Russia: US to be added to ‘unfriendly state’ list
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Videos from Russian media outlets show the launch of an anti-ballistic missile (ABM) defence system at the Sary Shagan test site in Kazakhstan. It comes amid flared tensions between Russia, the West and Ukraine over military deployments in Eastern Europe.
Russia’s ABM system are reportedly designed to protect against attacks from ballistic missiles, usually fired into sub-orbital spaceflight before striking Earth.
Major General Sergei Grabchuk, commander of the anti-missile defence unit of the Aerospace Forces, told Russian journalists the new rocket can travel at a speed of over three km per second.
He added: “The ABM system’s new interceptor missile reliably proved its inherent characteristics while the combat teams successfully accomplished the task, striking a mock target with the required accuracy.”
Other footage released by Moscow showed drills in the Saratov region, where new anti-tank missiles were deployed.
The 631st Artillery Warfare Training Centre, a military academy, carried out “storm of steel” exercises with Khrizantema, Kornet-E, Vikhr and Tornado-G anti-tank missiles and Msta-S mortar launchers.
Head of Missile Forces and Artillery, Lt. Gen. Mikhail Matveyevsky, said: “Our cadets spend 80 percent of their study time in the field.”
The test follows Mr Putin’s warning to the West not to cross a “red line” with Russia, after countries voiced anger about Ukraine and jailed opposition critic Alexei Navalny.
In his annual state of the nation address last week, he claimed countries like the US and UK are trying to “pick on” Russia.
The Russia President added: “We don’t want to burn bridges, but if somebody interprets our good intentions as weakness, our reaction will be asymmetrical, rapid and harsh.
“We’ll decide for ourselves in each case where the red line is.”
Richard Moore, head of the MI6, told Times Radio Mr Putin would pay a “huge price” if Russia invaded Ukraine.
He said: “The Russians are in absolutely no doubt of where the UK stands on this issue.
“And they are in absolutely no doubt of where the Biden administration stands on this issue, because channels are open.”
However, Russia pulled back more than 100,000 soldiers that were positioned on the Ukraine border this week.
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