‘Delayed Action Mines’ under Russia a Reality Not Just a Metaphor, Moscow Analyst Says
February 7 – One of the metaphors employed in Russia to talk about looming
disasters is the supposed existence of “delayed action mines” be they as
Vladimir Putin has it the non-Russian republics left over from Soviet times or
Putin’s past and present policies which are leading to disaster as his critics
would have it.
bombs left over from World War II and the Cold War, explosives of various
kinds, and aging buried containers of dangerous chemicals are too be found
throughout Russia and the adjoining seas. After the collapse of the USSR,
Moscow established a Registry of Potentially Dangerous Underwater Objects, but
it is at best incomplete even regarding the seas.
2008, the registry listed such dangerous objects; by 2015, that number had
risen to 24,000. “Just how many there will be a year from know is unknown: the
sea does not reveal its secrets” and the government is unwilling to report on
all such “objects” lest it spark panic in the population.
provides details on some of the more infamous of these, including sunken German
submarines and transports in the Baltic Sea, unexploded ordinance in the Black
Sea as well, and a massive dump of explosives in the mouth of the Yenisey
River.He also talks about Soviet
programs of disposing nuclear waste in the Arctic.
certainly the most alarming if not necessarily the most immediately threatening
are nuclear weapons that may lie on the sea beds as a result of the crash of
Soviet aircraft carrying or at least capable of carrying nuclear weapons that
Moscow was unable to recover and that presumably are still there.
case involves the crash of a Tu-95 known to be carrying nuclear weapons near the
shores of Sakhalin. It is suspected but now confirmed that the US was able to
raise these and take them back to America for study. A second occurred in 1964
when a Soviet bomber known to be capable of carrying nuclear weapons crashed in
to Kiyan, there are at least 1200 objects on the floor of the sea with
radioactive materials in them. Most consist of nuclear waste that Soviet
officials disposed of, but some consists of more dangerous things, as the two
cases that are known suggest given that there may very well be more no one
addition to these seabed “unexploded mines,” of course, there are dangerous
materials buried or even lying on the surface in many places in Russia,
something that helps to explain the passion many Russians display in opposing
the opening of dumps near their homes and that means every metaphorical
reference to “unexploded bombs” has an additional meaning.