The inimitable Pavel Felgenhauer reports:
The Russian defense industry is in crisis; its officials blame the defense ministry for withholding funds, while Defense Minister Anatoliy Serdyukov in turn accuses arms producers of making weapons of questionable quality and charging unjustified high prices (EDM, July 7).
Russia’s ruling tandem of President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin have called for tempers to be calmed and for all to work together to allow rearmament plans to be implemented. At the same time, Medvedev agreed that the defense ministry must not procure “trash,” but must receive the best quality for its money and import foreign [Western] weapons as a measure of last resort (www.kremlin.ru, July 12). Two weeks ago, Medvedev threatened to “execute” troublemakers within the defense industry and sack leading bureaucrats responsible for defense industry problems that are preventing rearmament. Up to now nothing drastic has happened, but the crisis continues to fester.
Pig Russia, Wallowing in Mire
The diary of Russian foreign policy events over the past few weeks has been truly horrifying, even by the loathsome standards of Vladimir Putin’s KGB state.
Russia defended Iran. Then it protected Libya. Finally, it stood steadfast in the defense of Syria. And for the cherry on this fetid cake, it invited Pakistan to pay the first official state visit on Moscow in three decades just after learning it had been harboring America’s public enemy #1, Bin Laden, right outside its capital.
Civilized people can only ask themselves: Doesn’t Russia have any shame, or even common sense?
Advertisement for a World War II party in Moscow. The message reads: Thank you Granddad for the victory we had!
Get it Straight, Russia Lost World War II
Three were killed. No, four. Wait a minute, it was seven. No, no . . . eight!!
You could be forgiven if you were somewhat perplexed reading the news out of the Caucasus on May 8th. Each different media outlet you turned to seemed to have a different figure for the number of “militants” and “rebels” Russia had killed in its latest confrontation, though in each case they insisted only one member of the Russian armed forces had perished in the exchange.
As you can well imagine, if you could’n’t even get the number of militants, it was pretty darned impossible to find out anything about who they were or why they had been killed. Russians lack real information about such events, just as they lack real information about World War II, a conflict they lost but foolishly believe they won.
Alexander Golts, writing in the Moscow Times:
Russians know that Victory Day is approaching not only because commemorative St. George ribbons are being handed out on sidewalks or because of the abundance of patriotic programs on television about legendary Soviet spy Max Otto von Stirlitz. Muscovites, in particular, know the holiday is coming since they endure horrendous traffic jams — worse than usual — during the rehearsals of the military parade that will be the top public event on May 9.
But few Russians will take pride in viewing the military weapons that will be paraded across Red Square. These systems were developed 20 years ago, and they are produced in miniscule quantities today.
The Collapse of the Neo-Soviet Army
We cannot afford to create a fully professional army. If we save funds elsewhere, we will certainly go back to this idea, but well prepared.
— Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, October 2010
As shown in the chart at left, between 2006 and 2010 the number of young Russian men drafted into the army has nearly tripled, from just over 200,000 per year to nearly 600,000 per year.
There are two simple reasons for this shocking increase in conscription: First, the number of young men newly eligible to serve in the Russian army is plummeting along with the general population (from about 900,000 in 2004 to 500,000 in 2011); second, the horrors of dedovschina and other barbaric practices and hardships of the army have led many young men to reject the option of volunteering. The result is that nearly 100% of all newly-eligible Russians were drafted into the army in 2010. If things go on as they are, even drafting every single eligible man won’t be enough to fill out Russia’s ranks — and the Russian army will start collapsing.
Another New Low in Russian Humiliation
Meet Valentin Yudaskhin. A so-called Russian “fashion designer,” Mr. Yudaskin was hired by Vladimir Putin to design fashionable new Russian Army uniforms after Putin heard complaints that Russian recruits thought they looked like third-world idiots. In doing so, Yudaskin boldly declared he was creating a “uniform for victors.”
Take a look at him. Think about the fact that he’s Russian, working for a neo-Soviet regime run by a proud KGB spy. Now we ask you: How do you think this scheme worked out?
If you didn’t guess that people started dying, shame on you.
Defense expert Alexander Golts, writing in the Moscow Times:
General Nikolai Makarov, chief of the General Staff, caused a stir last week after he said to journalists: “We aim to create a professional army. We can’t make it happen in a short time period, but year by year there will be an increase in the number of contract military personnel.”
Interestingly enough, only one month ago Makarov said the exact opposite. “We will not switch to a contract-based army. Instead, we will be drafting more soldiers …” to fill the gap.