CBS Local — Vladimir Putin had an ominous message for the rest of the world while unveiling Russia’s newest line of nuclear missiles. The Russian leader boasted that his country’s new weapons were “invincible” to U.S. and NATO defenses.
In a nationally televised speech on Mar. 1, Mr. Putin showed off a wide array of underwater drones, cruise missiles, and ICBMs he claims were developed in response to the U.S. withdrawing from the 1972 anti-ballistic missile treaty in 2002. “You didn’t listen to our country then,” Putin warned, via The Guardian. “Listen to us now.”
Putin’s state of the nation speech was highlighted by a test of Russia’s RS-28 Sarmat missile. Russian state media claims the ICBM can fly 6,800 miles and deliver a payload of 15 nuclear warheads to its target.
Russia’s president also claimed that the nation’s new cruise missiles were capable of sneaking past the missile defense systems of their western adversaries. The “low-flying, difficult-to-spot cruise missile… with a practically unlimited range and an unpredictable flight path, which can bypass lines of interception and is invincible in the face of all existing and future systems of both missile defense and air defense,” Putin described, via the BBC.
After the presentation, Mr. Putin encouraged the Russian people to suggest names for the weapons of mass destruction. The address comes less than three weeks before Putin will face seven challengers in Russia’s presidential election on March 18.