4 March 2014
By BBC News
The Russian military says it has test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile, as tension continues over Ukraine’s Crimea region.
A Topol RS-12M missile was launched from Russia’s Kapustin Yar test range near the Caspian Sea to the Sary Shagan range in Kazakhstan, it said.
It comes after the US accused Russia of an “act of aggression” in Crimea.
The US said it was notified of the launch before it took place, as required by arms treaties.
Moscow is in de facto control of the Crimean peninsula after troops thought to be Russian or pro-Russian took control of strategic points in recent days.
US Secretary of State John Kerry, visiting the Ukrainian capital Kiev, praised the “restraint” of the new government there, which took power after the overthrow of Russian ally President Viktor Yanukovych last month.
Defending his threat to use the Russian military in Ukraine if he felt it necessary, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the country was in “chaos” after being seized by “nationalists” and “anti-Semites”, and that Russia had a right to protect its citizens there.