Russia: September 8, 2000


  Announcing that Russia cannot afford to maintain the still huge Soviet era armed forces, the government said that the armed forces would lose a third of it's personnel in the next three years. The remaining troops would receive more pay and training. Much equipment would be retired, so that it would be possible to keep the remaining gear war ready. The army would lose 180,000 troops (leaving 170,000), the navy 50,000 (leaving 120,000) and the air force 40,000 (leaving 145,000, plus 100,000 transferred from the Strategic Forces.)  The 480,000 paramilitary border guards and interior ministry troops would also suffer some losses. The armed forces would have about 900,000 troops after all the cuts are complete. Meanwhile, the latest theory on what sank the Kursk comes from a newspaper report that it was a Shipwreck (aka P-700 or Granit) anti-ship missile fired from a Russian cruiser. Since the Kursk was near the surface when she began to sink, this is plausible. The  Shipwreck missile weighs seven tons at launch and carries a 1600 pound warhead. 


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