Russia test-launched an “unstoppable” nuclear missile dubbed the “Satan 2” this week — with President Vladimir Putin yet again threatening the potential for nuclear war.
The Sarmat ICBM was launched Wednesday in northern Russia, with its practice warheads reaching mock targets more than 3,500 miles away on the far eastern Kamchatka Peninsula, the Kremlin said.
“The Sarmat is the most powerful missile that has the highest range in the world, and it will significantly bolster the capability of the country’s strategic nuclear forces,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement.
Putin — who has repeatedly threatened to use his nuclear arsenal since invading Ukraine in late February — said the test should provide “food for thought” for the West.
“This really unique weapon will strengthen the combat potential of our armed forces, reliably ensure Russia’s security from external threats and make those, who in the heat of frantic aggressive rhetoric try to threaten our country, think twice,” the warmongering leader said.
He bragged that the missile “has the highest tactical and technical characteristics and is capable of overcoming all modern means of anti-missile defense.”
Dmitry Rogozin, head of the state Roscosmos agency that oversees the missile factory building the Sarmat, described Wednesday’s test of the “superweapon” as a “present to NATO.”
Igor Korotchenko, editor in chief of Russia’s National Defence magazine, called it proof that the Kremlin was capable of delivering “crushing retribution that will put an end to the history of any country that has encroached on the security of Russia and its people.”
Despite the ominous statements, Russia gave the US an advance warning of its test, the Pentagon said.
“It was not a surprise. We did not deem the test to be a threat to the United States or its allies,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby insisted.
It is just Putin’s latest threat of all-out nuclear war.
When he announced the invasion eight weeks ago, Putin made a pointed reference to Russia’s nuclear forces and warned the West that any attempt to get in its way “will lead you to such consequences that you have never encountered in your history.”
Days later, he ordered Russia’s nuclear forces to be put on high alert.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres admitted last month, “The prospect of nuclear conflict, once unthinkable, is now back within the realm of possibility.”
The Sarmat has been under development for several years as a replacement to the Soviet-made Voyevoda, which was code-named Satan by the West and forms the core of Russia’s nuclear deterrent.
It is capable of carrying hypersonic glide vehicles along with other types of warheads, the Kremlin said. That could include the Avangard hypersonic vehicle, which is capable of flying 27 times faster than the speed of sound and making sharp maneuvers to dodge missile shields.