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Russia tests nuclear-capable ballistic missile

MOSCOW: Russia said Sunday (Nov 5) it had successfully test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads from one of its submarines.

The launch of the “Bulava” missile, the first in just over a year, comes as Russia ramps up nuclear rhetoric since revoking its ratification of a key nuclear test ban treaty.

“The new nuclear-powered strategic missile submarine cruiser Emperor Alexander the Third has successfully launched the Bulava sea-based intercontinental ballistic missile,” the defence ministry said.

It said it fired the under-sea missile from an undisclosed location in the White Sea on its northwest coast, to a target thousands of kilometres away on the far eastern Kamchatka peninsula.

“The missile firing took place in the normal mode from an underwater position,” it said, adding: “The missile heads arrived at the designated area at the appointed time.”

The 12m long Bulava missile was designed to be the backbone of Moscow’s nuclear triad and has a range of over 8,000km.

The West has accused Moscow of using reckless nuclear rhetoric since it launched its offensive against Ukraine last February.

President Vladimir Putin earlier this week signed a law revoking Russia’s ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, a move strongly criticised by the United States.

The 1996 treaty outlaws all nuclear explosions, including live tests of nuclear weapons, though it never came into force because some key countries – including the United States and China – never ratified it.

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