Russia has been watching with mounting concern not only NATO’s encroachment on Russia’s traditional sphere of interest (after having promised not to do so), but its determination to place its missile-shield elements right on Russia’s borders, to provide the best chance of intercepting a retaliatory response. Such systems can only serve one purpose: to nullify Russia’s nuclear deterrent and thereby allow NATO a nuclear first strike.
In response to this looming threat, Russia has been focussing on nuclear missiles that can penetrate NATO’s missile shield, and therefore deter NATO, such as the Bulava SLBM and the Topol and Topol-M road-mobile ICBMS, and now the Yars as successor to the Topol-M.
These inter-continental ballistic missiles seek to launch very fast, thereby limiting the vulnerable launch phase, then fly on an unpredictable trajectory, to make interception difficult, then in the terminal phase, not only engage in evasive maneuvers, but release multiple re-entry vehicles (MIRVs), while doing all this at a blistering speed. Moreover, these missiles are not silo-based but mobile, the Bulava being anywhere in the vast oceans, and the Yars being anywhere within Russia’s vast hinterland, thereby making them more survivable in the event of a NATO first strike.Russia Insider
New Yars ICBM is Russia’s Answer to NATO’s First-Strike-Enabling Missile Shield (Video)