Satellite images: Putin tests “wonder weapon petrel”

According to reports from the German news platform and the German news website ZDF, Russia is apparently on the verge of a planned test of a nuclear cruise missile.

As reported by ntv journalist Rainer Munz, the intercontinental missile Burevestnik undoubtedly represents a significant weapon for Russia. However, it is still unclear “whether it is already functional and whether an atomic drive is indeed present.” The USA is closely monitoring Putin’s “wonder weapon” with concern. Within NATO, it is referred to as “SSC-X-9 Skyfall,” which translates to “storm petrel” in English.

These are nuclear-powered cruise missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. According to a report by the Nuclear Threat Initiative, they are considered a “second-strike weapon” intended to be launched when a wave of nuclear attacks has already destroyed targets in Russia. Burevestniks are highly likely to carry nuclear warheads and have a range of over 20,000 kilometers. Consequently, they could theoretically circumnavigate half the world and hit any location in the USA. In reality, the presumed wonder weapon seems to have failed spectacularly in every attempt so far: According to the Nuclear Threat Initiative, Russia conducted 13 tests between 2017 and 2019, all of which were unsuccessful.

Image:, Vladimir Putin at the site Donguzsky (2015-09-19) 10.jpg, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons (image size changed)

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