NTB

Important date: The commemoration of the end of World War II on May 9 is of great significance in Russia. Photo from the celebration in 2021. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/AP/NTB

The Lieutenant Colonel believes that there is uncertainty about the condition of both Russian military equipment and soldiers.

So he thinks it would be a big political risk for Putin.

attacking the railway

In recent days, Russia has bombed several targets in western Ukraine, including power stations, bridges and other parts of the railways.

– They seem to circle the railway infrastructure to prevent the transport of heavy weapons to the front in eastern Ukraine. Ydstebø says it seems to me that they are trying to undermine the rail system to Ukraine.

However, he believes it will be a difficult task, given Ukraine’s strong railway system.

Ukraine has one of the best railway systems in Europe. They have good forces, both military and civilian, that can repair the railways. Significant delays have been reported, but I don’t think they can be completely stopped and prevented, Edstepo believes.

Used for evacuation: Commander Natalia Slivinska told TV 2 that it is mentally difficult to see the fear in the eyes of many of those she helps evacuate from war zones.  Photo: Tom Rune Orset/TV 2

Used for evacuation: Commander Natalia Slivinska told TV 2 that it is mentally difficult to see the fear in the eyes of many of those she helps evacuate from war zones. Photo: Tom Rune Orset/TV 2

Russia has made marginal progress in the east and south in the past 24 hours. What is the next step for progress in your opinion?

– It’s not good to say. So far, they have not made major preparations to make much progress. There have been many small attacks that have actually led to little progress, and they are straining the Russian forces more than we can see.

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