5 things you need to know about last week’s explosion in Russia

19 Aug 2019

(WP Monkey Cage) (Co-authored with Michael Kofman) An Aug. 8 accident at Russia's Nonoksa missile testing facility left seven dead and caused a brief radiation spike in a nearby town. What went wrong

Vague and potentially misleading statements by Russian authorities have only added to speculation that scientists were working on a nuclear propulsion system for one of the country’s more secretive weapons projects, possibly the Burevestnik nuclear-powered cruise missile. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Accidents happen frequently in the Russian military

Ever since the sinking of the Kursk submarine in 2000, the Russian military has had an image of being accident-prone. There have been at least six fires on Russian submarines since 2006 — and at least three explosions at ammunition storage depots since May. In July, a fire on the Losharik deep-sea submersible in July caused 14 deaths. [...]

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