During a test launch of the Russian Topol Intercontinental ballistic missile, the missile flew only 2 thousand kilometers, instead of the declared 12 thousand kilometers of maximum range. The launch was carried out from the territory of the Kapustin Yar rocket launch site to the Sary Shagan testing range in Kazakhstan.
It is unknown why the Intercontinental ballistic missile that was launched from the territory of the Kapustin Yar test site was tested at a relatively short flight distance. Nevertheless, according to representatives of the Russian Defense Ministry, the tests were successful.
Russian news outlet Avia.pro, in turn, says that this test could be a part of an alleged work on the production of the Russian military medium-range missiles in response to the US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty).
Washington and NATO believe that the Russian Federation violated the INF Treaty with the 9M729 missile, capable of hitting target at a distance of more than 500 kilometers. The Russian military, in turn, argues that 9M729 cannot overcome the 500-kilometer distance limit. In December 2018, the United States threatened to withdraw from the agreement if Russia did not return to the fulfillment of its contractual obligations within 60 days. After two months, Washington suspended the U.S participation in the INF Treaty agreement.
The next day, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Moscow’s "mirror response" and instructed the Russian Foreign Ministry and the country's defense ministry to stop further attempts to initiate negotiations regarding this agreement.
The General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) Mikhail Gorbachev and the U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed the INF Treaty in 1987. Medium and short-range missiles pose the greatest threat to the world, as they are able to reach the goal within a few minutes and do not leave the enemy a chance to prepare for the strike and repel it.