Russia's nuclear exercises Saturday are "not new," and the U.S. was made aware in advance, but the effect of "heightened level of alert" can exacerbate already high tensions with the standoff on the Ukraine border, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., warned.
"It's not new," Rubio said in a video posted to Twitter on Friday. "If you go back to the video I put out Monday morning, I told you they activated and would be conducting nuclear exercises.
"It's still dangerous, but it's not new."
The timing of Saturday's nuclear exercises as it positions hundreds of thousands of troops on the Ukraine border might effectively lead other countries to amp up their heightened alerts, including the United States, according to Rubio.
"It is dangerous and the reason why is when Russia mobilizes its nuclear forces, that requires us, as a precaution, to mobilize and get on a heightened level of alert," Rubio said in the video.
"Any time you're on a heightened level of alert, they see it, and that may cause them to move up another level, so that's where the danger lies here."
The Russian Defense Ministry Press Service released a video of a missile launch (photo above), which was reportedly conducted Saturday, potentially with Russian President Vladimir Putin overseeing its launch, according to The Associated Press.
The video, aired on Newsmax from Storyful, shows a Russian Iskander-K missile launched during a military exercise at a training ground in Russia. The Russian military on Friday announced massive drills of its strategic nuclear forces.
Putin was planned to personally oversee Saturday's exercise, which will involve multiple practice launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles and cruise missiles, the Defense Ministry said.
Rubio noted Saturday morning an alert on Twitter from Russian state-affiliated media that "two shells landed on Russian territory":
"#Putin just checked off the final box of his pre-invasion plan with this #FakeNews that #Ukraine has attacked #Russia"
Also, the same Russian state media claimed a car bomb in eastern Ukraine had ties to a Ukrainian intelligence official.
Earlier this week, Rubio warned Russia and China are both seeking a new "world order where big powerful countries like them get to dominate their region. And the countries that are neighboring them are basically underneath and have to be under their power and in their control."
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