FT: Leaked files reveal Russian military's criteria for nuclear strike

February 29, 2024

Leaked military documents outline Russia's doctrine for tactical nuclear weapons use, including the minimum criteria for using tactical nuclear weapons, the Financial Times (FT) reported on Feb. 28. Russia's tactical nuclear weapons are designed for use on the battlefield in Europe and Asia, and have a more limited range compared to strategic nuclear weapons, which could reach the U.S. Support UsThe criteria range "from an enemy incursion on Russian territory to more specific triggers, such as the destruction of 20% of Russia's strategic ballistic missile submarines," the FT said. Training materials indicate that Russia's eastern military district conducted exercises that envisaged a hypothetical attack by China. The FT highlighted that Russia continues to conduct military exercises near China, holding exercises in June and November 2023 in regions bordering China using nuclear-capable missiles.