As President Joe Biden visited Kyiv, Ukraine on Monday, reports have surfaced that the United States believes Russia attempted to test-launch an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of delivering multiple nuclear warheads at targets across the globe. The missile launch, which likely failed, was reportedly notified to the U.S. through channels of communication used to reduce the chances of unintended escalation in the lead-up to Biden’s trip.
An unarmed #Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) successfully completed a scheduled operational test from Vandenberg Space Force Base, @SLDelta30. #ICBM test launches demonstrate the U.S. nuclear enterprise remains safe, secure, effective and #AlwaysReady. https://t.co/31Iy57kiEu
— United States Strategic Command (@US_STRATCOM) February 10, 2023
Prior to Biden’s arrival in Kyiv, the United States had utilized deconfliction lines to inform Moscow about the visit. Biden subsequently held discussions with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and committed to providing $500 million in assistance. Afterward, he proceeded to Warsaw, Poland, to deliver a speech alongside regional leaders and North Atlantic Treaty Organization officials.
According to the National Security Council, no test was carried out during Biden’s visit. Nevertheless, U.S. officials speculate that if the launch had been successful, Russian President Vladimir Putin would have mentioned it in his state of the nation address on Tuesday. Instead, Putin issued a warning that Russia would perform nuclear tests in the future if the U.S. does the same. Additionally, he announced that Russia would no longer comply with the significant START II treaty between Washington and Moscow, which restricts the number of nuclear warheads and delivery weapons that each nation can possess.
The termination of the START II treaty could have significant implications for global security, as it is the only agreement that limits the nuclear weapons stockpiles of the two largest nations in the world. Russia has previously launched the Satan II missile, which Putin claimed would serve as a deterrent to those attempting to threaten Russia.
The attempted ICBM test is a reminder of the ongoing conflict between the U.S. and Russia, and highlights the importance of maintaining communication channels between both countries to ensure that any future missile tests are conducted in a safe and responsible manner. The U.S. must also remain vigilant in monitoring Russia’s nuclear capabilities and take steps to ensure that any potential threats are addressed swiftly and effectively.
The preceding article is a summary of an article that originally appeared on The Daily Caller