Vladimir Putin hails 'successful' test of hypersonic missile, claims new defence system will be ready in 2019
The final test comes after US president Donald Trump announced plans to pull out of a key Cold War-era nuclear weapons pact, the three-decade-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty
Moscow: Russian president Vladimir Putin on Wednesday hailed final tests of a hypersonic missile, which he earlier said would render existing missile defence systems obsolete. "On my instructions, the ministry of defence prepared and conducted a final test of this system. This has just been completed with absolute success," Putin said during a televised meeting with members of the government.
"Russia has a new type of strategic weapon," he said, adding that the intercontinental "Avangard" system would be ready for use from 2019. The Kremlin told Russian news agencies the test had taken place in far eastern Kamchatka while Putin was at the national defence control centre. Putin unveiled features of the Avangard during his annual address in March, which he said would be part of a new generation of "invincible" weaponry.
The hypersonic missile could fly at 20 times the speed of sound and manoeuvre up and down, meaning it could breach defence systems, he said at the time. The final test comes after US president Donald Trump announced plans to pull out of a key Cold War-era nuclear weapons pact, the three-decade-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). Putin has laid out plans to develop missiles banned under the deal if the United States abandons it.
Who is Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney who could criminally prosecute Donald Trump?
The decision by Alvin Bragg to convene the grand jury early this year could result in the first criminal charge against a former US president. Following his election in November 2021, he became the first Black district attorney in Manhattan in 2022
Explained: What Russia’s nuclear weapons in Belarus means for the war
Vladimir Putin has announced that Moscow would be stationing tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus by 1 July. Is the Russian president’s move an escalation of the ongoing Ukrainian war or an attempt to intimidate the West?
‘A new era’: 5 key takeaways from Vladimir Putin-Xi Jinping summit
Chinese leader Xi Jinping called for dialogue, while Russian president Vladimir Putin praised China's peace initiative for Ukraine and said it could form the basis of any future settlement if both Kyiv and the West are ready for it