The Rise of the Russian Empire: Russo-Armenian Relations

English board for english discussions.

Moderator: Supermod

Postby Armenian on Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:48 am

Russia Accused of Missile Firing in Georgian Air Space


The former Soviet republic of Georgia is accusing Russia of firing a missile inside its air space. The weapon apparently did not explode, but as VOA correspondent Peter Fedynsky reports from Moscow, the incident again raises tensions between Georgia and Russia.

Georgia called in the Russian ambassador to Tbilisi to protest the alleged missile firing and violation of Georgian airspace. A representative of the country's Interior Ministry, Shota Utiashvili, told VOA that two Russian planes flew about 60 kilometers into Georgian airspace. He says the missile landed near the village of Tsitelubani, 60 kilometers from the capital, Tbilisi. "The missile," says Utiashvili, "landed about 30 meters from the home of a local resident and created a narrow hole about five-meters deep, but there were no casualties," he said. Officials in Russia strongly deny the Georgian accusations.

There were no Russian military flights in the area all day Monday, nor were there any in the evening, overnight or on Tuesday morning," said Colonel Alexander Drobyshevsky, a spokesman for the Russian air force. "The border of the sovereign state of Georgia was not violated." Interior Ministry spokesman Utiashvili says the planes flew at high altitude and their markings were not visible from the ground. But Georgian Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili says the planes were identified as Sukhoi-24 attack aircraft, which entered Georgian airspace from Russia late Monday.

Georgian officials are studying the site where they say the missile landed, which was shown on television with debris that had Cyrillic lettering. The alleged missile firing occurred near the rebel Georgian province of South Ossetia. Officials there are blaming Georgia for staging the missile launch in an effort to discredit Russia. Georgian leaders accuse Moscow of supporting South Ossetian separatists. Relations between Tbilisi and Moscow have become steadily worse since the 2003 election of Georgian President Mikhail Shaakashvilli, a pro-Western leader who is seeking closer ties with NATO.


Russia demands probe into alleged Georgian airspace violation

The Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday it insisted on an immediate investigation into an alleged infringement of Georgian airspace by Russian fighters in the South Ossetian conflict zone. Georgian Minister for Conflict Resolution David Bakradze said earlier Tuesday that on the night of August 6 two Russian Su-25 fighters illegally entered Georgian airspace and fired a missile at a radar station near the city of Gori. The missile did not explode and the radar was not damaged, he said.

The Russian ministry said: "We are certain that the results of an investigation, which we believe should be started immediately, will show us the true organizers and participants of such dangerous games." Vyacheslav Kovalenko, the Russian ambassador to Georgia, was summoned earlier Tuesday to the Georgian Foreign Ministry in connection with the incident. Speaking to reporters after meeting with Georgian Foreign Minister Gela Bezhuashvili, Kovalenko said: "Russian aircraft did not violate Georgia's airspace. I am completely ruling out such a possibility."

His statement echoes earlier denials by Russian Air Force officials. "Russian aircraft did not fly over Georgian territory either Monday evening or Tuesday morning," said Colonel Alexander Drobyshevsky, a spokesman for the Russian Air Force. "They did not violate Georgian airspace." Meanwhile, Georgia's breakaway province of South Ossetia accused Tbilisi of violating its airspace and firing missiles at its territory. "Georgia has conducted an air strike on the territory of South Ossetia," the self-declared government's press service said in a statement Tuesday.

"A Georgian aircraft, probably a Su-25 or L-39, flew over the village of Tsinagar and fired air-to-ground missiles in the Gromski Gorge," the statement said, adding there were no reports of casualties or damage. South Ossetia, which declared its independence from Georgia following a bloody conflict that left hundreds dead in 1991-1992, is a sensitive issue in bilateral relations between Georgia and Russia. Georgian authorities are seeking to bring it back under their control, and have accused Russia, which has peacekeepers in the area, along with Georgian and South Ossetian troops, of encouraging separatist elements.

Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:

Գարեգին Նժդեհ
Posts: 556
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:46 pm
Location: Cyberia

Postby Armenian on Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:49 am

Russia's strategic aviation holds tactical exercises in Arctic

Tu-160 Blackjack Strategic Bomber

Russia's strategic aviation started Wednesday an active phase of military exercises to fly over the North Pole and conduct test launches of cruise missiles, an Air Force spokesman said. During the active phase, four Tu-160 Blackjack, 12 Tu-95 Bear-H strategic bombers, and 14 Tu-22 Backfire-C theater bombers will conduct simulated bombing raids, and more than ten cruise missile launches at the Pemboi range near Vorkuta [in Russia's Arctic], and fly over the North Pole, the Pacific, and Atlantic Oceans.

"On Wednesday, Tu-160 and Tu-95 bombers conducted eight successful [test] launches of cruise missiles at designated targets in northern Russia," Colonel Alexander Drobyshevsky said, adding that the planes made over 40 sorties throughout the day. The Russian aircraft were closely monitored by NATO fighters during the missions. The spokesman said six long-range aviation regiments were involved in the exercise to practice interaction with fighter aircraft, air refueling, and overcoming enemy air defenses. Units of the 37th Air Army of the Strategic Command will conduct a total of six tactical exercises in August as part of an annual training program, the Defense Ministry earlier said in a statement. According to various sources, the Russian Air Force currently deploys 141 Tu-22M3 bombers, 40 Tu-95MS bombers, and 14 Tu-160 planes.


Russia to equip 20 battalions with S-400 air defense systems

S-400 Triumf Air Defense System

More than 20 Russian battalions will be equipped with S-400 anti-missile systems by 2015, the country's top military official said Tuesday. The S-400 Triumf (NATO codename SA-21 Growler) is a new air defense missile system developed by the Almaz Central Design Bureau as an upgrade of the S-300 family. "Over two dozen battalions are to be equipped with such systems by 2015," Yury Baluyevsky, chief of staff of the Russian Armed Forces, said during a meeting with President Vladimir Putin. Monday saw the first such battalion come into operation in the Moscow Region, which Baluyevsky said was good news, as the system was based on new solutions and promising technologies. "There are almost no such systems in the world," he added.

The system has been designed to intercept and destroy airborne targets at a distance of up to 400 kilometers (250 miles), or twice the range of the MIM-104 Patriot, and 2.5 times that of the S-300PMU-2. It is capable of destroying stealth aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles with an effective range of up to 3,500 kilometers (2,200 miles) and a speed of up to 4.8 kilometers (3 miles) per second. "The system has good prospects for using nanotechnologies, besides others, to increase striking range and height," Baluyevsky said. President Putin thanked members of the military, engineers and other workers who helped place the first S-400 systems on combat duty.

Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:

Գարեգին Նժդեհ
Posts: 556
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:46 pm
Location: Cyberia

Postby Armenian on Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:51 am

Maneuvers to Outflank US


Peace Mission 2007 gets underway to become the SCO's largest military drill. Ge Zhenfeng (second left), deputy chief of general staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army and Vladimir Moltenskoi (right), deputy commander-in-chief of Russian land forces, talk about the on-going Sino-Russia joint military exercise at a meeting in Qingdao in eastern China's Shandong province August 20, 2005.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) launches military exercises in Russia’s Chelyabinsk Region and China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region on Thursday. The maneuvers are designed to counter an uprising reminiscent of bloodshed in Uzbekistan in 2005 and aimed to show that Eurasia’s east has a powerful military and political alliance whose members are ready to close ranks in any situation. SCO leaders including Russian President Vladimir Putin are to visit a training range in Chebarkul for the final stage of the drills.

The Peace Mission 2007 exercises get underway on Thursday to become the organization’s largest military drill. All member countries, Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, are sending its troops for the drills. The previous maneuvers took place in August 2005 in the Shandong Peninsula in China but involved only Russian and Chinese soldiers. Beijing organized the Shangdong exercises clearly with an eye back to the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan. Russia and China were to fight with imaginary extremists who were attempting to cease power in a neighboring country. The drills took place on the coast and looked like a landing onto a large island such as Taiwan.

Kommersant sources say that this time the exercises’ concept came from Russia. Deputy Prime Minister and then Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov was the first to voice the initiative last April in Beijing at a meeting of the SCO’s defense policy chiefs. Russian military drafted a plan for the maneuvers based on developments in Uzbekistan’s Andizhan in 2005 when authorities violently suppressed an opposition uprising. Officials say that the exercises would see a group of terrorists capturing a town with SCO forces, warplanes and artillery eliminating the insurgents and freeing the town. After that, Russia’s plenipotentiary officers will be arresting surviving terrorists. The exercises’ press center confirmed that drafters of the drills’ scenario largely relied on Andizhan developments.

The maneuvers are to begin with staff exercises in China’s Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region which has long been a battlefield between Chinese authorities and Uyghur separatists. China’s experience in Xinjiang underlay the organization’s declaration of a need to fight the so-called “three evils” – separatism, terrorism and extremism. The parties are going to discuss an action plan for the operation with Russian Colonel-General Vladimir Moltensky and his Chinese counterpart at the helm. The maneuvers will then move to the Chebarkul training range in Chelyabinsk Region where first SCO soldiers gathered on July 27.

Peace Mission 2007 will involve 4,700 soldiers of Russian 34th infantry division and 76th Air Force division, Mi-8, Mi-24 and Mi-28N helicopters and Su-25 fighters. 2,000 Russian soldiers are to take part in the drills with other backing the operation. China is sending 1,700 soldiers, G-9 and Mi-17 helicopters as well as G-7A fighters. Kazakhstan and Tajikistan are supplying air assault companies while Kyrgyzstan is sending an air assault platoon. Uzbekistan has not sent its soldiers but Uzbek officers will be taking part in staff exercises and organizing the maneuvers. The drills will involve more than 6,500 soldiers and 2,000 military hardware with Russia and China supplying the bulk of it. The drills’ organizers make no secret of the fact that Moscow and Beijing are dominating Peace Mission. The training camp is decorated with posters showing a firm handshake of Russian and Chinese flags. All signs in the camp are only in Russian and Chinese.

Russia took on almost all expenses on the maneuvers’ organization. The Russian Defense Ministry says they cost it more than 2 billion rubles. The money renovated Chebarkul, creating new and restoring old infrastructure. Chelyabinsk Region Governor Pyotr Sumin earmarked an additional 64 million rubles to these ends. The organizers were evidently anxious to please Chinese soldiers. Beijing’s military were greeted with a traditional bread and salt welcome ceremony and put up in four-bed rooms. All Chinese quarters have TV sets with Chinese channels and DVD players in them. The Russian Defense Minister built the biggest-ever press center in the Russian army to cover the exercises.

The generosity is no surprising. Peace Mission 2007 is essentially part of a plan to turn the SCO into a Central Asian military and political bloc to protect Russia’s interests and counter a growing influence of the United States in the region. The same task is to be voiced at the August 14 summit in Kyrgyzstan’s Bishkek which will bring together all SCO leaders. June meetings of SCO foreign and defense policy chiefs have shown that Moscow would seek support of its allies to counter Washington in issues ranging from the proposed U.S. missile shield in Eastern Europe to expelling the U.S. military base from the Manas airport in Kyrgyzstan. Vladimir Putin and his counterparts are to fly right from Bishkek to Chebarkul for the final stage of Peace Mission 2007 to demonstrate that the SCO has the resources and power to “fight against aggressive plans”.


Growing Ties between China and Russia


Members of the six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organization, or SCO, begin military exercises August 9. The nine-day drill, dubbed Peace Mission 2007, involves the military forces of China, four central Asian countries [Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan], and Russia, the host nation. The dominant SCO forces are those of Russia and China, which are also expanding their cultural and economic links. VOA Moscow Correspondent Peter Fedynsky reports annual trade has already reached $40 billion. 2007 is the year of China in Russia. The yearlong focus on Russia's large Asian neighbor includes a Chinese art exhibit this month at the State Museum of Eastern Art in Moscow. 2006 was the year of Russia in China. But Sino-Russian relations date back nearly four centuries to a time when the emperors of China, according to the exhibit brochure, considered trade demeaning and viewed foreigners as barbarians. Therefore, they allowed commerce only on the border.

Today, however, trade is a top priority. Chinese President Hu Jintao has made this clear. "We should speed up and multiply cooperation in energy resources. We should take positive steps in the joint exploitation of petroleum, gas and forestry resources,” he said. “We should try to move the cooperation style from a pure resources trade to one with more joint production." President Hu spoke last year in Beijing during a visit by his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

China has been importing mostly raw material from Russia, such as oil and lumber, and exporting consumer goods. Annual trade has grown over the past ten years from about $7 billion to nearly $40 billion. Volume is expected to increase with the completion of new oil pipelines from Russia to China. One of Russia's leading China experts, Vladimir Myasnikov, says both countries are developing other trade opportunities. "Energy-related machine building. We're building a nuclear power plant. We provide turbines. We're cooperating in the field of space exploration. High tech should lead the way to a substantial increase in bilateral trade." In recent years Russia and China have held joint military exercises. The Chinese are also the biggest foreign buyers of Russian weaponry. Some analysts say Russia is seeking to strengthen military ties with China, because of worsening ties with the United States and NATO.

But First Deputy Premier Sergei Ivanov rejected the charge two years ago in his former capacity as Defense Minister. "We are not creating any military blocs. As was already said, those exercises are not aimed against any other state." The chief of China's general military staff, Liang Guanglie agrees. "This exercise follows the UN charter's goals and regulations, it does not target any third party, does not refer to the interests of any third party, neither does it intimidate any country." Both countries will conduct military exercises again this week along with other members of the six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The SCO is scheduled to a summit meeting in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on August 16th.

Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:

Գարեգին Նժդեհ
Posts: 556
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:46 pm
Location: Cyberia

Postby Armenian on Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:52 am

The Almighty Ruble


The ruble got no respect. During the cold war, it symbolized the backward Soviet economy. After the U.S.S.R. collapsed, it was an avatar of instability. Even plumbers in Moscow often preferred to be paid in bottles of vodka rather than rubles — the bottles did not lose their value. No more. Lifted by high oil prices and a wave of foreign investment, the once humble ruble is showing its muscle, and fueling a consumer boom.

After gaining 20 percent in value against the dollar in the last few years, the ruble is even starting to displace the greenback as Russians’ currency of choice for both saving and spending. As the ruble increases in value — not just against the dollar, but against brawnier currencies, too, like the euro — imported goods are becoming cheaper for Russian consumers. Now ruble notes, once handed over by the fistful for a loaf of bread, are being used to purchase Mercedeses, flat-screen televisions and European beach vacations.

Of course, the party could be short-lived. Russia takes in roughly $530 million a day from oil, its most lucrative export. If the price of oil declines, so will the ruble. And even if the price of oil does not fall, an oil-fueled boom brings dangers of its own. In many countries, an over-reliance on petrodollars has led to underinvestment in businesses outside oil and gas, and a subsequent withering of other domestic industries. To deal with such downsides of the ruble’s rise, Russia is salting away oil money in a rainy day fund, called the Stabilization Fund, which holds more than $120 billion. In January, Moscow will split it into two funds: the Reserve Fund and the Fund of National Prosperity, the latter intended for state investments.

Together with the Central Bank of Russia’s foreign reserves, Russian authorities have a currency reserve of $413 billion, the largest per capita foreign currency reserve of any major economy, including China’s. In an oil downturn, authorities could spend that reserve to protect the ruble. In the meantime, the reserve adds an aura of stability to the economy for investors. “Excluding a couple of oil countries where the money belongs to the local ruling family, which is something different, Russia has surpassed all the newly industrializing Asian countries,” in foreign currency reserves, Kenneth S. Rogoff, an economics professor at Harvard, said in a telephone interview.

Analysts say Russia’s underlying fundamentals are good, too.

First, oil exports are not the sole source of the ruble’s rise. That was the case before 2007, but now foreign investment has become a significant factor. Private capital flows into Russia increased roughly 360 percent in the first six months of this year, compared with the same period last year. Only about 30 percent is attributable to oil and other extractive industries, according to the State Statistics Committee. Analysts also point to what they call Russia’s sound macroeconomics. President Vladimir V. Putin’s government has managed inflation, though certainly not eliminated it. And through its tight control over politics and society, the regime has kept demands for social spending in check — a leadership approach reminiscent of the authoritarian “Asian model” of economic development.

But economists also say a long-term cycle of economic depression and recovery is bolstering the ruble, at least for now. Starting in 1990, the year the Soviet Union collapsed, Russia’s economy contracted by as much as 40 percent. This year, for the first time since, Russia’s gross domestic product returned to 1990 levels: factories, oil pipelines, roads, ports and other facilities that once were idled are operating near full capacity. In the decade from January 1993 to Dec. 31, 2002, the ruble’s lowest point, the dollar appreciated 7,664 percent against the ruble, rising to 31.96 rubles to the dollar. On Tuesday, one dollar bought 25.47 rubles, a 20 percent appreciation for the ruble.

Even more important, as measured by purchasing power parity, a gauge of a currency’s value based on the goods it can buy, a dollar should buy roughly 15 rubles today, according to a report Merrill Lynch issued in July. By that measure, the ruble remains the world’s second-most undervalued major currency, behind only the Chinese yuan, whose value has given policy makers in Washington headaches. Indeed, the ruble would be even more valuable today if not for the Russian central bank intervening to keep it from rising more. Through much of the 1990s, Russia suffered the opposite problem. Then the ruble, shunned by locals and tourists alike, was propped up by Western lending. It collapsed in 1998, on the heels of the Asian economic crisis. Russians’ life savings evaporated and poverty became widespread. In just one example, the theft of manhole covers became a major problem. Russians were stealing them to sell for scrap metal.

All that is different now. The current consumer boom has sparked renewed interest in Russia from companies like Wal-Mart and Starbucks. Indeed, shares in grocery stores, electronic retailers and other consumer-sector companies are outperforming Russian oil companies on the Moscow stock exchange. Russian banks offer accounts in rubles, dollars or euros. Of the three, ruble accounts are attracting the most funds. Ruble-denominated personal savings accounts rose 6.8 percent in the first quarter of 2007, while foreign currency accounts were level, according to a report by Goldman Sachs.

That has led to some, perhaps predictable, gloating. Recently, a pro-Kremlin youth group staged a mock panhandling to benefit the United States currency. They held out hats for passers-by to make donations — “raising money for the dollar’s ticket back home,” their signs read. But there are limits as to how far a currency can carry a country. Real economic growth, economists say, will depend on continuing foreign investment. Without it, Russian consumption of imported goods will outpace earnings from oil by 2010, according to Russia’s finance minister, Aleksei L. Kudrin.

If that happens, Russia’s economy will depend on foreign investment to maintain the strong ruble and the rising living standards associated with it — much as the United States does, but without the same record of stability. Last summer, authorities eliminated all restrictions on ruble trading, making the currency fully convertible and easing the way for the capital inflow needed to meet the demand. In the first six months of this year, net private capital inflow into Russia was $67.1 billion — more than during the entire first decade after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In the same period last year, capital inflow was $14.5 billion.

While threats of nationalization persist in the oil sector, investors have largely decided that they are acceptable considering the money to be made. In another recent sign of the ruble’s strength, a particularly Russian enterprise has just become more expensive. Russia has raised the price for a tourist flight to the International Space Station aboard a Russian rocket. What cost Dennis A. Tito, the first space tourist, $20 million in 2001, this year cost the former Microsoft executive Charles Simonyi $25 million. Citing the strong ruble, Russian space agency officials say they will increase that fee to $30 million.


And in related news:

Belarus clears gas debt to Russia


Belarus has paid off its debt for gas to Russian gas giant Gazprom, Russian news agencies reported Wednesday. Belarussian gas pipeline company Beltransgaz paid Gazprom 56.5 million U.S. dollars Wednesday as the last installment of its 456.16-million-dollar debt for gas supplies in the first half of 2007, a source in the Belarussian Energy Ministry was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying.

"Beltransgaz paid Gazprom 56.5 million dollars this morning and has thus completely paid off its debt for gas supplies to Belarus in the first half of the year," the source said. Gazprom confirmed that Beltransgaz has paid its debt in full for gas supplies in the first half of 2007. "Gazprom hopes that the situation with the Belarus' gas debt will not recur," the Russian company's press secretary Sergei Kupriyanov was quoted by the Itar-Tass news agency as saying.

Earlier, Belarussian officials said the country had paid in full its gas debt to Gazprom and pledged to pay 100 percent for Russian gas exports as of August. "Today the republic's finance ministry made the last payment for gas and Gazprom should receive the money," Andrei Zhukov, an aide of the Belarussian energy minister, was quoted by Itar-Tass as saying. "We had to transfer the payments before Aug. 10 and we did this," he said. The transaction was made in compliance with a schedule between Beltransgaz and Gazprom. "After Belarus paid off its debt, it will ensure 100-percent payment for gas supplies from Gazprom as of August," Belarussian First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko said.

Last Wednesday, Gazprom said it would cut gas supplies to Belarus by 45 percent as of Aug. 3 due to the debt and lack of payment guarantees. Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko then pledged that the debt would be paid over the coming days, saying the country's gold and currency reserves, a state credit from Venezuela and a credit from Western banks would be used to pay the debt. Last Friday, Gazprom delayed a reduction in supplies to Belarus by one week after it confirmed that Belarus had paid a 190-million-dollar installment toward its debt.


Gazprom could become world's richest company-Medvedev[


Russian gas giant Gazprom could become the richest company in the world, a Russian first deputy prime minister said in an interview with a German magazine Thursday. "Gazprom has the largest natural gas reserves in the world. When I joined the board of directors (in 2000), the concern was worth about $8 billion, but today it is more than $250 billion. One day it could become the world's most valuable company," Dmitry Medvedev, who is also chairman of the Gazprom board of directors, said in an interview with Stern magazine.

He said enterprises that own strategic resources must be under state control. "The entire country, its population, depends on Gazprom. We do not want to risk an economic or political collapse that could occur should the enterprise be sold to a dozen or so private owners," he said. Medvedev said Gazprom has always honored its contractual delivery obligations, and nothing in the future would change in this respect. "And please don't forget that German firms have a 6% share in Gazprom," the first deputy prime minister said.

Last edited by Armenian on Thu Aug 09, 2007 8:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:

Գարեգին Նժդեհ
Posts: 556
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:46 pm
Location: Cyberia

Postby Armenian on Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:54 am

The following information is essentially why the West is livid. Nationalist forces working within the interior apparatus of the Russian Federation, namely the FSB (successor of the KGB), muscled their way into power by forcing Yeltsin to allow Putin to succeed him. It is rumored that Yeltsin was promised he would not be brought up to corruption charges and worst, treason charges, if he did not resist the nationalistic move. Soon after Putin's rise to power, official Moscow enthusiastically embarked on a 'cleansing' campaign to essentially rid the Russian Federations of its serious oligarch problem which in essence was a Jewish problem. And that, in particular, has made Putin a demon in the eyes of those in power in Washington DC and their subordinates worldwide.


Russian state oil company wins another Yukos auction


Rosneft, the state-controlled Russian oil company, on Wednesday won another auction of the remains of the bankrupt oil business Yukos, buying its important transportation assets, including those Yukos used for exports to China. Rosneft's only rival at the auction, a previously unknown company called Benefit, pulled out of the bidding after Rosneft's first bid in a development similar to many previous auctions at which Rosneft bought most of the assets of Yukos. Rosneft paid $729 million, just above the starting price, for the lot that included the main transport units of Yukos - East Asia Transit and Yukos-Transservice.

Yukos-Transservice owns long-term leasing contracts on around 7,000 railroad cars and short-term leasing agreements on 5,000 railroad cars. The unit also had "considerable amounts of cash" on its accounts, Rosneft said. New rail cars cost $30,000 to $35,000 while a second-hand rail car costs around $20,000 to $25,000 depending on its condition, according to people in the industry. East Asia Transit has the right to deliver oil to China via Mongolia, and 42 tank-cars for transportation of refined products. The lot also included a number of producing and injection wells at the Priobskoye field, as well as pumping stations, pipelines and other production facilities, Rosneft said.

Rosneft has bought most of the assets of Yukos since Russia started selling them a year ago to recover over $30 billion of back-tax debt. The assets include three of the former core production units of Yukos and five refineries, which made Rosneft Russia's largest oil producer and refiner. Former Yukos shareholders have portrayed the destruction of Russia's former leading oil company as a Kremlin vendetta against Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the Yukos founder who had political ambitions. Khodorkovsky is now serving an eight-year prison term in Siberia on criminal convictions including fraud. Russia will hold an auction next Wednesday to sell foreign assets of Yukos, which include its 49-percent stake in the Slovak pipeline monopoly Transpetrol.


Ex-Yukos executive jailed for life - The former Yukos chief executive is also in prison.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky Former Yukos Executive Once
Russia's Richest Man Now Serving a Life Sentence

The former head of security at Yukos, the bankrupt Russian oil company, has lost his appeal against murder convictions. The Moscow city court sentenced Alexei Pichugin to life in prison, on top of a 20-year sentence he is now serving for two other murders. Pichugin's lawyers said on Monday that he was the victim of a political campaign against associates of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the founder of Yukos, who was jailed in 2005. Georgy Kaganer, the defence lawyer, said: "The sentence is not just. All the evidence has been turned on its head." Pichugin has insisted he is innocent. He was originally sentenced last August for the killings, but prosecutors appealed against that ruling in an attempt to win the life sentence. In Russia, a longer term replaces a shorter one.

Political ambitions

Judge Pyotr Shtunder said as he read the verdict: "The court established that on January 21, 1998 Pichugin arranged the killing of Valentina Korneyeva, the director of commercial firm Feniks." The judge also said Pichugin murdered the mayor of a Siberian oil town and the driver of an oil businessman as well as trying to kill two others. Pichugin was convicted in 2005 and sentenced to 20 years for murdering a provincial businessman and his wife. Supporters of Khodorkovsky, who himself is serving an eight-year term in a Siberian farm for fraud and tax evasion, say he is being punished by the Kremlin for his political ambitions along with other people connected to Yukos.


Kremlin Targets Jewish Tycoons In War On Critics

LONDON - Oil titan Mikhail Khodorkovsky is not the first Jew who has risen to become Russia's richest citizen. Before him Roman Abramovich and Boris Berezovsky had their stints, while Vladimir Gusinsky got close.

In Russia, however, life at the top is not all that it's cracked up to be.

Berezovsky and Gusinsky are now in exile, facing prosecution if they ever return to Russia, while Abramovich, having cashed in much of his Russian oil and metals empire and bought a British soccer team, is a frequent guest of Berezovsky in London. As for Khodorkovsky, he's in jail.

Russian authorities arrested Khodorkovsky at gunpoint October 25 on a snowy Siberian runway. He is being held on charges ranging from tax evasion to fraud. The charges concern post-communist privatization deals for the companies that went on to become Yukos, the oil behemoth that Khodorkovsky founded and recently merged with Sibneft, another firm that he bought from Abramovich. If a court so decides, both companies could end up back in state hands. The crackdown caused a sharp drop in Russia's stock market this week and has prompted warnings that foreign investors might back away.

It's not only the economy that took a hit, though. Russian antisemites are in trouble, too. Their favorite bogeymen, the Jewish "oligarchs," as the country's tycoons are called, are becoming an endangered species.

In the eyes of most Russians, the oligarchs are clearly guilty, of theft and corruption in the best case, and probably a lot worse. That much of their wealth is ill-gotten, no one really doubts. And what is to be done? Most Russians would answer: Lock 'em up, ship 'em out. There's plenty of room in Siberia.

This, of course, is not what's happening. As Khodorkovsky sits in Moscow's most notoriously disease-ridden prison, most non-Jewish oligarchs are still riding high, even if a few are not likely to step foot in Russia again. The metals empire of Vladimir Potanin - who, along with Berezovsky, most brazenly boasted of his influence over Boris Yeltsin's Kremlin - is thriving, as are Vagit Alekperov's oil wells. The list of safe oligarchs goes on, but there are only a few Jews still on it: Mikhail Fridman of Alfa Bank, for example.

What are we to make of the fact that almost all of the major oligarchs in jail or exile are Jews, while almost all of those still in business are not? The answer is not as obvious as it may seem.

Vladimir Putin, whatever else he may be, is not an antisemite. He's too practical for that, and too regularly appears at synagogues. Indeed, there is something beyond ethnicity that joins Khodorkovsky with Berezovsky and Gusinsky: political activism. Gusinsky ran the only media company that was openly critical of Putin. Berezovsky, after a falling out with Putin, whose presidential campaign he financed, declared himself in opposition and threw money at any political party that would take it. Khodorkovsky, once he was secure in his wealth, announced he was financing two liberal parties opposed to Putin.

Still, even if the cause of their travails are their politics and not their Jewishness, their ethnic background hardly goes unnoticed.

"The Kremlin went after Khodorkovsky because he became an opponent, and as we know, the Kremlin doesn't play nicely with its opponents," Gennady Zyuganov, leader of the opposition Communist Party, said in a recent interview. "But there are a lot of other people who should be in jail. After all, what good is it to the Russian man if the wealth is simply transferred from a Berezovsky to an Abramovich?"

Zyuganov's words were carefully chosen. In the Russian language, there are two words for Russian. The one most often used in politics, rossiisky, is a civic definition, meaning any citizen of the Russian Federation. But Zyuganov used the word russky, an ethnic definition that encompasses the majority of the population, but not Berezovsky, not Abramovich and not Khodorkovsky.

Moreover, in their war on Putin's political enemies, the Kremlin and its allies have often played to the deep reservoir of anti-Jewish feeling that exists in Russian society.

One loaded phrase that has cropped up in the Khodorkovsky affairs - in the press, as well as in comments by the prosecutors - is "economic crimes." The words sound banal enough, but students of Soviet history will recall it as one of two special charges, along with Zionism, reserved especially for Jews by communist prosecutors.

It is, of course, possible that most Russians nowadays do not really remember such connotations. But Putin certainly does; after all, investigating economic crimes is something he would have been trained in back in his days at the KGB.

The Khodorkovsky affair - like those of Berezovsky and Gusinsky before him, and whoever will follow - does not represent a new wave of Russian antisemitism. It represents a very old wave, and it accompanies the revival of old modes of action that may have been buried but never died. Russia under Putin has now seen almost as many rigged elections as under Brezhnev and more repression of the press than Gorbachev or Yeltsin could ever stomach. Is it any wonder that political imprisonment would be next?

The Soviet Union, it was once declared, would be national in form, socialist in content. It was a nicer way of saying divide and conquer, a tried and tested way of ruling unruly populations. These tactics are back, and that's not good for anyone - especially not Russia's Jews.

Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:

Գարեգին Նժդեհ
Posts: 556
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:46 pm
Location: Cyberia

Postby Armenian on Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:56 pm

Russia sparks Cold War scramble


Russian bombers have flown to the US island of Guam in the Pacific in a surprise manoeuvre reminiscent of the Cold War era. Two Tu-95 turboprops flew this week to Guam, home to a big US military base, Russian Maj Gen Pavel Androsov said. They "exchanged smiles" with US pilots who scrambled to track them, he added. The sorties, believed to be the first since the Cold War ended, come as Russia stresses a more assertive foreign policy, correspondents say. The flight is part of a pattern of more expansive Russian military operations in recent weeks, says BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus.

Old practice

Gen Androsov said the strategic bombers had flown 13 hours from their base in the Russian Far East during the exercise. "It has always been the tradition of our long-range aviation to fly far into the ocean, to meet [US] aircraft carriers and greet [US pilots] visually," he said at a news conference. "Yesterday [Wednesday] we revived this tradition, and two of our young crews paid a visit to the area of the base of Guam," he said. "I think the result was good. We met our colleagues - fighter jet pilots from [US] aircraft carriers. We exchanged smiles and returned home," he added. During the Cold War, Soviet bombers regularly flew long-haul missions to areas patrolled by Nato and the US. The bombers have the capability of launching a nuclear strike with the missiles they carry.


Russia Revives Cold War Style Surprise Visits To U.S. Air Space With Bomber Jets

Russia revived its Cold War practice of sending Russian bombers to pay a surprise visit near an American military base. On Wednesday, Russia flexed its military power muscle by sending two unannounced bomber jets to Guam, a U.S. Territory. U.S. fighter jets scrambled to meet the Tu-95 bombers on their unexpected military exercise in U.S. air space. Russian Maj. Gen. Pavel Androsov made light of the incident, saying that U.S. pilots had exchanged smiles with their Russian counterparts.

"Whenever we saw U.S. planes during our flights over the ocean, we greeted them," Androsov said, according to Associated Press reports. "On Wednesday, we renewed the tradition when our young pilots flew by Guam in two planes. We exchanged smiles with our counterparts who flew up from a U.S. carrier and returned home."

Russia sent its jets to Guam as part of three days of military exercises that coincided with a week of U.S. military exercises off Guam. But the U.S. isn't the only one Russia has paid a Cold War style visit to recently. It also sent its bomber jets to Britain and Norway last month. Both countries responded by scrambling jets to intercept Russia's bombers. Russia has said it is considering re-establishing a permanent presence in the Mediterranean, which it had abandoned when the Soviet Union dissolved.

Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:

Գարեգին Նժդեհ
Posts: 556
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:46 pm
Location: Cyberia

Postby Armenian on Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:57 pm

Georgia Seeks U.N. Security Council Session About Missile


The Republic of Georgia presented what it called a mounting body of evidence on Wednesday that a Russian warplane had entered deep into its airspace and fired an air-to-ground missile. It said it was seeking a special session of the United Nations Security Council to address the matter. No one was injured by the missile, which struck on Monday evening near Tsitelubani, a village about 30 miles from Tbilisi, the Georgian capital. The missile broke apart on impact, but did not explode. The Georgian military later detonated the missile.

The episode, apparently the second raid with sophisticated, Russian-made weapons on Georgian soil this year, inflamed tensions anew between the countries. Russia has denied any role, and suggested that Georgia attacked itself. It has also said it wants a comprehensive investigation of the matter. But with Georgia marshaling its evidence and its foreign minister, Gela Bezhuashvili, rallying international support, the matter seemed to pose problems for Russian diplomacy in the turbulent Caucasus. Estonia and Latvia condemned the episode as an act of aggression against Georgia, and Britain called for an investigation.

Mr. Bezhuashvili said he hoped to set up an international panel. “We have a body of evidence,” he said by telephone. “There is a common understanding of the seriousness of the situation, and we are initiating a process of calling for a special session of the U.N. Security Council.” In March, a guided missile and a barrage of unguided rockets struck remote villages late at night in the Kodori Gorge, the only area of the Russian-backed separatist region of Abkhazia that is under Georgian control. More than 50 witnesses reported the sound of helicopters, which Georgia said flew in from a Russian base.

Russia denied involvement in that attack, although United Nations investigators issued a report this summer that strongly suggested a Russian role. It fell short of directly accusing Russia, in part because Russia did not cooperate fully with investigators and there was no radar record available. The latest missile, however, was from an aircraft that flew near a main highway outside Tbilisi, an area with radar coverage.

Georgia said it had collected radar records from both its civilian and military air traffic controllers that clearly show an aircraft enter from Russia, fly to the area of the strike, then turn around and fly back into Russia. Georgia also released audio recordings and a transcript of an apparently frustrated Georgian air traffic controller. The controller was talking with his counterpart in southwestern Russia, asking about an unscheduled flight along the border that he was seeing on his screen, the Georgian government said.

The Russian controller checked with his supervisor, according to the recording, which was released to journalists. He then told the Georgian controller that no planes were flying. “Our bosses said that nobody is there, neither by plan nor in reality,” the Russian said. “Well, O.K., it might be a U.F.O.,” the Georgian answered. Georgia has long accused Russia of conducting military flights across the border; Mr. Bezhuashvili said there were multiple incursions on Saturday and Sunday. He added that a tepid international response to the incursions, and the limited response to the attack in the Kodori Gorge in March, had emboldened Russia.

The Kremlin, which continues to wage a counterinsurgency campaign against Chechen separatists and Islamic militants in the north Caucasus, backs secular separatists in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the two breakaway regions over the border in Georgia. It has tried to portray the region as peaceful, and will be the host of the 2014 Winter Olympics not far away, in Sochi. No motive for the missile firing was immediately clear. But Shota Utiashvili, the head of the analysis department for Georgia’s Interior Ministry, said the plane might have released the missile after taking fire from Ossetian separatists on the ground.

On Tuesday, the commander of Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia said on Russian national television that the Ossetians had fired at a plane, apparently thinking it was Georgian. Because the missile did not explode, many of the fragments were recovered. Georgia, which briefed foreign diplomats, said the remains made clear that the missile was an AS-Kilter, a guided missile nearly 16 feet long that was designed in Soviet times to destroy NATO radar installations. The missile can carry an explosive charge of more than 300 pounds. Georgia said it had neither AS-11 Kilter missiles nor aircraft that can fire them.


In related news:

Breakaway S.Ossetia asks Russia for air defenses in conflict zone


South Ossetia will formally request that Russia deploy air defense systems in the zone of conflict with Georgia in the wake of an airspace violation dispute this week, the breakaway region's leader said Thursday. "South Ossetia will approach Russia with a request to equip [Russian] peacekeepers in the conflict zone with modern air defense systems to target airspace violators," Eduard Kokoity told RIA Novosti by telephone.

On Tuesday, Georgia accused Russia of firing a missile on a village 65 kilometers (about 40 miles) northwest of the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, and near the border with its breakaway region Monday. The 640-kilogram (1,400-pound) missile did not explode, but has fueled tensions between the former Soviet allies. Russia, which Tbilisi has accused of backing separatists, has denied involvement in the incident, demanding a thorough probe and saying it was "a new provocation" staged by Tbilisi to destabilize the region. South Ossetia echoed the accusations, saying the aircraft came from Georgia's side.

"To deter more provocations from Georgia, we will ask the Russian leadership to reinforce the peacekeeping units in the Georgia-South Ossetia conflict zone ... so they can bring down violators. It will then be clear whose aircraft entered the conflict zone," Kokoity said. The commander of joint peacekeeping forces said Thursday Tbilisi had denied information of an intruding aircraft the day before accusing Russia of doing so. "On August 6, when the incident occurred, I contacted the command of the Georgian part of the Joint Peacekeeping Forces and informed them of the intrusion and the launch [of a missile]. A report followed one hour later that the [Georgian] Armed Forces denied any intrusion whatsoever," Kulakhmetov said.

He also said peacekeepers could not identify the unexploded missile, as Georgia had rushed to destroy it. Dismissing Russian and South Ossetian charges Wednesday, Georgia said, citing experts, that it was a Russian-designed anti-radar guided missile not in use in Georgia's Armed Forces. Tbilisi has demanded that the European Union step in and that the UN Security Council hold an emergency session on the matter. The United States condemned what it called a rocket attack on Georgia and urged Moscow and Tbilisi to ensure a peaceful resolution in the breakaway region in a State Department statement late Wednesday. Europe also called on restraint from the parties involved.


South Ossetia: Georgian troops plant landmines and launch grenades at peacekeepers and civilians, destroy property


A peacekeeping post of the South Ossetian side to the Joint Peacekeeping Forces (JPF) in the Georgian-Ossetian conflict zone was attacked by fire. The fire was held from a Georgian post near Dvani Village from automatic grenade launcher AGS-17. Under the grenade fire also happened to be working harvesting combines from Mugut Village of South Ossetia’s Znaur Region. Another incident occurred on the outskirts of an Ossetian village Ubiat of the Znaur Region of South Ossetia. Several cows were killed in antipersonnel landmines’ explosions planted by the Georgian side. The cows were property of the Ossetian village residents.

“These provoking action became possible because of the lenience of the peacekeepers’ Command. For over three months, illegal Georgian posts have been set up and acting in the Command’s jurisdiction,” reads statement issued by South Ossetian side to JCC. “Georgian detachments without insignia organized in the region long-term gun posts and support structures, to which Command has given no reaction.”

“As a result of such ‘appeasement policy,’ Georgian detachments, who are enjoying full impunity, organize provocations, already against peacekeepers themselves.” “The number of such provoking acts of aggression increases each week; however, nothing is done to prevent them. This, undoubtedly, undermines trust of the local population to the JPF Command,” the South Ossetian side to JCC says in the statement.

Last edited by Armenian on Thu Aug 09, 2007 8:21 pm, edited 6 times in total.
Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:

Գարեգին Նժդեհ
Posts: 556
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:46 pm
Location: Cyberia

Postby Armenian on Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:58 pm

Russia Boosts Military Presence at Home and Abroad


Moscow News By Anna Arutunyan

Russia is looking at boosting its military presence in the Mediterranean with plans to set up two naval bases in Syria. Together with the production of intercontinental ballistic missiles in the works and an air defense missile system in the Moscow region, this may be one of the first signs of the "asymmetrical" response to the United States that President Vladimir Putin spoke of in February. But while the West is already alarmed by the response, it may not be as threatening as it appears.

Russian Navy Chief Admiral Vladimir Masorin announced Friday in a televised address to journalists that Russia would return warships to the Mediterranean, marking the first military presence outside Russia since the breakup of the USSR. While Masorin did not mention Syria as the host of any bases, the Arab state has two ports, Tartus and Latakia, that hosted Soviet bases until 1992, making them the only likely ports to accommodate the new Navy bases. "The Mediterranean Sea is very important strategically for the Black Sea Fleet," Masorin told journalists in the Crimean port town of Sevastopol, the home of Russia's Black Sea fleet despite being on Ukrainian territory. "I suppose that, with the involvement of the Northern and Baltic fleets, the Russian Navy should restore its permanent presence there," RIA Novosti quoted Masorin as saying.

The development has already startled Israel, where the Yediot Aharonot came out with a front page headline, "The Russians are Coming." Israel fears that Russia could use the bases as intelligence centers to share information with countries like Iran. Analysts in Russia, however, tended to downplay the threat that this seemingly symbolic act held. Speaking in Sevastopol on Sunday, Masorin also revealed that Russia has ordered production of components for the Bulava-M missile, designed for a new generation of nuclear submarines. These intercontinental missiles were successfully test launched June 29 from a submarine in the White Sea to the Far East Kamchatka. This move to boost a key component of Russia's strategic forces was immediately interpreted as a response to U.S. plans to install 10 missile interceptors in Poland.

In a separate development, meanwhile, the S-400 Triumph missile defense system went into to combat alert in the Moscow region, Alexander Selin, Commander in Chief of Russia's Air Force, announced Monday. Designed to destroy aircraft made with Stealth technology, small cruise and tactical missiles, and warheads, the S-400, which operates from the town of Eletrostal, is intended to protect Moscow from missile threats. Together the moves showed that Moscow was taking its words about an "asymmetric" response seriously.

"Moscow has said several times that it does not intend to get into an arms race (this is completely meaningless, considering U.S. capabilities), but is ready for asymmetrical responses," says Fyodor Lukyanov, who edits the foreign policy journal Russia in Global Affairs. "Testing new weapons is certainly in this category, although their development began a lot sooner."

Whether meant as a response or not, these developments followed an unusually reconciliatory stance from the European Council, which said U.S. plans for the missile shield were not conducive to mutual understanding. "Especially not the way they tried to get it through and I am very happy that today there is a common working group between the U.S. and Russia so that they hopefully can find a common solution that is convenient for both parties," Rene van der Linden, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, said in an interview last week with the Russia Today channel. "It is in my view a negative element if member states of the EU and of the Council of Europe on their own take the decisions without consultation with Russia."

As for bases in Syria, the threat signaled to Israel and the United States seems more immediate but is not as strong as the Israeli media may suggest. Ivan Safranchuk, director of the Russian branch office of the World Security Institute, doesn't see the plans as a necessary response to the United States. "Of course the United States will take it badly," he told The Moscow News. "The United States has been conducting an operation to liquidate Syrian and Iranian influence in the Middle East since 1994. And Syria is the only adequate ally Russia has in the Middle East." Lukyanov, meanwhile, says that it is too soon to draw any conclusions from the plans for the naval bases, but added that it might negatively impact Russia's relationship with the United States, which views Syria as an "unfriendly state."

On the other hand, Russia's plans in the Mediterranean might only signal that the country has the resources to begin reestablishing its world presence. Russia had a naval base in Tartus since 1971. It was shut down in 1991 simply because Russia didn't have the means to sustain it considering its internal upheavals. Safranchuk agrees that it was closed not as a friendly gesture to the United States, but because Russia had no money. According to the Kommersant daily, money is indeed still the main obstacle in reestablishing a fleet in the Mediterranean. "All that Russia can afford to base in Syria is one or two warships," Kommersant quoted Konstantin Makienko of the Center for Analysis of Strategy and Technology as saying.

Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:

Գարեգին Նժդեհ
Posts: 556
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:46 pm
Location: Cyberia

Postby Armanen on Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:46 pm


Radio Mayak, Moscow
8 Aug 07

In an interview within Russian Mayak radio's "Panorama" slot at
0816 gmt on 8 August, with Dmitriy Kiselev, two Russian military
pundits offered an upbeat perspective on the present and future of
the Russian armed forces as demonstrated by the missile launches
announced recently. The two were Ruslan Pukhov, director of the
Strategy and Technologies Analysis Centre; and Igor Korotchenko, who is
editor-in-chief of the Voyenno-Promyshlennyy Kuryer [Military-Industry
Courier] weekly. Both are also members of the Public Council under
the Defence Ministry. In response to several critical questions
on the state of the armed forces, both denied that there was any
truth in the listeners' assertions. The following is excerpted from
a report by Russian Mayak radio on 8 August (some 30 minutes long),
with the first part taken from the text posted on the Mayak website
and the second taken from a recording of the radio broadcast:

[Presenter] We have two studio guests. They are Ruslan Nikolayevich
Pukhov and Igor Yuryevich Korotchenko. You are both members of
the Public Council under the Russian Defence Ministry. Ruslan
Nikolayevich Pukhov is also director of the Strategy and Technologies
Analysis Centre, while Igor Yuryevich is editor-in-chief of the
Voyenno-Promyshlennyy Kuryer weekly.

The subject of our conversation today is Russia's armaments. Over
the past five years, the figures for the amount of money spent on
defence have risen 10-fold, from 80 billion roubles to 800 billion
roubles in 2007. A considerable proportion of these funds have gone
on re-equipment in the armed forces.

In addition, the share of defence spending that goes on re-equipment
in the armed forces is constantly on the rise. Ideally, this should
be 50:50, as Sergey Ivanov, at the time defence minister, said. We
are now close to this ratio.

Let us take a look at where this money has gone. Literally yesterday,
there was another launch of the Sineva missile, which is an upgraded
system. It was launched by the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy strategic
missile submarine from the Pacific towards the Chizha range in
Russia's north.

What is the Sineva? Let us go over all the latest developments which
have alarmed the West. On the other hand, let us be aware that US
defence spending is 25 times that of Russia.

[Korotchenko] As part of the state defence order, the issue of
re-equipment in the strategic nuclear forces of Russia is being
accorded exceptional importance. Why is this so important? First and
foremost, it is important for the following several reasons.

The first is that the Soviet legacy in our possession requires major
modernization, which is under way. In particular, as we can see,
the ballistic missile about which we are talking has entered service
with the strategic submarines in operation notably in the Pacific
Fleet, where our grouping is older than that in our Northern Fleet,
which is newer. This is a Project 667 BDR submarine. This submarine,
which is still in service and which will remain in service for probably
another 10 years, has now received a new ballistic missile.

It is a high-precision system, which can, first and foremost,
guarantee that targets will be destroyed over intercontinental
ranges. Realistically, they are targets that could be situated in
North America or other geographic regions. Thus, our submarines,
notably in the Pacific and Northern Fleets, which will receive this
missile, will be able, if need be, to guarantee that targets are
destroyed at intercontinental ranges.

[Presenter] In conjunction with the Bulava.

[Korotchenko] We'll talk about that later. That is a new type, which
for the moment is at the stage of tests. As for the Sineva, it is a
new missile type. It was built by the Makeyev [Makeev] missile centre
in Miass.

So, our submarines, which perform the function of nuclear deterrence,
its naval component, have now received a new missile system. This is
a major step towards the extension of the potential that we inherited
from the Soviet Union.

As for the Bulava, it is a new system. It is a solid-fuel one, and is
being developed for new strategic submarines of the Borey class. The
lead ship, the Yuriy Dolgorukiy [Yuri Dolgoruky], was literally a few
months ago taken out of the workshop and will now be completed. In
the future, some seven or eight of these submarines, armed with the
Bulava system, will be in service with our navy.

[Presenter] We are developing and making not only sea-launched

Recently, it was announced that the S-400 Triumf system came on combat
alert duty near Moscow. What is this system?

[Pukhov] Here, I would also hand over to Igor Korotchenko, since
as regards air-defence systems he is probably the best expert there
is. Let me very quickly add that in addition to the Sineva and the
Bulava, we are also developing the two other components of our nuclear
triad now, such as the Topol-M missile for our ground component.

[Presenter] How are they different from each other?

[Pukhov] Their weight and size are different. It is much simpler to
squeeze something into a silo on the ground than stick something on a
submarine. It is this that the Bulava's problems have to do with. Not
all its tests have been successful. However, the last two were.

In addition to the naval missile, we also have the Topol, the Topol-M
- plus another missile which is now being developed, which has been
given the provisional designation YaRTs [three letters in the Russian
alphabet; all capital-case as given by the Mayak website] and which
has entered service [as received], as has another new missile for
aircraft, nuclear-armed, Kh-102 [also letter (X) in the Russian
alphabet], about which Defence Minister Serdyukov reported to the
president when he met him recently.

[Korotchenko] Why is the strategic component so important to
Russia? In these conditions, as we are rising from our knees, when
our leadership has taken the line that Russia has global interests
which must be defended, we are coming under some very great pressure,
including politico-military pressure from the world's major powers,
first and foremost the US.

So, Washington will talk to us and will take our interests into
consideration on condition that our strategic nuclear forces are ready,
if necessary, to guarantee the destruction of the US as a civilization
in the event that some forms of politico-military pressure are deployed
against us, or direct military intervention.

The situation now is that to politicians in Washington this is the
only factor that matters. So, to us, it is critically important that
we achieve precisely that, re-equip our forces and reinforce our
strategic component.

In essence, the decisions taken back when Putin was prime minister
(1999, autumn, precisely a programme to re-equip our strategic nuclear
forces), as we can see today, are not just being put into practice but
are being put into practice very successfully. The fact is the Topol-M
programme, which will be the main component for the Strategic Missile
Troops, is being implemented superbly. It is a superb system. Moreover,
they are being upgraded.

The main thing is that, in the nearest future, we'll approach
a milestone where, instead of a single warhead, there will be a
separable warhead, which will carry a certain number of charges. Up
to 10, as we are assured by our designers. It is an excellent missile.

As for the Bulava, from next year, once all the necessary tests
are complete, its serial production will be launched. What they are
saying are failed launches are in reality the price one has to pay
for technological progress.

We have always had to pay this price, in the form of unsuccessful
launches, in order to improve our armament. That is the nature of
technology, the nature of the beast.

Strategic missiles have also exploded in the US, France and China. This
is the price of technological progress. However, every such launch
results in the data that helps us identify problem areas. [Website
text ends here; radio broadcast follows]

[Passage omitted: the strategic nuclear forces have always been a
priority, even in the hardest of times such as the 1990s, when money
was nevertheless found for the Topol-M, Pukhov notes. With Putin in
power, attention has also turned to other arms, he goes on to say,
as well as to pay and contract service. This culminated in such
new types of arms as the Su-34 fighter bomber, the Yak-130 trainer
and the Iskander-M short-range missile, he sums up. The latter can
be used against US ABM sites in Poland and the Czech Republic, the
consensus in the programme is. Poland in particular is unfriendly,
Korotchenko says, and should be given a warning]

[Presenter] What is the Iskander-M? Is it a missile which flies
tremendously fast and, as it does, changes the direction of its flight,
both its altitude and its course, which is also invulnerable? Is
this right?

[Korotchenko] The fact is that it is a new operational-tactical missile
system which can potentially be armed with any type of warhead,
including nuclear. It is also high-precision, invulnerable to the
air defence assets that exist -

[Presenter] Because it moves like a fly?

[Korotchenko] First, it can be said to be the case. The fact is
that its trajectory is quite unpredictable. The main point is that
both the way it is launched and the missile itself are optimized
for high-precision strikes against its targets. It means that even
if armed with a conventional warhead, we can destroy, specifically,
this positional area of the US missile defence system in Poland and
put out of action the radar to be built in the Czech Republic. This
represents a definite asymmetrical answer to that problem. It is,
by the way, quite a low-cost option, too.

[Passage omitted: presenter invites questions from listeners]

[Presenter] As for aviation, the US already has an airworthy
fifth-generation fighter aircraft. It is the F-22. What is our

[Pukhov] To begin with, there are two airworthy types of US
fifth-generation fighter aircraft. They are the light F-22 and heavy
F-35. We are making one.

Our answer will be asymmetrical. It will be a heavy fighter jet. It
is due to fly next year or early in 2009. It is being developed by
the Sukhoi OKB.

[Passage omitted: break for news on the half hour]

[Presenter] We have already received questions. As members of the
Public Council, have you asked our defence minister why our armed
forces have in effect been disarmed, why 6bn dollars' worth of our
arms are sold abroad while our own armed forces have just kopecks'
worth? This PR exercise is in effect just a lot of hot air. An aircraft
a year, or 10 every 10 years, is ridiculous, had it also not been so
sad, this from Vladimir, in Lyubertsy.

[Korotchenko] What kopecks when, just now, you heard the figures. The
figures are enormous, and are commensurate with the budget that Russia
now has as a dynamically developing nation. This is a very large sum
of money.

We can see the real items that are entering service.

[Presenter] Over the past five years, our defence spending has risen
10-fold. You can write this down and quote this figure.

[Korotchenko] As for what is sold abroad, first of all it is not the
armed forces that sell it but Rosoboronexport. And it is a bonus, for
the more weapons we sell, the stronger our geopolitical positions. The
main point, however, is that our defence industry earns a great deal
of money.

[Passage omitted: Pukhov contemplates the hardship of military life
in the context of underfunding, and the Soviet military-technology
legacy, which has been regenerated]

[Presenter] With the deployment of a new missile, Moscow's east and
Moscow Region will be better protected than other areas. Or does it
also mean we can hope that the rest of our territory will also be
covered? This was from Valentina Ivanovna.

[Korotchenko] This is obviously about the S-400 system, which has
entered service. It covers a 400-km radius. In the next few years,
the plan is to deploy these systems around the main major industrial,
economic and administrative centres, which means that the principal
areas will be protected.

[Passage omitted: a question about the ratio of spending on procurement
and housing, to which Korotchenko says the aim is 50:50]

[Presenter] A question from Sergey, in Moscow: Please tell us how
the MiG-35 has acquitted itself in the tender.

[Pukhov] The Indian tender to buy 126 aircraft has just opened. There
is every chance for us either to take the whole tender, for all 126
aircraft, or split it with someone else, the French or the Americans
for instance, for political reasons.

[Presenter] The next question is: Do you yourselves believe these
fairytales for the naive electorate? According to you, everything
we have is without parallel anywhere else in the world, its service
life decades, and is superior to everything else and unique. I do
not believe it.

[Korotchenko] Over the past eight years, under Putin, we have taken
a giant leap ahead, including in the arms sector. They are not
fairytales. This is real. This is about geopolitics. The main point
is that the real fact that Russia is now getting stronger, including
from a military-technology standpoint, is recognized by everyone,
including the Americans.

[Pukhov] Take a look at Russian warplanes. They are built like
a tank. Now take a look at US warplanes. They are like a Swiss
watch. What would you like to go to war with: a tank or a Swiss watch?

[Passage omitted: Pukhov goes on to enlarge on the superiority of
Russian weapons, as demonstrated by Vietnam where second-generation
MiG-21s defeated third-generation F-4s. As for problems, "we know
about them". He mentions Russian communications gear, "which is much
worse than the West's, and we are working on this". Against US or
Israeli radio sets that weigh in at 5 kg, the Russian sets are 25
kg, for example. The same goes for tank radios, 60 kg in Russia,
its removal a two-man job, against 15 kg elsewhere]

[Presenter] Here is a question from a female perspective, from Vera:
Esteemed experts, on the subject of our hypothetical enemy capable
of a military strike against Russia, how would you rank them and what
types of weapons could be used to deliver this strike?

[Korotchenko] First and foremost, they are the US, the UK and France,
as members of NATO and members of the nuclear club. Today, it would
be pointless to go to war with Russia with conventional weapons,
the reason being that it would not work. We are not Iraq. It could
only be an all-out nuclear strike. The main point is that we would
retaliate adequately, re-equipment as discussed, and in kind. That
is to say, it would be a case of mutual destruction. While we have
this capability, it is a guarantee against this scenario.

[Pukhov] However, we are not immune against low-intensity conflicts
of one kind or another.

[Presenter] Such as terrorist threats?

[Pukhov] Not quite. When, for example, we entered Afghanistan, we were
still armed with MiG-23 fighter jets, while Pakistan already had the
F-16. So, for a while, it is a little known fact that Pakistan enjoyed
air superiority, over Afghanistan, over the mighty Soviet forces.

The situation could now hypothetically be the same, if we do not
begin more actively to buy warplanes, with the construction of the
northern pipeline route to Germany. Poland is actively buying the
latest versions of the US F-16. We, on the other hand, still have our
MiG-29s and Su-27s, not yet fully upgraded, in service. When, say, they
make an attempt to drive us away with the use of their combat assets,
without a clash, for a while they could achieve that. That is to say,
our duty is not only to allow for the possibility of global war,
but also this kind of minor conflict, such as in Afghanistan in the
air against the Pakistani air force or possibly with the Polish air
force, or even in Karabakh where to back Armenia indirectly we could
clash with Turkey. Therefore, there are various levels of threats,
not to mention the threat of terrorism, with which the whole world
is now well versed.

[Presenter] What about the new US idea of a global, instant strike,
within one hour to be able to reach everyone and to suppress everyone
at once?

[Korotchenko] That would have been realistic at the time when we
did not pay proper attention to re-equipment. I mean that notorious
article from the spring of last year, where US experts analysed
whether a first strike could take away Russia's nuclear capability.

[Presenter] What article was that?

[Korotchenko] It was an article by two US experts in an influential
foreign-policy journal -

[Pukhov] Foreign Affairs -

[Korotchenko] - where they analysed what scenarios could be opted for
if, for example, an all-out nuclear strike were delivered against
Russia to take away its retaliation potential. I think that this
will not be an issue for the next 50 years, as long as we invest
substantially in serial production of both the Topol-M and the
Bulava-30, which will automatically close the matter.

[Pukhov] Such an analysis would not be productive for the Americans.

[Presenter] Esteemed experts: What is your assessment of the
US use of unmanned aerial vehicles in Iraq? Are there our
counterparts? Respectfully yours, Doctor Artamonov.

[Pukhov] Indeed, this is a major problem. We are very significantly
behind them as regards unmanned aerial vehicles. The irony is how
those behind could forge ahead, and vice versa. We were unmanned
aviation pioneers. We had a vast array of unmanned aerial systems at
the break-up of the Soviet Union. Afterwards, this was ignored.

Thus, attempts are now being made to revive something. Quite possibly,
we shall have to buy something, some technologies, on the external
market, of course have a license and manufacture and improve it.

As for their use in Iraq and in other countries, it has been quite
successful. It is better to fight with the use of unmanned systems
than to lose expensive aircraft and people.

[Korotchenko] The Israelis are even ahead of the US here, as regards
UAVs, including their combat use.

[Presenter] Here is another question, from Valeriy Vladimirovich:
Every single item of equipment has no equivalent anywhere else in
the world. Nor will it have it in the next 10 years. How does anyone
know what our potential enemy and adversaries have? After all, we
have had no intelligence service since 1991.

[Korotchenko] This is not so. The Americans themselves admit that the
GRU and SVR agents have dramatically stepped up their activities in the
US, both with regard to operations and their own numerical strength.

[Presenter] What is the difference between the GRU and SVR?

[Korotchenko] The GRU is our military intelligence service. The SVR
is our foreign-policy intelligence service. Their main mission is
obtaining secret documentary intelligence in the West, including
military-technology intelligence, for which they are primed.

[Presenter] Do you mean the SVR?

[Korotchenko] I mean the GRU. Its remit is up to capturing specific
items of arms and military hardware. To judge from the cries at the
level of counterintelligence subunits and services in major Western
countries, I suppose they represent indirect proof of how active
we are. Our intelligence services are active. It's just that not
everything can be talked about since they can report only to the
president, so of course only Putin has the full picture of what
goes on.

[Presenter] Did you want to add anything, Ruslan Pukhov?

[Pukhov] I wanted to say that, in general, 90 per cent of information
is obtained from open sources. After all, this is not the Cold War
or World War I. A great many things are evident. Some information
may remain secret for an hour or two, for a day or a month. It then
becomes public knowledge. So, in the scheme of things, we know what
we have and what they have. We may not know some details, of where
something will be deployed or where it will turn up, or how much of
it will be bought. Fundamentally, however, now there is quite a lot
of open information for analysis, so we have a clear understanding
of where we are ahead, where we are on a par and where we are behind
and need to work on it.

[Passage omitted: the final question thanks Putin; presenter thanks
his panel of two]
It's a custom of the human condition for the masses to remain ignorant. It's what they do. In fact, that IS how "the peace" is kept. Whatever democracy we have here is a spectator's sport.
Posts: 179
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:13 am
Location: Arnor

Postby Armenian on Sat Aug 18, 2007 3:31 am

Russian war games in the Arctic


Russia is holding extensive war games in the Arctic this week, including cruise missile tests and a flight over the North Pole by strategic bombers.

The military exercises come on the heels of a controversial scientific expedition which last week planted a titanium Russian flag on the seabed 4-kilometres beneath the Pole to signify Moscow's claim to own a big slice of the Arctic. The RIA-Novosti agency quoted airforce sources as saying that four supersonic Tu-160 strategic bombers and 14 medium-range Tu-22M bombers are involved in the exercises, which will include a flyover of the 1.2-million square kilometre Arctic territories claimed by Russia. Moscow argues that the Lomonosov Ridge, which underlies the Arctic, is an extension of the Siberian continental shelf and therefore subject to Russian sovereignty. Two scientific expeditions, including last week's flag-planting exercise at the North Pole, have been sent so far this year to gather data to back up Russia's claim before the United Nations commission that rules on territorial zones.

A third mission, including a nuclear-powered icebreaker and at least one deep-sea submersible, is slated to leave for the Arctic in the coming weeks. Other Arctic countries have condemned Russia's actions as political theatre that has no legal implications, but the event has nevertheless triggered a flurry of activity from some. Canada this week announced that it, too, will hold military exercises this week in the Arctic territory near Baffin Island, and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper embarked on a three-day tour of the North. In the wake of Russia's flag-planting, the U.S. ordered a Coast Guard icebreaker, the USS Healy, to conduct research in the high Arctic near Alaska.


In related news:

Canadian Premier Travels North to Counter Russia's Arctic Claim

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper set off to the country's north yesterday after Russia planted a flag on the seabed at the North Pole as part of its effort to claim Arctic territory rich in natural resources. The north is a vast storehouse of energy and mineral riches,'' Harper said in a speech yesterday in Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories, according to a government transcript. He promised to ``take action to vigorously protect our Arctic sovereignty as international interest in the region increases.'' A Russian mini-submarine descended 4.26 kilometers (2.6 miles) to the Arctic Ocean floor beneath the polar cap on Aug. 2 to carry out scientific tests and plant a Russian flag.

Russia contends the underwater Lomonosov Ridge links Siberia to the Arctic seabed, which may allow the country to extend its territory. The area of the Arctic shelf may hold 10 billion tons of oil equivalent, as well as gold, nickel and diamonds, according to the Russian government. Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay said after the flag was planted that the Russians are fooling themselves if they believe they can simply lay claim to the Arctic. You can't go around the world these days, dropping a flag somewhere,'' he said. This isn't the 14th or 15th century.'' President Vladimir Putin congratulated the team of explorers and its leader, Artur Chilingarov, who is also a pro- Kremlin lawmaker, when they returned to Moscow on Aug. 7.

United Nations

I am happy that we placed a Russian flag on the ocean floor, where no one has ever been before, and I couldn't care less what some foreigners say,'' Chilingarov said. Russia's territorial claim still needs to be accepted by international bodies, Putin said. Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia and the U.S. have territory within the Arctic Circle. Under the United Nations Law of the Sea convention they have rights to economic zones in the Arctic Ocean within 200 miles of their shores. Denmark's claim is based on its control of Greenland and the country has undertaken its own territorial surveys in the region.

Russia says the Arctic's energy and mineral resources are becoming more accessible because of global warming. Russia, which ratified the Law of the Sea treaty in 1997, has until the end of this year to prove its claim. Canada has until 2013, Agence France-Presse reported. All Canadians need to recognize, there is a convergence of economic, environmental and strategic factors occurring here that will have critical impacts on the future of our country,'' Harper said, according to a transcript on his Web site.

Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:

Գարեգին Նժդեհ
Posts: 556
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:46 pm
Location: Cyberia

Postby Armenian on Sat Aug 18, 2007 3:32 am

Why Russia should sell weapons to Iran and Syria


In the United States, the debate on pulling out of Iraq has given way to a dispute about the wisdom of supplying the Saudis with the latest American weapons. A similar situation is taking place in France, where passions are running high around the planned delivery of weapons and a nuclear power plant to Libya. In both cases, the commercial and political benefits are being weighed against the threat of nuclear proliferation and concern about terrorists getting their hands on nuclear arms. With whom is it OK to trade in such commodities, and on what terms? These have always been relevant questions.

The U.S. Congress warned President George W. Bush that in September, after their return from summer recess, they would submit to both the House and the Senate a bill that would block supplies of certain weapons to the Saudis. They explained that Saudi Arabia did not behave like an American ally; rather, it supplied militants and suicide bombers for the war in Iraq and funded terrorist activities all over the world. These comments were made about one of Washington's key partners in the Arab world. The United States is hurling the same accusations at its number one enemies: Syria and Iran. What is the difference between a friend and a foe?

It is true that terrorists are coming to Iraq both from Saudi Arabia and Syria. Many of the militants captured in Iraq have Saudi passports. But this does not mean that the kingdom's government supports them. (There is no evidence that Syria is backing them, either). Quite the contrary, the Saudis are interested in fighting terrorism. But there are private funds helping the Islamic extremists in Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Muslim world. After September 11, 2001 the Gulf governments became much more cautious in their attitude to such funds and generally changed their attitude to the extremists, who are now primarily a major headache for them. Extremists are a problem for the entire Muslim world, rather than just the Saudis.

Does this mean that it is necessary to ban the sale of weapons in the Middle East? U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates made a telling comment on this subject. He told the Israelis that the Saudis and other moderate Arab countries would be able to get the weapons elsewhere, including from Russia, if America did not supply them. The logic is understandable: it is better to try and control which weapons are sold and where, or put the sales under international supervision, say, the IAEA, rather than cede the market to other countries.

But Moscow is following the same logic in cooperating with Syria and Iran. Many arguments may be cited to explain the difference between Saudi Arabia and Iran, or Syria and Iraq, but they are largely politically motivated. The entire Middle East, or rather the Muslim world, is in the same boat. Weapons supplied to Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan or the Palestinian National Authority may end up in terrorist hands just like weapons sold to Syria and Iran. There is no guarantee that if Russia leaves this niche tomorrow, it won't be occupied by American or European defense companies.

The impossible becomes possible all too often. Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, a former swore enemy of the West accused of supporting terrorism, can now be seen hugging French President Nicolas Sarkozy. He also hosted Tony Blair when the latter was British prime minister. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she wouldn't mind visiting Libya. As a result, major Western oil companies have come back to that country; large-scale arms deals and the construction of a nuclear power plant are in the offing. Obviously, all this has happened because Tripoli changed its foreign policy, abandoned the development of weapons of mass destruction and stopped lashing out at the West. But Gaddafi is the same man; yesterday, he profited from certain things, whereas now he stands to gain from others. Time and circumstance will dictate what he will be interested in tomorrow.

Or take an example from another region: North Korea. Today the world community, including the United States, is discussing ways of helping that country, but only yesterday Washington was calling it part of the Axis of Evil. Everything is relative: friends and foes, and rules for trade in weapons. The United States supplying arms to Iran and Syria does not seem like such a fantastic notion, and as we see, regime change is not at all necessary. If such trade is profitable and politically feasible, why not go for it?

We could go on and on about whether arms trafficking is ethical at all. But if it cannot be stopped, let it be controlled as much as possible by respectable salesmen, be they the United States, France or Russia. Otherwise, as Robert Gates rightly noted, the niche may be occupied by completely different players. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:

Գարեգին Նժդեհ
Posts: 556
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:46 pm
Location: Cyberia

Postby Armenian on Sat Aug 18, 2007 3:33 am

Arctic military bases signal new Cold War


Canada fired a warning shot in a new Cold War over the vast resources of the far North by announcing last night that it will build two new military bases in the Arctic wilderness. A week after Russia laid claim to the North Pole in what is rapidly becoming a global scramble for the region’s vast oil and gas reserves, Stephen Harper, the Canadian Prime Minister, said that Canada would open a new army training centre for cold-weather fighting at Resolute Bay, and a deep-water port at Nanisivik, on the northern tip of Baffin Island. The country is also beefing up its military presence in the far North with 900 Rangers.

“Canada’s Government understands that the first principle of Arctic sovereignty is use it or lose it,” Mr Harper said. The move comes a week after Russia planted a rustproof titanium flag on the seabed beneath the North Pole in a blatant attempt to stake a claim to the billions of tonnes of untapped energy resources believed to be under the Arctic Ocean. Under international law, each of five Arctic countries – Canada, Russia, the United States, Norway and Denmark – controls an economic zone within 200 miles of its continental shelf. But the limits of that shelf are in dispute, and as Russia seeks to expand its gas and oil reserves, the region is at the centre of a battle for energy rights and ownership. Last week’s Russian expedition, when two mini-submarines reached the seabed 13,980ft (4,261m) beneath the North Pole, was part of a push by Moscow to find evidence for its claim that the Arctic seabed and Siberia are linked by a single continental shelf, thus making the polar region a geological extension of Russia.

The vessels recovered samples from the seabed in an attempt to demonstrate that the Lomonosov Ridge, an underwater shelf that runs through the Arctic, is an extension of Russian territory. The United Nations rejected that claim in 2002, citing lack of proof, but Moscow is expected to make its case again in 2009. Denmark and Canada also argue that the Lomonosov Ridge is connected to their territories. Norway is also conducting a survey to strengthen its case. All five Arctic nations are competing to secure subsurface rights to the seabed. One study by the US Geological Survey estimates that the Arctic has as much as 25 per cent of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas. Canada was furious at the attempted Russian land grab. “This isn’t the 15th century,” Peter MacKay, the Canadian Foreign Minister, said. “You can’t go around the world and just plant flags and say, ‘We’re claiming this territory’.”

The move has clearly rattled the Harper administration, which is under domestic pressure to beef up its sovereignty claims to the disputed region. Mr Harper said that his announcement of the new military facilities would “tell the world that Canada has a real, growing, long-term presence in the Arctic”. Standing next to Gordon O’Connor, his Defence Minister, and a group of Rangers – a rifle-toting Inuit volunteer force – Mr Harper added: “Protecting national sovereignty, the integrity of our borders, is the first and foremost responsibility of a national government.”

Last month Mr Harper announced that six to eight new navy patrol ships would be built to guard the Northwest Passage sea route in the Arctic.


Canada Plans Two Military Facilities In Arctic

Canada says it plans to build two new military facilities in the Arctic, including a deep-water port and training center for Canadian military personnel. The announcement on August 10 by Prime Minister Stephen Harper came a week after Russian explorers using submarines symbolically staked a claim to the region by planting a flag at a depth of 4,200 meters, beneath the ice of the North Pole. The Russian effort has been regarded as a move to help advance Russia's claims to oil, gas, and mineral resources on the Arctic seabed. Under international law, none of the surrounding Arctic states -- Russia, the United States, Canada, Norway, or Denmark -- owns the North Pole or the Arctic Ocean. Sovereignty rights are guided by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Under international law, Russia, Canada, Norway, the United States, and Denmark currently each control 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zones in the Arctic Ocean extending from their coastlines. But the law also allows a country to file a claim on additional territory beyond its exclusive economic zone if it can define the outer limits of its continental shelf -- in the Russian case the Lomonosov Ridge. Moscow said the expedition would help prove that the North Pole is a geological extension of Russia.


Putin praises new radar station near St. Petersburg

President Vladimir Putin said Saturday he was satisfied with the new Voronezh anti-missile radar station recently built near St. Petersburg. Putin, who attended a session on the development of the aviation engines industry, said he hoped the Defense Ministry would ensure the unconditional implementation of all plans for the modernization of the Russian Army and Navy.

"This [radar] is the first step toward the implementation of the overall program, which is intended to be implemented by 2015," Putin said. "It is pleasant to note that it was achieved not only within the set timeframe, but also with the use of Russian intellectual and production means." The radar station, located in Lekhtusi, near St. Petersburg, began operating December 22, 2006, and is capable of monitoring territory stretching from the North Pole to North Africa.

"This is what we, in effect, call the modern development of our Armed Forces - an innovative development of those Armed Forces. It is considerably less expensive, more effective and more reliable," he said. He noted that former Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov devoted a great deal of time to the question of modernizing Russia's Armed Forces. "I hope that the new military leadership will also do all it can to guarantee to realization of plans for the modernization of the Army and Navy," Putin said.

Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:

Գարեգին Նժդեհ
Posts: 556
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:46 pm
Location: Cyberia

Postby Armenian on Sat Aug 18, 2007 3:35 am

On a side note, which in my opinion is somewhat related to the Russian Federation, are the following news reports about South America:



Venezuela, Argentina sign Bolivia energy accords

(From left to right, Argentina’s President Nestor Kirchner, Bolivia’s Evo morales, Brazil’s Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez at a regional summit in Iguazu, Argentina, 2006)

Argentina and Venezuela pledged new oil and natural gas investments on Friday in their neighbor and leftist ally Bolivia, which is seeking new investors after nationalizing its energy sector last year. Leaders from the three countries met in Tarija, Bolivia's natural gas capital, where President Nestor Kirchner said Argentina would give Bolivia soft loans for a $450 million processing plant to ship more natural gas to Argentina. Bolivia and Venezuela launched an ambitious energy alliance earlier in the day, announcing $600 million in oil exploration by a new binational company, YPFB-Petroandina. In Tarija, President Evo Morales said, as he has before, that companies that do not meet investment commitments will be thrown out of Bolivia, and Kirchner said Argentina would step in.

"My dear Evo, my telephone is waiting for your call. If these businessmen don't invest, just pick up the phone and we Argentines are going to come invest with you," Kirchner said. Morales nationalized Bolivia's energy industry in May 2006, hugely increasing the government portion of profit from foreign oil companies such as Brazil's Petrobras and Spain's Repsol-YPF. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who this week toured the region promising new energy investments in Argentina, Uruguay and Ecuador as well as Bolivia, has used wealth from his country's oil exports to extend his regional influence.

His new joint venture with Morales -- 60 percent Bolivian and 40 percent Venezuelan -- will explore in the unexplored Amazon region north of La Paz and in blocks in Chaco, in southeastern Bolivia. Chavez also pledged financial backing for Bolivia to start developing a petrochemical industry. Argentina, meanwhile, will give Bolivia a 20-year, 1.5 percent loan to finance a gas separation plant billed as becoming the biggest in South America, with capacity to process 30 million cubic meters of gas a day, Kirchner said.

Kirchner previously pledged to invest another $1.5 billion in a pipeline to be ready within three years to increase Argentine natural gas imports from Bolivia to 20 million cubic meters a day, almost three times current levels. Critics say Kirchner's price controls on natural gas produced at home have dampened investment in Argentina's own energy industry and question his plans to bring increase shipments of more expensive fuel from Bolivia. Morales and Chavez also announced a joint $70 million investment in a thermoelectric plant for the Chapare region. Bolivia will put in 60 percent and Venezuela will add the rest.


Doing It Their Own Way: Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador

A new wave of Latin American leaders is changing the face of the region and its relations with the United States, multilateral institutions, international financial markets and foreign investors. While this is often seen in Washington in political terms, as the rise of populism or anti-Americanism, much can be explained by looking at the economics of these changes. Rafael Correa, Ecuador's newly elected president, is a case in point. Correa recently sent the country's bond markets tumbling by announcing that he would seek to restructure Ecuador's foreign debt. He is looking toward a 75 percent debt reduction, and will use the savings on debt service to increase social spending.

Correa, who got his Ph.D. in economics at the University of Illinois in Urbana, understands very well that foreign capital can, in some circumstances, contribute to development. But when a country is borrowing simply to pay off debt, it may make more sense to clear some debt off the books and start over, just as someone who declares bankruptcy in the United States does. Argentina defaulted on its debt in December 2001. The government drove a hard bargain with its foreign creditors and with the International Monetary Fund, which wanted the government to pay more to the defaulted bondholders and to follow more orthodox macro- economic policy prescriptions. In the end the Argentines were proven right. The economy shrank for only about three months after the default; it has since grown at an annual rate of more than 8 percent, pulling more than 8 million people out of poverty in a country of 36 million.

President Néstor Kirchner of Argentina has pursued these policies outside of the international spotlight. But the way he led Argentina out of its depression of 1998-2002 is comparable to President Franklin D. Roosevelt's leadership in the United States during the Great Depression. Like Roosevelt, Kirchner had to reject the advice of the majority of the economics profession (Roosevelt did this even before Keynes had published his General Theory), stand up to powerful interests (foreign bondholders and utility companies, the IMF and World Bank), and do what was best for the country. A stable and competitive exchange rate, reasonable interest rates and the use of unorthodox measures to control inflation were some of the policies that Argentina needed to produce its remarkable economic recovery.

Venezuela's Hugo Chávez is a more controversial leader, but his government's economic policies are working. The year 2006 will be the second in a row in which Venezuela has a 10 percent growth rate, the highest in the region, after a 17.8 percent jump in 2004. To put the country on a solid growth path, the government needed to get control over the national oil company PDVSA, which is the source of nearly half the government's revenues and 80 percent of the country's export earnings. The opposition resisted fiercely, with a U.S.-backed military coup and an oil strike that devastated the economy in 2002-2003. But since the government prevailed it has been able to assure not only rapid growth but vastly expanded social programs for the poor, including free health care, subsidized food and increased access to education.

Some say this is just an oil boom that will collapse when oil prices drop, but the Chávez government has budgeted conservatively for oil prices that were about half of what they are now. The governments of Argentina and Venezuela are transforming not only their own countries but also the region by finally breaking the IMF's control over credit. Only a few years ago, a government that did not agree to IMF conditions would find itself denied credit not only from the Fund but from the much larger World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, G-7 governments and even the private sector. This was the major instrument of Washington's influence in the region, and helped bring higher interest rates, tighter budgets, privatization, indiscriminate liberalization of international trade and capital flows and the abandonment of development strategies.

Venezuela has now provided an alternative source of credit, with no economic policy strings attached, to Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador and other countries. The dissolution of the IMF's "creditors' cartel" is the most important change in the international financial system since the collapse of the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates in 1973. Now even poor countries like Bolivia can say no to the "Washington consensus," capture billions of dollars of additional revenues from resources like natural gas, and use them to deliver on their promises of a New Deal for the region's poor. The region's first indigenous president, Evo Morales, is also making history as he completes his first year in office.

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil has continued the neoliberal policies (and resultant sluggish economic growth) of his predecessor. But he has been a team player internationally, forging a close alliance with Argentina and Venezuela that has buried Washington's proposed "Free Trade Area of the Americas," and pursuing increased regional economic integration. Latin America has clearly taken a turn in a new economic direction, and it looks to be overwhelmingly positive. After 26 years of slow economic growth, it would be difficult for the new leaders to do worse.



And related news that got my attention is this report about Israeli, American and British special forces operating in the jungles of Colombia under the pretext of fighting "drug lords" and guerilla fighters. As previously stated, US-backed Colombia will the the future center of anti-Venezuelan military operations.

Nonetheless, just try to imagine what would happen if Venezuela decided one day to send military specialists to south Lebanon or Iraq under one pretext or another. Or, better yet, try to imagine the political crisis that would occur if Iran sent its specialists to Venezuela to help them fight "drug lords."



Report: Israelis fighting guerillas in Colombia


Colombian paper quotes local defense minister as confirming ex Israeli officers helping government in battle against guerillas, drug lords, while guerrilla group FARC claims Israeli commandos also fighting them in jungles

Colombia's defense minister confirmed recently that ex Israeli military men were helping his government fight guerilla organizations, Colombia weekly Semana recently reported. Meanwhile, Colombian guerilla group FARC stated that Israeli commandos, along with American and British forces, were operating in the jungles against drug lords and guerilla fighters. While denying this report, Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos did admit that a group of Israeli advisors was working alongside local defense officials in the last year.

According to Semana, "A group of former Israeli military officials is counseling the military's top brass on intelligence issues." The paper added that the Israelis were hired by the Colombian Defense Ministry in order to improve the army's intelligence gathering capabilities and the command and control structure within the military. Defense Minister Santos, said the Semana, was put in touch with the Israelis last year by former Israeli foreign minister Shlomo Ben Ami. Ben Ami's spokesman stated that Santos has been referred to the relevant authorities in Israel. The contract between the Israeli advisors and the Colombian Defense Ministry was signed in April this year, and sources in the country said that it stood at $10 million.

'Best in the world'

The Israeli group, reportedly made up of three senior generals, a lower ranking officer and three translators, is highly esteemed by the Colombians. "They are like psychoanalysts; they ask us the material questions and help us see all the problems we weren't aware of before," Deputy Defense Minister Sergio Jaramillo told the newspaper. "They are the best in the world," another high ranking officer stated.

The paper described the Israeli aides as "mercenaries," but stressed that the Israeli government was aware of their actions. In recent years, Israel has become Colombia's number one weapon supplier, with the arms mainly used to battle drug lords. These weapons include drones, light arms and ammunition, observation and communication systems and even special bombs capable of destroying coca fields. "Israel's methods of fighting terror have been duplicated in Colombia," a senior defense official said Thursday, adding that arms export to Colombia has increased significantly in recent years, totaling tens of millions of dollars.

Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:

Գարեգին Նժդեհ
Posts: 556
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:46 pm
Location: Cyberia

Postby Armenian on Sat Aug 18, 2007 3:37 am

The CIS and Baltic press on Russia



The press continues to discredit the Nord Stream gas project. Newspapers have given extensive coverage to a letter, whereby members of the Estonian Academy of Sciences protest against allowing Gazprom's subsidiary to study the seabed in the Estonian economic zone.

"The scientists believe that Gazprom's actions do not fit in the EU-accepted business relations. Actively using the advantages of the EU's open energy market, Gazprom is blocking the construction of a gas pipeline from Central Asia to Europe and preventing foreign businesses from developing Russian gas deposits." (Postimees, August 1).

"In plain terms, the Academy thinks that Gazprom is hypocritical, is a weapon of the Kremlin, its pipelines explode but it is not responsible for potential damage to the environment." (Delfi, August 8 ).

The media are annoyed with Russia and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) for strong criticism of the 20th SS division's rally in Sinimae. Commentators are explaining the position of PACE chairman, Rene van der Linden, by his family's economic interests in Russia.

"The PACE chairman's criticism of Estonia is astounding, to put it mildly.... Linden believes that the rally in Sinimae and the Erna Raid [military competition based on the route of a subversive Nazi group] testify to the growing neo-Nazi attitudes in Estonia, and that it is necessary to exert pressure on it in this context. Did he really make this statement because his family has economic interests in Russia? Let's recall that Gerhard Schroeder, whose prosperity also depends on the Kremlin, was one of the few critics of Estonia during the April events." (Eesti Paevaleht, August 3).


Analysts consider inevitable a global conflict between the two civilizations - Russian and Anglo-American. The press is blaming Russia for trying to restore its superpower status at all costs, which has already escalated tensions in Russian-American relations.

"Sometimes, both superpowers embraced each other with passion, while at other times they were on the brink of a nuclear war.... Russia does not consider strong a state if its citizens do not march obediently during parades. For Russians, democracy is no more than a desire of their tsar. In turn, Americans do not understand how people can live without independent courts, the media, real political opposition, etc. Hence, the majority in Russia believe in the need for military parity with the United States. It does not even occur to Russia that it is possible to live without military parity. It is guided by Napoleon's principle - a ruler who does not upkeep his army, has to upkeep his enemy's army." (Nedelya, August 1).


The media are alarmed by plans of the pro-Kremlin Nashi (Us) youth movement to establish a representative office in Lithuania. Viewing this intention as the Kremlin's political expansion, commentators are hoping that the Ministry of Justice will prohibit this youth movement in Lithuania as an extremist organization.

"Russia has been building up its might recently because of soaring oil prices, and its political ambitions have been growing accordingly. The Kremlin is trying to achieve its goals in the Baltic countries not only by using economic and information channels, but also by backing local Russian political and public organizations." (Respublika, August 1).


Experts believe that the recently announced tender for the construction of a Belarusian nuclear power plant is the beginning of Minsk's new political and economic game with Moscow.

"The plant will be built near the Belarusian city of Mogilev, some 500 km away from Moscow. Needless to say, the Belarusian president was bound to use this fact to blackmail the Russian leaders. The French AREVA company is not likely to build a nuclear power plant in Belarus. The tender is just another Belarusian trick. In fact, Russia has been offered a deal - if Moscow forgives Minsk its gas debts today, Minsk will promise Moscow victory in the tender tomorrow. A Russian loan will pay for it. Whether this wonderful 'morrow' will become a reality is a big question. The Belarusian president has been promising Russia full integration 'tomorrow' for more than 10 years, which did not prevent him from getting Russian energy sources at symbolic prices 'today.'" (Narodnaya volya, August 2).


Talking about a new gas conflict between Moscow and Minsk, the press recalls that the January clash ended badly for Minsk - it had to accept a higher gas price and an agreement on the sale of part of its gas transportation network. Fearing that Kiev may land in a similar position now, commentators are warning that it may pay dearly for concessions to Russia.

"Belarus has driven itself into a corner by giving up its all but one trump card - transit. Now it will be swallowed by bits - its businesses will be taken away, its prime ministers reshuffled and gas prices will go up on end. This whole story should give much food for thought to the Ukrainian authorities. It is no secret that Russians regularly approach us with the proposals to own the pipe together. They are using the same arguments as with Belarus - we'll fix a normal price on gas for you and you'll forget about this problem altogether! The example of Belarus shows that in real life this means taking over businesses for debts and establishing outside control over them. Belarus is not the only one. At one time, Russia's 'wonderful' property-for-debts program allowed it to get its hands on Armenia's strategic businesses." (Gazeta po-kievsky, August 2).

Journalists believe that Russian-British diplomatic squabble is no more than a clash of bilateral economic and geopolitical interests.

"As always, money rules the world. The Russians have deprived British Petroleum of access to Siberia's richest oil deposits and London is in anger. Moreover, London has become a global headquarters for shadow Russian millionaires in exile who are pushing up prices for London's real estate and certainly greasing the hands of local politicians. This is enough for the West to launch a new crusade for the 'liberation' of oil from its despotic owners." (2000, August 3).


Chisinau commentators maintain that by and large, Russia has lost its battle for Kosovo. All Tiraspol can hope for is that the United Nations will consider Russia's veto and suspend Kosovo's recognition.

"If the United Nations remains uninvolved and Kosovo's independence will be recognized by those who are working for it now, the process of Transdnestr settlement will become a link in the chain of unpredictable events on the Balkans." (Nezavisimaya Moldova, August 3).


The press is convinced that the Western firm intention to see Kosovo independent is a show of force to Russia rather than demonstrative punishment of Serbia.

"NATO is not granting independence to Kosovo. NATO is punishing Serbia for Russia to get the hint what will happen if it does not become obedient." (Golos Armenii, August 4).


Nobody doubts in Georgia that Russian aircraft bombed it on August 6. The media are unanimous in qualifying this incident as an undisguised act of aggression on behalf of Russia. Experts are coming up with their versions of why Moscow has made this provocation.

"The Russian Federation is Georgia's enemy - this is beyond doubt. It will take such an aircraft five minutes to fly from the bombing site to downtown Tbilisi. Nothing is sacred for these people.... This is a test to see how Georgia and the world will react to this with a view to planning more serious actions in the future.... This is one more opportunity to remind the Georgians that Russia is not so weak as some people think.... The military, primarily the generals and certain political forces, may have a stake in it." (Novosti-Gruziya, August 7).

The press views recognition of Kosovo's independence as an all but a fair accompli. Commentators fear that Russia will be next to recognize Abkhazia's independence.

'"Kosovo's destiny has been decided, which means that our future will also be decided in the near future,' said Abkhazian leader Sergei Bagapsh." (24 saati, August 8 ).

"Kosovo's official recognition will create serious problems for Georgia.... Russia is going to officially recognize Abkhazia in January." (Rezonansi, August 2).


Analyzing the prospects of Azerbaijan's gas exports, analysts have come to the conclusion that it will be able, with U.S. and EU support, to seriously reduce Russia's natural gas exports to Europe, if not oust it from the market altogether in the near future.

"Azerbaijan is finally squeezing Russia from the Georgian market. It supplies Georgia with gas at a price of $63 for 1,000 cubic meters from the Shakh-Deniz deposit. Its national oil company has an agreement with Georgia for the delivery of $120 for 1,000 cubic meters of gas. These figures may seriously interfere with Russia's gambling with prices not only in the CIS but also in Europe. They may deal a heavy blow to the interests of the Kremlin with its stake in high prices rather than bigger volumes... In the future, cheaper Azeri gas from Shakh-Deniz will challenge Russia's gas." (Zerkalo, August 2).


Analysts are surprised that Moscow is not showing more interest in Ashgabat at the time when the United States is being increasingly open about its goals in Turkmenistan. Experts believe that President Gurbanguly Berdymuhammedov's declaration on gas cooperation with Russia and Kazakhstan in the Caspian will not be an obstacle to Turkmenistan's involvement in a project to build a new gas pipeline on the Caspian seabed, which will allow Central Asia to reach world markets bypassing Russia.

"For the time being, there is nothing more than diplomatic support. Russia has almost no investment or joint ventures in the republic; gas and oil cooperation between Moscow and Ashgabat (except the purchase of Turkmen gas for its resale to Europe) is at its infancy. Gazprom, the Russian gas monopoly, has made it clear more than once that it is impossible to talk about developing gas cooperation with Turkmenistan until independent auditors find out what gas reserves it has in reality and for how long it will be able to abide by its commitments." (Delovaya nedelya, August 6).

Commentators believe that a meeting of muftis from a number of North Caucasian republics with the U.S. president confirms the threat of separatism in Russia's Muslim regions. They maintain that the United States wants to surround Russia with unfriendly states and destroy it from within.

"Numerous world empires fell apart in the 20th century and Russia is the only one to still have this dubious status. This explains its many problems and contradictions. Some Western politicians do not mind playing it up. Recently, George W. Bush invited North Caucasian muftis to visit him. They met at his family compound with former U.S. President George Bush Sr.. This was a heavy blow to Russia's pride." (Aikyn Apta, August 2).


The media are writing that growing violence towards migrants from former Soviet republics and lack of police reaction to it is compelling them to take care of their security themselves.

"In Moscow, skinheads have been defeated by people from Central Asia.... Judging by all, nationalist-minded young people provoked a conflict with Asians. Some of the wounded belong to informal youth nationalist groups. But migrants from the Caucasus and Asia know better than to walk in Moscow at night without any protection. This time, Asians had a shiv with them." (Musulmansky Uzbekistan, August 2).


Many analysts explain yet another rise in prices for foods and fuels by the Russian preference of the European market.

"As soon as our main suppliers Russia and Kazakhstan increased prime fuel costs, gas and diesel prices skyrocketed. Foreign oil producing and processing companies had to raise wholesale prices because fuel became more expensive all over the world. At the same time, the Russians stand to gain much more by exporting oil to those foreign countries which are paying a lot of money for it...." (web site of the Ar-Namys party, August 3).


Some analysts believe that relations between Russia and Turkmenistan are unlikely to improve soon. "Despite the optimistic forecasts and statements by Russian experts and politicians, Turkmenistan has not become closer to the Russian Federation. True, President [Gurbanguly] Berdymukhammedov maintains friendly relations with the Kremlin and flirts with Russian gas majors. However, the new Turkmen leader's priorities include consolidating the country's position in Central Asia and forging ties with China, which is now often referred to in Ashkhabad as a strategic partner. In addition, Berdymukhammedov is making a point of cooperating with Western companies." (, August 3).


The media believe that Central Asian countries are quite capable of solving their own problems and those of the region without Russian interference. "There is quite a lot of controversy and mutual recriminations in the region, but recent statements by Central Asian leaders indicate that they are willing and able to overcome those barriers. Kyrgyzstan has chosen Kazakhstan as its regional patron, while Tajikistan is apparently eyeing Turkmenistan. Dushanbe has recently assured Ashkhabad of its undying friendship, and will soon start receiving in response the 1 billion kWh of electricity it needs to make up shortfalls. Uzbekistan has forgotten all its grudges and offered President Berdymukhammedov its full support for the Turkmenistan-China gas pipeline project in the hope of receiving certain dividends: first, the pipeline, if laid, will cross Uzbekistan, and second, Tashkent will be able to export its own gas to China as a participant in the project." (Sobytia, August 2).

Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:

Գարեգին Նժդեհ
Posts: 556
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:46 pm
Location: Cyberia

Postby Armenian on Sat Aug 18, 2007 3:43 am

Putin aides attack Miliband's family in a bid to undermine him over Litvinenko saga


The grandfather of Foreign Secretary David Miliband has been dragged into the diplomatic stand-off between Britain and Russia - more than 40 years after his death. Last week - as the two countries continued to trade insults over Moscow's refusal to hand over the man suspected of Alexander Litvinenko's murder - Mr Miliband was accused of inheriting a "hatred" of Russia from his Polish-born Jewish grandfather Samuel. The accusation was made by Gleb Pavlovsky, one of President Vladimir Putin's closest advisers, who said Samuel fought under the command of Trotsky in the Twenties, eliminating White Russians opposed to communism.

Pavlovsky, 52, is an influential figure in Moscow.

He is director of a powerful political think-tank and described by observers of Kremlin power struggles as a "genius of black PR". He has had a hand in most of the country's recent political upheavals and is thought to have helped to ease Mr Putin into power in 1999. But an investigation by The Mail on Sunday has established that Samuel was never involved in the killing of Russians. We have also discovered that far from being "Russian-haters", one of the Miliband family actually fought with the Red Army. And we have been told that Mr Pavlovsky's comments - in a Russian newspaper - were simply an attempt to undermine Britain's Foreign Secretary by highlighting his Jewish roots in a country where anti- Semitism is rife.

Samuel Miliband was born in the Jewish quarter of Warsaw in 1895 and had 12 brothers and sisters. Eleven of them left Poland after the First World War, but one brother is thought to have joined the Red Army, fighting the Western powers in the Russian civil war. After training as a leather worker in Poland, Samuel emigrated to Belgium in 1920. He married Renia in 1923 and they had a son, Ralph - David Miliband's father. After the Second World War the family settled in London - but more than 40 members of the wider family were sent to their deaths and at least one relative is known to have perished at Auschwitz.

Samuel died from cancer in 1966, by which time Ralph had established an international reputation as a Marxist academic and Left-wing political theorist. Ralph, who died in 1994 aged 70, also comes under attack in Pavlovsky's newspaper article, accused of having led an "ideological war" against the Soviet Union. Ralph was the subject of a biography in 2002 by Professor Michael Newman of London Metropolitan University. Last night Professor Newman, who interviewed many members of the Miliband family while carrying out research for his book, categorically denied that Samuel had taken part in the killing of Russians or had fought in the Polish-Soviet War of 1919-1920 - another allegation made by Pavlovsky in the Russian newspaper.

Professor Newman said he was convinced by the information he had gathered that Pavlovsky's claims were untrue. One theory is that the Kremlin wanted to demean David Miliband in Russian eyes by drawing attention to his Jewish roots. Kremlin officials have been enraged by Mr Miliband's denunciation of their refusal to extradite the main suspect in the Litvinenko affair, Andrei Lugovoi. Dr Jolanta Zyndul, of the Jewish Historical and Cultural Centre in Warsaw, said: "These remarks were probably intended for a Russian audience. "In Russia, Jews have traditionally been seen as an anti-Russian element just as they have been seen as an anti-Polish element in Poland."

Source: ... _a_source=
Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:

Գարեգին Նժդեհ
Posts: 556
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:46 pm
Location: Cyberia


Return to Aryan World

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest