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US tracked Russian phone signals last year during nuclear missile incident

WASHINGTON, (BM) – A group of American researchers from the University of Mississippi, working as part of a Pentagon-sponsored project, in 2019 monitored mobile phone signals at Russian military installations, including the Nyonoksa test site, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing the WSJ newspaper.

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The Wall Street Journal writes about this with reference to documents received from the Mississippi authorities.

According to the publication, the scientists and students involved in the project used information from open sources for analysis. We are talking about location data recorded by mobile applications, and then sell them in the field of advertising, writes WSJ.

In particular, as part of the project, a group of researchers tracked the movements of cell phone owners who were in Nyonoksa the day after the incident at the Russian training ground in August 2019, the publication says.

One of the phones located there later moved to Cuba, another to Azerbaijan, and the rest moved around the country – their owners left for Moscow, St. Petersburg, as well as closed military facilities in Severodvinsk and Arkhangelsk, WSJ reports.

In addition, according to the newspaper, the project monitored mobile phone signals in “Russian government buildings”, including the Kremlin, as well as in embassies in Moscow.

The representative of the specialized unit of the US Army Eric Thompson confirmed to the publication that the project was funded. However, he pointed out that the project did not use personal information about the owners of the phones.

In August 2019, an explosion occurred at a military training ground in Nenoks near Severodvinsk, after which a short-term jump in radiation was recorded in the city up to 1.78 μSv / h with a rate of about 0.11 μSv / h.

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According to Russian authorities, the explosion occurred during work with a liquid-propellant rocket launcher with an isotopic power source. The accident killed five employees of Rosatom.

The US State Department linked the explosion in Nyonoks with the rise from the seabed of a nuclear missile Skyfall (Burevestnik, Petrel). In November 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that a unique weapon was being developed near Severodvinsk, which has no analogues in the world.

The story continues until July this year, when Russia most likely managed to conduct successful tests on Petrel nuclear missile.

BulgarianMilitary.com recals that on July 2 the SSX-C-9 Skyfall, a Russian cruise missile with a nuclear power plant, better known as the Petrel, passed a series of tests at one of the test sites in northwestern Russia.

This is evidenced by an article by Popular Mechanics, which reports that the iodine-131 isotopes detected in the air are of artificial origin, and taking into account the wind map, the tests were most likely conducted in the Arkhangelsk region, where the test site is located.

“Officials in Finland, Norway and Sweden have discovered artificial radionuclides, that is, radionuclides that are not found in nature. Iodine-131 was detected at air monitoring stations in Svanhovd and Wikshofjell, Norway, as well as at a nuclear weapons monitoring facility in Svalbard” the article’s author said.

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“An analysis by the Dutch National Institute of Public Health indicates that the source of radiation is the western part of Russia. Authorities believe that the leak, first discovered in early June, comes from western Russia. One version is that the test is somehow related to a new cruise missile with a nuclear installation,” the author also said.

On the presented map of the detection of Iodine-131 isotopes, it can be seen, taking into account the direction of the winds, that most of the radioactive fallout was detected over Russia, Finland, the Baltic States, Sweden and the Netherlands.

Nevertheless, the Russian side has not yet confirmed the tests and any connection with the release of radioactive particles into the atmosphere.

What really happened and how Russia withdrew three American diplomats from the area of the incident

Authorities in Russia unloaded three US diplomats on October 10 last year from a train near the site of a mysterious incident during the ordeal of the Russian military, as they did not have special permits to be in the area, Interfax reported.

Russia’s state-owned Rosatom has admitted then that five of its nuclear workers were killed in an explosion on August 8 during a rocket engine test near the White Sea in Russia’s far north.

Interfax quoted a source as saying that US diplomats had been released but were seen as violators of Russian law.

We remind you that a few days ago the US State Department sent a report to the UN stating that the incident with the exploded missile at the Russian military range Nyonoksa near the city of Severodvinsk was an attempt to pull it out of the bottom of the White Sea after it sank. early last year in an attempt to launch it.

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After the explosion, registered on August 8 this year, a sharp rise in radiation levels was reported in the area.

A State Department document addressed to the UN General Assembly says a nuclear reaction was triggered when the missile was pulled from the sea.

“The United States has determined that the explosion near Nyonoksa, Russia, was the result of a nuclear reaction that occurred during the withdrawal of a Russian nuclear missile. The missile remained at the bottom of the White Sea after its failed tests early last year,” reads the expert assessment.

The report gives a clear picture of what happened after months of speculation about what caused the incident.

“Russia owes many answers,” the report said.

Following the incident, the Russian side explained and reacted from an evacuation order to the area around the landfill to its cancellation hours later. After the accident, four radiation monitoring stations mysteriously stopped reading data, which could be an attempt to hide the radiation values.

Officials also refused to tell medics treating those affected by the blast that they had been exposed to radiation and asked hospital staff to sign non-disclosure statements.

Russian state media first reported that the explosion was caused by a liquid fuel jet engine that exploded during tests, which did not explain the jump in radiation levels in the area after the accident.

In late August, a Russian official acknowledged that the accident was “related to the development of weapons”, which he said Russia was developing as “one of the retaliatory measures following the US withdrawal from the ballistic missile treaty”.

Read more: US Sending a Message in Western Pacific with a New Cruise Missile, Difficult to Spot on Radars

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