Strategic missile mass production begins in Russia


Russia has begun mass production of the Topol-M strategic missile, First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said on Tuesday. "We are now moving on to a new and very important rearmament stage for both our nuclear strategic forces and our tactical complexes," he said at the plant at Votkinsk in Udmurtia, some 1,000km east of Moscow, quoted by the Interfax news agency. "These are not prototypes but mass production," he said. The Topol-M is known to NATO as the SS-27 and is a three-stage intercontinental ballistic missile with a range of 10,000km which can be deployed on both stationary and mobile launch platforms.


Meanwhile, NATO's chief put a brave face on the alliance's increasingly tense ties with Russia on Tuesday, acknowledging disputes over missile defense, arms control and Kosovo, as Moscow said the two sides face "difficult work." With Russian warnings to NATO and the US becoming more and more belligerent, NATO's secretary general appeared to scold Moscow for threatening to retarget missiles at European cities. Jaap de Hoop Scheffer also acknowledged that a Soviet-era treaty governing the placement of heavy military equipment around Europe was a "bone of contention." President Vladimir Putin made the threat to retarget Russian missiles last month in what appeared to be a response to US plans to deploy a missile defense system in Eastern Europe. Putin has also threatened to pull out of the 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty. "The NATO-Russian relation is one of partnership and discussion, and the targeting of missiles will not fit in that discussion," he said. NATO, he said, also "deplores Russia's decision to put the fate of the CFE in danger." But de Hoop Scheffer also said both Western and Russian leaders should tone down their rhetoric. He said Russia and NATO had made good progress in building "a durable, mutually beneficial partnership."

"It is advisable to lower the volume of public comments on both sides," he said. Earlier, at a meeting of the council, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned the NATO-Russia Council against steps that would compromise Russian security and pointed to persistent disagreements on arms control. "These issues touch on key aspects of European and international security, and aspects of strategic stability," he said. "Of course, it's necessary to approach them in a way that reflects care for each other's stability and security -- not taking any steps aimed at improving someone's security at the expense of the security of others."


Russia has demanded that the West sign the new CFE treaty; Western allies say Russia must first remove troops and materiel from two former Soviet republics, Moldova and Georgia. Moscow has also taken umbrage over US plans to deploy missile defense facilities in the former Soviet bloc states of Poland and the Czech Republic. And Russia, a historic ally of Serbia, has strenuously objected to a UN-backed plan to grant internationally supervised independence to Kosovo, suggesting it would use its UN Security Council to block the plan. Scheffer cited some areas of bilateral cooperation, such as anti-terrorism efforts, including patrols in the Mediterranean Sea and joint efforts to fight drug trafficking from Afghanistan. "NATO cannot do without its important partner Russia, and I think Russia cannot do without NATO," he said. For his part, President Vladimir Putin, during his meeting with Scheffer at the Kremlin, tried to portray the relationship between the alliance and its former opponent positively. "We have moved from a period of confrontation to cooperation with the organization," Putin said. "Naturally, this is big, multifaceted work, and it cannot happen without problems."


Russia reports successful missile test

Russia said a new sea-based ballistic missile made its first successful test flight Thursday after several previous failures, in what was the country's second major test of new rocket technology in a month. Capt. Igor Dygalo, a spokesman for the Russian navy, said the Bulava missile was fired from the submarine Dmitry Donskoi in northern Russia's White Sea and hit its target on the Pacific peninsula of Kamchatka, about 4,200 miles east of Moscow. President Vladimir Putin has hailed Bulava as a key component of Russia's nuclear forces for years to come, saying it has the ability to penetrate any prospective missile defenses. However, three earlier tests in recent years failed, raising doubts about the missile. Russian media speculated the military was trying to avoid embarrassing Sergei Ivanov, the former defense minister who is now a first deputy prime minister and widely considered a leading candidate to succeed Putin in next year's presidential election. According to Russian news reports, the Bulava is designed to have a range of 6,200 miles and carry six individually targeted nuclear warheads. It is expected to equip three new Borei-class nuclear submarines that are under construction. Thursday's test comes amid an aggressive Russian effort to upgrade its missile forces after years of underfunding and a lack of testing. On May 29, the Strategic Rocket Force said it tested an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying multiple independent warheads. A U.S. plan to deploy a ballistic-missile defense system in eastern Europe has been criticized by Putin and other Russian officials, who say it will undermine Russian security. Putin meets with President Bush on Sunday and Monday at the Bush family estate in Maine in a bid to address divisions between the countries.


In related news:

Russia successfully launches military satellite

A Russian-built space rocket on Friday sent a new military satellite into orbit, military officials said. A Zenit-2M booster rocket put the Kosmos-2428 satellite into its designated orbit 13 minutes after its launch from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the Russian Space Forces said in a statement. It was the first successful launch of the Zenit-2M rocket with an additional booster, the Defense Ministry said in a statement. It is similar to the Zenit-3SL rocket used at an oceangoing platform floating on the equator in the Pacific, the ministry said. "The satellite will expand the orbital group of Russia's military satellites," the statement said. It did not elaborate on the satellite's purpose and characteristics. Russia is believed to have a network of about 60-70 military reconnaissance satellites, though much of the country's satellite fleet is thought to have suffered amid the persistent funding crunch that the armed forces and military industries suffered in the 1990s. While Russia's manned space program is widely seen as a success — Russian rockets consistently and reliably shuttle crews and cargo up to the international space station — its efforts to expand into lucrative commercial satellite launches have seen several embarrassing failures. On Thursday, a Russian-built Dnepr rocket carried a private U.S.-built spacecraft into orbit from a launch pad in the western Ural Mountains.


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Dear reader,

Arevordi will be taking a sabbatical to tend to personal matters. New blog commentaries will henceforth be posted on an irregular basis. The comments board however will continue to be moderated on a regular basis.

The last 20 years or so has also helped me see Russia as the last front against scourges of Westernization, Globalism, American expansionism, Zionism, Islamic extremism and pan-Turkism. I have also come to see Russia as the last hope humanity has for the preservation of classical western civilization, Apostolic Christianity and the traditional nation-state. This realization compelled me to create this blog in 2010. Immediately, this blog became one of the very few voices in the vastness of cyberia that dared to preach about the dangers of Globalism and the Anglo-American-Jewish alliance, and the only voice preaching the strategic importance of Armenia remaining within Russia's orbit. From about 2010 to 2015 I did monthly, at times weekly, commentaries about Russian-Armenian relations and Eurasian geopolitics in general. It was very difficult as I had no assistance in this endeavor. The time I put into this blog therefore came at the expense of work and family. But a powerful feeling inside me urged me to keep going; and I did.

When Armenia finally joined the EEU and integrated its armed forces into Russia's military structures a couple of years ago, I finally felt a deep sense of satisfaction and relaxation, as if a very heavy burden was lifted off my shoulders. I finally felt that my personal mission was accomplished. I therefore felt I could take a step back, as I really needed the rest. Simply put: I have lived to see the institutionalization of Russian-Armenian alliance. Also, I feel more confident now that Armenians are collectively recognizing the strategic importance of Armenia's ties with Russia. Moreover, I feel satisfied knowing that, at least on a subatomic level, I had a hand in the outcome. As a result, I feel a strong sense of mission accomplished. I therefore no longer have the urge to continue as in the past. In other words, the motivational force that had propelled me in previous years has been gradually dissipating because I feel that this blog has lived to see the realization of its stated goal. Going forward, I do not want to write merely for the sake of writing. Also, I do not want to say something if I have nothing important to say. I feel like I have said everything I needed to say. Henceforth, I will post seasonal commentaries about topics I find important. I will however continue moderating the blog's comments section on a regular basis; ultimately because I'm interested in what my readers have to say and also because it's through readers here that I am at times made aware of interesting developments.

To limit clutter in the comments section, I kindly ask all participants of this blog to please keep comments coherent and strictly relevant to the featured topic of discussion. Moreover, please realize that when there are several anonymous visitors posting comments simultaneously, it becomes very confusing (not to mention extremely annoying) trying to figure out who is who and who said what.Therefore, if you are here to engage in conversation, make an observation, express an idea or simply attack me, I ask you to at least use a moniker to identify yourself. Moreover, please appreciate the fact that I have put an enormous amount of information into this blog. In my opinion, most of my blog commentaries and articles, some going back ten-plus years, are in varying degrees relevant to this day and will remain so for a long time to come. Articles in this blog can therefore be revisited by longtime readers and new comers alike. I therefore ask the reader to treat this blog as a depository of important information relating to Eurasian geopolitics, Russian-Armenian relations and humanity's historic fight against the evils of Globalism and Westernization.

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