Published: | Updated:Footage of a huge freight train moving specialist military equipment associated with a nuclear-arms wielding division of Russia's Defence Ministry has been spotted on the move, prompting fears of an escalation in the conflict from Putin's forces.
A series of BPM-97 armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and other military vehicles were seen travelling through central Russia in a clip posted on the Telegram messaging app by pro-Russian channel Rybar on Sunday.
The APCs are thought to have been upgraded with more capable turrets, reinforced ambush and mine-proof armour and an air purification system designed to allow its occupants to operate effectively in the face of sustained infantry attacks.
Such advanced military hardware, the likes of which have scarcely been deployed on the frontlines in Ukraine, reportedly belong to the 12th Main Directorate of the Russian MoD.
This specialist division is dedicated to the storage, maintenance and provision of weapons to the likes of the Strategic Rocket Forces, a Russian military branch that controls nuclear missiles and forms a key part of Putin's nuclear programme.
Military analyst Konrad Musyka claimed the deployment of such units could signal a coming escalation in the conflict from the warmongering Russian president or constitute a precursor to large scale nuclear drills.
It comes as NATO warned member states that Russia's state-of-the-art Belgorod nuclear submarine has left its White Sea base, while key Putin ally Ramzan Kadyrov said Russia's military should use 'low-yield nuclear weapons' to turn the tide of the war in Ukraine.