Bad Moon Rising Part 35 - Russia Rearms

russia_missle.jpg

Russian President Orders Military Rearmament

By Adrian Blomfield
The Telegraph
March 17, 2009

The Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, has ordered a ‘comprehensive’ military rearmament after accusing Nato of once again encroaching on Moscow’s sphere of influence in the former Soviet Union.

Mr Medvedev’s bellicose speech risks causing unease in Washington and will dampen hopes of a rapid improvement in strained East-West relations.

The president told defence ministry officials in Moscow that Nato’s continued enlargement ambitions meant that Russia had been left with no choice but to increase its conventional and nuclear combat preparedness. 

The threat to Russia’s stability had also been increased by local crises, Mr Medvedev added, in an apparent reference to last year’s five-day war with Georgia.

“The attempts to enlarge Nato’s military infrastructure are not ceasing,” said Mr Medvedev. “All this calls for qualitatively modernising our armed forces and reshaping their image. This involves the enhancement of combat preparedness of our troops, primarily the strategic nuclear forces.”

A “comprehensive re-armament” of the Russian army and navy will begin in 2011, the president announced.

Despite the aggressive symbolism of the word, US officials are less likely to be concerned about Mr Medvedev’s talk of rearmament than they are of his antagonistic references to Nato.

After a decade of near-collapse in the 1990s, Russia, under the stewardship of the prime minister Vladimir Putin, has launched an ambitious military overhaul that has seen defence spending quintuple since 2001.

Defence spending is to rise still further over the coming years, as Russia embarks on a total military modernisation programme, due to be complete by 2020 that includes a full upgrade of the country’s nuclear deterrent.

It was not immediately clear whether Mr Medvedev’s comments referred to existing defence plans or heralded the beginning of a previously undisclosed phase of re-armament. With Russia’s economy in deep crisis, it is unclear how Mr Medvedev would fund a new rearmament programme.

It is the anti-Nato rhetoric, more typically associated with Mr Putin, that will cause disappointment in Western capitals.

Senior officials in Washington have been convinced they can embark on a new era of friendly ties with Moscow after President Barack Obama spoke of hitting “the reset button” in the East-West relationship.

This week a bipartisan committee in Washington called on the White House to stop encouraging bids by Ukraine and Georgia to join Nato. The Kremlin bitterly opposes membership for either ex-Soviet states, which it says are part of Russia’s “privileged sphere of influence”.

There have also been signs that the United States is having second thoughts about plans to erect a missile-defence shield in central Europe, a proposal that has also caused significant friction with Russia.

Amid all the talk of reconciliation, Mr Medvedev’s comments will therefore strike a jarring note. The optimists in Washington will argue that the Russian president’s strident tone was aimed at a domestic audience, while the pessimists will take it as evidence that pushing the reset button is not quite as easy as the new administration might have assumed.

The Pentagon played down Mr Medvedevs comments. Geoff Morrell, its spokesman, said that Russia was “perfectly entitled to a robust self-defence,” adding that there had been no alarm among US defence chiefs.

SOURCE

---

Russia starts major naval drills in Mediterranean Sea amid Syria crisis

Press TV
January 20, 2013

Russia has launched its largest naval exercises in decades in the Mediterranean and Black Seas near the territorial waters of Syria amid the ongoing crisis in the Arab country.

The drills are held in line with the Russian Armed Forces 2013 combat training plan and focus on interoperability of task forces from several fleets while on a mission in a far-off maritime zone, said an official statement by Russia’s Defense Ministry on Saturday.

The maneuvers will continue until January 29 and comprise more than 60 drills, including anti-submarine warfare missions, missile and artillery firing practices.

Russia’s Black Sea, Northern and Baltic fleets, strategic bombers, tactical aircraft, air defense units, paratroopers and naval infantry will take part in the naval exercises.

The task forces have four large landing ships and a variety of auxiliary vessels in their composition which enable the Russian forces to carry out simulated beach landing and convoy escort missions.

Some of naval maneuvers are expected to be conducted in the eastern part of the Mediterranean near the territorial waters of Syria where foreign-backed terrorists have stepped up their campaign against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Russia has criticized the Western countries’ support for the terrorists in the Arab country.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of army and security personnel, have been killed in the violence.

SOURCE

---

Russian Navy to send permanent fleet to Mediterranean

RT News
March 17, 2013

Russia will dispatch a permanent group of five to six combat ships to the Mediterranean Sea, Russian Navy chief Admiral Viktor Chirkov said. Frigates and cruisers will make up the core of the fleet.

“Up to five or six ships must be on a permanent basis in the Mediterranean Sea. They should be controlled through the command of the Black Sea Fleet,” Russian TV channel Zvezda quoted Admiral Chirkov as saying.

Supply vessels will also be included in the permanent deployment to the Mediterranean.

The decision to send Russian ships to the Mediterranean’s waters was first announced on March 11 by Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu.

“I think that we have everything to create and maintain such a grouping. Certainly, this shows the positive dynamics of development of the Navy,” Shoigu told top officers of the Russian Armed Forces. By 2020, the Russian Navy will include eight missile submarines, 16 multipurpose subs and 54 combat ships, he added.

Chirkov said that top Navy officers are currently in the process of strategizing the deployment of a combat group to the Mediterranean. He also said that Russia is prepared to send combat ships to the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

“There was an experience in the history of the Navy when we had squadrons in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Of course, if needed, we will [advise] the Defense Ministry’s top officials, the government and the President [on the deployment of] task forces on a permanent basis there,” Chirkov explained.

A Russian fleet operated in the Mediterranean Sea from 1967 to 1992. At the time, Russia’s Fifth Mediterranean fleet of Navy ships, consisting of at least 30 to 50 vessels, was intended to counter the US Navy’s Sixth Fleet.

In the meantime, Baltic fleet ships are off to the Gulf of Aden to protect vessels from pirate attacks. Combat ship “Neustrashimy” accompanied by a tugboat and a tanker, has left the port of Baltiysk, which is located in the Kaliningrad region, heading for the west coast of the African continent, where it will ensure the safety of civil navigation. It will be the third anti-pirate trip for the Russian frigate and will last for several months.

SOURCE

Bad Moon Rising
Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5
Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8 - Part 9 - Part 10
Part 11 - Part 12 - Part 13 - Part 14 - Part 15
Part 16 - Part 17 - Part 18 - Part 19 - Part 20
Part 21 - Part 22 - Part 23 - Part 24 - Part 25
Part 26 - Part 27 - Part 28 - Part 29 - Part 30
Part 31 - Part 32 - Part 33 - Part 34 - Part 35
Part 36 - Part 37 - Part 38 - Part 39 - Part 40
Part 41 - Part 42 - Part 43 - Part 44 - Part 45
Part 46 - Part 47 - Part 48 - Part 49 - Part 50
Part 51 - Part 52 - Part 53 - Part 54