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Sun Oct 21, 2012, 05:03 PM

Putin Flexes Muscle In Big Test Of Russia's Nuclear Arsenal [View all]


By Steve Gutterman

MOSCOW | Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:34pm EDT

(Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin took a leading role in the latest tests of Russia's strategic nuclear arsenal, the most comprehensive since the 1991 Soviet collapse, the Kremlin said on Saturday.

The exercises, held mostly on Friday, featured prominently in news reports on state television which seemed aimed to show Russians and the world that Putin is the hands-on chief of a resurgent power.

Tests involving command systems and all three components of the nuclear "triad" - land and sea-launched long-range nuclear missiles and strategic bombers - were conducted "under the personal leadership of Vladimir Putin", the Kremlin said.

An RS-12M Topol Intercontinental Ballistic Missile was launched from the Plesetsk site in northern Russia, and a submarine test-launched another ICBM from the Sea of Okhotsk, the Defence Ministry said.

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http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/20/us-russia-nuclear-putin-idUSBRE89J0EJ20121020

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