Speed Reads

Foreign affairs

Today in terrible timing: Russia carries out a pre-planned test of an intercontinental ballistic missile

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Days after sending troops into Crimea and stoking fears of a possible armed conflict over the sovereignty of Ukraine, the Russian military on Tuesday confirmed it had test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile called the Topol RS-12M. Russia said the missile, which can carry a nuclear warhead, successfully hit its target in Kazakhstan.

The test was pre-planned, though the timing — coming as U.S. officials denounced Russia's military incursion and warned it to pull back its troops — was rather unfortunate.