Vladimir Putin
(Image credit: ALEXEY NIKOLSKY/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the order Saturday for his country's military to begin a series of drills involving its nuclear arsenal, Reuters reports.

According to The New York Times, the exercises will include ballistic and cruise missile launches as well as nuclear-capable bombers and warships from Russia's Black Sea Fleet.

Russia has conducted extensive military exercises along Ukraine's border, in the Black Sea, and in neighboring Belarus in recent weeks. Earlier this month, The Associated Press reported that Russia had flown two Tu-22M3 nuclear-capable bombers over Belarus.

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According to the Arms Control Association, Russia possesses more than 6,000 nuclear warheads.

This latest show of force comes after President Biden warned on Friday he is "convinced" Putin has decided to invade Ukraine and that the invasion would likely include a strike on Kyiv, Ukraine's capital city. Over 100,000 Russian troops are in position along Ukraine's border.

The Russian-backed separatists who control part of eastern Ukraine are also preparing for war, per the Times. On Friday, separatist leaders, warning of an imminent Ukrainian offensive, told 700,000 women and children to evacuate the region. On Saturday, they called on all military-age men to register to fight.

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