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http://uaposition.com/latest-news/russia-deploys-nuclear-warheads-crimea/ – 5/21/2017

Note and update 5/22/2017: BackChannels has trusted UA Position but hasn’t seen second source corroboration on the Crimea story.  Source seems to be Crimean Tatar via

http://news.liga.net/news/politics/14754659-dzhemilev_rossiya_razmestila_v_krymu_shest_yadernykh_boegolovok.htm – 5/20/2017.

Related by Euromaidan Press and published in April 2017:

An alarmist announcement in one publication associated with the justifiable want of sympathy in the maw of an invading force encourages doubt; however, as noted immediately below and in patched-in sections, open source headlines and reports suggest Russia has been revitalizing once abandoned Cold War Era assets in Crimea.

Within the past year:

June 2016: http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/russia-threatens-deploy-nuclear-weapons-crimea-13013

June 2016: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-europe-shield-idUSKCN0Z90WT

November 2016: http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/727788/Russia-Vladimir-Putin-Crimea-missile-bunkers-Soviet-Cold-War-global-attack-Nato-Ukraine – “Putin renovates Cold War Missile Bunkers in Crimea as Russia prepares for global assault.”

April 29, 2017: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/russia-weighs-heavily-in-americas-nuclear-plans/article/2621340

May 1, 2017: http://www.newsweek.com/stephen-blank-europeans-should-wake-russia-war-them-590408

May 5, 2017: http://www.newsweek.com/why-russia-nuclear-capable-bombers-flight-near-alaska-595256

Again: has Moscow really planted nuclear missiles in Crimea?

This note comes from the Federation of American Scientists and comments on similar web claims dating back to 2014:

The news media and private web sites are full of rumors that Russia has deployed nuclear weapons to Crimea after it invaded the region earlier this year. Many of these rumors are dubious and overly alarmist and ignore that a nuclear-capable weapon is not the same as a nuclear warhead.

Several U.S. lawmakers who oppose nuclear arms control use the Crimean deployment to argue against further reductions of nuclear weapons. NATO’s top commander, U.S. General Philip Breedlove, has confirmed that Russian forces “capable of being nuclear” are being moved to the Crimean Peninsula, but also acknowledged that NATO doesn’t know if nuclear warheads are actually in place.

Kristensen, Hans M.  “Rumors About Nuclear Weapons in Crimea.”  FAS, December 18, 2014.

Nuclear arms agreements may have comfort the public of an earlier day, but ambiguity would seem to bedevil the field.

From BackChannels’ open source perspective, there are no authoritative or official sources or statements.  What appears in the chronologically ordered headlines, however, suggests a course in the redevelopment of Cold War Era military facilities.

Additional reference:

Gertz, Bill.  “Russia Building New Underground Nuclear Command Posts: U.S. intelligence detects dozens of hardened bunkers for leaders.”  Free Beacon, August 15, 2016.

A few twists and turns further and the driver pulled over to the side of the road. He was saying something about a monastery, and pointing to a series of blue roofs that rose up above the trees ahead of us. Presumably, it was the only viable tourist destination that he could think of in this vicinity. He seemed friendly enough, so I risked blowing our cover – leaning forward to say, “Objekt Dva-Dva-Adin.”

Our driver laughed, repeated the name of the colossal ruin, once a well kept military secret, and turned the car around.

The Bohemian Blog.  “Inside Objekt 221: An Abandoned Soviet Stronghold in the Crimea.”  June 4, 2015.

It is a functioning military base with an anti-ship missile system,” the villager told a Reuters reporter who visited the area in July.

The bunkers are just one small part of a new Russian programme to militarise the Crimean peninsula. Based on recent site observations by Reuters, accounts from locals, media reports and official Russian data, Moscow has reanimated multiple Soviet-built facilities in the region, built new bases and stationed soldiers there

Reuters.  “In Crimea, Russia signals military resolve with new and revamped bases.”  November 1, 2016.

Related: Scandinavian Defense

I had started this separate post last night, but as things may move fast in Crimea and Syria — readers may wish also to take a look at Russia’s cash position as regards funding its aggression and barbarism against the autonomous, democratic, or western-leaning states of its surrounding world — this brief referencing may as well ride along on the same because, essentially, the material is about the same thing: Moscow’s brandishing its biggest gun, i.e., the threat of nuclear exchange and all that may follow it.

http://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2016/10/washington-quietly-reinforcing-europes-northern-flank/132656/ – 10/26/2016

http://www.sldinfo.com/the-challenge-of-shaping-a-21st-century-integrated-force-for-the-extended-defense-of-norway-the-perspective-of-lt-general-rune-jakobsen/ – 2/16/2017.

https://www.newsbytesapp.com/timeline/World/6909/41038/russia-threat-us-plans-additional-deployments-in-baltic – 5/12/2017.

http://www.businessinsider.com/finland-norway-sweden-b-52-air-force-russia-ace-17-2017-5 – 5/19/2017.

https://toinformistoinfluence.com/2017/05/20/finland-norway-and-sweden-are-conducting-a-massive-air-exercise-amid-russia-tensions/ – 5/20/2017.

Related: Libya: Moscow Naval Launch Exercises

https://www.middleeastobserver.org/2017/05/18/what-is-russia-planning-to-do-off-libyas-eastern-coast-next-week/ – 5/18/2017.

https://www.rbth.com/defence/2017/05/19/russia-set-to-test-its-cruise-missiles-near-libyas-coasts_765511 – 5/19/2017.

Chess pieces, demonstrations, exercises, sales, and threats — there’s a mix of prudence and evil that seeps down into the economies of all Big Defense Production states, but Moscow has placed itself in the desperate position of wanting to produce a primary defense industry even while Russians suffer from the funds siphoned away for its foreign ambitions and apparently natural kleptocratic tendencies.

Related: General Russian Defense Industry

Putin is allocating unprecedented amounts of secret funds to accelerate Russia’s largest military buildup since the Cold War, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The part of the federal budget that is so-called black — authorized but not itemized — has doubled since 2010 to 21 percent and now totals 3.2 trillion rubles ($60 billion), the Gaidar Institute, an independent think tank in Moscow, estimates.

Stung by sanctions over Ukraine and oil’s plunge, Putin is turning to defense spending to revive a shrinking economy. The outlays on new tanks, missiles and uniforms highlight the growing militarization that is swelling the deficit and crowding out services such as health care. Thousands of army conscripts will be moved into commercial enterprises for the first time to aid in the rearmament effort.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/06/03/world/putins-black-budget-hides-shift-toward-war-economy-defence-security-absorb-34-spending/#.WSG-YtQrJlY – 6/3/2015

http://carnegieendowment.org/2017/05/03/assessing-russia-s-reorganized-and-rearmed-military-pub-69853 – 5/3/2017.