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Russia publishes nuclear arms numbers, accuses U.S. of misleading data

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Bailey Barco, a fast response cutter, is pictured patrolling the waters near Unalaska, Alaska, in August 2017 while providing a security escort for the USS Kentucky, an Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine. Photo by Brandon Newman/U.S. Navy
The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Bailey Barco, a fast response cutter, is pictured patrolling the waters near Unalaska, Alaska, in August 2017 while providing a security escort for the USS Kentucky, an Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine. Photo by Brandon Newman/U.S. Navy

May 25 (UPI) -- Russia owns 517 units of operational intercontinental ballistic missiles, operational submarine-launched ballistic missiles and operational heavy bombers, according to a document released by the Russian Foreign Ministry this week.

That number is slightly lower than the number of similar missiles the United States has -- 651 -- but Russian officials said their country has 1,456 warheads deployed on ICBMs and other missiles, while the United States has 1,357.

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And while the U.S. has 800 operational and non-operational ICBM, SLBM launchers and heavy bombers, Russia has about 767.

Those numbers reflect the notifications given by both the United States and Russia in March in accordance with the New START arms control treaty renewed by both countries in February.

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The Russian government published the numbers earlier this week, according to the Russian news agency TASS.

In the report, the ministry said the reduced number of U.S. operational and non-operational ICBM, SLBM launchers and heavy bombers was achieved "not only due to the real U.S. arms reduction, but also due to the unilateral exclusion of 56 SLBM launchers Trident II and 41 B-52H heavy bombers from the arms declared under the Treaty."

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The foreign ministry also said the U.S. has renamed four missile launch facilities used for training as "training facilities" as opposed to describing them as non-operational ICBM launchers -- putting the actual numbers in excess of those required by the treaty.

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According to the Arms Control Association, the treaty requires both sides to limit the number of deployed strategic nuclear warheads to no more than 1,550 and fielded delivery platforms to 700.

As of March 2020, Russia had 485 deployed strategic delivery systems, 1,362 deployed strategic nuclear warheads and 754 deployed and non-deployed strategic launchers, according to the association.

At the same time, the association reported United States had 655 deployed strategic delivery systems, 1,373 deployed strategic warheads and 800 deployed and non-deployed strategic launchers.

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