Tue, Mar 30, 2004
Ukraine Confirms Several Missiles Missing
Where did they go? The
Ukrainian defense minister says hundreds of SAM missiles are
missing from his country's arsenal and he has no clue as to where
those pesky things have gotten off to.
"We are looking for several hundred missiles," said Defense
Minister Yevhen Marchuk, in an interview published in the newspaper
Den. "They have already been decommissioned, but we cannot find
While Marchuk wouldn't specify just which missiles were missing,
a defense ministry spokesman said they're S-75s -- better known in
the west as SA-2s.
Hundreds of those missiles were taken from former republics of
the disintegrated Soviet Union to the Ukraine for destruction. But
no one can say for sure what happened to them because they're --
Where they went, who might have taken them and why they're gone
are all unanswered questions at this point. But if money is any
indication (and it often is), consider this: The value of the
missing missiles and other military equipment that was supposed to
have been destroyed at the end of the Cold War stands at about $189
billion. That's in the Ukraine alone. The entire defense budget of
the Ukraine amounts to around $10 billion a year.
Marchuk blames those who served as defense minister before him.
"They say they were destroyed. Okay, destroyed," he said. "Every
such missile has gold, silver, platinum metals. Where are the
results of their destruction?"
Marchuk said that when he became minister, "no one knew what the
armed forces had," and after nine months in the job he still
doesn't have precise information.
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