April 23, 2015
Russian Blogosphere Survey for April 23, 2015
This is an almost-daily (time permitting!) Fort Russ feature. To access the earlier editions, click on the Daily Brief tab above the title.
“How do they do it?”
LPR is building defensive positions, and there’s an upsurge in the refugees fleeing from Novorossia to the Rostov Region of the RF, in apparent anticipation of the resumption of fighting. In the meantime, Zakharchenko is inviting the rest of Ukraine to join Novorossia, adding that the Spring mobilization in DPR was a complete success, though the new troops probably would not be able to participate in high-intensity fighting before the summer, due to the need to train them.
Sergey Lavrov directly accused the US and the EU of attempting to fragment and partition Ukraine, hinting at the possibility of existence of plans to adjoin Western provinces of Ukraine to Poland. So the Russian government policy remains that of not separating chunks of Ukraine, but attempting to sway Ukraine in its entirety to adopt a pro-Eurasian course.
In the words of a center representative, Ukraine’s laws to that effect represent an effort to equate criminals with their victims.
Nemtsov appears to have been quite a financier, sitting astride the flows of financial aid from the West to various “pro-democracy” NGOs in Russia and Ukraine, though at least a portion of the money was used to procure weapons for Ukraine. The Nemtsov murder investigation reportedly has uncovered a variety of offshore accounts controlled by Nemtsov, which were used to funnel aid money into illicit activities.
According to official Kiev reports, Ukraine is in process of creating Special Operations Forces (SpO) whose task would be to operate “deep behind enemy lines both in peacetime and in wartime”, a formulation that leaves open the possibility these troops are being trained to operate on the territory of Russian Federation.
A couple of thousand coal miners descended on Kiev to protest overdue salary payments, high utility costs, corruption, in short, the basic facts of life in post-Maidan Ukraine. Yatsenyuk told them they have already been paid, but the coal miners seem to think otherwise. Too small a protest to lead to anything bigger, but things in the country aren’t exactly getting better.
Hollande suggested France is ready to return Russia the money it paid for the two Mistrals, saying that the conditions for delivering the ships have still not been satisfied. And they probably never will be to the satisfaction of Washington. Hollande is thus missing an opportunity to chart an independent foreign policy course, which will reduce France’s credibility as an international actor in the future.
KAMAZ will produce both trucks and buses with engines running on compressed natural gas. This investment was made with the assistance of the Russian government (one of many investments targeting the revival of manufacturing), with the aim of producing vehicles capable of meeting even the most stringent international emissions standards.
on whom you ask, Ukraine’s agriculture is short of either 12 billion or
32 billion hryvnya this year. But the net result is clear: about 1/3 of
Ukraine’s arable land will not be sown this year.
Yet another set of photos, plus a couple of videos, from a rehearsal of what surely must be the most eagerly awaited Red Square military parade in decades.
According to Ukroboronprom, the UAF received 82 tanks, 50 APCs, and 15 artillery systems since the start of the year. It’s not clear whether these are new vehicles or (as is more likely) refurbished ones, including systems already on active duty which needed a major reconditioning after heavy use in the “ATO Zone”. The numbers suggest the Kharkov tank factory is about the only Ukrainian military industrial facility working these days, for the APC and artillery figures are very low indeed, especially compared to the more expensive and sophisticated main battle tanks. The de-facto EU engine embargo (Ukraine does not produce engines suitable for APCs), and the difficulty in producing cannon barrels are beginning to tell.
It’s the fourth Bal battalion in service, though the first deployed with the Pacific Fleet. Its main weapon are the Kh-35 Uran anti-ship missiles with the range of 120km.
Sergey Shoygu: “Russia will soon display its laser and accelerator weapons”. Though the photo used is of the US airborne laser testbed.
Not only is the ARMOKOM-produced 6B47 composite helmet (which is part of the new Ratnik individual equipment set now being issued to RF soldiers) extremely lightweight (1kg), it offers an unparalleled level of protection against ballistic threats.
Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, who would later adopt the pseudonym “Lenin”, was born on April 22, 145 years ago.
A companion gallery to the one posted in yesterday’s survey, but this time focusing on Kazan’s “crimes against good taste”, and other problems in that city.
They are taken from the recent issue of Time magazine, which ran an article on Putin’s youth. The funny thing about the guy is that he is quite simply the most recognizable individual on the planet. Even in the photo above, in which he was maybe 10 years old, you take one look and, oh yeah, that’s Putin, no doubt about it.
When the Victory sedan was still in development, the plan was to call the car “Motherland”. One day Stalin asked “For how much do you intend to sell Motherland?” The car’s name was quietly changed.
“I’d like to congratulate all Ukrainians on the occasion of a great holiday!…April 22 is the birthday of one of the creators of Ukraine, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin!”
Louis Vuitton joins the ranks of separatists…
“Novgorodians came, conquered Kiev, Tatars came, took Kiev, chased out the Novgorodians, Poles came, chased out the Tatars, Russians came, chased out the Poles. Germans came, chased out the Soviets, the Soviets came and chased out the Germans. All the while the “khokhols” are eternally standing on the side of the road in their soiled pants, greeting the new master.”
Richard Sorge’s Twitter feed (named after the famous Soviet agent of WW2): “From now on every Ukrainian is on SBU’s watch list for keeping forbidden totalitarian symbology.” The photo shows a Soviet birth certificate cover…
Sergey Shoygu’s twitter feed: “I liked Shariy’s post. I’m warming up tank engines. Don’t look for me, Gerashchenko, I’m coming right now.”
This is in reference to Gerashchenko’s threat, reported on yesterday’s blog survey, that from now the MVD will be recording IP numbers of those who like Shariy’s facebook posts.
Gerashchenko’s Facebook Nazi act not only spawned a round of ridicule, but it apparently also got his Facebook account suspended.