Russia on Thursday test-launched several ballistic missiles during planned exercises overseen by President Vladimir Putin, news reports said, as a crisis raged in neighbouring Ukraine.
The Russian military fired a Topol intercontinental ballistic missile from its northern test site in Plesetsk, as well as “several” shorter-range missiles from its submarines in the Northern and Pacific Fleets, news agencies cited defence officials as saying.
Other military manoeuvres involved the launch from an undisclosed location in western Russia of air-to-surface rockets by Tu-95 strategic bombers, and the entry into the English Channel of a Northern Fleet armada led by the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov.
The exercises, overseen by Putin and four visiting presidents from Kremlin-allied ex-Soviet states, were staged ahead of Russia’s commemoration on Friday of the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.
Putin stressed in televised comments that the war games had been planned in November, implying that they were not directly linked to events in Ukraine.
But he told the visiting presidents from Belarus, Armenia, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan that Russia’s nuclear defence capabilities remained strong and on constant alert.
“You have been able to witness the great readiness and cohesion of our country’s offensive and defensive strategic forces,” said Putin.
WATCH: Trump’s collusion with Russia is now a topic for impeachment — along with obstruction and racism
President Donald Trump's interactions with Russia are now a topic of the impeachment investigation.
"There was an important development in support for impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives today," MSNBC anchor Lawrence O'Donnell reported Tuesday. "Important both in who the new support comes from and what that support is based on."
"Congresswoman Lauren Underwood of Illinois is one of the freshmen Democrats who flipped a Republican district last year in winning her election. She brings the total number of House Democrats supporting impeachment now to 126 -- a majority of the Democrats' 235 members of the House," he explained.
Scientist who correctly predicted 2018 midterms says Democrats can win 18 more seats in 2020
The political scientist who correctly predicted the 2018 elections says Democrats left seats on the table in the midterms -- and can win them in 2020.
Rachel Bitecofer, assistant director of the Judy Ford Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia, was interviewed by MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on "The Last Word."
"Could you explain to the viewers how it is you determine what it was that actually did win a given congressional district?" O'Donnell asked. "When there is this common belief that, oh, well, the Democrats ran because the Republicans threatened their health care and so some swing voters switched over from Republican voting to democratic voting."
Maddow reveals how Chinese group Falun Gong went from disrupting events to running a shadow campaign for Trump
MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Tuesday detailed the remarkable journey of the group Falun Gong shifting from disrupting White House events to dominating the conversation on Facebook.
Maddow hilariously recounted the "major embarrassment" for the George W. Bush White House when a protester interrupted remarks by President of China Hu Jintao.
The protester was credentialed to cover the event for the Epoch Times, which is controlled by Falun Gong.
"Well, NBC News has a scoop out today about that group, about how that paper, the Epoch Times has transformed itself a lot in the Trump era. It’s a real revelation, this reporting from NBC News," Maddow said. "I mean, Epoch Times and its media group, they’ve made themselves into a whole new thing entirely and in a very big way."