Paul KerrUkraine Cruise Missile Numbers

Pavel Podvig asked a while back about some numbers I used regarding the Ukrainian Kh-55 cruise missiles that ended up in Iran and China.

I wrote:

… the [missile] smugglers forged documents naming Russia as the missiles’ destination. This is potentially significant because Ukraine agreed in 1999 to send a portion of its Kh-55 missiles to Russia, eventually transferring 582. (See ACT, June 2001.)

Ukraine destroyed an additional 483 missiles—apparently the balance—as of May 2001, the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) reported.

Pavel asked “where did the 582 number (of missiles transferred to Russia) come from?” He puts the number at 581.

Three data points of interest:

  • This ACT story (written by a predecessor) places the number at 582.
  • An 18 May 2001 ITAR-TASS news agency report also uses 582.
  • This statement from Ukraine’s FM uses 581. But it also states that Ukraine dismantled 487 under the US CTR program – according to DTRA, the actual number is 483.


  1. Pavel Podvig (History)

    It’s interesting that 581/487 pair make the numbers add up – the total would be 1068, just as it was reported (this, hovewer, means that all missiles were accounted for and it is unclear which ones went to China and Iran).