A convoy carrying a half-dozen nuclear warheads was spotted last week moving through Scotland as war between Russia and Ukraine continued to rage.
“The convoy was carrying up to six nuclear warheads only a mile south of Glasgow city centre, heading to Royal Naval Armaments Depot Coulport on Loch Long, according to NukeWatch, an organization that tracks and monitors the convoys that transport the UK’s Trident nuclear warheads,” the Daily Mail reported.
“The nuclear-armed convoy passed over Erskine Bridge, heading up along the M6 motorway near Kendal, before being spotted on the M74 at Lesmahagow and arriving in Loch Long at approximately 11:30 pm on Saturday,” the report continued.
“I think there were four warhead carriers I believe. Our reckoning is that each of those trucks can carry two but one of the trucks is empty as a spare in case [sic] breaks down,” Nukewatch UK Campaigner Jane Tallents told a local news outlet.
“So if there’s four we expect there to be six warheads, or up to six warheads anyway,” Tallents added.
The group said that the most likely reason the warheads were being transferred was for the purpose of maintenance, not to prepare them for use. But clearly to some, the timing was notable following Russia’s invasion of its eastern neighbor.
“I don’t think this convoy is of any more concern than the fact that we are always, 24/7, armed and ready to start a nuclear war,” Tallents said.
“All the things that some of us have worried about constantly since the 60s, they come to pass really. People have forgotten about it but they are there,” she added.
Shortly after Putin invaded Ukraine, he ordered the country’s nuclear forces be put on high alert.
“Citing ‘aggressive statements’ by NATO and tough financial sanctions, Putin issued a directive to increase the readiness of Russia’s nuclear weapons, raising fears that the invasion of Ukraine could lead to nuclear war, whether by design or mistake,” the Associated Press reported.
“The Russian leader is ‘potentially putting in play forces that, if there’s a miscalculation, could make things much, much more dangerous,’ said a senior U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss rapidly unfolding military operations,” the AP continued.
Since then, U.S. officials have warned that the Russian leader could brandish his vast nuclear arsenal if the war does not go in his favor, as Ukrainian forces continue to grind down the Russian military advance.
“Protracted occupation of parts of Ukrainian territory threatens to sap Russian military manpower and reduce their modernized weapons arsenal, while consequent economic sanctions will probably throw Russia into prolonged economic depression and diplomatic isolation,” Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said in a report.
“As this war and its consequences slowly weaken Russian conventional strength. Russia likely will increasingly rely on its nuclear deterrent to signal the West and project strength to its internal and external audiences,” the report said.