Russian press is quoting an unnamed source in the General Staff as saying that the first RS-26 ballistic missiles will be deployed at the Irkutsk missile division in 2015. Flight tests of the missile are expected to be completed in December 2014. The deployment date has been mentioned before, but the place is new.

RS-26, also known as Rubezh, is the controversial new missile, which appears to be an intermediate-range missile based on (the first two stages of) RS-24 Yars ICBM.

Deployment in Irkutsk is probably somewhat surprising. It was often assumed that because of its intermediate range RS-26 is a missile fir Europe - sort of new incarnation of SS-20. Irkutsk, however, is pretty far from Europe, so if we assume that RS-26 has a range on the order of 5000 km, then the deployment appears to be directed at China. This would be generally in line with Russia's complains about the INF Treaty - the main one being that other countries (including China) are allowed to have them while Russia and the United States are not. But if I were the Chinese I would not consider this deployment a particularly friendly gesture.

Irkutsk used to be one of the Topol/SS-25 divisions, but these missiles have been withdrawn from the division for some time. Some may still remain, but they are likely to be gone very soon. Indeed, at the basing area of one of the regiments (below) all Krona shelters (used by Topol) have been dismantled, but the base looks active otherwise.