Russian Blogosphere Survey for April 9, 2015

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April 9, 2015

Russian Blogosphere Survey for April 9, 2015

By J.Hawk

Coalition springs a leak–political tsunami coming

 The Rada anti-corruption committee decided, after many interruptions, to establish a temporary commission for the investigation of government corruption. 

Too big to fail

It’s not just the Privat-Bank that’s too big to fail in Ukraine. The banking system has been weakened to such a degree, that now almost any major bank failure can destabilize Ukraine’s finances. However, bailing them out would cost tens of billion of hryvnya. Interestingly, when asked about the Privat-Bank, a deputy NBU chair said that, if the worst comes to worst, it will “simply” be nationalized. Is Poroshenko about to buy out Kolomoysky?

Shirokino battle, April 8

Novorossia militia lost two killed, Azov losses are unknown. It appears to be another “battle day” aimed at giving the new Azov Regiment recruits their “trial by fire.”

Where are Ukrainians fleeing, and why

 In general, if data from resume and headhunting sites is to be believed, about 80% of Ukrainians with higher education and/or considerable job experience are seeking a job “preferably outside the country”. The number of job seekers, and especially job seekers oriented toward emigration, has grown enormously in the last couple of months.

They are nibbling at Akhmetov

 The Prosecutor General office has gone to court with the request to nullify the privatization of several of Akhmetov’s major business enterprises, all of which are part of the energy sector. Moreover, Akhmetov’s Metinvest, a major metallurgical consortium and Ukraine’s single largest company, has been forced to file for bankruptcy as it is unable to meet its financial obligations.

Verkhovna Rada recognizes OUN-UPA Nazi collaborators as “fighters for Ukraine’s independence”

271 Rada deputies voted in favor. Aside from the symbolism, it entitles veterans of these organizations to obtain social benefits which are due to the veterans of the Red Army. The law also makes criticism of OUN-UPA punishable by law.

Soviet cars which became popular in the West

A photo gallery of Soviet-era car models which enjoyed considerable export success in the West. I’m personally fond of the Lada Niva above–the thing could start in -30 degree weather on the first try, plus the 4-wheel drive did not hurt either. Oh, and it had a choke right on the dashboard.

Russia and BRICS to create their own internet

If the world is to become multipolar, the internet will have to follow suit, and all of the BRICS countries (which have by now experienced, each in its own way, what the US dominance of the internet really means) are interested in making it that way. The upcoming RIGF 2015 conference, dedicated to the issues of internet governance, is likely to produce a number of initiatives aimed at decentralizing the internet. 

Congratulations, you got what you fought for

Estonia’s Ministry of Agriculture is being transformed into the Ministry of Rural Life, as there is little agriculture left in Estonia to minister to. Estonia’s economy has, in effect, managed to undo all the progress that it achieved as part of USSR, and then some. Not only did it very effectively de-industrialize, but it also managed to run its agriculture into the ground. 

Series production of the TV7-117ST turboprop engine for the Il-112V military transport is to begin in 2020

The light transport niche in the VVS is still filled by Antonov designs–which of course is a) in Ukraine and b) bankrupt (though a and b go together pretty well these days, alas), therefore it’s Il-112 to the rescue! The Russian MOD plans to procure “not fewer than 35” of these aircraft. Il-112 first flight is planned for 2017.

“Admiral Grigorovich” frigate begins factory tests

 The ship is expected to enter service in August 2015, though it’s not yet clear if the date will be met. Kaliningrad-based Yantar shipyard is building four more ships of this class, the construction of the final sixth ship has not begun yet. The construction of last two of the ships had to be suspended, as their gas turbines were to be manufactured in Nikolayev (Ukraine), though there are plans to produce the necessary powerplants in Russian factories.

US companies begin to abide by Russian data privacy laws

The new Russian laws specifies that all data containing personal information on Russian citizens must be stored only on servers physically located in Russia. One of the concrete consequences of that law is the growth of investment in data storage facilities located in Russia, as any Western firm that wants to do business in Russia must abide by this law.

A pretty photo of the destroyer Admiral Ushakov

Forever 19. Maksim Aleksandrovich Passar

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An illustrated article about Maksim Passar, a Red Army sniper killed at the age of 19 during the Battle of Stalingrad.

Russia’s largest solar energy plant goes online

The Kosh-Achag solar plant has the energy output of 5MW, and is located in the Altay. Nine identical plants are still under construction, and will go on line by 2017.

Okno optronic system is fully operational

The Okno [Window] system is a network of 10 optronic space surveillance stations, used by the Russian Space Forces to track satellites and also to detect incoming ballistic missiles. It can detect and track space objects at altitudes from 120km to 50,000km.

Rubles on the Donbass, an indicator of the future scenario

Since the Donbass has been effectively starved of the hryvnya (which may be part of Poroshenko’s strategy to be rid of the region, while shifting the responsibility onto Russia), its place is increasingly being taken by the Russian ruble, and now Novorossia stores display prices in both currencies. Of equal interest is the appearance of Russian bank branches in Lugansk. 

T-80U on tests in Sweden

It’s a relatively little known fact that Sweden tested the T-80U (alongside Leopard 2A6, M1A2 Abrams, and Challenger II)  in the 1990s as a potential replacement for its increasingly obsolete tank fleet, before settling on the Leo2A6 which was adopted as Strv122. The videos do show the gas turbine-powered T-80’s remarkable mobility.

A little romance

A feline love story.

Chronicles of a collapsing economy, pt. 11

Another bank collapse brings the number this year to 44, with many others teetering on the brink. New labor code will greatly limit the rights of Ukrainian workers. It is estimated that 15 million Ukrainians will not be able to pay their utility bills. EU, which is already drowning in its own heavily subsidized stuff, is not allowing Ukraine to sell its milk to Europe.

Post-Maidan Ukraine in one picture

 “You put money in, and then you enter text!”

Ukraine’s Parliament bans the terms Victory Banner and Great Patriotic War

Since the term “Great Patriotic War” is evidently Soviet propaganda, it will be replaced by “World War 2”. Ukrainian military museums will also de-emphasize Soviet military symbolism–but what will they replace it with?

US volunteer, call sign Tekhas [Texas], fights with Novorossia militia against Ukrainian Nazis

Aidar Battalion promises to arrest Vita Zaverukha and turn her over for trial

Vita Zaverukha is, well, a Ukrainian Nazi who used to be with Aidar but now is apparently with Azov. She recently made headlines when she fired RPGs at Shirokino:

Does that mean that, after the Right Sector, Azov is next to be purged? There’s gotta be some jealousy toward this pampered Nazi outfit coming from the other Nazi outfits that are not nearly as pampered.

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