STORY: Russia said on Wednesday it had conducted a test launch of its Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, a new addition to its nuclear arsenal which President Vladimir Putin said would make Moscow's enemies 'stop and think'.
Russia released footage of what it says shows the test launch of the new missile.
The Sarmat has been under development for years, and its test-launch is not a surprise for the West, but it comes at a moment of extreme global tension over the war in Ukraine.
PUTIN: "The new complex has the highest tactical and technical characteristics and can penetrate all modern anti-missile defenses. It has no analogues in the world and will not have any for a long time to come."
The missile test came as Ukrainian forces were making their last stand in the besieged city of Mariupol, after a Russian ultimatum to surrender or die expired on Wednesday.
Once a prosperous port of 400,000 people and now a devastated wasteland, Russia was hitting the city's last main Ukrainian stronghold - the Azovstal steel plant, with bunker-buster bombs, Kyiv said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said about 1,000 civilians remained trapped in the plant.
In a video posted online on Wednesday, Ukrainian commander Serhiy Volyna - still fighting in Mariupol - urged the international community to help evacuate wounded Ukrainian fighters and their families.
"This is our appeal to the world. It may be our last. We may have only a few days or hours left. The enemy units are dozens of times larger than ours, they have dominance in the air, in artillery, in ground troops, in equipment and in tanks."
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned of a grim aftermath once the fighting ends.
"What the world witnessed just a couple of weeks ago when the receding Russian tide from Bucha revealed what was left in its wake in terms of death, destruction and atrocities. We can only anticipate that one: this tide at some point also recedes from Mariupol, we are going to see far worse, If that's possible to imagine."
A small convoy of buses carried some civilians out of Mariupol Wednesday – but Ukrainian officials say the number of people evacuated was far fewer than planned.