Russia: December 29, 2003

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 In a rapid operation, Russia sent two Il-76 transports to Moldova and flew out all of the anti-aircraft missiles (especially the shoulder fired ones). Moldova, like many frontier parts of the Soviet Union, became independent when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. But because if its position next to Rumania, Moldova was the location of vast munitions and weapons storage areas (to support possible war with NATO).  There are still 2,000 Russian troops in Moldova to guard the 28,000 tons of weapons and munitions that are still there. The Russian troops have been selling some of those weapons to smugglers, terrorists, criminals and gun runners, and Russian attempts to stop this illegal trade have not been completely successful. Thus the sudden action to get the anti-aircraft missiles out and away from terrorists. Russian troops have been selling their own weapons for decades. Even in combat zones, like Chechnya, there have been cases of Russian soldiers selling weapons and munitions to Chechen rebels.

 

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