Pavel Felgenhauer, an independent Russian military analyst, says that even though Moscow will not confirm or deny the presence of nuclear weapons in occupied Crimea, there can be no doubt that the Russians have placed them there because of the presence of nuclear-capable delivery systems.
He tells Ukraine’s Gordon news agency that most of them are probably still in storage bunkers but some of them may already be installed in launch vehicles for possible use.
The situation today, Felgenhauer continues, is a “pre-war” one if one is speaking “about tactical nuclear arms. Formally, this is a secret but the carriers are already prepared and special weapons are located in the warehouses of the 12th main directorate of the ministry of defense of the Russian Federation.” He adds that in his view, some are already on Black Sea naval vessels or at airbases in Crimea.
“For Moscow, Crimea is Russian territory and therefore it isn’t bothered about agreements on the non-proliferation of nuclear arms.” The 1991 accord between the USSR and later Russia, on the one hand, and the US, on the other, “bore only the character of a gentlemen’s agreement” and is not in fact now being observed.
Russian forces have by various estimates up to 10,000 tactical nuclear weapons. At least some of them are in Crimea. “No one should have any doubts about that,” Felgengauer says
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