Page last updated at 13:17 GMT, Sunday, 12 October 2008 14:17 UK

Russia in fresh missile launches

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev aboard a cruiser in the Barents Sea on 11 October 2008
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev promised more missile tests

Russia has test-fired another three intercontinental ballistic missiles, a day after claiming a distance record for a missile fired from a submarine.

President Dmitri Medvedev, who watched two of the launches, said they proved Russia's missile defences were strong.

Two new systems were being developed, he added, giving no details.

Two of the latest launches took place at either end of the country, one from the Barents Sea, east of Norway, and the other from north of Japan.

A third was watched on land in north-west Russia by Mr Medvedev, who promised further launches in future.

Russia said Saturday's test missile, also watched by Mr Medvedev from an aircraft carrier, travelled more than 11,500km (7,145 miles), an all-time distance record, the Kremlin claimed.

Furious at US missile defence plans in eastern Europe and moves to expand the US-led Nato alliance towards Moscow's sphere of influence, the Kremlin has been flexing its military muscle.

Russia is sending a naval squadron to Venezuela in November for exercises and last year, then-President Vladimir Putin ordered the resumption of long-abandoned patrols by strategic bombers.

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