Russia announced a new anti-aircraft artillery system

Russia’s Ministry of Defence announced on Wednesday a new anti-craft artillery system is being developed in the Ground Forces. The new system, whose name was not mentioned, will replace the old ZSU-23-4 “Shilka” system, in service since 1962.

Russia’s new New anti-aircraft artillery system. Credit: © Russian Ministry of Defence/Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

“This complex is designed to engage air targets such as tactical UAVs, single rocket launchers, cruise missiles, shock elements of WTO systems and tactical aviation aircraft, fire support helicopters, as well as surface and surface lightly armored targets,” said Russian Ministry of Defence.

“In addition, in 2018, equipment was planned with modern weapons and equipment, including: two military formations of air defense – short-range antiaircraft missile system Tor-M2; an air defense unit operating in the Arctic and the Far North conditions with a Tor-M2DT short-range anti-aircraft missile system; air defense units of combined-arms formations – a portable anti-aircraft missile system “Verba”, added the Defense Ministry.

Russia is in the middle of military renewing, and in late 2017 President Vladimir Putin approved Russia’s State Armament Program (SAP) for 2018-2027. The SAP will give “specific attention on precision weaponry, as it is a present-day tendency in the development of all armed conflicts”, said Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov on 23 November 2017. “Top priority, naturally, will be given to the development of nuclear deterrence systems as a key type of armed forces which guarantees security of our country in conflicts of any kind,” he added.

Russia used Syria’s ground to test some of its most advanced new weapons, including SU-34 fighter jet and cruise missiles.

 

Russia has the potential to cut off internet to NATO countries

Russian Navy ship in Vladivostok.

The Russian navy has the potential to damage the West’s economy and way of life, says Sir Stuart Peach, senior NATO figure and head of Britain’s armed forces. Stuart Peach warns that Russia could cut off the internet to NATO countries and inflict serious damage to the telecom infrastructure sharing.

Russian ships have been spotted in the Atlantic Ocean near the cables that guarantee communications between United Stated and the Old Continent (as well as other parts of the world).

“There is a new risk to our way of life, which is the vulnerability of the cables that crisscross the sea beds. Can you imagine a scenario where those cables are cut and disrupted, which would immediately and potentially catastrophically affect both our economy and other ways of living,” said Sir Stuart Peach during the annual RUSI conference.

Stuart Peach also urged NATO to build new and modern submarines in order to respond Russia’s navy modernisation.  

The think tank Policy Exchange has recently published a report which said that 97 percent of global communication are carried by cables lying under the Oceans.

Many analysts, however, think the presence of the Russian navy could be just trying to gather intelligence and intercept communication.

 

Putin’s bluff on Syria: private contractors will replace soldiers

Vladimir Putin

On 11 December, Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered the withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria and declared victory, as the Russian military accomplished its goal of saving President Bashar al-Assad from ouster. Few hours later the White House decided to let Assad hold on to the presidency until elections in Syria are held again, contradicting a previous statements that called for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down from his position as a precondition to a peace process.

However, some analysts show scepticism on Putin move. Bessma Momani, a professor at the Balsillie School of International Affairs and the University of Waterloo, reminds us “Putin has made similar announcements twice before, and at one point was forced to renege and redeploy Russian forces after Syria’s Bashar al-Assad lost control of territory they had helped win over”. He also added “Mr. Putin’s showboating in Syria serves to create more hollow nationalism for the Russian public’s consumption”.

Furthermore, for those soldiers who are leaving, it appears that they are being replaced by private contractors, as Associeted Press reports.  The Russian campaign in Syria draws to a close but the private contractors will probably stay.

A Russian diplomat said that an ‘Apocalyptic scenario’ is possible on Korean Peninsula

Kim Jong-un

“A scenario of the apocalyptic development of the situation on the Korean Peninsula exists and we cannot turn our blind eye to it,” said monday the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov, during a conference in South Korea, as reported by Russia’s Tass News Agency.

“I hope that a common sense, pragmatism and an instinct of self-preservation would prevail among our partners to exclude such negative scenario.”

Morgulov invited for a dialogue with Pyongyang over its nuclear program, stressing the fact the putting the reclusive country under pressure will not yield the desired results.

“We have told North Korea many times that for us [its] nuclear status is unacceptable,” Morgulov reportedly said.

“We continue this work with the North Korean counterparts presenting to them our position.”

The Trump administration has already urged China to pressure North Korea to end its nuclear ambitions.

In September, Kim Jong-un said it successfully tested a miniaturized hydrogen bomb that can be placed an ICBM. North Korea later that month fired a ballistic missile over Japan.

The president Trump exchanged bad words with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during his recent 12-day trip to Asia.

“Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me ‘old,’ when I would NEVER call him ‘short and fat?’ Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend – and maybe someday that will happen!” Trump tweeted.