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Russian Bombers in Cuba? A Hoax, Official Says

Russia yesterday dismissed a report that Moscow is reviewing an option to place strategic nuclear bombers in Cuba, the Associated Press reported (see GSN, July 23).

"We see this sort of anonymous allegation as disinformation and [a] media hoax," Defense Ministry spokesman Ilshat Baichurin said.

The United States welcomed Russia's denial of the plan reported by the Russian newspaper Izvestia.

"That's a good thing," U.S. State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos said (Associated Press/PR-inside, July 24).

A former commander of Russia's strategic missile forces yesterday said stationing bombers in Cuba would help Russia little because the United States could easily target the aircraft, RIA Novosti reported.

"The advantage of these bombers is that they may launch missiles from outside the effective range of an enemy's air defenses," said retired Col. Gen. Victor Yesin, now at the Academy of Security, Defense and Law Enforcement Studies (RIA Novosti, July 24).

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