It turned out there was a reason the Rocket Forces did not tell us how many new Topol-M missiles that regiment that was accepted for service in December 2005 has. In his interview today, General Nikolai Solovtsov, the commander of the Strategic Rocket Forces, revealed that the regiment has just two missiles (not four as I thought). So, the total number of (silo-based) Topol-Ms is 42, not 44.

Another interesting moment in this interview is the plan to keep six regiments in the Tatishchevo division. Since this is the division that is being equipped with silo-based Topol-Ms, this is likely to mean that the plan is to stop silo-based Topol-M deployment at 60 missiles.

Unlike the UR-100NUTTH/SS-19 missiles in Tatishchevo, the ones in Kozelsk will probably be kept in service until 2010-2013 - the service life of the missile will be extended to 30 years.

And, finally, older R-36MUTTH/SS-18 continue to be decommissioned - according to Solovtsov, only 80 SS-18 missiles are left on active service. Most likely, the division in Dombarovsky now has 40 missiles now, down from the 45 reported in the July 2005 START memorandum.