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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

59°02'N 49°16'E
Yuryansk missile formation
Melitopol Red Banner missile division

By 01 January 2007 there were only 9 operational SS-25s and 1 non-deployed launcher at this location, and none a year later. The regiment operates command missiles of the Perimeter command and control system (the missile system is known as 15P175 Sirena) - the base is declared as a test range, which means that all launchers there are counted as test launchers.

The Melitopol Red Banner Missile Division was created on the basis of the 91st Melitopol Red Banner Rifle Division, which during the Great Patriotic War covered a glorious military path from the Volga and Don to the shores of the Baltic Sea, covering about 7 thousand km, including 2 thousand with battles. km. Its soldiers liberated 1114 settlements from the fascist enslavement, and with other parts of the 51st army - 25 cities and 34 regional centers.

The division inflicted heavy losses on the enemy in manpower and military equipment. 345 tanks, 16 aircraft, 604 guns, 374 mortars, more than 3,000 vehicles were destroyed and captured, 14,960 German soldiers and officers were taken prisoner.

After the end of the war, the division was redeployed to the territory of the Ural Military District. On November 12, 1960, the Melitopol Missile Division was formed on its basis with a station in the village of Yurya, Kirov Region.

In November 1962, the Order of the Red Banner of the 91st Melitopol Infantry Division was handed over to the 91st Infantry Division for the successful completion of the tasks of placing the regiments on alert and in continuation of the historical traditions of the division. From that day on, the missile division became known as the Melitopol Red Banner.

In 1964-1975, combat crews of the compound conducted 20 combat training launches of missiles at ranges and from places of permanent deployment. In various years, the division was armed with R-16 missiles (from 1961 to 1977), RSD-10 (from 1978 to 1985). Since 1993, the division has been part of the Orenburg Missile Army.

The Yurya ICBM Complex is in the eastern part of the Forest Zone, in the Kirov Oblast, of the European USSR. The complex support facility is on the northeast side of Yurya, a village on the Kirov-Kotlas railline about 30 nm north of Kirov. This complex was the largest of the Soviet ICBM complexes prior to the deployment of Type IIIC and IIID single silos, and one of the earliest to be constructed.

The rail-to-road transfer point lies about 9.0 nm northeast of the complex support facility, about midway in the band of launch sites that extends approximately 28 nm in a northwest-south-east direction. The complex contained 2 Type IIA, 3 Type IIB, 3 Type IID,and 3 Type IIIA launch sites.

The heavily forested terrain in the region is lightly rolling and inter-spersed with numerous small drains with steep banks. Drainage is predominantly south, toward the Volga river. Elevations within the complex range from about 500 to 700 feet, with relative relief in the vicinity of individual launch sites about 50 feet. The heavy forestation in the region provides an important source of timber, and logging is one of the chief industries of the numerous towns and villages scattered throughout the area. Much of the cleared land is under cultivation, and grain is an important agricultural crop.

In this part of the Forest Zone that includes the Yurya Complex, the characteristic weather is cloudy. Winters are cold with frequent snowfall, andsummers are moderately warm with light breezes, recurring cold spells, and frequent fogs. Average temperatures during the 4 warmest months vary between 45°F and 68°F. Temperature extremes for the 12-month period vary from 92°F to -43°F. In general, precipitation falls every second or third day in all seasons. The weather varies considerably from year to year, and sudden intrusions of Arctic air may cause drastic temperature drops at any time.

Snowcover usually persists from about the beginning of November to the end of April. The general spring thaw creates serious transportation problems. Most roads become impassable, and areas with poor drainage are reduced to seas of soft mud. The thawing upper layer of soil, in snow-free areas, becomes waterlogged while deeper layers remain frozen. Roads are generally worse than open areas because the compacted and polluted snow thaws slowly while, the snowbanks alongside serve to increase the amount of water to be carried away.

At Yur’ya, the confirmed complex whose construction appeared most advanced, eight launchers in four pairs were observed in various stages of construction in mid-1961. Considerations of logistics and control, together with evidence from the MRBM program and other factors, lead us to believe that eight is the typical number of launchers for this type of complex. Each pair of launchers has checkout and ready buildings which are probably capable of housing a missile for each pad; however, the extent of the support facilities strongly suggested that additional missiles are to be held there to provide a reload or standby capability.

The designed salvo capability of the complex is apparently to be eight missiles. There would be at least 5 minutes delay between groups of four missiles if the system is radio-inertial (as is the first generation ICBM) and if one set of guidance facilities is provided for each pair of launchers. A second salvo might be attempted after some hours, assuming the launching facilities were not damaged by accident or attack. Although we have no direct evidence on this matter, CIA believed it might be feasible to prepare a second salvo in 8–12 hours.

Based on its size, the extent of its facilities, and its state of construction, the Yur’ya complex must have been started in the autumn of 1959, concurrent with or very shortly after the start of construction at Tyuratam launch Area C. Yur’ya is probably one of the earliest complexes of its type. Construction and installation of equipment was probably completed some time early in 1962. The similar complex at Yoshkar-Ola is many months behind Yur’ya; the evidence was less conclusive with respect to Kostroma and Verkhnyaya Salda, but what can be seen is apparently in the early stages of construction. From the evidence, therefore, CIA had reasonably firm indications that at least two years were used for the construction of even the simpler ICBM complexes, although this may be reduced to about 18 months as experience is gained.

The complex support facility and rail-to-road transfer point are both servedby a spur from the main rail line through Yurya. A network of local roads joins the various towns and villages throughout the area but few, if any, are first class roads. Within the complex, all-weather roads joining the various launch sites and other complex facilities were apparent concurrent with site construction.

Yurya was one of the first deployed ICBM complexes to be identified in the Soviet Union. Activity has always been apparent at this complex. Missile exercises were often observed at the various launch sites. On one occasion, in the middle of winter, 4 missiles weere observed at Launch Site 7. Snow is always cleared from the roads and launch pads.

The support facilities appeared to be adequate for additional launch facilities and there was ample room for expansion, although most of it would require clearing timber for roads and launch areas. The size and appearance of the support facilities gave an impression of permanence that would indicate that the Soviets intended that this complex remain active for a substantial period of time. This would infer that they either did not intend to phase out the SS-7 missile system in the foreseeable future, or that they expected to deploy a follow-on missile system at this complex. A follow-on system could be deployed here while retaining the SS-7 system. This would follow the precedent established by the deployment of Type IIID sites for the SS-11 missile at many complexes which were originally constructed for deployment of the SS-7 missile system.

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Page last modified: 18-02-2022 19:01:05 ZULU