Putin confirms 'successful' test of mystery new missile ‘designed to blast US space weapons to bits’

VLADIMIR Putin has staged a "successful" test of a mystery new anti-ballistic missile that could "blast US space weapons to smithereens".

It comes as the Russian president aims to use his firepower to restore the country's tsarist empire, the Polish defence minister Mariusz Blaszczak claims.

Moscow confirmed the "successful" missile check as it continues to flag its military prowess – despite announcing a partial troop pullback from areas bordering Ukraine. 

Russia also highlighted training for a “storm of steel” by artillery forces in Saratov region. 

Despite the announced retreat of some forces from annexed Crimea, Poland’s defence minister claimed Putin’s target was to reassemble the sprawling Russian empire. 

”Undoubtedly, the policy of President Putin is aimed at the reconstruction of the Russian empire,” Blaszczak told Polish Radio 24.

Recent pressure on Ukraine combined with the annexation of Crimea in 2014, hostilities in Georgia in 2008, indicated this trend, he claimed, suggesting that the Kremlin leader was eyeing a takeover in four NATO countries including Poland. Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

Like Ukraine, all were part of the Russian empire.

He quoted late Polish president Lech Kaczynski warning “first Georgia, then Ukraine, then the Baltic states, then perhaps Poland”.

The defence minister said NATO including the presence of British troops was vital to Polish security against the perceived Russian threat.

”There are allied forces on NATO's eastern flank,” he said.

“There are American troops in Poland, there are British troops, there are Romanian and Croatian troops, we are present in Latvia, we are present in Romania.

“We show that we are close, prepared and in solidarity with each other. 

“In this way, we deter a potential aggressor.”

He said: “We anticipate such activities through our activity within the North Atlantic Alliance, through our activity on missions, through modernising and equipping the Polish Army and by increasing manpower.”

A video highlighted the launch of the unnamed new weapon at Sary Shagan test site in Kazakhstan.

Major General Sergei Grabchuk, commander of the anti-missile defence unit of the Aerospace Forces, told Russian journalists that the anti-ballistic missile accurately hit its target. 

The system is designed to protect against attacks from aerospace attack weapons, reported TV Zvezda, the Russian Defence Ministry’s channel. 

The West is monitoring Russia’s troops pull out – announced last week – is underway but there was a strong weekend warning from the head of MI6 Richard Moore that concerns remain over Putin’s intentions in Ukraine. 

He said: "The Russians are in absolutely no doubt of where the UK stands on this issue. 

“And they are in absolutely no doubt of where the Biden administration stands on this issue, because channels are open.”

More footage on TV Zvezda highlighted the 631st Artillery Warfare Training Centre in Saratov region, a military academy where young officers were put through their paces in “storm of steel” drills deploying Khrizantema, Kornet-E, Vikhr and Tornado-G anti-tank missiles and Msta-S mortar launchers, according to Head of Missile Forces and Artillery, Lt. Gen. Mikhail Matveyevsky.

The 631th Saratov centre is paired with the 60th Znamensk Centre in Astrakhan region, which specialises in training for the Smerch, Tornado-S and Iskander missile systems, said the report. 

The forces were shown using the Korsar (Corsair) military drones –  equipped with optical and infra-red cameras  and lasers – for reconnaissance.

“Our cadets spend 80 per cent of their study time in the field,” said Matveyevsky.

It comes after Russia enraged the west and raised the threat of a space war by test-firing a weapon designed to knock out enemy satellites last summer.

US Space Command (USSC) said it had "evidence that Russia conducted a non-destructive test of a space-based anti-satellite weapon" in July.

This was the first time the Americans publicly accused the Kremlin of carrying out an anti-satellite weapons test in space.

It said that on July 15, an object was fired at speeds of 400mph into space from a spacecraft, Cosmos 2543, which itself was described as having "birthed" — like a Russian doll — from its mother satellite, Cosmos 2542.

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