A Russian official threatened nuclear war against the U.S. for providing support to Ukraine, claiming that four of Russia’s new intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) could decimate both of America’s coasts.
“I will tell you absolutely competently that to destroy the entire the East Coast of the United States, two Sarmat missiles are needed,” Alexei Zhuravlev, a member of Russia’s parliament, told Russian state television.
“And the same goes for the West Coast,” he added. “Four missiles, and there will be nothing left.”
Zhuravlev referenced a report from CBS News earlier this year that said that a nuclear strike on New York City would yield a mushroom cloud that rise above the city’s tallest buildings, to which Zhuravlev scoffed, “the mushroom [cloud] would be visible from Mexico.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin said back in April that his military had successfully launched the new ICBM, adding that the new weapon would “reliably ensure Russia’s security in the face of external threats, and will provide food for thought to those who in the heat of frenzied aggressive rhetoric try to threaten our country.”
The Washington Post reported that the RS-28 Sarmat, dubbed the “Satan-2” missile, was designed to replace the country’s outdated Soviet-era Voevoda missile. The Satan-2 “is considered Russia’s most powerful ICBM: a super-heavy, thermonuclear-armed intercontinental-range ballistic missile,” the report added.
Zhuravlev’s threat against the U.S. comes as the Biden administration has supplied Ukraine with billions of dollars of weapons to repel Russia’s invasion of the country.
The threat comes on the heels of a new announcement from the administration that it will send Ukraine the most advanced weapons system that it has supplied to the Eastern European country through its first three months of war with Russia.
Democrat President Joe Biden made the announcement in an op-ed published in The New York Times on Tuesday afternoon, saying that the U.S. will provide advanced rocket systems and munitions to Ukraine “that will enable them to more precisely strike key targets on the battlefield in Ukraine.”
“The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) that the U.S. is sending is a mobile rocket launcher that can strike targets from 40 to over 300 miles away, depending on the type of rocket it is outfitted with,” Politico reported. “The rockets that the administration has decided to send are on the shorter end, reaching up to 48 miles.”
However, a senior administration official later said that the weapons system was only promised to Ukraine after the U.S. received “direct assurances” from Ukraine’s leaders that it would not be used to strike targets inside Russia.