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International relations

Russia tests new nuclear-capable ballistic missile

Sarmat strategic weapon has no peer, Putin claims

Russia's military parade in Moscow on Victory Day in May 2021.   © Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) -- Russia said on Wednesday it had test-launched its Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, a new addition to its nuclear arsenal which President Vladimir Putin said would give Moscow's enemies something to think about.

Putin was shown on television being told by the military that the missile had been launched from Plesetsk in the country's northwest and hit targets in the Kamchatka peninsula in the far east.

"The new complex has the highest tactical and technical characteristics and is capable of overcoming all modern means of anti-missile defence. It has no analogues in the world and won't have for a long time to come," Putin said.

"This truly unique weapon will strengthen the combat potential of our armed forces, reliably ensure Russia's security from external threats and provide food for thought for those who, in the heat of frenzied aggressive rhetoric, try to threaten our country."

The Sarmat is a new heavy Intercontinental Ballistic Missile which Russia is expected to deploy with 10 or more warheads on each missile, according to the U.S. Congressional Research Service.

It has been under development for years and so its test-launch is not a surprise for the West, but it comes at a moment of extreme geopolitical tension due to Russia's war in Ukraine.

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