Russian Blogosphere Survey for May 9, 2015

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May 9, 2015

Russian Blogosphere Survey for May 9, 2015

By J.Hawk

This is the 34th edition of the feature. To view other editions, click on the Daily Brief tab above the title.

Politics


A hospitable lair

 Fitzmorgen notes that Russia’s attractiveness to Europe has many facets. EU is in an economic crisis, the euro appears to be on the brink of a disaster (for the time being, right now), individual EU member states want sanctions to be lifted, plus the list of US-related spying scandals is growing (Austria is the latest country to experience one). On a more prosaic level, Russia’s ruble devaluation has made the country very attractive to zombie hordes foreign tourists. Not only are fewer Russians traveling abroad, more foreigners are coming to Russia, as the country’s international position in terms of its tourism attractiveness increased by 18 positions over the same time last year.

The third side

 Turkey and Saudi Arabia have reached an agreement to support “moderate rebels” in their fight against both ISIS and the government of Syria. On the face of it, that’s not a positive development from Russia’s perspective, or is there more here than meets the eye?

Crimea receives Russian telephone area codes

 While the individual telephone numbers will remain the same, the peninsula is now part of Russia’s country-wide area code system.

Gazprom begins the construction of the sea component of Turkish Stream

 Once completed, Turkish Stream will make shipments of natural gas through Ukraine unnecessary. For that reason the US is exerting pressure on countries of southern Europe not to participate in the project.

China to invest in Russian high-speed rail

Xi Jinping, in Moscow for the Victory Parade, already managed to sign all manner of agreements, including one concerning the investment of 300 billion rubles into a Moscow-Kazan high-speed rail line, one of many being built in Russia. The agreement specifies the use of Chinese technologies, though 80% of the equipment is to be manufactured in Russia.

Night Wolves in Bratislava

 The Night Wolves have evolved into remarkably effective good-will ambassadors. Ironically, it was the EU’s attempt to deny them entry that provided the publicity they needed.

Putin sends his best wishes to the citizens of Ukraine

 Vladimir Putin sent a telegram to the leaders of all former Soviet republics (except Ukraine and Georgia) expressing hope that the brotherly friendship of all the peoples inhabiting these post-USSR countries (including Ukraine and Georgia) that was forged during the Great Patriotic War will facilitate continued future good mutual relations and even contribute to their strengthening.

Vita Zaverukha and her associates to take the fall for Buzina and Kalashnikov murders

They are very convenient scapegoats. But their big sin, in the eyes of Kiev, is not that they are Nazis, but that they think they are better Nazis than the people who are currently in charge of the country.

The Dignity Line turned out to be a shallow trench

The much-advertised Dignity Line which is supposed to be a line of fortifications against possible Novorossia advance turned out to be a mile-deep moat filled with molten lava simple ditch . I mean, the thing won’t survive the next serious rainstorm, let alone anything resembling an artillery bombardment.

Economy


Russia and China sign an agreement to promote the sale of 100 Su-100 Superjets

 The agreement was signed by the Russo-Chinese Investment Corporation and the Shanxi Province government. It specifies that a joint Russian-Chinese leasing company will procure 100 Superjets (with a value of over $3 billion) and promote their use with airlines operating in Asia.

ATO participants will receive Kiev apartments in…57 years

 At the moment the waiting list for communal housing stands at 65 thousand, and that’s for the city of Kiev alone. At the current rate of availability, it would take 57 years for someone added to the list today to receive an apartment.

Military


Everything you wanted to know about Armata but were afraid to ask

 The vehicle represents a major leap forward over the existing Russian tank designs, and in many cases also the Western designs. It has very high mobility, which was already visible even during the parade rehearsals in the vehicle’s acceleration. It has multi-layered protection, starting with electronic countermeasures, two different sets of active defenses (reputedly also capable of intercepting high-velocity kinetic rounds as well as top-attack missiles like Hellfire and Javelin), advanced reactive armor, and multi-layer conventional armor. Its crew enjoys extremely high degree of protection, and finally its 125mm 2A82 cannon exceeds even the Rheinmetall L-55 120mm gun ballistics. Moreover, the design allows for a future adoption of a larger-caliber weapon, should one become needed. And the whole thing is still considerably lighter than most Western MBTs, which are well in excess of 60 tons, except for the French Leclerc which weighs in at 54 tons or so.

Sparta

 Ukrainian “On to Moscow!” tank commits suicide

This incident made the blogosphere rounds last year, when a UAF AT-AT T-64BV tank with a boastful “On to Moscow” slogan stenciled on its side ran into an anti-tank barrier at full speed. Since then it has been acquired by the Azov Regiment, but apparently its tank-repairing skills must be wanting because it’s still in a pretty terrible condition:

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 The UAF must be in a pretty rough shape if even repairable tanks aren’t being repaired.

History


Moscow Mayor Sobyanin receives news from the front after 74 years

 It turns out that the father of the current Mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin had four brothers who fought at the front. What Sobyanin didn’t know (but was informed about just recently) was that his relatives were featured in a wartime documentary newsreel describing how the military postal system operated.

The path of war from Brest to Berlin. Sergey Larenkov’s photoreconstructions

More at the link.

Sebezh Fortified Region pillbox

 Waffen-SS Totenkopf Division lost a third of its personnel while breaking through the defenses.

Like their Grandfathers

Zvezdochett has the right idea when it comes to making the proper historical analogies between the contemporary UAF and its actual historical forebears. More at the link

 Nachtigall Battalion

A big photo collection concerning one of the first Ukrainian units formed by the Nazis already prior to the invasion of USSR, the Nachtigall battalion.

How Poland started WW2

One of the less talked about aspects of Polish history is that Poland participated in the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia shoulder-to-shoulder with Hitler, and then discussed its intent to seize the Ukrainian SSR and to extend its borders to the shores of the Black Sea with Nazi Germany’s Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop. Of course, it turned out otherwise, as the Nazi elite decided that Poland would be more useful to the German war effort as an occupied country. But ultimately Poland’s place as one of the Allies and not one of the Axis was determined in Berlin, not in Warsaw. It’s just that Poland was the first Nazi ally betrayed by Hitler.

Life and Society

MVD flashmob sings the Victory Song at Poklonnaya Gora War Memorial

Musical
flashmobs seem to be the going thing in Russia these days. Good song,
well sung. The unsuspecting visitors’ reactions are priceless.

We are choosing the best movie about World War 2

 And the clear winner is (as is usually the case in such polls) Brest Fortress.

Friday cat waiting in ambush 😉

A modern-day knight jousting tournament in Kolomenskoye

An international event, judging by the announcer’s use of Russian, English, and French languages.

Humor


Standing applause

 “A Ukrainian is someone who hates Putin”

Ancient Ukrainians on the way to the first Maidan: “Kill the Cro-Magnons!”

“You press here, and NATO ceases to exist. You press there, and the flashlight comes on. Just kidding–there’s no flashlight.”

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