The “Satan-II” intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is capable of carrying 10 or more nuclear warheads and can hit targets in the United States and Europe. The news comes as a Russian MP warned Boris Johnson that the UK was now a “primary target” for Moscow given London’s unwavering military and political support for Kyiv. The Russian ICBM was successfully tested last week after years of delay and comes at a time of growing fears of a possible nuclear conflict.
Dmitry Rogozin told Russian state television that the Sarmat missiles would be based in the Siberian town of Uzhur in the Krasnoyarsk region, about 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles) east of Moscow.
They would be deployed no later than the fall and would be placed in the same silos as the Soviet-era Voyevoda missiles they are to replace.
The head of Russia’s space agency claimed the “superweapon” was a historic event that would ensure the safety of Russian children and grandchildren for the next 30-40 years.
Mr Rogozin boasted of the power and range of the Kremlin’s latest addition to its atomic arsenal.
He said: “It is a missile that is much more powerful than other strategic weapons, including the Minuteman-III missile, which is in service with the United States.
“Both in terms of global reach and the power of warheads that can be launched into an aggressor’s territory.”
The head of Roscosmos added: “This is a huge achievement for our designers and engineers. We are very proud of it.”
The Sarmat ICBM was developed at the Makeyev State Rocket Center and is manufactured by the Krasmash enterprise.
It can travel at speeds of up to 16,000 mph and deploy multiple warheads at hypersonic speed, making it very difficult to intercept.
The Sarmat will also be able to launch the Avangard, the first Russian hypersonic missile, capable of traveling to the top of the Earth’s atmosphere at more than ten times the speed of sound.
The Russian president has repeatedly made veiled threats to use nuclear weapons throughout his military campaign in Ukraine.
READ MORE: ‘Creeping’ Macron accused of ‘shining Putin’s boots’ – ‘Pathétique’
Putin put Russian nuclear forces on high alert days after the invasion began.
At the time, the Kremlin cited “Western countries … taking hostile action” through economic sanctions and “aggressive statements against our country.”
The Kremlin’s increased use of nuclear blackmail has caused growing dismay among Western leaders and policymakers.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said last month: “The prospect of nuclear conflict, once unthinkable, is now back within the realm of possibility.”
Security experts also believe that Russia’s belligerent nuclear rhetoric will fuel another nuclear arms race, as countries rush to bolster their military defences.
Fiona Hill, a British-born Russian expert and former White House intelligence adviser, told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that countries like Japan and South Korea “are really going to rethink your non-nuclear posture and your dependence on the United States”.
DO NOT MISS
Ukraine LIVE: Putin further humiliated as 50 Russian officers wiped out [INSIGHT]
Boris pledges to send ‘heavier weapons’ to Ukraine [NEWS]
Ukrainian expert debunks Putin’s ‘wacky’ propaganda tactics [ANALYSIS]
She said: “So the whole idea of non-proliferation is basically out the window because it’s basically very clear that the reason we’re not going after Russia with everything we have is because ‘they have a nuke and he says he’s ready to use one.
“And everyone looks at this now and thinks, ‘well, well, if I want to do what I want with my neighbor, I need a nuclear weapon’ – that’s basically what Putin is telling us.
“And conversely, everyone is like, ‘If I want to have a good defensive posture, I can’t rely on someone else to come to my aid, I need a nuke. ‘.
“So we’re in brand new territory that we didn’t even go into during the Cold War, and so that requires some really robust diplomacy.”
Earlier this weekend, a Russian lawmaker warned the UK that it is now firmly in Moscow’s nuclear sights because of its military support for Ukraine.
The MP said: ‘Britain is a prime target for this (nuclear strike). They are an island nation, which would minimize damage to the mainland.