According to media reports, the range of the cruise missiles even recorded targets in Central Europe.
According to a newspaper report, Russia has installed its controversial 9M729 cruise missile at more locations than previously known.
The (“FAS”) reports, citing a senior Western intelligence official, that in addition to a training battalion in the southern Russian provincial area of Kapustin Jar and a battalion in Kamyschlow east of Yekaterinburg, there are two more locations for deployment: the North Ossetian Mosdok and Shuja near Moscow.
According to the report, the US informed its NATO partners about the location in Shuja for the first time in the second half of last year. Each of the four battalions, according to the “FAS” has four launch vehicles on wheels, each carrying four rockets. Consequently, Russia has at least 64 of the new cruise missiles, which can be equipped with both a conventional and an atomic explosives.
Russia and the US withdrew from the INF disarmament agreement last week. The agreement prohibits land-based missiles and cruise missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers, which can carry nuclear warheads. The US and NATO accuse Russia of breaching the agreement with its 9M729 cruise missile. Moscow denies these accusations.
As the “FAS” reported, the range of the cruise missile with nuclear warhead is 2,350 kilometers, with a conventional 500-kilogram warhead is therefore 2,000 kilometers. According to Moscow, the cruise missile has only a range of 480 kilometers.
According to the report, Eastern and Northern Europe as well as Central Europe are within range of the system. In the event of a crisis, however, the system could quickly move to the west and threaten all of Europe, with the exception of Portugal, the FAS continued.
The INF Treaty had been signed in 1987 by the US President Ronald Reagan and the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The US and Russia accuse each other of violating the Cold War disarmament treaty. Experts see the termination of the agreement as a possible start signal for a new arms race.