Why Russia’s Reviving Its Nuke Trains

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The ICBM RT-23, nicknamed the ‘Good Sport’ (Molodets)

Russian designers have begun to create new elements of “Barguzin” — Russia’s combat railway missile complex (BZhRK) aimed at transporting and launching strategic nuclear missiles.

Citing a military source with the knowledge of the matter, Russian Regnum news agency wrote that the project’s exact completion date would be announced in early 2018. Back in 2014, Strategic Missile Forces Commander Col. Gen. Sergei Karakayev told journalists that the sketches of Russia’s future railway-based missile complex had been finalized.

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Head of Russian military intelligence dies unexpectedly at 58

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The director of Russia’s powerful military intelligence agency has died unexpectedly at 58, according to the Kremlin, which has yet to release precise information about the circumstances of his death. General Igor Sergun had led the Main Intelligence Directorate, known as GRU, since 2011, when he replaced his predecessor, Colonel General Aleksandr Shlyakhturov, in a Kremlin-instigated reshuffle. The Russian government said at the time that Shlyakhturov, who had spearheaded a major shake-up of the GRU since his appointment in 2009, had “reached retirement age” and gave no other reason for his sudden replacement. General Sergun’s death was announced in a statement posted on the official website of the Kremlin on January 4. It said that the GRU director had “suffered a sudden death” on January 3. It gave no further details as to the exact cause or circumstances surrounding the general’s death. Continue reading