Putin boasts of new Russian nuclear weapons

Putin boasts of new Russian nuclear weapons
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Above, Russian President Vladimir Putin gives his annual state of the nation address in Moscow on Thursday, March 1. Putin said that the nuclear-powered cruise missile tested last fall has an unlimited range and high speed and is capable of penetrating any missile defense. (AP)
Putin boasts of new Russian nuclear weapons
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This video grab provided by RU-RTR Russian television via AP television on Thursday, March 1, 2018, shows the launch of what President Vladimir Putin said is Russia's new nuclear-powered intercontinental cruise missile. (RU-RTR Russian Television via AP)
Putin boasts of new Russian nuclear weapons
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In this video grab provided by RU-RTR Russian television via AP television on Thursday, March 1, 2018, a computer simulation shows the flight of a prospective Russian nuclear-powered cruise missile en route to target. (RU-RTR Russian Television via AP)
Putin boasts of new Russian nuclear weapons
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In this video grab provided by RU-RTR Russian television via AP television on Thursday, March 1, 2018, a Russian MiG-31 fighter jet releases the new Kinzhal hypersonic missile during a test at an undisclosed location in Russia. (RU-RTR Russian Television via AP)
Updated 02 March 2018

Putin boasts of new Russian nuclear weapons

Putin boasts of new Russian nuclear weapons

MOSCOW: Russia has tested an array of new strategic nuclear weapons that can not be intercepted, President Vladimir Putin announced Thursday, marking a technological breakthrough that would dramatically increase Russia’s military capability and boost the Kremlin’s global position.
Speaking in a state-of-the-nation speech, Putin said the weapons include a nuclear-powered cruise missile, a nuclear-powered underwater drone and new hypersonic missile. He said the creation of the new weapons has made NATO’s US-led missile defense “useless,” and means an effective end to what he described as Western efforts to stymie Russia’s development.
“I want to tell all those who have fueled the arms race over the last 15 years, sought to win unilateral advantages over Russia, introduced unlawful sanctions aimed to contain our country’s development: All what you wanted to impede with your policies have already happened,” he said. “You have failed to contain Russia.”
The announcement comes as Putin is set to easily win another six-year presidential term in the March 18 election.
He said that the nuclear-powered cruise missile tested last fall has an unlimited range and high speed and maneuverability allowing it to pierce any missile defense.
The Russian leader said the high-speed underwater drone also has an “intercontinental” range and is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead that could target both aircraft carriers and coastal facilities. He said its operational depth and high speed would make it immune to enemy intercept.
He added to applause that names for the nuclear-powered cruise missile and the drone have not yet been chosen, and suggested that the Defense Ministry run a nationwide contest for the best names.
Putin accompanied his statement to an audience of hundreds of senior officials and lawmakers with videos and computer images of new weapons, which were shown on giant screens at a conference hall near the Kremlin.
“No one in the world has anything like that,” he said. “It may appear someday, but by that time we will develop something new.”
The Russian leader said that another new weapon called Avangard is an intercontinental hypersonic missile that would fly to targets at a speed 20 times the speed of sound and strike “like a meteorite, like a fireball.”
Putin said that Russia also tested a new heavy intercontinental ballistic missile, called Sarmat, with a range and number of warheads exceeding its Soviet-era predecessor, known in the West as Satan.
The Russian leader emphasized that the development of new weapons that have no equivalent in the West came in response to the US withdrawal from a Cold war-era treaty banning missile defenses and US efforts to develop a missile defense system.
He said that the US has ignored Russian complaints.
“No one has listened to us,” he said. “You listen to us now.”
He said the new weapons will help ensure global stability and draw a line under attempts to weaken Russia.
He said that another weapons system, called Kinzhal, already has been deployed in Russia’s Southern Military District. He said it is a hypersonic missile carried by an aircraft that can strike targets 2,000 km away.


Quake death toll at 73 as Indonesia struggles with string of disasters

Quake death toll at 73 as Indonesia struggles with string of disasters
Updated 17 January 2021

Quake death toll at 73 as Indonesia struggles with string of disasters

Quake death toll at 73 as Indonesia struggles with string of disasters
  • More than 820 people were injured and over 27,800 left their homes after the 6.2 magnitude quake
  • On Jan. 9, a Sriwijaya Air jet crashed into the Java Sea with 62 onboard

JAKARTA: At least 73 people have been killed after an earthquake struck Indonesia’s West Sulawesi province on Friday, the disaster mitigation agency (BNPB) said on Sunday, the latest in a string of disasters to hit the Southeast Asian country.
More than 820 people were injured and over 27,800 left their homes after the 6.2 magnitude quake, BNPB spokesman Raditya Jati said. Some sought refuge in the mountains, while others went to cramped evacuation centers, witnesses said.
Police and military officers have been deployed to crack down on looting in several parts of the region, Jati added.
An emergency response status, intended to help rescue efforts, has also been put in place for two weeks, he said.
Dwikorita Karnawati, the head of Indonesia’s meteorological, climatology and geophysical agency (BMKG), has said that another quake in the region could potentially trigger a tsunami.
Straddling the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, Indonesia is regularly hit by earthquakes. In 2018, a devastating 6.2-magnitude quake and subsequent tsunami struck the city of Palu, in Sulawesi, killing thousands.
Just two weeks into the new year, the world’s fourth-most populous country is battling several disasters.
Floods in North Sulawesi and South Kalimantan province each have killed at least five this month, while landslides in West Java province have killed at least 29, authorities said.
On Jan. 9, a Sriwijaya Air jet crashed into the Java Sea with 62 onboard.
East Java’s Semeru mountain erupted late on Saturday, but there have been no reports of casualties or evacuations.
Dwikorita said extreme weather and other “multi-dangers” of hydrometeorology are forecast in the coming weeks.