Squirrely Facts in “Nuclear Ukraine” Report

The speckled ground squirrel is a native of the east Ukrainian steppes
The speckled ground squirrel is a native of the east Ukrainian steppes

Jeremy Bernstein has a pretty good piece up at the NYRB’s blog. Unfortunately, he nearly lost us half-way through with this assertion:

“…following the 1994 agreement, trains began moving Ukraine’s nuclear stockpile to disarmament facilities in Russia. About five thousand nuclear related devices were moved out on some one hundred trains. The operation was completed in 1996 and Ukraine joined the small club of nuclear states, which now includes Libya and South Africa, that have voluntarily given up their nuclear arsenals. In the 1990s, Belarus and Kazakstan also gave up their weapons. But the vast store of tactical and strategic bombs turned over by Ukraine was by far the largest in this group. In 2012 the last of Ukraine’s supply of highly enriched uranium was turned over to Russia.”

You get that in the middle? Libya had a “nuclear arsenal?” Not according to Atomic Reporters who were in Tripoli and described Qaddafi’s atomic work as a:

“Small unsuccessful enrichment program. No effort to even design a weapon let alone build one, let alone an arsenal.”

If Libya is going to be lumped with South Africa, which did indeed possess nuclear weapons, where should we place Sweden and Switzerland?

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