Archive for the ‘Russia’ Category

Incoming! Russian Airforce to Get Delivery of Over 100 New Aircraft in 2018

July 24, 2017 Leave a comment


Over a hundred new aircraft and helicopters next year, Russia’s Aerospace Forces Commander Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev said Sunday.

MOSCOW Sputnik) — Russian Aerospace Forces plan to receive more than a hundred new aircraft and helicopters in 2018, Bondarev.

“We will receive no less than this year. More than a hundred new machines, plus modernization and overhaul of the combatant (aircraft). We are being updated very well,” Bondarev told reporters at the 13th International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS-2017.

Speaking about the new state program of armaments for 2018-2025, which is now being developed in the country, Bondarev stressed that “aviation was favored.”

“Everybody understands perfectly well that the world is on the way to developing the aerospace component, where there are new technologies, developments, progress. Ultimately, this also affects the development of the national economy and industry,” the commander concluded.

The International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS-2017 in the city of Zhukovsky in the Moscow region kicked off on Tuesday and ends its work on Sunday.

Chechnya’s Leader Claims “Russian Doomsday Device” Is Activated

July 22, 2017 Leave a comment

Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of Chechnya, gave a rare interview to a smaller media outlet in the United States that aired Tuesday, and what he said is taking many aback.

While speaking to HBO’s Real Sports, Kadyrov denied that gay people are humans, that they exist in his region, and that his government regularly detains or tortures them, despite ample reports to the contrary. But that isn’t the news that’s riling up the masses, even though it is concerning that Kadyrov is more than likely committing human rights violations. He also made a troubling comment about his country’s nuclear arsenal and a Russian doomsday device.

Kadyrov said, “America is not really a strong enough state for us to regard it as an enemy of Russia. We have a strong government and are a nuclear state. Even if our government was completely destroyed, our nuclear missiles would be automatically deployed. We will put the whole world on its knees and screw it from behind.” That comment certainly puts the left’s insistence on a war with Russia in perspective.  And Kadyrov is probably being more accurate than not in that statement.

According to The New York Times, Russia built a system in the 1980s that could do what Kadyrov described, known as the Perimeter System. Bruce Blair, the former US nuclear officer who broke the story of the Perimeter System for The New York Times in 1993, told Business Insider that the system works when it detects nuclear explosions. Only a small crew, deep in a bunker, has a hand in the otherwise automated system, according to Blair.

Essentially, if another country conducted a nuclear attack that would destroy the government of Russia or anything a 1980s-era system would perceive as a nuclear attack, an automated system would empty Russia’s missile silos in an immediate counterattack. Blaire’s concern is the automation of such a system. “One concern is that it’s highly automated, and cyber attacks, for example, or other phenomena, natural or man-made, could set it off,” Blair said. “It poses a risk of accidental nuclear attack by Russia.”

But there has yet to be an accidental nuclear attack and it’s been over 30 years since the system was first activated. But could the 1980’s technology pose a problem and cause an all out nuclear war? It’s hard to say, and experts are not sure either. “This was designed to retaliate massively against the US. What the specific targets are in this plan no one really knows, but it can be safely assumed it’s large-scale,” Blair said, adding that it would destroy most Americans and most large US cities.

This is troublesome to many Americans, considering the US president is supposed to sign off on any nuclear attack to prevent accidental strikes, and the left is continuing to push the former Soviet Union increasing tensions with Russia. If Washington were incapacitated by a nuclear strike, it’s unclear whether it could respond at all. The US’s nuclear weapons are code-locked and absent the president and a backup in the Pentagon, the US may not be able to respond. Moscow code-locks its weapons as well, but this system would allow it to retaliate even after a nuclear decapitation.

Russia Unveils The Future Of Warfare, And It’s A “Fully Automated Combat Module” That Can Identify Targets On Its Own

July 21, 2017 Leave a comment

Daniel Lang

For decades the US military has been on the cutting edge of aerial warfare, especially when it comes to drones. Our military has thousands of UAVs which have become ubiquitous in every American war since 9/11. However, they’ve proven to be a mixed bag. They have certainly given our soldiers an edge on the battlefield, but they’ve also killed thousands of civilians, which in turn has motivated countless individuals to take up arms against us. Regardless, there’s no doubt that drones are here to stay, and will be a common sight on the battlefield well into the future.

But as our military continues to develop UAVs, our government’s rivals in Russia seem to have taken a different path when it comes to automated and remote control war machines. Their own military-industrial complex seems to have placed less emphasis on aerial drones, and more emphasis on land based drones. Last year a Russian company unveiled a remote control tank called the Uran-9, which at the time was expected to be sold on the international market.

Truth be told, Russia has been working on these sorts of weapons for a long time. At least as far back as 2014, Russia’s Defense Ministry was considering the deployment of mobile security robots to protect missile facilities. But in comparison, their latest land based drones are significantly more advanced. Recently the Kalashnikov Group (who are currently the largest arms manufacturer in Russia), produced an armed robot that isn’t just a remote controlled gun. Supposedly, it has artificial intelligence that can actually identify targets on its own. According to Defense One:

The maker of the famous AK-47 rifle is building “a range of products based on neural networks,” including a “fully automated combat module” that can identify and shoot at its targets. That’s what Kalashnikov spokeswoman Sofiya Ivanova told TASS, a Russian government information agency last week. It’s the latest illustration of how the U.S. and Russia differ as they develop artificial intelligence and robotics for warfare.

The Kalashnikov “combat module” will consist of a gun connected to a console that constantly crunches image data “to identify targets and make decisions,” Ivanova told TASS. A Kalashnikov photo that ran with the TASS piece showed a turret-mounted weapon that appeared to fire rounds of 25mm or so.

Kalashnikov did not respond to a request for comment before press time.

Another difference between the US military and the Russian military, is that the Russians have a different view on what role these machines should play on the battlefield. Unlike the US military, the Russians seem far more comfortable with the idea of drones that make their own decisions, and leave humans out of the loop.

Russia’s willingness to embrace lethal autonomy stands in stark contrast to U.S. policy. In 2012, then-Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter (later defense secretary) signed a directive forbidding the U.S. to allow any robot or machine to take lethal action without the supervision of a human operator.

In 2015, then-Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said fully automated killing machines were un-American. “I will make a hypothesis: that authoritarian regimes who believe people are weaknesses,” he said, “that they cannot be trusted, they will naturally gravitate toward totally automated solutions. Why do I know that? Because that is exactly the way the Soviets conceived of their reconnaissance strike complex. It was going to be completely automated. We believe that the advantage we have as we start this competition is our people.”

That sounds awfully noble, but it may not be strategically sound. We don’t know what the future holds, but it’s likely that drones which are run by humans will not be able to compete with drones that make their own decisions. Automated war machines won’t suffer from mental fatigue, won’t question orders, and they’ll be able to make decisions far faster than their human counterparts.

If that turns out to be true, then we can expect an arms race of fully automated drones between the world’s superpowers, and for better or for worse (probably worse) warfare will never be the same again.


Russia And China Declare All Out War On US Petrodollar — Prepare For Exclusive Trade In Gold

July 20, 2017 2 comments

(Activist Post) The formation of a BRICS gold marketplace, which could bypass the U.S. Petrodollar in bilateral trade, continues to take shape as Russia’s largest bank, state-owned Sberbank, announced this week that its Swiss subsidiary had begun trading in gold on the Shanghai Gold Exchange.

Russian officials have repeatedly signaled that they plan to conduct transactions with China using gold as a means of marginalizing the power of the dollar in bilateral trade between the geopolitically powerful nations. This latest movement is quite simply the manifestation of a larger geopolitical game afoot between great powers.

According to a report published by Reuters:

Sberbank was granted international membership of the Shanghai exchange in September last year and in July completed a pilot transaction with 200 kg of gold kilobars sold to local financial institutions, the bank said.

Sberbank plans to expand its presence on the Chinese precious metals market and anticipates total delivery of 5-6 tonnes of gold to China in the remaining months of 2017.

Gold bars will be delivered directly to the official importers in China as well as through the exchange, Sberbank said.

Russia’s second-largest bank VTB is also a member of the Shanghai Gold Exchange.

To be clear, there is a revolutionary transformation of the entire global monetary system currently underway, being driven by an almost perfect storm. The implications of this transformation are extremely profound for U.S. policy in the Middle East, which for nearly the past half century has been underpinned by its strategic relationship with Saudi Arabia.


The dollar was established as the global reserve currency in 1944 with the Bretton Woods agreement, commonly referred to as the gold standard. The U.S. leveraged itself into this power position by holding the largest reserve of gold in the world. The dollar was pegged at $35 an ounce — and freely exchangeable into gold.

By the 1960s, a surplus of U.S. dollars caused by foreign aid, military spending, and foreign investment threatened this system, as the U.S. did not have enough gold to cover the volume of dollars in worldwide circulation at the rate of $35 per ounce; as a result, the dollar was overvalued.

America temporarily embraced a new paradigm in 1971, as the dollar became a pure fiat currency (decoupled from any physical store of value), until the petrodollar agreement was concluded by President Nixon in 1973.

The quid pro quo was that Saudi Arabia would denominate all oil trades in U.S. dollars, and in return, the U.S. would agree to sell Saudi Arabia military hardware and guarantee the defense of the Kingdom.

A report by the Centre for Research on Globalization clarifies the implications of these most recent moves by the Russians and the Chinese in an ongoing drive to replace the US petrodollar as the global reserve currency:

Fast forward to March 2017; the Russian Central Bank opened its first overseas office in Beijing as an early step in phasing in a gold-backed standard of trade. This would be done by finalizing the issuance of the first federal loan bonds denominated in Chinese yuan and to allow gold imports from Russia.

The Chinese government wishes to internationalize the yuan, and conduct trade in yuan as it has been doing, and is beginning to increase trade with Russia. They’ve been taking these steps with bilateral trading, native trading systems and so on. However, when Russia and China agreed on their bilateral US$400 billion pipeline deal, China wished to, and did, pay for the pipeline with yuan treasury bonds, and then later for Russian oil in yuan.

This evasion of, and unprecedented breakaway from, the reign of the US dollar monetary system is taking many forms, but one of the most threatening is the Russians trading Chinese yuan for gold. The Russians are already taking Chinese yuan, made from the sales of their oil to China, back to the Shanghai Gold Exchange to then buy gold with yuan-denominated gold futures contracts – basically a barter system or trade.

The Chinese are hoping that by starting to assimilate the yuan futures contract for oil, facilitating the payment of oil in yuan, the hedging of which will be done in Shanghai, it will allow the yuan to be perceived as a primary currency for trading oil. The world’s top importer (China) and exporter (Russia) are taking steps to convert payments into gold. This is known. So, who would be the greatest asset to lure into trading oil for yuan? The Saudis, of course.

All the Chinese need is for the Saudis to sell China oil in exchange for yuan. If the House of Saud decides to pursue that exchange, the Gulf petro-monarchies will follow suit, and then Nigeria, and so on. This will fundamentally threaten the petrodollar.

According to a report by the Russian government media, significant progress has been made in promoting bilateral trade in yuan, between the two nations, as the first step towards an even more ambitious plan—using gold to make transactions:

One measure under consideration is the joint organization of trade in gold. In recent years, China and Russia have been the world’s most active buyers of the precious metal.

On a visit to China last year, deputy head of the Russian Central Bank Sergey Shvetsov said that the two countries want to facilitate more transactions in gold between the two countries.

In April, Sberbank expressed interest in financing the direct import of gold to India—also a BRICS member. Make no mistake that a BRICS gold marketplace could be used to bypass the dollar in bilateral trade, and undermine the hegemonic control enjoyed by the US petrodollar as the global reserve currency.

“In 2014 Russia and China signed two mammoth 30-year contracts for Russian gas to China. The contracts specified that the exchange would be done in Renminbi [yuan] and Russian rubles, not in dollars. That was the beginning of an accelerating process of de-dollarization that is underway today,” according to strategic risk consultant F. William Engdahl.

Russia and China are now creating a new paradigm for the world economy and paving the way for a global de-dollarization.

“A Russian-Chinese alternative to the dollar in the form of a gold-backed ruble and gold-backed Renminbi or yuan, could start a snowball exit from the US dollar, and with it, a severe decline in America’s ability to use the reserve dollar role to finance her wars with other peoples’ money,” Engdahl concludes.

Are Russian BMPT-72 “Terminator” Tank Support Combat Vehicles Slated to be Deployed in Syria?

July 17, 2017 Leave a comment

J. Hawk, Daniel Deiss, and Edwin Watson

Early July 2017 saw the release of photos showing a single BMPT-72 “Terminator” tank support combat vehicle in service with the Liva al-Quds Palestinian brigade serving with Syrian government forces. So far there have been no indications the vehicle has seen combat use, and it also appears that the vehicle was sent to Syria mainly for combat evaluation rather than in response to any urgent tactical requirement.

The BMPT concept represents an answer to the need to provide a high volume of suppressive fire against enemy anti-tank guided weapons and static weapon emplacements such as machine-gun nests. While modern infantry fighting vehicles are usually armed with automatic cannon which can fill that function, their inferior level of protection means they are hard-pressed to truly accompany tanks and are instead forced to provide overwatch fire with anti-tank guided missiles which limits their ability to use their cannon.

The use of anti-aircraft weapons, either purpose-designed vehicles or gun trucks with towed anti-aircraft guns mounted on their platforms, suffers from a similar limitation. The only way to get around these problems, which Russian forces discovered when fighting in Afghanistan and Chechnya, is to develop a heavily armored vehicle that replaces a tank’s main gun with automatic cannon. This vehicle was Obyekt 199 “Ramka”, which over the years matured into the BMPT-72.

BMPT-72 is, as the name implies, based on the successful and popular T-72 main battle tank chassis. This choice facilitates integration into T-72 tank formations from the perspective of mobility, maintenance, and training. Its armament consists of two 2A42 30mm automatic cannon with a total of 850 rounds in the turret, and two AG-30 30mm automatic grenade launchers mounted over the tracks and controlled by the two “bow gunners.” To deal with long-range threats, the vehicle carries four ready-to-fire 9M120 Ataka laser-guided supersonic anti-tank missiles with a range of up to 10km in the case of the most recent models and carrying either HEAT or thermobaric warheads, depending on mission requirements.

As of early 2017, the BMPT-72 is officially in service only with the armed forces of Kazakhtan, which took the receipt of 10 such vehicles between 2011 and 2013. The vehicle spotted in Syria deviates slightly from the Kazakhstani vehicles in that it carries only a low-light image intensification sight rather than a thermal imager, which makes the vehicle less expensive and is not a great handicap in Syrian conditions where it is not expected to fight duels with advanced MBTs equipped with thermal imagers. Its protection is also different in that it carries Relikt second-generation reactive armor and soft armor packages protecting the sides so far seen only on up-armored T-72B3 tanks in Russian and Belarusian service.

BMPT-72’s appearance in Syria coincided with reports that the Russian Ground Forces are about to procure a number of these vehicles themselves, most likely for use by brigades and divisions operating T-72 and T-90 MBTs. BMPT-72 was not part of earlier procurement plans because it was expected that units equipped with the new T-14 MBT of the Armata family will also include the T-15 heavy infantry fighting which was designed in part to fill the same niche as the BMPT. The T-15 prototypes shown at the 2015 Victory Parade carried an unmanned turret with a single 30mm cannon and 4 Kornet ATGMs, and automatic cannon with caliber of up to 57mm are known to be in development and testing for use on the T-15 and other IFVs.

However, the expansion of the size of the Ground Forces meant that T-72 and T-90 MBTs would remain in service for longer than expected, which in turn revived Russian interest in procuring the BMPT-72.

Voiceover by Oleg Maslov

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Featured image from South Front

Russian Navy works on special surprise for the West

July 16, 2017 Leave a comment

Russia builds small missile ships of Karakurt project at the Zelenodolsk plant named after A.M. Gorky. The Russian Navy plans to receive 18 of such ships. The new ships are said to surpass their predecessors in their combat power and seaworthiness. They are believed to become the new formidable weapon to strengthen Russia’s maritime borders and enhance the presence of the Russian Federation in the Mediterranean Sea.

The ships are named “Karakurt” after a species of spiders from the genus of black widows, whose bite can be lethal to animals and humans. The new ships, 60 meters long and ten meters wide, can travel at 30 knots and remain in autonomous navigation up to 15 days.

In the future, Karakurt ships will comprise a powerful group of missile ships. Their production takes about a year and costs less than the assembly of destroyers and cruisers, and they are slightly inferior to the latter in their combat capabilities.

The work to build the new vessels is conducted as part of the nation’s efforts to upgrade its navy within the scope of the state armament program, which is to be implemented from 2018 to 2025.

Victor Murakhovsky, editor-in-chief of Arsenal of the Fatherland magazine, chairman of the Military-Industrial Commission of the Russian Federation, answered questions from Pravda.Ru correspondent.

“What is unique about these ships? Do they designate Russia’s priority in the navy?”

“Yes, they are small class ships with a displacement of less than a thousand tons. At the same time, they carry powerful missile high-precision weapons: the Caliber-NK systems, which can be loaded with long-range cruise missiles. We’ve seen the system in action in Syria. A Karakurt ship can also carry tactical anti-ship missiles and anti-submarine weapons. This is a universal complex, but with an emphasis put on capabilities of long-range impact. Plus the ship carries antiaircraft weapons for self-defense, as well as air attack weapons and artillery weapons. This ship is, of course, for the near maritime zone, that is, it is not intended for ocean voyage. It is being built on several shipyards at once, including in the Crimea.”

“I think that these are the ships, which chairman of the collegium of military industrial commissions Dmitry Rogozin called “muscular.” It is capable of striking targets at long distances both at sea and on the ground. New Russian corvettes and frigates will be equipped with state-of-the-art high precision weapons. They will model the capabilities of US aircraft carriers, but will be a lot more advantageous.”


Russia Warns It Could Take Reciprocal Steps If Its Real Estate in US Isn’t Returned

July 13, 2017 Leave a comment

( – The State Department on Tuesday played down Russian warnings of retaliation if the U.S. does not return two recreational compounds seized by the Obama administration late last year in response to alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election.

“I don’t mean to be cute in saying this, but we’re used to certain officials from the Russian government making a lot of comments,” spokeswoman Heather Nauert told a briefing when asked about the Russian remarks.

“So I’m not going to comment on any – or speculate on any specific Russian actions, any specific Russian threats,” she added. “It’s a hypothetical at this point.”

Earlier Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov raised the issue during a press appearance in Brussels.

Speaking through a translator, he said that Moscow was closely following the situation regarding the dachas, the two Russian-owned diplomatic compounds in New York and Maryland.

“We’re still hopeful that the U.S., as a proponent of the rule of law, will finally respect the international obligations,” Lavrov said.

“If this is not the case, if Washington decides not to solve this issue, we shall have to take counter actions,” he continued, citing rules of diplomacy and reciprocity.

Asked directly whether Russia would expel U.S. diplomats and seize U.S. diplomatic property in response, Lavrov declined to comment, referring the questioner back to his previous answer. A Russian newspaper earlier cited foreign ministry sources as saying Moscow may take those steps.

In late December the outgoing administration seized the two properties and declared 35 Russian diplomats persona non grata.

Retaliatory measures were anticipated at the time, but President Vladimir Putin chose to wait, saying that Russia would not join a “catfight” in response to the “unfriendly actions of the outgoing U.S. administration.”

Since then, however, Moscow has begun to express impatience. The State Department has announced that Undersecretary of State Tom Shannon will hold talks on “so-called irritants” in Washington next Monday with his Russian counterpart, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.

Nauert said Wednesday that Shannon was “looking forward to sitting down with his counterpart, and we’ll see where it goes from there.”

The State Department spokeswoman also took a friendly dig at a Russian reporter who raised the issue of the dachas.

“I know you must be so excited to talk about that,” she said. “It’s summertime – you want your place back on the eastern shore of Maryland and in New York. It’s hot here in D.C.!”

“To be completely honest with you,” the reporter replied, “I don’t want to touch that at all, but I have to.”

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