Russian Blogosphere Survey for April 22, 2015

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Russian Blogosphere Survey for April 22, 2015

By J.Hawk

This is a semi-regular (in other words, as time permits) Fort Russ feature, comprising interesting stories from the Russian blogosphere which do not warrant a more detailed treatment in an article of their own. To view earlier installments of the series, click on the Daily Brief tab above the title.

Politics

Aleksandr Tkachev: Russia’s new Minister of Agriculture

Prior to his latest appointment, Tkachev was the governor of the Krasnodar Region, one of the most important agricultural regions of the Russian Federation, where he proved to be a highly effective manager. His appointment is consistent with the overall RF policy of achieving food security, in other words, self-sufficiency when it comes to food production. 

I think they are starting to suspect something…

More Ukrainian ceasefire violations documented by OSCE

Additional graphics at the link.

The Geography of Debt

Russia’s not looking all that bad, in fact it’s looking pretty awesome, and it’s the low level of debt that allowed it to weather Western sanctions with relatively few ill effects. Had the level of debt been higher, the financial sanctions especially would have been extremely painful, possibly even impossible to bear. For all the criticism of the conservative economic policies during the Putin era, it has to be said that they proved to be essential to preserving Russia’s economic and political sovereignty.

 Are lustrators being lustrated?

Tatyana Kozachenko, the director of the Lustration (Screening) Department at the Ministry of Justice, whose job it is to “weed out” politically suspect senior officials, must have made herself some enemies because she received a visit from the MVD. Several other officials in the department are getting a similar treatment.

But what if you “dislike”?

Anton Gerashchenko: “We are starting to record the IP addresses of all who put “likes” on Anatoliy Shariy’s articles.”
Shariy is, of course, one of the most prominent Ukrainian opposition bloggers and journalists responsible for, among other things, blowing open Ukraine’s attempts to blame the MH17 shoot-down on the Russian military. It’s not clear whether Ukraine’s MVD or SBU have that capability, but if the NSA steps in to help…who knows? For the record, they have my IP address by now too…

A list of junta’s casualties

To be continued…



Economy

Russia’s gold reserves increased by 2.58% in March

 The relative share of gold as a component of Russia’s financial reserves is also continuing to increase.


168 banks have joined Russia’s alternative to SWIFT
Additional 320 banks are testing the system, which was created over the course of past year in order to limit Russia’s exposure to Western sanctions. 


Avtovaz assembles pre-production Lada Xray


The fall of the ruble also means domestically-manufactured vehicles have a major cost advantage over cars using foreign components.

Interjet receives its fourteenth Sukhoi Superjet

The airline has ordered a total of 30 Superjets.

Russian manufacturing resumes its expansion
After two months of decline, Russia’s manufacturing recorded an increase by .4% in March, in comparison with March 2014.

“Russian Post” to launch its own equivalent of eBay and Amazon.com

Russia’s state-owned mail service will launch its own electronic marketplace which will sell a wide variety of goods via the internet.

Chronicles of an economy in a dive
NBU experiencing difficulties in maintaining hryvnya exchange rate below 25:1 USD. The number of cows dropped by 6.6% by comparison with April 2014. Truck production dropped by 60% by comparison with March 2014. The number of construction projects decreased by 32% in the first quarter of 2015. But the Ukrainian Ministry of the Economy noticed that the US still has anti-dumping sanctions in force against Ukraine’s steel industry!



Military

Armata, Kurganets, Bumerang photos posted by the Ministry of Defense

 
Photos of much higher quality and detail than the earlier ones, though still with covered up turrets.

Baltic Fleet Su-27 mission as seen from inside the cockpit

Cameras for driving

This post was taken from a Ukrainian blog, and it deals with the troops of the 79th Airmobile Brigade experimenting with external camera mounts to help their BTR-80 drivers see where they are going. The most important aspect of the post are the UAF troops revelations concerning their morale, which by all accounts is very low. There is little enthusiasm for combat any more.

History


The Defenders of Pavlov’s House

Russians: Pavlov, Afanasyev, and Aleksandrov
Ukrainians: Sabgaida and Glushchenko
Georgians: Mosiashvili and Stepanashvili
Abkhazian Sukba
Tatar Ramazanov
Kazakh Murzayev
Tadjik Turdyyev
Uzbek Turgunov
and 12 other battle comrades.

They defended “Pavlov’s House” longer than all of France resisted the Nazis.

Photo Galleries

Tashkent


From the life of military re-enactors

Kazan

Humor

Coca-Cola Treason

“Novorossia”
Google Treason

Ukrainians
Ukrainians got beaten up in Europe
Ukrainians are being beaten
Ukrainians got beaten up in Hamburg
Ukrainians got beaten up in Spain
Ukrainians are being beaten in Poland
Ukrainians are being beaten in Russia
Ukrainians got beaten up
Ukrainians are being beaten up in Spain
Ukrainians got beaten up in Germany

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