Russian Blogosphere Survey for April 6, 2015
Yurasumy analyzes the two most recent interactions between Kiev and Europe. The first was Hollande’s criticism of Poroshenko’s unwillingness to fully implement Minsk-2, which after all called for decentralization if not outright federalization. Most interestingly, Hollande said that Poroshenko is thus provoking Novorossia to resume fighting–arguably the first major Western leader to place the blame for fighting on Kiev, not Novorossia. Moreover, Yatsenyuk’s trip to Germany was a failure too. He was trying to convince Merkel to endorse a Ukraine donor conference to be held in July, which has now been delayed indefinitely. It may well be that everyone is expecting Ukraine to fold in June, as yurasumy has argued earlier.
The Sevmorzavod (Sevastopol Maritime Facility) is arguably the city’s most important industrial site, a major shipbuilding and ship repair facility that has been recently nationalized, and which will soon start receiving orders from the Russian government, including the MOD. It’s a major boost to Russian shipbuilding capabilities, though the plant itself will need considerable effort to become fully operational once again. There is a shortage of trained cadres, especially junior ones, due to the facility’s neglect under Ukraine’s rule.
Lavrov’s point was that if the Normandy Four will discuss the question of introducing peacekeeping troops into the Donbass, only “polite” Russian troops will be acceptable, and moreover the decision can be made only with the approval of DPR and LPR.
There is a story that’s making the rounds on many blogs that during Minsk-2 Poroshenko offered Putin the Donbass, lock, stock, and barrel, in exchange for Russian financial aid. Putin’s response was that until Kiev officially cedes the Donbass to Russia, or at least acknowledges its independence, Russia has no intention of doing any such thing. However, when Putin proposed that Poroshenko craft an appropriate document ceding Kiev’s sovereignty over Novorossia, Poroshenko demurred, citing the impossibility of “selling” this agreement back in Kiev. The story comes from a single source claiming that Putin told about it during a meeting of the Russian Union of Entrepreneurs. However, while the Russian Foreign Ministry refused to comment on these revelations, the Ukrainian one promptly started issuing explanations and justifications, saying Poroshenko had something else in mind. Which suggests that the conversation really did take place.
According Basurin, there were 23 violations of the ceasefire in the last 24 hours, 15 of them in the vicinity of the Donetsk Airport.
The protest is, of course, higher taxes and utility costs, plus of course the growing unemployment and other problems with the economy. So far the protest is relatively small-scale, only about 100 people participated on the first day.
All of the 50 are citizens of eastern Ukraine, from towns under UAF control. They are held on suspicion of separatist sentiments, which of course can mean anything these days. Is that the only prison of that nature, or are there others? Or is this also an effort to extort money from families, in return for the release of their relatives?
Ukrainian social media are overflowing with accounts by UAF/NG/RS troops returning home, expecting gratitude (usually in the form of free services, starting with free parking), and not getting it. If anything, the civilian population back home seems more interested in sending them back to where they came from, i.e., the war zone.
A short animated film, without dialogue.
It’s going to become part of the so-called “Dignity Territory” at the center of Kiev, whose objective will be to commemorate the Revolution of Dignity, the Heavenly Hundred, and the rest of the founding myth of the “new Ukraine”. Some 148 proposals have been submitted for the memorial. One wonders where the money for all this is coming from.
The Proryv [Breakthrough] plant, located at the Siberian Chemical Combine in Tomsk, will produce nuclear fuel for the BREST reactors. Proryv plant is to start producing fuel in 2017, and the first BREST reactor will go online in 2020.
Big post with lots of photographs and graphics concerning the Russian Navy’s next aircraft carrier design, to eventually replace the Admiral Kuznetsov. The video below moreover shows the mock-ups of the next big surface ship class planned for the Russian Navy, the Lider nuclear-powered destroyers (6 are planned).
A photo of a Ka-52 in flight, but painted in desert camouflage. Rumor has it it’s for Iraq. Though maybe Syria? Yemen? Iran? Algeria?
Even as far as Abu Dhabi, where apparently they are flying off the shelves of “duty free” shops.
The “military tax” is being lifted, but only for legal entities (i.e., businesses) and not for individuals. Prices of meat have increased by 10% since last month. Additional hikes in utility costs are being discussed. French experts are advising Ukraine to get ready for a new crisis (has the old one ever ended). The Ukrainian “shale gas” bubble bursts, as Western firms pull out. Ukraine has the second-highest inflation in the world–111%, and the Ministry of Finance proposes to link tax rates to inflation (though not wages). In the meantime, Poroshenko promises thousands of new jobs to be created in the construction of armored vehicles.