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Russia Tests New RS-28 Missile Capable of ‘Striking Any Target on Earth’

A native of New York, Alina has a Bachelors degree in Corporate Communications from Baruch College and writes about human rights' related issues, politics, tech and society.
Published: April 20, 2022
The Sarmat ICBM's March 2018 ejection test at Plesetsk Cosmodrome. (Image: via Russian Ministry of Defense)

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced today (April 20) that his country has successfully tested the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile — hailing the weapon’s nuclear charging capabilities of being able to “strike any target on Earth.” 

The RS-28 Sarmat — nicknamed “Satan II” by Western analysts — is among Russia’s next-generation missiles that can reportedly carry a 10-ton payload, including nukes, and target multiple locations at once. Putin has called the warhead “invincible,” and would make other countries “think twice” about the Kremlin’s defense capabilities.

The missile has been in development for several years and is intended to be used as an upgrade to the Kremlin’s current Cold War-era delivery method. 

Russia’s upgraded arsenal also includes the Kinzhal and Avangard hypersonic missiles – which are classified as missiles that can travel at least five times faster than the speed of sound (around 3,836 miles per hour). They can also change direction mid-flight, making them a formidable strategic weapon and almost impossible to intercept, unlike previous ballistic missiles.

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Last month, Russia said it had used the Kinzhal hypersonic missile for the first time to strike a target in Ukraine — where Russian troops have been engaged in a “special military operation” since Feb. 24 — though most of the world has called it an “unprovoked invasion” on Moscow’s part. 

“I congratulate you on the successful launch of the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile,” Putin told the Russian army in televised remarks on Wednesday morning. 

“This truly unique weapon will strengthen the combat potential of our armed forces, reliably ensure the security of Russia from external threats and make those who, in the heat of aggressive rhetoric, try to threaten our country, think twice,” Putin said, adding that, “The new complex has the highest tactical and technical characteristics and is capable of overcoming all modern means of anti-missile defense.”

Russia’s defense ministry said the missile’s test “successfully” took place at the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northern Russia, and delivered training warheads to the Kura test range of the Kamchatka peninsula, in the country’s Far East.

“Sarmat is the most powerful missile with the longest range of destruction of targets in the world, which will significantly increase the combat power of our country’s strategic nuclear forces,” the ministry said April 20.