“We believe that the Russians have deployed a land-based cruise missile that violates the spirit and intent of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty,” Gen. Paul Selva, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the House Armed Services Committee. “The system itself presents a risk to most of our facilities in Europe,” he added. “And we believe that the Russians have deliberately deployed it in order to pose a threat to NATO and to facilities within the NATO area of responsibility.”
The New York Times reported last month that Russia had deployed a battalion of the prohibited missiles. A typical battalion has four launchers, each of which is equipped with six missiles.
While senior Trump administration officials have not said where the new unit is based, there has been speculation in media reports that a missile system with similar characteristics is deployed in central Russia. The Times also noted that a second battalion was staged at a missile test range at Kapustin Yar, in southern Russia near Volgograd.
Russia’s foreign ministry criticized the article as an example of “fake news.”