A new revelation has emerged from Russia that could shake the pillars of global security. Satellite images suggest that Russia might be testing a nuclear-tipped cruise missile. These startling findings come amidst escalating geopolitical tensions, painting a grim picture of a world on the brink of a potential nuclear crisis.
From the cold, remote north of Russia, ominous signs are emerging that Moscow is potentially working on a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead beyond its borders. The New York Times’ analysis of satellite imagery and aviation data from the area suggests that Russia is once again running tests on the missile known as Burevestnik or SSC-X-9 Skyfall.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of this terrifying weapon. Russian President Vladimir Putin had publicly announced the development of the missile and four other rockets back in 2018. From 2017 to 2019, Russia tested the nuclear-powered missile, but all attempts ended in failure. One failed test even resulted in the tragic death of seven people.
The Burevestnik is not just another missile. It’s a nuclear-powered, nuclear-tipped subsonic cruise missile designed to have an astonishing range of about 23,000 km (14,000 mi). The Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) calls the weapon a “second-strike, strategic-range weapon” that no other nation has deployed.
Recent activity around a known missile base in northern Russia has raised alarm bells. Satellite images captured a truck and trailer with dimensions similar to the missile and a moveable shelter revealing and covering the launch site again. This increased activity hasn’t gone unnoticed by the U.S. Air Force, which has ramped up its surveillance of the area.
The Burevestnik would likely fall under regulation by the U.S.-Russia New START treaty aimed at curbing nuclear proliferation between the two superpowers. However, Moscow has already been accused of violating the treaty numerous times.
The escalating threat of Russia’s nuclear arsenal is a grave concern for experts, especially in light of the war in Ukraine. Some analysts suggest forcing Ukraine into a settlement with Russia to avoid the possibility of Moscow using nuclear weapons on the battlefield.
The reality of Russia’s nuclear threat was acknowledged by Joe Biden in June, calling it “real.” With these new developments, the world watches with bated breath as the nuclear drama unfolds. One thing is clear – the specter of a nuclear-armed Russia is a terrifying prospect that the world must confront.