Published On: Wed, Oct 16th, 2019

Russia holds US military after super-nuke blast spews radiation 1,000 times lethal dose | World | News

The exploded Burevestnik missile was a next-generation prototype weapon which is both nuclear-powered and nuclear-tipped and capable of staying aloft indefinitely and probing enemy defences before striking. The malfunction and subsequent blast caused the death of five scientists and today three US military attaches were held in Russia on a train close to the remote town where a missile test took place. The trio were named as US Embassy Navy Attache First Rank Captain William Whitsitt Curtis, US Embassy Attache Gerry Arriola Anthony and US Embassy Attache Colonel DS Dann. The Burevestnik missile – which is referred to by NATO as SSC-X-9 Skyfall – is regarded as a doomsday weapon. 

They were detained two days ago on a train en route from Nyonoksa to Severodvisnk, according to REN TV. 

They were accused of violating the rules of their stay in Russia which forbids travel to restricted zones without prior permission. 

A report today said the three had been later released after a document check – preventing a major diplomatic incident.

It was unclear how long they were held. 

“While in Severodvinsk, access to which is restricted for foreign nationals, they were unable to produce documents necessary for visiting the city,” said the REN TV report.

Other reports suggested they were held in Severodvinsk.

An earlier US intelligence assessment found that the explosion on August 8 in the sea off Nyonoksa came during a recovery mission to salvage a lost Burevestnik  missile from the beneath the surface. 

This nuclear-powered missile – capable of flying for days on end as it probes weaknesses in Western defences – is reported to be ready to go to war by 2025. 

Last week U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Thomas G. DiNanno told a United Nations committee: “The United States has determined that the explosion was the result of a nuclear reaction that occurred during the recovery of a Russian nuclear-powered cruise missile.”

He went on: “The missile remained on the bed of the White Sea since its failed test early last year, in close proximity to a major population centre.”

There were earlier disputes over whether the Burevestnik or another weapon was involved in what went wrong in the White Sea which local officials said had caused a radiation spike.

Pictures revealed the sea platforms or pontoons involved in the  explosion after which Moscow was accused of a Chernobyl-style cover-up. 

One appears to be seriously damaged. 

One victim reportedly suffered a radiation dose “one thousand times higher than lethal”.

At least five were killed in the explosion.

All were involved in Russian missile testing.

Russian officials later said the Nyionoksa area was safe and uncontaminated.

This contradicted a stark warning to locals from a military figure in the aftermath of the nuclear accident. 

He warned villagers not to go to the site where the pontoons are washed up. 

“Those (radioactive) elements may still be there, in the sea,” he said.

“The sea may throw out on the shore those things on the pontoons that were destroyed…

“Some people are already planning to visit this place, to share all this.

So I would like to warn you – you should not do this, because it can lead to problems that you are afraid of…

“Horrors would follow.

“This is what I am warning you about.”

He also told villagers who live close to the testing site that one pontoon had exploded from underneath…

“They were killed because the pontoon was lifted up into the air.

“And those on the pontoon got dreadful injuries.”

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