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Russia Discloses Nuclear Submarine Was Armed During Fire

A senior Russian official acknowledged on Thursday that weapons were still loaded on a ballistic-missile submarine that caught fire while docked for maintenance in December, ITAR-Tass reported. Earlier reports said the vessel was unarmed at the time (see GSN, Jan. 3).

The blaze on the Yekaterinburg lasted for 20 hours before being extinguished. The Russian Defense Ministry previously claimed the vessel had its weapons removed in advance of planned upkeep activities and that its atomic reactor had been deactivated.

This was not the case, according to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.
"It was a rude violation of existing regulations for the repairs of nuclear submarines specifically with armaments onboard," he said to journalists without sharing which armaments were still on the vessel.
Rogozin said he had convened a special committee to investigate what ignited the fire. The committee has been charged with identifying rule breaches, he said.
Separately, the former ambassador to NATO urged Russian defense contractors to speed up the work schedule for completing Borei and Yasen-class submarines (see GSN, Feb. 2).
"They are from six to 12 months behind schedule. The situation should be immediately remedied," Rogozin said (ITAR-Tass, Feb. 3).

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Country Profile

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This article provides an overview of Russia’s historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.

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