Russia 'carried out test on Satan II ballistic missile' while Joe Biden was in Ukraine - but it failed

22 February 2023, 07:25 | Updated: 22 February 2023, 09:45

Russia first launched its Sarmat super-heavy, land-based intercontinental ballistic missile in April last year
Russia first launched its Sarmat super-heavy, land-based intercontinental ballistic missile in April last year. Picture: Alamy/Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Russia carried out an intercontinental ballistic missile test while Joe Biden was in Ukraine on Monday, but it failed and was not considered an escalation by the US.

Moscow was warned before Mr Biden arrived in Kyiv that the US President would be there, and was told not to attack the Ukrainian capital during that time.

But around the time Mr Biden was there, Russia carried out a test on an ICBM dubbed Satan II, which is thought to have failed.

The heavy SARMAT missile is capable of delivering multiple nuclear warheads and is believed to have a range of almost 7000 miles.

It is believed Russian President Vladimir Putin would have pointed out the missile test during his State of the Nation Address had it been successful.

Russia's test of SARMAT missile in April
Russia's test of SARMAT missile in April. Picture: Alamy

The weapon was also tested in April, weeks after Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, which Putin announced himself at the time.

One official told CNN the US was warned about the missile test before it took place, while another said it was not viewed as an escalation by the government.

Read More: 'Putin's lust for land and power will fail': Biden issues rallying cry to the West to stand by Ukraine

Read more: Putin accuses the West of releasing 'genie from the bottle' and starting war in Ukraine

During his national address, Putin blamed Western governments for the war in Ukraine, accusing them of ‘letting the genie out of the bottle’ and plunging the world into chaos.

He said Ukraine and the West started the war and Russia was “using force to stop it”.

"Ukraine and Donbas have become a symbol of total lies," Putin said.

Vladimir Putin gave his State of the Nation address yesterday
Vladimir Putin gave his State of the Nation address yesterday. Picture: Getty

He accused the West of withdrawing from "fundamental agreements" and making "hypocritical statements" as well as expanding the Nato defence alliance to cover Russia “with an umbrella”.

In the only major announcement contained in the speech, Putin said he was suspending Russia's participation in a major arms control agreement with the US.

New Start is the last remaining nuclear arms deal between Moscow and Washington, and it was extended for five years in 2021.

Joe Biden rallied support for Ukraine while in Poland yesterday
Joe Biden rallied support for Ukraine while in Poland yesterday. Picture: Getty
Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Picture: Getty

But in his own speech, Mr Biden vowed Putin's "craven lust for land and power will fail" in a fiery keynote address to mark the first anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Mr Biden reminded crowds that "NATO is more united and unifed than ever before" however much Putin tries to divide the alliance.

Read More: Putin accuses the West of releasing 'genie from the bottle' and starting war in Ukraine

He insisted that Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia, adding: "Kyiv stands strong, stands proud and stands tall. And most important, it stands free."

Mr Biden also dismissed Putin's claim made earlier at his state of the union address that Ukraine and the West started the war, saying:

“The West is not plotting to attack Russia, as Putin said today." He added that the millions of Russian citizens who desire only to live in peace with their neighbours "are not the enemy.”

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