Ukrainian ‘president’ Petro Poroshenko demands 1240 anti-missile systems “Javelin” from the US. According to him, Javelins are “wonderderwarfare” that will help Kiev forces to win a war against Donbass.
This article originally appeared at argumenti.ru, translated from Russian by Olga Seletskaia
A few days ago the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko labored another effervescent statements. Poroshenko is already known for the immoderate alcohol consumption. This time, in an interview with American newspaper The Wall Street Journal, he demanded from the US to supply 1240 anti-missile systems “Javelin.” This, he said, would serve, though weakly, yet as a compensation for 1240 nuclear warheads, which Ukraine gave away after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Basic education on nuclear weapons
Let’s start with the fact that according to Kiev politicians, Ukraine renounced its nuclear status in the Budapest Protocol in 1994. This agreement (by the way, which has not been ratified by Kiev) was only the last step in the process of taking away from Ukraine something that never belonged to it. The process began much earlier when the USSR still existed. According to the Budapest memorandum, the US, Russia and Britain had pledged not only not to use nuclear weapons against Ukraine, but in the case of someone’s nuclear aggression against the country, to protect Kiev by the UN Security Council.
By the time of the collapse of the USSR, most of the strategic and tactical nuclear arsenal of the Soviet army was concentrated in Russia. But quite a number of those weapons were kept in Europe, as well as in the republics of the former Soviet Union. The largest of these nuclear arsenals was in the territory of Ukraine. A large group of strategic nuclear forces belonging to the Strategic Missile Forces and the long-range aviation were stationed there.
There were also large stocks of tactical nuclear weapons there. Five military districts in Ukraine belonged to the second strategic echelon of the USSR army. Tactical nuclear weapons (TNW) had been removed from the territory of Ukraine first – as being more numerous and dangerous in terms of control. Not because it was easier to steal – this reasoning is more suitable for Hollywood horror stories. But this kind of weapons, as, for example, a portable nuclear sabotage mine, does not require any aircraft or missiles, howitzers or carriers. And that what makes them dangerous. There were nearly 3 thousand of TNW munitions stocked in the territory of Ukraine.
On October 24, 1991 the Verkhovna Rada announced a non-nuclear status of the unrecognized back then the “state” of Ukraine . At the same time the Soviet command began an urgent removal of tactical nuclear weapons from the territory of Ukraine. The process began in November and was generally completed by the beginning of May 1992 . The adoption by the Russian army of 2883 tactical munitions of various kinds was recorded and officiated then. According to the Ukrainian records they were 250 pieces less.
This led to a long “fists shaking after a fight” in the Rada . They investigated, why and where such a difference in the numbers came from and what happened to the missing pieces. As it turned out, they were not lost, though Ukrainians still could not come to the general opinion about what happened to the 14 pieces.
After the Alma-Ata and Minsk (Beloveszhskaya Puscha) agreements in 1991, control of the Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons moved to its legal assignee – Russia. Official rejection of the nuclear status of Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan took place under the Lisbon Protocol of May 23, 1992. Then these three countries recognized themselves as the parties of the Agreement SNA-1. At the same time they acceded to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), being in the list of countries that do not possess nuclear weapons. It was namely in 1992, and not two years later in Budapest, as the chocolate moguls, imagining themselves being politicians, claim.
At the same time the process of transfer of strategic nuclear weapons began. Tactical weapons had already been taken out of Belarus and Kazakhstan. Moreover, control of nuclear warheads and delivery vehicles had already been transferred to the central command post ( TCP) of the Strategic Missile Forces and the Air Force, Army and NBI first of the Soviet Union, and then of the CIS, and then of Russia. It could not be any other way. Over decades, the command and control system had been shaped and centralized to be managed by the military authorities from Moscow.
That is, none of the Republics ever had control other than formal political control, and they simply could not take advantage of these arsenals even if they wanted. They would not be able even to blow them up. Not to mention the position of the West, which would support any actions of Moscow, aimed at restoring a centralized control over nuclear weapons in the event of attempts to intercept the management of the nuclear arsenal. No matter how much Washington would welcome the disintegration of the USSR, but the White House would not be happy to see the emergence of several new nuclear powers.
Unlike Kiev, Belarusian and Kazakh leaders were quite careful on the nuclear matters. They orderly transferred to Russia the carriers of nuclear weapons for further use or disposal, but Ukraine had destroyed them.
In Ukraine, at the time of the Soviet collapse, there were 130 missile silos (silo) ICBM UR-100N (NATO classification – SS-19 “Stiletto”) with 6 warheads (BB) on each and 46 heavy ICBM silos PT 23UTTH “Well done” (NATO classification – SS-24 “scalpel”) with 10 warheads each. There were also 19 heavy strategic bombers Tu-160 and 25 Tu-95MS and Tu-95K 2 which were a part of Heavy Bomber Division. In total, there were 1240 nuclear weapons and strategic nuclear weapons. They were being moved to Russia before 1996. The mines, and most of the missiles were destroyed under the supervision of inspectors from the Russian Federation and the United States.
Ukrainians had transferred to Russia several Tu -160 and Tu- 95MS with more than 800 cruise missiles to them. But it was after the withdrawal of nuclear weapons, and it counted as payment for gas debts. Americans were against it, they wanted to see these planes and missiles to be destroyed as it happened with the other machines.
To shake off the money tree again
Announcing a non-nuclear status was not for free. For transferred from Ukraine strategic nuclear warheads Russia delivered to Ukraine 1800 fuel assemblies for nuclear power plants. And for TNW worth half a billion dollars in view of recycling , there was offsetting debt for energy resources. Is it much or or not – it is a moot point. Though it was obvious that the value of real nuclear arsenals was much higher, but to whom is it to sell? Even that amount of money in those days was huge for the impoverished dramatically from independence Ukraine.
So another attempt to get some kind of profit for something at the expense of long-in the past-paid goods looks like blatant stupidity , even in the eyes of Poroshenko’s Washington backers. As well as permanent empty threats ” to regain the nuclear status .”
Dreams of “wonderderwarfare”/vundervaffe
Special thanks to the notorious “Javelin.” Often in the history of warfare it was that the nation losing the war would begin to rave “superweapon” or “vundervaffe.” This was especially evident in the Third Reich. But the result is known, despite a huge technological breakthrough in several areas by the Germans. Kiev can’t count on it. Therefore, they prefer to believe that the superweapon certainly will be brought by the American magician in the blue helicopter “Blackhawk” (free show movies). Dreams of “Javelin” come from the same series.
ATRC short ( 2-2.5 km) range ” Javelin ” in principle can not change the course of the war in the Donbass. The victory there depends primarily on the artillery. This ATRC has its pros like rockets’ autonomy from the complex. But there are also disadvantages. For example, a complicated procedure of guidance and relative vulnerability to interference. To be an effective weapon, it also requires well-trained and skilled operators. The seeming ease of use of homing ” Javelina ” should not be deceiving.
Most importantly – in a “war of artillery” mass appearance of any ATC of short range will lead not only to the emergence of countermeasures, but also to the changing tactics of the troops. In the first place it will force the Army of Republics to precisely follow the statute in terms of preparation and conduct of offensive artillery barrage. That is, to increase the flow of munitions that will kill at least 2/3 of enemy antitank weapons to a depth of 5 km. The war is not won by “vundervaffe”, it is won primarily by the competent use of troops and forces.