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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Annals of the Sochi Olympics Folly: Russia Already Planning for Missile Attack

When was the last time you heard about an Olympic venue announcing, seven years in advance, the need for a missile defense system to protect a site? It's a sure and certain testament to the insanity of placing the games in Chechnya's backyard. The IOC is, quite simply, gambling with peoples' lives for no good reason. The International Herald Tribune reports:

The Russian military on Monday deployed new air-defense missiles, which the air force chief said could be used to protect the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi. Col.-Gen. Alexander Zelin said he already had made an official proposal to use the S-400 missile defense system to provide security for the Games. "The organizing committee will prepare the city for the Olympics, while we will prepare air-defense systems and ensure the security of the Games," Zelin was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency. The S-400 is capable of hitting aerial targets at ranges up to 400 kilometers (250 miles) and altitude of up to 30 kilometers (99,000 feet), far excelling its predecessor, the S-300, Russian news reports said. The first S-400 units — which each include a missile launcher, a radar and a control vehicle — were put on combat duty Monday near Moscow. Zelin and other officials boasted the new system's ability to engage difficult targets, such as ballistic missiles' warheads and stealth aircraft. Asked whether the S-400 could also be used in a proposed joint missile defense system with European nations, Zelin said "the issue should be considered in detail." "If relevant directives and orders are received, we'll take up this task and work on it," Zelin was quoted as saying. Russian military officials have proposed using the S-300 and the S-400 as part of a prospective joint European missile defense that Russia has discussed with NATO nations. These discussions have not yielded any practical results, and prospects of a deal looked bleak amid Russia's increasingly strained ties with the West.

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