The U.S. military intelligence agency stepped up its accusations against Russia over low-yield nuclear testing on Thursday, saying that the country has conducted nuclear weapons tests that resulted in nuclear yield.
The new statement from the Defense Intelligence Agency amounted to a more direct accusation against Russia, compared to hedged comments about Russian nuclear testing that DIA Director Lt. Gen. Robert P. Ashley Jr. made in a speech in Washington in late May.
“The U.S. Government, including the Intelligence Community, has assessed that Russia has conducted nuclear weapons tests that have created nuclear yield,” the DIA statement released Thursday said. The agency didn’t give any details about the alleged tests or release any evidence backing the accusation.
Previously, the agency’s director said that Russia “probably” was not adhering to the “zero-yield” standard the United States applies for nuclear testing. He suggested that Russia was probably conducting tests with explosions above a subcritical yield as part of its development of a suite of more-sophisticated nuclear weapons.