Title: Russia Today
Russia (Skyenet) - March 7, 2012 09:42 AM (GMT)
RT, previously known as Russia Today, is a government-funded global multilingual television news network based in the Russian Federation. It was founded in 2005 as Russia Today by the government-owned RIA Novosti.
RT shows round-the-clock news bulletins, documentaries, talk shows, and debates, as well as sports news and cultural programs on Russia. The service is aimed at the overseas market, similar to other international news channels, and broadcast through satellite and cable operators throughout the world. In addition to the flagship English-language broadcast, it also runs Rusiya Al-Yaum, an Arabic language channel, and Spanish-language channels, and RT America which is oriented to viewers in the United States. It broadcasts from its headquarters in Moscow and its studio in Washington, DC, and also has bureaus in Miami, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Delhi and Tel Aviv.
RT is the second most-watched foreign news channel in the United States, after BBC News. By March 2010, its videos had garnered more than 83 million views on YouTube. It has 2,000 employees worldwide.Note:
I will also be posting RIA Novosti articles from their Defense section, which I find to be great for generating devious ideas for my military.
Russia (Skyenet) - March 7, 2012 09:46 AM (GMT)
'US elites label Putin evil, NWO outsider'
1Q2012 - March 06
This is an actual RT article
With Vladimir Putin declared the president-elect, congratulations have begun to come in from around the world, the West included. However, some say Washington is still fighting imaginary Russian demons – demons orchestrated by Putin.
Asia Times correspondent Pepe Escobar says that despite that, the Russian people are making their choice clear even if the US is still on a mission to vilify the country.
“Putin … said that close co-operation among the BRICS will be absolutely essential. He sees this as the founding stone of the new emerging multipolar world order [NWO]…Obviously, the Washington elites won’t like it,” Escobar told RT. “If you follow what news corporations … are [saying] about Putin, it’s the same old thing – it’s a relentless demonization, a personification of evil.”
The journalist explains that all the members of the international community who are not viewed by the West as a part of the “Anglo-American ‘Masters of the Universe’ narrative,” are immediately defined as enemies. It can be any country from Syria and North Korea to Putin’s Russia or Argentina under President Cristina Kirchner, he added.
Escobar refers to a comprehensive article last week where Putin outlined his views on Russia’s international relations and future foreign policy. “It’s a multipolar world, a close cooperation with BRICS, fighting NATO encroachment – which is a very, very strong preoccupation of most Russian voters – and trying to find a place for Russia in this new emerging multipolar [world] order,” he noted.
“Russia, according to the post-Yeltsin script, was … supposed to be a vassal state, like a kind of used satrapy for Washington’s interests. And in fact, Russia got closer to China; the BRICS came up – they start integrating. Russia started to be more forceful among the Central Asian states as well. [Russians] have already forged a strategic partnership with Germany – Germany is investing in Russia, and Russia is selling its natural resources to Germany,” Escobar explained.
All these events, Escobar says, are a nightmare for the United States – and there is nothing Washington can do reverse them.
“Get over it! Putin was reelected. He is going to be there for six years,” the Asia Times correspondent concluded.
His words were echoed by Daniel Wagner, author and CEO of Country Risk Solutions.
“Let’s not forget it’s political season [in the US]. There’s a lot of pandering to the audience and there’s a lot of things that will be said… strictly for the consumption of the voter,” he told RT. “ When push comes to shove, everybody recognizes Mr. Putin is here to stay, he has been elected through a legitimate process… And I think on that basis, everything will settle down after the [US] election, and everybody will get down to business.”
Russia (Skyenet) - March 8, 2012 10:06 PM (GMT)
Putin tells protesters to 'get serious'
This is a real RT article
President-elect Vladimir Putin has told reporters that he was not surprised by the recent protests and that the opposition must shift from street actions to serious political work.
One of the first questions the reporters asked was about Putin’s attitude to recent protests against the elections violations as well as to the police actions towards the protesters. The president-elect answered that in his view the police acted very professionally during the March 5 rallies.
“They did not beat up anyone, they did not use any special means and they pushed the protesters away only after the protesters started to break the limits,” Putin said. He also noted that the police saved several journalists who were attacked by protesters by hiding them in police vehicles. “A number of demonstrators were pursuing the goal that the police apply physical force to them,” the president-elect noted.
Putin added that he was not surprised by the memorandum of the Voters’ League that declared the elections illegitimate over numerous reported violations.
“There is nothing new here. They stated this even before the elections,” he noted. “They say that the authorities must listen to the people’s voice. The opposition must listen to this voice as well,” Putin said, adding that the Right Cause party, which earlier was represented in the parliament, had lost completely at the last elections.
“This means that the people did not like what they offered to the society and they must make their conclusions,” Putin said. “It is not enough to express oneself in the streets, one must present to the voters a real program of positive development,” he stated.
Putin also said he considered Dmitry Medvedev’s order to check the legality of the sentence imposed on former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his associates the right decision. Putin also added that he still saw no political background in Khodorkovsky’s case.
“My friends, we keep talking about some political component in this case, but you have eyes and ears and you have read the European Court verdict – it is written there that the European Court for Human Rights sees no political background there,” Putin told reporters.
The president-elect promised to start the consultations over another problem raised during the election campaign – the unfairness of the Russian privatization and the economic reforms of the 1990s. He said that the question was complicated as the decision had to be acceptable for the community and business people alike, but stressed that the solution must close this discussion once and for all.
Putin also touched upon certain foreign policy issues and his answers were generally within the established course. He reiterated that the reason behind the Russia-Georgia spat was in the actions of the Georgian authorities and that he hoped that Russian and Georgian peoples found the solution to the crisis.
He added that Russia cannot withdraw its troops from the republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as this would allow Georgia to repeat its aggression. The Russian leader-elect reminded that he always tried to persuade the Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili to refrain from violence and avoid bloodshed, that Russia fulfilled its obligations and withdrew from the Adjaria region, but Georgia did not reply with the creation of a joint anti-terrorist center, as was promised.
“How can you hold talks with such people?” Putin asked reporters.
Russia (Skyenet) - March 8, 2012 10:12 PM (GMT)
United Russia accuses Gorbachev of double standards
This is an actual RT article. And probably my last one unless something completely hilarious shows up
United Russia has blasted Mikhail Gorbachev for “joining the calls” of US Republican Senator John McCain and US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul in their “aspiration to see a revolution” in Russia.
“You are talking about ‘intimidation’ in Pushkin Square. Is that what you call the well-adequate and justified actions of law-enforcers, who stopped a group of high-handed guys in order to defend people?” said Duma vice speaker Sergey Neverov on Wednesday.
Earlier the first and only president of the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev, stated that he has doubts as to whether the official election results reflect the real preferences of the Russian people. He also criticized Vladimir Putin for what he called “inappropriate” and “insulting” statements about opposition leaders and their supporters.
In addition, Gorbachev said that opposition rallies should continue. Neverov dubbed the statement an attempt “to play into the hands of those dreaming of an Arab Spring in Russia”.
The United Russia official recalled a dispersal of protesters in Tbilisi in 1989, which claimed 16 lives, and the storming of the Vilnius TV tower in 1991, in which 15 people were killed.
“What happened to civilians back then on your orders?” Neverov asked Gorbachev.
Russia (Skyenet) - March 9, 2012 03:58 PM (GMT)
RIA Novosti: Kaliningrad Air Bases to receive upgrade
The Ministry of Defense will modernize two airfields in the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad the Commander of the Baltic Fleet, Vice Admiral Viktor Chirkov announced earlier this week.
The main part of the project, the air base at Chkalovsk, includes lengthening the runway to 3.5 km, allowing it to accept almost any aircraft in the world, including Russian strategic bombers. The maintenance facilities will also receive upgrades that will allow larger aircraft, as well as stealth aircraft, to be stationed there permanently.
Another air field for hydroplanes will also be reactivated and rebuilt. Vice Adm. Chirkov stated that the Baltic Fleet expects to receive amphibious aircraft for reconnaissance and Search-and-Resuce missions sometime in 2013 or 2014, along with helicopters that will support SAR missions in the Baltic.
The projects are expected to take two years, their completion coinciding with the expected activation of a new long-range Radar in Kaliningrad, that will be able to monitor air space far beyond Europe.
The Kaliningrad has received a significant bump in military priority, as it represents a perfect location for countering American and NATO plans for a missile shield in Europe, a project that Russia has labeled as "belligerent".
Chirkov refused to comment on whether rumors that S-400 air defense systems and Iskander tactical missile system would be deployed to defend the radar and air bases are true or not.
Russia (Skyenet) - March 9, 2012 08:11 PM (GMT)
RIA Novosti: Russian Air Force to receive 60+ new fighters and over 150 new aircraft in total An Su-35 fighter
The Russian Air Force is undergoing a rapid modernization. It is expected that the Air Force will receive over 150 new aircraft in 2012, including 15 brand new Su-35 fighter jets, Russia's so far most advanced fighter jet, except the Su-50 stealth fighter that is expected to arrive in 2015.
Other aircraft being delivered include 50 new attack helicopters, new transport helicopters and 15 new Il-476 transport aircraft that are replacing the old Il-76.
Russian Naval Aviation is also receiving new aircraft, with 10 new Be-40 amphibious aircraft being received, three of them in Kaliningrad. The Be-40 is a jet powered anti-submarine aircraft that can take off from water that was originally designed by the Soviet Union in the late 80s, that has since been revived by the Navy.
The Ground Force is also receiving new equipment. More than 120 air defense vehicles are expected to be delivered over the next two years, and two new S-400 battalions are being delivered, one of which is expected to be assigned to the disputed Kuril Islands.
Russia (Skyenet) - March 10, 2012 04:51 AM (GMT)
Prirazolmnoye field commences commercial operation; Putin advocates greater exploration efforts in the Arctic
Today the first commercial oil was extracted from the Prirazlomnoye field by Sevmorneftegaz. The field is the first off-shore commercial oil field in the Arctic to begin operations and is expected to produce around 300,000 barrels of oil per day by 2014.
For the occasion, President-Elect and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visited the platform, the first of its kind, where he once against showed his manliness by aiding in the extraction of the first oil. Later Putin stated that he "would encourage exploration of all Russian resources in the Arctic" and that "Russia must look North."
Back on land, in several larger cities across Russia, small protests by Environmental organizations, demanding that Russia stop extracting oil and gas, were held. The turnout across Russia was less than 4,000 people.
The Arctic has become an area of increasing interest for the nations that border this inhospitable region. Russian interest have been scouring the areas North of Russia for oil, and still are. It is expected that well over 100 billion tons of oil and gas will be found in Russian waters.
The area is also hotly contested. Up until recently, Russia and Norway did not have an established naval border, which lead not only to a conflict between the two nations, but also locked off many areas for petroleum exploration. Recently an agreement was ratified by both nations, that establish the border, allowing exploration to begin.
Many nations have also started massive exploration efforts, attempting to lodge a claim for the currently un-claimed areas around the North Pole by proving it is part of their continental shelf. No claims have so far been approved.
Russia has also recently shifted its military towards the Arctic. The first Arctic Brigade, a motorized rifle unit, is expected to be activated in Murmansk or Arkhangelsk by 2015, followed by another brigade. The Russian Northern Fleet has long been the flagship-fleet of the Russian Navy, and recently plans for the Air Force to establish a presence were also revealed.
Russia (Skyenet) - March 10, 2012 03:10 PM (GMT)
RIA Novosti: Russia to lay down 9 major surface ships in 2012
The Russian Navy has announced that it will be laying down 9 major surface ships this year. This represents the largest naval expansion since the fall of the Soviet Union and comes as the Russian shipyard industry faces a crisis, not by a lack of orders, but by inefficiency and old equipment driving up costs.
The Minister of Defense has stated that the expansion of the Russian Navy is an important part of the project to rejuvenate the Russian shipyard industry. $10 billion has been allocated by the Government to restore shipyards that fill "orders vital to the Nation", generally accepted to be state orders or military orders.
In addition to the 9 major surface ships, a dozen corvettes has been laid down, two for Caspian Sea service, the remaining for Black Sea and Baltic sea service.
Several old ships have also began refits. Preparations began onboard the Kirov and Admiral Nakhimov, two of Russia's most iconic ships, part of the Orlan-class (Kirov-class), to move them into drydock within the next month. Both ships are expected to be upgraded by 2015 and back in service with the Navy.
The Admiral Kuznetsov, Russia's only aircraft carrier, is also expected to be drydocked this year, to undergo a long overdue upgrade that will allow it to serve the Russian Navy for decades to come. Some have speculated that the Kuznetsov will be used as a test platform for a new class of carriers, but this has been rejected by the Ministry of Defense, stating that "the Kuznetsov is not a part of future plans for a new class of Russian carriers".
Some have taken this as a hint that there is a new class of carrier planned, which has been speculated for many years, which has never been confirmed, nor denied, by the Navy or the Ministry of Defense.
Russia (Skyenet) - March 10, 2012 04:52 PM (GMT)
Lavrov: "UN resolution on Syria is possible"
In a statement today, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov responded to allegations that Russia is responsible for the deaths in Syria.
Russia has been criticized by the western world and the Arab League for their role in vetoing a United Nations Security Resolution supporting an Arab League plan believing it did not "adequately reflect the real state of affairs in Syria."
Lavrov started by dismissing claims that Russia supported the violence in Syria, by stating that "Russia in no way condones violence in Syria, from any party." He continued by stating that "Russia has not slammed the door shut on a UNSC resolution, it is still possible."
Continuing, Lavrov put forth a set of demands to the Syrian People.
"Firstly, all violence in Syria must stop, regardless of where it comes from. The importance of this cannot be overstated. Secondly, unrestricted access by Humanitarian organizations to the Syrian people, without this the situation will deteriorate rapidly and eventually be beyond rescuing."
Towards the end of the statement, Lavrov called on Western countries to "support dialogue, not to take sides and to refrain from creating another Libya."
This comes after the Russian ambassador to the United Nations blasted NATO over their handling of the Libya situation. Vitaly Churkin asserted "We expect NATO to acknowledge that the air raids [in Libya] caused civilian casualties, to apologize and be prepared to pay appropriate compensation to those affected."
A commission on the NATO airstrikes in Libya investigated 20 airstrikes in total. In five of them it documented that more than 60 civilians were killed, and nearly as many wounded. Two airstrikes were also found to target civilian infrastructure, with no military targets anywhere close to the area hit.
Last year, Russia and China abstained from supporting a UN resolution that sanctioned a no-fly zone over Libya. Later, the two permanent members of the Security Council accused NATO of overstepping its UN mandate to protect civilians in Libya.
Russia (Skyenet) - March 10, 2012 09:56 PM (GMT)
RIA Novosti: Russian Navy Northern Fleet conducts exercises in the Barents Sea, refuses connection to Cold Response1Q2012
The Russian Navy's Northern Fleet, its largest, commenced one of their largest exercises since the end of the Cold War today, with more than 25 ships taking to sea.
Among these were the Navy's pride, the Missile Cruiser Pytor Velikiy. The only one of the Kirov missile cruisers in service, the Pytor Veliky serves as the flagship of the Northern Fleet and is the largest ship in active service, as the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier has been taken out of active service pending a refit.
The Pytor Velikyi underway in the Barents Sea
As the Russian Navy waged war above and below the waves, the sky too was filled with the sound of war, as the Russian Air Force and Russian Naval Aviation took to the skies. An impressive formation of aircraft could be seen over Akhangelsk, as Russian fighters engaged in mock dogfights, and Russian bombers headed out to sea.
The Russian Exercise coincides with the NATO annual Cold Response exercise, this year the largest ever in the series, which takes place in Northern Norway, and lately also Sweden. No reports of meetings between NATO and Russian aircraft have been heard, as the Russian Exercise was still far away from Norwegian waters, but schedules have long bomber missions stretching into the neutral waters around Norway.
Vice Admiral Korolev, commander of the Northern Fleet, rejected the implication that the exercise was a response to Cold Response, stating that it was simply a routine drill.
Russia (Skyenet) - March 11, 2012 03:33 PM (GMT)
Russia celebrates 67th Victory Day, Putin inaugurated as President2Q2012
Today, May 9th, the Russian Federation celebrates their greatest holiday. Recognized for its military parades, fireworks over the Kremlin and festivities throughout Russia, the day marks Soviet victory over the Greatest threat to Human civilization in the 20th century, Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War.
This years Victory Day celebrations also coincided with the official inauguration of Vladimir Putin as the new President of Russia. Medvedev officially stepped down as President following the inspection of the Russian troops gathered at the Red Square and handed over power to his friend, Vladimir Putin.
Vladimir Putin and Dimitri Medvedev shake hands following the ceremony marking the change of power
This was followed by another inspection from Vladimir Putin, before the parade itself got started. In total 25,000 soldiers representing the Russian Armed Forces, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the FSB and the Ministry of Emergency Situations took part, along side well over 150 vehicles, including tanks, artillery and other vehicles.
Russian Artillery vehicles taking part in the Parade
The Russian Air Force also took part, with over 100 aircraft. The most significant attraction was three T-50 prototype aircraft, part of the PAK FA Russian Stealth fighter program. The three fighters made several maneuvers over the Red Square, followed by a low-pass by all three fighters in close formation, releasing smoke in the colors of the Russian Flag; white, blue and red.
Russia (Skyenet) - March 11, 2012 11:37 PM (GMT)
2Q2012 (Read: I can't be assed to write a proper article for all this shit)Medvedev takes Prime Minister post under Putin, Cabinet largely unchanged
With few changes Medvedev was chosen and quickly accepted as Putin's Prime Minister. The move was expected long before the election. Also expected was the limited number of changes in the cabinet. With a few low level ministers being replaced, the only real news was the inclusion of Mikhail Prokhorov, one of Putin's opponents in the recent Presidential Election, as a Deputy Prime Minister. Prokhorov had recently stated that he wanted to form his own 'non political'
party, and has said that these plans are merely postponed as he catches up on his new position.
Mikhail ProkhorovPutin announces Russian Lunar Program, calls for investment in Space
Vladimir Putin met with head of Roscosmos, Vladimir Popovkin today. Topics for the meeting were the recent failure of the Fobos-Grunt mission to Mars and Russia's rising problem with under-paid and aging scientists. Russia's educated space force is just passing an average age of 47, and new minds are not being recruited due to the poor salary.
Following the meeting, Putin announced a promise to raise salaries in the civilian aerospace sector, and also announced several new programs along with Popovkin, including a new Fobos-Grunt mission. Among these programs was plans for a manned lunar mission before 2020. Following the American's 'victory' in the Space Race, the Soviet Union closed down their lunar program, which had been torn apart not only by errors in construction and failing launch vehicles, but also by internal disagreements between the head designers in the various sections of the program."Russian Armed Forces to be over 50% professionalized by 2016" - Serdyukov
Defense Minister Serdyukov announced today, in a visit to the disputed Kuril Islands in the Far East, claimed by Japan, that Russia's military forces will be made up from 50% professional soldiers by 2016 and laid out several reforms intended to reach that goal.
Among these were increases in pay for all soldiers, from conscripts to officers, anti-hazing measures but most significant was the establishment of a new range of Military Academies. Intended as cross-branch schools, these would allow anyone to apply. The schools are meant to teach discipline, practical skills and give limited military training. After one year of education, Students would have the option to enroll in the Russian Armed Forces, being given higher pay for their education as enlisted men. Those who chose not to, or are unable to do so, receive a diploma, not unlike a high school diploma, that certifies them as graduates. The more gifted students, selected based on performance by each branch, would be offered two more years of education, followed by a five year tenure as officers in the Russian Armed Forces, during which they could finish a university degree equivalent to a Bachelor in a range of fields, mainly Engineering and Science related, but also in Military Science topics and other relevant subjects. The first of these academies are expected to open in 2014 outside Moscow, and will feature state-of-the-art facilities. A total of four academies, spread out across Russia are planned.
Another reform announced was a cooperation with universities across Russia, allowing the Armed Forces to offer students studying towards a Bachelor the ability to enlist as NCOs in the Armed Forces for three or five years and get their education and housing fees paid for up to five years after leaving the service. This was accompanied by promises of better base facilities, with plans to invest $2 billion into base facilities annually over the next decade.
Serdyukov also inspected the recently deployed S-400 defense battery on the Kuril Islands, witnessing a test firing against a drone representing an attacking aircraft.
Russia (Skyenet) - March 13, 2012 03:19 AM (GMT)
Russian special forces secure wanted terrorist leader inside Georgian Territory
President Vladimir Putin, flanked by Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and Commander of the Southern Military District, Lt. General Alexander Galkin, announced to the Russian press today that Russian Special Forces of the Spetsnaz had successfully executed a military operation inside Georgian territory.
The operation was aimed at capturing one of Russia's most wanted men, Doku Umarov, the self-declared Emir of the Caucasus Emirate, wanted by Russia, the United States and the United Nations for terrorist actions across Russia and his connection to Al-Qaida. Pictures were later released, taken of Dokka Umarov in a military detention facility at an unknown location in Russia.
After Putin announcing the success of the operation, Lt. General Galkin took over the press conference, detailing that Russian intelligence services had received intelligence that Umarov was present at an estate in Georgia after one of his relatives, wanted by the Russian Authorities in connection with various terrorist attacks both in the Caucasus and in Russia surfaced in Georgia. After several weeks of surveillance, a picture was captured of Umarov taking a smoke on one of the balconies of the estate.
According to Galkin an unspecificed number of Spetsnaz soldiers entered Georgia by helicopter and assaulted the compound, meeting heavy resistance, but still successfully capturing Umarov alive. While waiting for retrieval by helicopter the Georgian Armed Forces appeared and without provocation opened fire on the Russian forces.
Following a brief fire fight, during which several Spetsnaz soldiers were wounded and one missile was fired in self-defense, the Russian forces withdrew onboard helicopters towards Russian territory. The Georgians fired two surface-to-air missiles at the helicopters. One helicopter was hit and crashed, with everyone onboard presumed dead. Umarov was not in the helicopter shot down.
Under heavy fire and unable to land near the crashed helicopter, the remaining Russian forces returned to South Ossetian air space and later to Russian territory with Umarov.
While Galkin or any official within the Russian government refuses to speculate whether Georgia knew Umarov was hiding in their country, many experts, as well as some anonymous sources within the Armed Forces refuse to believe that even the Georgians would be so incompetent as to not realize Umarov was hiding in the estate. Further evidence of their knowledge is that it took less than 20 minutes from the Russian forces entered the estate until large Georgian military forces were present.
It is unclear what will happen to Umarov from here. At the moment Umarov is being held at an "undisclosed facility" pending processing, debriefing and confirmation of his identity. From there he may either be tried in Russia for terrorism, or some speculate Russia might try him internationally for war crimes as a sign that Russia takes terrorism seriously. No comments have been made from the Government regarding the possibility to hold him without trial as a prisoner of war, or under other legislation, like the United States does with its detainees.
Russia (Skyenet) - March 13, 2012 03:47 AM (GMT)
RIA Novosti: Russian Navy commences extended patrols2Q2012
Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky announced that the Russian Navy will recommence constant world ocean patrols with its force of nuclear missile submarines, starting with the newly commissioned Yuriy Dologorukiy
The Admiral spoke at the ceremony where the new submarine, the first of Russia's new class of nuclear missile submarines, was officially accepted into service and given its first orders.
It was in early February this year that the Admiral stated that Russia will return to the world's oceans after a long absence. The Soviet Navy conducted more than 230 extended world ocean patrols with their nuclear missile submarines in 1984. In 2011 the Russian Navy conducted less than 10. According to the Admiral the new submarine will conduct a full circumnavigation of the world, including a visit to the North Pole. It will also conduct missile tests en-route.
It is expected that Russia will build 10 or more nuclear missile submarines over the next decade, entirely replacing its existing Delta-III and Delta-IV class. Two Typhoon-class submarines will also return to service before 2020, refitted to carry new missiles.
The plans released by Vysotsky state that Russia will conduct 20 extended patrols during the second half of 2012, rising to 50 patrols in 2013. As more submarines enter service, more patrols will be conducted.
Russia (Skyenet) - March 13, 2012 04:16 PM (GMT)
American double standards? Surely we jest!
Yesterday Putin announced that Russia troops had captured Doku Umarov, Russia's most wanted man, also wanted by the United States and the United Nations, for terrorism and links to Al-Qaida.
Today one of the reactions from the world shocked the Russian establishment. In a statement on the matter today, the American President, Barack Obama, condemned the action, stating that he didn't "like it".
"Perhaps he would have preferred we killed him," one passer-by said, when asked by RT on his reaction to Obama. He was referring to an eerily similar operation last year, when Obama himself ordered special forces into Pakistan without Pakistan's approval, to assassinate Osama bin Laden, at that time the world's most wanted man.
While officials have declined to comment on the American double standards, anonymous sources within the Ministry of Defense and of Foreign Affairs confirm that there is a general sentiment of betrayal from the Americans. One went as far as saying "So America got their boogieman, and have since ceased to care about terrorism" with others saying "So America has the right to assassinate terrorists halfway across the world, but Russia doesn't have the right to capture them in their own backyard?"
Several analysts believe that this shows just how biased against Russia America is. "Even when Russia captures a terrorist America themselves has a $5 million bounty out on, they condemn us!" one expert told RT.
While no one in the Russian government is saying it, it is clear they are all agreeing, Obama has betrayed Russia and indeed the entire world, in the War on Terror. If this is indeed a sign of things to come, it is clear that the War on Terror has become far harder, now that America has abandoned it after catching their terrorist.
Russia (Skyenet) - March 13, 2012 09:25 PM (GMT)
Medvedev announces founding of "Technical Academy"
Prime Minister Medvedev spoke today during a visit to the planned site of the new Vostochny Cosmodrome, planned to take over for Baikonur by 2018. In his speech he echoed President Putin's calls for more investments into space and also announced that the Russian Ministry of Education and Science would be funding the formation of a new Technical Academy to be co-located with the Cosmodrome.
The academy would largely be an institute of higher education, aimed to educate a new generation of scientists and engineers for the Russian space program, but would also cater to lower education, with a special fund set up to support school classes travelling to the Cosmodrome to take part in dedicated science education meant to open the Students' interests to space.
The academy will have no tuition fees, its admissions being based entirely on ability, and will be funded by contributions from Russian corporations, such as UAC, and the Russian Government. It will also be an integral part of the Cosmodrome, with student-developed satellite programs planned, along-side student participation in the other projects at the facility.
While the academy is primarily focused on space, it will also offer other technical degrees. It is expected that the first class will begin their education at the school in 2017, with the cosmodrome opening the following year.
Russia (Skyenet) - March 14, 2012 11:07 PM (GMT)
RIA Novosti: Russia to build new aircraft carrier
Today RIA Novosti can confirm that the Russian navy has placed an order for a new class of aircraft carriers. Photographs show work commencing at one of the Baltic Shipyard's major dry docks on a new ship.
When asked to comment, the Ministry of Defense released a statement saying that "The ship referred to is a new aircraft-carrying ship being built for the Russian Navy." No further comments were made, even upon requests.
The Russian Navy has long been expected to construct a new class of aircraft carriers, as the only carrier currently in service with the Russian Navy, the Admiral Kuznetsov, is becoming old. It is expected that the Kuznetsov will enter dry dock as well to undergo a refit, sometime this year.
Russia (Skyenet) - March 15, 2012 01:24 AM (GMT)
RIA Novosti: "Russia needs new leaders on defense" - Rogozin
Today Dimitry Rogozin, Russia's current Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Defense Industry, called for a new generation of leaders in Russia's defense corporations during a talk at a conference on Corruption in the Military Industrial Complex (MIC).
Rogozin has long been an advocate of zero-tolerance for corruption in the MIC, having called officials who embezzle Russian defense funds "traitors" just earlier this year.
"Because this causes harm to Russia's defense capabilities and its security the bribe-taker directly collaborates with a potential enemy," Rogozin told Russia's lower house of parliament in February.
Now it seems Rogozin has reached a plan to combat the corruption that endangers Russia's security. With support from President Putin and Defense Minister Serdyukov, both heavily anti-corruption, Rogozin appears to want to replace the current leaders of Russia's defense industry with a new generation without the predisposition to steal from the state.
No defense industry officials have commented on the statement, but within the Ministry of Defense many support it anonymously. Rogozin has also received many statements of support from representatives in the Russian Parliament.
Russia (Skyenet) - March 15, 2012 05:25 PM (GMT)
Russian peacekeeping forces in South Ossetia capture Georgians after bombing spree
General Alexander Shushukin, commander of the 4th Military Base in South Ossetia, announced today that the peacekeeping forces under his command had, with the approval of South Ossetian police, detained three people in relation to the recent string of terrorist bombings in the country, considered illegitimate by most of the world following Georgian bribes and fear-mongering against Russia.
While the General declined to give any details as to their names, he did confirm that they are all male, in their 20s, and of Georgian origin. He did not specify if they were Georgian citizens from Georgia proper, or Ethnic Georgians living in S. Ossetia. The General did confirm that they would face trial in South Ossetia for the murder of civilians and peacekeepers alike.
Anonymous sources within the Ministry of Defense have confirmed that the people were apprehended as part of a sting operation after the last explosion, with undercover FSB agents posing as arms dealers sold the three men inert explosives for the purposes of tracking it. After tracking the explosives to an abandoned warehouse that was hit by Georgian artillery during the Georgian Aggression in 2008, Russian forces entered the facility, apprehending everyone inside and found equipment used to make bombs, that matches that of the earlier bombs.
The Georgian government has claimed that Russia has not done enough to prevent these bombings. While no official comment on the allegations have been made, experts [OOC: In the same way Fox News defines experts I might add] believe that this is a clear sign that Georgia is running operations to discredit Russia's mission in the Caucasus by stirring up trouble.
Russia (Skyenet) - March 15, 2012 08:03 PM (GMT)
Russky Island Brigde opened by Putin
President Putin attended the official opening of the bridge linking Vladivostok and Russky Island. The bridge was originally ordered built in 2008, when Medvedev signed the order. The primary purpose for the bridge is to serve the 2012 APEC summit and to link the otherwise isolated island to the mainland to allow movement between the two even during winter.
The bridge is the World's largest cable-stayed bridge, a design similar, but not like a suspension bridge. The project has been completed one month behind schedule, but still serves as a victory for Russian engineering.
Putin himself stated that this project "proves that the Far East is still an integral part of Russia," and that "it was the beginning of an era of engineering marvels by the Russian people."
It is expected that after the opening of the bridge, Putin will continue to visit the Kuril Islands, following his successor and predecessor as President, Medvedev who became the first Russian head of state to the visit the islands in 2010. The visit back when sparked controversy in Japan, who wrongfully claims the Island as theirs, despite giving them up in their surrender following World War 2.
Russia has recently stepped up its defense of the Islands, with several new systems deployed, including an S-400 battalion and an Iskander missile battalion.
Russia (Skyenet) - March 16, 2012 01:07 AM (GMT)
RIA Novosti: Russian Air Force grounds all Su-24 flights following crash
The Russian Air Force has cancelled all flights on the Su-24 ground attack aircraft after yet another aircraft crashed in Western Russia today. The aircraft suffered an unspecified malfunction and both pilots safely ejected. The aircraft crashed in an open field south of St. Petersburg.
This is the fourth crash of an Su-24 in under six months, with one in October 2011, one in December 2011 and a third one in February this year. While officials insist that the grounding of the fleet is merely a precaution while investigators determine the cause, experts suggest that this may be it for Russia's fleet of Su-24.
The Russian Air Force operates 321 Su-24 ground attack aircraft, while Naval Aviation operates 94 aircraft. While all Air Force aircraft are now grounded indefinitely, Naval Aviation has chosen to not ground their aircraft until the results of the investigation are clear.
The first Su-24 flew in 1970 and was introduced into the Air Force of the Soviet Union four years later. It is planned that the aging fleet will be replaced by the Su-34 strike fighter, however so far the Russian Air Force has only ordered 92 Su-34s, which some experts say is just not enough to replace the entire fleet by 2020.
Dimitry Rogozin, Russia's current Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Defense Industry said that this is a clear result of Russia's failing defense industry, and demanded that they be held responsible. Rogozin has long been waging a campaign on corruption and inefficiency in the Russian defense industry, with his latest demand being a new generation of leaders in the Russian corporations that supply the armed forces, most of which are state owned.
Russia (Skyenet) - March 17, 2012 08:20 AM (GMT)
RIA Novosti: Russia to form DARPAski - Dimitry Rogozin to take up position as director
President Putin and representatives of the Ministry of Defense appeared today in the State Duma, presenting a plan to form a Russian equivalent of the American Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, a government institution that conducts advanced research on behalf of the Military.
The new Russian agency would be named Department of Military Research and Oversight (DMRO, Russian: OVNIN) and will be not only mandated to conduct and organize all R&D of the Russian Military, but will also be in charge of oversight of all defense contracts and contractors, with focus on combating inefficiencies and corruption. The Agency will be given mandate to detain people suspected of corruption in relation to defense contractors, and will maintain its own law enforcement personnel. It will also be given extensive powers over the leadership of State Owned Defense Companies, which make up the bulk of the Russian Military Industrial Complex.
Under the plans presented by Putin, and met with approval from the State Duma, current Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Defense Companies, Dimitry Rogozin, would become director of this agency. He would report directly to Anatoliy Serdyukov and President Putin and have extensive powers.
Rogozin has long advocated that the fall of the Soviet Union and the problems in the early 90s for the Russian Federation have lead to the downfall of Russian military technology. He was once quoted as saying "Russia is 25 to 30 years ahead of the world in the area of missiles, and 25 to 30 years behind the world in all other areas of military technology." Rogozin has been a partner to Sedyukov and Putin in their work to reform the Russian Military, a process that is still ongoing.
According to Putin, such an agency could be formed within June 2013 and be ready to take charge of Russia's military procurement on January 1st, 2014.
Russia (Skyenet) - March 19, 2012 08:14 AM (GMT)
Russia announces defense deal with Cuba, plans to establish a major base made public
Defense Minister Anatoliy Serdyukov announced today that during his recent, not well publicized, visit to Cuba, a long-term ally of Russia in the Caribbean, he reached an agreement with Cuba's leader, Raúl Castro, on matters of Defense.
The agreement, of which only general characteristics are currently public, allows Russia to establish a permanent base on the Cuban Island of Isla de la Juventud, the largest in the island state. Russia will in return provide Cuba with upgrades to their military equipment, training to use it and support to maintain it.
Experts agree that this move by Russia is a clear response to recent American projection in Russia's sphere of influence, including the provocative sale of F-16 fighters to Georgia, an enemy of Russia, and plans for a missile shield in Eastern Europe. It will allow Russia to station aircraft permanently within striking distance of the contiguous United States, a first for Russia.
This comes just weeks after Russia announced that it has struck a similar deal with Angola, allowing basing rights on Angolan soil in exchange for military aid.
While the details around the base in Cuba remain secret, officials have confirmed that it will both host naval facilities and an airbase.
Russia (Skyenet) - April 7, 2012 03:22 AM (GMT)
Medvedev backs major corruption reform; demands civil servants declare income
Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev is fronting a major new anti-corruption bill in the State Duma, which has received large support in the legislative body.
The bill would require civil servants to declare their incomes, as well as large expenditures. State officials would also be required to present the same information on their spouses and children, if such expenditures involves land, vehicles or securities. They would also have to present proof that the money for the expenditure were legally acquired. If they can't, the bill gives the opportunity to investigate, dismiss or even seize the property, though the latter can only be done if it is proven to be acquired illegally.
Opponents of the bill say that it violated personal privacy and gives too much power to fight corruption, but polls show that the bill has large support in the Government and in the People of Russia.
New NATO Envoy appointed as Rogozin takes up defense oversight position
Alexandr Grushko, Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia, has been appointed as ambassador to Russia's permanent mission to NATO, replacing Dimitry Rogozin.
Rogozin is taking up the position as director of Russia's new agency to provide oversight of Russian defense corporations, and management of their research projects, and was returned to Moscow firstly over a year ago, in 2011, but has continued to serve as ambassador to NATO remotely until a replacement could be picked.
Russia (Skyenet) - April 23, 2012 07:29 AM (GMT)
Serdyukov & Rogozin announces maintenance package for Russian Military Industry3Q2013 Defense Minister Serdyukov and OVNIN Director Rogozin
Minister of Defense Anatoliy Serdyukov and recently-appointed director of OVNIN, Russia's new oversight and coordination agency for the defense industry, Dmitry Rogozin, announced today what they call a "maintenance package" for the Military Industry.
As one of Rogozin's plans to combat inefficiencies, poor quality and the over all poor state in Russian defense contractors, the maintenance package will subsidize upgrades and modernization of offices, factories and other elements of the Russian Defense Industry, ranging from shipyards that fulfill military contracts, to plants for tanks and missiles, to the computer systems used to track orders or the software used to design the latest in military technology.
In total OVNIN expects to pay out 3.53 billion rubles (US$120 million) in the first year alone, with averages of around 2.35 billion rubles ($80 million) per year over the next decade. Among the many corporations covered by this program, that have already been granted subsidies are major corporations such as Sukhoi, Uralvagonzavod and MiG.
Among the comments from experts, politicians and military officals, few negative opinions of this plan can be heard. The few negative comments come from economists who feel that the program is too expensive, or from smaller corporations who feel that large, successful corporations like Sukhoi should not need these subsidies.
Separate of this plan, OVNIN has also announced that they will be supporting the creation of a new shipyard, replacing the capability to build large ships currently provided to Russia by Ukraine. Among the potential locations aired are Vladivostok (or another far east location), Arkhangelsk, Severodvinsk or Saint Petersburg. The shipyard is expected to be in "service" by 2015, with the last of Russia's new class of carriers being laid down there.
Russia (Skyenet) - April 24, 2012 11:57 AM (GMT)
Georgia criticizes Russia for arming separatists, based on findings of the world's most common weapon
The Georgian Government has accused Russia of supplying arms to smugglers in Georgia, using pictures of Rocket Propelled Grenade Launchers and AK-74 rifles as proof of Russia arming them.
This claim was dismissed entirely by the Russian MoD and by the manufacturer of the AK-series of weapons, Izhmash as Georgia trying to label Russia as the villain, and a clear indication that Georgia has run out of arguments.
One official, who refused to be named, commented on the accusation as "ludicrous" and akin to "accusing Taiwan of supplying hackers based on a computer carrying a 'Made in Taiwan' sticker."
The AK-74 is one of the, if not the most produced rifles in history, with well over 5 million rifles built. Russia states that Georgia is jumping to conclusions and that the rifles could have come from thousands of other sources, including Georgia, where the AK-74 is the standard issue service rifle of their armed forces.
RIA Novosti: United States to sell Georgia fighters and missiles for use against Russia
According to documents acquired by RIA Novosti, the United States Government has approved a sale of 16 F-16 fighter jets and hundreds of missiles to go with them, following a state-level meeting between Georgia and the United States.
According to the documents the deal was originally requested last year, but fell through for some reason. Anonymous sorces within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs claim that it was a result of pressure from Russia and the policy of President Ron Paul that prevented delivery. It is clear now that Ron Paul is going back on his policy, by equipping Russia's enemies with offensive weapons that could be used against Russia in another War of Aggression similar to that in 2008, when Georgian Forces attacked Russian forces protecting the sovereignty of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
There is no official Russian comment yet, and the Press departments of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense have not returned RT's requests for comments on the case at this time.
Russia (Skyenet) - April 30, 2012 09:06 AM (GMT)
FSB arrests 6 people; halts plot against Sochi Olympics
The Federal Security Service (FSB) have announced that they have made 6 arrests in town surrounding Sochi. All six people arrested were taken into custody without incident early this morning.
The FSB have been making a significant push in Sochi and surrounding areas to counter any plots against the Olympics. The military have also dedicated large resources to the protection of Sochi.
A spokesperson for the FSB did not reveal pictures or the names of those arrested, but did confirm that they are all Russian citizens, and that four of them have ties to Chechnya. According to the FSB the six persons plotted to detonate several bombs during the opening ceremony, and several automatic rifles were also found, with ammunition. They did not have details on how these weapons were procured at this time.
In addition to terrorism, the Russian Police have been cracking down on illegal gambling connected with the Olympics, with several high-profile raids against illicit gambling institutions outside the four Gambling Zones of Russia.
Russia (Skyenet) - May 1, 2012 09:12 AM (GMT)
RIA Novosti: Putin reshuffles military leadership
A reshuffle initiated by President Putin was announced today, with several high-ranking military officials retiring from their official positions and being replaced by younger officers.
Among the more high-profile changes are the retirement of Air Force Commander Aleksandr Zelenin and the promotion of Ground Forces Commander Aleksander Postnikov-Streltsov to deputy chief of Staff. Former commander of the Central Military District Vladimir Chirkin was made head the Ground Forces.
RIA Novosti: United States arms pariah state in Georgia; Russia deploys air defense systems to Abkhazia
The Georgian Air Force announced today that their brand new F-16 fighter aircraft, provided to the pariah state on Russia's southern border, had arrived from the United States.
The Aircraft are seen in the Russian Military as a provocation by both Georgia and the United States, rather than as a military threat.
Following the Georgian announcement, the fresh commander of the Russian Air Force Igor Sadofiyev announced that Russia strongly condemns the sale of fighters to such an unstable nation with a history of agression towards its regional neighbors, and that Russia would be deploying a squadron of Su-35 fighter jets to an airbase in Armenia, as well as two brigades of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems, one to Armenia and one to the Russian bases in Abkhazia, to protect itself and its allies from the Georgian state.
Russia (Skyenet) - May 6, 2012 01:52 AM (GMT)
Sochi Olympics go off without issues
As the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics concluded with the closing ceremony today, Russian Officials have declared it a complete success.
There have been very few issues during the Olympics, with the exception of a few complaints regarding poor quarter standards by some participants, which were rapidly dealt with. On the third day of the Olympics, the FSB announced yet another arrest for plots against the Olympics, as part of a long time undercover operation.
There have been relatively few drug-related scandals as well. Only one Russian partaker tested positive, in one of the cross-country skiing events.
The Russian team has also done very well, climbing from place 11 last Olympics to place 6, with 6 Gold Medals, 4 Silver and 7 Bronze for a total of 17 medals.
Norway claimed the most medals, with 13 gold medals, 8 silver medals and 5 bronze medals, with Canada, the United States, Germany and Switzerland following behind.
[Quick summary, nothing truly shocking, Norway always does well, and the other nations do as well.]
Russia (Skyenet) - May 15, 2012 07:05 PM (GMT)
Petrov takes 3rd - Sochi Grand Prix
Viotaly Petrov, Russia's only F1 driver, driving for the Caterham F1 Team, has succeeded in his goal of reaching the podium in the first Grand Prix in Russia in 100 years, on the anniversary of the original Russian Grand Prix in 1914.
Petrov, celebrated like he won the World Championship in the street of Sochi, met with President Vladimir Putin, who had taken the time to view the F1 Grand Prix running through the location of the Olympic Games held this winter.
First place was taken by Jenson Button of the UK, with second place taken by Sebastian Vettel of Germany. Fourth place was taken by Kimi Raikkonen.
This marks the Russian's second podium placement and his second third-place. In an interview with RT, Petrov said that his goal was now to reach second place, hopefully by the end of this season, which is quickly approaching.
Russia (Skyenet) - May 26, 2012 01:24 AM (GMT)
Russia to deploy Nuclear Cruiser to North Pole in June
The Russian Navy has announced plans to deploy the "Kirov", a Project 1144.5 Orlan II Nuclear Missile Cruiser to the North Pole this summer.
The plan, intended to demonstrate Russia's superiority in the Arctic, is being hailed as a display that Russia once again is a Naval Power and criticized as environmentally, politically and diplomatically risky from both politicians, analysts and NGOs.
The "Kirov" was originally built in the 1970s and is one of the biggest surface warships of the Russian navy. While she is officially a missile cruiser, she is referred to as a Battlecruiser by the Public, due to her immense armaments, making her possibly the most powerful non-aircraft carrier warship in the world. She is currently undergoing a two-year refit, intended to put her and her three sister ships into effective service and into the 21st century, and will be ready for service early in 2015.
She will be accompanied to the North Pole by the NS 50 Let Pobedy (50 Years of Victory), Russia's newest nuclear icebreaker, who is carrying a scientific expedition to investigate and document the Lomonosov Ridge, which Russia claims links to the Russian continental shelf, effectively making the North Pole part of Russian waters. Russia has long claimed, and infact presented significant evidence that the Lomonosov Ridge is an extension of the Russian continental shelf, but this claim has been ignored by the United Nations for political reasons. Denmark, Canada and other nations claim that the Lomonosov Ridge is infact an extension of their territories, yet have presented no evidence to support this claim.
This represents, to RT's and the Russian Navy's knowledge the first time ever a surface warship, especially of this magnitude, reaches the North Pole. At the North Pole the crew will conduct exercises in helicopter operations, including testing the new Ka-60K helicopter in true arctic conditions, as well as missile drills.
Russia (Skyenet) - May 29, 2012 02:19 AM (GMT)
Russia to form National Cybersecurity Center under Military command to combat attempts at espionage
The State Duma approved the formation of a new department under the joint authority of the Ministry of Defense (MRF) and Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) following recommendations made by a report on the state of cyber security in Russia.
The report, made on request by the Government, revealed large gaps in Russian cybersecurity and cyberwarfare capabilities, an area that has been developed by other nations over the last decade.
Among other things revealed by the largely classified report, was extensive attempts, many successful, to infiltrate military and civilian research networks, poor attitudes towards handling of classified data on networked systems and a generally poor state of affairs in Russian network security.
The new department will be headquartered alongside the Ministry of Defense in the Khamovniki District and will be given funds to form a state-of-the-art monitoring central, allowing it to monitor and log attacks against servers connected to Runet.
The new center will be named "Национальный центр кибербезопасности" (Natsionalʹnyĭ Tsentr KiberBezopasnosti, NTKB) or National Center of Cybersecurity and will primarily focus on military and industrial networks.
The law approved that mandated the creation of the NTKB also included provisions mandating ISP cooperation with the NTKB, as well as some regulations focused on ordinary citizens. The report revealed that the vast majority of Russians do not secure their computers and wireless networks. The new law appropriates funds to subsidize the development of solutions that will allow ISPs to force users with modems supporting wireless connections to set up a secure connection before allowing them to access the internet, as well as mandating that all ISPs by January 1st, 2017 offer all their customers easy access to at least one free license of some sort of anti-virus or internet security package and include guides to installing and using this software with documentation for new customers.
[SIC OOC Note]The NTKB will not be a purely cybersecurity agency. Approx. half its personnel, mostly MoD personnel, will be focused on cyberwarfare.[/SIC OOC note]
As one of the first statements of the NTKB, the agency has stated that it intends to hold a so-called "Hacker Convention", bringing together Russian youth to compete and share expertise in cybersecurity. Law Enforcement Agencies in other countries have previously had large success with these conventions, as have corporations.
Russia (Skyenet) - May 29, 2012 09:47 PM (GMT)
Sukhoi and Tupolev to join forces in creating Supersonic Business Jet1Q2015
Sukhoi and Tupolev, two of Russia's major aerospace companies, have announced a joint venture to create the world's first commercially viable Supersonic Business Jet.
Both companies have previous experience in the area, Sukhoi with supersonic fighter jets, such as the advanced Su-50 Stealth Fighter Jet and Tupolev with large supersonic aircraft such as the Tu-160, the world's biggest such aircraft, and the Tu-144, one of only two commercial supersonic airliners ever to enter service. Both also have previously worked on concepts for supersonic business jets.
Sukhoi-Gulfstream S-21 Prototype, one Supersonic Business Jet proposal
Viable supersonic commercial aircraft have long been an achievement that has eluded the world's aerospace industry, with only limited service seen by the only two aircraft ever to enter service, the venerable Concorde, and the less well known Tu-144.
Of the many problem faced by such aircraft, the two biggest are strict regulations on supersonic flight over land, due to the loudness of supersonic booms, and the costs associated with supersonic flight.
While few details are available, both companies say that they will work to get their aircraft approved for supersonic flight over land, through various techniques to reduce the supersonic boom, and to make them as economically viable as possible. The Russian Civil Aviation Administration have stated that they will work with the two companies to make sure that Russia is open for their use over land.
Sources inside Sukhoi suggest that they could have a prototype ready for first flight by 2018, with production aircraft potentially ready before 2020, but this has not been verified by either company.
Russia (Skyenet) - June 1, 2012 03:25 PM (GMT)
RIA Novosti: Russian Armed Forces reaches 50% professional goal ahead of schedule
The Ministry of Defense announced today that as of 4 days ago, records show that the Russian Armed Forces are now made up of 50% professional soldiers, a goal originally pegged for 2016.
The Military has been undergoing reforms for the last decade, moving towards modernization of equipment and tactics, as well as a professional force, rather than conscripts.
Among the measures that have resulted in this success for both Defense Minister Sedyukov, as well as President Putin, are increased pay, focus on combating hazing (terrorizing new conscripts) and better conditions for soldiers. Russian soldiers are now paid approx. the same as the average Russian civilian, when adjusted for expenses covered by the military, like food and residence. Practically every military base in Russia has received an upgrade to their living facilities, and reports show that almost 75% of bases have access to broadband internet, with the remaining 25% having internet access in some other form, generally through less-than-broadband internet access.
The Russian Armed Forces now number around 900,000 active duty personnel, a reduction from over one million five years ago, and of these, at least 450,000 are professional, career soldiers who volunteered for service, with reduction both made through retirement and resignation of officers and a reduction in conscription.
The Ministry of Defense has now said that they have actually experienced an increase in cases where people have complained about their rejection from service, which was extremely rare just 5 years ago.
RIA Novosti: Russian Aircraft Carrier launched
The Russian Navy have officially received the first Aircraft Carrier built by Russia since 1990 from the Ukrainian Shipyards that have built it, the first of two being built in Ukraine, and the first of three aircraft carriers planned.
The ship, more than 320 meters long and weighing more than 60,000 tons, is the largest warship in the Russian Navy and outside the United States. It will be capable of carrying 80 aircraft, including nearly 50 stealth fighters built by Sukhoi.
The Russian Navy has stated that the ship will not replace the older carrier in Russian Service, recently upgraded, but will take over its place as flagship of the Northern Fleet once it enters official service in one to two years. According to the freshly appointed commander of the vessel, they expect to start carrier landing tests within four months, with the first stealth fighter landing and taking off sometime before the end of the year, during which the carrier will be stationed in Sevastopol, before transitioning to the Northern Fleet sometime early next year.
The ship is named Razrushitel, Russian for Destroyer.
Russia (Skyenet) - June 3, 2012 06:31 AM (GMT)
Oops I did it again: United States sells cruise missiles to Georgia
The United States has done it again. According to documents published by their Foreign Military Sales program, Georgia has requested 10 AGM-158 Cruise Missiles mountable on their F-16 Fighter Jets.
The missiles, which have a range of over 1,000 km, enough to hit several Russian Cities, such as Sochi, almost as far into Russia as Ulyanovsk Oblast, are designed to be undetectable during flight. According to several military experts RT have talked to, such a weapon are only useable as first-strike offensive weapons and have no defensive purpose at all.
This is the latest in a series of US weapons sales to the Pariah State of Georgia, including modern fighter jets and warships. The US is also one of the biggest supporters of Georgia entering NATO, which would allow Georgia to enlist NATO aid in attacking Russia and the Russian allies in the region, such as the independent states of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Georgia has become increasingly aggressive with their attempts to isolate Abkhazia and South Ossetia, including arresting people at the border with accusations, mainly against Russia, of arms smuggling into Georgia to arm rebels.
Russian officials have not issued any statement on the sale, but sources inside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicate that options are being considered.
Russia (Skyenet) - June 4, 2012 01:17 PM (GMT)
Rosatom pledges to upgrade all Russian Nuclear Power Plants by 2025 - Activists protest that they are not being replaced by 'green' energy solutions
Rosatom, the Russian agency in charge of Russia's nuclear power program, have pledged to replace all old reactors in Russia in the next 10 years, a move long wanted by both international nuclear agencies and by the Russian Government.
Russia currently operates 39 nuclear reactors spread across 14 sites. 13 of these are old RBMK-type designs, which are claimed to be inherently unsafe, due to their similarity to the reactor design at Chernobyl, which was involved in the worst nuclear accident since the dawn of the nuclear age. Russia has long put off replacing these, instead upgrading them to increase safety.
In addition there are also 6 outdated VVER, or Water-Water Power Reactors, generating significantly less energy than the 11 modern VVER recators. These will also be replaced.
The reactor design chosen for this massive project is the VVER-TOI, an advance reactor design that combined the VVER design with increased safety and digital information systems that give operators unparalleled overview of their rectors. These reactors can provide up to 1,200 MWe of energy, three to six times as much as older reactor designs.
The plans call for the construction of new facilities at locations that currently house RBMK designs and older VVER designs, for a total of 19 new reactors, effectively double the current capacity of nuclear reactors in Russia. This will allow Russia to shut down a significant portion of Russian fossil fuel power plants, and bring Russia on track to providing 30% of its electricity needs from nuclear power by 2030. Rosatom say that by 2030 they could be providing as much as 35% if the funding was presented.
While the plan has been generally well received, both among legislators in the State Duma, in the Government and among the Public, several organizations opposed to Nuclear Power organized protest marches outside several Russian nuclear power plants and in Moscow, claiming that at the cost of the new reactors, Russia could replace the older reactors with the same amount of 'green' energy sources, such as wind energy.
Experts RT have talked to at the Moscow State University have said that while this may be true, providing for Russia's increasing energy demands would require either a significantly larger investment, or upgrading of old fossil fuel plants.
In the plans for new power plants, only one plant would be outright shut down, Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Station in Sverdlovsk. Instead, a new power plant will be constructed in the Far East, probably somewhere in Amur. It is speculated that this move is to counter claims by some that Moscow is ignoring the Far East infrastructure, or that it may be part of the plans to ease power provision at Vostochny Cosmodrome, scheduled for opening in 2018. The first reactor of this new power plant would be operational sometime between 2018 and 2020.
Russia (Skyenet) - June 4, 2012 07:54 PM (GMT)
Success at last - Fobos-Grunt II probe lands on Mars moon2Q2015
Today the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) made history, as the Fobos-Grunt II probe finally reported a successful landing on Phobos, a moon around Mars.
The mission, a follow-up from a spectacular failure in 2011, is effectively a carbon copy of the failed mission, with many of the same experiments, the same instruments and largely the same components. The difference is that in the delay needed for optimum launch time, there were six months longer available than were actually needed. This allowed for excessive quality control.
Launch of Fobos-Grunt II, March 12, 2014
On March 12, 2014, after two previous aborts over weather, the Zenit-2 Launch Vehicle roared up from the Baikonur Cosmodrome into the darkness. As scientists watched with tense anticipation, many of them having careers riding on the success of this mission, the control room at Baikonur erupted into cheers, along with several sites across Russia, as reports came in from observers in the Far East, reporting that the probe had fired its elliptical orbit burn after 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Almost a year later the probe finished its long trek through space towards Mars. Once again, control rooms and labs across Russia held their breath, as the control center in Germany reported on the signals from the probe. 18 minutes after the probe touched down on the surface, the first confirmations were received in Germany.
Roscosmos is rating the mission a resounding success so far. Telemetry suggests that the probe has landed perfectly and is commencing automated operations, including the all important sample collection, scheduled to take up to a week.
After this, the probe would launch a return vehicle off the main probe by springs, which would then begin maneuvers to return to Earth sometime in 2017.
Russia has achieved a large degree of success in space endeavors lately, with confidence building up to a moon landing in 2018. Earlier this year, the Luna-Grunt II mission launched, aiming to return up to 1 kg of rock from the lunar surface later this year. Its predecessor landed a positively huge 400kg rover, still exploring the moon and returning amazing vistas reminiscent of the images from Spirit and Opportunity from Mars. Last year, Russia launched Venera-D, the first Venus mission for Russia since 1984. The probe is an orbiter that will pave the way for Venera-D II, a lander for Venus.
Late last year, Russia also finally made the first launches with the Angara series rockets, brand new launchers that will allow Russia to maintain their space program at an increased rate. A total of 10 Angara launches have been made so far, all of them a success. The first launch of the super-heavy Angara A7 rocket is expected to take place in October with the launch of a new communications satellite for the Russian Military.
The first manned launch of the Lunar Prospective Piloted Transport System, or L-PPTS, will also take place later this year. This is a stretched model of the PPTS that was first tested with manned flights in 2014, and has since become Russia's manned workhorse, replacing the Soyuz spacecraft. This to-be 16.5 ton beast will eventually carry up to five astronauts to the moon in 2016, and four astronauts to the history books as they walk on the Moon in 2018.
Russia (Skyenet) - June 10, 2012 04:09 PM (GMT)
RIA Novosti: Russia opens new training center and firing range
The Ministry of Defense have opened up a brand new training area located in Krasnoyarsk. This massive area covering more than 300 square kilometers is aimed at providing Russia an area to train combined arms between all branches of military. It features a co-located airbase that will be opened in 2017, extensive firing ranges that allow entire regiments to train at once, and most importantly a 200 square kilometer open area, containing mock targets, mock infrastructure and even mock cities that allow the military to train in all kinds of operations, from air-strikes to counter-insurgency operations. The Central Military District will rotate its regiments as mock enemy forces.
Plans call for every military unit in Russia to have conducted at least one combined arms exercise there within the end of 2020, and Russia also plans to host future exercises with the CSTO there.
Russia (Skyenet) - June 11, 2012 08:04 PM (GMT)
RIA Novosti: Russian Air Force to retire MiG-29s, MiG-25s and MiG-31s - Makes vast Aircraft order at MAKS
Russian Air Force Commander, Lt. General Viktor Bondarev, announced that the Russian Air Force will, over the next six years, withdraw all MiG-29s, MiG-25s and MiG-31s from service. This represents 500 aircraft, and a vast bulk of the Russian Fighting Force.
The announcement was made at MAKS 2015, Russia's largest airshow currently going on. When the announcement was made, speculations about the replacements went off charts, with experts saying that there was no way the Air Force could realistically do this without a massive grant of additional funds for them to buy new aircraft, while others saying this was a result of the poor maintenance in the Air Force and that there was just no way Russia could keep the aircraft flying.
Sukhoi Su-35 and Su-50 fighter aircraft
The answer came four hours later, at a press conference outside Sukhoi's facilities at the airshow, from which they have been flying Su-50 Aircraft and Su-35BM Aircraft. Igor Jakovlevich Ozar*, Director of Sukhoi, announced alongside Lt. General Bondarev, that the Russian Air Force had placed its largest ever order with Sukhoi, for a total of 480 aircraft over the next six years to replace the retired MiG aircraft. Experts say this solidifies Sukhoi's position as the preferred supplier for the Air Force's fighter jets, but some doubt Sukhoi can actually deliver that many aircraft that quickly. Sukhoi however states that thanks to recent investments in manufacturing infrastructure and cooperation inside the United Aircraft Cooperation, such a goal can be met.
The order will be partially financed by a Presidential Executive Order, granting nearly $25 billion for use in replacing these aircraft, signed by Vladimir Putin during his visit to MAKS the day after the announcement, with the contract valued at $50 billion or more.
Other military contracts announced at MAKS include orders for MiG Skat drones, Il-476 cargo aircraft, An-124 cargo aircraft, and a sizeable order to the Ukrainian company Antonov for the An-70, a tactical cargo aircraft similar to the Western Hercules aircraft.
[OOC: Mr. Jakovlevich has an ironic name for working in Sukhoi]
Russia (Skyenet) - June 13, 2012 12:05 AM (GMT)
Vladimir Putin makes carrier landing, heralds new era in Russian Naval Power
President Vladimir Putin has made a visit to the carrier Razrushitel in the Black Sea during a tour of Russian military bases, including Sevastopol, Ukraine.
Putin was originally expected to arrive by helicopter, but the plans were changed, and as the crew lined up to receive Putin, orders were issued to prepare to a landing, according to crewmembers RT have talked to.
Putin landed in an Su-50KD, a two-seat stealth fighter designed for operation from the Razrushitel, which is scheduled to enter service next year. Pictures show Putin in the front seat, with a pilot behind him. Putin's spokesman reports that Putin flew and landed the aircraft himself, under guidance from the pilot. He found the aircraft to be "very maneuverable and easy to fly."
Putin's arrival evokes memories of the 2003 "Mission Accomplished" speech, in which then-President George W. Bush of the United States made a carrier landing as a passenger to deliver a speech announcing the end of the Iraq War on the aircraft carrier. The Iraq Was lasted until December, 2011.
After landing and changing into a suit that was flown in by helicopter along with his staff, President Putin gave a speech to the crew of the Razrushitel, arguably Russia's first super carrier. In the speech he hailed the "new era in Russian Naval and Military Power" and the Razrushitel as a sign that "the American dominance of the world's oceans outside the Northern Atlantic are over". He praised the officers in the Kremlin and the men on the carrier and elsewhere in the Armed Forces, for their admirable defense of Russia and that Russia could finally repay them with the equipment they deserved.
Russian military equipment is in an infamously poor state of repair following financial problems towards the end of the Soviet Union. With Russia's economy now one of the strongest in the world, President Putin has made significant increases to Russian military funding, and incorporated massive procurement programs to modernize equipment. Most recently, the Russian Air Force ordered 480 new fighter jets.