Russian President Vladimir Putin bragged this week that Moscow’s newest nuclear missile, dubbed “Satan-2” by NATO, could be ready for deployment by the end of the year.
The Kremlin strongman issued the warning while addressing graduates from Russia’s military academies Wednesday.
Putin boasted that the 14-story-tall intercontinental ballistic missiles, which are officially known in Russia as “RS-28 Sarmat,” have no competition in the world.
“The Sarmat heavy intercontinental ballistic missile was successfully tested,” the president told the graduates in Moscow. “It is planned that by the end of this year, the first such complex will be put on combat duty.”
Russia announced the first test launch of Satan-2 in April, and a month later, Dmitry Rogozin, head of Russia’s state space agency, Roscosmos, said the nation’s arsenal will soon include 50 of the new missiles.
“I suggest that aggressors speak to us more politely,” Rogozin darkly remarked at the time.
First introduced in 2018, Satan-2 can carry 10 or more nuclear warheads and decoys, and has an estimated range between 6,200 and 11,800 miles, which would allow the Kremlin to hit targets anywhere on the planet.
In May, the Kremlin threatened to deploy Satan-2 missiles to strike Finland, the UK and the US, after Finnish President Sauli Niinisto signaled his country’s intention to join NATO.
“If Finland wants to join this bloc, then our goal is absolutely legitimate — to question the existence of this state. This is logical,” said Aleksey Zhuravlyov, deputy chairman of the Russian parliament’s defense committee.
“If the United States threatens our state, it’s good: Here is the Sarmat [Satan-2 missile] for you, and there will be nuclear ashes from you if you think that Russia should not exist,” he added. “And Finland says that it is at one with the USA. Well, get in line.”
In his speech to military school graduates, Putin said his administration was committed to modernizing and strengthening Russia’s armed forces amid “potential military threats and risks.”
“Among the priority areas is equipping the troops with new weapon systems that will determine the combat effectiveness of the army and navy in the years and decades to come,” he said.
Putin also heaped praise on Russian soldiers and officers taking part in what is known in Russia as a “special military operation” in Ukraine, claiming that they were acting “courageously, professionally, like real heroes.”