Published On: Sun, Aug 11th, 2019

Russia radiation spike ‘caused by test of Putin’s new missile dubbed Flying Chernobyl’ | World | News

Vladimir Putin revealed the lethal weapon’s existence last year in a speech to senators. The accident near Severodvink last week led to a radiation ‘spike’, according to the civilian authorities, but Moscow has been criticised for not releasing a full explanation of the incident. One theory advanced in the Russian media was that a new-generation Zircon hypersonic missile test was involved.

But now respected analyst Yulia Latynina has claimed the weapon that exploded was another ultra-modern missile, the Burevestnik, the existence of which was revealed by the Kremlin leader last year.

Putin described it as having an “unlimited range and a nuclear engine”, which fits the sparse information released in the wake of the accident even though Russian officials have not named the precise missile involved.

“It is highly likely that this is the one that exploded,” Latynina, a respected columnist, author and radio host, wrote in investigative newspaper Novaya Gazeta. She dubbed the missile a “small flying Chernobyl”.

“If it was the Burevestnik, then the inner parts of its nuclear reactor – or, most likely, the liquid flowing there – ended up outside,” she wrote.

This was “just like the inner parts of the Chernobyl reactor which were thrown around the station’s territory by the explosion.”

US arms control expert Jeffrey Lewis has also surmised that the blast was linked to Burevestnik tests.

Russia’s atomic agency Rosatom has revealed that a rocket engine test was underway and the accident involved “isotope power sources”.

Separately, it has emerged that at least two corpses of top secret nuclear workers were blown into the sea by the force of the blast in the waters of Nenoksa missile testing range.

Three more bodies were recovered and will be buried tomorrow (MON).

It is believed six injured scientists were moved to Moscow in ambulances with radiation protection.

JUST IN: What is Putin hiding? Nuclear accident prompts emergency lockdown

The new Russian weaponry threatens nuclear contamination, according to reports.

“It goes without saying that if you fire a missile with a nuclear engine or energy source, that nuclear material will end up wherever that missile ends up,” said Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists.

“If this missile was lost at sea and recovered in full, then you might hypothetically be able to do it without pollution, I would have my doubts about that because it’s a very forceful impact when the missile crashes. I would suspect you would have leaks from it.”

The missile is designed to use a conventional engine for takeoff, switching to a nuclear powered power source for flight – hence its theoretical ability to be in the air for days.

Putin boasted in a state of the nation speech in 2018 that the missile was capable of delivering a warhead to any point in the world – evading missile defence systems.

Latynina criticised the whole concept of such a weapon.

“The USSR did not make a nuclear missile with a direct flow nuclear engine not because it did lacked the brainpower but due to the concept of a Flying Chernobyl seeming too dangerous,” she said.

The Soviet military produced “numerous unsuccessful projects which were not implemented due to the military absurdity”.

Now the Kremlin “is taking those dangerous projects out of mothballs and presents them as the newest achievements of the Russian military kleptocracy.”

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