Russian President Vladimir Putin watched the drills from the Kremlin's situation room with visiting Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko.
Russia has successfully test-fired its latest hypersonic, cruise and nuclear-capable ballistic missiles as part of "planned exercises," the Kremlin said, as tensions soar over Ukraine.
"All the missiles hit their targets, confirming their performance objectives", the Kremlin said in a statement on Saturday, adding that the drills included Tu-95 bombers and submarines.
"The main objective of these exercises is to perfect the performance of our strategic offensive forces, with the aim of delivering a guaranteed strike against the enemy," chief of the general staff Valery Gerasimov told Putin in televised comments.
The Russian leader watched the drills from the Kremlin's situation room with visiting Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko.
Gerasimov said the strategic drills involved two stages.
The first was to test the work of "weapons of heightened potential menace," he said.
"The second involves the sanctioned, massive use of strategic offensive weapons of the Russian Federation in case of a retaliatory strike," the general said.
The drills included Russia's Black and North Sea navies, as well as the country's strategic forces, the Kremlin said.
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Sending a message
The drills follow a huge series of manoeuvres by Russia's armed forces in the past four months that have included a build-up of troops – estimated by the West to number 150,000 or more – to the north, east and south of Ukraine.
Moscow-based analysts said the exercises were aimed at sending a message to take Russia's demands for security guarantees from NATO seriously after the alliance's expansion to Russia's borders since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
"The signal to the West is not so much 'don't interfere', but instead designed to say that the problem is not Ukraine and actually much wider," Dmitry Stefanovich, a research fellow at the IMEMO RAS think tank, told Reuters.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Saturday Russia knew that the alliance could not meet its demands, which include the withdrawal of NATO forces from former communist east European states that have elected to join NATO.
New helicopters and a battle group deployment of tanks, armoured personnel carriers and support equipment have deployed in Russia, near the border, according to US-based Maxar Technologies, which tracks developments with satellite imagery.
The Kremlin also has tens of thousands of troops staging exercises in Belarus, north of Ukraine, that are due to end on Sunday. Lukashenko said on Friday they could stay as long as needed.
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