Based upon some rather mundane reports from The Moscow Times, one could conclude that Putin is looking to shore-up his ICBM defenses (because you just KNOW they're the only thing keeping "us" from invdaing, and not because they don't really have anything we want anyway). Or at the very least, to try and find a reason to appropriate (verb) a highly successful, profitable, and strategically important asset.
Keep in mind that the Ukraine gave-away its nuclear arsenal after Russia agreed to not invade, and you have to wonder if the Russians are concerned about the Ukrainians recreating their nuclear deterrent.
"Russia's dependence on Ukrainian defense imports is a by-product of the collapse of the former Soviet Union. When the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic became an independent state in 1991, Kiev found itself in possession of vital Soviet-era defense industry assets such as the Yuzhmash factory in Eastern Ukraine, which produces space rockets, satellites and missiles along with machinery for civilian uses."
""Another off-nominal situation with a space craft is a sign of a systematic crisis in the industry," research chief at the Institute for Space Politics Ivan Moiseyev told Izvestia."
ICBM = Spacecraft with nuclear warhead
The R-36 (Russian: Р-36) is a family of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and space launch vehicles designed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The original R-36 was produced under the Soviet industry designation 8K67 and was given the NATO reporting name SS-9 Scarp. It was able to carry three warheads and was the first Soviet MIRV (multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle) missile.
|Manufacturer||Yuzhny Machine-Building Plant|
The A.M. Makarov Southern Machine-Building Plant, or PA Yuzhmash is a Ukrainian manufacturer of space rockets, agricultural equipment, buses, trolley buses, trams, wind turbines, and satellites that was inherited from the Soviet Union. It is a large state-owned company located in Dnipropetrovsk.
In addition to production facilities in Dnipropetrovsk, Pivdenne Production Association includes the Pavlohrad Mechanical Plant, which specialized in producing solid-fuel missiles.