A Russian space chief has issued a devastating Satan-2 hypersonic missile threat to NATO countries following a cancelled trip to Serbia.
It comes after foreign minister Sergei Lavrov was left outraged after Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Montenegro shut off their airspace and blocked his aircraft.
The move has infuriated the Kremlin and sparked a daunting warning from the head of Russian space agency Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, who said the three NATO countries wouldn't be able to block the Sarmat missile.
He took to Twitter and said: "Do you know what is so good about Sarmat [ballistic missile]?
"It will not ask for a flying permit from Bulgarian cowards, vindictive Romanians and Montenegrins – who betrayed our joint history."
He added that the same would apply to Sweden as the country is expected to join the organisation.
But not everyone took his threat seriously, with some users flocking to Twitter to mock his outspoken tweets.
One person said: "Judging by your army performance, a missile aimed at Bulgaria will fall somewhere by Irkutsk [in Siberia]," said one response.
While another commented: "Can you please stop typing in Cyrillic … Bulgarian cowards do not want trash like you using their letters. Glory to Ukraine."
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Moscow has warned that the ballistic missile, which can strike targets at 15,880mph, will be launched in autumn.
It is believed to be the world's longest-range intercontinental ballistic missile and could easily hit targets in the United States and Europe from Russia.
According to Western military experts, the Sarmat can hold over 10 nuclear warheads and decoys – which means it could obliterate countries the size of Britain or France with just one strike.
Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharov said: "The countries around Serbia have closed the channel of communication by refusing to authorise the overflight of the plane of Sergei Lavrov who was headed to Serbia.
"The Russian delegation should have arrived in Belgrade for talks. But the EU and NATO member countries closed their airspace."
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