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Anti Russian Hysteria Bulletin, 2015

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[Aug 08, 2015] France to pay Russia under $1.31 billion over warships

Notable quotes:
"... In exchange for the reimbursements, France will have full freedom to do whatever it wants with the two undelivered vessels, which contain some Russian technology, according to statements from Hollande's office and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday. ..."
"... The ships' builder, state-backed DCNS, said last month it was spending at least 1 million euros ($1.1 million) a month to hold on to them. ..."

PARIS (Reuters) - The total cost to France of reimbursing Russia for cancelling two warship contracts will be less than 1.2 billion euros ($1.31 billion), French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Thursday.

1. France says 'several' nations interested in Mistral warships AFP
2. Hollande, Putin reach agreement on cancelled warship deal AFP
3. Russia agrees compensation deal with France over Mistral warships AFP
4. 'Extremely difficult' for France to sell Mistral warships: experts AFP
5. France, Russia reach Mistral compensation deal: RIA Reuters

Le Drian said on radio RTL the initial price for the two Mistral helicopter carrier warships had been 1.2 billion euros, but France will have to pay less than that because the ships were not been finished and the contract was suspended.

"Talks between President Putin and President Francois Hollande have concluded yesterday. There is no further dispute on the matter," he said.

He added that the discussions had been held in an amiable way and that there were no further penalties to pay over the contract, which was canceled because of Russia's role in the Ukraine conflict.

"Russia will be reimbursed euro for euro for the financial commitments taken for these ships," he said, adding that the ships are now fully owned by the French state.

In exchange for the reimbursements, France will have full freedom to do whatever it wants with the two undelivered vessels, which contain some Russian technology, according to statements from Hollande's office and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

Le Drian said that France, whose navy already has three Mistral warships, would look for other buyers for the two ships.

"I am convinced there will be other buyers. Already a number of countries have expressed an interest for these two ships," he said.

Canada and Singapore have been mentioned as potential buyers. So has Egypt, which has just bought French fighter jets and naval frigates.

The ships' builder, state-backed DCNS, said last month it was spending at least 1 million euros ($1.1 million) a month to hold on to them.

DCNS is 35 percent owned by defense group Thales and 64 percent by the French state.

France last year suspended the Mistral contract, dating from 2011, after coming under pressure from its Western allies over Russia's role in the Ukraine crisis.

The long-discussed French sale was Moscow's first major Western arms purchase in the two decades since the fall of the Soviet Union. Nicolas Sarkozy, who was France's president when the order was struck, had hailed the signing of the contract as evidence the Cold War was over.

(Reporting by Geert De Clercq, editing by Larry King)

[Aug 08, 2015] Russia found good way to get even with Netherlands

Notable quotes:
"... The surprising thing is, as the article points out, of the flowers which Netherlands exports, not all of them are even produced locally (in Holland). A surprising number of the flowers come from third countries, such as Ecuador, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Kenya. ..."

yalensis, August 4, 2015 at 2:04 pm

Russia found good way to get even with Netherlands:

Starting 10 August, Russia will start limiting import of cut flowers from Netherlands.
The pretext is that all cut flowers from Netherlands must go through phyto-sanitary inspection before being admitted into the country.

In Russia, a whopping 90% of all cut flowers are imported. Of this, Europe supplies 40.5%; Netherlands by itself 38.5%. Hence, the new rule is sure to hit the Dutch in their pocketbooks.

The surprising thing is, as the article points out, of the flowers which Netherlands exports, not all of them are even produced locally (in Holland). A surprising number of the flowers come from third countries, such as Ecuador, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Kenya.

Recently Russia started forming direct ties with those countries and importing the flowers directly, bypassing Netherlands. This process is expected to continue.

Already, Ecuador is pushing out Netherlands in the Russian market for flowers.

Even China is getting in on the game, starting to supply some of the voracious Russian appetite for cut flowers. Given all these sources of the flowers, Russian consumers are not likely to suffer a deficit of flowers, the article concludes.

[Jun 29, 2015] Russian sanctions blockback
Fern , June 29, 2015 at 3:21 am
It would take a heart of stone not to laugh. What's the word I'm looking for? Ah yes, schadenfreude:-

"In 2015, the German economy is estimated to lose up to 290,000 jobs and receive $10 billion less than it could due to restrictive measure imposed on Moscow, the Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations told Contra Magazine. German exports to Russia last year fell by $7.2 billion.
"The current developments exceed our worst fears," committee chairman Eckhard Cordes said.
This nasty short-term implication of an unreasonable Western policy towards Russia is affecting many European countries, not only the largest economy in the EU. In total, the European Union could potentially lose as much as $110 billion and up to 2 million jobs from the anti-Russian sanctions, according to the committee's estimates.

But the long-term consequences are far more profound and damaging. German businesses now fear that their reliable and long-time Russian partners have pivoted to Asia, specifically China.

German businesses are concerned that this shift could be permanent. By the time restrictive measures are lifted, former ties and partnerships could be long gone."

"Former ties and partnerships could be gone". You bet. What's it gonna take before Europe's so called leaders wake up to the fact that US sanctions aren't just about trying to destroy Russia's economy, but also about doing serious, possibly terminal damage to the European one?

[Jun 22, 2015] The Boomerang Effect: Sanctions on Russia Hit German Economy Hard
Moscow Exile, June 22, 2015 at 10:36 am
Hasn't even registered on European economies.

Können Sie Deutsch?

Sanktionen kosten Europa bis zu 100 Milliarden Euro, Freitag, 19.06.2015, 10:09

Russlands Wirtschaftskrise hat verheerende Folgen für Europa. Zu diesem Ergebnis kommt eine Studie aus Österreich. Besonders betroffen ist Deutschland. Die Krise könnte das Land mittelfristig eine halbe Million Arbeitsplätze und Milliarden Euro an Wertschöpfung kosten.
Die Wirtschaftskrise in Russland hat weitaus schlimmere Konsequenzen für die Länder der Europäischen Union (EU) und die Schweiz als bislang erwartet. Nach einer Berechnung des Österreichischen Instituts für Wirtschaftsforschung (Wifo), die der europäischen Zeitungsallianz "Lena" exklusiv vorliegt, sind europaweit weit mehr als zwei Millionen Arbeitsplätze und rund 100 Milliarden Euro an Wertschöpfung in Gefahr.

Moscow Exile, June 22, 2015 at 10:44 am
The Boomerang Effect: Sanctions on Russia Hit German Economy Hard – Der Spiegel, July 21, 2014
Moscow Exile, June 22, 2015 at 11:32 am
No, it's not what I maintain, it's what these people report is happening:

German businesses suffer fallout as Russia sanctions bite (Financial Times)

German Businesses Urge Halt on Sanctions Against Russia – Wall Street Journal

In most countries, it would be highly unusual for corporate executives to inject themselves into geopolitics and matters of national security with the forcefulness that a number of German business leaders have. But many of Germany's largest companies have substantial Russian operations, built in some cases over decades, and worry that tough economic sanctions would rob them of a key growth market when their home market-Europe-is stagnant.

Germany's economy hit by trade sanctions on Russia – FT

The sanctions being placed on Russia by Europe are having a negative impact on the bloc, experts have said.

European countries have implemented a series of trade embargoes as a punishment for Russia's moves to annex Crimea and for its ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Rowan Dartington Signature's Guy Stephens said the eurozone had been "rife" with weak economic data and one of the biggest concerns was Germany because of its relationship with Russia.

"Sanctions against key trading partner Russia, coupled with declining demand from China, have begun to take their toll on Europe's largest economy," he said.

"Business confidence is also waning and GDP growth for next year has been downgraded to just 0.8 per cent, well below the government's forecast of 1.3 per cent. All in all, the decline of Europe's powerhouse could just turn out to be the ammunition that European Central Bank president Mario Draghi needs to begin a prolonged quantitative-easing campaign."

Michael Hartnett, chief investment strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said Europe's share of global profits had "collapsed".

"And complicating the immediate path of liquidity and corporate earnings in Europe is the ongoing collapse in the Russian rouble," he said.

[Feb 08, 2015] Remarks at the Congress of Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia

Russia revolt against neoliberal empire with the capital is Washington...
Notable quotes:
"... There is, however, an attempt to restrain our development by different means, an attempt to freeze the world order that has taken shape in the past decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, with one single leader at its head, who wants to remain an absolute leader, thinking he can do whatever he likes, while others can only do what they are allowed to do and only if it is in this leader's interests. Russia would never agree to such a world order. ..."
"... Maybe some like it, they want to live in a semi-occupied state, but we will not do it. However, we will not go to war with anyone either, we intend to cooperate with everyone. The attempts made, including through the so-called sanctions, do not make anyone happy in the final count, I believe. They cannot be effective when applied to such a country as ours, though they are doing us certain harm. We have to understand this and enhance our sovereignty, including economic sovereignty. Therefore, I would like to call on you to show understanding of what is going on and to cooperate with the state and the Government. ..."
[Feb 07, 2015] President of Russia


... ... ...

Finally, about a war waged against this country. Fortunately, there is no war. Let us not pay too much attention to this. There is, however, an attempt to restrain our development by different means, an attempt to freeze the world order that has taken shape in the past decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, with one single leader at its head, who wants to remain an absolute leader, thinking he can do whatever he likes, while others can only do what they are allowed to do and only if it is in this leader's interests. Russia would never agree to such a world order.

Maybe some like it, they want to live in a semi-occupied state, but we will not do it. However, we will not go to war with anyone either, we intend to cooperate with everyone. The attempts made, including through the so-called sanctions, do not make anyone happy in the final count, I believe. They cannot be effective when applied to such a country as ours, though they are doing us certain harm. We have to understand this and enhance our sovereignty, including economic sovereignty. Therefore, I would like to call on you to show understanding of what is going on and to cooperate with the state and the Government.

... ... ...

Someone also said a 'spectre of recession' is roaming the world. As we all know, it used to be the 'spectre of communism', and now it is a 'spectre of recession'. Representatives of our traditional confessions say it is enough to turn to God and we would not fear any spectres. However, a popular saying tells us that God helps him who helps himself. Therefore, if we work hard and retain a responsible attitude to our job, we will succeed.

Thank you very much.

[Feb 05, 2015] How Kremlin TV Covers America and Why It Matters by Lincoln Mitchell

Another signal from 2015 about forthcoming clump down on RT. RT is Russian propaganda site, but that does not exclude them providing high quality critical coverage of US and European events. In any case RT is preferable to BBC, although comparing two can get you at higher level of understanding, than watching just one
Notable quotes:
"... simply to portray an image of the US as a deeply flawed country with a corrupt and ineffective political system, ..."
"... at least as legitimate a representation of the realities of the U.S. and of American politics than, for example, Fox News, and generally offers considerably more depth than what is offered by how ABC, CBS or NBC present the news. ..."
"... Lincoln Mitchell is national political correspondent at the Observer. Follow him on Twitter ..."
Feb 03, 2015 | Observer

At first glance, Lee Camp, Thom Hartmann and Larry King don't seem to have a lot in common. Mr. Camp is a comedian who seeks to fuse progressive politics with humor. He is perhaps best known for his "Moment of Clarity" rants, where he colorfully, and occasionally profanely, analyzes an issue from the news. Mr. Hartmann is a progressive radio host, author and pundit who has written numerous books, articles and blogs. Larry King is legendary talk show host and erstwhile Little League coach. He has interviewed presidents, actors, musicians and even Oprah.

All three of these media personalities, however, share a link to RT (formerly Russia Today), the English-language arm of the Russian government's media operation. In less diplomatic terms, it is a Kremlin propaganda machine. RT's coverage of Russia, the conflict in Ukraine and other issues having direct bearing on Moscow's role in the world, include headlines that sound like they could have been written by Russian President Vladimir Putin himself. Mother Russia is portrayed as a force for only good and peace in the world. It's anchors and "reporters" have enthusiasm for euphemisms such as "stabilizing force" ("invading army") and "humanitarian aid" ("military intervention"). RT's coverage of Russian politics is heavy-handed, unsubtle and, in the U.S., not particularly effective. Despite RT's best efforts to gin up sympathy for Russia in the current Ukraine conflict, most mainstream politicians and media outlets continue to compete with each other to see who can demonize Putin most.

RT's coverage of the U.S., however, is different. While it certainly has an political agenda, one that is not of the left or the right, but simply to portray an image of the US as a deeply flawed country with a corrupt and ineffective political system, RT covers news, and offers perspectives that are not often seen American broadcast television. RT touts itself as offering a "second opinion," through its American media campaign, described by Ronn Torossian recently here at the Observer. RT is certainly neither objective or balanced, but it is at least as legitimate a representation of the realities of the U.S. and of American politics than, for example, Fox News, and generally offers considerably more depth than what is offered by how ABC, CBS or NBC present the news.

Recent RT headlines such as "Police Brutality Activists Angry Obama Glossed Over Ferguson 'Events' in SOTU" and "Majority of America's Public School Children are Living in Poverty," span a reasonably broad ideological range, but seek to consistently to portray the U.S. in a negative light. These are also stories that much of the media overlooks. This approach, and similar language can also be found in RT America's busy Twitter feed. If RT were funded through advertising or the largesse of a quirky American billionaire and only covered domestic politics here in the U.S., it would be viewed by many as a useful component of a diverse media environment. For these reasons, RT is now the most watched foreign news outlet in the U.S., with an audience that is estimated to be 6.5 times as large as its closest rival, Al Jazeera America.

In addition to its news coverage, RT has also become a clearinghouse for the opinions of American dissidents, including those on the far left like Noam Chomsky, the far, if twisted, right like Pat Buchanan, and increasingly fringe Libertarians like Ron Paul. While opinions like these are provocative, unpopular and often a little wacky, RT gives American audiences access to ideas and opinions that are considerably beyond the narrow bandwidth in which most debate in the media usually occurs. Clearly, these opinions are more extreme than the more genial progressive politics of Mr. Camp or Mr. Hartmann or of the generally politically neutral work of Mr. King, but taken as a whole, RT provides a very broad range of political outlooks.

Somebody who only watched RT would have an image of the U.S. as a place of radical economic inequality, widespread civil unrest, corrupt politicians, racial animus and a collapsing economy, committed to expanding its global influence through military might. Of course, somebody who watched only Fox News, would understand the U.S. to be a country that is in the throws of a socialist takeover where an oppressed minority of white, heavily Christian citizens, are now losing the country that was given to them by the almighty, to hordes of illegal immigrants, non-whites, homosexuals and atheists. Both Fox and RT are propaganda organs espousing very biased views of American politics. The major difference may be that Fox represents one extreme of the domestic political spectrum while RT is the propaganda arm of a foreign government. While RT draws more viewers than other foreign news networks like CCTV from China, Al Jazeera America or even the BBC, its viewership is dwarfed by major American news stations like Fox; RT America has 194,000 Twitter followers compared with Fox News has 4.83 million Twitter followers.

But dismissing RT's coverage as simply a Russian propaganda, however, is a mistake. The insights of people like Mr. Camp and Mr. Hartmann, while not universally agreed upon, certainly resonate with many Americans. It is significant that it is only on a Moscow-funded station that voices like those can be heard, reflecting how the major media outlets still only present a relatively narrow range of views on most topics. Second, providing a critical and resonant portrayal of American politics to American viewers will eventually make those viewers more open to RT's dubious presentation of foreign affairs and Russian politics. The Kremlin hopes that the same people who watch RT's US programming and wonder why stories about, for example, why the US is classifying information about aid to Afghanistan, will soon begin to question why so few voices on American media are critical of the Ukrainian government.

Consider RT's coverage of American politics as a bait and switch, from critical insight about the US to dishonest propaganda regarding Russia.

Lincoln Mitchell is national political correspondent at the Observer. Follow him on Twitter

Alfred Cossi Chodaton

RT does nothing different from what major media outlets do.

Ilya Nesterovich

Lie, lie and lie. That's all. RT show different opinion from official, and, of course, USA doesn't like it.

Mstislav Pavlov

In Russia there is no need for propaganda. Your media better than any propaganda. Kremlin even do not need anything :)

[Jan 09, 2015] Latvia proposes 'alternative' to Russian TV propaganda

Jan 07, 2015 |
et Al , January 8, 2015 at 1:29 pm

euractiv: Latvia proposes 'alternative' to Russian TV propaganda

Latvia, which took over the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU on 1 January, intends to launch a Russian-language TV channel to counter Kremlin propaganda, with EU support, a high ranking government official told journalists in Riga

Some 40% of Latvians are native Russian speakers and regularly watch several Russian TV channels, including RBK Ren TV, RTR Planeta, NTV Mir .

Makarovs regretted that the majority of Russian channels broadcasting for Latvia were registered in the UK and in Sweden, and that the regulators of those countries paid no attention to the content and put no pressure whatsoever on the broadcaster. He also argued that the procedure should be that if a media is targeted toward a specific country, it should be registered in that particular country .

Firstly, the Balt states announced at various times over the last year or so that they would ban or block Russian channels. But they can't. They are EU member states, so this whole alternative programs is an actually an admission of defeat.

Secondly, if Russian propaganda is so absurd and unbelievable, then why would alternative programing be necessary? It is cognitive dissonance par excellence!

What is fairly clear is that the Pork Pie News Networks of 'Europe' and the US are facing much more skepticism than ever before, mostly through incompetence and simply repeating the same old tropes and propganda tactics they have been using for over twenty years now. It doesn't fool anyone any more.

As for Latvia's presidency of the EU, it is little more than spokesstate since the rotating Presidency was gutted a few years ago to make it much more efficient (i.e cheaper). With small countries, yes they choose certain aspects that they wish to promote for their six months of fame, but the logistics and heavy lifting is usually done (sponsored) by a larger EU state like UK, Nl, DE, Fr etc..). It's not that much different to Mogherini's job as spokeshole for the European External Action Service, aka the EU's foreign minister (and Katherine 'Gosh!' Ashton before her). They don't make policy, just vocalized the lowest common denominator position of 28 EU member states.

[Jan 05, 2015] US and Russia in danger of returning to era of nuclear rivalry by Julian Borger

Sign of emergence of this anti-Russian witch hunt from 2015...
Notable quotes:
"... This is just US propaganda to get the increased military spending through congress. ..."
Jan 01, 2015 | The Guardian
A widening rift between Moscow and Washington over cruise missiles and increasingly daring patrols by nuclear-capable Russian submarines threatens to end an era of arms control and bring back a dangerous rivalry between the world's two dominant nuclear arsenals.

Tensions have been taken to a new level by US threats of retaliatory action for Russian development of a new cruise missile. Washington alleges it violates one of the key arms control treaties of the cold war, and has raised the prospect of redeploying its own cruise missiles in Europe after a 23-year absence.

On Boxing Day, in one of the more visible signs of the unease, the US military launched the first of two experimental "blimps" over Washington. The system, known as JLENS, is designed to detect incoming cruise missiles. The North American Aerospace Command (Norad) did not specify the nature of the threat, but the deployment comes nine months after the Norad commander, General Charles Jacoby, admitted the Pentagon faced "some significant challenges" in countering cruise missiles, referring in particular to the threat of Russian attack submarines.

Those submarines, which have been making forays across the Atlantic, routinely carry nuclear-capable cruise missiles. In the light of aggressive rhetoric from Moscow and the expiry of treaty-based restrictions, there is uncertainty over whether those missiles are now carrying nuclear warheads.

The rise in tension comes at a time when the arms control efforts of the post-cold-war era are losing momentum. The number of strategic nuclear warheads deployed by the US and Russia actually increased last year, and both countries are spending many billions of dollars a year modernising their arsenals. Against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine and a failing economy, Vladimir Putin is putting increasing emphasis on nuclear weapons as guarantors and symbols of Russian influence. In a speech primarily about the Ukrainian conflict last summer, Putin pointedly referred to his country's nuclear arsenal and declared other countries "should understand it's best not to mess with us".

The Russian press has taken up the gung-ho tone. Pravda, the former mouthpiece of the Soviet regime, published an article in November titled "Russian prepares a nuclear surprise for Nato", which boasted of Russian superiority over the west, particularly in tactical nuclear weapons.

"The Americans are well aware of this," the commentary said. "They were convinced before that Russia would never rise again. Now it's too late."

Some of the heightened rhetoric appears to be bluster. The new version of the Russian military doctrine, published on 25 December, left its policy on nuclear weapons unchanged from four years earlier. They are to be used only in the event of an attack using weapons of mass destruction or a conventional weapon onslaught which "would put in danger the very existence of the state". It did not envisage a pre-emptive strike, as some in the military had proposed.

However, the new aggressive tone coincides with an extensive upgrading of Russia's nuclear weapons, reflecting Moscow's renewed determination to keep pace with the US arsenal. It will involve a substantial increase in the number of warheads loaded on submarines, as a result of the development of the multi-warhead Bulava sea-launched ballistic missile.

The modernisation also involves new or revived delivery systems. Last month Russia announced it would re-introduce nuclear missile trains, allowing intercontinental ballistic missiles to be moved about the country by rail so they would be harder to target.

There is also mounting western anxiety over Russian marketing abroad of a cruise missile called the Club-K, which can be concealed, complete with launcher, inside an innocuous-looking shipping container until the moment it is fired.

However, the development that has most alarmed Washington is Russian testing of a medium-range cruise missile which the Obama administration claims is a clear violation of the 1987 intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF) treaty, the agreement that brought to an end the dangerous standoff between US and Russian cruise missiles in Europe. By hugging the contours of the Earth, cruise missiles can evade radar defences and hit strategic targets with little or no notice, raising fears on both sides of surprise pre-emptive attacks.

At a contentious congressional hearing on 10 December, Republicans criticised two of the administration's leading arms control negotiators, Rose Gottemoeller of the State Department and Brian McKeon of the Pentagon, for not responding earlier to the alleged Russian violation and for continuing to observe the INF treaty.

Gottemoeller said she had raised US concerns over the new missile "about a dozen times" with her counterparts in Moscow and Obama had written to Putin on the matter. She said the new Russian cruise missile – which she did not identify but is reported to be the Iskander-K with a reach in the banned 500-5,500km range – appeared to be ready for deployment.

The Russians have denied the existence of the missile and have responded with counter-allegations about American infringements of the INF treaty that Washington rejects.

McKeon said the Pentagon was looking at a variety of military responses to the Russian missile, including the deployment of an American equivalent weapon.

"We have a broad range of options, some of which would be compliant with the INF treaty, some of which would not be, that we would be able to recommend to our leadership if it decided to go down that path," McKeon said. He later added: "We don't have ground-launched cruise missiles in Europe now, obviously, because they are prohibited by the treaty but that would obviously be one option to explore."

Reintroducing cruise missiles into Europe would be politically fraught and divisive, but the Republican majority in Congress is pushing for a much more robust American response to the Russian missile.

The US military has also been rattled by the resurgence of the Russian submarine fleet. Moscow is building new generations of giant ballistic missile submarines, known as "boomers", and attack submarines that are equal or superior to their US counterparts in performance and stealth. From a low point in 2002, when the Russian navy managed to send out no underwater patrols at all, it is steadily rebounding and reasserting its global reach.

There have been sporadic reports in the US press about Russian submarines reaching the American east coast, which have been denied by the US military. But last year Jacoby, the head of Norad and the US northern command at the time, admitted concerns about being able to counter new Russian investment in cruise missile technology and advanced submarines.

"They have just begun production of a new class of quiet nuclear submarines specifically designed to deliver cruise missiles," Jacoby told Congress.

Peter Roberts, who retired from the Royal Navy a year ago after serving as a commanding officer and senior UK liaison officer with the US navy and intelligence services, said the transatlantic forays by Akula-class Russian attack submarines had become a routine event, at least once or twice a year.

"The Russians usually put out a sortie with an Akula or an Akula II around Christmas It normally stops off Scotland, and then through the Bay of Biscay and out over the Atlantic. It will have nuclear-capable missiles on it," he said.

Roberts, who is now senior research fellow for sea power and maritime studies at the Royal United Services Institute, said the appearance of a periscope off the western coast of Scotland, which triggered a Nato submarine hunt last month, was a sign of the latest such Russian foray.

He said the Russian attack submarine was most likely heading for the US coast. "They go across to eastern seaboard, usually to watch the carrier battle groups work up [go on exercises].

"It's something the Americans have been trying to brush off but there is increasing concern about the American ability to track these subs. Their own anti-sub skills have declined, while we have all been focused on landlocked operations, in Afghanistan and so on."

The Akula is being superseded by an even stealthier submarine, the Yasen. Both are multipurpose: hunter-killers designed to track and destroy enemy submarine and carrier battle groups. Both are also armed with land-attack cruise missiles, currently the Granat, capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

On any given sortie, Roberts said, "it is completely unknown whether they are nuclear-tipped".

A Russian media report described the Akula as carrying Granat missiles with 200-kilotonne warheads, but the reliability of the report is hard to gauge.

The US and Russia removed cruise missiles from their submarines after the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction treaty (Start), but that expired at the end of 2009. Its successor, New Start, signed by Obama and the then Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, in 2010 does not include any such limitation, nor does it even allow for continued exchange of information about cruise missile numbers.

Pavel Podvig, a senior research fellow at the UN Institute for Disarmament Research and the leading independent analyst of Russian nuclear forces, said: "The bottom line is that we don't know, but it's safe to say that it's quite possible that Russian subs carry nuclear SLCMs [submarine-launched cruise missiles].

Jeffrey Lewis, an arms control expert at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and founding publisher of, believes the JLENS blimps are primarily a response to a Russian move to start rearming attack submarines with nuclear weapons.

"For a long time, the Russians have been saying they would do this and now it looks like they have," Lewis said. He added that the fact that data exchange on cruise missiles was allowed to expire under the New Start treaty is a major failing that has increased uncertainty.

The Russian emphasis on cruise missiles is in line with Putin's strategy of "de-escalation", which involves countering Nato's overwhelming conventional superiority with the threat of a limited nuclear strike that would inflict "tailored damage" on an adversary.

Lewis argues that Putin's accentuation of Russia's nuclear capabilities is aimed at giving him room for manoeuvre in Ukraine and possibly other neighbouring states.

"The real reason he talks about how great they are is he saying: 'I'm going to go ahead and invade Ukraine and you're going to look the other way. As long as I don't call it an invasion, you're going to look at my nuclear weapons and say I don't want to push this,'" he said.

With both the US and Russia modernising their arsenals and Russia investing increasing importance its nuclear deterrent, Hans Kristensen, the director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, said we are facing a period of "deepening military competition".

He added: "It will bring very little added security, but a lot more nervous people on both sides."

InvisibleOISA -> Ethelunready 4 Jan 2015 23:53

Just how many warheads have the Iranians lofted towards Europe in the past quarter century? Anyhow, the Yanqui ABM system is a pathetic blunderbuss. But extremely profitable for Boeing.

For instance:

US ABM test failure mars $1bn N. Korea defense plan
06.07.2013 10:03

A $214-million test launch of the only US defense against long-range ballistic missile attacks failed to hit its target over the Pacific Ocean, according to the Missile Defense Agency. There have been no successful interceptor tests since 2008.

InvisibleOISA 4 Jan 2015 23:41

Hey Julian. What a wussy propaganda piece. How about a few facts to put things in perspective.

"All told, over the next decade, according to the U.S. Congressional Budget Office, the United States plans to spend $355 billion on the maintenance and modernization of its nuclear enterprise,[3] an increase of $142 billion from the $213 billion the Obama administration projected in 2011.[4] According to available information, it appears that the nuclear enterprise will cost at least $1 trillion over the next 30 years.[5]

Beyond these upgrades of existing weapons, work is under way to design new weapons to replace the current ones. The Navy is designing a new class of 12 SSBNs, the Air Force is examining whether to build a mobile ICBM or extend the service life of the existing Minuteman III, and the Air Force has begun development of a new, stealthy long-range bomber and a new nuclear-capable tactical fighter-bomber. Production of a new guided "standoff" nuclear bomb, which would be able to glide toward a target over a distance, is under way, and the Air Force is developing a new long-range nuclear cruise missile to replace the current one."

And what about NATO, the u$a poodle.


"The new B61-12 is scheduled for deployment in Europe around 2020. At first, the guided bomb, which has a modest standoff capability, will be backfitted onto existing F-15E, F-16, and Tornado NATO aircraft. From around 2024, nuclear-capable F-35A stealthy fighter-bombers are to be deployed in Europe and gradually take over the nuclear strike role from the F-16 and Tornado aircraft."

Source: Arms Control Association

VikingHiking -> Rudeboy1 4 Jan 2015 23:25

To sum up the results of the lend-lease program as a whole, the Soviet Union received, over the war years, 21,795 planes, 12,056 tanks, 4,158 armored personnel carriers, 7,570 tractor trucks, 8,000 antiaircraft and 5,000 antitank guns, 132,000 machine-guns, 472 million artillery shells, 9,351 transceivers customized to Soviet-made fighter planes, 2.8 million tons of petroleum products, 102 ocean-going dry cargo vessels, 29 tankers, 23 sea tugboats and icebreakers, 433 combat ships and gunboats, as well as mobile bridges, railroad equipment, aircraft radar equipment, and many other items."

"Imperialist Powers paid for the blood of Soviet soldiers with limited supplies of obsolete weapons, canned food and other war materiel which amounted to about 4% of total Soviet production during WarII".

During Cold War all traces of Lend Lease and after UNRRA help were meticulously sanitized and removed; photos of soviet soldiers riding Shermans, Universal Carriers or manning AAA guns were excluded from books and never appeared in magazines.

Five eights of the total German War effort was expended on the Russian front.

So it was a combination of allied arms and resources which kaputed the Nazi's, namely
1) The Russian Army
2) THE American Air Force
3) The British Navy and Merchant Marine
4) Hitler's Stupidity

Beckow -> StrategicVoice213 4 Jan 2015 23:03

Are you done with your boasting? By the way, you forgot Hollywood and GMO foods.

Leaving aside the one-side nature of your list (internet or web were also invented in CERN by a European team), technology or business are not the same as intelligence.

Most Americans simply don't understand the world, its history, other cultures, don't see others as having independent existence with other choices. They don't get it because they are isolated and frankly quite lazy intellectually. Thus the infamous "we won WW2 in Normandy" boast and similar bizarre claims.

Are other often similar? Yes, absolutely. But most of the others have no ability to provoke a nuclear Armageddon, so their ignorance is annoying, but not fatal. The article was about the worsening US-Russia confrontation and how it may end (or end everything). The fact that US has actively started and provoked this confrontation in the last few years, mostly out of blissful ignorance and endless selfishness. Thus we get "defensive missiles against Iran on Russia's border", coups in Ukraine, endless demonizations...well, I think you get the picture. If you don't, see the original post

irgun777 4 Jan 2015 22:59

" increasingly daring patrols by nuclear-capable Russian submarines "

What motivates the Cry Wolf tune of this article ?
Don't we also conduct nuclear and nuclear capable submarine patrols ? Even our allies
and friends operate routinely " nuclear capable submarines "

Our military budget alone is 10 times the Russian , we have over 600 military bases around
the world , some around Russia. We still continue to use heavy , nuclear capable bombers
for patrol , something Russia stopped doing after the Cold War. Russia did not
support and financed a coup in our neighbors . Something Ron Paul and Kissinger warned us
not to do.

Georgeaussie 4 Jan 2015 22:55

This is just US propaganda to get the increased military spending through congress. I think its interesting that Americans believe their military personal are defending there country when the United States is usually the aggressor. And that is my view,. And as for people saying Russian bots and Korean bots(which i don't know if they exist) you are sounding just as bad as them, every country has propaganda and everyone has a right to believe what they want, wether its western media or eastern media. People on here don't need people like you with you extreme biases, yes have an opinion, but don't put other peoples opinion down because you think your right, collectively there is no right or wrong, do you know whats going on around closed doors in your govt? Well sorry you probably know less then you think, i like to read different media reports and its interesting, do you "obama bots" know that Russia is helping look for the black box of the air asia flight? I just thought it was interesting not reading that in my "western media" reports over the weeks. So comment and tell me if you honestly think "western bot" are correct and "eastern bots" aren't b/c i would like too know how there i a right and and wrong. In my OPINION there isn't if anything you are both wrong.

Veritas Vicnit 5 Jan 2015 00:05

p1. 'Russian General: We Are At War'

"Gen. Leonid Ivashov... issued a sharp warning about the nature of the strategic crisis unfolding in Ukraine: "Apparently they [US and EU officials] have dedicated themselves, and continue to do so, to deeply and thoroughly studying the doctrine of Dr. Goebbels. . . They present everything backwards from reality. It is one of the formulas which Nazi propaganda employed most successfully: . . . They accuse the party that is defending itself, of aggression. What is happening in Ukraine and Syria is a project of the West, a new type of war: ... wars today begin with psychological and information warfare operations. . . under the cover of information commotion, U.S. ships are entering the Black Sea, that is, near Ukraine. They are sending marines, and they have also begun to deploy more tanks in Europe. . . We see that on the heels of the disinformation operation a land-sea, and possibly air operation is being prepared." (Russian General: 'We Are At War', February 22, 2014)

"what David Petraeus has done for counter-insurgency warfare, Stuart Levey [later David Cohen] has done for economic warfare" [Sen. Joe Lieberman]

Russian military sources have disclosed their recognition that offensive operations (economic warfare, proxy warfare, regime change operations, etc.) are active as is the mobilisation of military architecture.

MattTruth 5 Jan 2015 00:05

Russia is not a threat to USA. The elite of USA just need a war and need it soon.

afewpiecesofsilver -> Continent 5 Jan 2015 00:00

That's exactly why the US/NATO is trying to 'wedge' Ukraine into their EU. Then they can develop military bases in traditionally, socially, culturally, verbally Russian Ukraine, right on Russia's border....After the well known, publicized and continuous international bullying and abuse of Russia and Putin over the last couple of years, and now the recent undermining of it's oil economy by US and NATO, anyone who is condemning Putin and Russia obviously can't read.

moosejaw12999 5 Jan 2015 00:00

Might give a few minute warning on cruise missiles but will do nothing against drones will it Barry ? When you start a game , you should think for a minute where it might end . Americas worst enemy is always her own disgruntled people . Drones will be the new weapon of choice in Americas upcoming civil war .

Ross Kramer 4 Jan 2015 23:58

"Russia is a regional power" - Obama said last year. Yeah, sure. Just by looking at the map I can see it is twice bigger than the US in territory. Its tails touches Alaska and its head lays on the border with Germany. How on Earth the biggest country in the world with the nuclear arsenal equal to that of the US can be "just a regional power"?

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