The Kremlin claims this footage shows nuclear mobile intercontinental ballistic missile launch systems on a 400-kilometre journey west across Russia so they can “take part in a parade” in Moscow.
The footage obtained by Newsflash from the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) was published on Saturday, 26th February, shortly before Vladimir Putin made a televised address in which he said that he was putting Russian nuclear forces on high alert, causing widespread alarm and condemnation around the world.
The footage reportedly shows the large vehicles driving on Russian roads. At least three of the vehicles can be seen in the first piece of footage sporting Russian flags. A Russian soldier then appears to be checking one of the vehicle’s wheels as a TV crew films him.
The vehicles, which can be seen being escorted by police, each reportedly carry a Yars intercontinental ballistic missile. The Russian MoD said in a first statement obtained by Newsflash: “In preparation for the military parade on Red Square, a mechanised column of parade crew of autonomous launchers of the Yars mobile missile system marched from the permanent deployment point of the city of Teikovo, Ivanovo Region, to Alabino near Moscow.
“The 400-kilometre route ran along the highways of three regions: Ivanovo, Vladimir, Moscow, including the M7 federal highway and the Moscow ring road. Along the way, the drivers of three autonomous launchers made stops for scheduled and control inspections of large-sized equipment.”
A second piece provided by the Russian MoD on Friday, 25th February, shows at least three launch vehicles preparing to leave the Ivanovo Oblast region before they allegedly head to Moscow, still according to the Russian MoD.
The Russian MoD said: “Yars’ launchers will relocate to the suburbs to prepare for the Victory Parade. The route, which is over 400 kilometres long, runs along the M7 federal highway through the Moscow Ring Road.”
Russian media are also claiming that the move is in “preparation for the military parade on Red Square.”
The Sputnik news platform, which is backed by the Russian state and which is set to be banned in the European Union, according to a statement from European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, said: “Yars’, or RS-24, is a missile system with a solid-propellant mobile and silo-based intercontinental ballistic missile with a multiple reentry vehicle. It is a modification of the Topol-M missile system.”
In a televised address, the Russian strongman has said: “Western countries aren’t only taking unfriendly actions against our country in the economic sphere, but top officials from leading NATO members made aggressive statements regarding our country.”
Putin also caused alarm when he recently threatened “consequences greater than any you have faced in history” to anyone who should interfere in his invasion of Ukraine.