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Ill-Secured Soviet Arms Depots Tempting Rebels and Terrorists
NY Times ^ | July 16, 2005 | C. J. CHIVERS

Posted on 07/15/2005 7:14:37 PM PDT by neverdem

ICHNYA, Ukraine - The ammunition is stacked in mounds in a clearing, exposed to rain and sun. The crates that hold it are rotting. After more than a decade in the elements, many have ruptured, exposing high-explosive rockets and mortar fins.

This is the overstuffed ammunition depot behind the security fences at Military Unit A1479, a small base in the Ukrainian forest under military guard. At least 5,700 tons of ammunition, grenades and explosive powder have come to rest here, according to an unclassified NATO inventory. Almost all of it is unwanted. Much of it has expired, and some is considered too unreliable or too unsafe to use.

The scenes at Unit A1479 provide a glimpse of a dangerous legacy of the militarized Soviet state, one that has emerged as a risk to post-Soviet states and to nations far away, endangering local environments and communities and providing a reservoir of lethal materials for terrorists and armed groups.

[Though recent history has shown how fluid and dangerous the arms can be, there has been no indication or allegation that munitions from Ukraine were used in the bombings last week in London.] Huge depots of conventional weapons and ammunition remain in much of the former Soviet borderlands, many of them vulnerable to the elements, inadequately secured or watched over by security agencies with histories of corruption and suspicious arms sales. Largely unaddressed while Western nations and post-Soviet states have worked to secure and dispose of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, the conventional stockpiles pose problems as yet unsolved.

Nowhere are these problems known to be more pronounced than in Ukraine. NATO and the Ukrainian military estimate that the Soviet military left 2.5 million tons of conventional munitions here as it withdrew soldiers and arms from Europe, as well as more than 7...

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Russia; US: District of Columbia; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: africa; loosenukes; ukraine

1 posted on 07/15/2005 7:14:38 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem
When Nikita Kruschev said "We will bury you!", I bet he didn't envision this it would happen quite this way.
2 posted on 07/15/2005 7:20:53 PM PDT by Starve The Beast (I used to be disgusted, but now I try to be amused)
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To: neverdem

This world is full of incompetent morons for the most part.
If they don't want the stuff, blow it the hell up.


3 posted on 07/15/2005 7:54:53 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Honor must be earned)
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To: Marine_Uncle

Don't worry. The US taxpayer will purchase it, then blow it up.


4 posted on 07/15/2005 9:05:18 PM PDT by endthematrix ("an ominous vacancy" fills this space)
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To: endthematrix

"Don't worry. The US taxpayer will purchase it, then blow it up."
But I do worry. I wonder how many millions of our tax bucks are so far spent on the job of securing lots of the fissionable material out of Russia that is to be sent to the USA and buried in the mine in where is it, Utah, that is now been put in question due to the folks not wanting it there.

I use the term worry tongue in cheek. The gigs been up for years, not use getting ulcers.


5 posted on 07/15/2005 9:09:40 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Honor must be earned)
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To: Marine_Uncle

Re: "I wonder how many millions of our tax bucks are so far spent on the job of securing lots of the fissionable material out of Russia"

Nunn-Lugar is 14 years old and costing about $400 million a year. As for waste, the Defense Enterprise Fund ("DEF"), a Program funded with NUNN-LUGAR money, fell victim to gross mismanagement, and the US government's investigation of DEF has been, at best, half-hearted. DEF was closed on December 31, 2003, its mission not accomplished at all and its $67M grant shamefully and criminally wasted.


6 posted on 07/15/2005 9:46:52 PM PDT by endthematrix ("an ominous vacancy" fills this space)
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To: endthematrix

Thanks for the update. I had no idea! What a bunch of crap.
There are so many things fundelmentally wrong in this country one hardly knows what best to even examine and urge our leaders to correct. It sure appears based what I am reading at http://www.nti.org/db/nisprofs/russia/fissmat/plutdisp/puovervw.htm

that due to poor managment (much in the private sector), thing s just went caput. Of course I can see where the Russians may have been totally neglegient on their part of the agreements, to recycle the fissionalbe matterials amoung other programs encompassed in this program. And that is probably what drove the knife into the programs back.

Oh well, what they heck some made good money at the taxpayers expense, no one is held accountable, and the Russians still have a huge problem on their hands, as well at others that wait till the stuff gets in the wrong hands.


7 posted on 07/16/2005 9:23:18 AM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Honor must be earned)
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To: Marine_Uncle
Thanks for the article. Regarding US-Russia reduction of fissionable materials, lookie at what the UN wants to do:

IAEA seeks to put 8-10 nuclear facilities under int'l management (including in U.S.)

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1444100/posts

8 posted on 07/16/2005 9:21:54 PM PDT by endthematrix ("an ominous vacancy" fills this space)
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To: neverdem

Sounds like my gun safe is more secure than a Russian arms depot.


9 posted on 07/16/2005 9:24:13 PM PDT by billnaz (What part of "shall not be infringed" don't you understand?)
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To: endthematrix

" IAEA seeks to put 8-10 nuclear facilities under int'l management (including in U.S.)"

Gasp! I look at the URL you posted. Getting late, my eyes are bleary.
Hang in there.


10 posted on 07/16/2005 9:43:13 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Honor must be earned)
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