President Dmitry Medvedev himself was on hand for the recent test firing of two different strategic missiles. Dressed in the army’s new-style leather jacket with a badge identifying him as commander-in-chief, Medvedev watched the firing of a truck-mounted intercontinental Topol missile from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome and vowed to create a new generation of weapons for Russia’s armed forces.
He told the press:
“Not one missile of this class has ever flown so far. We will continue to commission new types of weapons but we will also continue testing the ones we have now. Their effectiveness has been proved by time. Our shield is fine.”
The rocket is designed to pierce anti-missile defense systems, such as those that the United States wants to build in Eastern Europe. The Kremlin has opposed Washington’s plans and Medvedev said that the revival of Russia’s military force will not be impeded by any global or financial turmoil.
The Topol is a highly mobile missile whose original design dates back to the Soviet era. It represents an important component of Russia’s nuclear deterrent. Dubbed the SS-25 Sickle by NATO, the Topol missile has a maximum range of 10,000 kilometers (about 6,214 miles).
The commander of the Strategic Missile Forces, Colonel-General Nikolai Solovtsov told Medvedev:
“This missile and others which will be commissioned in the next few years are capable of effectively providing the nuclear deterrent and ensuring the security of Russia and its allies.”
Medvedev told his countrymen that Russia would not scrimp on its armed forces and said that he would encourage government spending to improve living conditions for its armed forces as well as new weapons systems.
And the rest of the world waits and…holds its breath.