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Of 62 strategic submarines deployed by the Soviet Union in 1990, by 1998 the Russian Navy had only 28, and by some recent reports, as few as 23 were operational. Most of the rest had been junked or were waiting to be. At a peak of the Cold War tensions, 20 to 22 submarines were at sea. By the late 1990s there were usually two, and they did not go far. By the late 1990s the lack of resources and qualified personnel forced the Russian Navy to cut back operations considerably, with typically only two of its two dozen ballistic missile submarines on combat patrol at sea at any time -- typically, a Delta-IV submarine in the Northern Fleet, and a Delta-III in the Pacific.

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