As reported by Censor.NET citing Newsru.com, the Russian General Staff officials also believe the U.S. is capable of carrying out covert nuclear missile strike against Russia.
"The U.S. missile shield is already capable of intercepting Russian and Chinese missiles and poses a threat to the strategic nuclear forces of Russia and China. These capabilities will continue to grow in the future," Interfax quoted First Deputy Chief of the Russian General Staff's Main Operational Directorate Lieutenant-General Viktor Poznikhir as saying.
"The presence of U.S. missile defense bases in Europe, missile defense vessels in seas and oceans close to Russia creates a powerful covert strike component for conducting a sudden nuclear missile strike against the Russian Federation," he said at MCIS-2017 international security conference in Moscow.
Another speaker at the same conference Sergey Yagolnikov, who heads the Central Research Institute of the Aerospace Defense Forces of the Russian Defense Ministry, was equally pessimistic in his assessments. He actually confirmed the statement of Poznikhir and added that the U.S. missile defense system is capable of shooting down Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles starting from the 150th second of flight.
"It takes them 20 seconds to detect the launch, another 20 seconds for authorization, pre-launch preparation will take 45 seconds. Therefore, it is possible to destroy an intercontinental ballistic missile just 150 seconds after it was launched," Yagolnikov explained.