Russian Fleet Poses No Threat to Ukraine – Senior Official

Russian Fleet Poses No Threat to Ukraine – Senior Official

MOSCOW, February 27 (RIA Novosti) – A senior Russian defense official said Thursday that the country’s Black Sea Fleet poses no threat to Ukraine and its activities are in compliance with standing agreements between the two countries.

“Currently all units are engaged in their daily routines, including combat training. These actions do not represent a threat,” Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov told reporters.

He added that the placement, strength and quantity of weapons and military personnel were in strict compliance with existing bilateral agreements.

The statement came hours after unidentified armed men seized the regional parliament in Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula – where much of the Russian Black Sea Fleet is based – and reportedly raised a Russian flag over the building.

Pro-Russia citizen groups have been forming in the largely Russian-speaking Crimea amid the ongoing turbulence in the country.

Moscow has insisted that it will not interfere in its neighbor’s affairs, but has expressed worry about discrimination against ethnic Russians in the region.

More than half of Crimea’s population self-identifies as ethnic Russian.

Ukraine’s interim president warned Moscow on Thursday that any movement by Russian forces outside their bases would be interpreted as an act of military aggression.

The Russian Black Sea Fleet maintains its main naval base in the port of Sevastopol in addition to several auxiliary installations around the peninsula.

During the tenure of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who fled the capital on Saturday, the country renewed Russia’s lease of the facilities through 2042.

Antonov said Russia would continue to pay Ukrainian citizens employed by the base and fulfill all financial obligations for the stay of the fleet in Crimea.

BrahMos Aerospace President Receives Russian Award

BrahMos Aerospace President Receives Russian Award

Russian Military Technologies, 27,02.2014
Russian-Indian joint venture BrahMos Aerospace President Sivathanu Pillai has been awarded the Russian Order of Friendship. BrahMos missiles are a bilateral project, the success of which is a result of efforts on both sides. But this is not the end of friendship, which will grow stronger, Pillai said after receiving the order from Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who is co-chair of the Russian-Indian Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Science, Technical and Cultural Cooperation. Rogozin said the order had been awarded to Pillai for his big contribution to the strengthening of friendship and cooperation with Russia and the development of multifaceted scientific and cultural ties. Pillai is confident that the BrahMos missile project can be considered successful only if the missiles are bought by both Russia and India. Now only India has been buying them. He said this issue is discussed at different levels and expressed hope that Russia would make a positive decision. The overall value of BrahMos missile contracts with India’s Navy, Air Force and Army has reached 4.2 billion U.S. dollars and may increase to 7.5 billion U.S. dollars by 2015. Last year, India successfully tested a BrahMos supersonic missile from an underwater platform. This was the first time that any supersonic cruise missile was launched vertically from a submerged platform. The BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was successfully test fired from the Indian Navy’s newest guided missile frigate INS Tarkash off the coast of Goa in late May 2013.

Russia Preparing Missile Troops for Victory Day Parade

Russia Preparing Missile Troops for Victory Day Parade

Russian Military Technologies, 27,02.2014
Three Topol-M strategic ballistic missiles will roll through Moscow’s Red Square to mark the Victory Day on May 9, 2014. The military equipment is ready for the Victory Day Parade. This came in a statement by Col. Igor Egorov, a spokesman for the Teikovsky missile unit of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces.

It should be noted that the Teikovsky troops has been participating in the Victory Day Parade since 2008. Last year, more than 11,000 servicemen from Russia’s Armed Forces and law enforcement agencies, as well as military academy students paraded their colors through the Red Square to music of a combined services brass band comprising 800 musicians.

Tiger and Lynx armored vehicles, BTR-82A armored carriers, T-90 tanks, Msta-S self-propelled artillery systems, S-400 air defence systems, as well as Topol-M and Iskander-M missile complexes awed spectators on the Victory Day in 2013. The fly-past by 68 aircraft and helicopters completed last year’s spectacle.

Russia to Open Service Centers in Indonesia for Servicing Aircraft Equipment

Russia to Open Service Centers in Indonesia for Servicing Aircraft Equipment

Russian Military Technologies, 26,02.2014

Russia is prepared to open its service centers in Indonesia for servicing the Russian aircraft equipment, Russian Vice-Premier Dmitry Rogozin told a news conference upon completion of a meeting of an intergovernmental commission.

“We are ready to create service centers to service Russian-built aircraft equipment which Indonesia buys for regional transportations,” Rogozin said. “The matter concerns very interesting projects, including the construction of a terminal for supra-horizon monitoring in Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone,” Rogozin added.

Commenting on cooperation in space projects, Rogozin pointed out that the two sides might take mutual advantage of further development of the sector of navigation services, including GLONASS navigators.

Russia to Man Kant Airbase with Professional Servicemen

Russia to Man Kant Airbase with Professional Servicemen

Russian Military Technologies, 26,02.2014

The Russian airbase in Kyrgyzstan will be fully manned with personnel serving under contract by the end of 2014. This information was presented by the press center of the Central Military District.

“There will be no conscripts at the base in Kant after 2014,” the press service said in a statement. According to the military, contract servicemen at the Kant base receive a 30 percent increase in salary, 15 additional vacation days and service housing. Every six months of service under contract at Kant is counted as one year when calculating retirement pensions.

It should be noted that the airbase, located some 20 kilometers outside Bishkek, was established in October 2003 and operates in the interests of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a Moscow-led security alliance that comprises much of the former Soviet Union. The base currently hosts at least eight Su-25 ground attack aircraft and two Mi-8 combat transport helicopters, as well as over 400 service personnel, according to the Russian military.

Russia and China to Strengthen Bilateral Strategic Cooperation

Russia and China to Strengthen Bilateral Strategic Cooperation

Russian Military Technologies, 26,02.2014

Russia and China should not only develop bilateral strategic cooperation and promote interaction in the practical sphere, but also collaborate in ensuring peace, stability and creation of a multipolar world. This statement was made by Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping on Tuesday. The minister said Russian President Vladimir Putin was due to attend the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Shanghai and to visit Beijing in May 2014.

“On the sidelines of the CICA and APEC summits, China and Russia will continue strengthening their bilateral cooperation, including the issues of forming a new security concept in Asia and a new international economic system. Less than six months have passed, and we are looking forward to our second meeting at the summit level. This illustrates a high level and a special character of strategic partnership between the two countries,” Mr. Cheng pointed out.

Russia Prepares for Naval Drills with China, India, ASEAN

Russia Prepares for Naval Drills with China, India, ASEAN

VLADIVOSTOK, February 26 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Pacific Fleet in the next six months will take part in three large-scale international naval exercises, including joint drills with the navies of India, China and member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the fleet’s spokesman said Wednesday.

According to Capt. 1st Rank Roman Martov, Russia and India are holding talks on preparation for INDRA-2014 naval exercises scheduled to be held in the Sea of Japan in summer.

Martov said the drills will start with a visit of a group of Indian warships to Russia’s far-eastern port of Vladivostok in July.

Since 2003, India and Russia have conducted seven large exercises under the so-called INDRA series of joint ground and naval drills. The last such exercise was held between Russian and Indian army units in October at India’s Mahajan field firing range.

In 2011, Russia canceled joint naval drills with India in the Pacific Ocean, citing the tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis in Japan.

Boosting its military ties with China, Russia is sending warships from the Pacific Fleet to hold Maritime Cooperation-2014 joint drills with the Chinese navy in the northern part of the East China Sea in May-June, Martov said.

The active phase of the exercise will involve several simulated missions and live-firing drills against sea and air targets, he said.

In addition, a Pacific Fleet task force led by Udaloy-class destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov will join the 2014 KOMODO multilateral joint exercise in March to improve naval cooperation capabilities in disaster relief.

The exercise will be held off the coast of Indonesia and involve all 10 country members of ASEAN plus Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and the United States.

Russian Navy Boosting Security in Crimea – Defense Minister

Russian Navy Boosting Security in Crimea – Defense Minister

MOSCOW, February 26 (RIA Novosti) – Russia is taking additional steps to ensure security at its naval facilities on the Crimean Peninsula amid the growing political unrest in Ukraine, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday.

“We are carefully monitoring the situation in Ukraine and around the Black Sea Fleet,” Shoigu told reporters in Moscow.

“We are taking measures to ensure security of the fleet’s facilities, infrastructure and arsenals,” he said without specifying such measures.

A Russian military source said earlier on Wednesday that security check points at several Black Sea Fleet facilities had been strengthened with armored vehicles.

Shoigu’s statement follows reports of scuffles that broke out Wednesday in the southern Ukrainian city of Simferopol as large crowds of opponents of the newly installed national authorities faced off against representatives of the Crimean Tatar community outside the local parliament.

Until Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in 1954 transferred Crimea to what was then the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, the territory was officially a part of Russia.

The Black Sea Fleet maintains its main base in the port of Sevastopol and several auxiliary naval installations around the peninsula.

During the tenure of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, which began in early 2010 and ended with his ouster on Saturday, the country renewed Russia’s lease on the naval facilities in Crimea until 2042.

Russia Seeks Several Military Bases Abroad – Defense Minister

Russia Seeks Several Military Bases Abroad – Defense Minister

MOSCOW, February 26 (RIA Novosti) – Russia is planning to expand its permanent military presence outside its borders by placing military bases in a number of foreign countries, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday.

Shoigu said the list includes Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, the Seychelles, Singapore and several other countries.

“The talks are under way, and we are close to signing the relevant documents,” Shoigu told reporters in Moscow.

The minister added that the negotiations cover not only military bases but also visits to ports in such countries on favorable conditions as well as the opening of refueling sites for Russian strategic bombers on patrol.

Moscow currently has only one naval base outside the former Soviet Union – in Tartus, Syria, but the fate of this naval facility is uncertain because of the ongoing civil war in that country.

Post-Soviet Russia closed a large naval base in Vietnam and a radar base in Cuba in 2002 due to financial constraints.

However, Russia has started reviving its navy and strategic aviation since mid-2000s, seeing them as a tool to project the Russian image abroad and to protect its national interests around the globe.

Now, Moscow needs to place such military assets in strategically important regions of the world to make them work effectively toward the goal of expanding Russia’s global influence.

Surprise drills of Russian army not related to situation in Ukraine – minister

Surprise drills of Russian army not related to situation in Ukraine – minister

MOSCOW, February 26. /ITAR-TASS/. A surprise inspection of the Russian Armed Forces ordered on Wednesday, February 26, by the supreme commander-in-chief is not related to the latest events in Ukraine, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said.

When asked how the inspection in Russia’s Western Military District was related to the events in Ukraine, Shoigu said: “Generally speaking, it is not. We do not relate these things in any way.”

“The exercise will take place on Russia’s border with other countries as well, and Ukraine may be among them,” he said, adding that if a similar inspection were carried out on the border with Finland, it would hardly raise any interest in society or mass media.

A total of 110,000 troops are participating in the exercise. “Ninety aircraft, over 110 helicopters, up to 880 tanks, over 1,200 pieces of military hardware and as many as 80 ships and vessels will be involved,” the minister said.

The main purpose of the drill is to practice interoperability in different theatres of war. The exercise will also include a mass helicopter landing operation, Shoigu said.

Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov told foreign military attaches that the exercise was being conducted in strict compliance with the Vienna Document 2011. “Russia strictly complies with the Vienna Document 2011. This is why we will be engaging no more than 38,000 personnel for no more than 72 hours,” he said.

“You should not mix up the two figures: the 150,000 I mentioned and 38,000. The latter means 38,000 that fall under the Vienna Document. These include the Army, Airborne Troops, and Marines,” Antonov said.

The Russian Defence Ministry notified the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) of the surprise exercise in the Western and Central Military Districts.

“Our international obligations do not require us to inform our partners about such military activities,” Antonov said, adding that by so doing the Defence Ministry was demonstrating its commitment to the policy of openness.

The Defence Ministry also informed Russia’s eastern neighbours about the exercise. “The notice specifies the names of the units, concrete ranges and the tasks we will be solving at each stage of the exercise,” Antonov said.

He stressed that the Defence Ministry would continue such comprehensive surprise inspections and exercises in the future.

“Our surprise inspection is not aimed against any state. It’s a routine activity of the Armed Forces, and we will continue this practice in the future,” he said, adding that this is part of Russia’s plans to improve the combat capability of its Armed Forces.