Russian Blogosphere Survey for April 2, 2015
New car sales are at an all-time low in Ukraine. Only 2200 new cars received registration in Ukraine, 5 times fewer than in March 2014, and 23% less than in February 2015. Which means Ukraine still has not reached the bottom.
The new fad seems to be breaking into safety deposit boxes at banks, where people keep their hard currency, jewels, other valuables. Considering the difficulty of getting at a deposit box, these have to be “inside jobs” by the people who work at banks.
Berezhok is the BMP-2 modernization kit (see photo above) which brings up its firepower to practically the Kurganets-25 standard (30mm cannon, Kornet ATGMs, 30mm AGL, thermal sights, full stabilization). Since the Russian defense budget will not be sufficient to replace all BMP-2s with Kurganets or even BMP-3 vehicles, at least some of the fleet will be modernized. Berezhok is, incidentally, a popular export item.
The whole thing took place in the center of Kiev, and the 6-minute video is well worth watching. It’s not even clear who these people are. Aidar? Donbass? Remarkably, the trader (whose business is a mobile coffee shop) managed to fight them off, with the aid of passers-by and their smartphones.
Poroshenko and Merkel reached an agreement to have 20 wounded Ukrainian soldiers treated in German hospitals. It’s not clear whether Ukrainian neo-Nazis will get to travel to Germany under this program, in spite of the headline, although it cannot be ruled out.
The film is “People Live Here”, and was filmed by a Russian student Ilya Novodvorskiy.
DPR and LPR are continuing their campaign of ensuring all armed formations on their territories are subordinate to official Novorossia structures.
This was brought about by the recent scandal with Daniil Grachev who was hired by the Russian NTV channel to host a TV program. Only later it was revealed, courtesy of intrepid Russian bloggers, that Grachev was once upon a time a die-hard Maidanek who posted a ton of virulently anti-Russian stuff on his social media accounts. So now there is a push to screen Ukrainians who are “escaping from freedom” for their stance during the Maidan.
Crimea-based “Nitka” [Thread] was USSR’s only land-based facility for practicing landings on aircraft carriers. It was leased by the Russia Navy from Ukraine during happier times. Now that Crimea is part of Russia, the need for leasing kinda fell away.
It is to be completed in 2020, with gas deliveries to China to begin immediately upon completion.
The Great Patriotic War on paintings and illustrations by artists from various countries
Lots and lots of illustrations. Worth a look!
Live-fire testing of the T-80U tank
A pretty amazing video showing Russian T-80U tanks being subjected to point-blank range tank gun fire, with the intent of demonstrating the level of their armored protection.
The Admiral Nakhimov was the third Kirov-class battlecruiser to enter service. It was laid up during the 1990s, but now is undergoing a thorough modernization, which will include the installation of Kalibr, Oniks, S-500 missile systems, as well as many other improvements.
The Gorshkov is the lead ship of the new frigate class, the most important current shipbuilding program of the Russian Navy.
The French contract to supply India with Rafale fighters is in danger, in part due to France’s stance on Mistral ship delivery, but also due to competition from Russia’s Su-30MKI. Therefore the French are striving to sweeten the offer.
The economy is of course Ukraine’s, and this installment discusses the dire situation with the Ukrainian agricultural sector: high taxes, lack of hard currency to procure seeds abroad, mortgage foreclosures on family farms, the list goes on and on.