Two major Russian tests of nuclear-capable missiles have gone wrong, says Ukrainian military intelligence.
On 1 November Vladimir Putin’s forces ‘conducted an unsuccessful test of the RS-24 Yars intercontinental ballistic missile, which is the main element of the ground-based component of the Russian strategic nuclear forces’.
The missile ‘went off course, as it did during the previous command and control exercises’ on 25 October, says the Ukrainian defence ministry’s main intelligence directorate.
‘Similarly, the test launch of the RSM-56 Bulava ballistic missile from a….missile submarine on 25 October 2023 was unsuccessful, once again proving its insecurity.’
Russia has not previously admitted to any missile test failures – indeed, it said the launches were successful.
Nuclear-capable Russian missiles test fail according to Ukraine
Ukraine’s GUR intelligence agency did not make any claim as to how or where the rocket tests failed but if true this is an embarrassing setback for Moscow.
The claims come as Russia has deployed its giant Sarmat missile system – known in the West as Satan-2 – with troops despite only one full-scale test, says Ukrainian intelligence.
President Putin today visited the Red Square on the National Unity Day in Moscow as he met with the public.
This ‘unstoppable’ 15,880mph intercontinental missile system is the size of a 14-storey tower block.
Satan-2 replaces RS-20 Voyevoda but the Ukrainians claim it ‘lacks any advantages in design, warhead or methods of overcoming missile defences’ and is an ‘unfinished, imperfect’ missile.
Kyiv also claimed that delivery of new Tu-160M2 strategic bombers scheduled for 2023 has been postponed, ‘as the Russians have failed to resume production of a new version of the NK-32 engine.’
Viktor Alksnis, a Soviet military tactician and politician known as the Black Colonel, had earlier suggested the Yars launch in October had failed, as indicated in a video of its smoke trail after launching from Plesetsk cosmodrome.