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The Pentagon has responded after Russia tested an intercontinental ballistic missile, dubbed the 'Satan 2'.
It comes as Russian president Vladimir Putin's 'special military operation' stretches into its eighth week in Ukraine, with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently saying the 'battle for Donbas has begun'.
Amid foreign support and sanctions, the sinking of the Moskva warship and a state TV reporter claiming World War III has already started, Russia has successfully tested its RS-28 Sarmat missile, a new addition to its nuclear arsenal.
‼️LATEST NEWS‼️— AZ Military News (@AZmilitary1) April 20, 2022
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation conducted a successful launch of a stationary intercontinental ballistic missile "Sarmat" from the Plesetsk cosmodrome
The design characteristics at all stages of the rocket flight have been confirmed. pic.twitter.com/iSGuZw8Tvi
The missile, dubbed by NATO as 'Satan II', is said to be capable of firing up to 12 nuclear warheads in one go, travelling 6,000 miles and targeting an area the size of France.
In response to the missile test, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby told a press briefing (as per The Epoch Times): "Testing is routine, and it was not a surprise," adding that he 'has not deemed the test to be a threat to the United States or its allies'.
Kirby also said the Pentagon 'remains focused on Russia’s unlawful and unprovoked aggression against Ukraine'.
According to Russia's defence ministry, the missile was launched from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in north-west Russia and hit targets in the Kamchatka peninsula in the country's far-east.
The missile 'has unique characteristics that allow it to reliably overcome any existing and future missile defence systems,' the ministry said.
In a statement, Russia's military said: "The launch is the first in the government test program. After the completion of the test program, the tested Sarmat missile system will become part of the strategic missile forces."
Speaking about the missile launch on state TV, Putin hailed the missile as being ‘capable of overcoming all modern means of anti-missile defence’, describing it as a 'truly unique weapon'.
🇷🇺 Defense Ministry reports that a test launch of the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile was conducted.— Iuliia Mendel (@IuliiaMendel) April 20, 2022
"There are no analogues in the world and will not be for a long time yet. This unique weapon will strengthen the combat potential of our Armed Forces," Putin said. pic.twitter.com/6iJo1VNO05
Putin said the missile will 'strengthen the combat potential of our armed forces, reliably ensure Russia’s security from external threats and provide food for thought for those who, in the heat of frenzied aggressive rhetoric, try to threaten our country'.
He added: "The new complex has the highest tactical and technical characteristics and is capable of overcoming all modern means of anti-missile defence. It has no analogues in the world and will not have for a long time to come."
According to the US Congressional Research Service, Russia is expected to deploy the Sarmat with 10 or more warheads on each missile.
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