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Russia’s new war toys: Kalashnikov unveils killer robot tank

Tensions are on a knife-edge between the UK and Russia following an attack using a nerve agent on ex-double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

And, in an apparent show of strength, Russia has now unveiled a killer robot tank with an unknown level of autonomy.

A video by manufacturer Kalashnikov showed the unmanned tank attacking a building on its own, and also being used to provide cover for foot soldiers.

Kalashnikov’s Soratnik – or Companion – tank is capable of scouting, dealing with mine and patrolling as well as guarding duties, according to its makers.

The video was reportedly shot on a military range in the Moscow region and shows the tank, the size of a small car, blasting through walls.

Russian soldiers have also taken delivery of more accurate assault rifles as the country continues to show off its military power.

Ministry of Defence officials have confirmed the Russian army has received new AK-12 and AK-15 rifles to be used by its ground and landing forces as well as the marines.

Those AK-12s are the latest in the AK series of rifles produced by Kalashnikov Concern, the most famous of which is the AK-47.

The AK-15 is a slightly larger calibre version of the AK-12. Both fire at 700 rounds per minute and have an effective range of 800 metres.

Meticulous testing of the state-of-the-art AK-12 went on from July 2016 to October 2017.

It is said to be more accurate than previous AK weapons.

The rifle is part of an equipment line called Ratnik, or Warrior.

Other high-tech kit in the Ratnik equipment line includes a helmet with a night-vision monocular, modernised body armour and new communications equipment.

President Putin has also boasted in the run-up to presidential elections on March 18 that his country has a nuclear missile that can reach any target on Earth and cannot be stopped by any defence system.

It comes as Mrs May announced Britain was kicking out 23 suspected Russian spies in the largest mass expulsion of diplomats since the Cold War.

Announcing the action in the House of Commons, Prime Minister Theresa May said the attack on ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia amounted to “an unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the United Kingdom”.

She announced the suspension of high-level contacts with Russia, including a boycott of this summer’s World Cup by Government ministers and members of the royal family.

And she said Russian state assets will be frozen “wherever we have the evidence that they may be used to threaten the life or property of UK nationals or residents”.

Russia’s embassy in London denounced the move as “unacceptable, unjustified and shortsighted”, after Moscow denied any connection with the Salisbury incident.

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