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Thinly veiled message to NATO: Vladimir Putin announces hypersonic ICBM testing

Hypersonic weapon system capable of Mach 20 already deployed in Russia, system cannot be stopped by any known anti-aircraft or anti-missile system, this one of five radically advanced weapons systems announced by Russian President

Seraphim Hanisch

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President Vladimir Putin gave his countrymen and the listening West a very tough talk today. During his yearly “State of the Russian Federation” speech, modeled roughly after the United States’ own “State of the Union” address, President Putin announced the deployment of six extremely advanced weapons systems and technologies.

One is a hypersonic, in-atmosphere device that can fly at Mach 20 and steer itself to evade radar and detection systems. Called the Avangard, this system was said by President Putin to already be in production and deployed. Here is a video showing the characteristics of this system. Captions are not automatic so turn them on in the video settings to see the translation in English. We have provided a brief synopsis taken from the translation of President Putin’s own words:

This system is characterized by the ability to fly in dense layers of the atmosphere at hypersonic speed to intercontinental distances and range, at speeds in excess of Mach 20. It’s ability to maneuver in flight make it absolutely invulnerable to any means of anti-aircraft or anti-missile systems, and its use of new composite materials which have been developed have solved the problem of long term flight control in the conditions of being in plasma [due to the high atmospheric speeds]. It goes to its target as though it were a meteorite, with a surface temperature ranging from 1600 to 2000 degrees Celsius.

“For obvious reasons, we cannot today show the true appearance of this system, but I want to assure you that all of this is in stock and it works very well.”

This alone is a massive development, unknown in the West.  While a few things about this system remain unclear, such as how the projectile is powered, and what kind of warhead it carries or if it is being used as a kinetic weapon (like a meteorite), this is not where the President stopped. In fact, the next system he announced was probably a revelation of how Avangard is kept flying at Mach 20.

An extremely compelling statement Mr. Putin made is about the Russians’ development of a nuclear reactor small enough to provide propulsion for a cruise missile. This gives the missile virtually unlimited range, and allows it to steer around any detection networks on its way to the target. By unlimited he really means it, too, as an onboard nuclear reactor can provide power for a a very long time. This video shows the concept:

As one can hear from the sound accompanying the video, this innovation was well-received by the Russian Parliament and the guests who were present.

The development of such a reactor was started by the United States in the 1960’s, as Project Pluto, but it was abandoned because chemically-propelled missiles were more viable at that time. Russia, with this system, is reporting a breakthrough.

This news was a shock because there was no information or hint that the Russian Federation was developing such a system.

The third major piece of news concerned the new Sarmat, or RS-28 ICBM (codenamed Satan-2 by the West). This missile and its development has been known of in the West for some time, but in President Putin’s discussion and video, he showed that this system is very long-range, and is able to approach any target around the world from any direction. In the case of the United States, most antiballistic missile systems are stationed in Alaska and the north, because the distance from Russian silos to American targets is shorter that way. Sarmat puts its payload into low earth orbit, and this allows the warheads to come from any direction at all. Here was the clip for this system:

Although most of the imagery shown of the “Earth” in this video is a fictionalized surface, the last few seconds show the warheads approaching the Florida peninsula.

There were two more announcements, both related to the nuclear propulsion technology. One was a Mach-10 hypersonic nuclear missile system called the Kinzhai (Dagger), and the other was an unmanned submersible vehicle that can “move at extreme depths, intercontinentally, at a speed multiple times higher than the speed of submarines, cutting edge torpedoes and all kind of surface vessels…” and this vehicle is powered by the new innovative nuclear power unit that is 1/100th as large as the units that power present-day subs. As a drone, this vehicle can deliver a superweapon capable of creating a massive tsunami, according to reports.

All in all, this news was huge.

Now, no doubt the mainstream media and some politicians in the West will start crying “aggressor!” about this. But is this really the case?

Patriarch Kirill I, Dmitry Medvedev and his wife, Svetlana, and others listen to President Putin’s address to the Federal Assembly March 1, 2018.

This depends on who one asks of course, but consider this point: The US and NATO have been decrying Russia as an “aggressor nation” since at least 2014 when the strife in Ukraine began. However that strife was fueled by the Americans, such as Senator John McCain who with others tempted the Kyiv government to try to follow the allure of the West and maybe even join NATO, which is untenable for Russia, since Ukraine borders Russia directly, and further since there had been a promise that NATO would not expand in this way.

It happened, and it was not Russia that did the expansion move, and that is a fact. The second matter concerns increasing NATO pressure all along the frontier of the former Soviet Union, where to all appearances, NATO is apparently fencing Russia off from the world with all manner of weapons and missiles. To put it succinctly, Russia is being treated as an aggressor nation, which it is not, and as time has gone by the US has backed out of agreement after agreement. Today’s statements by Putin were in response to this, noting particularly that the United States backed out of the Antiballistic Missile Treaty in the year 2000. Although Russia repeatedly tried to re-engage with the West, for most part, Putin said, these attempts were unsuccesful. In the absence of agreements to work together, and with the repeated occurrences of the West reneging on their promises, Russia felt the need to develop its defense systems.

And here we are.

While it was very clear in the speech that President Putin means no aggression towards the United States, it was also very clear that the situation has become untenable without this response being made. Russia is resurgent as a great power, and as such she has the right to be heard and respected as a great power. It would seem that the United States and NATO, in the rush to seize and maintain hegemony, has committed a gross miscalculation and this is going to be something we likely hear a lot of talk about in the coming weeks and months. It remains to be seen if the US is going to admit that their tack on this matter needs to change. I would not look for any obvious signs of it, though. Pride is a big investment in the American foreign policy culture, and this news is going to sting that pride no matter which way the foreign policy decisions go.

Let us pray that the wisdom to do what is right is what wins the day for both our nations, and the world.

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Vladimir Putin calls new Ukrainian church ‘dangerous politicking’

President Putin said creation of the “Orthodox Church in Ukraine” is against Church canon and that the West drove Constantinople to do it.

Seraphim Hanisch

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In an interview with the Serbian newspapers Politika and Vecernje Novosti ahead of his visit to Serbia, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted the creation of the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine”, a schismatic agglomeration headed by Ukrainian ultra-nationalists was “dangerous politicking.” He further noted that:

The establishment of the new religious entity in Ukraine is nothing but an attempt “to legalize the schismatic communities that exist in Ukraine under the jurisdiction of Istanbul, which is a major violation of Orthodox canons.”

“Yet, hardly anyone in the U.S. or in the Ukrainian leadership worries about this,” Putin said.

“Once again, this has nothing to do with spiritual life; we are dealing here with dangerous and irresponsible politicking,” he said.

President Putin had more things to say in the interview, and we present what he said in full here (emphasis ours), as reported on the Kremlin.ru website:

Question: The Serbian Orthodox Church has taken the side of the Russian Orthodox Church in the context of the ecclesiastical crisis in Ukraine. At the same time, a number of countries are exerting pressure on Patriarch Bartholomew and seek to ensure recognition of Ukrainian ”schismatics“ by Local Orthodox Churches. How do you think the situation will evolve?

Vladimir Putin: I would like to remind your readers, who are greatly concerned about the information regarding the split in the Orthodox community but are probably not fully aware of the situation in Ukraine, what it is all about.

On December 15, 2018, the Ukrainian leaders, actively supported by the USA and the Constantinople Patriarchate, held a so-called “unifying synod”. This synod declared the creation of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, with Patriarch Bartholomew signing the tomos (decree) granting it autocephaly on January 6, 2019. Thus, it was attempted to legalize the schismatic communities that exist in Ukraine under the jurisdiction of Istanbul, which is a major violation of Orthodox canons.

Yet, hardly anyone in the US or in the Ukrainian leadership worries about this, as the new church entity is an entirely political, secular project. Its main aim is to divide the peoples of Russia and Ukraine, sowing seeds of ethnic as well as religious discord. No wonder Kiev has already declared ”obtaining complete independence from Moscow.”

Once again, this has nothing to do with spiritual life; we are dealing here with dangerous and irresponsible politicking. Likewise, we do not speak about the independence of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. It is de-facto fully controlled by Istanbul. Whereas Ukraine’s largest canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which has never requested autocephaly from Patriarch Bartholomew, is absolutely independent in its actions. Its connection with the Russian Orthodox Church is purely canonical – but even this causes undisguised irritation of the current Kiev regime.

Because of this, clergymen and laymen of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church are being persecuted and deprived of churches and monasteries, and attempts are made to deny the Church its legitimate name, which raises tensions and only leads to further discord in Ukrainian society.

Evidently, Ukraine’s leaders have to understand that any attempts to force the faithful into a different church are fraught with grave consequences. Yet, they are eager to put interconfessional concord in the country at stake in order to conduct the election campaign of the current Ukrainian President based on a search for enemies, and to retain power by all means.

All of this does not go unnoticed by Orthodox Christians.

Naturally, Russia does not intend to interfere in ecclesiastical processes, especially those happening on the territory of a neighboring sovereign state. However, we are aware of the danger posed by such experiments and blatant interference of the state in religious affairs.

The situation continues to degrade in Ukraine, and though the Orthodox faithful of the Autonomous but Moscow-based Ukrainian Orthodox Church are the hardest hit, worry over Ukrainian lawlessless-made-law has the Jewish community in that country nervous as well. This is perhaps to be expected as the Azov Brigade, a neo-Nazi aligned group that is hypernationalist, is a good representation of the character of the “hate Russia at all costs” Ukrainian nationalists. A parallel piece in Interfax made note of this in a piece dated January 17th 2019:

[A] bill passed by the Verkhovna Rada introducing a procedure by which parishes can join the new Ukrainian church makes it easier to seize places of worship, and supporters of autocephaly have already started doing this across the country, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church said.

“They need this law to seize our churches. You can’t just come with a crowbar to someone else’s barn, but now the law allows you to do so. They aren’t creating something of their own, but are trying to steal what’s ours,” Ukrainian Orthodox Church spokesperson Vasyl Anisimov told Interfax on Thursday.

The religious entity set up in December with Constantinople’s involvement and called the Orthodox Church of Ukraine “in fact doesn’t yet exist in nature. It’s fake. It doesn’t have any parishes of its own or government registration,” he said.

However, “the supporters of autocephaly don’t have plans to create anything of their own at all, so they have chosen the path of takeover, and the authorities are helping them in that,” Anisimov said.

“Hence, the legislation passed by the Verkhovna Rada today is in fact absolute lawlessness,” he said.

“If you pass legislation affecting an industry, you should talk to industrialists, and if it’s legislation on the agricultural sector, talk to farmers. And here legislation on a church is passed, and moreover, this legislation is aimed against this church, it is protesting, and Jews are protesting, too, because this legislation may affect them as well – but nobody is listening, and they change the law for the sake of an absolutely absurd and unconstitutional gimmick. But, of course, it’s the people who will ultimately suffer,” Anisimov said.

 

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May survives ‘no confidence’ vote as UK moves towards March 29 deadline or Article 50 extension (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 168.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the ‘no confidence’ vote that UK Prime Minister May won with the a slim margin…meaning that though few MPs have confidence in her ‘Brexit withdrawal’ negotiating skills, they appear to have no problem allowing May to lead the country towards its Brexit deadline in March, which coincidently may be delayed and eventually scrapped altogether.

Meanwhile Tony Blair is cozying up to Brussels’ oligarchs, working his evil magic to derail the will of the British people, and keep the integrationist ambitions for the UK and Europe on track.

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Via RT


The UK government led by Theresa May, has survived to fight another day, after winning a no-confidence vote, tabled by Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, following parliament rejecting the PM’s Brexit deal, earlier on Tuesday evening.

The no-confidence vote was defeated by 19 votes – the government winning by 325 to 306. It’s a rare positive note for May’s Tory cabinet after the humiliating Brexit defeat.

Speaking immediately after the vote, a victorious May said she was “pleased” that the House expressed its confidence in her government. May said she will “continue to work” to deliver on the result of the Brexit referendum and leave the EU.

May invited the leaders of parliamentary parties to meet with her individually, beginning on Wednesday evening.

“I stand ready to work with any member of this House to deliver on Brexit,” she said.

Responding to the vote, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said that the House had “emphatically” rejected May’s deal on Tuesday. The government, he said, must now remove “clearly once and for all the prospect of the catastrophe of a no-deal Brexit from the EU and all the chaos that would result from that.”

Labour will now have to consider what move to make next. Their official Brexit policy, decided by members at conference in September, states that if a general election cannot be forced, then all options should be left on the table, including calling for a second referendum.

Liberal Democrats MP Ed Davey also called on May to rule out a no deal Brexit.

The way forward for Brexit is not yet clear and May’s options are now limited, given that the Brexit deal she was offering was voted down so dramatically on Tuesday.

Gavin Barrett, a professor at the UCD Sutherland School of Law in Dublin, told RT that May will now have to decide if her second preference is a no-deal Brexit or a second referendum. Her preference will likely be a no-deal Brexit, Barrett said, adding that “since no other option commands a majority in the House” a no-deal exit is now “the default option.”

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Final Steps in Syria’s Successful Struggle for Peace and Sovereignty

The war of aggression against Syria is winding up, and this can be observed by the opening of a series of new embassies in Damascus.

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


The situation in Syria evolves daily and sees two situations very closely linked to each other, with the US withdrawal from Syria and the consequent expansionist ambitions of Erdogan in Syria and the Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) takeover in Idlib that frees the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Russian aviation to liberate the de-escalation zone.

Trump has promised to destroy Turkey economically if he attacks the Kurds, reinforcing his claim that Erdogan will not target the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) once the US withdraws from the area. One of the strongest accusations made against Trump’s withdrawal by his opponents is that no Middle Eastern force will ever trust the US again if they abandon the SDF to its fate, that is, to its annihilation at the hands of the Turkish army and its FSA proxies. This, however, is not possible; not so much because of Trump’s economic threats, but because of Damascus and Moscow being strongly opposed to any Turkish military action in the northeast of Syria.

This is a red line drawn by Putin and Assad, and the Turkish president likely understands the consequences of any wrong moves. It is no coincidence that he stated several times that he had no problems with the “Syrians or Syrian-Kurdish brothers”, and repeated that if the area under the SDF were to come under the control of Damascus, Turkey would have no need to intervene in Syria. Trump’s request that Ankara have a buffer zone of 20 kilometers separating the Kurdish and Turkish forces seems to complement the desire of Damascus and Moscow to avoid a clash between the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and the SDF.

The only party that seems to be secretly encouraging a clash between the SDF and Turkish forces is Israel, criticizing Ankara and singing the praises of the SDF, in order to try and accentuate the tensions between the two sides, though naturally without success. Israel’s continued raids in Syria, though almost constantly failing due to Syrian air defense, and the divide-and-rule policy used against Turkey and the SDF, show that Tel Aviv is now weakened and mostly irrelevant in the Syrian conflict.

In Idlib, the situation seems to be becoming less complicated and difficult to decipher. Russia, Iran and Syria had asked Erdogan to take control of the province through its “moderate jihadists”, sit down at the negotiating table, and resolve the matter through a diplomatic solution. Exactly the opposite happened. The HTS (formerly al-Nusra/al-Qaeda in Syria) has in recent weeks conquered practically the whole province of Idlib, with numerous forces linked to Turkey (Ahrar al-Sham and Nour al-Din al-Zenki) dissolving and merging into HTS. This development puts even more pressure on Erdogan, who is likely to see his influence in Idlib fade away permanently. Moreover, this evolution represents a unique opportunity for Damascus and Moscow to start operations in Idlib with the genuine justification of combating terrorism. It is a repeat of what happened in other de-escalation areas. Moscow and Damascus have repeatedly requested the moderates be separated from the terrorists, so as to approach the situation with a diplomatic negotiation.

In the absence of an effective division of combatants, all are considered terrorists, with the military option replacing the diplomatic. This remains the only feasible option to free the area from terrorists who are not willing to give back territory to the legitimate government in Damascus and are keeping civilians hostages. The Idlib province seems to have experienced the same playbook applied in other de-escalation zones, this time with a clear contrast between Turkey and Saudi Arabia that shows how the struggle between the two countries is much deeper than it appears. The reasons behind the Khashoggi case and the diplomatic confrontation between Qatar and Saudi Arabia were laid bare in the actions of the HTS in Idlib, which has taken control of all the areas previously held by Ankara’s proxies.

It remains to be seen whether Moscow and Damascus would like to encourage Erdogan to recover Idlib through its proxies, trying to encourage jihadists to fight each other as much as possible in order to lighten the task of the SAA, or whether they would prefer to press the advantage themselves and attack while the terrorist front is experiencing internal confusion.

In terms of occupied territory and accounts to be settled, two areas of great importance for the future of Syria remain unresolved, namely al-Tanf, occupied by US forces on the Syrian-Jordanian border, and the area in the north of Syria occupied by Turkish forces and their FSA proxies. It is too early to approach a solution militarily, it being easier for Damascus and Moscow to complete the work to free Syria from the remaining terrorists. Once this has been done, the presence of US or Turkish forces in Syria, whether directly or indirectly, would become all the more difficult to justify. Driving away the US and, above all, Turkey from Syrian territory will be the natural next step in the Syrian conflict.

This is an unequivocal sign that the war of aggression against Syria is winding up, and this can be observed by the opening of a series of new embassies in Damascus. Several countries — including Italy in the near future — will reopen their embassies in Syria to demonstrate that the war, even if not completely over, is effectively won by Damascus and her allies.

For this reason, several countries that were previously opposed to Damascus, like the United Arab Emirates, are understood to have some kind of contact with the government of Damascus. If they intend to become involved in the reconstruction process and any future investment, they will quite naturally need to re-establish diplomatic relations with Damascus. The Arab League is also looking to welcome Syria back into the fold.

Such are signs that Syria is returning to normality, without forgetting which and how many countries have conspired and acted directly against the Syrians for over seven years. An invitation to the Arab League or some embassy being reopened will not be enough to compensate for the damage done over years, but Assad does not preclude any option, and is in the meantime demonstrating to the Israelis, Saudis and the US Deep State that their war has failed and that even their most loyal allies are resuming diplomatic relations with Damascus, a double whammy against the neocons, Wahhabis and Zionists.

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