Ludwig von Gress
I am pleased to announce very pleasing news from Russia. Very pleasing, that is, to all of us who love to live dangerously, for on the 9th October this year Generalissimo Putin decreed that his Russia will go on disposing of her nuclear weapons without USA help.
In the last twenty years United States taxpayers provided over $7 billion to save the world from an accidental explosion or sale of nuclear weapons to the adherents of that renown peaceful religion. The whole thing was called Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program and a cynic may wonder how many of those billions ended up where they belong, i.e. Swiss bank accounts. Still, during 20 years of disposing nuclear materials and weapons under the Nunn-Lugar program, there were no known fatalities.
According to Senator Richard Lugar, Republican from Indiana, and one of the programs initial sponsors: “The Nunn-Lugar scorecard now totals 7,610 strategic nuclear warheads deactivated, 902 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) destroyed, 498 ICBM silos eliminated, 191 ICBM mobile launchers destroyed, 155 bombers eliminated, 906 nuclear air-to-surface missiles (ASMs) destroyed, 492 SLBM launchers eliminated, 684 submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) eliminated, 33 nuclear submarines capable of launching ballistic missiles destroyed, 194 nuclear test tunnels eliminated, 3,192.3 metric tons of Russian and Albanian chemical weapons agent destroyed, 590 nuclear weapons transport train shipments secured, security at 24 nuclear weapons storage sites upgraded, 39 biological threat monitoring stations built and equipped.”
So that would be about a quarter of the total.
With vast mountain of ordinary explosives, which the Soviet Union left s all over her sphere of influence, the new or rather recycled Russia was on her own. The old explosives are unstable and they collided with Russian discipline, attention to detail and respect for human lives. Alexander Kanshin, a member of the Russia’s Public Chamber, said at a press conference: “More than 50 servicemen have died and over 300 have been wounded in the scrapping of munitions in recent years.”
In order to provide an appropriate image for the 9th October announcement (see left), and perhaps to celebrate Russia’s independence from US imperialists, private Alexander Kasatkin who had been that day unloading old ammunition at the Donguz military range for controlled disposal, decided to light a cigarette. In the next four hours the fire “disposed” of 4,000 tons of ammunition. Private Kasatkin managed to run out of harm’s way, along with 300 other soldiers. I hope he gets a medal, and recognition by way of world-wide acceptance of the expression “Kasatkin’s disposal”, something similar to “Potemkin’s village” or “Gillard’s no carbon tax”. Maybe a Little Big Bang would do.