Soldiers lay a nuclear warhead in a container on January 4, 1992. Most tactical nuclear weapons were transferred from Ukraine to Russia.
Flames erupt from a blast that demolishes a decommissioned SS-24 nuclear missile at a military base in the southern Ukrainian town of Pervomaysk on September 29, 1998.
A Ukrainian Army officer inspects a destroyed SS-24 missile silo near the town of Pervomaysk in Ukraine's Mykolayiv region. By the end of 2001, Ukraine had destroyed all of 46 of its intercontinental ballistic missile silos.
U.S. President Bill Clinton announced a breakthrough in talks between the United States, Russia, and Ukraine at a press conference in Brussels on January 10, 1994. He said Ukraine had agreed to remove all nuclear weapon from its soil, eliminating the world's third-largest nuclear arsenal.
Russian President Boris Yeltsin (left), U.S. President Bill Clinton (center), Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, and British Prime Minister John Major (right), sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in Budapest, Hungary, on December 5, 1994. Known as the Budapest Memorandum, the agreement officially dismantled Ukraine's nuclear arsenal.
Police officers remove a protester from a rally in Kyiv on January 12, 1996. He was attending a demonstration organized by several members of Ukraine's parliament who were opposed to the denuclearization deal. As the protester is being thrown into a police van, he clings to a sign demanding the resignation of former Ukrainian Defense Minister Valeriy Shmarov.
An Ukrainian officer watches a SS-24 nuclear missile booster being removed from its bunker at a military base in southern Ukrainian town of Pervomaysk on September 29, 1998.
A worker prepares to dismantle a SS-19 missile at a special decommissioning station in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine on July 26, 1996. The station was built with financial aid from the United States.
Soldiers practice transferring a nuclear warhead from a rail car onto a truck near the Ukrainian city of Kirovohrad on December 7, 1995. It was part of an exercise to train specialized personnel to cope with potential accidents during the transport of nuclear materials.
U.S. Senators Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar turn two tiny keys to initiate the destruction of a former Soviet nuclear missile silo in the formerly top-secret Khmelnitsky military base in central Ukraine on October 23, 1996. The keys once held the power to launch SS-19 missiles at the United States.
Smoke billows from an explosion that destroyed a missile silo at a military base near Pervomaysk, Ukraine on January 5, 1996.
Journalists and military officials from Ukraine, Russia, and the United States inspect a massive crater from a destroyed nuclear missile silo at a military base in Pervomaysk in 1996. Ukraine transferred its last 40 nuclear warheads to Russia that June and officially lost its status as a nuclear power.
A Ukrainian officer smokes and shakes sand out of his boot before preparing to blow up a missile silo near the town of Derazhnya in central Ukraine, October 23, 1996.
Fuel is pumped out of a Soviet-era SS-19 nuclear missile carrier at a military base in Krasilovo, Ukraine, on May 14, 1997.
Ukrainian workers cut an air-to-ground X-22 cruise missile into pieces at a military base in the village of Ozerne, on November 6, 2002.
The last SS-24 missile silo being blown up near the Ukrainian town of Pervomaysk on October 30, 2001. In all, 46 SS-24 intercontinental ballistic missile silos were destroyed.
Ukrainian specialists dismantle the last strategic Tupolev Tu-22M3 Backfire nuclear bomber at an airbase outside the Ukrainian city of Poltava on January 27, 2006. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine had inherited 60 Tu-22 bombers and 423 X-22 cruise missiles.
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