Artillery types

Russia bombards Ukrainian town with nuclear-capable artillery as Putin fears using tactical nukes to break stalemate

RUSSIA’s terrifying nuclear-capable artillery guns have been spotted laying siege to a Ukrainian town amid growing fears that Vladimir Putin may resort to tactical nuclear weapons.

Vladimir Putin’s Defense Ministry has fueled fears of turning the conflict nuclear by releasing images of the massive 46.5-ton weapon firing shells towards Kharkiv.


Nuclear-capable artillery guns spotted besieging Ukrainian townCredit: Russian Ministry of Defense

The video shows the giant Malka tracked self-propelled gun shelling the beleaguered city as Russia continues its grinding campaign in Ukraine.

It comes as Russia’s deputy ambassador to the UN, Dmitry Polyanskiy, warned that Putin would use nuclear weapons if he was “provoked” by NATO.

“If Russia is provoked by NATO, if Russia is attacked by NATO, why not? We are a nuclear power,” he said.

Polyanskiy is one of the best Russian diplomats in the United States.


The 2S7M howitzer can bombard their targets from 35 miles away and has massive guns capable of firing 100 kg laser-guided 8-inch shells.

And the cannons are so powerful they’ve been known to knock out crew members who find themselves shocked by the concussive force.

The weapon systems would be paired with Orlan-10 drones that help pick targets and transmit data to the crew.

The weapon is claimed to be accurate to five meters.

But their most disturbing aspect – is their ability to be armed with nuclear munitions. 3BV2 nuclear shells.

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The shells have a destructive power of up to 1 kt – which, although small for a nuke, is still horrendous destructive power.

The largest conventional bomb ever used – the infamous American MOAB – had only 11 tons of destructive power.

So this means that nuclear shells are about 100 times more powerful because they have the force of 1,000 tons of TNT.

It looks like this:

Russia is believed to have around 2,000 nuclear weapons in its arsenal in the form of low yield missiles, torpedoes and artillery shells.

Putin’s commanders thought they could overthrow the former Soviet state in days – but now the war has been raging for a month.

Russian troops thought they would be greeted with cheers and waving flags, but were met with rage and molotov cocktails.

But this slow and brutal quagmire saw the Russians change tactics, moving from surgical strikes to indiscriminate bombardment of cities.

And fears are now growing that Putin could resort to even more barbaric weapons – potentially using tactical nuclear weapons.

The deployment of Malka cannons – which could be equipped with nuclear shells – is fueling concern.

Video released by the Russian Ministry of Defense showing the Malka pistol


Video released by the Russian Ministry of Defense showing the Malka pistol
Crew members use a mechanical arm to load the massive shell into the chamber


Crew members use a mechanical arm to load the massive shell into the chamber

General Sir Richard Barrons said Sky News“So when President Putin starts talking about nuclear options, he might have something like this in mind.”

He added: “We have to understand that the stakes for Ukraine have now become global.

“Essentially raising the specter of nuclear weapons, the rest of the Western Hemisphere is now on the ground with Ukraine.”

Experts from all walks of life have issued warnings that as Russia finds itself increasingly bogged down, it may turn to tactical nuclear weapons to break the stalemate.

It is believed that the United States and Russia have invested a lot of time and money in the development of small, battlefield-ready atomic weapons.

The weapons lack the truly terrifying devastating destructive power of the greatest weapons of the Cold War era – like the Tsar Bomba.

A single 58 megaton Tsar Bomba could wreak havoc over an area of ​​50 miles, kill millions, send a shock wave that would circle the globe three times and cause a mushroom cloud visible 500 miles away.

Such a bomb was deemed far too large to use due to the potentially apocalyptic consequences of such a nuclear exchange.

But it is this kind of thinking that has driven war planners to develop and potentially use tactical rather than strategic nuclear weapons.

Russia has repeatedly refused to rule out the use of nuclear weapons and has frequently raised the specter of weapons.


Everything you need to know about the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Everything you need to know about the Russian invasion of Ukraine…

It is believed that Moscow’s war doctrine is open to the use of nuclear weapons in conventional conflict as an intimidation tactic – and the use of such a weapon must be personally approved by Putin.

The tactic became known as “escalate to defuse”.

Moscow has practiced such strategies on the ground before – such as simulating a NATO attack on the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.

The storyline saw Russian forces retaliate against the Western invasion by firing nuclear weapons at Poland and the United States.

And these exercises would have taken place in the 90s and 2000s, with tactical nuclear weapons used for both attack and defense.

Chatham House think tank expert Dr Patricia Lewis said BBC News“They might not see it as crossing that great nuclear threshold.

“They might see it as part of their conventional forces.”

Other such weapons at Vlad’s disposal also include the Kalibr cruise missile which can be fired from warships or land-based missile launchers.

Vlad could also use the Iskander land-based missile launcher.

And he has at his disposal the Tyulpan atomic mortar, a weapon similar to the Malka that can fire nuclear shells.

All of these weapons would have been deployed near Ukraine in their conventional forms.

Kalibr cruise missiles can be fitted with nuclear warheads


Kalibr cruise missiles can be fitted with nuclear warheadsCredit: AP
Iskander missile systems roll near Ukraine


Iskander missile systems roll near UkraineCredit: Getty
The 2S4 Tyulpan self-propelled mortar is nicknamed the


The 2S4 Tyulpan self-propelled mortar is nicknamed the “city destroyer”Credit: Getty

James Acton, nuclear expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Pace in Washington DC, said: “I am legitimately concerned that under these circumstances Putin may use a nuclear weapon, most likely on the ground in Ukraine to terrify everyone and get this that he wants. “

And meanwhile, retired Air Force commander General James R. Clapper Jr. warned that Moscow had lowered its bar for the use of atomic weapons.

He told the New York Times that Russia regards nuclear weapons as “utilitarian rather than unthinkable”.

The war continues with a big NATO meeting today in which US President Joe Biden is expected to outline the next steps to Russia.

Putin has found himself increasingly isolated on the world stage as the crippling economic sanctions imposed on Russia begin to bite.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is getting bloodier and bloodier, and right now there is no end in sight.

Confidence grew among the Ukrainians as they began to launch offensives to repel the Russians.

Moscow’s forces failed to execute the long-awaited assault on kyiv – and took only a handful of towns.

Thousands of civilians were killed – men, women and children – and millions became refugees.

And the longer the war lasts, the more innocent people will die and the more likely Putin will do something shocking – like use chemical or nuclear weapons.

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