Archive for the ‘Iskander’ Category

Russia Accelerates Nuclear Re-Arming

December 23, 2008

Russia has set out plans to increase its military procurement over the next three years and commission 70 new strategic nuclear missiles.

A government official said there would also be more short-range missiles, combat planes, helicopters, tanks and naval vessels.

In all, Russia will spend nearly $140bn (£94.5bn) on buying arms.

BBC


Russian road mobile intercontinental ballistic missile, Topol-M

Higher oil revenues in recent years have allowed the Kremlin to increase the military budget, analysts say.

The move comes months after the war with Georgia, which exposed problems with outdated equipment and practices within Russia’s armed forces and led to calls for military modernisation.

Missile row

The comments came from Vladislav Putilin, whose department oversees weapons industries, after a government session chaired by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

“More than 70 strategic missiles will be bought and delivered to troops in the next three years, more than 30 short-range Iskander missiles and a large number of booster rockets and aircraft,” Interfax news agency quoted him as saying.

The military would also purchase 14 naval vessels, 48 combat jets, more than 60 military helicopters and almost 300 tanks, he added.

The move comes amid tensions with the US over its plan to deploy elements of a missile shield in Eastern Europe.

Last month President Dmitry Medvedev said Russia would deploy short-range Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad, a Baltic enclave near Nato member Poland, if the US went ahead.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7796820.stm

Related:
 Chutzpah: Admire Russia’s Arrogance
Russia's "Iskander" missile system on display ... 

Russia’s “Iskander” missile system on display at a military exhibition in the Siberian town of Nizhny Tagil in 2005. President Dmitry Medvedev has said Russia will place short-range missile systems on the EU’s eastern border to counter planned US missile defence installations in Eastern Europe.  He later backed down.(AFP/VEDOMOSTI/File/Evgeny Stetsko)
 

 

 

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visits a ballistic missile ...
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visits a ballistic missile site in Russia in October. Russia is developing missiles designed to avoid being hit by space-based missile defence systems that could be deployed by the United States, a top Russian general was quoted as saying.(AFP/Pool/File/Dmitry Astakhov)

Russia’s Nuclear Re-Arming Includes 70 New Nuclear Missiles in 3 Years

December 22, 2008

The Russian military will commission 70 strategic nuclear missiles over the next three years, a senior government official said Monday, according to Russian news agencies.

The statement by Vladislav Putilin, a deputy head of the Cabinet’s military-industrial commission in charge of weapons industries, indicates the government’s intention to significantly increase the tempo of rearming Russia‘s Strategic Missile Forces.

Since the late 1990s, Russia has commissioned more than 50 new Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missiles at a pace of several missiles a year. Soviet-built nuclear missiles continue to account for the bulk of Russia’s strategic nuclear forces, and the military has repeatedly extended their designated lifetime to maintain the nation’s nuclear deterrent.


Topol-M

Putilin, who spoke after a government session chaired by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin that discussed the weapons purchases, said the Cabinet has decided to spend about 4 trillion rubles, or $141 billion, on new weapons over the next three years, Interfax and RIA Novosti news agencies reported.

Putilin said that in addition to 70 strategic missiles, the military will also get 30 short-range Iskander missiles, 48 combat jets, 60 military helicopters, more than 300 tanks and 14 navy vessels in the next three years.

Putin urged Cabinet officials Monday to quickly transfer the funds allocated for the military-industrial complex and closely control the quality of new weapons and pace of their production.

Russia’s oil bonanza allowed the Kremlin to continuously boost military budgets during Putin’s eight-year presidential tenure, but Soviet-built weapons have remained the core of the nation’s armed forces.

Experts have warned that the Kremlin’s goals of military modernization may now be stymied by the nation’s economic crisis.

–Associated Press

Russia, Obama and the Strategic Chess Tournament

December 19, 2008

Within hours of Barack Obama’s election as President of the United States a kind of Slavic chess tournament opened in the Kremlin to defeat the new American president.  Whether it is because he is Black or for whatever reason (and we might not know the Russian reason exactly for some time) Russian President Dmitry Medvev and his predecessor, mentor and Foreign Minister Vladimir Putin, began to pressure, cajole and coerce Mr. Obama.

The chess pieces include the U.S. missile defense plan for Europe, which includes ten or so interceptor missiles and a radar site, both in Poland and the Czech Republic.  Russia wants to checkmate these and get them off the European (and Kremlin) chessboard.

Putin and Medvev have as kings nuclear weapons of their own.  The day after Obama’s election, in an opening move, Medvedev offered to really provide a geographic move of short range nuclear-tipped Iskander missiles closer to Eastern Europe.

The U.S. yawned.

Medvedev backed off this idea largely due to world-wide condemnation at his dangerous bluster.

Today Russia says it will stop developing “some” strategic nuclear weapons if the U.S. halts it European missile shield plan.

This seems to us at Peace and Freedom to be a play by Russia to guarantee future Russian superpower status.  Eastern European (and former Soviet) nations like the Czech Republic and Georgia are gravitating toward the West and NATO, and Russia cannot accept their loss.  That’s why Russia invaded Georgia and South Ossetia last summer….

Related:
Russians Say Medvedev, Obama to Meet “Soon After Jan 20 Inauguration”

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Vladimir Putin is a world-class chess master at getting what he wants.  The former KGB man now  seems poised to return to the presidency of Russia for another term in a few years and he seems to have convinced many, by deception, that missile defenses in Europe are a threat to Russia.

What Putin wants is control of Russia — and a Russia of long term dominance on the world stage.

Conceived way back during the Ronald Reagan presidency and often derisively called “Star Wars” or the missile shield, U.S. missile defense is no threat to Russia or anyone else.  Like a defensive basketball or football player, missile defense is designed and used to block destructive attacking missiles from reaching their goals.

Russia has manipulated the world media for almost two decades to create the illusion that missile defense is some threat to Russians.  In fact, no missile defense missile has the capability of harming Russia or Russians: the “kill mechanism” of a missile defense interceptor is the kinetic energy or crashing into the attacking missile.  The missile defense missile has no warhead — unlike intercontinental ballistic missiles that can carry 10 or so nuclear warheads, each capable of annihilating millions of people and entire cities.

The U.S. missile defense effort for Europe has been a long and painstaking discussion going back two decades.  Along with thousands of others, I participated myself in these discussions, forums and conferences, in the early 1990s, on two levels: first as co-chairman of a NATO study (one of several) to determine the efficacy and implications of a European missile defense to stop missiles like those being developed by Iran targeted on Europe; and then on U.S. government missions to Moscow to show with credible evidence that a U.S. missile defense was no threat to Russia — or anybody.

By the middle 1990s, the Russians seemed to agree that U.S. missile defenses, even in Europe, were no threat to Russia or Russians.

In 2002, the United States, after years of notification to Russia and discussions with Russia, withdrew from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty which had been made with the Soviet Union.  This action was necessary to permit testing of U.S. missile defenses — which had targets and interceptors that could have posed an international legal discussion vis-a-vis the treaty.

Then an interesting thing happened.  Vladimir Putin in Russia decided that he wanted a resurgent Russia with renewed superpower status, like that enjoyed during the Cold War Soviet era.  As Russia developed its oil reserves, exports gave him the financial clout he needed despite an aging and creaky military machine.  But an expert at media and public manipulation, Putin went to work to achieve his goals and to stifle U.S. objectives on many fronts.

Putin Medvedev
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Above: Vladimir Putin speaks with his presidential successor, Dmitry Medvedev, in parliament May 8, 2008. Putin brought Medvedev from the post of Charman of Gazprom, Russia’s oil giant, to become his chief of staff and later preident.  Now Medvedev has proposed a longer term for Russia’s president and it is no secret that Putin wants to come back as President of Russia.  Photo: Sergei Chirikov AFP/Getty Images

The suave, handsome and articulate Mr. Putin and Mr. Medvedev are also quick to reveal clumsy bluster and intimidation — which is what the recent threat to move Iskander missiles closer to Poland seems to have been.

Russia also attacked neighbors in Georgia and South Ossetia — quickly turning ignored intimidation into acts of war.

Russia continues a very aggressive trade relationship with Iran, which continues to develop more capable ballistic missiles, nuclear technology (with Russian help) and sends verbal assaults at least weekly at Israel and the U.S. (”Israel should be wiped from the map,” said Iran’s President Ahmadinejad).

Efforts to slow or stop Iran’s nuclear development in the United Nations are routinely thwarted by Russia and China.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the Natanz uranium ... 
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility.(AFP/File/Atta Kenare)

Now a global media tired of George W. Bush and enamored by Barack Obama has absolutely no time for the truth of the missile defense situation.  This weekend Agence France-Presse (AFP) wrote a photograph caption on a picture of French President Sarkozy and Russian President Medvedev which read, “Sarkozy urged Russia and the United States to stop threatening each other with missiles and missile shields.” (see below)

The fact is that U.S. missile defense threatens nobody — with missiles incabale of landing on Russian targets and without warheads.  The U.S. has even offered Russia the opportunity to place Russian inspectors at U.S. missile defense sites, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year to ensure no sneaky bad guys alter these defensive systems for attack.  The difficulty of converting a missile defense system for attack is, well, like secretly and quickly rerouting the Space Shuttle from a mission to the International Space Station and then attempting a manned landing on Mars.  Russia knows this is a crazy notion — but many in the media and others have swallowed this brainless Russian borscht.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy (L) speaks with President of ... 
French President Nicolas Sarkozy (L) speaks with President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev, before the Europe-Russia finance reform summit in Nice southern France. Sarkozy urged Russia and the United States to stop threatening each other with missiles and missile shields Friday and called for talks on Europe’s future security. (AFP/Valery Hache)
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NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer called the Russian remarks on moving missiles in Europe unsolicited, unnecessary and unhelpful.

Russia has also said that a missile defense system in Europe will “negate” its thousands of nuclear armed missiles.  But the European missile defense system is only intended to have 10 interceptors — which would be easily and quickly overwhelmed by a Russian attack.

Russia's "Iskander" missile system on display ... 
Russia’s “Iskander” missile system on display at a military exhibition in the Siberian town of Nizhny Tagil in 2005. President Dmitry Medvedev has said Russia will place short-range missile systems on the EU’s eastern border to counter planned US missile defence installations in Eastern Europe.(AFP/VEDOMOSTI/File/Evgeny Stetsko)

Threating people in Europe with nuclear destruction is a gossly over the top Russian act of instigation and intimidation — and it makes no sense in the post-Cold War world.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ribert Gates said the threat from Russia, made just after the U.S. election of President-elect Barack Obama, was “hardly the welcome a new American administration deserves. Such provocative remarks are unnecessary and misguided.”

“Quite frankly I’m not clear what the missiles would be for in Kaliningrad, after all the only real emerging threat on Russia’s periphery is in Iran and I don’t think the Iskander missile has the range to get there from Kaliningrad,” Gates added. “Why they would threaten to point missiles at European nations seems quite puzzling to me.”
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Medevev and supposedly Putin have now backed away from their threat to move Iskander missiles but they have created an incredible fog of lies in the air — which many in the international media and elsewhere have swollowed.

U.S. missile defense, and the European effort with Poland and the Czech Republic, is no threat to Russia or anybody else.  It is a system to bat down incoming nuclear warheads from long-range missiles, like those Iran continues to test.

By John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

Russia Testing Obama: Says No To U.S. Missile Defense & Offers To Stop “Some” Rus Weapons

December 19, 2008

Russia has again made an offer, a kind of coercion really in true Slavic style, that would agree to certain Russian weapons moves in exchange for the U.S. to shelve its missile defense system in Europe.

Within hours of Barack Obama’s election last November, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said unless the U.S. stopped its missile defense program that includes Poland and the Czech Repulic, he’d move nuclear tipped Iskander missiles into Eastern Europe.  Now the Kremlin says when the U.S. halts missile defense, Russia will stop building ‘some’ of its new class of intercontinental strategic nuclear missiles….

This looks to us at Peace and Freedom to be more “testing” of Barack Obama from Russia, just as John Rood of the State Department predicted earlier this week…

A Russian Topol-M ICBM intercontinental ballistic missile is ... 
A Russian Topol-M ICBM intercontinental ballistic missile is driven across Red Square in a Victory Day Parade in Moscow, May 2008. Russia’s armed forces will be equipped with new nuclear-capable missiles by 2020 that can overcome defensive measures like the controversial US missile shield, a top military official said on Wednesday.(AFP/File/Yuri Kadobnov)

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Related:
 Russia’s Putin Warns Foes: Don’t Mess With Russia

Russia, Obama and the Slavic Chess Tournament

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia will stop developing some strategic weapons if the United States drops plans for a missile shield in Europe, Interfax news agency quoted the commander of Russia’s strategic missile forces as saying on Friday.

“If Americans give up plans to deploy the third positioning region and other elements of the strategic missile defense system then certainly we will adequately respond to it,” said Colonel-General Nikolai Solovtsov.

“We will simply not need a number of expensive programs,” he added. The U.S. missile shield plan includes interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic.

(Writing by James Kilner)

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visits a ballistic missile ...
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visits a ballistic missile site in Russia in October. Russia is developing missiles designed to avoid being hit by space-based missile defence systems that could be deployed by the United States, a top Russian general was quoted as saying Monday.
(AFP/Pool/File/Dmitry Astakhov)

Russians Say Medvedev, Obama to Meet “Soon After Jan 20 Inauguration”

December 18, 2008

The Russian news agency Novosti says that Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev will meet shortly after the new American president is inaugurated in January, 2009.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said,  according to the Russian News Agency, that President-elect Obama had agreed in a telephone conversation with Mr. Medvedev on November 8 to “arrange a top-level meeting soon after President Obama’s inauguration.” 

Russia President Dmitry Medvedev returns after inspecting a ... 
Russia President Dmitry Medvedev
Photo: AP

Lavrov made the comment after a meeting in Moscow with U.S. Senator Richard Lugar on Thursday.

A U.S. State Department source told Peace and Freedom this is additional pressure on Mr. Obama from the Russian government.

Earlier this week, John Rood, the State Department’s top arms control official, said the Russian government is likely to “test the mettle” of Barack Obama and his administration by taking a tougher stance against U.S. missile defenses.

Within hours of Barack Obama’s election, Medvedev said he would deploy Iskander nuclear-armed missiles to eastern Europe unless the U.S. backed off its deal on missile defense for Poland and the Czech Republic.  Medvedev later backed off that claim.

Russia's "Iskander" missile system on display ... 
Russia’s “Iskander” missile system on display at a military exhibition in the Siberian town of Nizhny Tagil in 2005. President Dmitry Medvedev has said Russia will place short-range missile systems on the EU’s eastern border to counter planned US missile defence installations in Eastern Europe.(AFP/VEDOMOSTI/File/Evgeny Stetsko)

Related:
Russia Will Test Obama on Arms Control, Missile Defense — Diplomat

China is also trying to be at the top of the Obama agenda:
 Obama, U.S. Need Not Kowtow To China

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MOSCOW, December 18 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will meet with U.S. president-elect Barack Obama shortly after the latter is inaugurated in Washington on January 20, the Russian foreign minister said on Thursday.

Sergei Lavrov said at a meeting in Moscow with U.S. Senator Richard Lugar on Thursday that Medvedev and Obama had agreed in a telephone conversation on November 8 to “arrange a top-level meeting soon after President Obama’s inauguration.”

He also added that Moscow was ready to discuss issues on which the two sides had differences in a frank and open manner.

“Russia is prepared for that and we hope that the new administration in Washington will also be ready to discuss any issue on the basis of mutual respect,” Lavrov said.

Russia-U.S. relations have been frayed by Washington’s plans to deploy elements of a missile shield to Central Europe, Russia’s five-day war with Georgia over South Ossetia in August, and NATO’s eastward expansion.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin recently said he expected Russia’s relations with the United States to improve after Obama takes office in January. His words were echoed by Medvedev.

Obama said earlier this month that he wanted to “reset” relations between Washington and an “increasingly assertive” Moscow. “They’re increasingly assertive. And when it comes to Georgia and their threats against their neighboring countries, I think they have been acting in a way that is contrary to international norms,” Obama told NBC’s Meet the Press.

“We want to cooperate with them where we can, and there are a whole host of areas particularly around nonproliferation of weapons and terrorism where we can cooperate, but we also have to send a clear message that they have to act in ways that are not bullying their neighbors,” Obama went on.

 http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,469404,00.html

Testing O's spine in Europe.
Mr. Medvedev.  Photo by AP

Russia Will Test Obama on Arms Control, Missile Defense — Diplomat

December 17, 2008

The Russian government is likely to “test the mettle” of Barack Obama and his administration by taking a tougher stance against U.S. missile defenses, a senior State Department official said Wednesday. John Rood, the department’s top arms control official, told reporters he believes the Russians are waiting to size up the Obama administration before Moscow advances its position on disputed arms issues.

Russia President Dmitry Medvedev returns after inspecting a ... 
Russia President Dmitry Medvedev
Photo: AP

In discussing the state of Russian opposition to U.S. missile defense bases in Poland and the Czech Republic, Rood said it appears that Moscow has “paused” in anticipation of a new national security approach in Washington.

“My assessment is that the Russians intend to test the mettle of the new administration and the new president,” he said. “The future will show how the new administration chooses to answer that challenge.”

Asked to elaborate, he said, “I think missile defense and other subjects will be among those that the Russians intend to determine what the new administration’s posture will be.” He said he reached this conclusion on the basis of an impression gained during talks in Moscow on Monday rather than from explicit Russian statements.

By ROBERT BURNS, Associated Press Writer

He also said the Russians have been less flexible lately in talks on missile defense. In particular he cited their stance on U.S. proposals to give the Russians more assurance that a missile interceptor site in Poland and a missile-tracking radar in the Czech Republic would pose no security threat to Russia.

The U.S., with the support of the Polish and Czech governments, has proposed that Russian officials be given regular access to the interceptor and radar sites and that they be allowed to monitor activity at both sites through undisclosed technical means. Rood did not elaborate on the details in dispute.

“I don’t want to spell out all the details because I think this is a high-priority dialogue for us in the United States, and I don’t think that putting all the details out will facilitate a resolution to it,” he said.

Rood led a U.S. government delegation in talks with senior Russian officials on a range of subjects, including efforts by both governments to negotiate a treaty to replace the 1991 START nuclear arms deal, which expires in December 2009. Rood said the talks were useful but did not achieve any breakthroughs.

Related:
 Foes warned off ‘testing’ Obama

Signals To Obama: Back Off

Foes ready to test Obama overseas

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081217/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_russia

Signals To Obama: Back Off

December 13, 2008

People like Russian leaders Dmitry Medvedev, Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seem to be sending a message to President-elect Barack Obama.

The message might be interpreted as this: America has been too pushy and it’s time to back off.

Testing O's spine in Europe.
Medvedev: Testing O’s spine in Europe?

Today, Russia recaptured the village of Perevi near South Ossetia in Georgia. 

“The Russians deployed a battalion of special forces with helicopters and armor and told the Georgian policemen to get out immediately,” said Shota Utiashvili, a Georgian ministry spokesman.

Russian troops had previously stopped EU ambassadors from visiting Perevi.  The European Union is monitoring the cease-fire in the region.

The Russian action seems to have been a signal to Georgia’s President Mikhail Saakashvili and President-elect Barack Obama.  The U.S., Russians say, has been unfairly siding with the Georgians in the dispute with Russia.

Paul Haven of the Associated Press wrote, “Russian President Dmitry Medvedev chose the day after Barack Obama’s election victory to brandish a threat of ballistic missiles.”

Russia's "Iskander" missile system on display ... 
Russia’s “Iskander” missile system on display at a military exhibition in the Siberian town of Nizhny Tagil in 2005. Just hours after Barack Obama’s election, President Dmitry Medvedev said Russia would place short-range missile systems on the EU’s eastern border to counter planned US missile defence installations in Eastern Europe.  Medvedev later backed away from the threat. (AFP/VEDOMOSTI/File/Evgeny Stetsko)

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also seems to be speaking directly to Obama.

“The crimes being committed by the Zionist regime [Israel] are happening because it is aware that it has reached the end of the line and will soon fade away from the earth,“ Mehr news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying during an anti-Israeli rally in Tehran.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Ahmadinejad

A senior Iranian cleric described President-elect Barack Obama on Friday as a novice who was adopting old U.S. tactics of “deception and fraud,” underscoring Iran’s skepticism about prospects for change in U.S. policy.

President-elect Obama has a lot of good instinct, intelligence and information.  His advisors like Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and nominated Bational Security Advisor James Jones are first rate.

The new President Obama is likely to be tested, and not just challenged, in the months after he is sworn into office….

Related:
Russia Retakes Georgian Village Near South Ossetia, Georgia In New Provocation

Iran’s Ahmadinejad is at it again; predicts Israel’s end

Foes ready to test Obama overseas

Foes warned off ‘testing’ Obama

Russia: Nyet To Any U.S. Missile Defense Anywhere in Europe

December 9, 2008

Any European missile defense network that includes elements of a U.S. missile shield in Poland and the Czech republic would be aimed against Russia, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

Moscow has fiercely opposed the planned U.S. deployment of 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic, saying they will pose a threat to its national security. Washington has said the bases are necessary in order to counter possible strikes from “rogue” states such as Iran.

From: RIA Novosti

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev addresses the Russian nation ...
Russian President Medvedev

“According to the final communique of the NATO foreign ministers [after a December 2-3 meeting in Brussels], any version of the NATO missile defense network in Europe will include the elements of the U.S. global missile defense placed in Poland and the Czech Republic,” spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said in a commentary posted on the ministry’s web site.

“This statement allows us to conclude that the so-called ‘integrated’ European missile defense network will be aimed against Russia,” Nesterenko said.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev earlier threatened to deploy Iskander-M short-range missiles in the country’s Kaliningrad exclave, which borders NATO members Poland and Lithuania, if the U.S. missile defense system was deployed in central Europe.


Russian Iskander

Read the rest:
http://en.rian.ru/russia/20081208/118753526.html