What is the Russian Topol Missile?
The Topol is a single-warhead intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) designed for delivering nuclear warheads. The development of the weapon began back in 1977, and it has been part of the Russian arsenal since the days of the Cold War when spies sometimes came in from the cold. Topol missiles are differentiated from others by the fact that they have a far greater range and velocity. In other words, it would be the Topol missile that would carry the greatest destructive force in case of nuclear war.
What is the motivation behind Russia’s launch of the Topol Missile?
According to news sources, Russia’s long-range Topol Missile is specifically designed to avoid detection by anti-missile defense systems. It successfully covered the distance of almost 6,000 kilometers and hit a hypothetical target on the Kamchatka Peninsula (located in Russia’s Far East). Colonel Alexander Vovk of the Strategic Rocket Forces said of the launch:
"The launch was to test the missile’s ability to avoid ground-based detection systems. The missile hit its target with high precision, demonstrating its capability to deliver pinpoint strikes on well-defended targets.”
What does this mean for Georgia?
Coming so soon after Georgia’s attempt to re-establish authority over South Ossetia, a Moscow-backed rebel region on the Russian border, this clear display of military might can only raise tensions already on the verge of being too hot to handle. The deal signed formally last week by Washington and Warsaw to station elements of a U.S. missile-defense shield in Poland, has aggravated Russian-Western tensions already raw from the Georgia conflict.
Some may well like it hot, but others just wish this whole thing would just blow away .
Not literally, of course!