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Washington links rocket accident to secretive Russian missile programme

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Washington links rocket accident to secretive Russian missile programme
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It's been dubbed a “vengeance weapon".

The Burevstnik missile, unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin last March, is designed to be used after an initial nuclear strike. The Russian Defence Ministry says the missile will have an "unlimited range" and be able to overcome "any enemy defences."

The United States says it believes a deadly explosion that occurred during a rocket test on a sea platform in the White Sea last week was linked to the Kremlin's hypersonic cruise missile programme.

Five nuclear scientists were killed in the accident.

Despite representing a potentially significant setback to the Russian programme, the state nuclear agency has pledged to keep developing new weapons, portraying the men who died in the test as heroes.

Meanwhile, residents of the Russian village near the site of the suspected explosion of were told to evacuate according to Russian state news agency, RIA-Novosti. However, that order was later revoked and local media report locals remain in the town.