In a new 'message' aimed at the West, Russia on Wednesday test launched a new intercontinental ballistic missile, the Sarmat, according to Interfax citing the Russian defense ministry.
President Vladimir Putin said in a statement which accompanied the announcement that the new Sarmat missile will provide "food for thought for those who try to threaten Russia." He congratulated the armed forces on the successful test launch. According to another translation, he said that the Sarmat will "make the madmen who attempt to threaten Russia think."
"Sarmat is the most powerful missile with the biggest hitting range in the world. It will significantly strengthen the combat power of the Russian strategic nuclear armed forces," the Russian Defense Ministry said.
The test took place in Russia's far north, reportedly at the Plesetsk spaceport which lies about 800 km north of Moscow.
According to a state media description, "The missile was developed as a replacement for the ICBM R-36M2 (NATO Reporting Name SS-18 Satan). It is expected to be effective in destroying enemy strategic targets around the globe with kinetic impact energy and without the use of the nuclear warhead."
The Kremlin released footage of the Wednesday launch of the "Satan"...
Lately there's been widespread speculation over whether Putin would be "willing" to use tactical nukes in Ukraine - something which Foreign Minister Lavrov categorically rejected in Tuesday statements.
On Tuesday Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was asked in an interview with India Today about the possibility of using nukes, to which he responded that Russia will only use conventional weapons in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, in another alarming development picked up by Russia observers...
Russian emergencies ministry site publishes "Recommendations in case of a retaliatory nuclear strike by NATO countries."— Alec Luhn (@ASLuhn) April 19, 2022
Retaliatory? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/jYZOlbz6XK
And in Washington...
A half-senile gerontocrat is all that’s between us and a humanitarian nuclear holocaust. https://t.co/G2r6dREGxo— Mark Ames (@MarkAmesExiled) April 18, 2022