Ukraine has transferred Soviet-made SS-19 missiles to Russia, Interfax-Military news service reported July 25, but it is unclear exactly when the transfer occurred or how many missiles were involved. Each SS-19 missile can carry up to six nuclear warheads.
The Ukrainian government had approved the sale in October 2002. The missiles had remained in Ukraine after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. Experts estimate that Ukraine had possessed around 32 SS-19 missiles, but the governments refused to specify whether Ukraine transferred all of the missiles.
Previously, the United States and Ukraine had agreed to destroy the missiles under the Cooperative Threat Reduction program; it is unclear whether Russia will maintain or eventually dismantle the missiles. According to numbers reported under START I, Russia possessed 150 SS-19 missiles prior to the transfer of the Ukrainian missiles.