EDITORIAL: Plumbing the Depths of Russian Poverty

EDITORIAL

Plumbing the Depths of Russian Poverty

For our money, the most under-appreciated Russia journalist working today is Galina Stolyarova of the St. Petersburg Times.  In our issue today, we republish not one but two of Stolyarova’s recent reports exposing the true horror of poverty in Vladimir Putin’s Russia. No thinking, feeling human being can read these reports and conclude anything other than that the Putin economy is a not just a total failure, but a total sham.

Stolyarova writes about two Russians:  a young man who tries very unsuccessfully to live on the so-called subsistence diet prescribed by the Kremlin, the one it uses to decide who lives “poverty,” and an old woman forced to steal to feed herself because her pension is too puny.  These two very Russian stories make one thing perfectly clear:  The Putin economy is not serving the people of Russia, it is victimizing them.

The response of the Putin regime to stories like these is not reform, as it would be in a normal country.  Putin instead chooses to deny the existence of any problem, and to liquidate anyone who dares to tell the truth about it. Such a response is hardly surprising from Putin, since he is a proud KGB spy and this is the only way he knows to deal with dissent, the same way they did it in Soviet times.

Only days ago, the International Monetary Fund accused the Putin Kremlin of lying about inflation, of shamelessly claiming the rate for 2011 would be one-third lower than it actually will be.  The report highlighted a fact that is obvious to any thinking person, namely that the Putin Kremlin simply cannot be trusted when it makes reports about economic progress. That’s why Stolyarova’s reporting is so essential. It steps through the curtain of lies puffed out by the Putin regime like a squid shooting a cloud of ink to conceal itself, and reveals what is really going on amongst the people of Russia.

As Paul Goble reports, there are certainly Russians like Stolyarova who know and tell the truth.    Andrey Polunin of  Svobodnaya Pressa explains  for instance that the vast majority of the Russian population has suffered hugely under Putin so that a tiny elite can prosper:

The bottom 40 percent of the population has fallen behind over this period, he reports. The level of real incomes for the lowest 20 percent has fallen 1.45 times and the next lowest quintile by 1.2 times. At the other end, the top 20 percent have seen their incomes double, and the next highest quintile had their incomes go up a quarter.  The average rate of illness among Russians rose 43 percent per 100,000 population over the period 1990 to 2008.

This is the reason, of course, that although Russia has the 11th largest economy on the planet its citizens do not rank in the top 130 nations for life expectancy.  You can claim Russia has large population to care for with its wealth, but China’s population is ten times the size of Russia’s and China ranks #80 on the life expectancy list.

Putin’s Russia is wallowing in precisely the same bleak conditions of oppressive poverty that Russia has always faced, not of necessity but because the people of Russia are too craven and hapless to demand from their government anything better. Having turned to a savage like Putin for “leadership,” we can only say that Russians richly deserve their cruel fate, and will continue to do so as long as their apathy persists.

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182 responses to “EDITORIAL: Plumbing the Depths of Russian Poverty

  1. It’s shocking to see the grim statistic that 50% of Russian hospitals have either no electricity or running water. This in a midst of a Putin-PR campaign to build a high-tech “science-city.”

    I’m looking for the link to the crucial story on FT.com I think that destroys the illusion of a successful transition in the Russian Army to a professional Force. In fact we see its all a horrendous failure…

    • What a pathetic liar. DO you not know what a light switch is?

      How much did they pay you to come up with a random fact out of your head or do you have no life?
      And on the army note, having a conscript army decreases the average quality but statisticly there are still the same amount of people serving for the army whom fighting is their thing. During the initial confrontation between Georgia and Russia, Georgians outnumbered them, with years of professional US training and anti-aircraft and tank missiles what happened to Georgia. After Russia pulled up their reserves, a few days later Georgians they ran for their lives.

      Yes the army is very underfinanced. What gives the US the right to complain about Putin raising defence spending. IT should be bloody 4-5 times higher than it is now. With China settling Siberia with it’s immigrants, Japanese complaining about Kuril Islands, US backing Poland and CIS countries and setting up bases.

      • What’s pathetic is to call someone a liar without proving him to be so. Unless you can post a link showing a greater percentage, you are just as worthy of the name liar as the one you attack.

      • Moron, the Georgians were able to repeatedly thrash the Russians during the initial stages of the fighting, and were outnumbered from the word go. The Russian victory was won the way it always is, through sheer weight of numbers. For example, by the end of the 1st day the Russians were unable to retake Tskhinvali despite having around 200 tanks and 300 BMP-3 IFV’s against the Georgians 22 tanks and 50 BMP 1′s & 2′s.

        As for the Georgians having “American” anti tank and anti aircraft missiles, more BS, I never knew the WARPAC mainstay, the SA-11 was actually American, nor did I realise the RPG-7 & RPG-16 used by the Georgians were Amreican made, or the AKM, or the BTR-60, or the MiL-24, or the SU-25…..

        The united states supply of “advanced weaponry” to Georgia consisted of M-4 carbines.

        The troops who had received training from the US (only involving counter insurgency one might add) were almost entirely deployed in Iraq, it is interesting to note that the Russian advance towards Tbilisi stopped immediately upon the return of these troops.

        • We wiped the floor with Georgian invaders. If no one is aware the EU published a report justifying that Georgians started firing after the ceasefire. Russia is united thanks to her heroes, outnumbered by the Georgians in their own country and with a shortage of equipment they fought on.

          • @ If no one is aware the EU published a report justifying that Georgians started firing after the ceasefire.

            If no one is aware I did read it, and you either didn’t or you are lying.

          • Oh, and if you are sincere, and just think so because somebody lied to you, or misinterpreted it (like most of the idiots in the Western press did), I say go and read this report.

            Btw, Georgians commited just 10,000 men into action (the main force was the 4th Brigade of 3,500 men, they also took most losses – over 100 killed/missing). While the “Russian citizen” forces alone were about 20,000 – not counting thousands of real Russians (and North Ossetians, Chechens, etc) of the 58th Army and also irregular outfits. So much about being “outnumbered” – in your dreams, maybe.

          • vektor, before you ‘wiped the floor with Georgian invaders’ tell me, didn’t the hungry, drunk russian soldiers stole the black and white tv sets and the toilets sits from the georgian population? Just in order you overlook the small detail, the russian army is already 50% muslim….

            • And do you have evidence its true? So what’s wrong with Muslims? And where did you get the information about the regilious structure of the Russian army? What about the remaining 50%? How many are atheist? agnostic, Buddhist?, Orthodox? Catholic?

              • AT,
                Nothing is wrong with muslims – they simply are taking over russia. Form the historical point of view it will be good for the russian people; as we remember the 4 hundread years under the Golden Horde were pretty peaceful times for russian tribes. After all, gulags and slaughtering their own people are purely russian inventions. I really think that russia’s future look bright under the benevolent chinese control…..

                • Well, first of all who told you Muslims take over Russia? Ethnic Russians account for approximately 80% of the country’s population, and the proportion is quite stable. The proportion of Muslim is rising much faster in France, Germany, Britain and Italy. Not to mention the growing proportion of Hispanics in the States. I personally do not see any treats in this.

                  • @Ethnic Russians account for approximately 80% of the country’s population, and the proportion is quite stable.

                    Oh boy. I’ve got some news for you: the Russians are dying out quickly, while the minority (so far) population is quickly raising in numbers. The Russian demographic catastrophe is happening DESPITE this rapid rise of the Muslim and Chinese populations – it’s because the Slavs are dying even faster (and not giving births).

                    And about the conscript pool situation even now:

                    http://oldn.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/ethnic-tensions-flare-in-the-military/435394.html

                    “Servicemen of various ethnic groups … attempt to impose their own rules in military communities,” Fridinsky said.

                    Several of the incidents have hit the media spotlight, sparking outrage. Among them was the decision of the seven Dagestani conscripts to force their comrades in the Baltic Fleet to arrange their bodies on the ground to spell out “Kavkaz,” the Russian word for “Caucasus.” A military court convicted them of hazing and sentenced them to prison terms of 18 to 21 months.

                    Independent military analyst Alexander Golts blamed the ethnic tensions on a breakdown in order in the armed forces following clumsily implemented reforms aimed at establishing a corps of professional sergeants to keep order among the troops.

                    The ethnic problem dates back to Soviet times, Golts said. Military officials were previously able to solve it by distributing conscripts from ethnic republics among units nationwide, thus preventing them from forming large groups, but this is becoming increasingly harder to do because their numbers are growing due to higher birthrates in the North Caucasus than the rest of Russia, he said.

                    “Earlier, the demographic factor was different and ethnic Slavs prevailed within the units, but the situation is different today,” Golts said.

                    • Robert, still at this point in time, there are as many Russians in Russia as Germans in Germany, and the ethnic Russians are not dying out as fast as the ethnic Germans do. In any case, changes in ethnical composition is a trend experienced by the entire European continent, and I see no tragedy in it.

                    • And again about the Chinese population… anything evidencing its increase? Anything at all? Or any evidence beyond Goltz’ speculations?

                    • @Robert, still at this point in time, there are as many Russians in Russia as Germans in Germany, and the ethnic Russians are not dying out as fast as the ethnic Germans do.

                      BS.

                      @And again about the Chinese population… anything evidencing its increase? Anything at all?

                      Last year:

                      http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=82969&page=1

                      Alexander Shaikin, in charge of controlling the Russian-Chinese border, said on June 29 that 1.5 million people from China have illegally entered the Russian Far East over the past 18 months.

                      Reported by The Moscow Times, Shaikin’s claim is likely exaggerated, but increased Chinese migration is marking a return of Chinese influence to these territories. And any territorial dispute could disrupt relations between Asia’s largest continental powers.

                      It’s impossible to know the exact level of Chinese migration into the Russian Far East; Russia has not run a census in over a decade. But by all indications, a significant river of people is surging across the border.

                      The Moscow Carnegie Center, the only organization to launch an independent study, claimed that there were about 250,000 Chinese in Russia in 1997. The Interior Ministry has claimed that there are 2 million. Other estimates place the Chinese population at 5 million.

                      Regardless, the Federal Migration Service fears a flood. The service has repeatedly warned that the Chinese could become the dominant ethnic group in the Russian Far East in 20 to 30 years. Such an occurrence would require an annual influx of about 250,000 to 300,000 Chinese, less than one-third the rate that Shaikin currently claims.

                    • Re: BS:

                      In 2005: Germans of no immigrant background: (81%) 66.7 million, population growth rate -2.3.
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Germany#Ethnic_groups

                    • Re: Chinese: Shaikin’s claim is likely exaggerated

                    • Go and compare even the official statistics in the Slavic regions of Russia as compared to North Caucacus.

                      Also, you can check out how many percent of Slavs lived in the NC circa 1991 and how many live there today 20 years later.

                    • Stop playing your stupid games with me.

                      “but increased Chinese migration is marking a return of Chinese influence to these territories.
                      (…)
                      The Interior Ministry has claimed that there are 2 million. Other estimates place the Chinese population at 5 million. [up from just 250,000 in 1997]
                      (…)
                      The [Federal Migration Service] has repeatedly warned that the Chinese could become the dominant ethnic group in the Russian Far East in 20 to 30 years. Such an occurrence would require an annual influx of about 250,000 to 300,000 Chinese, less than one-third the rate that Shaikin currently claims.”

                      And give me just one more idiotic answer, and I’ll presume you are indeed retarded, like Dima, and simply stop wasting my time for you.

                    • So the number of Chinese in Russia is somewhere between 250K and 1M? Is there another way to say the authors of the articles do not know what they are talking about.

                      Regarding Slavs in Russia, compare the proportion of ethnic Russians now to twenty years ago. Not much has changed. The geographical distribution of ethnicities within Russia has changed during the unrest in the Caucasus, but things can get back where they were once the remains of the unrest will be quelled.

                    • No, it’s “somewhere between 2 million (officially) and 5 million (independent estimates)”. 250,000 was an estimate of 14 years ago.

                      Now, North Caucasian VS ethnic Russians, according to the official figures:

                      Births/deaths in Dagestan in 2008: 49,465 – 15,794 (OVER THREE TIMES more births than deaths – despite “the unrest”). This, while Russia altogether had more deaths than births (go and blame “the unrest” for this).

                      Meanwhile, official numbers of the ethnic Russians in Dagestan: 213,754 (20.1%) in 1959, 165,940 (9.2%) in 1989, and 110,875 (4.7%) in 2002. (And now even less – at this rate, or faster.)

                      For a comparison, an official number of the Avars in Dagestan at the same time: 239,37 in 1959, 496,077 in 1989, and 758,438 in 2002 . Or the Dargins: 120,859 in 1959, 280,431 in 1989, 425,526 in 2002 . And so on.

                      Another example, an official fertility rate in Chechnya in 2009 (only a few hundred ethnic Russian civilians remain, mostly elderly) was 3.38. While Russia’s total avergae (and try to remember this too is actually including Chechnya, Dagestan, and the rest of Muslim republics – so local situations in ethnic Russian areas are actually much worse than indicated by just total numbers) was only 1.89.

                      I should also mention the ethnic Russian average life span is also much, much shorter (alcohol and now also drugs are killing them). Despite all the poverty, and “the unrest”. (Actually, some of even world’s oldest people lived in Chechnya as recently as few years ago, despite the especially severe “the unrest” like when on of the centenarian sisters was murdered by the Russian marauders and the other died of heart attack after hse learnt of it, and the genocide of 1944.)

                      Get it now? You’re doomed. Have a nice day.

                    • Doomed? Not in your lifetime and not sooner than West European nations.

                    • …and as for the North Caucases demographic threat: sure — dare to calculate how many years it will take any of the listed groups to become a significant minority? As for China, sure Russia should be worried based on one old newspaper article quoting some obscure border guard. Feel free to through more yellow press clippings from 2006 by the likes of Goltz (?) & Shaikin (???), the world’s source for demographic and military stats.

                      Chechens Chechens 1,360,253 (0.94% of the Russian population)
                      Avars 814,473 (0.56%)
                      Kabardians 519,958 (0.36%)
                      Dargins 510,156 (0.35%)
                      Ingush 413,016 (0.28%)
                      Lezgins 411,535 (0.28%)
                      Georgians 197,934 (0.14%)
                      Laks 156,545 (0.11%)
                      Tabasarans 131,785 (0.09%)
                      Adyghe 128,528 (0.09%)
                      Circassians 60,517 (0.04%)
                      Abazas 37,942 (0.03%)
                      Rutuls 29,929 (0.02%)
                      Aguls 28,297 (0.02%)
                      Abkhaz 11,366 (0.01%)
                      Tsakhurs 10,366 (0.01%)

                    • The Avars — Avars 814,473 (0.56% of the Russian population) are at the door! The sky is falling! Russia is doomed!

              • AT

                How pedantic can one get?? You forgot to mention the price of eggs in China, and the price of Putin’s and/or yours.

        • @The united states supply of “advanced weaponry” to Georgia consisted of M-4 carbines.

          There were also Vietnam-era Iroquois helicopters. (So advanced!)

      • Here is a list of Georgian military equipment.

        Interestingly the vast overwhelming majority is Soviet era (junk)

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_equipment_of_Georgia

        • The Soviet weaponry was one of the best, in some areas such as tankbuilding, the T series were very powerful and could shoot rockets instead of static cannons. They were also the first to introduce dynamic armor and that’s why Indians love them, it gives them an edge over Palestinians. Strategic rocket forces were a great card. The SU series warplanes were and are the most manoeuvrable planes, which is critical in dodging enemy missiles. Then we have ecranoplanes that have no Western analogs, that could transfer whole tank brigades by air. We also have really good helicopters that are now going to be presented on sale in London. Hovercrafts are awesome since they can transfer mass armour on ground quickly. The Soviet union also had 5 aircraft carriers and plans to build more,

          The collapse of USSR was a tradegy for the military and science in Russia. THe inability to transform it’s brilliant inventions to commercial use proved to be a crucial problem that led many firms to seize to exist because of bankrupcy. The good news is that Russia continues making some of the best types of weaponry today, (hence it’s military export has risen to challenge the US’s) but the major problem is the neglect of the problems the army is facing by politicians. Very poor and inefficient financing turns one of the most advanced army into one of the weakest because no one in Kremlin gives a priority to financing and all the brilliant project so they can be mass produced and used. So we get wars in chechnya and Georgia where we have almost all type of major weapon that could destroy enemy from an unreachable distance, but these weapons are sitting there numbered in a few quantities waiting to go into mass production in year’s time, when they’ll be outdated anyway. The army logistics has degraded because soldier’s life is not valued, they are treated as a resource rather than a human. When will the discipline forced into the army once again, when will financing triple and corruption reduced. When will there be enthusiastic people leading the way who have a national idea of protecting their homeland, rather than selling off all it’s raw resources to build presidential palaces.

          I am deeply disappointed and concerned for my county, that has most intelligent scientists shovelling snow on the roads, swamped by Chinese immigrants in Siberia, demanded islands from Japan, surrounded by ever expanding NATO. 1960-70 was an era of hope of pride for our country, for its achievents in space and hi-tech military. Unfortunately communism was promised but it was never anything more than Bolshevism and people grew tired of the inefficiency of its rule.

          • I meant an edge over Pakistanis

          • When put to the test in a real war in Chechnya the T-64, T-72 and T-80 tanks proved rather vulnerable to RPG’s. Dynamic armour has one major drawback – it works only once, which in effect means that while the explosion of the first RPG that hits the tank will be absorbed by the dynamic armor when another RPG hits in the same place it will burn right through the old ‘static’ armor, and unfortunately what happens then is not pretty at all. The T-series tanks have a very compact design, the pro is that it makes them a very small target, but the con is that inside everything is crammed and packed real tight, including the ammunition, thus when an RPG penetrates the armor there is a very high probability that the ammo will detonate and the tank will get blown to bits, literally. And unfortunately quite a few T-series tanks did just that in Chechnya.
            Regarding airplanes – while the Su-27 based aircraft were very good for their time (the late 1980′s – early 1990′s) by modern standards they’re hopelessly outdated. I highly doubt if they can dodge modern missiles as you suggest.

            The truth about the Russian army is that it collapsed with the Soviet Union, what remains now is a pathetic caricature of what the Soviet army once was. The Russian army performed dismally in both Chechen wars, the only difference in the second war was that the media covered it up instead of covering it.

            • Now that’s a certain lie. In the invasion of Dagestan 12 T-90s were sent to assault a Chechen position- one of them was hit over seven times and continued performing optimally. Fire testing proved that the T72B is capable of withstanding equally proportioned fire, while the T90 could have still withstood seven more RPG and anti-tank rounds. Reactive around has a couple dozen plates, once the tank is hit, only ONE is removed, the rest of the armor is still functional.
              The key to the failure of Russian forces in the first war in Chechnya (The second war was more or less a success. 2005 on, it w as a sweeping victory) was dismall planning and horrible fuckery with even elementary tank doctrine proven in WWII: not to even talk about network centric warfare and unit cohesion. In the 2011-2020 reforms, the army plans to just skip ahead 20 years of technology and start training an army without going through the armament progression that all other modern armies went through 1990-2010. It’s the same as giving a hoplite a machine gun, but it’s the only way, and we must show some faith! Some enthusiasm! Of course these will have to be the men that defend Russia in the future. So why brand them obsolete? They have every chance of becoming a serious modern force. I highly recommend the blog “Russian military reform.”
              As for planes; the Su-27 based aircraft have been modernized to modern standards, even to the point of supremacy to other western 4++ generation planes. Irbis-E is best fighter-based radar in the world.

              • Don’t be a moron.

                The T-72 is a deathtrap, as shown by the 1st and second Chechen wars, the Bekaa valley, the Iran-Iraq war, the 1st and 2nd Gulf war, and even the recent Russian invasion of Georgia.

                As for Chechnya

                Russian-Manufactured Armored Vehicle Vulnerability in Urban Combat: The Chechnya Experience

                BY MR. LESTER A. GRAU
                FOREIGN MILITARY STUDIES OFFICE
                FORT LEAVENWORTH, KANSAS

                In December 1994, the Russian Army entered the break-away Republic of Chechnya and attempted to seize the Chechen capital of Grozny from the march. After this attempt failed, the Russian Army spent two months in deliberate house-to-house fighting before finally capturing the city.1 The dispirited Russian conscript force was badly mauled by the more-mature, dedicated Chechen force, and the war drags on to this day. During the first month of the conflict, Russian forces wrote off 225 armored vehicles as nonrepairable battle losses. This represents 10.23% of the armored vehicles initially committed to the campaign. The Russians evacuated some of these 225 hulls to the Kubinka test range for analysis. General Lietitenant A. Galkin, the head of the Armor Directorate, held a conference on their findings on 20 February l995. The Minister of Defense attended the conference.2 The results of the conference convinced the Russian Minister of Defense to stop procuring tanks with gas-turbine engines.3 Further, the analysis disclosed Chechen anti-armor tactics and the vulnerabilities of Russian armored vehicles in urban combat.

                Chechen Anti-armor Techniques

                The Chechen forces are armed with Soviet and Russian-produced weapons and most Chechen fighters served in the Soviet Armed Forces. The Chechen lower-level combat group consists of fifteen to twenty personnel subdivided into three or four-man fighting cells. These cells consist of an antitank gunner (normally armed with the RPG-7 or RPG-18 shoulder-fired antitank rocket launcher), a machine gunner, and a sniper.4 Additional personnel serve as ammunition bearers and assistant gunners. Chechen combat groups would deploy these cells as anti-armor hunter-killer teams. The sniper and machine gunner would pin down the supporting infantry while the antitank gunner would engage the armored target. Teams deploy at ground level, in second and third stories, and in basements. Normally five or six hunter-killer teams simultaneously attack a single armored vehicle. Kill shots are generally made against the top, rear and sides of vehicles. Chechens also drop bottles filled with gasoline or jellied fuel on top of vehicles.5 The Chechen hunter-killer teams try to trap vehicle columns in city streets where destruction of the first and last vehicles will trap the column and allow its total destruction.

                The elevation and depression of the Russian main tank guns are incapable of dealing with hunter-killer teams fighting from basements and second- or third-story positions, and the simultaneous attack from five or six teams negate the effectiveness of the tank’s machine guns. The Russians attached ZSU-23-4 and 256 track-mounted anti-aircraft guns to armored columns to respond to these difficult-to-engage hunter-killer teams.6

                Initial Russian vehicle losses were due to a combination of inappropriate tactics, underestimation of the opposing force, and a lack of combat readiness. The Russians moved into Grozny without encircling it and sealing it off from reinforcements. They planned to take the city from the march without dismounting. Due to shortages in personnel, the Russian columns consisted of composite units, and most personnel carriers traveled with few or no dismounts. These initial columns were decimated.

                As the Russians regrouped, they brought in more infantry and began a systematic advance through the city, house-by-house and block-by-block. Russian armored vehicle losses dropped off with their change in tactics. Russian infantry moved in front with armored combat vehicles in support or in reserve. Some Russian vehicles were outfitted with a cage of wire mesh mounted some 25-30 centimeters away from the hull armor to defeat the shaped charges of an antitank grenade launcher, as well as to protect the vehicle from a Molotov cocktail or bundle of explosives. The Russians began establisling ambushes on approach routes into a selected area and then running vehicles into the area as bait to destroy Chechen hunter-killer teams.7

                Vulnerabilities of Russian Armored Vehicles

                Shoulder-fired antitank weapons and antitank grenades knocked out the bulk of armored

                vehicles, and each destroyed vehicle took an average of three to six lethal hits.8 Fuel cells and engines are favorite aiming points for Chechen antitank gunners. The following illustrations have a grey area superimposed which shows the area where 90% of the lethal hits occurred.9

                The BMD-1 is a personnel carrier assigned to airborne forces. As such, it is lightly armored. See Figure 1.

                It was vulnerable to front, rear, flanking and top-down fire. The front portion of the turret is reinforced and, subsequently, is not vulnerable, but the rear of the turret is. See Figure 2.

                There is more armor on the BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle. However, its top armor is weak, its fuel tanks are within the rear doors, and the drivers compartment is vulnerable. See Figure 3.

                The BTR-70 wheeled armored personnel carrier showed many of the same vulnerabilities as the BMD and BMP.

                Sixty-two tanks were destroyed in the first months fighting in Chechnya. Over 98% (apparently 61 tanks) were knocked out by rounds which impacted in areas not protected by reactive armor. The Russians employed the T-72 and T-80 tank in Chechnya. See Figures 4 and 5. They were both invulnerable to frontal shots, since the front is heavily armored and covered with reactive armor. Kill shots were made at those points where there is no reactive armor: the sides and rear and, on top shots, on the drivers hatch and the rear of the turret and rear deck. Early in the conflict, most Russian tanks went into combat without their reactive armor. They were particularly vulnerable to damaging or lethal frontal hits without it.10

                Conclusions

                The Chechen forces developed effective techniques to defeat Russian armored vehicles on the streets of a large city. Many of their techniques can be adapted by other armed forces which might fight Russian-manufactured armored vehicles (or other types of armored vehicles) in urban combat. These techniques are:

                Organize anti-tank hunter-killer teams which include a machine gunner and a sniper to protect the antitank gunner by suppressing infantry which is accompanying the armored vehicles.
                Select anti-armor ambush areas in sections of the city where buildings restrict and canalize the movement of armored vehicles.
                Lay out the ambush in order to seal vehicles in the kill zone.
                Use multiple hunter-killer teams to engage armored vehicles from basements, ground level, and from second- or third-floor positions. Problems with the RPG-7 and RPG-18 antitank weapons are the backblast, signature and time lapse between shots. The Chechens solved the time lapse problem by engaging each target simultaneously with five or six antitank weapons. (From this, the obvious requirement for a future anti-armor weapon for urban combat is a low-signature, multi-shot, recoil-attenuated, light-weight weapon which can be fired from inside enclosures. The AT-4 and Javelin do not appear to meet these requirements).
                Engage armored targets from the top, rear and sides. Shots against frontal armor protected by reactive armor only serve to expose the gunner.
                Engage accompanying air-defense guns first.

                http://webharvest.gov/peth04/20041019211551/http://fmso.leavenworth.army.mil/red-star/issues/JAN97/JAN97.HTML

                • Don’t be a moron.
                  “The T-72 is a death trap”
                  Depends on the T-72. Monkey model versions were stripped of all their advanced machinery, considerably weakened. The Russian army in 1994 was critically unprepared for the task that lay ahead, due to extreme government corruption, delocation of military funds, lack of maintenance for military machines, lack of pay or training for Russian servicemen and conscripts. One can’t judge a tank by its experience with an army such as that of Yeltsin’s Russia, which didn’t even give the tanks infantry support (the most basic of all tank warfare lessons). As for the second war in Chechnya; modern tactics, real maintenance, training and actual concern for the performance of Russian forces drastically cut losses in the war and succeeded in bringing the break-away republic back under Russian control. The T72 didn’t have another dismal performance due to its functional operation. As for the instances of the Iraq wars, they were first marked by months of non-stop bombing. For example, in the 2003 Iraq war, 90% of destroyed Iraqi tanks were destroyed by air assault. The Iraqi army was a pathetic ruse after the allied embargoes and campaigns. 90 Iraqi planes faced with 1000 allied ones. 0 Iraqi ships facing dozens. The Iraqi army had no real consideration for modern tactic or doctrine. Most of it were conscripts. The Iraqi tank shells were only even half filled with propel, and most tanks didn’t even have radios.
                  As for the Georgia war however, where did the T72 perform badly?? Not one tank was lost during the course of the war. Meanwhile 100 or so Georgian tanks were captured or destroyed. Does this show the deficiency of the T-72? No. It shows that an excellent army (like the well prepared, though not completely modernized by some capacities) wielding a T-72B or T72A (Modern Russian army variants of the T72) can perform legitimately; that’s not to say that the T72B is the best tank on the earth. It isn’t. I’m not saying it is, but when coupled with a decent crew, commanders, real support, and when its a modern variant (not monkey model) it’s not so bad, better than a lot of modern tanks like the new Arjun and Merkeva.

              • Prasun Sengupta writes: “It is probably the Indian Army’s worst-kept secret since 1979, but political imperatives have prevented it from being discussed in the open till now. The bulk of the Armoured Corps’ existing inventory of main battle tanks (MBT) — comprising 35 Regiments of T-72M/M1s (totalling 1,572 units) and six Regiments of T-90S (totaling 310 units) — all of which were acquired from Russia’s Nizhny Tagil-based Uralvagonzavod JSC — suffer from fundamental design vulnerabilities. When the former USSR gave its first detailed briefings to Army HQ in the late 1970s, the Armoured Corps had then expressed grave reservations about the T-72’s design philosophy, centred around hit avoidance. What alarmed Army HQ most was the prospect of a detonation of a mine or improved explosive device (IED) beneath the hull, which in turn would result in a secondary detonation or a catastrophic ignition of the T-72’s ammunition reserve (this being stored in a carousel autoloader on the turret’s floor), resulting in the turret being blown off. In the end, Cold War-based geo-strategic considerations and financial constraints prevailed, resulting in the large-scale induction of the T-72 since 1982. The Corps did not have to wait that long to realise its worst fears and in October 1987 a powerful IED detonated by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam beneath a T-72M en route to the Jaffna fortress resulted in the MBT’s ammo (stored in the carousel autoloader) igniting and blowing off the turret at least 15 feet high!

                History repeated itself 39 months later, this time in the Middle East when Iraqi T-72s were destroyed with ease through a combination of advanced technologies such as thermal imagers and digital hunter-killer tank fire-control systems (TFCS) and kinetic-energy ammunition like the fin-stabilised armour-piercing discarding sabot (FSAPDS). In fact, Operation Desert Storm in 1991 convincingly proved two critical points:

                That the traditional Soviet/Russian approach of keeping its MBTs small and low so as to profile the smallest possible target, putting more emphasis on not being hit rather than on survivable most hits, was obsolete. Until the Gulf War, it was possible to regard the Soviet and Western solutions as different approaches to the same problem, each being justifiable and logical in the light of the different requirements and operational doctrines (as well as technological levels and financial possibilities) of the countries involved. By the early 1990s, however, one was faced with the quite surprising conclusion that the Soviet/Russian MBT designers and planners were wrong all along—and dramatically so.

                Basically, the overall Soviet/Russian approach to MBT design was found to be flawed on two major counts: namely, the gamble on not being hit rather than on surviving hits, and the refusal to perceive survivability of the crew as a quite distinct issue from survivability of the MBT, with the former having priority over the latter.

                The combination of these two shortcomings produced design solutions such as the T-72’s and T-90’s carousel autoloader and ammunition reserve being accommodated on the turret floor. While this indeed allows for a very compact configuration and ensures that the ammunition is less likely to take a direct hit—it also entails a very high risk of ignition or sympathetic detonation should the fighting compartment be penetrated, in which case there goes the MBT and the crew with it.

                http://ajaishukla.blogspot.com/2008/08/t-72-vulnerability-again-illustrated-in.html

                • The T-90 ammo carousel is located right next to the auto-loader, safe and sound from mines and other ground lain IEDs. But consider this, the T90 has a KMT and can be fitted with an even more advanced EMT-7 counter-mine system: http://articles.janes.com/articles/Janes-Mines-and-Mine-Clearance/EMT-7-electromagnetic-countermine-system-Russian-Federation.html
                  This practically guarantees the T90′s safety from mines and stationary IEDs.
                  As for Russian ‘disconcern’ for the crews, the T90 is perhaps the best protected tank in the world. A tank’s level of protection cannot be judged by the thickness of its armour, one has to know its composition and advanced parameters. Such as ‘nakida’ which makes the T90 much more hard to find for EM, thermal or infra-red seekers. Or the three-layer tank protection system; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h4uUfYnXUw
                  Watch that video, it’ll tell you ALL about the T90 and why it trumps most if not all western tanks.

                  • Yes yes yes, and we heard the same rubbish about the T-72 & T-80, which also explode violently when hit.

                    The simple fact of the matter is that users of the T-90, such as India, express severe concerns about its lack of survivability when hit, and its alarming inability to survive direct hits by kinetic rounds.

              • SovietJournalist, look, I never said that reactive or dynamic or whatever you call it armour doesn’t work at all, it does, but it’s a one-off thing, once a reactive armour plate has detonated it has to be replaced, true this also applies to the traditional armour, however, the problem with the modern Russian tank designs is not the reactive armour plates that they use, but rather their small size and extremely crammed environment inside the tank, in which the crew are sat right next to the ammo. Then when a tank like this rolls into a city like Grozny it doesn’t get exposed to a ‘well balanced fire’ (whatever you mean by it – it’s not like you can put up notices on the tank asking the militants to please try not to aim for the same spot all the time), it will often get showered with RPG rounds, sure the reactive armour will help it absorb the first several hits, but what happens when finally an RPG round penetrates the traditional non-reactive armour plates? I’ll tell you what, nine times out of ten the tank will just get blown to pieces, with everyone inside getting killed for the very simply reason that when that fateful RPG round finally makes it through it gets into an extremely crammed environment with live ammunition all over the place and no compartmentalization. The ammo detonates and the whole tank explodes in a ball of fire.

                Now compare that to the modern western tank designs in which the explosive cannon shells are kept in a separate compartment in the back of the turret with light doors in the top, the idea is that even if the shells in this ammo compartment detonate, the energy of the explosion will be directed upwards through the doors in the roof and the crew will still stand a very feasible chance of surviving. Yes this means the tanks are bigger, need more powerful engines and the main gun has to be reloaded manually in most cases, however, when push comes to shove the crew of a modern western tank have a much better chance of survival than the crew of a modern Russian tank.

                The second Chechen war was in reality not much different from the first war, it wasn’t a success by a long shot, last I checked it was still going on and if anything the conflict has expanded into the neighbouring regions. Even if you watch the official Russian news carefully, you will see that a lion’s share of their so called ‘special anti-terrorist’ operations now take place in Dagestan. The only thing that the Russian leadership did a lot better in the second Chechen war was media control. The second time around they managed to report only victories and only mention losses in passing.

                What faith are you talking about, what enthusiasm? For crying out loud it’s the same old story over and over again that has been going on in Russia for centuries now; one Potemkin village after another, with no real substance and then everyone acts surprised when Russia goes to yet another stupid war against a small neighbouring nation like Georgia or Finland and fails miserably, losing thousands of people, before it can achieve any semblance of progress in the campaign.

                Tell me please, how can you be saying with a straight face that the Su-27 is now better than the modern western aircraft? It’s absurd, It’s like saying that the Mig-21, if modernised properly, can outperform the F-16 or even the Su-27. You can’t achieve better performance by simply changing the designation of the plane from Su-27 to Su35 or Su-37 or even Su-1909379437 if the plane remains the same. It doesn’t work that way.

      • kronshtein, your underfinanced russsian army is 50% muslim already. By the way China is simply retaking Siberia stolen from them by the russians, Norther Territories were ALWAYS Japanese, Kongisburg [sorry Kalinininingrad] has been hanseatic baltic free city for over 900 and will return to its old glory and cleanness soon, and yes, Poland and the rest of Europe need defence against russia. Russia is truly heading the same way as the old mongol empire…Tell, me kronshtein, where mongolia is now????

    • Nah. Russian hospitals work fine. http://www.minzdravsoc.ru/
      If you watch vremya almost every day there’s a report of a new type of unique operation conducted in Russia. A lot of money is being poured into the ministry of health, they’re mostly very well trained, well knowledgeable and respected doctors, they just need more high-tech equipment… which by the way, is the primary reason for the Skolkovo technology park.

  2. I couldn’t agree more with this and congratulate you on a very well-informed and rational article and politically correct, bravo. Would further like to elaborate on the case of the most disastrous tragedy of Russia’s degradation with the following web resource written by Mark Adomanis.

    http://trueslant.com/markadomanis/2010/03/30/russian-demographics-update/

  3. Wall Street Journal

    Army Transition to Professional Force Fails.

    “The (Russian) Defense Ministry…has acknowledged that widespread discontent among volunteers undermined its enlistment campaign. Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov has said that the program had been poorly managed and would cost too much to fix.”

    “We cannot afford to create a fully professional army,” he said in October. ”

    Usual Russian conditions of life:

    “We were told there were some financial difficulties with the military reform,” he says. “But we could see that the commanders got new cars.…We saw what they were driving, and it was clear what was being spent on what.”

    “Crime and coercion plagued other volunteer units. Police in Russia’s Far East broke up gangs that extorted cash from soldiers on paydays at three bases.”

    http://tinyurl.com/4yaxa6b

    The good word is that the Monty Python nature of Russian’s Army is acknowledged by experts to have serious effects on the real abilities of Russian power…

  4. “Russia will have a conscription army for years to come.”

    http://tinyurl.com/4yaxa6b

    That is a stunning admission of total defeat for Russia on the whole military front. More than ever in history, the next-generation military absolutely requires highly-trained & motivated, logical, analytical professionals to manage the computer-driven weapons-systems.

    That Russia is even a whole universe away from that professional culture is reassuring. It’s always good to know that one’s real faith in ultimate, primitive Russian backward-ness would prevail.

  5. Here’s many pictures of Putin’s personal Palace by the Black Sea, for which he’s “appropriated” $one billion to build this fantastic castle. Is this how the Russian people want their money spent?

    http://tinyurl.com/3gd7wkf

    • No, why do you think Russians want this to happen. DO you think they are simple minded people. Grow up.

      • Well, it’s pretty simple-minded to choose to be ruled by the KGB after watching the KGB murder your countrymen and destroy your country, isn’t it?

      • Well, if your people don’t want this to happen, why is it happening, then? Was your Paramount Leader sent from Mars? Or has he emerged from the Russian population? And who are those 70 % or so of people who support him? Are they not your fellow Russians? Think about it.

        • Think about it, there are countries where he voting system is forged. And at first he didn’t seem a bad guy so they voted for him.

          • They are supporting him NOW. 70% or so, according to the polls. Whatever goes on in any other country is irrelevant, we are discussing Russia here

          • Vektor,

            I have never read such B/S as you have just spewed out. Why don’t you lead by example comrade? Just rush out and enlist in your murdering soviet “krasnaya armia” of suppression and repression, so that you single handed can save your beloved ‘communism’ for future generations of Russians that need to be saved from vozd Putin’s so called “paradise”.

            You are so typical of the average brainless communist science fiction story teller, that it no longer is funny. You sadly cannot differentiate fact from fiction.

            To prove my point just be good enough to explain, in your strange and quaint way, the reason why small Israel – which predominantly uses US equipment, has repeatedly defeated the Arab nations – which solely use Russian equipment and are numerically superior in human resource numbers! has always defeated the Arabs in all their numerous wars?? Just look at – vide “Wikipedia,” “Rimon 20 – July 30, 1970: where the IAF shoots down 5 Soviet piloted MiG-21 fighters in a carefully orchestrated ambush”.

            Not to overlook the last war with Iraq, when it was wiped off the earth’s surface militarily. And last but not least why has the the Israeli Air Force (IAF) , which uses the American F-15 and F-16 fighters, destroyed so many Russian supplied planes.

            • @why small Israel – which predominantly uses US equipment

              Only since the Yom Kippur War. Before that, it was mostly British equipment, stuff from various countries, and of course self-produced too (well, much of what they use today is self-made too – especially their tanks).

              Against Soviet (later mostly, yes), ex-British (too), American (!), and also even WWII German (!!!) – some of the surviving Panzers, Jagdpanzers and StuGs are in Israeli museums, captured from the Arabs (Syrians in particular).

              In the 6-Day-War, arguably their greatest victory after the war of independence, they flew mostly, brace for it – French-made aircraft. During Yom Kippur 73, it was mix of French, American and their own.

              • Robert

                Why small Israel?? Well one just needs to look at its land size and population as compared to that of the Arab lands and their population. ‘So am I right or wrong??’

                You are correct in what you say, but I did not want to go to that detail, albeit very old and outdated, but I’m surprised that you didn’t mention the Czechoslovakian built copy of the WW II German Messerschmitt BF109 fighter plane that Israel purchased from them and used in their early days of conflict (i.e. after gaining their old nationhood back), when they purchased a motley of weapons from any quarter so as to be able to defend themselves from the Arabs, who were and still are very hostile to Israel as a nation.

                I fully realized that the Israeli Air Force used French Mirages, but they had a big negative in that their flying time duration was short, unsatisfactorily short for warfare purposes, furthermore there was a big diplomatic row/war between both these nations, caused by Israel stealing the blue prints of the French Mirage IIICJ model of this fighter and then building it themselves – which they named the “Kfir”.

  6. Hello Kronstadt,

    Here Putin admits the sad condition of Russian hospitals. Straight from the KGB’s mouth. You should watch what you say. You don’t want to contradict the leader, do you Comrade? Vektor just might show up at your door.

    ***********
    the premier said a quarter of Russian hospitals were in very poor conditions, adding that 30% had no running hot water, let alone medical equipment, whose term of service is often expired. All this added to meager wages and excessive management staff contributes to the poor quality of health care in Russia, he said.
    *********

    The full article is here: http://www.chemrar.ru/eng/i-news/index.php?ELEMENT_ID=11104&PHPSESSID=5aec4d48c534adaa2fa36ce3877f7fdc

    GM

  7. Yeah a journalist is needed to tell the truth about “poverty”, newsflash. Like if everyone doesn’t know about it already.

  8. Well ! Just look at the reaction from the ” katsap heroes ” on their
    ” glorious ” victory in their ” war ” with Georgia . And the lamenting
    on the mournful demise of the ” beloved ” red – moscovite prison
    of nations . Almost makes one want to cry ! Some army they have now ! Fully 30% of the ” invading tank force ” , broke down long
    before it reached the area of engagement ! What power ! What
    absolute Force ! Oh , by the way , would any of you fans of the
    ” heroic ” russian army care to explain why , if things are so swimmingly great with your armed forces , do your great ” heroic ”
    leaders in the Kremlin , find it necessary to raise the conscript age
    from 25 to 27 ? Logic would dictate that it is because there is not
    a big enough base of mentaly and physically fit conscripts within
    the present age limit , but I’m sure you boys have a much different
    and more plausible explanation . Get your noses out of the ” samogon”
    stop sniveling , forget about the good old days , and start learning
    Chinese . Hannibal ante portas !

    • Maksym, if Russians need to start learning Chinese, Ukrainians should be doing it faster. As for the “glorious victory”, well… it was achieved with whatever the army Russia has at hand now. Fast and with minimum casualties on both sides. So the reaction is quite justified.

      • AT, it is truly a russian logic what Ukrainians got to do with Russia’s demise?? There was a magnificent joke in Soviet occupied Poland, people of Poland had one dream and one dream only – to be invaded by China at least three times, because in order to do that the Chinese will have to cross Russia SIX times…..

        • Mccc… Another Polish joke from that time was that Poland should declare a war on the US, just to surrender next day. Your country always looks for a master — it must be a national sport of sorts. If Russia becomes dependent on China, Ukraine will as well. In any case, neither Russia nor Ukraine have to worry about China too much. China has been acquiring rights for America’s — not Russia’s or Ukraine’s — cash flows or assets, and it does not have to fight or invade anything to exercise these rights.

          • AT,
            You got it wrong, of course, the pathological hatred for Poland by the russian asiatic hordes comes to one thing – the love of freedom of Polish people; while the russian definition of freedom is not to be sent and murdered in the gulags. Russia’s future, for m, looks bright, under the benevolent chinese rules. After all, the four hundread years of total domination of russian tribes by the Golden Horde were pretty peaceful for the poor russians – after all, gulags and slaughtering of their own people is purely russia’s speciality.. Make it easier for yourselves and learn chinese…

            • Nah, there is no hatred for Poles in Russia. The Russians were Polish masters for centuries, but pretty much no nostalgia for those times. And can you explain why you use “Asiatic” as a derogatory term?

        • @people of Poland had one dream and one dream only – to be invaded by China at least three times, because in order to do that the Chinese will have to cross Russia SIX times…

          Типа назло бабушке уши отморожу.

      • AT, I think you forgot about all the ethnic cleansing committed by Russian and Russian backed separatist forces, duly noted by all observers.

        In addition, Russia had no legal right to intervene in the internal affairs of another state, no mandate from the UN, and certainly no moral right whatsoever.

        In addition, the combat elements that were deployed were prepositioned, and outnumbered the entire Georgian military, including the logistical tail and base elements, by a considerable margin.

        The Russians were coming regardless of what the Georgians did that summer.

        • You have no idea whether the Russians were or were not coming. Meanwhile, the Russians prevented the annexation and potential ethnic cleansing of two sovereign countries by Georgia.

          • @Meanwhile, the Russians prevented the annexation and potential ethnic cleansing of two sovereign countries by Georgia.

            I’ve got some reading for you, “AT”:

            http://www.ceiig.ch/Report.html

            Come back when you finished.

            • What’s your point?

              • Got it: “On the night of 7 to 8 August 2008, a sustained Georgian artillery attack struck the town of Tskhinvali.” — muderous Georgian bastards!

                • You meant “murderous Russian bastards (and liars)”:

                  “The shelling of Tskhinvali by the Georgian armed forces during the night of 7 to 8 August 2008 marked the beginning of the large-scale armed conflict in Georgia, yet it was only the culminating point of a long period of increasing tensions, provocations and incidents.
                  (…)
                  The number of casualties among the Ossetian civilian population turned out to be much lower than claimed at the beginning. Russian officials stated initially that about 2 000 civilians had been killed in South Ossetia by the Georgian forces, but later on the number of overall South Ossetian civilian losses of the August 2008 conflict was reduced to 162.”

                  And so on.

                  Anyway, about your claims of “ethnic cleansing”, there was one alright:

                  “This is confirmed by reports from international humanitarian and relief organisations, as well as human rights organisations and the diplomatic community in Georgia, who have reported systematic acts of ethnic cleansing of Georgian villages in South Ossetia by South Ossetian irregular troops and gangs.
                  (…)
                  Human Rights Watch also concluded that ethnic cleansing took place in Georgia.

                  Many ethnic Georgian villages in South Ossetia were and still are completely empty of people. Furthermore, a number of testimonies report destruction and torching done explicitly to force people to leave and prevent them from returning. This is significant when one considers that while most of the population of those villages left at the outbreak of the hostilities, this violence was directed against the few inhabitants who had stayed on.
                  (…)
                  Several elements all lead to the conclusion that ethnic cleansing was carried out during and, most importantly, after the August 2008 conflict. When considering the territory at stake and its ethnic composition, it must be stressed that South Ossetia was populated by ethnic Georgians in certain areas and villages.
                  (…)
                  Several elements suggest that there was ethnic cleansing in South Ossetia against Georgians living there. Given the scale and the type of acts of violence such as forced displacement, pillage and the destruction of homes and property committed in South Ossetia, the question of whether they could amount to a crime against humanity arises.
                  (…)
                  Acts committed during and after the conflict show clearly that violence is being targeted against one particular ethnic group, i.e., ethnic Georgians.
                  (…)
                  To the extent that such an element is present, these acts could be classified as crime against humanity.”

                  CONCLUSION:

                  “Several elements suggest the conclusion that ethnic cleansing was carried out against ethnic Georgians in South Ossetia both during and after the August 2008 conflict.”

                  • Several elements… suggest… Hm. And this justifies a bombardment of a peaceful city at night?

                    • Considering the Russian armed and trained separatists were shelling Georgian villages prior to the Georgian retaliation, and were setting off roadside bombs, yes, but as the report said the Georgians should have used more precise munitions.

                    • You are really a revolting reptile. Nothing justifies bombardment of a peaceful city.

                    • @Several elements… suggest… Hm.

                      Diplomatic language of saying “yes”.

                      As opposed to zero elements suggesting the Russian lie of “genocide” (also analyzed, but rejected entirely):

                      “IV Allegations of genocide

                      (…)

                      In the light of the above, the Mission believes that to the best of its knowledge the allegations of genocide in the context of the armed conflict between Russia and Georgia and its aftermath are not founded in law nor substantiated by factual evidence.”

                      (Diplomatic language of saying “what a f-g lie it was”.)

                      @And this justifies a bombardment of a peaceful city at night?

                      I told you to read the freaking report, why won’t you do it?

                      “In early August 2008, the South Ossetian authorities started to evacuate their civilian population to locations on the territory of the Russian Federation.52

                      Beginning in the afternoon of 6 August fire was exchanged along virtually the whole line of contact between the Georgian and South Ossetian sides, with particular hotspots in the Avnevi-Nuli-Khetagurovo area (west of Tskhinvali) and the Dmenisi-Prisi area (east of Tskhinvali).

                      After a short break in the morning, firing, involving mortars and artillery, continued on 7 August, reportedly causing human casualties and fatalities. The same day, international observers could see significant movements of Georgian troops and equipment towards Gori from the east and west. Other troops and equipment were observed stationary north of Gori, just outside the zone of conflict.53

                      Diplomatic efforts were undertaken on 7 August, involving the Georgian State Minister for Reintegration, Temuri Yakobashvili, the Russian Special Envoy for the Georgian-Ossetian conflict, Ambassador Yuri Popov and the Commander of the JPKF, Major-General Marat Kulakhmetov. They aimed to arrange for high-level Georgian-South Ossetian peace talks but did not bring any positive results.54 In the afternoon of 7 August, Georgian representatives left the JPKF Headquarters in Tskhinvali.55

                      At 19.00 hours (Tbilisi time) on 7 August, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili stated in a televised address that he had just ordered Georgian troops to unilaterally cease fire. He called on the South Ossetian and Russian sides to stop the bloodshed and to meet at the negotiating table in either bilateral or multilateral format.56 For some hours, the ceasefire seemed to be stable and was also observed by the South Ossetian side, until firing was reportedly resumed again at around 22.00 hours.57

                      The rising tension in South Ossetia in the period of June-early August 2008, which was characterized by some analysts as a low-intensity war, culminated in a large-scale Georgian military operation against the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali and the surrounding areas, undertaken in the night of 7-8 August 2008.

                      On 7 August at 23.35 hours Georgian artillery units began firing smoke bombs and, subsequently, at 23.50 hours, opened fire on both fixed and moving targets of the “enemy forces” on the territory of South Ossetia.58 According to Georgian Government officials, this interval was supposed to allow the civilian population enough time to leave dangerous zones or to find protection/shelters.59

                      In the early morning of 8 August, Georgian troops launched a ground attack against the city of Tskhinvali as well as operations on the left flank of the city (by the 4th Infantry Brigade coming from Vaziani) and on the right flank (by the 3rd Infantry Brigade coming from Kutaisi). The flank operations seemed to aim, inter alia, at occupying important heights surrounding Tskhinvali and then at moving further northwards to take control of the strategically important Gupta bridge and the roads, including the Ossetian-controlled Dzara by-pass road, leading from the Roki tunnel to Tskhinvali to block movements of the Russian troops from the north.

                      After securing the heights in the vicinity of Tskhinvali, the Georgian forces (including Ministry of Interior special forces), supported by artillery and tanks, moved into the town. By the afternoon of 8 August, the Georgian forces reportedly managed to seize control of a great part of the town of Tskhinvali (with the exception of its northern quarters and a part of its centre) and a number of villages, including Znauri, Muguti, Khetagurovo, Kokhati, Tsinagari, Orchosani, Didmukha, Gromi, Artsevi and Dmenisi. However, the Georgian troops in Tskhinvali and vicinity started to encounter growing fire power from the opposite side, including from the Russian air force and artillery.”

                      Because, guess what, the Russians also shelled (and bombed) “a peaceful city” (and it’s not even a city, it’s just a small town).

                      And what about this “at night”? At night most people are in relative protection of the buildings, isntead of being potentially exposed to the shrapnel in the streets! (And it was largely already evacuated anyway.)

                      Now, conclusion about the “indiscriminate attacks” question, because you appear to be very interested in this:

                      “The use by Georgia of certain weapons including GRAD MRLS during the offensive against Tskhinvali and other villages in South Ossetia did not comply with the prohibition of indiscriminate attacks and the obligation to take precautions with regard to the choice of means and methods of warfare.

                      The use of artillery and cluster munitions by Russian forces in populated areas also led to indiscriminate attacks and the violation of rules on precautions.

                      In several cases, Georgia and Russia conducted attacks that were indiscriminate and consequently violated IHL.”

                      So yes, Georgia conducted indiscriminate attacks – just limke the Russians in the same conflict (and even in the same “peaceful” town). Except Georgia did not invade nor attack Russia (or any other country for that matter).

                      Nor ever really destroyed a major city (actual city, of half million) killing thousands of Russian citizens, like the Russian government did recently in the nearby Grozny, which in large part still in ruins in 2008. (There are ruined areas there even today, too – just mostly not in the city center.)

                    • You may also note violating IHL with indiscriminate attacks (by both sides) was not nearly as bad as the Russian sponsored ethnic cleansing, which as noted could be qualified as nothing less than a crime against humanity.

                      It’s also interesting in your science fiction / fantasy claim of the Russian aggressors somehow averting ethnic cleansing in Georgia, instead of causing it through their support for the local rebel “militias and gangs”.

                      Wikipedia calls them “South Ossetian Army”, what a grand name for this bunch:
                      http://media.monstersandcritics.com/galleries/1364760/0146749350085.jpg
                      http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/44908000/jpg/_44908363_ethnicossetianap.jpg
                      http://img515.imageshack.us/img515/6532/610xli7.jpg
                      (The last one was this with their main warlord.)

                    • Diplomatic language of saying? Whatever… bombarding a city because of … several elements…suggestions, allegations..

      • AT,

        Your motto must be that “stupidity is a virtue”. Because bird brain, the Chinese must march through your beloved prison of all prisons – Russia, before they get to Ukraine! !! time zones to be exact, I believe?

        Hence any sane person would know that the Russians must learn Chinese first, as they will be the first to be “annexed”. Now to continue on your vein, since Russian is such a wonderful ‘paradise’ compared to Ukraine. The Chinese will stop at Russia, I mean why get your boots unnecessarily dirty on such an unimportant country like Ukraine? And between you and me I cannot see Ukrainian’s lining up in droves to volunteer to join your ‘Krasnaya Armia’ – your beloved Russia will be on its own this in this battle. Besides Russia has been annexing land for centuries, it’s time that some of these countries ‘annexed’ their lands back – like the old quote “what’s good for the goose, must be good for the gander”.

        This land that they, the Chinese annex, will last them for decades to come and at least they will raise the standard of living of all those millions of sheeple who “baa and baa’d” as they were led (by brute force) to their GULAG paradise in Siberia.

        I hope I haven’t dampened your patriotic Russophile spirit (i.e. it must be somogonka) as I am flabbergasted by the sheer stupidity of the science fiction that you write.

        • oops, for “!! time zones…..” in first paragraph, it should read “11 time zones…..”

        • Heroin dreams of bandera khokhol from Okraina of Russia. Huj tebe v zhopu! Learn Russian, “somogonka” dolbanaja.

          • khokhlomor, komu nuzen etoy sobaczyi ruskii yazykh, daje ruskie riaby hotat govorit TOLKO po angliksjie. Kakaya prelest smotret, ossobenno w Polszy, na muzulmanskuyu azyatyckuyu moskvu, na tak nazyvaemu ruskuyu armiu, na golodnye kasaglazye ruskiye riaby. Rossia toniet w sobstviennym govnie…..

            • Mcc… so how do you look at my adopted home country, the USA where whites will become the largest minority in the near future? What is wrong with Asians or Muslims or with ethnicities that have slanted eyes? As for those who need the Russian language… the fact that it is still the business language in all the former USSR 20 years after the country’s collapse is very telling. Also, your compatriots appear to return to the appreciation of your old masters’ language:
              http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6233821.stm

              • AT,
                Don’t hold your breath, russians are a truly a laughing stock of the world – see your army, navy or air force. On more personal level, during the Soviet occupation of Poland, the ‘master race’ visited us. WHAT A PICTURE it was – Polish people didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry to see those pathetic, pitiful clowns – sorry ‘masters’ – Smelly, dirty, dressed in the latest soviet fashion, with military medals, probably cover the wholes in the cheap garments. Mind you, they were ‘la creme de la creme de la societe sovietique’ – can you imagine the ordinary soviets??. THEY WANTED TWO THINGS – TO BUY AMERICAN JEANS AND TO GO TO THE STRIP TEASE CLUB. So obviously, almost eighty years of propaganda, repressions and killings didn’t didn’t work. I, personally, have a very fond memory of the one visit to USSR. The public toilet at Kurskiy Vagzal, walls covered with excrements up to the ceiling in truly russian artisitc style – layers upon layers of excrements all in the shape of the human hands. That how the ‘civilized’ russian clean themselves with their bare hands. BUT THAT ON THIS SH$%^Y WALL LENIN’S PORTRAIT WAS HANGING – IT IS A VINTAGE RUSSIA.

                • Well, I am reading the story of your psychologicat trauma at the Kursk Railway Station for the third time. I am sorry for the permanent damage. As for the laughing stock of the world — well, I travel the world, I am Russian, no one laughs at me. Yes, when the USSR was your master, Russians did not have access to American jeans and striptease clubs. That’s why the system has been changed, and access to those is in abundance in Russia now. And the Kursk Railway Station has since been renovated.

                  • And as for holding my breath…. its just a story from BBC, saying that Poles turn to the Russian language again. I don’t see a reason not to believe it. Can you prove otherwise?

                  • AT, you are truly russian at heart – IT DOESN’T BOTHER YOU TO LIVE IN THE SH##$%^TY ENVIRONMENT – IT MUST BE GENETIC….

                    • What “SH##$%^TY ENVIRONMENT”? What are you talking about?

                    • Manfred Steifschwanz

                      A self-flushing toilet such as mccusa knows, for once, what he’s talking about here. Except the embarrassing fact of course that the ‘environment’ he’s offering doesn’t appeal to sane people. Arschau, capital of pure XXXX.

          • What’s the matter ‘khokhlomor’, can’t you handle the truth.

            Never mind Muscal, shortly it will be Muslim, or maybe even Chinese. When even your foul ruSSian language will be useless. So little worm, better start learning Arabic or Chinese now.

        • Oh, Bohdan, sorry, my mental capacity just was not enough to comprehend you are seriously thinking that a full-fledged Chinese land invasion is a realistic threat. Well, if this is the case, I am afraid, you will have to discuss things with your peers in terms of the mental capacity, do not bother to descend to my level.

          • AT, you must have been educated either at Lysenko Institute or Lumumba university, if you don’t see the silent chinese invation going on- what do you call 1 million chineses crossing non-existant chinese-russian border into siberia. I call it silent invation, chinese call it ‘RETAKING OF SIBERIA STOLEN FROM CHINA BY THE RUSSIANS.”

            • Mcc, no everything I see in your posts are assertions spoken directly from your a**. What 1 million Chinese? What silent invasion? Is this statistic from the same dream where you see 80% of Russians living in huts in Siberia?

            • What 1 million Chinese? What silent invasion? Is this statistic from the same dream where you see 80% of Russians living in huts in Siberia?

              • AT, it is not a statistic dream but REALITY – you probably don’t know because Siberia is a land totally devoided of russians; therefore you cannot see the Chinese coming. By the way, WHERE THOSE POOR RUSSIAN HALF ANIMALS LIVE IN SIBERIA – IN WOODEN OLD HOUSES WITHOUT RUNNING WATER, ELECTRICITY OR GAS. Can you prove it otherwise??? There is a limit even to Potomkin villages…….

                • Well, the fact that you wish it were reality does not make it reality. Can I prove it otherswise — easily by reference to any statistical sites, but, since you make these statemetns, the burden of proof is on you. Otherwise, can you prove that actually not all the Poles have the same IQ as you do?

                  • AT, your vulgar comment about Polish IQ is a perfect example of humongous russian INFERIORITY COMPLEX which is understandible and justifiable – LOOK AT THAT COSMIC FAILURE CALLED RUSSIA – THAT TOTAL HUMILIATION IN EVERY POSSIBLE WAY – ESPACIALLY, THE PATHETIC RUSSIAN ATTEMPTS TO PLAY A GLOBAL POWER – EVERY TIME MR. LAVROV [HE IN REALITY IS A TIBILISKOY ORMIASHKA] TRIES TO ORGANIZE ‘A SUMMIT’ TO ‘SOLVE’ THE PROBLEM CREATED BY RUSSIA – NOBODY RESPONDS…

                    • So what is wrong with Armenians from Tbilisi? My comment does not imply that the average Polish IQ is similar to yours, it implies that your posts may create such an impression, and its a pity. They also can create a certain impresion of the Polish being racist given all your hate for ethicities with slanted eyes, Moslems, Armenians from Tbilisi etc. Otherwise, your post is as usually not comprehensible: who does not respond? to what? how relevant is Lavrov? what summit? what problem?

                    • and why in the upper case letters?

                    • and your desire to insult your old master is a perfect example of Poland’s humongous inferiority complex.

          • AT,

            Who in their right mind would descend to the primeval state that is your world. Not me that is for sure.

            So thank you for agreeing with me.

    • Okraina will break into pieces very soon — look what is happening there. No army, full collapse and corruption of the government, huge debt, and full dependence on Russia in energy.

      • khokhlomor – don’t hold your breath on that one, or bet on it either!

        You’ll lose, loser! that’s for sure.

        • little ukro, put a bit of vaseline in your anus when chinese come. They are already annexing your homeland Australia.

          • Bohdan, yep, this is a discussion you are better fit for.

          • khokhlomor, midget fascist ruSSian.

            The only thing you excel in is your vile Russophile bordello gutter language. Crawl back into your Siberian hole, with your reused vaseline, somogonka and fellow untermensch Ka GE Bist’s. Period.

            PS The Chinese have a long, long way to swim to “down under”. But not so far to walk to your beloved fascist Moscow. Hence if I were you (God forbid) I’d be a sh*tless scared. Hint! hint – keep looking over your shoulder towards the east.

      • KHOKHLOMOR, you are giving a perfect description of russia not Ukraine, you retarded russian barakhlo!!! It must be too much of contaminated russian samogon combined with afghan heroin

        • Pshek whore mccusa from Arschau, you better also put a bit of vaseline in your dirty anus.

          • Hi bootstrap aka Kleine Schwaine – here we are again. a russian f#$%k who think he is swedish. By the way, there is treatment for this illness – big dosage of ricinus oil…..

  9. Well, except for breaking up into pieces, its quite an accurate description of Ukraine actually.

    • Plus de-population. Still better than Georgia, however.

      • AT,
        That pathological obssession with Georgia by entire russia is a symptom and admission of russia’s total failure; it is otherwise called the fall of the ‘empire’ – inevitable, unstoppable, and irreversible – How many losing wars is russia fighting presently. Checznia, Inguszetia, Dagestan, Kabardino-Balkaria, Georgia [already lost], Kyrgyzystan [already lost as the whole central asian area - great victory for China and Turkey. So, russia is rejected by Europe and Asia. By the way, Ukraine is trying to do business with China; while Russia is brown-nosing China, using BRIC . AT, just to let you know that there was G7 - [never G8], now useless G20 and it is going to be G2 USA and China …..

  10. “we can only say that Russians richly deserve their cruel fate, and will continue to do so as long as their apathy persists”

    It’s not apathy, it’s pofigizm, an essential part of the Russian culture. Unless you understand pofigizm, you do not understand Russia. It’s a pity that you are unable to think like us, then all your worries about Russia would simply… disappear.

    • And why should the Russians be not supportive of the system if the system has been improving their life pretty much continually for the last 10 years? at a faster rate than any other ex-USSR government system?

      • Thanks, I agree with you. :)

        I always forget that criticists of Russia are not hypocryts, but sincere believers in the dogma that the situation in Russia is always prone to deteriorate.

        So… do you know the Russian folks saying that “fools get beaten even at an altar”? The meaning is that there’s no excuse for being silly.

      • Yes, that 70 year old nurse who died from starvation was surely very appreciative of how her life was improved

        • Neither do the homeless at Union Station in DC of benefits related living in one of the world’s wealthiest countries. Not everyone succeeds equally in any society. A very sad story indeed.

        • There are poor people in every country. Do you criticize Russia for being a not sufficiently socialist state? Please, clarify your own political standing. You are a Socialist, aren’t you?

          • I criticize Russia for spending money on the Olympics and palaces in the Saddam Hussein style while that poor woman dies from hunger; and second, I criticize Russia for incessantly lying and boasting about her “prosperity” while abandoning the weak, the sick, the elderly and the orphans. The notion of Social Darwinism is really outmoded.

            • RV, the US administration is spending money on two or three wars, and there are hungry people in the streets of NY, DC and LA. Social Darwinism is a much more realistic concept than Wellfare State.

              • You must have read a lot of Herbert Spencer. I wonder if cruelty and immorality are common in Russia or if that is specific only to you.

                In the first place, the United States is not a topic here. The U.S. is not perfect and nobody says it is, but the fact it is not perfect is not any justification for the misery your Paramount Leader is inflicting on the large portion of Russian population. There are plenty of blogs discussing and criticizing various aspects of American life. Go there.

                And in the second place, nobody has to go hungry here; there is plenty of free food available to all. Change your fashionable clothes, and volunteer for a day at a food pantry like so many of us do. You may learn something. Of course, I doubt you would do that, sounds like you prefer to let the weak and the vulnerable die off. Isn’t that what Social Darwinism is all about?

                • RV, first, the US becomes a topic each time someone from the US criticizes Russia. Focus on the problems of your country first before starting to criticize another one. Second, food pantries and charity will never alleviate the poverty. Free enterprise, responsible investment and job creation will. I in my fashionable clothes have contributed to making lives of much many poor people better than those who volunteer at food pantry, which is sheer hypocrisy in my opinion. And I am personally in charge of well fare of four weak and vulnerable people, also sustaining their lives at a much higher level than it would otherwise have been. Yet, I reiterate, well fare state is not an answer.

                  • Well, I hope you remember that when your beloved fatherland is begging for food aid like she did before. We’ll tell her to engage in free enterprise, responsible investment and job creation, and to use this wise advice for breakfast

                    • Well, your beloved fatherland told mine what to do once. My beloved fatherland generally followed the advice. The results were, well, not what we expected. So I really hope my beloved fatherland doesn’t act on any other people beloved fatherlands’ advice anymore without considering its interests first. Anyway, what propaganda have you been feeding on to believe that your beloved fatherland’s food aid was of any importance at all to my beloved fatherland? I remember that once I — among other 2 or 3 thousand of my fellow poor students — got the “US Humanitarian Aid”, right at the time when freedom and democracy flourished in Russia according to the owner of this blog and right in a region governed by one of this blog’s most favorite reformers. I am still wondering how getting a one-time delivery of a US Army food ration with a passed expiration date was supposed to save me… and from what…. We were dirt poor at the time, but no one I knew really starved. And the passed expiration date… and the gross smell… The ration had to be disposed of… Definitely, those who were in charge of food aid in our respective beloved fatherlands at the time had no clue… hence your ideas…

                      Seriously though, the advice to engage in free enterprise, responsible investment and job creation is the best advice one beloved fatherland can give to another, as decades and decates of wasted aid effort to Africa clearly demonstrate.

              • AT,

                And how much money is fascist Russia spending on all those wars of subversion it is involved in??

    • Please explain. What is “pofigizm”

  11. The point is AT, that Georgia humiliated russia in front of the whole world; especially appealing is the ‘successful’ attempt to recognize S. Ossetia – by the way is it true that the greatest friend of russia the island of Nauru – a place without a capital city – , made a little boo boo and recognized Tatarstan instead. Do tell us…

  12. AT, in russia there is NO GDP, just in case you haven’t noticed….

    • No GDP? Umm, OK… No I have not noticed that. What are you trying to show off here? The brilliance of the Polish educational system or the Polish superb sence of humor. Again, sorry for the permanent damage at the Kursk railway station… have you tried professional help?

    • Manfred Steifschwanz

      mccusa, you’re the one and only truly intelligent Arschau dweller. So don’t go anywhere else, Pshek.

  13. @The Avars — Avars 814,473 (0.56% of the Russian population) are at the door! The sky is falling! Russia is doomed!

    Yeah, keep pretending you don’t get.

    (Or maybe you really don’t get it.)

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