Russia Moves Missiles Near Poland, Lithuania

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.

About the Author

Brendan McGarry
Brendan McGarry is the managing editor of Military.com. He can be reached at brendan.mcgarry@military.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.
  • Ben

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

  • IKnowIT

    Was on the Interwebs days ago…

    • Menzie

      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.

  • SJE

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

    • ike

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

  • orly?

    Pffft nukes don’t beat rifles.

  • Will

    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?

    • BMD

      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.

    • tiger

      We took tac Nucs out of Europe years ago.

      • STemplar

        Not all of them.

        • STemplar

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

  • Hunter76

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

    • The one armed man

      Romney was right.

      • SovietReturn

        Downvote it all you want. Romney was right

      • Really?

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

        Romney is Rubbish.

  • that guy

    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)

    • anon

      the USA bankrupting China? Really?

    • retired462

      If the “toys” you’re talking about are nukes, then, maybe, you’d better re-think your statement.

  • hibeam

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

  • TonyC.

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

    • shipfixr

      Actually, it’s not ‘wanted’, it’s ‘feared’……

  • retired462

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

    • The one armed man

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

      • Obama+USA=Europe

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

    • Steve B.

      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.

      • pzkwmkv

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

      • Stratege

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

  • Vsshooter

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

    • dr. agreeable

      pics or it didn’t happen.

  • KHS

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

  • Lance

    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.

  • Sean

    Putin is as crazy as that kid running North Korea.

  • Big-B

    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…

    • oblatt2

      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.

      • S Korean Won

        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.

        • LolNo

          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.

          • Really?

            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_

      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?

  • tiger

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

    • Guest

      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.

  • gt350

    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?

  • intenseMike

    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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