- MOSCOW - The Russian military
10 new Topol-M nuclear missiles Friday, the second time in two
that it has put a contingent of the missiles on full combat
- The Topol-M, which carries a single nuclear warhead,
designed to be the backbone of Russia's strategic forces. Many of
country's older nuclear weapons have outlived their service life or
must be dismantled under international arms reduction agreements.
- The new missiles were
put on duty in the Saratov region,
about 450 miles southeast of
Moscow, the location of the first 10 missiles
deployed last year, the
ITAR-Tass news agency said.
- The latest deployment came a day after Russian President
Boris Yeltsin, on a visit to China, blasted President Clinton for
Russia's military campaign in breakaway Chechnya. Yeltsin
that "Russia is a great power that possesses a
- Russia's Strategic Missile Forces chief, Col.-Gen.
Yakovlev, said Yeltsin had been well aware of the Topol-M
he made his remarks, the Interfax news agency
Topol-M is relatively small and can be transported
on a mobile launch
pad, making it hard to locate and take out in the
first strike of a
- Meanwhile, Yakovlev also said that American plans to
try to develop an effective anti-ballistic missile defense system would
virtually mean "a return to the arms race," ITAR-Tass news
- The United States wants to amend the 1972 Anti-Ballistic
Missile Treaty in order to build missile defenses that would defend the
country from possible missile attacks by rogue states such as North
- Washington says an anti-missile system would not be able
counter the kind of massive nuclear attack Russia is capable of launching.
But the Russians argue that a U.S. retreat from the ABM treaty would
an arms race.