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Russia & CIS

Deputy Defence Minister Timur Ivanon arrested on charges of large bribery / Russia - Wed, 24/04/2024 - 13:02
Timur Ivanov, Russian Deputy Defence Minister, was arrested on April 23 in the case of bribery. He will remain in custody before June 2024. A Moscow court sent Deputy Defence Minister Timur Ivanov to a pre-trial detention centre. He was arrested for two months, until June 23. Ivanov was charged under Part 6 of Art. 290 of the Criminal Code (receiving a bribe on an especially large scale). According to investigators, Ivanov entered into a "criminal conspiracy with third parties to commit a crime and received a large bribe in the form of property services provided during contracting and subcontracting works for the needs of the Defence Ministry.”
Categories: Russia & CIS

Russia may lift moratorium on death penalty after Crocus City Hall attack / Russia - Tue, 26/03/2024 - 13:14
The monstrous terrorist attack at Crocus City Hall in Russia triggered discussions about the need to reinstate death penalty in the country. It is the legal side of the issue that is being discussed, since the moratorium was established by the Constitutional Court. Russian officials believe that the moratorium on the death penalty that was introduced in Russia in 1996 in connection with the entry into the Council of Europe should be suspended. State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin believes that there is no need for any referendum here — it would only be enough for the Constitutional Court to lift it. Lawyers believe executions will return to Russia Experts maintain that according to the Constitutional Court's clarification from 2009, the binding nature of this or that political decision shall remain unchanged. However, the head of the State Duma Committee on Legislation, Pavel Krasheninnikov, said that there are grounds for lifting the moratorium.
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Russia's gold reserves guarantee reliable protection from Western sanctions / Russia - Thu, 21/03/2024 - 16:49
Russia's gold reserves have become the "magic wand” with the help of which Russia easily survived the "hellish” sanctions of the West and achieved economic growth. The West admires Russia's policy of pegging the ruble to gold The Russian economy showed unprecedented growth of 3.6 percent in 2023 against the backdrop of more than 16,000 sanctions, as well as huge expenses for carrying out the special military operation in Ukraine. Russia's GDP is to grow by another 2.6 percent in 2024, the IMF said. Russia has been able to achieve that with the help of its "gold strategy,” The Conversation. com website said. The strategy is about pegging the ruble to gold and liberalising gold trade.
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Election in Russia: Putin scores nearly 90 percent / Russia - Mon, 18/03/2024 - 10:57
The voter turnout in the Russian presidential election set a new record as it amounted to 77.44 percent, Ella Pamfilova, the chairwoman of the Central Election Commission said. More than 87.113 million voters took part in the Russian presidential election. "Precinct election commissions across the country have completed their work. 99.74 percent of ballots have been entered into the state automated system, so we can fully summarise the results of the presidential election,” she said.
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Russia holding its first-ever three-day presidential election on March 15-17 / Russia - Fri, 15/03/2024 - 11:18
Russia is holding its first-ever three-day presidential election on March 15-17. First polling stations opened in the Far East at 23:00 Moscow time. As many as 112.3 million Russians can cast their vote in the election, the Central Electoral Committee said. There are four candidates competing for the post of the head of state: Vladimir Putin, current president; Leonid Slutsky, LDPR leader; Nikolai Kharitonov, candidate from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation; Vladislav Davankov, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma, New People party. Vladimir Putin The sitting head of state, Vladimir Putin, is running for election as a self-nominated candidate. In case of victory, it will be Putin's fifth term. Vladimir Putin first took office as President on March 26, 2000, when Boris Yeltsin resigned.
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Putin's 2024 Address to the Federal Assembly: Ukraine, the West and new major social projects / Russia - Thu, 29/02/2024 - 16:22
On Thursday, February 29, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered his annual Address to the Federal Assembly. In the beginning of the speech, he touched on the topics of the special military operation in Ukraine, relations with the West, strategic stability, and later proceeded to announce a number of new national projects, changes in economic and social sphere. About special military operation Putin recalled that 2024 marks the tenth anniversary of the "legendary Russian Spring.” "The love that the people living in Crimea and new regions share for their homeland evokes pride," Vladimir Putin said.
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Baijiahao: Russia makes brilliant move by exchanging US securities for gold / Russia - Thu, 08/02/2024 - 13:31
In 2023, central banks around the world purchased significant amounts of gold. China's activity in this area was particularly noticeable as the nation's gold reserves increased by 225 tons over the year. An article published on Chinese Internet platform Baijiahao says that Russia actively participated in the gold rush to increase its precious metals reserves. As a result, Russia's gold reserves reached a record 2.36 thousand tons. Russia is thus ranked fifth following the USA, Germany, Italy and France.
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Kremlin: Russia is not confronting Americans. Russia is confronting their ideology / Russia - Fri, 17/11/2023 - 12:00
Kremlin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov gave an interview to the MGIMO 360 news channel, in which he answered questions about the presidential election, Russia's nuclear rhetoric and enemies. According to Peskov, Russia's next president should be "the same as [Vladimir] Putin… or different, but the same." "Putin has not announced his intention to run. But I sincerely want to believe that he will do it. I have no doubt that he will win the election, I have no doubt that he will continue to be our president. We'll see," Peskov said.
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Russia pulls out from Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty / Russia - Tue, 17/10/2023 - 14:46
On Tuesday, October 17, the Russian Parliament, the State Duma, gave the first reading to the draft law to revoke the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Commenting on the vote on the bill, Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin wrote that the withdrawal of the ratification should "contribute” to ensuring Russia's security against the backdrop of the US refusal to ratify the CTBT. "Washington should finally understand that hegemony on their part does not lead to anything positive. There is a need for dialogue on the principles of mutual respect, absence of double standards, and non-interference in the affairs of sovereign states. The Russian Federation will do everything to protect its citizens and ensure that global strategic parity is maintained," Vyacheslav Volodin wrote on Telegram.
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How Advanced Is Russian-Chinese Military Cooperation?

Russian Military Reform - Mon, 26/06/2023 - 18:59

Reposting an article that was published today on War on the Rocks. Co-authored with Elizabeth Wishnick, Paul Schwartz, and Brian Waidelich.

There is widespread consensus among analysts that, although Russia and China have been moving toward closer cooperation through the entire post-Soviet era, the trend has accelerated rapidly since 2014. The specter of a Russian-Chinese partnership is deeply threatening to the United States, not only because it makes U.S. military planning more challenging, but also because it raises the possibility of two formidable adversaries joining forces to counter U.S. interests and potentially working in concert to attack U.S allies.

The strategic partnership, first established in 2001, was boosted in the mid-2010s by Russian leaders’ belief that Russia needed to seek out alternative relationships to survive its sudden confrontation with the West. China was the obvious candidate because it had a suitably large economy, was friendly to Russia, and was not planning to impose sanctions in response to the 2014 invasion of Ukraine. Xi Jinping’s rise to power also has contributed to a deepening of the partnership, as China under Xi shares President Vladimir Putin’s concern with regime security and the two leaders increasingly align on issues of global and regional security. Moreover, the two countries had a record of cooperation dating back to the early 1990s that could serve as a basis for expanded cooperation.

This article summarizes a CNA report that tested this proposition. To do so, we focused on measuring military cooperation, specifically on military diplomacy and other political aspects of the defense relationship, military-technical cooperation, and exercises and joint operations. Our goal is to provide an analysis of the dynamic of the cooperative relationship in the period since 2014, including a discussion of what the relationship allows the two partners to accomplish together that they cannot do alone, and what analysts can infer about where this bilateral relationship is headed.

To read the rest of the article, please click here.

Sanctions are working: Russia does not eat reserves, but builds them up / Russia - Tue, 02/05/2023 - 19:53
Starting from May, Russia may start buying foreign currency for its reserves again. The country's budget has stabilized thanks to the growth of oil and gas export revenues, Bloomberg reports. The growth in revenues from the sale of energy products is already close to the target level. Since February of this year, the Russian Ministry of Finance has been selling reserves in Chinese yuan to cover the budget deficit. In April, sales collapsed by 50 percent compared to the beginning of the year. From May, purchases are likely to begin, Bloomberg notes. Such purchases can be relatively small at first — an equivalent of about $200 million in yuan. For the time being, Russia currently replenishes the National Welfare Fund only by purchasing Chinese currency.
Categories: Russia & CIS

Russia after Putin plan is ready / Russia - Thu, 26/01/2023 - 19:26
The West has prepared a "Russia after Putin" plan and already chose its actors in the face of Garry Kasparov* and Mikhail Khodorkovsky*, who suddenly developed an affection for the Russian people. They are waiting for the "window of opportunity" to open. The anti-Russian "Action Committee" published an article in Foreign Affairs magazine under the telling title Don't Fear Putin's Demise. This committee is represented by two good old chaps who were recognised as foreign agents in the Russian Federation. They are Garry Kasparov* and Mikhail Khodorkovsky*. The article in Foreign Affairs says that the West needs to continue to supply Ukraine with modern weapons until Russia's military defeat and the collapse of the Putin regime. The committee also declared its readiness to take the reins of power in its hands afterwards.
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Why did Shoigu replace General 'Armageddon' Surovikin with Gerasimov? / Russia - Thu, 12/01/2023 - 19:09
On January 11, 2023, Army General Valery Gerasimov was appointed Commander of the Russian grouping of troops in the zone of the special military operation in Ukraine. Gerasimov thus replaced General Sergei Surovikin, who became his deputy. Gerasimov has an extensive experience of army service. He fought Chechen militants at the head of the army, organised Russia's special operation in Syria, and chaired the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces in November 2012. Valery Gerasimov was born on September 8, 1955 in Kazan, into a working class family. In 1977 he graduated from the Kazan Higher Tank Command School named after the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (currently the Kazan Higher Tank Command Red Banner School). In 1987, he graduated with honours from the Military Academy of Armoured Forces named after Marshal of the Soviet Union Malinovsky. In 1997 — from the Military Academy of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.
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Putin: I still think of Ukrainians as our brotherly nation. What is happening is not our fault / Russia - Wed, 21/12/2022 - 17:04
An expanded meeting of the Board of the Ministry of Defenсe was held in Moscow on December 21. During the meeting, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu delivered a keynote speech. President Vladimir Putin also spoke at the meeting. Below are key remarks that Shoigu and Putin made about the army, the special operation and priority tasks for 2023. Russian President Vladimir Putin: Of course, the hostilities and military operations are always associated with tragedy and loss of lives. We understand this very well, we are aware of this. But since this [conflict] is inevitable, better today than tomorrow. I think that everyone present in this auditorium perfectly understands what I am talking about. I still consider the Ukrainian people our brotherly nation. What is happening now is a tragedy, but it does not come as a result of our policy. We need to study NATO's experience and tactics in order to include that in the troops training programme and equipping the army. NATO weapons must be analyzed and used to build the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. Russia will continue to develop the nuclear triad. This is the main guarantee of maintaining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. As many as 150,000 of the 300,000 mobilised are now undergoing training at training grounds. The other half is in the zone of hostilities. This is enough for the special operation. The past mobilisation has revealed certain problems. To eliminate them, we need to modernise the system of military commissariats. The hostilities have identified issues that need to be worked on, including communication issues. The Ministry of Defence should be attentive to criticism. The ministry should respond to it in a timely manner. Everything a fighter needs must be modern and reliable. Officers and sergeants who have gained experience in the special operation should be assigned to new positions as a matter of priority. It is necessary to develop and use drones in the army — they must be everywhere. We need to expand the arsenal of modern attack weapons. Sarmat intercontinental missiles will be put on combat duty in the near future. The Admiral Gorshkov frigate with state-of-the-art Zirkon hypersonic missile systems will enter combat service in early 2023. We need to saturate the troops with everything necessary — from modern first-aid kits to sights. Everything is important on the battlefield. There are no restrictions to finance the Russian Armed Forces. The country gives the army everything they ask for. We've got everything. We look forward to constructive and meaningful negotiations with a visible end result that would ensure equal security for all, within a certain timeframe. We will not engage in the militarization of the country and economy. Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu:
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Putin's new decrees: Martial law, levels of readiness and territorial defence / Russia - Wed, 19/10/2022 - 18:44
On October 19, Putin signed a decree to implement martial law in four regions of Russia. He explained this by the fact that Ukrainian forces continue shelling the new Russian regions and committing acts of sabotage. According to the Russian authorities, the terrorist attack on the Crimean Bridge was carried out by the special services of Ukraine, he also said. "In this regard, let me remind you that in the Donetsk People's Republic, the Luhansk People's Republic, as well as in the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, before they joined Russia, martial law regime was already in effect. Now we need to formalize this regime within the framework of Russian legislation,” Putin said. Martial law shall be introduced starting from October 20 midnight. The government, as well as the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Federal Security Service and the National Guard, must submit proposals on measures that are planned to be applied in the territories where martial law has been declared within three days.
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Accession of new territories: Billions of dollars in expenses and trillions in revenues / Russia - Thu, 29/09/2022 - 18:25
The accession of new territories to Russia is justifiable from the economic point of view and will not have a negative impact on the Russian budget, the Kremlin said. As Russia readies to grow even larger, experts try to calculate how much it will cost the Russian budget to rebuild cities and restore peaceful life in the new territories. Some others try to find out how much profit the new territories will bring. The Washington Post announced the approximate cost of mineral deposits in the new regions — about 12.4 trillion dollars.
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What to expect from Putin's Address to Federal Assembly on September 30? / Russia - Mon, 26/09/2022 - 13:42
Putin's Annual Address to the Federal Assembly is scheduled for September 30. Kremlin sources say it will become even more historic and globally important than the 2014 address for the return of Crimea. Mass media and experts make their own suggestions about the content of Putin's speech that he is going to deliver to the Federal Assembly on September 30. There are a number of versions:
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Mikhail Gorbachev: The man who saved the world to Western applause of lies / Russia - Wed, 31/08/2022 - 16:24
Mikhail Gorbachev, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU in 1985-1991, the first and last president of the USSR, died on Tuesday evening, August 30, 2022. Gorbachev personifies a lot of things for both Russia and other nations of the world: perestroika, glasnost, the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, the end of the Cold War, the collapse of the Warsaw Pact Organization, a bloc created as a counterweight to NATO. Gorbachev took a course to improve relations with the West and contributed to the unification of Germany. At the same time, there was a series of bloody conflicts in the USSR during his rule. Many hold Gorbachev accountable for the violent dispersal of the rally in Tbilisi in 1989, when 21 people were killed. The same applies to events in Vilnius in January 1991. The results of Gorbachev's era still raise a lot of questions and debates. Some hold him up for the democratization of the regime, while others blame the politician for the collapse of the USSR. It is worthy of note that all the world leaders, with whom Mikhail Gorbachev had worked are now dead:
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Putin: Russia is building the new world order right now / Russia - Fri, 17/06/2022 - 17:41
According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, authorities of Western countries cling to the shadows of the past and believe that the dominance of the West will be constantly preserved. However, nothing lasts forever, Putin said. The changes that are currently taking place in the world are fundamental in their nature. The world will not be as it was before, President Vladimir Putin said in his speech at the plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. "It is erroneous to believe that one can sit and wait when the time of turbulent changes goes by, when everything goes back to where it was. It won't," Putin said.
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Dmitry Medvedev goes on emotional rampage about the West / Russia - Tue, 07/06/2022 - 18:20
Dmitry Medvedev's aggressive post on social media, in which he used politically incorrect vocabulary to express hatred of the West, caused mixed reactions. Dmitry Medvedev becomes Russia's "hawk" No.1 Dmitry Medvedev, who currently serves as Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation and heads the United Russia party, ex-president of the Russian Federation, expressed his point of view about Russia's relations with the West. "I hate them (Westerners). They are bastards and degenerates. They want us, Russia, dead. As long as I live, I will do my best to make them disappear,” Medvedev wrote on his Telegram channel.
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