Russian Army Chief Warns of Nuclear Risks in Cyber Hacks, Space

The extension of military confrontation into the cyber sphere and space raises the risks of incidents involving nuclear weapons, Russia’s top general warned Thursday, highlighting concerns about growing tensions.

“The risks of incidents is rising from interference in systems of command and control over nuclear weapons,” General Valery Gerasimov, chief of the General Staff, said in comments to foreign military attaches in Moscow, according to a transcript published on the Defense Ministry website.

“In this environment, nuclear deterrence remains the key element of ensuring the security of the Russian Federation,” he said, reiterating Russia’s position that it won’t be drawn into an arms race.

Gerasimov’s comments took him to the edge of the newest flashpoint in U.S.-Russian relations: a massive hack against American government agencies and institutions that authorities in Washington have linked to Russia cyber attackers. The Kremlin has denied the allegations.

“The lack of facts is compensated by insinuations,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday. The hacking allegations may be “an attempt to prevent President-elect Biden from developing cooperation with Moscow,” she said, referring to incoming U.S. leader Joe Biden.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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