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Russia: A New Arms Race In Europe
   Next Article → NAVAL AIR: Poseidons Dim Future

September 26, 2008: Even before Russia invaded Georgia in August, the Russian stock market was falling sharply. This was because the Russian government was intervening in business affairs, brushing aside the rule-of-law that is so essential to economic growth. The Georgian invasion made foreign investors even more nervous, and they began pulling their investment funds out of the country. Some wealthy Russians moved their money out as well. This caused the Russian markets to fall even more, so that they have lost over half their  value in the last four months. Many Russians blame this on yet another U.S. conspiracy to humiliate Russia (as the Americans did in 1991 when the Soviet Union fell apart and Russia "lost" the Cold War.)

The EU has looked at its armed forces (about two million troops) and realized that, although twice the size of the Russian armed forces, the EU probably has less combat strength. The EU armed forces have been allowed to run down since the Cold War, too often becoming a bunch of aging civil servants with obsolete weapons. The Russian invasion of Georgia, and the inability to muster enough troops for peacekeeping in Afghanistan, has finally motivated Western Europe to improve their defenses. In effect, a new arms race is stirring in Europe.

The Czech Republic and Poland have refused Russian suggestions that Russian military personnel be stationed at the new U.S. anti-missile bases on their territory. Russia insists that these bases are an act of aggression against it. The U.S., and Europe, insists that the bases are to protect Europe from Iranian, or other Middle Eastern, missile attacks. Czech counter-intelligence officials also accuse Russia of funding Czech groups that oppose the missile bases.

Russia is cracking down on Western media appearing on Russian television. The government controls most of the mass broadcast media, and wants to remove "decadent" U.S. stuff like South Park and the Simpsons, and replace it with more patriotic shows. Just like in the good old days, before the Soviet Union disappeared. The government has had some success in manipulating public opinion, usually by exploiting existing attitudes (anger at the loss of empire and hostility to the United States).

September 24, 2008: A Russian military museum in Moscow has been displaying American military equipment, taken from Georgia, and portraying military operations in Georgia as a victory over America. The American gear was material provided to Georgia over the past few years as part of a training program for Georgian troops headed for peacekeeping duty in southern Iraq.

September 22, 2008: The Russian nuclear powered battle cruiser Peter The Great, and  support ships (a destroyer and two supply vessels), have set off from Northern Russia for Venezuela, where they will show the flag for their ally, and arms customer, Venezuela.

September 21, 2008: Israel accused Russia of supplying Syria with satellite photos, and other intelligence. Russia has long done this, as part of arms sales or diplomatic deals. Russia always denies it.

September 18, 2008: Another successful test of the Bulava SLBM (sea launched ballistic missile) was conducted. This missile will be used on the new Borei class SSBNs (SLBM carrying nuclear subs). The Bulava is a version of the successful land based Topol ICBM. The Bulava has a range of 8,000 kilometers and can carry up to ten warheads.

September 14, 2008: Under strong pressure from Western Europe and the U.S., Russia has withdrawn its troops from western Georgia, including the port of Poti. The EU (European Union) has been humiliated by the Russians, who treated demands to get out of Georgia, with disdain. The EU has handled Russia carefully, despite warnings from East European members that this just encourages the Russians to be more aggressive and belligerent.

September 13, 2008: Russia will increase its defense budget 26 percent, to about $50 billion, next year. There is some doubt that the Russian defense industry will be able to meet the new demand, unless they divert equipment from export customers. In any event, export customers are getting harder to come by.

September 12, 2008: South Ossetia announced plans to formally join Russia, thus leaving Georgia without a chunk of its territory.

September 11, 2008: Russia has sent two Tu-160 heavy bombers to visit Venezuela. This pleases the anti-American government of Venezuela, and plays well at home, where the government is pushing anti-Americanism in order to increase patriotic feelings.

 

Next Article → NAVAL AIR: Poseidons Dim Future
  
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s,dog7       9/26/2008 7:05:39 AM
russia leder is the next want to be hittler and is going to do some think.
 
Quote    Reply

newjarheadean    Soviet collapses again?   9/26/2008 8:11:41 AM
AHOY,
CIS  "best is the economy of good enough". With the US IMO what we're seeing is the fall out of the rules being thrown out after 9-11, you know the system decided to stay afloat rather than all falling out. So the private sector stopped keeping books too.  
IMO the 1991 collapses was USSR seeing itself as surrounded and out gunned by NATO so they scattered in all directions. Or one has to say the CIA had no idea of the shape the whole Soviet system was in. Or that THEY have total control of the media and kept all the info of the situation under rapes till the fall. CIS mannipulating the TV sounds like the US to me.  
G-day!
 
Quote    Reply

Barca       9/26/2008 9:13:34 AM
Now Russia will be providing nuclear technology to Venzuela.  I guess all these oil producing countries need some form of alternative energy.
 
Maybe the US should start providing nuclear tech to eastern Europe?
 
 
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Lance Blade    *sigh*   9/27/2008 6:54:27 AM
"Russia is cracking down on Western media appearing on Russian television. The government controls most of the mass broadcast media, and wants to remove "decadent" U.S. stuff like South Park and the Simpsons, and replace it with more patriotic shows."
 
 "September 12, 2008: South Ossetia announced plans to formally join Russia, thus leaving Georgia without a chunk of its territory."
 
Anyone actually belives this stuff?
 
Quote    Reply

trenchsol       9/27/2008 9:51:41 AM

"Russia is cracking down on Western media appearing on Russian
television. The government controls most of the mass broadcast media, and wants
to remove "decadent" U.S. stuff like South Park and the Simpsons, and
replace it with more patriotic shows."

 

 "September 12, 2008: South Ossetia
announced plans to formally join Russia, thus leaving Georgia without a chunk
of its territory."

 

Anyone actually belives this stuff?


Actually, I've found and article about Russia being concerned about Valentine's day and Halloween being celebrated and that it corrupts the youth. The article looked credible, even some Duma representative was named. Everyone knows that there were plenty of such attitudes during Cold War. In fact, majorityt of Cold War population is still in Russia, they were not replaced by Martians in 1990.
 
So, why not ?

DG

 
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afrc       9/27/2008 6:07:01 PM
"Russia is cracking down on Western media appearing on Russian television. The government controls most of the mass broadcast media, and wants to remove "decadent" U.S. stuff like South Park and the Simpsons, and replace it with more patriotic shows."
 
 "September 12, 2008: South Ossetia announced plans to formally join Russia, thus leaving Georgia without a chunk of its territory."
 
Anyone actually belives this stuff?
 
Hmm, not sure... do you have information to the contrary? I myself did not look yet... I wouldn't use this site as the main source of info, but it gives you an idea on what to look for. 
 
Quote    Reply

Lance Blade       9/28/2008 6:11:38 AM

Actually, I've found and article about Russia being concerned about Valentine's day and Halloween being celebrated and that it corrupts the youth. The article looked credible, even some Duma representative was named. Everyone knows that there were plenty of such attitudes during Cold War. In fact, majorityt of Cold War population is still in Russia, they were not replaced by Martians in 1990.

 

So, why not ?




DG




Because while there are plenty of interesting types in the Duma who would love to pull off stunts like that, it does not mean the ruling party would be idiotic enough to concede to their demands. Now I understand the communists and maybe the LDPR fraction being concerned, they always bring up stuff like that at Duma meetings. This gives the ruling party the opportunity to a.) agree and concede to their demands, or b.) dismiss them and further embarass and alienate the communists, thus driving one more nail into their coffin. So far the best they've been able to do that I've seen is to stop teenagers dressing up as emos in classrooms (because they concluded the lifestyle encourages suicide and well, Russia has a population problem as it is). Incidentally, here in Britain school uniforms are standard all over the country.
So in my mind there is a big difference between "cracking down" and "some commie said it should be so". As I've not seen any articles on Russian media about South Park being banned (it would be a big deal!), I would assume it is the second. And as a sidenote, what do they actually plan to "replace" it with? 
As for that snippet about South Ossetia, that is technically not true; the president of South Ossetia has clearly stated they did not fight a struggle to free themselves from one ruler only to fall into the hands of another, and will remain independant. What that means is that SO can have an independant future if it so desires.  If in a decade's time it decides it doesn't like Russia any more, that is it's own perrogative.

 
Quote    Reply

trenchsol       9/28/2008 9:15:33 AM
In reply to Lance Blade:
 
In fact I suspected that those could be the initiatives coming from  certain individuals or groups. There is never a shortage of busybodies around, no matter where you go.
 
What chances have South Ossetia alone ?  One can barely fill  decent football/soccer  stadium with the entire population. In fact, there would still be a lot of unsold tickets on couple of them. What can they do for living ? They will become like those Pacific independent coral ridge countries that depend on Australia and New Zealand. They won't even have Internet domain like .nu and .tv.
 
I remember you compared them to Kosovo once, but Kosovo has population of two million and natural resources. Kosovar Albanians are people capable of working all day for minimum wage, and they often do that. In former Yugoslavia they used to do jobs nobody else wanted. They still own some shops here in Croatia, they open earlier and close later than anybody else. What advantages do Ossetians have to help them survive ?
 
DG

 
Quote    Reply

Lance Blade       10/6/2008 6:38:43 AM

In reply to Lance Blade:

 

In fact I suspected that those could be the initiatives coming from  certain individuals or groups. There is never a shortage of busybodies around, no matter where you go.

Indeed. But presenting something like that as a done deal is a bit like saying "America is cracking down on gays" because Bush once raised the question of the illegality of gay marriage before Congress (which Congress promptly vetoed)"

What chances have South Ossetia alone ?  One can barely fill  decent football/soccer  stadium with the entire population. In fact, there would still be a lot of unsold tickets on couple of them. What can they do for living ? They will become like those Pacific independent coral ridge countries that depend on Australia and New Zealand. They won't even have Internet domain like .nu and .tv.


 

I remember you compared them to Kosovo once, but Kosovo has population of two million and natural resources. Kosovar Albanians are people capable of working all day for minimum wage, and they often do that. In former Yugoslavia they used to do jobs nobody else wanted. They still own some shops here in Croatia, they open earlier and close later than anybody else. What advantages do Ossetians have to help them survive ?


 

DG


Thank you so much. I'm glad someone here is finally asking these questions. Yes, it's one thing to go all political and talk about independance and self-governance, and it's quite another to look at the books and ask yourself: "is this really gonna be sustainable in the long run?" Many people right now are doubtful of Kosovo's chances of existing as a viable entity economically. You gave me an example of how they work extra hard and try to make ends meet; I'm sure European aid helps as well. What will happen in the future? In ten, twenty, a hundred years? Will Kosovo go bankrupt? Can nations really go bankrupt if aid dries up? As for South Ossetia, right now it's another budget hole in the books of the Russian Federation. They're building roads, bridges there, they're doing reconstruction work. What will happen next? Well, I would guess if SO wanted to go for independant diplomacy they'll have to do it in a way that won't annoy Russia. So, a pro-Western leader probably won't be acceptable (and probably won't even appear) on their political scene. Then again, look at how much money Amerika gave to Israel, and they still pursue a fairly independant agenda that sometimes even goes against US national interests. So in these situations if you play it well you can make a very comfortable living for yourself. Israel is now a regional powerhouse that could in theory survive without Amerika. Maybe the same might happen to Kosovo and SO?
 
As for the non-economic "can it be physically done?" aspect of it, the answer I believe is certainly yes. What has Georgia done for SO in the past 15 years? I'd dare say virtually nothing. Yet they've still managed to govern themselves. I doubt Russia was committing serious reserves to the breakaway regions before Saakashvilli took power and they became pawns in a game. So if they could do it then without anyone's help, I would hazard a guess that they can do it now, with Russia's assistance. If Russia leaves now they've already got infrastructure, some form of industry, half-decent law and order (it's not like they're Somalia), and I'd say the biggest threat to them would be another Georgian invasion. It's not actually that difficult to survive I don't think, if you let some big businesses in...
 
Maybe they will go bankrupt in the future and Russia will buy them from Georgia with hard cash? It used to be done before, so why not now?



 
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Lance Blade       10/6/2008 6:40:45 AM

Now Russia will be providing nuclear technology to Venzuela.  I guess all these oil producing countries need some form of alternative energy.

 

Maybe the US should start providing nuclear tech to eastern Europe?

 

Already does (Westinghouse).

 
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