russian roulette

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inside russia's nuclear complex

A Map of Russia's Nuclear Facilities

Russia's nuclear stockpile is in scores of weapons labs, fuel depots and research institutes. Here is a map showing some of the major sites as of 1996.

Comparing Nuclear Arsenals  - Two Charts

One chart shows the US and Russian/USSR strategic offensive nuclear forces from 1945-97; the other shows nuclear stockpiles of the US and Russia/USSR from 1945-1997.

The Nunn-Lugar Program

Officially known as the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, this Department of Defense funded project was set up in 1992 to help dismantle sizable parts of the former Soviet nuclear, chemical and biological arsenal and safeguard remaining weapons and material. The many projects covered by Nunn-Lugar include digging up missile silos, chopping up missiles and old bombs, dismantling warheads, improving weapons storage sites' security and, setting up defense conversion projects, whose goals are to demilitarize the industrial and scientific infrastructure that supported the former Soviet Union's weapons of mass destruction. The Nunn-Lugar program helped convince leaders in the former Soviet republics of Belarus, Kazakhstan and the Ukraine to dismantle their nuclear arsenals and send them back to Russia.

Analysis of the Nunn-Lugar  Program

What has it achieved to date? What are the obstacles and lingering questions? Comments from Senator Richard Lugar; former CIA Director Stansfield Turner; General William Odom, an expert on the Soviet military; and U.S. policy experts Matthew Bunn and Ashton Carter.

Exploring Russia's Closed Nuclear Cities

Here is a map showing Russia's ten closed nuclear cities where three quarters of a million people still live. These cities were built between the late 1940s and early 1960s in remote areas behind barbed wire; their only purpose was to make nuclear weapons and their essential ingredients.

This 1998 article on the nuclear cities summarizes how Russia's economic crisis has caused loss of jobs and nonpayment of wages for hundreds of thousands in these cities and outlines efforts underway to help these cities shift to new industries and enterprises.

Finally, here's a closed nuclear city with its own web site (warning: this site can be slow at times). Snezhinsk (formerly known as Chelyabinsk-70) offers an "excursion along the town," a history of the city and information on culture, sports and the region.

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