Putin Launches 'Nuclear-Capable' Missile, Sends Stark Warning to Western Nations

Russia marks a key anniversary with a bold demonstration

by Zain ul Abedin
Putin Launches 'Nuclear-Capable' Missile, Sends Stark Warning to Western Nations
© Thomas Kronsteiner/Getty Images

In a chilling display of military prowess, Russia has once again tested an intercontinental ballistic missile, escalating tensions with Western nations. The test occurred at the Kapustin Yar range in Astrakhan, as confirmed by the Russian Defense Ministry through released footage capturing the missile's ascent into the sky.

The Defense Ministry described the event as part of "state testing of prospective missile systems and to confirm the operational stability of missiles currently in service." According to official statements, the missile test met its objectives completely, underscoring the "high reliability of Russian missiles in safeguarding the nation’s strategic security." While the specific model of the missile remains undisclosed, a Kremlin spokesperson indicated that it was launched from a mobile land-based platform.

Local witnesses described seeing a "strange object" resembling a "space jellyfish" soaring through the sky, adding a layer of public intrigue and anxiety around the test. This missile test aligns with the anniversary of last year’s testing of a new addition to Putin's arsenal, the Topol series, known as Topol-ME.

This too was launched from Kapustin Yar, highlighting a pattern in Russia's testing schedule.

Cosmonautics Day Show of Force

Further emphasizing the significance of the timing, the missile was launched on April 12, Cosmonautics Day in Russia, which celebrates Yuri Gagarin's historic spaceflight in 1961.

This day of national pride now also marks a moment of military demonstration. Officials have clarified that the tested missile is not the "Satan II" nuclear missile, which can carry multiple nuclear warheads and has been delayed in deployment due to various technical setbacks.

This missile, known for its potential destructive capacity, was hyped by Kremlin propagandists as being capable of devastating geopolitical foes—claims that the UK dismissed as mere disinformation. Adding to Russia's strategic challenges, reports from the Russian Telegram channel VChK-OGPU last month highlighted a significant shortage of electronic components at the Krasnoyarsk Machine-Building Plant.

This shortage, exacerbated by international sanctions, affects the production of strategic missiles like the new RS 28 Sarmat system. Efforts are reportedly underway to mitigate the impact of these sanctions on missile production, illustrating the complex interplay of military ambition and economic reality.