Apr 21, 2022 - World

Russia says it test-fired nuclear-capable missile

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a joint press conference with German Chancellor following their meeting over Ukraine security at the Kremlin, in Moscow, on February 15.
Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin said after his military claimed to have successfully tested its Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in Russia that the nuclear-capable projectile would make Moscow's enemies "think twice," per AP.

Why it matters: While the Pentagon said the launch wasn't a threat and the Kremlin had given the U.S. advance notice, it underscores the Biden administration's increasing concerns that Putin now sees "little downside to provocative actions" as Russia has become isolated following its invasion of Ukraine, the New York Times notes.

A screenshot of the purported launch shown on Russian TV.
A screenshot of the purported missile launch in Plesetsk, northwest Russia, shown on Russian TV. Photo: Russian Defense Ministry/Twitter

What they're saying: "This really unique weapon will strengthen the combat potential of our armed forces, reliably ensure Russia's security from external threats and make those, who in the heat of frantic aggressive rhetoric try to threaten our country, think twice," Putin said, per AP.

Meanwhile, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement that "Russia properly notified the United States under its New START treaty obligations that it planned to test this ICBM."

  • "Such testing is routine and was not a surprise. We did not deem the test to be a threat to the United States or its allies," he added. "The Department remains focused on Russia’s unlawful and unprovoked aggression against Ukraine."

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