Putin: New Russian weapons decades ahead of foreign rivals

231

MOSCOW | Russian President Vladimir Putin is boasting about his country’s prospective nuclear weapons, saying they are years and even decades ahead of foreign designs.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov attend talks with U.S. National security adviser John Bolton at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 27, 2018. U.S. President Donald Trump’s national security adviser is due in Moscow Wednesday to lay the groundwork for a possible U.S.-Russia summit. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)

Speaking Thursday before the graduates of Russian military academies in the Kremlin, Putin said the new weapons represent a quantum leap in the nation’s military capability. He said Russia has achieved a “real breakthrough” in designing new weapons.

The Russian leader singled out the new Avangard hypersonic vehicle and the new Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, which are set to enter service in the next few years. Putin also mentioned the Kinzhal hypersonic missile that has already been put on duty with the units of Russia’s Southern Military District.

Those systems were among an array of new nuclear weapons Putin presented in March amid tensions with the West.