World War III update: Putin launches nuclear missiles from submarine in Barents Sea, sparks fear of global war

By @vitthernandez on
Russian Missile Launch
Russian servicemen watch the launch of the S-300 air defence system missile during the International Army Games 2016 at the Ashuluk military polygon outside Astrakhan, Russia, August 7, 2016. Reuters/Maxim Shemetov

Fears of a third global war were further stoked on Thursday after Russia launched from a submarine in the Barents Sea the Topol missile, the fastest in the world, as part of a series of ballistics test. However, on the same day, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered all officials with relatives living overseas to fly them back to Russia because of heightened tensions on the prospect of World War III.

On Wednesday, the We Are Anonymous hacker group claimed Pentagon admitted World War III is imminent, amid worsening relations between Moscow and Washington over the Syria crisis. A row over Russia’s role in the Syrian conflict over Kremlin moving nuclear-capable missiles near the Polish border caused Putin to cancel a planned visit to France, Daily Mail reports.

Russia launched three missiles, the second was fired from an island in Russia’s north-west and the warhead hit a simulated target. The third missile, a nuclear-capable rocket, was short from a Pacific Fleet submarine in the Sea of Okhotsk, north of Japan and it hit a simulated target on a Kamchatka peninsula firing range, Express reports.

The RS-12M Topol, a single-warhead intercontinental ballistic missile that entered service in 1985, has a maximum range of 10,000 kilometres or 6,125 miles. It could carry a nuclear warhead with a yield of up to 550 kilotons.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shogi insists those are only normal combat training maneouvres and accuses the west of portraying Russia’s military exercises as threats to global peace and misrepresented as alarming signals of World War III. “The ideas of a military war, a new cold war or an arms race are being circulated. Of course, it is not true,” he says.

Besides stoking fears of war because of its military exercise, the US accuses Russia of meddling in the November presidential election which Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov dismisses as a baseless accusation.

Moscow cites American aggression as the reason why it moved nuclear-capable Iskandar missile near NATO territory in Europe, causing NATO officials to also openly warn of the possible use of nuclear weapons, CNN reports.

Even former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev agrees the world is at a dangerous point because of the rising tensions between the two super powers.