RealNews

Dirty Bomb Warheads Disappear

In the ethnic conflicts that surrounded the collapse of the Soviet Union, fighters in several countries seized upon an unlikely new weapon: a small, thin rocket known as the Alazan. Originally built for weather experiments, the Alazan rockets were packed with explosives and lobbed into cities. Military records show that at least 38 Alazan warheads were modified to carry radioactive material, effectively creating the world’s first surface-to-surface dirty bomb. The radioactive warheads are not known to have been used. But now, according to experts and officials, they have disappeared. The last known repository was here, in a tiny separatist enclave known as Transdniester, which broke away from Moldova 12 years ago. The Transdniester Moldovan Republic is a sliver of land no bigger than Rhode Island located along Moldova’s eastern border with Ukraine. Its government is recognized by no other nation. But its weapons stocks — new, used and modified — have attracted the attention of black-market arms dealers worldwide. And they’re for sale, according to U.S. and Moldovan officials and weapons experts. Full Story

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