CNN reported on Tuesday that during Joe Biden’s meeting with Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Monday, Russia conducted an apparently unsuccessful test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile. One U.S. official with direct knowledge of the situation informed the publication that Russia had provided advance notice of the test over deconfliction lines. It was initially unclear when the warning was issued; however, according to national security adviser Jake Sullivan, the U.S. informed Russia that Vice President Biden would be visiting Ukraine just hours before the trip.
A second official told CNN that the launch did not threaten the United States and that American authorities do not interpret it as an indication of Russian aggression. It is assumed that Vladimir Putin would have stressed the test’s success in his Tuesday State of the Nation speech if he had mentioned it. Russia previously and successfully tested the SARMAT superheavy intercontinental ballistic missile in April last year. Analysts at the time referred to it as “nuclear saber-rattling.”