Russian Blogosphere Survey for April 5, 2015



Russian Blogosphere Survey for April 5, 2015

By J.Hawk

Kolomoisky turned up in the United States

Like a bad penny, Kolomoisky turned up in the United States. He received a short-term one time visa, ostensibly to watch basketball games, while his family members obtained 10-year ones. Other than that, it’s not clear what purpose his visit is supposed to serve. Is he trying to convince the powers that be in DC of his future usefulness, or is it more about his exit strategy from Ukrainian politics?

Truck explosion (and other incidents)

There were three recent incidents, which occurred over the space of two days, which cost the lives of 9 UAF servicemembers, the biggest loss of life since the most recent ceasefire, at Avdeevka, Schastye, and Shirokino. In one of the incidents a truck struck an anti-tank mine, in one of the others the UAF are attributing the loss to a Kornet ATGM, which is a widely exported Russian weapon but not one used by Ukraine (though the Ukrainian intelligence could always obtain a few through back channels if they wanted to stage a false flag attack). Yurasumy believes the UAF is looking for an excuse, any excuse, to break off the ceasefire.

It’s not what we jumped for: Kiev students complain about military commissariat arbitrariness

Military commissars invaded a university dorm in Kiev and took the students there by force to the military processing center, handcuffing some. Altogether 60 students were taken in this manner. The “survivors” are outraged (they could be next, you know…) and are trying to organize some form of protest. A little late, it would seem…But if that’s what it takes to make them realize what the Maidan was about, so be it. Nothing in Ukraine will change as long as college kids (and their parents) think the civil war is someone else’s problem.

Machine-Gun Carrier

We haven’t seen or heard much of the Saxons in UAF service lately, but evidently they are still attempting to make something of them. “Ukrainianization” appears to consist of arming them with three machine guns (including one DShKM 12.7mm). But since the combined weight of these three MGs, plus armor shields, plus ammunition, is likely to run into 200-300kg, all this does is raise the center of gravity of this already relatively unstable vehicle.

Ministry of Defense tests a new missile for the S-400 system

 The latest missile was tested at the range of 400km, and its intended targets are tactical ballistic missiles, AWACS aircraft, stand-off reconnaissance aircraft (like the J-STARS), EW aircraft, and of course combat aircraft. The system is equipped with a phased-array radar capable of tracking 36 targets simultaneously, while guiding two missiles to each of them. 

Crimea in Winter

A photo essay.

“Admiral Grigorovich” to sail soon

This is the lead ship of a second frigate class, the project 11356, that is based on the Talwar-class ships built by Russia for the Indian Navy, and which are less sophisticated and less expensive than the project 22350 Admiral Gorshkov class. All six ships of this class are to be based in the Black Sea. By way of comparison, the Gorshkov class looks like this:

Suitcases and THE Suitcase

See the somewhat inconspicuous black-uniformed naval officer on the left side of the photo? He is the bearer of the “chemodanchik”, or the “nuclear briefcase” containing the nuclear launch codes. As Teddy Roosevelt used to say, “speak softly and carry a chemodanchik.”

Tanks are not afraid of mud

 Still, I wouldn’t want to be the one to wash that particular T-90A after its encounter with the spring mud, the famous boot-sucking and tank-drowning rasputitsa…

Russian scientists create a synthetic equivalent of human bone material

The idea here was to create “bone cement” for use in treating fractures which, once the bone set, would assume chemical characteristics similar to that of human bone, so as to prevent rejection by the host organism. The credit for this invention belongs to the Siberian Northern Technological Institute.

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Moscow Building Construction after 2000

 A graphic representation of construction activity in Moscow before 2000 (top picture) and after 2000 (bottom picture). In other words, Moscow before and after Putin.

The 3M14 cruise missile of the Kalibr system–our Tomahawk, or the second coming of the Granat

A heavily illustrated and very long post on the history of Russian cruise missile development. The 3M14 is and will be carried by nearly every Russian surface ship class for many years to come, starting with small, 500-ton missile boats similar to the one pictured above. Maximum range of the nuclear-armed variant: 3000km. It is this missile which is causing the US to accuse Russia of violating the INF Treaty even though its capabilities are similar to that of the Tomahawk.

Another Armata video

 A scuffle at Nemtsov’s death site

The scuffle took place between two different factions of the Russian opposition, each of which is trying to appropriate Nemtsov’s memory for their own political ends, which are apparently incompatible with the ends of the other group. Hence the scuffle.

Agency for Nationalities Affairs

 The agency, established by a presidential decree in late March, will be headed by Igor Barinov, a former (if there is such a thing) FSB officer, the commander of the Sverdlovsk Alfa special operations unit, and a veteran of the war in Chechnya, who seems like the right person for the job judging by this interview which he is giving. It is undoubtedly true that there is a conflict in Russia over questions of identity, though not nearly of the same intensity as in Ukraine. The agency’s objective is to prevent inter-ethnic conflict caused both by extremists from ethnic minorities and from the Russian majority, and arguably (as in Ukraine), it is Russian ethnic chauvinism that poses the greater threat to Russia’s national unity and integrity.

From oligarch to another: Yarosh swears allegiance to Poroshenko after Kolomoisky’s dismissal

That’s quite a photo above, showing GenStaff chief Muzhenko, on the left, shaking hands with Yarosh, on the right. The Right Sector leader advisor was sworn in as Poroshenko’s advisor, and promised to help with the integration of RS battalions into the UAF. 

Ukraine’s Finance Ministry is giving foreign investors fits

Fits of apoplexy, to be specific. Yaresko has just asked for $15 billion of Ukraine’s debt to be forgiven. According to Yaresko, the world owes it to Ukraine, because the country is, and I quote, “dying in the name of freedom.” Yaresko’s bargaining power is now reduced to threatening the world with Ukraine’s default: either lose $15 billion, or lose far more if we default. However, where’s the assurance that even debt forgiveness on that scale would not lead to default later?

Czech President refused to meet with US ambassador due to his criticism of his visit to Moscow

Milos Zeman will be one of the very few European leaders to visit the Victory Parade in Moscow, thus showing that the traditional Russian-Czech friendship is far from being dead. Much to the dislike of the United States, apparently. 

A little about the war between Ukraine and Russia

The graphic above was popular on Ukraine’s social media back in 2014–I’m guessing today the reality has begun to penetrate even the thickest of skulls? But the blog post poses the very reasonable question: will the government of Ukraine officially thank the “aggressor country” Russia for rescuing Ukrainian citizens from Yemen? Even Poland managed to cough up a few words of thanks…

Mobilization in Ukraine

“Where would you like to sign up? Infantry? Airborne?”

“Why don’t you just sign me up as a Prisoner of War…”

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