Big show of strategic strength….Floods internet with news, photos of the activity…..
by Christopher Boian
MOSCOW, (AFP) – Russia fired three long-range missiles and pronounced its nuclear deterrent strong in an extraordinary show of force experts said had not been seen anywhere since the days of the Cold War.
A Cold War era “Soviet” ICBM road-mobile launching system leaves Red Square in Moscow after a parade….
Two of the missiles were fired Sunday from nuclear submarines in the Asian and European extremes of the sprawling country while a third was watched by President Dmitry Medvedev on land in northwest Russia, news agencies reported.
It was the second Russian intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test in as many days and the latest in a series of high-profile military exercises of conventional land, sea and air forces as well as strategic nuclear units.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, left, speaks with Col. Gen. Nikolai Solovtsov, the commander of Russia’s strategic missile forces, as they stand in front of a transporter with a mobile version of Topol intercontinental ballistic missile before it’s launch at the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northern Russia, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2008. Medvedev watched a missile soar from Russia’s rain-soaked northern forests toward a target thousands of kilometers away on Sunday, capping a weekend of launches reminding audiences at home and abroad about the country’s nuclear might.(AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Dmitry Astakhov, Presidential Press Service)
“This shows that our deterrent is in order,” Medvedev was quoted by RIA Novosti news agency as saying after Sunday’s missile launches.
“We will of course be introducing new types of forces and means into the military,” he added, without elaborating.
Independent military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer said the exercises reflected Russia’s determination to prepare for major military conflict.
“This was a dry run for a war with the United States,” Felgenhauer said of the missile launches, part of major military manoeuvres billed “Stability 2008” involving all military branches.
“These are the biggest strategic war games in more than 20 years. They are on a parellel with those held in the first half of the 1980s. Nothing of the sort has been seen either in Russia or the United States since then,” he said.
Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev (R) and Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov (L) visit Plesetsk cosmodrome in northern Russia, October 11, 2008. Russia fired a long-range Topol missile from Plesetsk on Sunday. Before the launch, President Medvedev personally inspected the RS-12M Topol, also called the SS-25 Sickle by NATO. Picture taken October 11, 2008.REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/Dmitry Astakhov (RUSSIA)
Russian navy spokesman Igor Dygalo confirmed the near-simultaneous ICBM test-launches from submarines in the Sea of Okhotsk north of Japan and the Barents Sea northeast of Norway, saying they had been planned well in advance.
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A Russian warship bound for Venezuela, docked at the Libyan port of Tripoli. Russia test-fired three long-range missiles and pronounced its nuclear deterrent strong in a show of force that experts said had not been seen the days of the Cold War.(AFP/Mahmud Turkia)