Russia missile strike falls close to nuclear power plant in Mykolaiv
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Russia has finished a second successful test of its terrifying “Satan 2” missile. The intercontinental ballistic missile is capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads in a worrying sign of the Kremlin’s intentions for the future of its invasion of Ukraine. When the weapon was first tested in April, Vladimir Putin declared it would “force those who try to threaten Russia to think twice”. Officially named the RS-28 Sarmat missile, the projectile can reach speeds of an intimidating 16,000 mph.
It also has a range of over 11,000 miles, and can carry at least 10 warheads at a time. Overall the missile is around 1,000 times more powerful than the bombs dropped by the US on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan during the second World War.
Speaking at the Military Council of the Strategic Missile Forces in Moscow, Colonel General Sergei Karakaev said: “According to the commander of the Strategic Missile Forces, Colonel-General Sergei Karakaev, the active re-equipment of the Strategic Missile Forces with modern missile systems continues. Successfully conducted flight tests of the missile system ‘Sarmat’.”
Back in April, Putin added: “The missile can break through all modern anti-missile defences.
“There is nothing like this anywhere in the world, and won’t be for a long time.”
Col Gen Karakaev also said on Friday that Russian missile forces are ready to receive a second batch of the Avangard hypersonic glide missiles.
Currently there is just one military unit equipped with the Avangard missiles, which are capable of carrying nuclear warheads at 20 times the speed of sound. None of those missiles have been used on the battlefield in Ukraine.
Russia’s development of their missile systems come after a devastating series of air strike across Ukraine which appeared to primarily target civilian infrastructure.
Kyiv said nearly half the country’s power infrastructure is in need of repair after the relentless assault.
Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said on Friday, while appealing to its European allies for support: “Nearly half of our energy system has been disabled”.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said the attacks left more than 10 million Ukrainians without electricity last night as the first snow fell and temperatures dropped. This has sparked fears for Ukraine’s survival over the winter, during which many parts of the country are set to drop below freezing temperatures.
The country is facing daily blackouts – with residents of Kyiv able to look up online and check when their address will be able to use electricity.
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Many of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure is also vulnerable even after being fixed, as the Russian bombardments show no sign of letting up.
Volodymyr Shulmeister, founder of the Infrastructure Council NGO and former first deputy minister of infrastructure of Ukraine from 2014 to 2015, said: “It’s not possible to repair quickly after it’s been damaged. There were some spare parts, some electric power stations has been repaired, but there will be new problems coming from the air.”
John Spencer, a retired Army officer and chair of urban warfare studies at the Madison Policy Forum, told Vice that this strategy was not rare for Russia.
He said: “If you think about what they did in Chechnya, and in Syria, to basically bring the civilian population to such despair that they’re willing to capitulate.”
Andriy Kobolyev, former chief executive officer of Ukraine’s largest national oil and gas company Naftogaz, added: “Russians are actually now acting very cruel, but also in a very well-thought-through way”.
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