From all indications Russia seems to be preparing for the worst case scenario following its diminishing relationship with the U.S. and its allies as it launched a new intercontinental ballistic missile called “ Satan 2 ”
The missile hailed by Russian President Vladimir Putin as being able to fly over the North or South Poles and strike any target in the world was test-launched for the second time on Friday.
Russia’s defense ministry released a video purportedly showing the Sarmat ICBM blasting off in spectacular fashion from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in its northern Arkhangelsk province, the move coming just hours after the Kremlin announced it would expel 60 American diplomats and close the U.S. consulate in St. Petersburg.
The move is in retaliation of the measures taken by the U.S. in response to the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy and his daughter in Britain.
The video shows the missile rising out of the ground and seemingly floating in the air for a brief moment before more flames erupt, kicking up massive clouds of smoke and snow.
“No defense systems will be able to withstand it,” Putin said about the missile during his state-of-the-nation speech in early March.
The test-launch also comes after Putin’s recent re-election and a congratulatory phone call from President Trump, in which Trump reportedly also warned his Russian counterpart, “if you want to have an arms race we can do that, but I’ll win,” according to two officials that spoke to NBC News.
Days before the launch, the U.S. Navy test-fired its own ICMB from a ballistic missile submarine off the coast of Southern California.
Russia has been working for years to develop a new ICBM to replace the Soviet-designed Voyevoda, the world’s heaviest ICBM and known as “ Satan ” in the West.
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That ICBM carries 10 nuclear warheads, the Associated Press reported.
Putin announced during his March speech the Sarmat missile was undergoing tests and debuted a video purportedly showing its first test launch, which he said happened in December.
The Russian president said Sarmat weighs 220 tons and has a higher range than “ Satan ,” allowing it to fly over both poles of the Earth.
He also said it accelerates faster than its predecessor, making it harder for an enemy to intercept it in its most vulnerable phase after the launch.
Putin added that Sarmat also carries more and more powerful nuclear warheads than the “ Satan ” ICBM.