Russia's Resurgent Military - May 2008

President Vladimir Putin's most lasting legacies will be: The modernization and revitalization of Russia's armed services; the protection of Russia's vast natural wealth; the supplying of modern arms to enemies of Washington. The following is a sampling of international news pertaining to the resurgence of Russia's military might.



Russia's Resurgent Military

PM Putin Maps Russia's Future: 

Russia Preparing For World War III !!!:
May, 2008

Fueled by billions in oil wealth, it looks to reclaim the USSR's status as a global military power. As a newly self-confident, oil-rich Russia teams up with China in joint military exercises Friday, it is moving to reclaim the former Soviet Union's status as a global military power. A seven-year, $200-billion rearmament plan signed by President Vladimir Putin earlier this year will purchase new generations of missiles, planes, and perhaps aircraft carriers to rebuild Russia's arsenal. Already, the new military posture is on display: This summer, Russian bombers have extended their patrol ranges far into the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, forcing US and NATO interceptors to scramble for the first time since the cold war's end. "Diplomacy between Russia and the West is increasingly being overshadowed by military gestures," says Sergei Strokan, a foreign-policy expert with the independent daily Kommersant. "It's clear that the Kremlin is listening more and more to the generals and giving them more of what they want."

Economic bloc ups military teamwork

On Friday, Mr. Putin will join leaders of China and other members of the six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Russia's Chelyabinsk region to view the final stage of the group's most ambitious joint military maneuvers yet, to include 6,500 troops and over 100 aircraft. Also on hand will be leaders of SCO observer states and prospective members, among them India, Pakistan, Iran, and Mongolia. At an SCO summit in Kyrgyzstan Thursday, Putin stressed that while Russia is not seeking to build a cold war-style "military bloc," he does see the SCO expanding from its original purpose as an economic association to take on a greater military role.

"Year by year, the SCO is becoming a more substantial factor in ensuring security in the region," he said. "Russia, like other SCO states, favors strengthening the multipolar international system providing equal security and development potential for all countries. Any attempts to solve global and regional problems unilaterally have no future," he added. The SCO, founded in 2001, is often referred to as a "club of dictators" due to less-than-democratic ex-Soviet members such as Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan. The group has been holding joint war games since 2005, when it also demanded that the US vacate military bases it had acquired after 9/11 in former Soviet Central Asia, whose oil and gas reserves are garnering increased attention from the West. "The SCO clearly wants the US to leave Central Asia; that's a basic political demand," says Ivan Safranchuk, Moscow director of the independent World Security Institute. "That's one reason why the SCO is holding military exercises, to demonstrate its capability to take responsibility for stability in Central Asia after the US leaves."

New naval base, long-range missiles

Moscow's growing military footprint – and the apprehensions of others about it – is evident in a spate of recent news events.

• Last week the ex-Soviet republic of Georgia accused Russian warplanes of invading its airspace and firing a missile, which failed to explode, at a radio station. Russian officials denied the allegation and suggested that Georgian leaders fabricated the incident. Tensions have been high between Russia and Georgia over Moscow's support for two breakaway Georgian regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which are protected by Russian "peacekeeping" troops.

• Russian naval chief Admiral Vladimir Masorin announced this month that Russia may reclaim a naval base at Tartus, in Syria, from which Soviet warships used to keep tabs on US ships. "The Mediterranean is an important theater of operations for the Russian Black Sea Fleet," he said. "We must restore a permanent presence of the Russian Navy in this region."

• In July, amid worsening relations between Russia and Britain over the still unsolved poisoning death of ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko, two Russian Tu-95 bombers flew deep into NATO territory for the first time since the cold war's end and, according to Britain's defense ministry, briefly entered British airspace before being escorted away by British fighter planes.

Last week, in another post-Soviet first, Russian bombers "revived the tradition of our long-range aviation to fly far into the ocean, to meet US aircraft carriers and greet US pilots visually," ending up near the American Pacific base of Guam, Russian Air Force Maj. Gen. Pavel Androsov told Russian media. He added that the pilots on both sides "exchanged grins."

• Russia has recently conducted tests of new land- and sea-based intercontinental missiles, which are expected to soon replace the country's aging Soviet-era nuclear deterrent. As a partial response to US missile defense plans, Russia will develop a missile defense "project that will include not only air defense systems but also antiballistic missile and space defense systems" to protect Moscow and other Russian centers, Russian Air Force chief Col. Gen. Alexandr Zelin told Russian media last week. Critics are skeptical that, despite major Putin-era infusions of cash, Russia's weak industrial base can deliver on the Kremlin's ambitions to restore a global military presence. "Now our military leaders have enough money to create a kind of caricature of the Soviet armed forces, and they want to do a lot of the same old things," says Alexander Goltz, military expert with the independent online magazine Yezhednevny Zhurnal. "But their plans are a confused mixture of realistic goals and unworkable Soviet-style symbolism," says Mr. Goltz.


Russia's Navy gets ambitious

The Russian Navy will become the world's second largest in 20 years' time, said its commander-in-chief, Admiral Vladimir Masorin, speaking ahead of Navy Day. He said the navy's core would consist of the newest strategic nuclear-powered submarines and six squadrons of aircraft carriers. For Russia's navy, this will be its third modernization program, said the admiral. The previous two, although giving it a boost, were never completed. Now, said the admiral, there is such a chance. Recently approved, a rearmament program until 2015 for the first time in Soviet and Russian history puts the development of the navy on an equal footing with strategic nuclear forces. Out of 4.9 trillion rubles ($192.16 billion) allocated for military rearmament, 25% will go into building new ships.


Plasma weapons

The Radio Instrument Building Research Institute under the supervision of Academician A. Avramenko developed a plasma weapon capable of killing any target at altitudes of up to 50 kilometers. Engineers and scientists of the institute in cooperation with the National Research Institute of Experimental Physics (Arzamas-16), Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute, and Central Machine Building Research Institute prepared a concept of the international experiment Doverie (Trust) for testing of the Russian plasma weapon at the American ABM testing ground in the Pacific Ocean together with the US. The cost of the experiment was estimated at $300 million. According to Academician Avramenko, the plasma antimissile weapon would not only cost tens times less than the American SDI, but would also be much simpler in development and operation. The offered joint project could save expenditures on development of its own plasma weapon for the US. The plasmoid based on the energy of ground super-high frequency generators or laser (optical) generators creates an ionized territory in the trajectory of a warhead and in front of it, and completely disrupts the aerodynamics of the object's flight, after which a target leaves its trajectory and is ruined by monstrous overloads. The killing effect is delivered to the target at the speed of light. [..]

For practical purposes plasma weapons have already been created in Russia. Their action is based on focusing beams of electromagnetic energy produced by laser or microwave radiation into the upper layers of the atmosphere. These beams would be able to defeat any target flying at supersonic or near-sonic speeds in the near future. A cloud of highly ionized air arises at the focus of the laser or microwave rays, at an altitude of up to 50 kilometers. Upon entering it, any object--a missile, an airplane, is deflected from its trajectory and disintegrates in response to the fantastic overloads arising due to the abrupt pressure difference between the surface and interior of the flying body. What is fundamental in this case is that the energy aimed by the terrestrial components of the plasma weapon--lasers and antennas--is concentrated not at the target itself but a little ahead of it. Rather than "incinerating" the missile or airplane, it "bumps" it out of trajectory.

The press reported in very considerable detail on the April 1993 meeting of the presidents of the USA and Russia in Vancouver. But one thing remains not entirely clear: Had Boris Yeltsin proposed to his American friend the idea of carrying out the major experiment "Doveriye" ("Trust") in the vicinity of Kwajelein Atoll, initiating a joint effort to create a global antimissile defense system. It was not until summer of that year that 21ST CENTURY SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, the well-informed journal of the American military-industrial complex, finally informed us that there had in fact been a conversation on this topic between the presidents. What did the politicians talk about? What kind of experiment is this? Academician Ramiliy Avramenko, the chief designer of the Scientific Research Institute of Radio Instrument Making and the scientific director of the efforts to create plasma weapons in Russia, feels his brainchild--the plasmoid--to be invulnerable. Besides that, in his opinion plasma ABM weapons will not only cost several orders of magnitude less than SDI, but will also be many times simpler to create and control.

A plasmoid has a dual purpose. Such a unit can be used to "patch" ozone holes in the atmosphere, and to knock space garbage out of orbit. According to dependable information our scientific proving ground has already conducted tests in which a projectile flying through plasma discharges was deflected from its normal trajectory and self-destructed. Tests on a Russian plasma weapon run jointly with the USA against real targets--ballistic missiles and supersonic airplanes--were initiated by Russia's most prominent scientists--Nobel Prize recipient and creator of lasers Academician Aleksandr Prokhorov, Russian Academy of Sciences President Yuriy Osipov, and plasma researcher Academician Andrey Gaponov-Grekhov. That is the "Trust" experiment. Scientists from the All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Experimental Physics at Arzamas-16, the Central Institute of Aerohydrodynamics, the Central Scientific Research Institute of Machine Building in Kaliningrad, in the Moscow vicinity, and the Scientific Research Institute of Radio Instrument Making took part in its development.

Russia would be able to deliver components of the plasma weapon to the USA's ABM test range in the Pacific: microwave generators and a few tens of thousands of phased arrays. The United States would supply its electronics and computers, in which it has the lead. The missiles could be launched both from our country and from American missile test ranges.

In the opinion of our scientists the experiment could cost around $300 million. This by the way is four orders of magnitude less than what was planned in the USA's budget for creation of its own plasma weapon. Russia doesn't have this kind of money now. That's why our country suggested to the United States back in 1993 that we join efforts to create a global ABM system. Experts also feel that were the USA to continue working on this problem on its own, the expenses would total $30 billion, with no firm certainty of success. As far as we know, Bill Clinton hasn't yet communicated with Boris Yeltsin regarding the "Trust" experiment. Possibly because the Russian plasma weapon is based on discoveries in several areas of science that are deeply developed in Russia but have not yet been sufficiently studied in the USA. And no politician or scientist likes to show his ignorance.


Russia begins large-scale military exercises in North Caucasus

Russia begins large-scale military exercises in North Caucasus Russia began Monday large-scale military exercises in five regions of the North Caucasus, involving at least 8,000 personnel, an aide to the commander of the North Caucasus military district said Tuesday. The exercise involves units of the North Caucasus Military District, the 4th Air Force Army, Interior Ministry troops, border guards, and the Caspian Flotilla. "The total number of personnel involved in the command-and-staff exercise is over 8,000," Andrei Bobrun said. The main goal of the exercise is to practice interoperability between federal troops, interior ministry's troops, border guards, the Air Force and the Navy in special operations against militants and the defense of Russia's state borders. The exercise, which involves at least 350 combat vehicles and aircraft, will be conducted until August 9 on the territory of North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Daghestan, the Chechen Republic, and the Stavropol Territory.


Strategic Missile Forces to conduct over 100 exercises in fall

The Strategic Missile Forces will conduct more than 100 exercises this summer and fall, the SMF press service said Friday. Part of the exercises will include rehearsing command and control operations involving the mobile Topol-M ICBM complex. The SMF commander said last month Russia will commission three Topol-M ICBMs this year. "By the end of the year we will arm another missile battalion with advanced Topol-M ICBMs at the Teikovo missile base, Ivanovo Region," Col. Gen. Nikolai Solovtsov said. Gen. Solovtsov said earlier the deployment of silo-based Topol-M systems in the Saratov Region and road-mobile systems in the Ivanovo Region (central Russia) would be completed in 2010. As of December 2006, the Strategic Missile Forces operated 44 silo-based and three mobile missiles. The SMF press service said that, while 48 silo-based systems would be on duty by late 2007, the Teikovo base is shifting to cutting-edge road-mobile missiles.


Russia to equip two air regiments with Su-34 strike planes soon

Two regiments of the 16th Air Army will be equipped with new Su-34 Fullback fighter-bombers in the near future, the army commander said Thursday. Designed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau, the Su-34s will replace the Su-24 Fencer frontline bombers. Experts said the new bomber has the potential to become the best plane in its class for years to come. "The schedule for re-equipment of air regiments [in the Russian Air Force] with new and modernized aircraft has been determined," Major General Alexander Belevitch said. "Two of our air regiments will be re-armed soon." The $36 million Su-34 fighter-bomber is a two-seat strike aircraft equipped with twin AL-31MF afterburning turbojet engines. It is designed to deliver high-precision strikes on heavily-defended targets under any weather conditions, day or night, and fields weaponry that includes a 30mm GSh-301 cannon, up to 12 Alamo or Archer AAMs, ASMs, and bombs. The first serial-production Su-34 has been procured by the Defense Ministry and will soon be deployed at the Lipetsk pilot training center for practical training of military pilots. General Belevitch said the 16th Air Army would also receive MiG-29SM Fulcrum fighters to replace outdated MiG-29s and modernized Su-25 Frogfoot close support aircraft, which showed outstanding performance during operations in Afghanistan, Chechnya and other "hot spots."


Russia to Create 5-6 Air Carrier Groups

Russia will have six or five groups of air carriers, the RF Navy Commander Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky announced, Interfax reported. “We plan to have five or six air carrier groups overall,” Admiral Vysotsky announced during the news conference Friday. The research is underway to determine the layout of perspective air carrier of Russia, the admiral specified. As to the new weapons, test operations of Bulava-M ballistic missile will be completed in 2008. “The missile will fly and it will fly already this year,” Vysotsky vowed. Past year’s failures were caused by the technical problems, which could be tackled, the officer explained.


Russia’s Troops to Go Dn to 1m by 2016

The strength of the RF troops will be reduced to a million by 2016, said Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov. Armed Forces are to equal a million servicemen by that time,” Serdyukov said in the interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda that was published Thursday. The acceptable strength of the central staff is known as well. “The limit of 10,523 has been determined,” the minister said. There are too many officers in Russia's Army, Serdyukov pointed out. “In our Army, over 30 percent are officers. It is an evident warp. The indicator is from 7.5 percent to 15 percent in the armies of leading nations,” the minister specified.


Putin demands more aircraft for Russian Air Force

Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded on Wednesday that the state program for arms procurement be adjusted to increase the number of modern combat aircraft for the Air Force. "I consider it unacceptable when foreign customers receive advanced aircraft from Russia, while the country's Air Force mainly gets overhauled planes built many years ago," the president said at a meeting with aircraft industry officials in Zhukovsky, near Moscow. In 2007, Russia's leading aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi alone exported about 50 Su-30MK2, Su-30MKM and Su-30MKI aircraft in addition to spare parts for aircraft sold earlier to Algeria, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Venezuela. According to the 2007-2015 State Armaments Program, the Russian Air Force is supposed to receive 116 new and 408 upgraded aircraft for forward-deployed units, and 156 new and 372 modernized helicopters in the next eight years. "I believe the State Armaments Program should be adjusted to increase the procurement of aircraft for national defense," the president said. Putin said that in order to meet the growing demand for aircraft it was necessary to continue the steady development of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC). The UAC was established on February 20, 2006, to help overcome a crisis in Russia's aircraft industry. It incorporates many of the country's best-known aircraft builders, including Mikoyan, Ilyushin, Irkut, Sukhoi, Tupolev, Yakovlev and other enterprises in the industry. "Due to fierce competition among the world's largest aircraft manufacturers, the company [UAC] must establish its presence on global markets as one of the leaders," Putin said. "The UAC should increase its revenues at least five-fold by 2025." Also on Wednesday, Putin signed a decree setting up a national aircraft-building center in Zhukovsky.


Russia to fly 20-30 strategic patrol missions every month

Russia is set to drastically increase its number of strategic aviation patrol flights over the world's oceans to 20-30 a month, the Air Force commander said on Friday. "We will be making 20-30 flights a month, not two or three, as was the case until recently," Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin said. He said that during their patrol missions Russian aircraft are accompanied by NATO F-15, F-16 and F-22 fighters, adding that the military alliance's planes do not always comply with international rules. "They behave tactlessly, to put it mildly - they approach too close [in breach of international regulations]," the commander said. Russia resumed strategic bomber patrol flights over the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans last August, following an order signed by President Vladimir Putin. The move has been widely seen by the West is a sign of Russia's increasingly aggressive military stance. Russian bombers have since carried out over 70 strategic patrol flights. The Air Force command earlier said that all flights by Russian aircraft were performed by skilled pilots in strict compliance with international laws on the use of air space over neutral waters, without violating the borders of other states.


Russia to test fifth-generation fighter in 2009

Flight tests of a fifth-generation Russian-Indian fighter will begin as early as 2009 and mass production of the aircraft may start by 2015, the Sukhoi aircraft maker said Wednesday. A Russian-Indian advanced multirole fighter is being developed from a Russian prototype by Sukhoi, which is part of Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), and India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, under an intergovernmental agreement signed in October. "At present we are building prototypes of the fifth-generation fighter and will soon start preparation for flight-testing, which is planned for 2009," Sukhoi CEO Mikhail Pogosyan announced at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) 2007 exhibition in Malaysia. Pogosyan said mass production of the future fighter could begin by 2015. The new fighter aircraft, which will feature high maneuverability and stealth to ensure air superiority and precision in destroying ground and sea targets, will be built at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur aircraft-manufacturing plant in Russia's Far East. Discussing the future implementation of the Russian-Indian project, Pogosyan said joint efforts should be focused on three areas: coordination of technical specifications, application of advanced technologies, and preparation of a legal framework for future cooperation.


Putin says Russia to get new nuclear weapons

Vladimir Putin boasted of developing new nuclear weapons to strengthen Russia’s military power today and warned the United States not to ignore Moscow's objections to a planned missile defence shield in Europe. President Putin pledged to counter the shield unless the US and Europe took account of Russia's concerns. He also called on the US to set a date for withdrawal of troops from Iraq, adding that the 2003 invasion had been an attempt to secure control of its oil reserves. In a live televised question-and-answer programme with members of the public, Mr Putin made clear that he was determined to restore Russia’s military prestige by using the vast income from its own oil and gas resources. He said that Russia had a “grandiose” plan to strengthen the armed forces after years of decline following the collapse of the Soviet Union. "We will develop missile technology including completely new strategic (nuclear) complexes, completely new. Work is continuing and continuing successfully," Mr Putin said. He gave no details about the new nuclear weapon, but went on: "We have plans that are not only big, but grandiose, and they are fully realistic. Our armed forces will be more compact but more effective and better ensure Russia defence.”


Putin says Russia will defend natural resources in Siberia

President Vladimir Putin vowed Thursday that Russia would defend its vast natural resources in Siberia, saying Russia was 'not Iraq' and would not allow outsiders to gain control of its resources. "Thank God Russia is not Iraq. Russia has the strength and the means to defend itself," Putin said during a live television question-and-answer session with Russians from around the country. He dismissed talk of any outside country getting direct control over Russia's abundant natural resources in Siberia and contrasted the situation with that in Iraq. "The best example are the events in Iraq, a country which was challenged in defending itself and which had enormous oil reserves. And everyone has seen what happened there. They learned to shoot at each other. But so far, establishing order has not really worked out." He was responding to a question from a resident of the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, who had asked him to comment on a remark by a former US official suggesting that Russia should share the natural wealth of Siberia. "I know you are worried about this,' Putin said. 'I know that these kinds of ideas are circulating in the minds of some politicians,' he added, without elaborating. Putin said Russia was working on strengthening and modernising its army and navy as was its 'right' and added that 'we will continue to do this."


Putin says Iraq shows need for strong Russia army

Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized the U.S.-led war in Iraq on Thursday, saying that experience showed the need for resource-rich countries like Russia to build up their armed forces to defend themselves. "Thank God Russia is not Iraq," Putin said during a live televised national question-and-answer session. "It is strong enough to protect its interests within the national territory and, by the way, in other regions of the world." Answering a questioner who asked about supposed U.S. intentions to gain control over Russia's huge, resource-rich interior, Putin said: "I know that such ideas are brewing in the heads of some politicians. I think it is a sort of political eroticism which maybe gives someone pleasure but will hardly lead anywhere and the best example of that is Iraq." "... What we are doing to increase our defense capability is the correct choice and we will continue to do that," Putin added. Putin, who faces parliamentary elections in December, hailed Russia's continued strong economic growth and rising living standards during exchanges with questioners connected live from different Russian cities. He admitted that inflation, which at 8.5 percent in the year to date has already exceeded the government's target for the whole year, was a problem but blamed global economic factors such as cuts in European agricultural subsidies and demand for biofuels. Putin also claimed that Russia's demographic crisis was easing, with the birthrate reaching a 15-year high and the death rate falling to its lowest level since 1999.


Putin Says Russia Has `Grandiose Plans' for Military Buildup

President Vladimir Putin said Russia has "grandiose plans'' to continue the country's largest military build-up since the end of the Cold War. "We have plans, not simply big, but grandiose plans,'' Putin said today in his annual call-in television program with Russians spread across 11 time zones. "And they are completely realizable.'' Putin was responding to a question from soldiers stationed at a military base in Plesetk, site of a successful launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile earlier today. Russia, the world's biggest energy supplier, last year earmarked 6 trillion rubles ($240 billion) for military spending through 2015 as Putin uses revenue from high commodity prices to restore the country's might. The military struggled after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 as funding dried up and morale was sapped by incidents such as failed missile tests and the sinking of the Kursk submarine. The military last month tested the world's most powerful air-delivered vacuum bomb and today the Strategic Missile Forces said an RC-12M Topol missile traveled 5,500 kilometers (3,400 miles) to hit its designated target on the Kamchatka Peninsula near the Pacific Ocean. Putin said Russia is "successfully'' enhancing its nuclear arsenal, including the highly maneuverable, multiheaded Topol-M. ``Completely new'' systems are being developed, Putin said, without elaborating. The Navy will start construction of a new class of nuclear submarine next year, strategic bombers are being modernized and ``a new generation warplane'' will be ready by 2015, Putin said. "Russia, thank God, is not Iraq, and Russia has enough forces and funds to defend itself and its interests both on its own territory and in other parts of the world,'' Putin said.


Commander: Russian navy to build up presence in Atlantic, Mediterranean

Russia will build up its presence in the strategic areas of the world, including the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, navy commander Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky said on Sunday. "We'll do all we can to build up our presence where Russia has strategic interests," RIA news agency quoted the senior officer assaying at the Northern Fleet's base Severomorsk, in the Arctic Circle. "What is important is that we have appeared (in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean) at a scheduled time and not just that we appeared there," he said while commenting a joint Air Force and Navy exercise in the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic. The 12-day war game and two-month maneuver was the first large-scale Russian navy exercise in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean in 15 years. Russia's naval task force in the drill comprised the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, the Udaloy-Class destroyers Admiral Levchenko and Admiral Chabanenko, as well as support vessels. The flagship of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, the Moskva cruiser, joined up with the other warships in the Mediterranean on Jan. 18 to participate in the maneuvers in the Atlantic that ended on Saturday. Russia will carry out similar missions once every six months, Vysotsky said.


Putin vows more cash for Russia's nuclear defences

New Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin promised on Thursday to pay higher wages to members of the nuclear and air defense forces -- the pillars of national security -- and to create a special fund to finance it. Military analysts say Russia badly needs to increase support for its intercontinental ballistic missiles, strategic bombers, nuclear submarines to ensure proper combat readiness, at a time when conventional forces are in a deep crisis. "We must admit: the existing system of financial allowances ... does not let us honorably pay those carrying out their military duties in the most responsible jobs," Putin said in a speech to parliament after his nomination as prime minister. "... those on duty in submarines and strategic bombers, in air defences and in strategic nuclear missile forces, those on duty in units play a key role in our defense capacity." Putin, who handed over the Russian presidency to his successor Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday, proposed creating a system of "special material incentives" for strategic forces. "In 2009, no less than 25 billion roubles ($1.05 billion) will be channeled for these purposes," he said to the rapturous applause of the State Duma lower house of parliament, heavily dominated by his United Russia party. Putin, who had held office since 2000, said Russia's army had received more than 300 types of new weapons since 2001. "But this is not enough," he said. "In the future, support for the army and navy will remain our indisputable priority." Putin's critics and independent analysts say that most of the military equipment rolled out while he was in power was designed in the 1970s and 1980s during the Soviet era.



Putin: Support for Army, Fleet Is Absolute Priority

Government support for the army and fleet will be the absolute priority, said Vladimir Putin, whom President Dmitry Medvedev proposed as the country’s prime minister to the State Duma yesterday and on whose endorsement in this office the State Duma will vote today. “Only the battle-worthy, well-equipped Armed Forces with high moral spirit will be able to defend sovereignty and integrity of the country,” Vladimir Putin told the State Duma Thursday. “Starting from 2001, over 300 new items of combat hardware have passed into service, but it isn’t enough yet… Support for the army and fleet will remain the absolute priority for us from now on,” Putin emphasized. The funds required to provide permanent housing to the military and the people discharged from the military service by 2010 will be set forth in the budget in whole, Putin said. “The Service Housing Fund will be finally established by late 2012,” he specified.


Putin: Russia to develop both strategic and conventional weapons

Russia will develop strategic and conventional weapons in a bid to strengthen the country's defense, President Vladimir Putin said at an annual live question-and-answer TV and radio program Thursday. "We will attach significance not only to the nuclear triad – I mean the Strategic Rocket Forces, strategic aviation, and nuclear submarine fleet -- but also other types of weapons," Putin said in reply to a question by a serviceman from the Plesetsk military space center. Russia is pursuing a government armament program designed for the period up to 2015, which envisions the development of all types and services of the armed forces, he said. "Our plans are not simply considerable, but huge. At the same time, they are absolutely realistic... Our armed forces will be compact and very efficient, and they will reliably guarantee this country's security for years to come," Putin said. The Russian Air Force has started to receive the advanced Sukhoi Su-34 fighters and the new generation of fighters will be built by 2012-2015, Putin said, adding that Ground Forces have started to be armed with Iskander-M missile systems. Another strategic submarine will also be built next year, said the president.


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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.

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