US officials suspect a mysterious explosion in Russia that killed seven people on August 8 was due to testing Moscow’s new generation nuclear missile. US intelligence officials are rushing to investigate the mysterious explosion over the weekend that spread radioactivity off the north of Russia.
Many people suspect the incident is the result of testing a kind of nuclear-powered cruise missile. This weapon was praised by Russian President Vladimir Putin as the main piece in the arms race with the United States. At least 7 people were killed, including 5 scientists, in the August 8 explosion. Many consider this to be the most serious nuclear incident since the Chernobyl disaster, though it seems much smaller.
US officials have yet to speak publicly about the August 8 explosion. However, according to the New York Times, the Russian government’s slow and mysterious reaction caused many cities and towns around the explosion area to become increasingly worried. This also attracted the curiosity of analysts in Washington and Europe. They say the explosion will reveal technical weaknesses in Moscow’s new weapons program.
The August 8 explosion occurred at the test site of the Nenoska missile far from the mainland. The initial announcement of the Russian military said it was a solid-fuel rocket engine explosion being tested, and confirmed that the radiation level was normal.
This contradicts information from Severodvinsk city officials, about 40 km from the explosion site. An official in charge of civil defense warns two atmospheric radiation measuring machines to record the spike index. Russian media later stated that the radiation level increased by 200 times normal. The moment the notice was removed from the Severodvinsk city portals, the locals rushed to buy iodine to prevent contamination.
The new generation cruise missile with the official name in Russia is Burevestnik 9M370. President Putin once affirmed that he could shoot to every corner of the world. Running on a small nuclear reactor, missiles go beyond the normal range of other fuel-powered missiles.
Putin’s 9M370 missile introduced in a 2018 federal message with a spectacular video is part of a new generation of Russian-designed weapons designed to avoid the US missile defense system. In recent reports from the Pentagon and the US government, the prospect of missile-powered cruise missiles has been seen as a new threat to national security.