Putin Supervises Missile Launches in Nuclear Drills
Story Code : 822803
The Thunder-19 strategic war games began Wednesday and involve 12,000 troops deployed on ships, planes, and nuclear-missile-carrying submarines carrying out launches of long-range precision missiles, the ministry of defense said.
The missiles launched were ICBMs or Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles and are capable of carrying thermonuclear warheads, the ministry added.
The drills were used to test RS-24, RSM-50 and Sineva intercontinental ballistic missile systems, the ministry said. They employed more than 200 launchers.
Putin visited the National Defense Control Center in the capital Moscow to watch a video transmission of the live launches, accompanied by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Russian television showed.
The cruise and ballistic missiles were fired from the Barents Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk by submarines of the northern and Pacific fleets.
New Nuclear Arms Race?
The world appears to have ahead a new nuclear arms race, this time too between the traditional rivals Russia and the US. The tests are coming as the US in early August pulled out of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces, or INF, that was signed with the Soviet Union in 1987.
Trump argued that Russia over the past years has not stood to its commitments setting limits on nuclear capability. Something Moscow strongly rejected.
No matter who is right, the withdrawal triggered a new completion, though both sides denied slipping into the race. Since then, the US tested new nuclear-capable ICBMs. The tests, which included modified navy cruise missiles, came less than a month after their exit. And now the Russians have followed suit.
Until Trump’s exit from the INF, both sides, at least ostensibly, did not show off their nuclear strike power. Their last major tests dated back to the Soviet era. But now they seem to have dropped the curtains off their nuclear weapons, taking the world back to the fear of the Cold War.