Russia test-fires ICBM amid Ukraine tensionsUpdated: 2014-03-05 PM 2:02:40 (KST)
Amid the tentative situation in Ukraine, Russia's defense ministry confirmed late Tuesday that it had test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile earlier in the day.
The ministry says the RS-12M Topol missile, launched from near the Caspian Sea, successfully landed at its target in a remote area of Kazakhstan.
The test was planned before the current crisis in Ukraine, and the U.S. was notified before the test, however it adds to the undercurrent of tension between Ukraine and Russia.
In a press conference with reporters Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, what happened in Kiev was an unconstitutional overthrow, and his country has the right to use all means to protect its nationals under the current Ukrainian government, which,.. he says, is illegitimate.
"If we see that lawlessness starting in eastern regions too, if people ask us for help - and we have already an official address from the current legitimate president - we reserve the right to use all options at our disposal to protect those citizens."
However, he stressed the use of military force would be the last resort in dealing with the crisis.
"What can be a reason to use the armed forces? This is of course the last resort, simply the last resort."
He added he had no reason to purposely harm Russia's brotherly, neighboring country.
Putin called the leaders of the U.S. and other Western powers hypocritical in their condemnations, specifically mentioning the United States' interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, where he said Washington either acted without UN backing or completely distorted the content of UN resolutions.
Park Ji-won, Arirang News.
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