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Ukraine Has Destroyed Its Nuclear Weapons
Salon (Donetsk Ukraine bi-weekly, No. 85 (755), p2) | 11/02/01 | Aleksandr Koverda

Posted on 11/02/2001 7:51:41 AM PST by struwwelpeter

Explosion of the last RS-22 missile silo, near the city of First-of-May in the Nikolaevsk destrict

Last Tuesday, in the Nikolaevsk district and in the presence of international explosives experts, the last of the Ukraine's 46 ICBM silos was destroyed. These silos were designed for the launch of RS-22 (NATO: SS-24 "Scalpel") intercontinental ballistic missile.

The blast which destroyed the silo was caused by the simultaneous turning of six keys, three of which were turned by eight-year-old school children. This symbolized the completion of the Ukraine's 8-year program of destroying nuclear weapons left behind after the break up of the USSR.

Along with more than 1300 nuclear warheads, the Ukraine received 130 SS-19 and 46 SS-24 ICBMs, while a large concentration of strategic bombers were left on her bases.

The destruction of this nuclear stockpile was paid for by Washington. At first $135 million was set aside for this project, but this was raised several times - to 500 million US dollars from Washington, as well as $9 million from Germany and $2.5 million from Canada. Kiev hopes to prolong the American help until 2006, according to government officials. This would help pay for the construction of living quarters for the now out of work rocket troops, as well as their re-training. There are also several SS-4 and SS-5 missile silos which were incompletely demobilized by Moscow during the Soviet days.

The Americans, on the other hand, report that the program will only continue that help which is directly associated with abolishing the threat of missile attack on the US, and then only if the Ukraine ceases providing Russia with strategic missile elements which were removed using US money.

In Russia, the report of the last silo's destruction was greeted with satisfaction. According to an announcement made by foreign ministry representative Aleksandr Ukovenko, the actions of the Ukrainian government were in full accord with the 1992 Lisbon Protocol. "In todays world, this supports international arms reduction agreements, strengthens strategic stability and safety," read the declaration.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
Hmm... building apartment buildings for out of work Ukrainian rocketeers in exchange for blowing up a few silos... not nuclear blackmail?

Old Kuchma must miss Clinton.

1 posted on 11/02/2001 7:51:41 AM PST by struwwelpeter (
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To: Jackie222; Askel5; Bobby777; Chapita; real saxophonist; CommiesOut; okie01

Some pleasant news for a change. Break out the "bubbly."

2 posted on 11/02/2001 7:53:35 AM PST by struwwelpeter
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To: struwwelpeter
So I am not clear here. The article talks about the nuclear stockpile being destroyed, but it focuses on the delivery vehicle(the ICBMs). Are the actual warheads being dismantled too?
3 posted on 11/02/2001 9:32:03 AM PST by danielobvt
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To: struwwelpeter
Has there been equivalent self-destruction elsewhere ... like in Russia? Do they give us any equivalent return on our Gifts?

I realize I'm no military strategist but I can't help thinking what a neat trick it is to have Uncle Sam pay to denude all your "former republics" of any possible threat to you, their actual neighbor.

Nice to see your name pop up, btw. Trust all is well.

4 posted on 11/02/2001 9:39:13 AM PST by Askel5
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To: danielobvt; Askel5
Quite awhile back an army buddy was assigned to a detail "helping" the Ukraine do an inventory of their stockpile. The Soviets kept lots of records, accounting for every nut and bolt and gram of fissionable material.

The only problem was, the inventory found A LOT MORE plutonium in the lockers than was written in the inventory.

Ukraine is supposedly nuke-free now, which is more than one can say about Belarus - a country that is still lobbying Moscow to reinstall its IRBMs. Actually, I never worried much about Ukrainian rockets until they started shooting down airliners. Khokhly and high-tech, what a mix.

5 posted on 11/02/2001 11:29:42 AM PST by struwwelpeter
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To: struwwelpeter
Khokhly + hi-tech = Chernobyl

Just kidding.

6 posted on 11/02/2001 1:05:51 PM PST by madrussian
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