Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

WORLD [Derived Headline]

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

WORLD [Derived Headline]

Article excerpt

Russia getting 40 new ballistic missiles

MOSCOW - Russia's military this year will receive more than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of piercing any missile defenses, President Vladimir Putin said today in a blunt reminder of the nation's nuclear might amid tensions with the West over Ukraine.

Mr. Putin made the statement at the opening of an arms show at a shooting range in Alabino just west of Moscow, a huge display intended to showcase the nation's resurgent military might.

Russia-West relations have plunged to their lowest point since Cold War times over Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and support for a pro-Russia separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine. The U.S. and the EU have slapped Russia with economic sanctions, and Washington and its NATO allies have pondered an array of measures in response to Russia's moves.

The three Baltic members of the alliance, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, have asked NATO to permanently deploy ground troops to their nations as a deterrent against an increasingly assertive Russia. And Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak said Sunday that he and U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter have held talks about placing U.S. heavy army equipment in Poland.

Moscow bristled at the plans, warning Washington that the deployment of new U.S. weapons near Russian borders would foment dangerous instability in Europe.

Speaking at the arms show, Mr. Putin vowed to continue a big arms modernization program despite the nation's economic downturn. He specifically mentioned the Armata tanks and other new armored vehicles, which were first shown to the public during a Red Square military parade last month.

Leaker of pope's letter sought

VATICAN CITY - There's something of a whodunit going on in the Vatican to discover who leaked Pope Francis' environment encyclical to an Italian newsweekly, deflating the release of the most anticipated and feared papal document in recent times. …

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