Russian Blogosphere Survey for April 24, 2015


April 24, 2015

Russian Blogosphere Survey for April 24, 2015

By J.Hawk

This is an almost-daily (time
permitting!) Fort Russ feature. To access the earlier editions, click on
the Daily Brief tab above the title.


Forbes reveals the shocking truth about Crimea and Ukraine

 The shocking truth is that the overwhelming majority of the inhabitants of Crimea, be they ethnic Russians, Ukrainians, or Tatars, prefer Russia over Ukraine. Only 2% of respondents in a poll conducted by the German GFK polling firm opted for a return to Ukraine. Oleg Matveychev notes that for Forbes to publish something like that means that the West is slowly but surely coming around.

Systemic liberals are saying goodbye to Washington

On Sunday the Rossiya-24 channel will run the film “President,” in which Vladimir Putin will discuss the situation in Russia in the late 1990s, when the country was being governed by pro-Western liberal economists. The blogger Fritzmorgen notes that Putin has managed to convince Russia’s liberal economists not only that at the moment friendship between US and Russia is impossible, but also that the US is no longer a country that stands for economic liberalism, as there has been more and more criticism of US global economic policies emanating from people who used to view the US as an example to emulate.  Putin also succeeded in preventing the economic liberals from becoming a systemic opposition force.

Czech President: EU will eventually join Russia 

 Zeman’s exact quote was as follows: “Russia will become a member of the EU in the long-term perspective. If you don’t like that, think of it as the EU joining the Russian Federation”. He said this in a Czech radio interview.

Frontline situation as of April 23

Low-intensity fighting continues in the vicinity of Bakhmutka, Peski, Donetsk Airport. Shirokino is still the site of medium-intensity fighting, with the use of nearly all types of weapons. UAF is shelling towns in the vicinity of Donetsk, though the number of shells fired is fairly low. DPR intelligence reports the UAF has completed its concentration and is ready to advance. The NAF remains in a state of alert. 

 Mobilization 2015. Running in circles.

Muzhenko claims the fourth wave of mobilization, which has just been officially concluded, was successful because it brought 50 thousand troops into the ranks, to replace 35 thousand which were demobilized. However, the numbers include 20 thousand volunteer battalion soldiers, including from the Right Sector, who were, in effect, forced to “get right” with the UAF. Moreover, the original intent was to mobilize 100 thousand reservists. In the meantime, the fifth wave of mobilization is beginning, and there have been many cases of demobilized soldiers who have just returned home getting new draft notices. 

Everything is just beginning

 Vladimir Putin signed the decree designating Aleksandr Tkachev as the Minister of Agriculture. His task is very simple: make Russia a fully self-sufficient country when it comes to food. Given his success in Krasnodar, he seems to be the right individual for the job.

Gazprom may take a pause in its relations with the EU

Now that the winter is over, the EU is trying to put pressure on Russia by launching an anti-monopoly investigation of Gazprom. However, given EU’s dependence on Russia’s gas and the absence of plausible alternative sources of natural gas, combined with Russia’s growing orientation toward China which is becoming a major customer for Russia’s gas, it does not seem like the EU has the stronger hand here.

Poland’s president shows the “nationally conscious” cattle its place 

Looks like Poroshenko really jumped the shark with all of that UPA-worship of his. Poland’s President Komorowski said that Ukraine’s recognition of OUN-UPA as national heroes makes the Polish-Ukrainian dialogue “impossible.” That’s pretty strong language, which may mean a shift in Poland’s strategy.

Ukraine to celebrate a “victory” over Russian forces in World War I

About a hundred years ago, there was a skirmish between the Sich Rifles, an Austro-Hungarian military formation composed of Ukrainians, and the Russian Army at the village of Makovka. This utterly insignificant military engagement is now being raised to the rank of a major national holiday in Ukraine. 

Operation False Start

The thousands of coal miners are still massing in Kiev, and apparently the Opposition Block is sponsoring their protests. There is also a second crowd assembling, this one demanding the resignation of Kiev Mayor Klichko. Yurasumy thinks they started too soon–they should have waited until May 1. But then again, maybe May 1 is when the “real” demonstration will happen, this is just a warm-up. 

About the Donetsk coal miners in Kiev: farce or reason for hope? 

Russkiy Malchik also does not see much hope in the coal miner demonstration–too moderate, too many Ukrainian flags, too modest a set of demands. But it could evolve into something bigger, especially if Kiev mishandles it. 

The center of Kiev filled by people in white balaclavas

Nobody seems to know who they are. They are not the coal miners, but they have apparently joined them, and the coal miners are thanking them for their support. And looking at the three on the photo, it looks like their momma dressed them all the same this morning.Which implies a level of organization not seen in Kiev since, well, the last Maidan…


Bashkiria launches the construction of the region’s first solar power plant

 Bashkiria is considered to be a priority site for developing solar energy in Russia, due to its southern location and predominantly sunny weather.

The Dimitrovgrad nuclear innovation cluster acknowledged as one of the best in the world

 The cluster had won the bronze medal awarded by ECEI, the European Cluster Evaluation Initiative. At the moment the cluster’s institutes and enterprises are working on 120 research and development projects, with a summary budget of 65 billion rubles.


Armata up close

The obligatory daily dose of Armata. The lower photo is of the heavy infantry fighting vehicle using the Armata chassis. 

Lead project 22350 frigate Admiral Gorshkov

 Sea trials are continuing.

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The AK-12 assault rifle will reach units in 2016

The AK-12 was selected as the AK-74 replacement in late 2014. It retains its predecessor’s legendary qualities while introducing improvements in such areas as accuracy and ergonomics.

Americans are teaching Ukrainians how to use Kalashnikovs and RPGs

 Yes, you have read that right. Next week’s training regimen: Americans are training Ukrainians how to drink vodka.


The Khalkhin-Gol trophies

A fairly sizable photo gallery showing the weapons and equipment captured from the Japanese by the Red Army in the 1939 battle.

Nothing ever changes…

So, sonny, did the Poles help you? 16th Century
So, sonny, did the Swedes help you? 1709
So, sonny, did the Austrians help you? 1872
So, sonny, did the Germans help you? 1941
So, sonny, did the Americans help you? 2014

Photo Galleries

A Moscow fish market

Yoshkar-Ola: the city with Russia’s worst roads

Donetsk. Scorched Earth

Young fans of Putin through the eyes of Hungarian photographer Bela Doka

The photos were taken in 2007.


Stalin’s best 20 jokes

 Averell Harriman talks to Stalin at the Potsdam Conference: “After the Germans got to within 18km of Moscow, you must be happy to be dividing Berlin right now.”

Stalin replies: “Alexander II marched into Paris.”
How it looks from the side

Andrey Maksimov: “Joint US-Ukrainian exercises began in Western Ukraine.”

Heh heh…

Lev Sharansky: “Ukrainians who were born on Lenin’s birthday will be arrested for separatism.”

We are peaceful people, but…

 “USSR was, of course, a peaceful country, whose children learned in school how to throw grenades.”


 The US created Hitler’s fascism, then bombed Germany.
The US created the Taliban, then bombed Afghanistan.
The US created Al Qaeda, then bombed Iraq. 
The US created ISIS, and are now bombing Yemen and Syria.
The US recreated banderite fascism. Can you guess what happens next?

How one should speak of military service

“I love the Motherland, I shoot well, they feed me well, I don’t want to go on leave, Glory to the Airborne Forces!”

Caption Contest

Place your suggestions in the comments section, “vote” for the best caption by “liking” the suggestion. Should we have a (non-monetary) prize of some sort??? 

For starters, the mayor of Kiev Klichko intently studying a piece of asphalt:

By popular demand: a list of Ukrainian blogs on my current daily reading list. The rest (about 50…) are Russian blogs, and I can post that list too if there’s interest.

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