Russian Federation test-launches new 'Satan 2' ballistic missile

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The launch of the Sarmat missile system at a spaceport in western Russian Federation on Friday comes as tensions between the nation and the West reach levels not seen since the Cold War.

The Voevoda missile, the world's heaviest ICBM, is known as "Satan" in the West, The Associated Press reported Friday.

The short video said the missile - nicknamed "Satan 2" - was launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russian Federation.

The RS-28 Sarmat is said to be capable of carrying up to 10 or 15 nuclear warheads and flying at supersonic speed.

According to Russian state-run news agency Sputnik, the launch marked the second time the missile had been successfully fired.

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The missile was one of several advanced Russian weapons President Vladimir Putin promoted in his state-of-the-nation address in early March.

The missile test comes as Russia seeks to explain the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy on British soil earlier this month with a Soviet-linked nerve agent that has resulted in a near-complete breakdown of relations between the United Kingdom and Russia, while the USA has firmly supported the U.K.'s response.

Shortly after last week's call, Trump defended his decision to congratulate Putin from critics who have accused the longtime Russian leader of undermining democracy at home and overseas.

The Kremlin said in a statement at the time that the two leaders discussed crises in Syria and Ukraine and "spoke in favor of developing practical cooperation in various areas, including efforts to ensure strategic stability and combat worldwide terrorism, with particular emphasis on the importance of coordinated efforts to curb an arms race".

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said 60 U.S. diplomats would be expelled and the U.S. consulate in St. Petersburg would be closed in a quid pro quo response to the sanctions imposed by the Trump administration and the expulsion of Russian diplomats in the U.S. The Russian consulate in Seattle was also a target for shuttering by the U.S.

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