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US alarm: Russia is working on an anti-satellite space nuclear weapon

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US alarm: Russia is working on an anti-satellite space nuclear weapon

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The United States must deal with a new and serious threat to national security which, from what has been leaked, would come from Russia. The alarm has come to light in Congress: White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan will see the Gang of Eight, the Democratic and Republican parliamentary leaders with access to top secret intelligence, for a briefing in the next few hours. The meeting had been scheduled before House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner issued his warning in a cryptic public statement.

Turner, a Republican congressman from Ohio, said that a “destabilizing foreign military capability” is at stake, without revealing the details but asking President Joe Biden to declassify all information about it. Capitol Hill sources quoted by the American media have, however, indicated that the issue “is serious” and “extremely delicate”. According to CNN, the protagonist of the new risks that have emerged is Moscow, following developments of which Washington has “recently become aware”. “The serious threat to national security” would be the militarization of space by Russia, with a new nuclear weapon that Moscow is studying, according to US media.

According to the New York Times, the US has reported to Congress and its allies in Europe new intelligence information on Russian nuclear capabilities that could represent a serious international threat, although not urgent because such capabilities are still in development and have not then be deployed. According to a current and former US official, the new information in particular is linked to Moscow’s attempts to develop an anti-satellite nuclear weapon in space, a ‘Star Wars’ scenario.

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Previously Politico had indicated among the main hypotheses the hypersonic missile 3 M22 Zirkon, which has a range between 400 and 1,000 kilometers, and can fly at a speed of up to 9,800 km/h (Mach 8) evading defense systems and hitting targets naval and land. So far, only Moscow already has these carriers at its disposal, which are still in the experimental phase in the USA. Entering service last year on board the Russian frigate Admiral Golovko, the Zirkon was developed in response to the US withdrawal from the ABM treaty on ballistic missiles and was used for the first time on 7 February in Ukraine. “I will demand that President Joe Biden declassify all information regarding this threat so that Congress, the Administration, and all of our allies can openly discuss the actions necessary to respond to this threat,” Turner wrote on X.

For a few hours, a chill fell in Washington and throughout the country, plunged into a surreal psychosis of immediate danger that ranged from terrorism to unprecedented war scenarios. Questions also arose at the White House briefing, where national security advisor Sullivan said he was “surprised” by Turner’s public advances when his meeting with the ‘Gang of Eight’, the eight leaders of the Congress who are briefed on classified intelligence matters. While refusing to go into detail, Sullivan avoided alarmism. Ditto the speaker of the House Mike Johnson, one of the ‘gang of Eight’: “The hands are still on the wheel. We are working on it and there is no need to be alarmed.”

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