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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

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Mazyr (Mozyr' in Russian) is in Belorussia and was subordinate to the Mozyr Division of the Vinnitsa Strategic Rocket Force Army.

Belarus was the first nation to accede to Russia’s demands to become the only nuclear power in the Commonwealth of Independent States. In October 1992, Stanislav Shushkevich, chairman of the Belarus Supreme Soviet, announced that Belarus and Russia had President Stanislav S. Shushkevich, signed an agreement declaring that the strategic nuclear forces on its territory – three missile divisions, with 81 SS-25 missiles – would be legally placed under jurisdiction of the Russian General Staff.

Each of the 81 SS-25 missiles located in Belarus was capable of launching a single nuclear warhead. Operationally, the missiles, each equipped with 750-kiloton warheads, were mounted on large military vehicles that were driven deep into the forest and parked on prepositioned launching pads. The missiles in Belarus were a small part of the Soviet Union’s larger SS-25 force, totaling 354 missiles, which had been deployed from 1985 to 1991.

Since these missiles were mounted on military vehicles, they could be driven or transported via rail to SS-25 bases in Russia and incorporated into existing combat units. Organizationally, the three divisions in Belarus were elements of the 43rd Rocket Army, commanded by General Mikhtyuk from his headquarters in Vinnitsa, Ukraine. By 1992 Mikhtyuk had six missile divisions stationed on Belarus territory. Of these, three divisions were paper units without missiles or personnel. Following the October 1992 Belarus-Russian agreement, there was a series of meetings in Kiev and Moscow between the Russian SRF commander and Ukraine’s Minister of Defense. Only after these meetings did General Mikhtyuk order immediate disbanding of the three unequipped missile divisions, located at Lutsk, Romney and Belokorovichy. The three active missile divisions in Belarus were located at Lida, Mozyr and Postavy, with 81 SS-25 ICBMs and approximately 9,500 men.

By early-1996 all but eighteen of the single-warhead SS-25 ICBMs and their warheads originally deployed in Belarus had been returned to Russia. Two regiments remain, one at Lida and the other at Mozyr. The withdrawals appeared to be proceeding on schedule until July 1995, when Belarusian President Lukashenko reportedly suspended nuclear weapons shipments to Russia, claiming that Belarus should be fairly compensated for economic and financial hardships stemming from the departure of Russian troops and environmental damage at former Russian missile sites. Belarusian officials stated that all SS-25s will be withdrawn by the end of 1996, the date specified in their bilateral agreement ratified by the Belarusian Supreme Soviet in November 1993. However, in the Committee's view, President Lukashenko's recent tendencies to act in a more authoritarian and arbitrary manner suggest that the original withdrawal schedule was not guaranteed.

Mozyr is the administrative center of the Mozyr district of the Gomel region. The city is located on the Pripyat River, 294 km from the city of Minsk, 144 km from the city of Gomel. Not far from Mazyr, one of the main roads of Belarus, M10 (the Border of the Russian Federation (Selishche) - Gomel - Kobrin) passes, as well as the roads P31 (Bobruisk - Mozyr - the border of Ukraine (New Rudnya), P35 (Kalinkovichi - Bragin - Komarin - border, pass through the city Ukraine (Komarin) and P36 (Mozyr - Lelchitsy - Milosevici - the border of Ukraine (Glushkovichi). Also, the railway line Kalinkovichi - Slovechno passes through the city.

Mazyr is one of the most ancient cities of Belarus . It was first mentioned in written sources in 1155, when Prince Yuri Dolgoruky transferred this land to Prince Svyatoslav Olegovich. At that time, the city was part of the Principality of Turov , which in turn was subordinate to Kiev. However, when Turov became independent, Mozyr remained under the rule of the Kiev princes. Then in the XIV century, this land passes to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania . Annalistic texts report that initially Mozyr was an ordinary Slavic settlement with a fortified center and a settlement. But already at the beginning of the XVI century there are references to a wooden castle and church. It is known that the castle had five towers, and it was surrounded by a moat and rampart.

Mozyr is one of the real cultural centers of the country, it is located on a hilly area on the banks of the Pripyat River . Its location to a greater extent determined the historical development, and this, in turn, affected the tourism potential. This city is attractive not only for its beautiful natural views and monuments, but also for unusual sights, famous natives and well-developed infrastructure. Coming here is a great way to plunge into the life of Belarusian Polesie.

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Page last modified: 24-02-2020 18:29:04 ZULU