YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—Russia has deployed in Armenia state-of-the-art ballistic missiles capable of striking targets more than 400 kilometers away, according to a source in the Armenian Defense Ministry.
Speaking on the condition anonymity, the source told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) over the weekend that several Iskander-M systems are currently stationed at undisclosed locations in the country. The source declined to clarify whether they were delivered to the Armenian armed forces or the Russian military base headquartered in Gyumri. Continue reading
While the Obama administration has done everything it can to limit NASA’s capabilities, enemies continue their advancements that give them increased leverage over the United States. The USA is outright handing it to them, including hitching rides into space. Regardless of what the spokesman said, defensive capabilities in space is in fact also the weaponization of space. In political, as well as military speak, offense (preemptive strike) is also the best defense.
Russia’s building a system to neutralize space weapons as it prepares to send a man to Mars and build a permanent moon base, President Vladimir Putin and members of his government said.
Russia will have the technical means by 2030 to counteract threats from space by other countries, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said at a government meeting near the country’s new cosmodrome in the Far East today. Until then, Russia will continue to expand its orbital capabilities to monitor potential threats and prevent rocket attacks, Rogozin said. Continue reading
Despite its incessant propaganda against U.S. ballistic missile defense efforts, Russia is building a unified “aerospace defense” system aimed at intercepting U.S. ballistic missiles.
Russia is now pressing for a legally binding commitment by the U.S. that would limit our missiles defenses. Furthermore, Russia is demanding a veto on U.S. deployment decisions. Indeed, as General Nikolai Makarov stated, “The main condition for joint work [in the area of missile defense] should be the permanent participation of Russian experts in drafting the European missile defense architecture.”
Moreover, Russia’s effort to build an aerospace defense system began far before the 2002 U.S. decision to deploy very limited missile defenses. As Colonel-General Boris Cheltsov of the Academy of Military Sciences, Aerospace Defense Department Chief, revealed: “Back in 1994, the first Russian Federation’s Aerospace Defense project came about. In 2006, the Russian president [Putin] has approved the Conception for the Creation of the Aerospace Defense System.” As a result of the 2006 decision, according to Colonel-General Cheltsov, and after President Putin approved the Russian Federation Aerospace Defense Construction Blueprint 6, work began to be conducted on the development of a real-time data transmission system, on active antenna arrays and on fundamentally new detection, reconnaissance and weapon systems, including systems based upon “new physical principles.” Continue reading
President Vladimir Putin yesetrday launched construction of the long-awaited South Stream pipeline that the Kremlin hopes will pump Russia’s gas to Europe while avoiding its unpredictable neighbour Ukraine
The pipeline will flow underneath the Black Sea and through the Balkans to supply energy giant Gazprom’s big European clients with Russian gas and ensure the security of its energy exports. Continue reading
The Russian natural gas monopoly Gazprom outlined ambitious and costly plans to develop new production and exports hubs in the country’s Far East. Meanwhile, the gas giant has also apparently begun reassessing its ties with Central Asia.
On October 29, President Vladimir Putin told Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller to focus on the Far Eastern gas program, adopted back in 2007. Putin said that the development of the massive Kovykta deposit in Irkutsk region and the Chayandinskoye gas field in Yakutia, with total reserves estimated at 3 trillion–3.5 trillion cubic meters, should aim to meet the domestic demand and also help to increase exports to the Asia-Pacific (The Russian presidential press-service, October 29). Continue reading
Piece by piece, country by counry, Russia is reclaiming its breakaway regions and turning back into what was known as the USSR.
Dubbed a “Russian victory” by the media, Bidzina Ivanishvili’s election as president of Georgia on Oct. 1 promises to put the former Soviet satellite back into Moscow’s economic and even military orbit.
It’s highly unlikely Israel would forge stronger energy ties with the current US administration that has turned its back. The article does not take into context how badly ties are strained between the two over Iran and how it spills over into other areas of diplomacy.
At the same time, Israel is likely smart enough to see the trap Russia is laying. Luckily for Israel, it won’t end up facing Russia’s military as did the republic of Georgia — pre-planned for years beforehand, and all aimed at shutting down any chance of European energy independence. Therefore, with Europe’s energy needs in mind, Israel’s best choice at the moment for a strategic energy partnership, if any, would originate from this continent.
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy said President Vladimir Putin was believed to be seeking to work with Israel in gas exploration in the Mediterranean Sea. In a report by senior fellow Simon Henderson, the institute said Putin, who visited Israel in the spring of 2012, could be lobbying for Israel to select Russia’s Gazprom as a contractor.
“His motive was probably narrow self-interest — to ensure that Israeli
supplies have zero effect on Russia’s dominance of the European natural gas market,” the report, titled “Israel’s Natural Gas Challenges,” said.
“Therefore, Israel may need to be reminded that, diplomatically as well as technically, its best options are to work with the U.S. government and U.S. companies.”
Full article: Putin seen courting Israel to guarantee natural gas dominance in region (World Tribune)
After the “War in weeks” comment from Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei, could this be the beginning of the final stages? This leaves the only backer behind the Assad regime being Iran, possibly China. Once this proves too difficult for Iran to continue supporting, or the loss of some close and high ranking officers of the Assad regime, look for all hell to break loose. Assad will either have a choice to go all-out to keep his last grips on power or plan for early retirement. The former is more likely as evidenced in the continuing bloodshed of his own people and the increasingly brutal methods of doing so.
Russian naval vessels have unexpectedly departed the Syrian Mediterranean port of Tartus and Russian arms shipments to Syria have been suddenly discontinued. debkafile’s military sources reveal that those and other steps indicate that the Russians are rapidly drawing away from the Syrian arena to avoid getting caught up in the escalating hostilities expected to arise from military intervention by the US, Europe and a number of Arab states. Russian intelligence appears to have decided that this outside intervention is imminent and Moscow looks anxious to keep its distance for now.
According to our military and Russian sources, these drastic steps must have been personally ordered by President Vladimir Putin. He is believed to have acted over the objections of some of his army and naval chiefs. This would explain the mixed statements issuing from Moscow in recent days about the disposition of Russian personnel at the naval base in Tartus and Russian military personnel in Syria.
Wednesday, Aug. 22, Commander of the Russian Navy Vice Adm. Viktor Chirkov said that if the fighting in Syria reached Tartus, Moscow may decide to evacuate the base. He stressed that this decision would have to be taken on the authority of President Putin. He was the first Russian official to suggest the possibility of an evacuation.
A Russian source disclosed that all the remaining Russian personnel in Tartus have gathered on the floating shipyard, except for two officers on shore. This vessel and the remaining personnel are evidently packed up and ready to sail at any moment out of the Syrian port.
Full article: Russia is disengaging from Syria: Arms shipments stopped, warships exit Tartus (DEBKAfile)
President Vladimir Putin oversaw the start of construction of one of Russia’s newest generation submarines on Monday and vowed to boost nuclear naval forces to safeguard the country’s position as a leading sea power.
“We believe that our country should maintain its status of one of the leading naval powers,” Putin told a meeting of naval commanders and government officials at the sprawling Sevmash shipbuilding yard in northern Russia.
Putin is working to make the submarines and the missiles they will carry a cornerstone of the Russian navy, which will receive nearly a quarter of the 20 trillion roubles ($621.31 billion) to be spent by the end of the decade.
After nearly two decades characterized by a lack of funding, Russia is pushing to modernize its fighting forces, and redesign its armaments.
Deputy Prime Minister in charge of the defense industry, Dmitry Rogozin, also said on Monday that Moscow was likely to ask state-controlled banks to finance 200-to-300 billion roubles annually in credits as part of the overall plan.
Full article: Russia to get stronger nuclear navy, Putin says (Reuters)
President Vladimir Putin said on Monday the West’s influence was waning as its economy declines but warned Russian diplomats to be on their guard against a backlash from Moscow’s former Cold War enemies.
“Domestic socio-economic problems that have become worse in industrialized countries as a result of the (economic) crisis are weakening the dominant role of the so-called historical West,” Putin told a meeting of Russian ambassadors from across the world.
He told the envoys, gathered in Moscow, that they should try to influence events where Russian interests were at stake.
“Be ready for any development of the situation, even for the most unfavorable development,” he said in the 20-minute speech, parts of which were televised.
Putin’s speech was sprinkled with the hawkish rhetoric that has made many foreign policy experts predict a turn for the worse in relations with the United States following his return to the Kremlin in May.
The economic problems faced by the European Union are the “tip of the iceberg of unresolved structural problems that is facing the entire world economy,” he said.
Full article: Russia’s Putin says the West is on the decline (Reuters)