Russia: A New Foreign Legion

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November 11, 2005: Russia is accepting foreign volunteers in its armed forces. Well, sort of. Some 300 Russian speaking Armenians have volunteered. Many other Russian speaking citizens of former parts of the Soviet Union, living in economically depressed areas, see the Russian armed forces as a good career choice. Russia is steadily expanding the proportion of the armed forces that are volunteers (or "contract soldiers"), with the aim of eliminating conscription in a decade or so.

November 10, 2005: As Russia puts more money into reviving its military, it has come to light that most of Russians space satellite fleet, especially military communications and espionage, need to be replaced. This could cost over ten billion dollars through the end of the decade.

November 8, 2005: Dutch police revealed that three local computer hackers, caught engaging in computer crimes, were actually working for a larger Russian criminal organization. Eastern Europe, and Russia in particular, has long been recognized as a center for gangs specializing in computer crime.

November 7, 2005: In northeast Chechnya, 5,000 people gathered in a sports stadium for a rare event; a rock concert. Such large gatherings have been rare in Chechnya, because of the threat of terrorist attacks. This concert was considered a particularly tempting target for Islamic terrorists, because Islamic conservatives do not like modern pop music. The concert went off without any attack, serving as a noisy indicator of progress against terrorists in the region.

November 6, 2005: Russia paid Lithuania $22,000 as compensation for damage done when a Russian Su-27 fighter crashed in Lithuania last Summer. This apparently closes the embarrassing incident.

November 5, 2005: Germany is warning German firms to be alert to Russian criminals stealing missile technology, and passing it on to Iran. While industrial espionage is not unusual, this appears to be a case where industrial spies were hired by a foreign government to go after weapons technology, and doing it through a third country (Russia.) It is believed that Russia was selected because the Russian government is eager to do more business with Iran, and less likely to crack down on the technology theft operation.

A New Foreign Legion

November 11, 2005: Russia is accepting foreign volunteers in its armed forces. Well, sort of. Some 300 Russian speaking Armenians have volunteered. Many other Russian speaking citizens of former parts of the Soviet Union, living in economically depressed areas, see the Russian armed forces as a good career choice. Russia is steadily expanding the proportion of the armed forces that are volunteers (or "contract soldiers"), with the aim of eliminating conscription in a decade or so.

November 10, 2005: As Russia puts more money into reviving its military, it has come to light that most of Russians space satellite fleet, especially military communications and espionage, need to be replaced. This could cost over ten billion dollars through the end of the decade.

November 8, 2005: Dutch police revealed that three local computer hackers, caught engaging in computer crimes, were actually working for a larger Russian criminal organization. Eastern Europe, and Russia in particular, has long been recognized as a center for gangs specializing in computer crime.

November 7, 2005: In northeast Chechnya, 5,000 people gathered in a sports stadium for a rare event; a rock concert. Such large gatherings have been rare in Chechnya, because of the threat of terrorist attacks. This concert was considered a particularly tempting target for Islamic terrorists, because Islamic conservatives do not like modern pop music. The concert went off without any attack, serving as a noisy indicator of progress against terrorists in the region.

November 6, 2005: Russia paid Lithuania $22,000 as compensation for damage done when a Russian Su-27 fighter crashed in Lithuania last Summer. This apparently closes the embarrassing incident.

November 5, 2005: Germany is warning German firms to be alert to Russian criminals stealing missile technology, and passing it on to Iran. While industrial espionage is not unusual, this appears to be a case where industrial spies were hired by a foreign government to go after weapons technology, and doing it through a third country (Russia.) It is believed that Russia was selected because the Russian government is eager to do more business with Iran, and less likely to crack down on the technology theft operation.

 

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