What About the Nukes?

In the postcoup U.S.S.R., someone still has to control the 27,000 warheads dispersed through several republics

The hard-liners' coup is history, but one ominous fact remains: the Soviet nuclear arsenal contains some 27,000 warheads scattered through several republics. Who will now control them? During the three days of Gorbachev's confinement, his so-called football -- the satchel containing launch- authorization codes -- was in the hands of the junta, raising concerns that its leaders might, in desperation, do something rash. And now, with at least the partial breakup of the U.S.S.R. a certainty, fears are growing that some of the seceding republics may insist that the weapons remain on their soil, in effect creating a new nuclear power...

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