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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


Mozdok
182nd Heavy Bomber Rgmt
4343N 04441E

Mozdok, in North Osetia, was the largest strategic air base in the Caucasus, and home of the 182nd Heavy Bomber Regiment. Reportedly in 1998 all airworthy Tu-95 Bears at Mozdok were flown to Engels, in part because Mozdok was located only 50 km from Chechen border and the guerilla threat. As of 01 July 1998 only one Bear H16 remained at Mozdok, versus the 18 that had previously been deployed there. Only 24 of the 35 Tu-95MS based at Mozdok were able to fly under their own power; the remainder were dismantled in place.

At the outset of the Chechen campaign in December 1994, military transport aircraft transferred units from the Pskov and Tula Airborne Assault Divisions to the Mozdok area. The Ministry of Defense formed three groups or task forces to carry out the assault on Chechnya: The Northern Task Force - on the Mozdok axis; the Western Task Force - on the Vladikavkaz axis; and the Eastern Task Force - on the Kizlar axis. Only the Northern task force, advancing along the Mozdok axis, experienced initial success. But they were stopped by Chechen forces on 13 December before they could reach Grozny. On 31 December 1994, the Russian forces launched an attack to seize the city of Grozny.

During the 1994-95 Chechen campaign, the majority of the logistics support facilities and units were positioned near the Mozdok garrison. Mozdok has a good railhead and airfield and is located some 110 kilometers from Grozny. The Russian rear services built a tent city with some 3,000 heated tents, 114 mess halls, shower and bath units and vehicle wash points. The rear services also brought a shower and laundry train forward to Mozdok.4 Long-haul was by rail and air and soon depots, supply dumps and supply points were established at Mozdok extending toward Grozny. Air transport played a significant role in the long-haul of men and supplies. High demand items were almost always shipped by air. Practically the entire Russian Military Transport Aviation (VTA), plus some commercial aviation was involved in supporting the effort.

The Mozdok Air Base remained operational, and was subsequently used as the the main military headquarters and a base of operations in the Chechen campaign that began in 1999. On 21 October 1999 US satellites [reportedly the Defense Support Program] tracked two Russian short-range ballistic missile launched from the Russian city of Mozdok some 60 miles northeast of Grozny. By late January 2000 an information center was stationed in Mozdok, with seventy reporters accredited at it. Premises were allocated to house the united temporary press center of the press services of the Defence Ministry, the Interior Ministry and the troops of the interior. Some of the journalists in Mozdok, in particular the group of the Swedish television, attempted to reach the frontline without permission. They were brought back and warned. By late January 2000 the Russian Interior Ministry's department for the Chechen Republic had moved from Mozdok to Gudermes.

In February 2000, a 10-truck convoy of relief supplies sponsored by the United Nations left the southern Russian city of Stavropol under Russian military escort. It spent the night in Mozdok, in North Ossetia. The trucks arrived in Grozny at the end of February with 45-tons of food, plastic sheeting, soap, and other supplies -- the first U-N aid to reach Grozny since Russia began its military offensive.





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