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Putin to sign new decree to spend ten trillion rubles on social needs

Tue, 24/04/2018 - 14:03
President Putin may sign a new decree after his inauguration on May 7 about the development of healthcare system and infrastructure in Russia. It is believed that the decree will stipulate the budget of nearly ten trillion rubles for these purposes, Bloomberg said. The number can be revised. Most of the spending is scheduled for the period after 2020, although it was said that in order to increase spending on social needs, the authorities will cut expenditure in other areas and will look for other sources of income. In particular, it is planned to raise taxes and introduce a new 4% sales tax, although these measures have not been approved yet. The new decree is part of Putin's assignments that were promulgated following the results of the president's message to the Federal Assembly. The presidential administration is to prepare decrees on "improving the living standards of citizens, ensuring the sustainable growth of their real incomes, increasing the level of pensions above the inflation rate and halving the level of poverty in the country."In addition, by analogy with 2012 decrees, new "national goals" are to be elaborated to target such issues as education, health, housing, roads and small businesses.The chief of the Accounting Chamber, Tatyana Golikova, noted that to achieve the above-mentioned goals, the Russian economy needs to grow by four percent a year. "The programs that we have today do not embrace resources of the regions," she said. The authorities are not going to expose the sources, from where they are going to find the funds for Putin's new ten-trillion ruble decree. Some of the costs will be realized by reducing spending, for example, on defense or by redistributing budget funds. Conducting a tax maneuver for the entire economy for 2019-2020 could increase budget revenues by almost 450 billion rubles. Another possible source of income is raising the retirement age. Depending on how significant it will be, the budget may save 0.1-0.2% of GDP by 2050.The vectors of increasing Russia's spending have been chosen correctly, the head of the Center for Economic Studies of the Institute of Globalization and Social Movements, Vasily Koltashov told Pravda.Ru. "Social spending and improving the financial situation of Russians who work for the state is a very important goal to pursue. It, in fact, determines the future of the domestic market and, probably, the society in general. Therefore, the redistribution of funds for such purposes is the right move to make. The problem that arises immediately after such a decision is called the liberal bureaucratization of such departments as health care, education, and the entire social sphere."It goes about a lot of paperwork, formalities and reports, especially for science and education workers. If we talk about tax reforms, then we do not have a progressive tax. There are very large taxes on salaries - the Russians pay 13 percent of this tax. Plus, there are a lot of fiscal deductions that make poor people even poorer. I believe it would be reasonable to take some from defense. The state needs to pay more attention to social needs and send positive signals to the private sector."Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
Categories: Russia & CIS

Where does Russia keep her gold?

Mon, 23/04/2018 - 17:24
Last week, it was reported that the Central Bank of Turkey withdrew the national gold reserve from the US Federal Reserve System. Given the fact that the United States has been imposing whole packages of sanctions on Russia one after another since 2014, why does Russia still keep its gold and other assets in the USA? If it is not in the USA, then where does Russia keep her gold? Turkey's "American gold" was partly returned to Turkey and deposited to European banks, particularly in England and Switzerland. Ankara's gold reserve totals 564.6 tons.Accumulating physical gold by central banks has become a trend lately. Even such a small European country as Hungary returned three tons of its gold from London in early 2018. Venezuela, Holland, Austria and Germany did the same - the countries that feel pressure from the part of the Washington consensus. For example, both the European Union and the Western world have been criticizing Hungary heavily. The nation's gold reserve gives Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban a reason to feel more confident.What about Russia? She has been the main "whipping girl" in the eyes of the "civilized world" lately. Yevgeny Fedorov, a member of the State Duma Committee on Budget and Taxes, told Pravda.Ru, that the information about the location of Russia's gold is classified." "Some of Russia's gold used to be stored in the USA, but we do not know whether Russia has returned that gold," the MP said. According to Yevgeny Fedorov, the Central Bank of Russia "is a branch of the US Federal Reserve, so I would not be surprised if we still keep some of our gold in the United States," he said. "If we don't keep our gold in the USA, then we do keep some of our assets there - i.e. we support the US economy, which is a very bad phenomenon," Fedorov told Pravda.Ru. This policy, the MP added, is stipulated in Article 15 of the Constitution, the system of international treaties and the status of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation. To change such a state of affairs, Russia needs to conduct revolutionary reforms. "It is only now, when the law on counter-sentences raises the need to remove US managers from Russian ministries and the Central Bank. If Putin wins with his policy to end the subordination to the American unipolar world, then everything may work out well," Yevgeny Fedorov told Pravda.Ru. In turn, researcher Mikhail Khazin told Pravda.Ru that Russia does not keep its physical gold in the US. "We keep our assets in US government securities, but we have been recently reducing the share of these assets significantly. There is a probability that the Americans will not give them back, so we need to get rid of those bonds," the expert told Pravda.Ru. Pavel Salin, director of the Center for Policy Studies of the Finance University, also said that Russia does not keep its physical gold in the United States."The Russian gold reserve is stored in Russia, and the foreign exchange reserves are kept at US Treasuries. We tend to reduce their amount, but it is impossible to do it instantly, because it will look like an attempt to collapse the US debt market with all ensuing consequences. It could also trigger a major conflict with China that holds $1 trillion 200 million in these bonds and Japan - about one trillion dollars," the expert told Pravda.Ru.According to the US Treasury, the Central Bank of Russia sold US government bonds worth 11.9 billion dollars from December to February, having this reduced the volume of assets by 11.2 percent ($93.8 billion). It is worthy of note that immediately after the introduction of sanctions against Russia in March 2014, the Central Bank of Russia withdrew about $115 billion from the US Federal Reserve System (FRS). However, two weeks after the incident, the Russian Central Bank returned the funds to Fed accounts, Reuters says. Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
Categories: Russia & CIS

War between USA and Russia will break out only if Americans cross Russia’s red lines

Fri, 20/04/2018 - 15:46
Director of the Institute of the USA and Canada Valery Garbuzov compared the qualities of the commanders-in-chief of Russia and the United States. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, as well as the military of the two countries, will never let a military confrontation spark. "Getting back to the question of risks of a military confrontation, I am 100% certain that the military will not allow it, and, of course, neither President Putin nor, I'm sure, President Trump will allow it. They are the leaders elected by their peoples, and they are responsible to their people for peace and tranquility," Lavrov said in an interview with RIA Novosti. Director of the Institute of the USA and Canada, Valery Garbuzov, suggested in an interview with Pravda.Ru that Lavrov's optimism is based on one argument: "The United States and Russia are nuclear powers. "We saw from the Cold War experience that the confrontation was tough, but it had not developed into direct confrontation," the expert told Pravda.Ru.
Categories: Russia & CIS

SWIFT refuses to cut Russia off, even if Washington insists

Wed, 18/04/2018 - 14:57
The SWIFT system, which ensures the transfer of financial messages between all banks of the world, will not disconnect Russia despite Western sanctions. In the political conflict between Russia and the West, SWIFT takes a neutral position, SWIFT CEO Gottfried Leibbrandt said. The SWIFT system will thus stay neutral in the conflict between Russia and the West and will not disconnect the country from the system of financial payments because of the sanctions, CEO Gottfried Leibbrandt said at the SWIFT business forum in Moscow, RBC reports. "The question of disconnecting Russia from the SWIFT financial reporting system is not worth it, and our position remains unchanged: we are a neutral party that provides for the interconnection of users and whose purpose is to service the global financial industry," Mr. Leibbrandt said. SWIFT declared its neutrality back in 2014, when the question of disconnecting Russia from the system was raised for the first time following the coup in Ukraine and Russia's reunification with the Crimea. "Our mission is to be a global and neutral service provider," the company said in a statement back then. The European Parliament and the EU Council discussed such a possibility against the backdrop of sanctions in connection with the Ukrainian crisis, but the SWIFT management considered Russia's possible disconnection highly challenging to the reputation of the company and stressed that it would not make such decisions under the influence of political pressure. Nevertheless, the West still believes that disconnecting Russia from the interbank messaging system is possible. In August 2017, the Russian National Commercial Bank (RNCB) and Tempbank were disconnected from SWIFT, after the owner of the relevant software refused to cooperate with them because of US sanctions. RNCB, which works in the Crimea, said that the move would not affect its work as the bank operated only inside Russia. In January, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich acknowledged that disconnection from SWIFT could create great problems for the Russian banking system. If it happens, he said, Russian banks would have to switch to an outdated technology, but Western companies would face serious problems too. In early April 2018, the United States adopted a new package of anti-Russian sanctions, which has become the most stringent one since 2014. Shortly thereafter, Washington announced its readiness to prepare new sanctions in the near future to punish Russia for supporting the Syrian authorities. It was said that Moscow was getting ready for a series of tough measures, including disconnection from SWIFT. The financial reporting system itself is based in Belgium and does not comply with US law. However, chances for Washington to succeed in cutting Russia off remain high.To counter such a threat, Russia has been developing its own analog to SWIFT that would be used inside the country. The system is called the Financial Communications System of the Bank of Russia (known for the Russian initials as SPFS). On April 13, Rosteс (State Corporation for Assistance to Development, Production and Export of Advanced Technology) announced that it was switching to SPFS. SWIFT stands for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications. The system was established in 1973. Today, SWIFT unites more than 10,000 banking and financial organisations in 210 countries and processes about 1.8 billion messages a year.Pravda.Ru
Categories: Russia & CIS

Russia wants to be prepared for most severe sanctions that Washington is working on

Tue, 17/04/2018 - 12:58
The Russian administration believes that the United States will soon announce most severe sanctions against Russia. Russia will be prepared for such a turn of events, RBC reports. The Kremlin believes that the US may impose sanctions on Russia's public debt and disconnect the country from SWIFT payment system. It is also believed that Washington may impose strict sanctions on Russia's two largest banks - Sberbank and VTB. According to two federal officials, whose names were not exposed, the Russian authorities started developing countermeasures to respond to the most negative scenario long before the USA published the infamous Kremlin report in January. Previously, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said that the United States would impose new sanctions against Russia on Monday, April 16. It was assumed that Washington would take restrictive measures against the companies linked to Syrian President Bashar Assad. However, White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said later that the decision about the new sanctions against Russia had not been made yet. The Russian authorities supposedly consider two options for possible US sanctions against Russia's sovereign debt. According to the first one of them, the USA will prohibit investing in Russia's federal loan bonds for American investors only. For a more stringent option, the ban on the purchase of the Russian national debt will be extraterritorial in nature extending to foreign (including Russian) legal entities. Currently, foreign investors hold more than a third of the Russian national debt.As protection measures, Russia considers a possibility of creating a special bank for the purchase of the Russian national debt, as well as taking certain steps that will "close" the names of those who buy the Russian national debt. Russia should be prepared for the introduction of US restrictions on investment in the Russian national debt, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said on the sidelines of the Krasnoyarsk economic forum.Russia already has a special bank to service the state defence order, whereas Russian banks classify some of their public information in an attempt to protect themselves against sanctions. Another measure - "attracting people's money" through the sale of federal loan bonds to citizens - was discussed in January, the source said.In addition, the Russian administration believes that Washington may disconnect the country from SWIFT payment system. This question has been discussed for several years already, after Russia reunited with the Crimea. Russia's disconnection from SWIFT may cause the Russian banking system to collapse. Russia may not be able to make external payments, especially for gas supplies. However, Moscow believes it can be possible to make external payments through agents, so-called bridge companies (intermediary companies).The Kremlin is also highly concerned about the possible blockage of Russia's largest banks, such as Sberbank and VTB. The two banks already operate under sectoral sanctions. However, a ban on correspondent accounts in the US or inclusion on the SDN (Specially Designated Nationals) list is a much more stringent measure that will make international operations virtually impossible.Pravda.Ru
Categories: Russia & CIS

Details of Russia's response to USA's sanctions exposed

Fri, 13/04/2018 - 13:48
As a response to US sanctions, Russian MPs suggested Russian employers should not hire US citizens and citizens of the countries, who supported the imposition of sanctions against Russia. The draft law about Russia's response to US sanctions was published on the website of the lower house of the parliament. The prohibition to hire US employees, the authors of the document wrote, may affect even "highly qualified specialists."According to Russian MPs, such a move is to "protect the rights and freedoms of Russians, as well as interests and security of the Russian Federation" after the introduction of new sanctions against Russian companies, businessmen and heads of state-run corporations.In another initiative, Russian MP suggest restricting the activities of American auditors, as well as legal and consulting companies "to ensure state and municipal needs, as well as the needs of certain types of legal entities."The above-mentioned and other restrictions will affect companies that remain under the jurisdiction of the United States, as well as the companies, in which more than 25% belong to American legal entities. In addition, the measures will be taken against the companies from the countries that joined the actions of the US authorities and imposed economic sanctions on certain sectors of the Russian economy, Russian companies and individuals.The above-mentioned draft law provides for measures relating to services and goods from the United States of America:prohibition or restriction of imports of agricultural products, raw materials and food;-   prohibition or restriction of imports of alcohol and tobacco products;-   prohibition or restriction of imports of medicines, except for those whose analogues are not produced in Russia;-   prohibition or restriction of exports of products and equipment from rare earth metals;-   prohibition of state and municipal purchases of technological equipment and software;-   exhaustion of the exclusive right to trademarks in respect of goods owned by US citizens;-   prohibition to attract highly qualified specialists;setting higher fees on air navigation services for aircraft engaged in the transportation of goods and using Russian airspace. Furthermore, Russia intends to terminate cooperation with the USA in the following industries: - atomic industry;- aircraft building;- rocket industry;- consulting, auditing and legal services.The above-menrtioned organisations will also be prohibited from participating in sales of federal property and privatisation.The text of the bill also says that the Russian government will have the right to expand the list of services and goods that fall under restrictions. To crown it all, the Russian authorities will be able to make the list of US citizens who will be banned from entering Russia.Pravda.Ru
Categories: Russia & CIS

Russian stock market, national currency collapse because of US sanctions

Mon, 09/04/2018 - 13:59
The index of the Moscow Exchange (formerly known as MICEX) has lost nine percent, the RTS index has fallen by more then ten percent. The decline was the largest for the companies, the top manager of which were affected by the recent sanctions that the US Treasury announced on Friday, April 6. The sanctions also affected metallurgical companies and participants of the financial market. On Monday, April 9, the Moscow Exchange  (former MICEX) index dropped 9%, the RTS index - 10.7%.The shares of the following companies showed the largest decline: Rusal (-26.7%), Polyus (-8.8%), Norilsk Nickel (-10%), Raspadskaya (-7.2%), Mechel ( -10%), En + (-17.7%), VTB (-6.7%), Sberbank (-6.8%), ALROSA (-7%).Rusal securities started falling on the Moscow Exchange in the morning of April 9 and were traded at a minimum of 15.04 rubles per share, which was 46% less than on Friday, April 6. The Moscow Stock Exchange suspended the trading and announced a discrete auction for Rusal securities due to a fall in the value of shares by more than 20% within ten minutes.On April 9, the ruble also experienced a considerable decline in value for the first time in months. During the day, when the USA imposed new sanctions on Russian businessmen and officials close to President Putin, the Russian ruble dropped by 50 kopecks vs. the US dollar. On Friday evening, experts promised that the decline will continue at a more serious pace.Since the opening of trading on Monday, April 9, the Russian started declining rapidly for reasons of geopolitical risks.Afterwards, the US dollar rose by 1.14 rubles reached the mark of 59.31 rubles per dollar for the first time since December 25, 2017. The euro rate has grown by 2.16 rubles and made up 73.46 rubles per one euro. This is a record fall for the Russian ruble rate for several months. In addition, the ruble has ignored a sharp rise in oil quotations.Experts believe that such a considerable decline in the ruble rate has occurred not only because of the recent sanctions that the USA imposed on Friday, but also due to other  imminent restrictive measures related to the chemical attack in Syria's Douma. Washington held Russia responsible for the attack, whereas US President Trump said that Russia would have to pay a "big price" for the chemical attack in Syria. In April 2013, the United States started imposing sanctions on a number of Russian officials, whom the US Treasury found involved in the death of legal adviser of the Hermitage Capital Management investment fund, Sergei Magnitsky. The original list included 18 people: they were barred from entering the US, their accounts in American banks were frozen. At the moment, the "Magnitsky list" counts 51 people.In the spring of 2014, the US Treasury issued a decree on imposing sanctions on Russia in connection with the conflict in the southeast of Ukraine and because of Russia's actions to reunite with the Crimea. The original list included eleven people, such as presidential aide Vladislav Surkov, presidential adviser Sergei Glazyev, Federation Council Chairwoman Valentina Matvienko, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin and others. They were banned from entering the US territory, and their bank accounts and property were to be blocked in case of detection. Subsequently, the list had been expanded several times and currently includes 205 people (mostly Russian and Ukrainian citizens. Pravda.Ru
Categories: Russia & CIS

Six reasons why Putin's victory has frightened the West

Mon, 19/03/2018 - 19:19
The coverage of the Russian presidential election in the Western press predictably reflects the poor knowledge of the Russian reality and the Russian mentality. Of course, Western journalists make their materials for their internal consumers, but their conclusions clearly indicate that the West has not come even a little bit closer to its ultimate goal to either destroy or remake Russia and its people. The first thing that catches the eye in all analytical articles is the assumption about Vladimir Putin overtaking Stalin in terms of political longevity. "Putin's victory will take his political dominance of Russia to nearly a quarter of a century, until 2024, by which time he will be 71. Only Soviet dictator Josef Stalin ruled for longer," Business Standard wrote. This assertion implicitly draws parallels with the Stalin era, which in the West is commonly referred to as "fascist." In addition, Putin is criticised for his "irrepressible" desire for power. Such an assumption may produce an impression on Western readers (although the growth of popularity of Mussolini, Salazar and Franco in corresponding countries breaks all records), but Russia has long learned to separate flies from meat chops and look at Stalin's figure dialectically. On the one hand, yes, he was a dictator, who killed too many, but on the other hand, he was a politician who turned the Soviet Union into an industrial power, who was intolerant of corruption, who attached first priority to Soviet family, culture and education.As for political longevity, it is the people of Russia who elect Putin, in contrast, for example, Germany, where Angela Merkel has been elected by a handful of elites for 20 years already. Which option is more democratic? The second thing that attracts one's attention about the coverage of the Russian presidential election in the West refers to opposition activist Aleksei Navalny. "Putin's main foe, opposition leader Alexei Navalny, was barred from the race because of a criminal conviction widely seen as politically motivated. Navalny has called for a boycott of the vote," FoxNews said. Putin responded very well to the above: "This, apparently, speaks about the preferences of the US administration in leaderships of other countries. It says whom they would like to see in the country's leadership ... In this sense, they've lost. It would be better if they kept silent," Putin said in January at a meeting with media executives. Indeed, the persona Navalny is clearly too far from being somewhere near Solzhenitsyn or Sakharov.Thirdly, Western journalists say that the Russian authorities used the administrative resource to ensure a high turnout. FoxNews quoted a 20-year-old woman named Daria Suslina and Yekaterinburg Mayor Yevgeny Roizman, who were terrified of the "pressure.""They are using everything: schools, kindergartens, hospitals - the battle for the turnout is unprecedented," said Roizman, one of the rare opposition politicians to hold a significant elected office," FoxNews reports. It is important to note here that the administrative resource did not call to vote for Putin - people were encourage to go and VOTE, and these are two totally different things. Fourthly, Western journalists buy into the idea that the reason for Putin's victory is his ability to play on the desire of the Russians to rebuff the West in Syria, in Ukraine and everywhere else. Moreover, they assert that this "tsarist chauvinism" is brought up on the ill interpretation of friendly intentions of the West to sow democracy in "bad countries." Western media rightly conclude, though, that British Prime Minister Theresa May, when trying to consolidate the British on the eve of Brexit and being unable to see a log in her own eye, played into Putin's hands with the case of Sergei Skripal.Responding to all the bullying is not the prime goal for the Russian authorities. The ultimate goal is to make people happy with their lives in Russia, editor of website Jean-Marc Sylvester wrote.Fifthly, a lot has been said about violations. Anton Troianovski wrote on pages of The Washington Post that the Russian authorities had arranged a massive spectacle from the Arctic to the ISS to show the scale of popular support without saying a word about numerous fakes that came from Navalny's supporters. The author gives an original interpretation to the voter turnout in the Crimea claiming that the Crimeans had been persuaded that without Putin the Crimea would fall into the abyss of war and gay marriage. Finally, the presidential election in Russia has convinced the West that the latter must not back down in front of such a "chauvinistic", "racist", "intolerant", etc. country as Russia. Australian television channel ABC in the person of Jennifer Mathers believes that Russia uses a wide range of hidden tools of intelligence and special services and neglects the rules of civilised behaviour. "If the West really is coming to the end of its patience with Russia, it could make Mr Putin's next six years as president a lot less comfortable," she wrote. Robert Kuttner at the Huffington Post expands on the idea and suggests cutting Russia off the banking system, prohibiting Russians from buying real estate in the West, restricting their entry to Western countries.Italian journalist and politician Giulietto Chiesa told Pravda.Ru that all attempts to put pressure on Russia and the Russians were doomed to failure, because the elections showed the unity of the Russians around their president. The Russophobic hysteria in the West is not going to abate in the coming days, months and years, the journalist believes."The West believes that it should break Russia, because Russia violates its rights. These are plans for many years to come. I'll tell you frankly: they need to be afraid of the strong Russia, and there is no other way to win," Chiesa said.What is troubling is that Western analysts do not understand why Trump came to power, and why Putin can still retains it. Today's middle-class Americans live worse than their parents lived, but in today's Russia, the younger generation lives better than their parents used to live. Above all, however, the Russians have always put the national idea above material well-being.Lyuba Lulko (Stepushova)Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
Categories: Russia & CIS

Russia and USA start new arms race in space to down satellites

Wed, 14/03/2018 - 17:06
Russia and the United States are entering the arms race of a new type - the technological arms race. The new race will focus on a warfare in outer space, and the 1967 treaty is not an obstacle for it, military expert Sergei Sudakov believes. It took the US two weeks to give an answer to Putin's demonstration of Russia's state-of-the-art weapons, such as, for example, the Avangard platform, which strikes targets on the ground from outer space bypassing air defence systems. On March 13, Donald Trump, speaking before soldiers in California, announced the beginning of the creation of space forces within US Armed Forces.Professor of the Academy of Military Sciences, political scientist, Americanist and candidate of political sciences Sergei Sudakov told Pravda.Ru that these days, the one who takes the lead in space, takes the lead on the ground. Space weapons that make all means of conventional air defences pointless, is a breakthrough, which, as the political scientist believes, forms the trend of the development of modern weapons for 10-15 years to come. This time, however, Russia is the leader, and the US only has to catch up. "It will be a new arms race, not a quantitative one, but a technology-oriented race, and the main question is, how much every country will have to pay for innovations. Russia's innovations in the aerospace sector cost a lot less than those of the United States," said Sergey Sudakov in an interview with Pravda.Ru.The expert believes that the treaty from 1967, signed by the USSR, the USA and Great Britain prohibiting the deployment of any weapons of mass destruction in outer space refers to nuclear weapons that will be staying there in a standby mode until a strike is required." "One will have to develop special mechanisms to protect satellites and data transfer channels, because it is impossible to control troops when there is no connection with satellites, and the army is simply blind and deaf," Sergei Sudakov told Pravda.Ru. The above-mentioned treaty from 1967, which unites more than 100 countries, binds its members not to deploy weapons of mass destruction in space. Yet, the treaty does not regulate the deployment of conventional weapons in space. The parties to the treaty also agreed not to test weapons, conduct military exercises, build military bases on celestial bodies, such as planets, planetoids, asteroids.Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
Categories: Russia & CIS

Putin speaks about hijacked plane, reasons for Kursk submarine disaster and Russian heroes

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 12:15
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he learned about the hijacking of an aircraft only a minute before the start of the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. The hijackers, Putin said, wanted the plane be redirected to Sochi. Later it turned out, however, that it was just a stupid joke of a drunk passenger. Putin shared the story in a documentary by Andrei Kondrashov, which was published in social networks.According to Putin, "somewhere in the middle of the way, an aide-de-camp gave me the phone with  one of the heads of the operational headquarters for ensuring the safety of the Olympic Games on the line. He reported that a plane had been hijacked. The plane was bound to Istanbul from Ukraine, but the hijackers wanted it to land it in Sochi.""The same chief of the security staff called again some time later and said that it was a drunken joke, that the aircraft was flying to Turkey and would be landing there soon," Putin added. Also in the documentary, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about the tragedy with the Kursk nuclear submarine. According to him, the sinking of the Russian submarine occurred because of the unsatisfactory state of affairs in the Russian army at that time."After the collapse of the Soviet Union, we had enormous difficulties in the economy, in the social sphere, and in the army too. Of course, all that could not pass the army by," the president said in an interview for the documentary simply titled "Putin." The tragedy of the Kursk submarine came as a manifestation of the general state of affairs in the Armed Forces.Putin said that he had hardly sworn in as president after elections by the time when the Kursk sank and did not even know that there were large-scale military exercises taking place in the Barents Sea."The Minister of Defence called me and said that we lost the submarine, but the sub was found, and they were going to work on that question. It was not clear that something tragic was happening there, but then, of course, all that unfolded in full," Putin recalls. Given the state of the Russian army back in those years, "there was nothing surprising about the tragedy." At the same time, he said that it was a colossal tragedy.The cause of the tragedy had been established: an explosion occurred in the torpedo compartment, a fire broke out, ammunition detonated, and the hull of the submarine practically popped. "And, of course, this can not be forgotten," the Russian leader said.He also said that after the tragedy, he decided to talk to submariners' relatives in order to support them and assure them that the submarine would be retrieved from the bottom of the sea. Putin also said that he had been warned against attempts to raise the boat from the seafloor, but he insisted, because he had given a promise.The Russian nuclear-powered submarine missile cruiser Kursk sank in the Barents Sea on August 12, 2000, during naval exercises. All 118 crew members were killed.In a part of the documentary about Syria, Putin spoke about the heroic feat of corporal Denis Portnyagin, who, in an unequal battle with terrorists in Syria, was ready to explode himself not to be captured."Not only did he repulse an attack of terrorists. There were only four or five of them (Russian military men - ed.) - a group of special operations forces that were engaged in finding targets for our aircraft. There was an unexpected attack of militants, the regular army pulled back, some units of the Syrian army did too, but the Russian group stayed and they took the battle," Putin said. According to Putin, in that battle with terrorists on August 16, 2017, the commander and the second officer were wounded, and corporal Portnyagin took all the combat work on himself and repelled several attacks. He requested help and prepared himself for self-destruction not to be taken captive."Moreover, he drew the fire upon himself and gave precise instructions. Our artillerymen managed to cut off the terrorists with the help of mortar fire, then our aircraft struck, and after that another group of special operations forces approached them, and all were taken out to safety," the president said.He noted that there are many of such people in the Russian army - the ones who are ready to fight in an unequal battle. "They are heroes, of course. If they are not heroes, then who? I know that there are many such people in our armed forces," Putin said.Corporal Denis Portnyagin was awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Federation in late 2017.Pravda.Ru
Categories: Russia & CIS

To become Europe's strongest economy by 2050, Russia needs to exit Washington Consensus

Wed, 07/03/2018 - 17:54
Russia has every opportunity to make a breakthrough in increasing labor productivity. To achieve this goal, Russia needs  to pull out from the Washington Consensus, in particular from the American patent law, economist Vasily Koltashov believes.By 2060, Russia will lag behind the United States of America even more - experts at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said. Without reforms, per capita GDP in Russia will grow by only 0.7 percent in the next 12 years, economists predict. Labor productivity in Russia has not grown in recent years, and in 2018-2030 it will accelerate only to 0.5 percent. Experts advise Russia should increase labor productivity through the public administration reform, as well as by increasing the duration of school education and reducing trade tariffs.Vasily Koltashov, the head of the Centre for Economic Studies at the Institute of Globalisation and Social Movements, told Pravda.Ru that OECD economists say the following: the USA will be just fine, and Russia will be just bad. "This is a strange affirmation, because the Russian economy has been developing in recent years in conjunction with processes in the global economy.""In China, the economy is growing, an economic growth is possible in India, but in most countries there is stagnation. In the European Union, there is depressive stagnation. If we look at the United States, their GDP growth is actually equal to the growth of the USA's public debt and costs for its servicing. Strangely enough, no one says that the Americans have their salaries too high and their labor productivity too low in proportion to their wages, which makes their products completely uncompetitive," Vasily Koltashov told Pravda.Ru.According to the economist, Russia can ensure the economic growth if the country ensures the development of its own production capacities. This is what the import substitution policy is aimed at - to expand the export range. "Russia needs to import only what Russia needs. We should not import poultry from the USA as we did during Yeltsin's times. We should import, for example, equipment that we cannot make ourselves," the expert said. OECD experts give harmful recommendations, Vasily Koltashov said in an interview with Pravda.Ru. The era of free trade is over, and one needs to fight on the world market. Therefore, "trade duties must be kept high and it is necessary to fight smugglers mercilessly.""It is highly important Russia should no longer obey the rules of the Washington Consensus. Instead, Russia should start dismantling those rules. We should refuse to obey the American patent law. Having started the war of sanctions, the Americans violated all rules of free unlimited trade, because politics has no right to interfere with commerce. We must have complete freedom to use technology, and then we will quickly overcome the backlog in productivity," the expert told  Pravda.Ru.Western experts always speak about the reduction of the role of state in economy. "Yet, they talk about our state, but not theirs. Their state can interfere in our economy as much as it wishes. Yet, even if we try to follow their pieces of advice, the Russian economy will collapse, just like the economy of any other country, because the time for such recipes has passed," Vasily Koltashov told Pravda.Ru. It is worthy of note that PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) published a report in 2017 titled "The World in 2050". PwC experts predicted that the Russian economy would become the strongest in Europe by this time. Reference: The Washington consensus is a type of macroeconomic policy that the IMF and the WB  recommended at the end of the 20th century for application in the countries that experience financial and economic crises. Recommendations to such countries reflected the common position of the US administration, and major international financial organisations, such as the IMF and the World Bank, as well as leading American think tanks.Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
Categories: Russia & CIS

Putin puts in place not only USA, but also China

Fri, 02/03/2018 - 15:46
Putin's Address to the Federal Assembly on March 1 came as a bombshell for the world. The speech that the Russian president delivered at Manezh Exhibition Hall just outside the Kremlin made everyone believe that Putin was presenting Russia's new fantastic weapons to the United States. However, some assumed that Putin was not talking about the United States of America as Russia's prime opponent. Retired general of the Italian army, co-author of the book "Geoeconomics: Tools, Strategy and Tactics," Carlo Jean, said that "Putin announced to the world that he reached nuclear parity with the United States again." According to the general, Russia has been compelled to run the colossal modernization of its nuclear arsenal since the time of Obama's presidency. The Russians started doing it in response to Obama's initiative to modernize the enormous American arsenal contrary to the Nobel Peace Prize that was given to him for his promise to dismantle it, the Italian general told website. According to him, the US plan is worth about 1.2 trillion dollars and spans 30 years. Forty billion of the amount was invested in the project this year. The significance of Putin's speech is that he has reaffirmed the strength of his country, which he had raised from ruins."We saw the Russian military power reviving in the Middle East, in Ukraine, in the Crimea," the expert said. Putin's call for an international dialogue concerns the Middle East, where Putin remains in a situation which he can not resolve."
Categories: Russia & CIS

New Russian missiles: The West makes Putin sick

Fri, 02/03/2018 - 10:08
In response to the proposal from Vladimir Putin to help the Defense Ministry come up with a name for latest arms systems, which the Russian President presented during the announcement of his Address to the Federal Assembly, the Russians started to make their offers. Two new types of Russian strategic weapons remain nameless for the time being: a global range cruise missile with a nuclear power plant and a nuclear-capable unmanned underwater vehicle. In addition, one needs to coin the name for he new laser weapons as well. "For those who are interested in military equipment, I would like to propose, I would ask them to propose the names for this new hardware," the Russian president said, introducing the new weapons of the Russian Federation, noting that one can submit their options on the websites of the Defense Ministry.
Categories: Russia & CIS

Putin parades Russia's new 'fantastic' weapons that no one else in the world has

Thu, 01/03/2018 - 14:19
Russian President Vladimir Putin, during his annual Address to the Federal Assembly presented new fantastic weapons as a response to the deployment of the US missile defense system and the USA's pullout from the Treaty on the Limitation of Strategic Nuclear Offensive Arms.The video parade of Russia's latest developments in armory has showed the whole world that Russia was a global leader in the development of defensive weapons. All these weapons are defensive, rather than offensive, Putin stressed. To explain the need to show the latest developments to the world, Putin referred to the history of relations between Russia and the United States. According to him, the USA had rejected all of Russia's proposals for cooperation on missile defense. "It would have created an atmosphere of confidence and it would have also guaranteed protection from mindless and globally dangerous single-handed use of nuclear weapons," Putin said. "Restrictions for missile defense systems would have made the potential aggressor vulnerable to a retaliatory strike," he said. According to Putin, Russia had long persuaded the United States not to ruin the ABM Treaty, "not to violate the strategic balance." "All was in vain. In 2002, the US unilaterally pulled out from the treaty," the president said. "But even after that, we had been trying for a long time to establish a constructive dialogue with them. We suggested we work together in the area to resolve concerns and preserve the atmosphere of confidence. At some point, it seemed that a compromise could be found. But no, all our suggestions, all of them, were rejected," Putin said. Therefore, several years ago Russia started working on state-of-the-art and second-to-none arms systems.First off, this is a new Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile that can overcome any missile defense system and has no limitations on its range. With a weight of 200 tons, the flight range of the Sarmat missile is larger than that of Bulava ICBM. The Voevoda (heavy intercontinental ballistic missile) has a flight range of 11,000 km, but the new system has practically no range limitations, Putin said after demonstrating a computer flight simulation of the Sarmat missile. He said that Sarmat can attack targets both via the North and the South Pole. "This is a very formidable weapon," the Russian president said.Russia also started developing weapons that did not use the ballistic trajectory at all. "We started developing new types of strategic weapons that do not use ballistic flight trajectories when moving to the target," the Russian president said. "Therefore, missile defense systems are useless and simply pointless against them," Putin said.It goes about the new missile with a small-sized nuclear superpowerful power plant, capable of maneuvering as long as possible bypassing ABM systems. The missile does not haму a name yet. It can be housed into a cruise missile, which will provide the latter with an unlimited range and invulnerability for missile and air defenses."A low-flying and low-visible cruise missile carrying a nuclear warhead of an unlimited range, unpredictable flight trajectory and a possibility to circumvent interception lines is invulnerable to all existing and prospective systems of both missile and air defense," Putin said. Afterwards, Putin proceeded to the hypersonic air-missile complex "Kinzhal" ("Dagger"). High-precision hypersonic airborne missile complex "Kinzhal" has been put on combat duty in the Southern Military District of Russia from December 2017. "The trials of the new missile complex have been completed successfully. On December 1 2017, the complex was put on pilot-combat duty at airfields of the Southern Military District," the president added.
Categories: Russia & CIS

Putin's Address to the Federal Assembly transforms to address to the whole nation

Thu, 01/03/2018 - 12:26
On March 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin started his traditional message to the Federal Assembly. As it could be seen in the beginning of the speech, Putin has not recovered from cold that he caught in the middle of February: he would often wipe his nose with a handkerchief, clear his throat and his voice is husky. This year's Address to the Federal Assembly has become the 14th for Putin and the 24th in the modern history of Russia. In 2018, the format of the event underwent a number of important changes in connection with the presidential election in Russia, which will be held two weeks after today's speech.This year's speech is addressed to all citizens of the country, rather than to the political elite.Secondly, most of the speech is devoted to how, according to the Kremlin, the next six-year rule of the current president will or should look like. Thus, Putin's Address to the Federal Assembly becomes his pre-election message. Thirdly, screens with infographics, diagrams and other visual presentations will be used for the first time to better visualise Putin's words for the population of Russia. Finally, this years's address has been relocated from the Kremlin's St. George Hall to the Central Exhibition Hall "Manege" outside the Kremlin walls that many associate with the inaccessibility and remoteness of power from the people. "It was at such turning points when Russia has repeatedly proved its ability to develop, upgrade, develop lands, build cities, conquer outer space, make grandiose discoveries," Putin said. "This constant aspiration for the future, the fusion of traditions and values, has ensured the continuity of our thousand-year history. We have also been through large-scale complex transformations, we have been able to cope with completely new and very complex economic, social challenges, and we have  preserved the unity of the country and established ourselves as a democratic society on a free, independent path. ""Stability is the basis, but not a guarantee for further development. We have no right to let the achieved stability lead to complacency, given that we still have to work a lot to solve many problems," he said. Russia is one of the leading powers with a defence and economic potential, but from the point of view of people's well-being, there is still a lot to be done. The welfare of citizens is the main and the key factor of Russia's development. "Our priority is the well-being of the people, we must give decent work to people," the president said, adding that as many as 20 million Russian citizens face poverty.The President set the task to reduce poverty twice in Russia within the upcoming six years. "We must solve one of the key tasks for the coming decade - to ensure a confident, long-term growth of real incomes of citizens, and halve the level of poverty in six years," Putin said. "Today we are obliged to set ourselves a goal of a fundamentally new level: by the end of the next decade, Russia must confidently enter the 80+ club of countries where life expectancy exceeds 80 years. They are such counties as Japan, France and Germany," said Putin. In today's Russia, life expectancy has increased and currently makes up 73 years. "This is not enough, of course," Putin said. For the dynamic development Russia should expand space of freedom in all spheres and strengthen institutions of democracy."To move forward, to develop dynamically, we must expand space of freedom in all areas. We must also strengthen institutions of democracy, local government, the structure of civil society and courts," he said adding that Russia should be open to the world, to new ideas and initiatives.Russia needs to ensure the dynamic development, in which no obstacles can stop the nation from moving forward confidently. The coming years will be decisive for the future of the country, Putin said. It goes about the development of technology. Lagging behind in the field of technology is unacceptable, the head of state said, because technological backlog entails risks of the loss of sovereignty. "They are waiting for a strong response from us, and we are ready to give such a response," Putin said.Those who can not take advantage and use the technological wave will drown, the Russian president said. The Russian president ordered regional authorities to improve the condition of roads."We need to double the spending on building roads," Putin said adding that eleven trip ion rubles are to be assigned to finance road construction in Russia. Pensions should be regularly indexed to exceed the level of inflation, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his annual Address to the Federal Assembly.He also pointed to the need to improve the quality of medical and social services for older people, to help those who was left alone and found themselves in a difficult situation.Putin set the goal to increase healthcare expenditure to five percent of GDP using sources of financing that would not restrain economic growth."In 2019-2024, the development of the healthcare system from all sources will require an annual average of more than 4% of GDP, but we must certainly strive for 5% of GDP," Putin said.The Russian authorities will support initiatives that will allow cities to reveal themselves in a new way. Special attention will be paid to social and infrastructure projects, Putin said.The Russian Federation should become one of the world centers for processing and storing informationRussia should become one of the world leaders for processing and storing large amounts of information, said Russian President Vladimir Putin."With the help of advanced communications, we will open all possibilities of the digital world to our citizens, and this is not only about modern services of on-line education or telemedicine, which in itself is extremely important," the Russian leader said.Russia needs to improve the quality of drinking water. There are settlements in Russia, where water is available only according to a schedule, Putin noted. The implementation of various projects connected with the ecology of Lake Baikal will improve the quality of life for a half of the population, he said. Pravda.Ru
Categories: Russia & CIS

USA works to attack from space

Wed, 28/02/2018 - 17:29
The United States will be able to strike blows from space already in a few years, the Chief of Staff of the US Air Force David Goldfein said. According to him, the US needs to achieve predominance in space just as much as it needs to achieve leadership in airspace.The agreement on principles of activities of states for the exploration and the use of outer space was signed in 1967. The document does not allow the deployment of nuclear weapons in space, but it does not ban the deployment of other types of weapons there either.In 2008, at the Conference on Disarmament, China and Russia introduced a draft treaty that would prohibit the deployment of any kind of weapons in space of and exclude the use of force against space objects. However, the document has not been adopted yet. Pravda.Ru asked an expert opinion from military expert of Arsenal of the Fatherland magazine, Alexei Leonkov, to find out what threat the new initiative of the United States poses to the world. "The Americans have been seriously dealing with issues of the militarisation of space. They have a number of programs on their completion stage. As soon as they launch weapons into space, another arms race will kick off. Russia proposed signing the treaty on the demilitarisation of outer space in 2011, but the Americans rejected the initiative, because many of its regulations did not leave them any loopholes to deploy any weapons into space save for reconnaissance vehicles."The militarisation of space is a component of the concept, which the US has been following to rebuild their armed forces. They plan to strike instant blows within an hour and develop several programs to create hypersonic aerial vehicles," the expert said.In addition, the United States has a project known as HTV Falcon. As part of this project, the Americans will put into orbit a spacecraft carrying assault elements made of solid alloys.If such a block descends from orbit at a speed of five to seven kilometres per second, one will not be able to shoot it down. In addition, upon touchdown, the object will strike the so-called kinetic impact that will cause destruction, but exclude contamination of the territory and other consequences. Moreover, it will be possible to retrieve the block and use it again. In addition, the disc can then be removed and used again. Nowadays, one can track and monitor any launch of any missile. In case of threat, the missile can be destroyed. The aerospace system allows to launch such vehicles from an airplane that ascends to an altitude of 15-20 kilometres and launches a second or a third stage. Tracking such a launch is practically impossible. "Russia has been working a lot lately to upgrade its air defences. We are all waiting for S-500 systems to arrive. Russian space engineers develop a new engine that will enable spacecraft to manoeuvre in space. They will be able to approach a satellite, and they identify it as dangerous, they will be able to destroy it. Unfortunately, however, Russia responds when it is too late, as it was the case with the import substitution. We could not support our producers until they imposed sanctions on Russia. Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
Categories: Russia & CIS

USA and Russia to add more fire and brimstone into the sauce of their relationship

Mon, 26/02/2018 - 18:21
US Ambassador to Russia John Huntsman and representatives of the Russian authorities continue the discussion about the interference of the United States in the upcoming elections in Russia. According to Huntsman, an exchange of harsh statements on the subject may escalate the relations between the two countries. His concerns are understandable, although Moscow has a lot to catch up with Washington at this point. Not that long ago, official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, stated that the United States was trying to interfere in the Russian elections because of the internal political situation in the USA. "They are interested in our elections for two reasons. First off, they need it to continue the domestic political rhetoric, which as you can see, does not reduce tensions," she said on NTV. The US is to hold intermediate elections to the Congress in November 2018. The question is whether the Democrats can intercept majority from the Republicans. Therefore, the widely advertised subject of the "Russian intervention" will, beyond any doubt, remain in high demand.Secondly, the USA needs to be traditionally involved in all internal processes in all regions of the world. "There is no region where Washington does not want to play.  The rule of no interference in domestic politics and lives of other states works and should work from their point of view for all, except for one exceptional country - the United States of America," added Zakharova.The American Ambassador to Russia stated when visiting Kazan that he was concerned about accusations of USA's interference in the Russian elections and said that it was impossible. "We are often accused that we interfere in elections, but it seems to me meaningless, as we very much value our relations. Sometimes I worry that such an exchange of statements would lead to unnecessary escalation," the diplomat said. Perhaps, the US ambassador to Russia remains the only American official who tries to observe proprieties. It is hard to imagine someone else in Washington could say things like "we value our relations" and "unnecessary escalation."As for facts, one can only recall the statement from the US State Department in connection with the refusal of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation to register blogger Alexei Navalny as a presidential candidate in late December of 2017. US officials said back then that such actions indicated the inability of the Russian authorities to ensure the implementation of basic freedoms and human rights in the country. They urged the Russian government to hold fair, transparent and free elections to guarantee "the free expression of the will of the people."President Putin reacted to the statement from the US State Department. "The persona that you mentioned (Navalny) - he is not the only one who was not admitted to the elections. For some reason, they do not name others," Russian President Vladimir Putin said during the meeting with the leaders of Russian media in January. "This, as it seems, indicates certain preferences of the US administration," he added. "This is the person, whom they would like to promote into the political sphere of Russia and see as the country's leader," Putin said noting that the Americans should have kept silence on the subject because they fouled up. Obviously, Moscow intends to serve the subject of elections with the same sauce for Washington. John Huntsman's remarks about "unnecessary escalation" if it was not for two aspects. Mr. Huntsman should send this message to the US administration. Last but not least, the escalation in the US-Russian relationship has gone too far primarily because of Washington's actions. To make matters worse, Washington is not going to stop. Oleg Artyukov Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
Categories: Russia & CIS

Russia works to calm and appease Western partners whose warships enter Black Sea

Tue, 20/02/2018 - 14:03
The United States has been increasing its presence in the Black Sea. USS Carney entered the water area of the Black Sea on February 17. According to representatives of the US Department of Defense, the purpose of the naval build up in the Black Sea is to reduce Moscow's sensitivity to the activity of US forces in the region. The method that the USA resorts to to "reduce sensitivity" is rather strange, because it will most likely bring the opposite result, given that deputy head of the State Duma Committee for Defense and Security, Yury Shvytkin, said that the arrival of another US Navy destroyer in the Black Sea was a provocation. Nevertheless, Washington believes that Russia will view the naval buildup in the Black Sea as a normal activity. Moreover, the neighborly presence of the military fleets of the two countries will help elaborate a better strategy of mutual behavior.
Categories: Russia & CIS

Why the West needs strong Russia and strong Putin

Fri, 16/02/2018 - 17:15
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said recently that the notorious "Kremlin report" materialised as a result of the undercover struggle of the American establishment with US President Donald Trump and the overall confrontation of the Washington elite, which has nothing to do with Russia's reality. Official spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, warned the US not to interfere in the presidential election in Russia in March, adding that the USA was already taking efforts in this direction. The "Kremlin report" controversy is essentially much ado about nothing. The expectation of the publication of the list was a lot more intriguing than the actual exposure of the copied and pasted list of Russian names from web pages of the presidential administration and Forbes magazine. Moreover, a warning from the US Treasury saying that new sanctions against Russia may potentially lead to negative side effects for the global financial markets has clarified the situation.Given that US officials are bad at observing their own "instructions" with respect to sanctioned individuals, it brings up one simple question: whom is this circus for? It goes about the recent visit of Russian security officials to the USA. Not only did they receive visas to the United States, but also demonstratively entered the buildings where they intended to hold meetings with US colleagues.One shall assume that it was Washington that wanted Russian security officials to come to the USA. CIA chief Mike Pompeo stated afterwards that such meetings were to ensure the safety of US citizens in the first place. Representatives of the US State Department said that such contacts were an exception for the sake of benefit. In my opinion, one can give a small ovation to the CIA director in his approach to public security.  Everyone in this world knows who is standing behind the procedure for creating a world-wide terrorist threat, and Washington is well aware of further unpredictable consequences for the Americans themselves.The Americans understand that effective anti-terrorist work without Russia is impossible. I am sure that the Americans took great care of their own image when they invited Russian security officials. It seems to me that the nonsensical "Kremlin report" and the "progress" in the Surkov-Volker format on the Ukrainian issue came as a result of the analysis of the current state off affairs in the world and Washington's realisation of the fact hat America no longer holds the initiative in the struggle for  global domination.At the same time, such an approach can be based on the interests of the United States in the first place, because the forthcoming elections to the US Congress this year can change the balance of forces. Neither Trump himself, nor his team need any surprises at this point. The Americans were forced to invite top Russian security officials to come to the States, because if meetings of such level had been held in Moscow, they would not have been allowed to take advantage of the game. One may assume that the West and the USA could be interested in the strong Russia and the strong Russian leader against the background of the global terrorist threat. After all, ensuring security is  much more important than following illusions of geopolitical domination in the world. The West understands that attempts to interfere in the Russian presidential election may lead to  unpredictable and lethal consequences for both politicians and global elites. Both Western politicians and "globalists" realise that it is only Putin who can handle all the sore points on the geopolitical map. The Americans have not been able to take successful pinpoint measures to ensure their own safety, because their strategy was always to create hotbeds of tensions and provocation. To crown it all, the West and the US have not learned to effectively counter the effects of their "colour revolutions." Many authors and bloggers in the West claim that it is too difficult for Putin to create a new image for himself to be able to surprise people on the eve of elections. Why would Putin need a new image taking into consideration the fact that he already has the reputation of one of the most influential politicians in the world?The image of Putin has been stable for long already, and Russia's recent successes in the field of defence and foreign policy are based on Putin's verified and pragmatic policy. Never before has the world respected Russia like this; never before have we been so proud of our own army and our arms. In my opinion, the March elections in Russia will be relatively smooth and quiet, because all measures to ensure the citizens' safety have been prepared very carefully. One may, of course, expect provocations, but they will mostly be informational in nature.If the West runs the risk of putting pressure on Russia, that Russians will stand up for their president and they will unite around him. This is what the phenomenon of the Russian people is about. Vladimir GromovPravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
Categories: Russia & CIS

Russia has developed its own helicopter carrier instead of French Mistrals

Thu, 01/02/2018 - 18:45
Helicopter carrier Priboi (Surf) is expected to become part of the new concept of the Russian Navy. The model of the new vessel was presented at the stand of the Russian fleet during the international forum in the Moscow region in 2015. Back then, military analysts said that the Priboy would be an alternative to French Mistrals that had never found themselves in the Russian waters.Russian shipbuilders took account of the experience of their French colleagues and offered their own concept of a ship for over-the-horizon landing purposes. The ship is to have a semi-trimmed body that ensures high resistance to disturbance at sea and provides for less resistance to movement while cruising.It is expected that the first of the two landing ships will pass into service at the Russian Navy in 2025, although no official statement has been made on the matter. The construction of the helicopter carrier, which is to become a universal landing ship, is scheduled to begin in 2020. Preparations have already started in St. Petersburg at Severnaya Verf shipyard. The mock-up of the Nevsky Design Bureau presented at the forum differed from the design of the French Mistral helicopter carrier. The stated specifications of the vessel do not match those of large amphibious ships of the Soviet period and most foreign analogues.The Russian Priboi vessel will have the displacement of 14,000 tons, a running speed of 19-20 knots and the draft of five meters. The navigation range will make up 6,000 nautical miles with the autonomy of 60 days. The length of the ship is expected to be 165 meters and width of 25 meters.The French Mistral helicopter carrier has different specifications: displacement of 22,000 tons, speed of 19 knots, and draft of 6.42 meters. The crew of the French landing ship is 177 men.A Mistral can carry 16 attack helicopters (Eurocopter Tiger), a tank battalion (40 French Leclerc) and 450 paratroopers. The ship can also be used as a hospital at the same time. In addition, Mistral helicopter carriers can also assume the role of floating headquarters. It is equipped with a French combat information management system, which unites several ships into a single whole. It remains unknown whether the new Russian vessel is going to have such a system. The Priboi will be able to carry eight deck-based Ka-52/Ka-52K helicopters, which is significantly less than with the French ship. Helicopters will receive a modified on-board radar station with a radius of up to 80 km.It is not ruled out that the Priboi will also carry Ka-27 helicopters, which is an antisubmarine chopper. However, the Ka-27 exists in two modifications - an anti-submarine and a search and rescue vehicle. It appears that the new ship will be able to carry out complex tasks rather than operate within a rigid framework of narrow specialisation.It is possible that the new Russian vessel will be able to carry Russia's first unmanned aircraft known as Chirok with a wingspan of 10 meters. The Priboi will be able to transport up to 900 troops, about ten tanks and fifty infantry vehicles. Two or four landing boats are also going to be on board. The ship is expected to be armed with three anti-aircraft missile systems Pantsir-M/Palitsa (SA-22 Greyhound).Many experts were puzzled by Russia's desire to create a ship like the Priboi. After all, a Mistral helicopter carrier can travel for 20,000 nautical miles. Yet, the ship is clearly intended for defence purposes to protect the extensive coastline along the Arctic Ocean, or in the Black Sea and along the chain of Kuril Islands. The ship is not designed to travel across oceans, and this is where the 6,000 mile range comes from. Alexander Artamonov Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
Categories: Russia & CIS