The explosion in Severodvinsk that killed 7 Russians presumably took place during a test of a new Russian nuclear-propelled missile, the NYT reported, citing anonymous US intelligence officials.
In a lengthy article that essentially says nothing, the NYT alleged that the US intelligence officials are “racing to understand” what caused the explosion.
According to the outlet, the explosion was one of the worst incidents in the region “since Chernobyl,” which the outlet also wrongly claimed was located in present-day Russia (which has since been edited, because it is located in Ukraine).
Presumably the weapon being tested was what NATO calls the SSC-X-9 Skyfall – the 9M730 Burevestnik which Russian President Vladimir Putin revealed on March 1st 2018 along with 5 other weapons, 4 other hypersonic missiles and a laser (despite outlets such as the National Interest claiming that he revealed them in July 2018).
In further parts of the NYT article, the authors essentially repeat exactly what Putin and other Russian experts have said about the Burevestnik, it is an intercontinental-range nuclear-powered cruise missile capable of penetrating any interceptor-based missile defense system. It is said to have unlimited range and ability to dodge missile defenses.
“That makes them virtually unstoppable for the existing American antimissile systems in Alaska and California, which are designed to intercept intercontinental ballistic missile warheads in space, traveling a largely predictable path,” David Sanger and Andrew Kramer reported.
In January 2019, it was reported that tests of the nuclear power unit had been successfully conducted.
The Russian side hasn’t confirmed that a Burevestnik missile indeed exploded, but it did admit that it had been testing a new type of liquid propulsion system.
Vyacheslav Soloviev, the scientific director of the Russian Federal Nuclear Center, said in a video interview with a local newspaper that the institute had been studying “small-scale sources of energy with the use of fissile materials.”
The official version, according to Russian authorities is the following:
On August 8th, an explosion occurred during tests on an offshore platform near Severodvinsk in the Arkhangelsk Region. The accident happened on the territory of a military unit northwest of the city, on the coast of Dvinskaya Bay.
On August 11th, the names of the dead were revealed.
- Developer Alexei Vyushin;
- lead engineer Evgeny Korataev;
- head of the research and development team Vyacheslav Lipshev;
- test engineer Sergey Pichugin;
- deputy head of the research and development department Vladislav Yanovsky.
All of them worked at the All-Russian Research Institute of Experimental Physics, which is located in Sarov. There were reportedly 7 victims, two of them remain anonymous.
“Three more are in the hospital, they have moderate injuries, mainly fractures,” said Valentin Kostyukov, director of the Russian Federal Nuclear Center.
“The testers associated with this type of activity are national heroes. We always considered them the elite of the nuclear center. They tested all concepts and products in the most extreme conditions.”
What caused the explosion was a rocket fuel igniting, following the test which allegedly was successful.
The missile tests were held on an offshore platform. After completion of the tests, rocket fuel ignited, followed by detonation. After the explosion, several employees were thrown into the sea. The search continued until there was no hope of finding survivors. Following the death of the five Rosatom employees, it was announced that they were involved in work related to the radioisotope power source that was part of the rocket.
Subsequently, it became known that scientists were working on a small-sized nuclear reactor, which can be used both in the Far North and in space programs. Similar developments are underway in other countries.
“We have a number of projects in the interests of civilian industries,” explained the supervisor of the Russian Federal Nuclear Center, Vyacheslav Soloviev.
“One of the directions is the creation of thermal and electric energy sources using radioactive materials, including fissile, radioisotope materials. The center has been engaged in such developments since 1952. This line of work is relevant and important. These sources are necessary both for space and for the remote regions of the Arctic.”
The scenario that took place was unforeseen and unexpected, but it didn’t have consequences as massive as presented by MSM.
“Tests are a necessary element in the creation of new technology,” said Alexander Chernyshev, deputy head of the Federal Nuclear Center, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
“What happened is, of course, an unpredictable scenario. Our teams in Severodvinsk found that the radiation background increase was twice. It lasted for no longer than an hour, no residual radioactive contamination was recorded.”
None of this makes a difference, of course, since the image of “evil overlord” Vladimir Putin disregards human life and is only interested in the progress of deadly weapons. Of course, it might be a play by the “Russian defense industrial bureaucracy” managing to convince the leadership that “this was a good idea.”
“I’ve generally been of the belief that this attempt at developing an unlimited-range nuclear-powered cruise missile is folly,’’ said Ankit Panda, a nuclear expert at the Federation of American Scientists. “It’s unclear if someone in the Russian defense industrial bureaucracy may have managed to convince a less technically informed leadership that this is a good idea, but the United States tried this, quickly discovered the limitations and risks, and abandoned it with good reason.”
The point of the matter is clear – the HBO series Chernobyl presented the “reality” of the situation, so mentioning it in the article is no accident. So, the mainstream narrative is clear: of course, the Russian authorities continue their path of lies and subterfuge while they try to take the world and specifically the US by storm.
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