Russian invasion: Situation report day 457
May 26, 2023 - President Lukashenko of Belarus says Russia has begun deployment of tactical nuclear weapons to be stationed in his country.
Washington has condemned the move as “the latest example of irresponsible behaviour from Russia since its full-scale invasion of Ukraine”. However, with no indications that Russia is preparing to use a nuclear weapon, the U.S. sees no need to adjust its own strategic nuclear posture.
Washington has asked Kyiv not to use U.S.-supplied weapons to
attack Russian territory, after the raid by Russian anti-Putin militias based in Ukraine in which Russia accused them of having used U.S. armoured vehicles. President Joe Biden has said he has received assurances from Ukrainian President Zelensky that he would not use F-16 fighter jets to attack Russian territory, should they agree to donate them. At present there is no arrangement to supply Kyiv with F-16s by either the U.S. or its allies.
The renewal of Black Sea grain export deal allowing safe export of Ukrainian grain and foodstuffs hinges on Russian demands to improve its own grain and fertiliser exports. The pact initially brokered by the UN and Turkey in July 2022 to ease a global good crisis is set to expire on July 17, and Russia has set two key demands: reopening a Russian ammonia pipeline to the Ukrainian port of Pivdennyi for export, and reconnecting Rosselkhozbank, Russia's agricultural bank, to the SWIFT international payment network.
- Institute for the Study of War
- US condemns Russia moving nuclear weapons to Belarus, will not adjust nuclear posture (Reuters)
- Ukraine shouldn't use US weaponry inside Russia, US general says (Reuters)
- Russian Wagner mercenaries handing Bakhmut to regular army (Reuters)
- Russia signals end to Black Sea grain deal in July if demands not met (Reuters)