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Russia test-fires ‘invincible’ ICBM ‘Satan 2’

Russia test-fired an ICBM on Friday, March 30, 2018. (Screen Shot/Russian Defense Ministry/Twitter)
March 30, 2018

Russia on Friday tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) known as “Satan 2.”

The missile was launched from Plesetsk Cosmodrome in the northern province of Arkhangelsk. The Russian Defense Ministry posted video footage of the launch. It is unclear where the missile landed or what actions took place.

The test comes during tense times between the United States and Russia, as the two countries have gone tit-for-tat in expelling diplomats from either country. Russia on Thursday said it will expel 60 U.S. diplomats from its country, – the same number of diplomats that the United States expelled earlier this week in response to Moscow’s use of a nerve agent to try and kill a Russian ex-spy and his daughter in the U.K. Russia will also close down the U.S. consulate in St. Petersburg, it said, as well as expel the same number of diplomats from other countries who also kicked out Russian diplomats in response to the poisoning.

The ICBM test also simultaneously comes during a time when North Korea – which last year test-fired missiles it claimed would be able to hit the United States – is taking center stage in world diplomacy is what is perceived as an effort to achieve denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.

Russia had tested a hypersonic nuclear missile earlier in March, after Russian President Vladimir Putin revealed to the world Russia’s new arsenal of weapons, including the missiles it claims are “invincible” and that can attack anywhere in the world, including the United States.

Russian Aerospace Forces successfully tested the air-launched Kinzhal hypersonic missile. The Kinzhal is a strategic air-to-surface strike missile with advanced maneuverability in flight and a top speed of Mach 10. If these capabilities are accurate, it could make the Kinzhal hard to intercept by anti-missile systems.

Putin claimed that Russia has created nuclear weapons that can “avoid missile defense systems,” and that the country also intends to build up its stockpile of nuclear missiles that would be able to hit anywhere in the world.

He also had said the new missiles would make any NATO defense “completely useless” and are “invincible.” Putin also said that other nuclear cruise missiles would have “unlimited” range, as well.

Putin was speaking at his annual state of the nation address when he made the statements and essentially put the United States on notice.

He said the “hypersonic Sarmat ICBM [intercontinental ballistic missile is] capable of outmaneuvering any existing missile defense.”

“It’s a response to U.S. abandoning anti-missile defense treaty and building up its potential. No one listened before, so listen to Russia now,” Putin said.

He said the Sarmat missile is “a new weapon in response to the deployment of missile defense by the U.S. abroad.”

“Any use of nuclear weapons against Russia or its allies, be it small-scale, medium-scale or any other scale, will be treated as a nuclear attack on our country,” Putin said. “The response will be instant and with all the relevant consequences.”

Putin also boasted of Russia’s “modern, compact and high-tech army.”