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Strategic Rocket Troops Count 879 Launchers

INTERFAX 13 Dec 95

MOSCOW, Dec 13 (INTERFAX) -- Commander of the Russian Strategic Rocket Troops, Col. Gen. Igor Sergeyev told INTERFAX today that the strategic rocket troops had 879 launchers. He said 18,000 servicemen of the rocket troops were on duty every day. Russia is marking the 36th anniversary of the strategic rocket troops today. "After the collapse of the USSR, only four CIS countries -- Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine -- became the carriers of the nuclear shield," Sergeyev said. Ukraine currently has 96 rocket launchers, he added, while Belarus and Kazakhstan have 18 launchers each country. "After the recent visit of Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev to Minsk, Russia and Belarus confirmed their agreement on withdrawing from Belarus to Russia the rest of regiments of the strategic rocket troops," Sergeyev said. "Two thirds of nuclear ammunition has already been pulled out from Ukraine. Destruction of nuclear weapons is underway in Kazakhstan," Sergeyev said. "Under international agreements, Russia now has only silos and Topol-type mobile rocket launchers, which are on military duty under the zero option since May 1994," Sergeyev said.

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