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Russia Moves Missiles Near Poland, Lithuania

by Brendan McGarry on December 17, 2013

Iskander

Russia has reportedly deployed nuclear-capable missiles closer to Europe near the Baltic Sea between Poland and Lithuania.

Moscow confirmed stationing several short-range Iskander ballistic missiles, known in NATO parlance as SS-26 Stone and capable of carrying nuclear warheads, in the enclave of Kaliningrad. The seaport borders the European Union countries and is geographically separated from the rest of Russia.

The move drew a swift rebuke from the U.S. “We’ve urged Moscow to take no steps to destabilize the region,” Marie Harf, a State Department spokeswoman, told The Wall Street Journal.

Russian defense officials downplayed the news, saying the missiles were moved to the area more than a year ago — around June 2012 — in response to ongoing development of the U.S.-backed missile defense shield in Europe.

“NATO has American tactical nuclear weapons in Europe,” Viktor Zavarzin, deputy head of the State Duma’s defense committee, told the daily newspaper Izvestia, according to a report in the state-owned television network RT, formerly known as Russia Today. “Who can it be aimed against if not Iran? Only against us.”

Russia is believed to have more than 40 of the truck-mounted missile systems, which have a range of between 170 miles and 250 miles, depending on the version. Potential international customers of the product include Iran, Libya and Belarus.

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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Ben December 17, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Is this supposed to be concerning? Especially since it's old news..

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IKnowIT December 17, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Was on the Interwebs days ago…

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Menzie December 19, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Good thing defensetech is part of those "interwebs". Most of the time defensetech seems to be slow in posting articles it really is not. It is just gathering more information for a more informed article than say… nbcnews or the huffington post. At least that is how it appears to me.

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SJE December 17, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Old news. I'm more concerned about North Korea.

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ike December 17, 2013 at 9:26 pm

That's because you've taken in for a fool by the neo-con garbage in the media.

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orly? December 17, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Pffft nukes don't beat rifles.

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Will December 17, 2013 at 7:25 pm

More detachment from reality from Puty. Whatever tac nukes the USA has in Europe, they're not on short range ballistic missiles or in either Poland or Lithuania. And the response to BMD in Poland that can't touch Russian ICBMs pointed at the USA are Iskander missiles that can be shot down by Patriot PAC-3?

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BMD December 20, 2013 at 6:11 pm

I wouldn't count on PAC-3 intercepting Iskander. This is not a slow cruise missile or an old scud. The Iskander was developed in the 2000s with missile defense systems in mind. It takes a semi ballistic random path at hypersonic Mach 6-7 speeds, can make maneuvers of 30 g and release decoys in the terminal phase. The new Isreali David's Sling system is replacing their PAC-3s because they knew it couldn't intercept Iskanders and they fear Iran and Syria may get them.

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tiger December 20, 2013 at 9:06 pm

We took tac Nucs out of Europe years ago.

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STemplar December 21, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Not all of them.

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STemplar December 22, 2013 at 12:02 am

What's with the thumbs down? We have 180 B61 nuclear bombs forward based in Europe.

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Hunter76 December 17, 2013 at 7:39 pm

This is purely Put playing geopolitics. He wants to cut a piece from the Asian drama.

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The one armed man December 18, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Romney was right.

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SovietReturn December 20, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Downvote it all you want. Romney was right

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Really? December 20, 2013 at 5:58 pm

RRRRR … Really? Romney the Right-wing Religious Radical-fanatic?

Romney is Rubbish.

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that guy December 17, 2013 at 11:27 pm

We should bring back SAC. I bet they would stop playing games then. We still got more toys then they have and the toll we would take on them money wise would bankrupt them and China when we still have most of our assets we would just have to consolidate them back under one command. ( long live SAC @ General Curtis Lemay)

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anon December 18, 2013 at 8:12 am

the USA bankrupting China? Really?

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retired462 December 18, 2013 at 5:17 pm

If the "toys" you're talking about are nukes, then, maybe, you'd better re-think your statement.

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hibeam December 17, 2013 at 11:58 pm

Now instead of dying in 11 minutes you die in 8 minutes. That's a game changer by golly.

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TonyC. December 18, 2013 at 6:39 am

Russia needs to feel wanted again. China has stolen their glory.

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shipfixr December 18, 2013 at 9:52 am

Actually, it's not 'wanted', it's 'feared'……

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retired462 December 18, 2013 at 7:56 am

And we "wimped-out" by not putting the anti-missile system in Europe, because Obama did not want to upset his friend Putin.

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The one armed man December 18, 2013 at 5:45 pm

There's a lot of Obama voters here. Don't say things like that. ;)

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Obama+USA=Europe December 20, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Thought you were joking until I saw the downvotes start flooding in

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Steve B. December 18, 2013 at 6:22 pm

Really ?, wimped out ?. How ?.

This missile has a range of 250 miles. It might not reach to Warsaw much less anywhere else in Europe that matters.

It's a complete non-issue and as point, the ABM system we envisioned for Europe was designed to stop ICBM's coming out of Iran, not any sort of ballistic weapons out of Russia. The Russians know this and choose to make an issue of it for political reasons only.

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pzkwmkv December 20, 2013 at 10:40 am

250 mile ranges puts the northern 2/3 of Poland in range including Warsaw.

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Stratege December 23, 2013 at 12:05 am

Iskander-K (a non export version) has a range of 500km (310 miles).

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Vsshooter December 18, 2013 at 9:22 am

When you have the POS POTUS that we have now WHAT DO YOU EXPECT?!

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dr. agreeable December 19, 2013 at 9:12 pm

pics or it didn't happen.

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KHS December 18, 2013 at 11:25 am

Die USA werden untergehen und etwas ganz neues entsteht ….Ami go home!!!

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Lance December 18, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Old new shows how dumb America's press and President are when they are shocked when we saber rattle Russia they Saber Rattle us back.

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Sean December 18, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Putin is as crazy as that kid running North Korea.

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Big-B December 19, 2013 at 5:16 am

it is time for a german nuclear deterrence. if isreal accepts our german uboats as missile platforms maybe we could accept some of their "special" missiles as payment (instead of giving them the uboats for free). putin is really an annoying pain in the…

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oblatt2 December 19, 2013 at 5:30 am

Merckle is an Ossi its natural for her to take her instructions from Washington. But the future is much closer integration between China, Russia and the EU.

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S Korean Won December 20, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Russia and China are reportedly negotiating on building two high-speed rails joining China and Germany through Russia. One Tran-Siberian line from N.E. China, and another from W. China through Kazakhstan.

If the two lines materialize, cost of merchandise shipment between Europe and China may become drastically lower, a potentially huge blow to American exporters.

A third rail from S. China to Europe through Thailand, Burma, India, Pakistan, Iran, and Turkey is also being considered, along with a branch to Africa.

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LolNo December 20, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Shipping is much cheaper by container ship. A high speed, high cost rail line is not going to be a "blow to American exporters" in any way. It might be a blow to airlines since passenger travel is the only thing something like this would be used for.

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Really? December 21, 2013 at 9:10 am

Wrong. Certainly not much cheaper by container ship.

There are various costs associated with shipping by sea. Long delivery time in and of itself constitutes a significant cost. Moreover, for a vast country like China, unloading the cargo at a port is not the end of the story. You still have to send portions of it inland, either by rail or by truck.

Trade between Europe and China doesn't involve raw materials, unlike China's import of oil, LNG, agricultural products and minerals from 3rd world countries like Africa, South America, Australia, the Middle East, and the US.

Merchandise mass-produced in Central and Western China can reach Pakisan, India, Thailand, Burma, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine more cheaply by rail. Shipping to a port city on the coast would cover pretty much a similar distance anyway. Extending the reach to Western Europe is a natural development.

blight_ December 19, 2013 at 7:46 pm

Not sure if the subsidies would continue. Thought they were one-time. That said, they also give Germany considerable leverage.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/rep

Alternatively, if the US still has TLAM-N in storage somewhere, they should go to Germany. However, doesn't the Intermediate Nuclear Forces treaty ban IRBM's and nuke-armed CM's like GLCM?

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tiger December 20, 2013 at 9:15 pm

So Obama's reset with Russia continues to go to hell I see. Is it 2017 yet?

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Guest December 22, 2013 at 10:03 am

I don't know about Russia, but Obama has been reset. None of his major campaign promises have been come true. The guy is basically sitting there waiting for his term to expire. He will be remembered as one of the worst presidents in history along with GW Bush.

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gt350 December 28, 2013 at 1:44 am

Can someone get PUTIN Viagra. worried about Gays about US , My wife complains I watch TCM to much– what is he thinking , So he's betting on Syria, Iran of all the country's to back– we cant be that bad. doesn't he see China on his right?

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intenseMike January 21, 2014 at 7:02 pm

Why does Russia think the U.S. or Europe poses any threat to them? They need to stop worrying about us. As long as they're not spreading the Socialist Empire, we're not going to get into any conflict with them. In fact, Russia and the U.S. should become buddies. Most of Russia is more of a capitalist society than the U.S. is now, with all our government dependency programs. Rather they, like the rest of us, need to worry about the spread of the Islamic threat as it tries to undermine the fabric of civilization. Seriously, who is threatening the Sochi Olympics?

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