Nuke blackmail: Russia tests Satan II just before Biden visits Kyiv

February 22,2023 1013
Nuke blackmail: Russia tests Satan II just before Biden visits Kyiv

U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit to Kyiv on Monday was not only accompanied by the air alert in the Ukrainian capital but also nearly coincided with a test of the Russian intercontinental ballistic missile SARMAT, known as Satan II in the West and capable of carrying 15 nuclear warheads.

The visit was an obvious and spectacular success. The test seems to have been a failure, according to CNN.

Satan II has been successfully tested before. Had this one worked, Russian leader Vladimir Putin would have highlighted the test in his State of the Nation address on Tuesday, CNN says, citing U.S. officials.

Putin kept mum about the test in his 45-minute speech. Instead, he formally declared that Russia suspension of Russia’s participation in the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty with the United States – the last remaining pact that regulates the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals.

According to The Guardian, the full implications of Putin’s threat are unclear. Russia has already suspended mutual inspections of nuclear weapons sites and participation in a bilateral consultative commission. Experts said that if Putin now went further and stopped routine reporting and data exchange on nuclear weapon movements and other related developments, it would be a serious blow.

“The announcement by Russia that it’s suspending participation in New START is deeply unfortunate and irresponsible,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters on a visit to Athens. “We’ll be watching carefully to see what Russia actually does. We’ll, of course, make sure that in any event we are postured appropriately for the security of our own country and that of our allies.”