Iskander system’s designer doubts Ukraine capable of making its analogue

Iskander system’s designer Valery Kashin

© Ekaterina Shtukina/TASS

MOSCOW, January 19. /TASS/. The general designer of Russia’s Machine-Building Design Bureau, which designed the missile complex Iskander-M, Valery Kashin, doubts the Ukrainian defense-industrial complex will be able to come up with its own counterpart of this weapon system in the near future.

“There have been quite a few reports Ukraine all of a sudden developed hectic activity in this field. The media said Ukraine wished to develop its own system of this class on foreign money. By the look of it, it is very much like Iskander. But I have big doubts their industry will be able to cope with all issues related with making such weapons within tight deadlines. The more so, since many industrial facilities possessing the required capabilities are in Donbass. Also, the financing should be systematic and plentiful,” Kashin said.

Also, he recalled that the Ukrainian defense-industrial complex has problems with human resources.

“As far as I understand, the people who were still working back in 1991 – I’m talking about missile industry workers – have grown old and are on retirement,” Kashin said.


Russian “Aggressor” Welcomes Ukrainian Military Inspectors


Urkainian border guards stand near an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APCs) parked near a newly constructed part of the border near the Goptivka border crossing on the Urkainian-Russian border, north of Kharkiv, eastern Ukraine, on October 15, 2014



    Russia has allowed Ukraine to inspect the extent of its military activities in the southern Rostov region. The inspection will be held under the Vienna document of 2011 on confidence-building measures and security, the head of the Russian National Center for reducing nuclear danger Sergei Ryzhkov said.

   He added that the inspection of Russian military units in Rostov region, to be held from January 16 through 19, was meant to determine the size or confirm the absence of any military activities there.

   None of the previous such inspections have shown any evidence of any “Russian aggression” against Ukraine. “The inspectors can record the presence or absence of personnel, staffing and movement of troops, stockpiles of weapons and ammunition,” Ryzhkov said.

    In addition, the Ukrainian inspectors will be briefed by the commanders of the Russian units on their structure and combat assignments.

   The inspection will also involve experts from Germany and Serbia.

   The German inspectors will visit the 252nd mechanized infantry regiment in Voronezh region and their Serbian colleagues will inspect Russian military units deployed outside Moscow.

    A similar inspection of Russian military units by Ukrainian experts in February 2016 revealed “no military activity by the Russian Armed Forces in the given region and found Russia in full compliance with the provisions of the Vienna accords.”

            “Air and land”

   Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman Oleksandr Motuzyanik said that the inspection of the border area of the Rostov region will include on-ground observations and ones made from helicopter.

    He added that the inspection team will also include representatives from Denmark and Canada. “The inspection group will include two representatives from Ukraine, one from Canada and one from the Kingdom of Denmark,” Motuzyanik said.

    Earlier, amid the armed conflict in Donbass and Kiev’s hostile rhetoric that Russia was strengthening its borders by deploying additional combat readiness units in the Western Military District.

    “The geopolitical situation has changed: until last year, we had so such combat readiness units stationed along the Ukrainian border at all because this area was considered absolutely safe and “friendly.” So there was a ‘black hole’ which we had to plug fast,” military expert Viktor Murakhovsky said in an interview with the online paper Vzglyad.

    Inspections benefit Russia

    Commenting on the upcoming inspection, political scientist Alexander Perendzhiev said that he did not understand all the hype that surrounded it.

   “In 2015, Ukraine also inspected our units stationed in Rostov region, looking for evidence of Russian assistance to the Donbass militias. They found none but they still keep talking about “Russian aggression,” Perendzhiev told Vzglyad.

   He said he hoped that the new wave of Kiev’s interest in the imaginary Russian support for the Donbass militia was not associated with a planned offensive on the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and Kiev’s desire to explore Russia’s border regions the Donbass militia allegedly get their supplies from.

    Many military experts believe that Russia is more interested in such inspections than Ukraine.

    “It is good for us to demonstrate that all these allegations about ‘Russian aggression’ simply hold no water. Holding military inspections in the territory of an aggressor state sounds a bit strange, does it not?” Perendzhiev wondered. He added that the results of these inspections would help dispel the myth about “an aggressive Russia.”

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Indonesia Rethinks Ukrainian-Built Combat Vehicle After Unsuccessful Trial

BTR-4 with the fighting module Parus

Indonesia is reconsidering plans to acquire more Ukraine-built BTR-4 8×8 amphibious armored personnel carriers (APC) after issues cropped up during training activities.

    After concluding initial training on the amphibious vehicle, Korps Marinir (KORMAR), the Indonesian Marine Corps, reported several problems, including the APC excessively trimming at the bow while immersed in water and operating at full speed.
    Five of the vehicles were delivered to Jakarta in September as part of a deal with Ukraine state-owned defense manufacturer Ukroboronprom, as Indonesia sought to replace the 100 BTR-50PK APCs it acquired from Kiev in the 1990s.
    One Ukroboronprom official told Janes in November, “After official acceptance we will talk about expanding technology transfers to Indonesia and about expanding the order…We know [KORMAR] has a requirement for another 50 vehicles. This could mean some of these vehicles are built in Ukraine followed by technology transfers and local production in Indonesia.”
    The vehicle’s main weapon is a ZTM-1 30 mm cannon. It also features an AGS-17 30mm grenade launcher and a chemical, nuclear and biological filtration system.

Ukraine Military Ends Guided Missile Tests Near Crimea Amid Russia’s Protests


 Ukrainian missile complexes launch medium range guided missiles during military drills in southern Kherson region bordering Crimea, Ukraine, December 1, 2016


    Ukraine has announced an end to its missile drills near Crimea.

   KIEV (Sputnik) — The Ukrainian Armed Forces have wrapped up surface-to-air missile tests in southern Ukraine, Chief of General Staff Gen. Viktor Muzhenko said Friday.

   “Flight and control tests of anti-aircraft guided missiles are successfully completed. The armed forces have taken an important step in increasing their combat capability and gaining opportunities to protect their state,” Muzhenko wrote on his Facebook page.

   Russia’s air transport agency Rosaviatsia said last week that Ukraine unilaterally decided to hold missile firing exercises near Crimea’s Simferopol on December 1-2 in violation of international agreements.

   Moscow repeatedly called Kiev’s missile launches in the Black Sea a threat to the safety of Russian civilian flights to Crimea and a provocation. Russian aviation authorities also informed the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) about the tests, so far without a response.

   The Russian Defense Ministry summoned Ukraine’s defense attache last week to serve a note protesting Kiev illegally restricting the use of airspace over the Black Sea during the missile firing drills near Crimea.

Russia’s Lavrov to Address OSCE’s Objectivity With Envoy to Ukraine Sept. 8-9



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August 31 – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will raise the need for objective reporting from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) special monitoring mission in eastern Ukraine at a meeting with the OSCE special envoy to Ukraine next week, the ministry spokeswoman said Wednesday. “The special representative of the OSCE chair on Ukraine Martin Sajdik will pay a working visit to Moscow on September 8-9, during which he will meet the Russian Foreign Minister,” Maria Zakharova told reporters She said Lavrov and Sajdik planned to discuss in detail the Ukrainian crisis resolution, including through the conflicting sides carrying out their obligations hammered out in the Minsk ceasefire agreements. “Russia intends to draw Mr. Sajdik’s attention to the need to improve the objectivity and impartiality of [the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission’s] reporting,” Zakharova stressed.

Can’t Pay Your Bill? Join NATO! Ukrainian Military Launches New Ad Campaign

US and Ukrainian soldiers attend an opening ceremony of the joint Ukrainian-US military exercise 'Fearless Guardian' at the Yavoriv training ground


Kiev residents started receiving army recruitment ads along with their utility bills, with a twist.

The new utility bills that people living in the Ukrainian capital started receiving recently apparently also contain printed ads of a rather unusual sort.

The ads entice the recipients to enroll in Ukraine’s armed forces, but one part of the proposal particularly stands out, according to the Ukrainian news agency Vesti.

Military recruitment ad attached to an utility bill
Military recruitment ad attached to an utility bill

“There’s an opportunity to take part in a NATO peacekeeping contingent. Wages are 1000-1200 euros,” the ad says.

A source in Ukraine’s Defense Ministry Vesti that the number of able-bodied citizens willing to serve in the nation’s armed forces has decreased, prompting the military to resort to such unorthodox measures.

The ongoing armed conflict in Ukraine’s southeast made military service increasingly unpopular among the country’s youths who often go to great lengths to avoid conscription.In October 2015, the Office of Ukraine’s Attorney General announced that there were about 16,000 deserters from the ranks of the Ukrainian army, according to

Furthermore, in May 2016 Andriy Verba, head of the Ukrainian Army Medical Department, said that some of the conscripts recently pressed into service were in fact diagnosed with tuberculosis, hepatitis C and even HIV. He also added that the infected servicemen won’t be discharged and will remain at military facilities during treatment.

Canadian Instructors May End Up Training Neo-Nazis in Ukraine – Media

Supporters of the Right Sector radical movement

The Canadian government has committed as many as 200 soldiers to train Ukraine’s military. It says they not be training neo-Nazis and far-right extremists there. Some former Canadian diplomats warn, however, that Canadian instructors may end up training members of Ukraine’s fascist groups that are now being enrolled in Kiev’s regular forces.

How Canadian military instructors can avoid training extremist troops was discussed by Canada’s Defense Minister Jason Kenney, who acknowledged it in a briefing Tuesday, the Ottawa Citizen reported.“We’re not going to be in the business of training ad hoc militias,” he explained. “We will only be training units of the Ukrainian National Guard and army recognized by the government of Ukraine.

Some former Canadian diplomats, however, have suggested the government’s position on Ukraine is aimed at winning votes from Ukrainian-Canadians in the upcoming federal election.

“These militias are being merged with Ukraine’s military so we won’t be able to determine who we are training,” said James Bissett, Canada’s former ambassador to Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Albania. “These are unsavory groups that Canadian soldiers should not be associated with.”


Some members of Ukraine’s most effective fighting units have openly acknowledged they are Nazi sympathizers or have expressed anti-Semitic or extreme right wing views.Russia’s Supreme Court ruled to ban the activities of five Ukrainian radical organizations on Russia’s territory, according to a Ministry of Justice published on Friday. Among them are Right Sector, UNA-UNSO, Bratstvo, as well as the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) and the Stepan Bandera union Tryzub.

In July last year the International Criminal Police Organization put Right Sector leader Dmitry Yarosh on its wanted list.

Right Sector was formed as a coalition of nationalist and neo-Nazi organizations during the Maidan protests in Kiev at the end of 2013.