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Indeed, the Russian army has spent the past several years equipping its Baltic territory with state-of-the-art weaponry. Regional security officials now call Kaliningrad a veritable arms depot.

According to a recent report by the Casimir Pulaski Foundation, a Polish security think tank, the plan features the acquisition of Iskanders along with aircraft, 1, helicopters, ships and 2, tanks. Some of these heavy-hitters, including jet fighters and bombers, were recently delivered to a base outside the city where Immanuel Kant wrote his famous treatise on eternal peace. Isolated from Russia, Kaliningrad depends on the mainland for deliveries of everything from clothes to vodka — and those deliveries take place by rail and road transport through Lithuania.

The nine-year-old missile launcher is capable of launching both conventional and nuclear missiles, and it does so with much better accuracy than its predecessors.

A conventional warhead launched from an Iskander can officially reach a target km away with five-metre accuracy range, crucially putting it below the km limit required by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces INF treaty signed by Russia. From its Baltic base, an Iskander-launched bomb could easily destroy, for example, the German parliament. Because nuclear-capable states keep the location of their warheads a secret, nobody knows for sure whether Kaliningrad is also housing atomic bombs.

But, given that transporting and mounting nuclear warheads requires little time — inserting a warhead into its launcher can take as little as 15 minutes, their presence or absence at any given time makes little difference. But a letter seen by Newsweek reveals that these agencies have now taken the local governor to task for having made no progress at all on the plant.

By next month, the agencies want proof that the Kaliningraders are making progress on the plant. Intelligence officials in the region, speaking with Newsweek on condition of anonymity, report another dubious inflow to the exclave. Goods banned under the current trade sanctions are now reportedly making their way to Kaliningrad from Poland and Lithuania.


Weapons Flood Into Putin's European Arms Depot



Weapons flood into Putin's European arms depot




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