Reaction to Russian Calls to Anti-ISIL Cooperation ‘Unjustifiably Slow’

A multifunctional fighter-bomber Su-34 of the Russian Aerospace Forces lands at Hemeimeem air base in Syria


The reaction of other countries to Russia’s calls for cooperation in the fight against the Islamic State militant group has been “unjustifiably slow,” the speaker of the upper house of the Russian parliament said Monday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — At the 70th session of the UN General Assembly in New York City, Putin urged the international community to create a broad international anti-terrorism coalition, to include Islamic countries.

“The Russian president [Vladimir Putin] always talks about the necessity of close cooperation in the fight with today’s biggest threat for humanity. However, the reaction of other countries has been unjustifiably slow,” Valentina Matvienko told the Izvestiya newspaper.

According to Matvienko, other countries seem to be supporting the anti-ISIL fight, yet they are “not hurrying with practical steps to create an international coalition to fight ISIL and other terrorist organizations.”

Russian jets commenced precision airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria on September 30, following a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad.

A US-led international coalition has been conducting airstrikes against ISIL targets in Syria since 2014 without an approval of the UN Security Council or the Syrian government.

After Russia launched its military operation, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said Moscow was ready to use the information obtained by the US-led coalition to fight ISIL in Syria, calling on coalition members to exchange intelligence on the militant group.

According to Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, the United States has declined proposals to cooperate with Moscow and Damascus on target data collected by Russian and Syrian intelligence services.

Russian military delegation, North Korean defense minister discuss army cooperation

After two-day negotiations, Russia and North Korea signed an agreement on Thursday on preventing dangerous military activities

North Korean military exercise

North Korean military exercise

PYONGYANG, November 13. /TASS/. The Russian military delegation and North Korean Defense Minister Pak Yong Sik have discussed at a meeting in Pyongyang the ways to develop cooperation between the armies of the two countries. The Russian delegation to Pyongyang is led by Deputy Chief of Staff Col. Gen. Nikolay Bogdanovsky who arrived in the North Korean capital on November 9.

After two-day negotiations, Russia and North Korea signed an agreement on Thursday on preventing dangerous military activities. The document was signed by the head of the Russian delegation and Vice Chief of the Korean People’s Army O Kum Chol. The draft agreement was approved by the Russian government at the end of 2014.

During the visit, Russians commemorated Soviet soldiers at the “Liberation” monument in the North Korean capital. Honor Guard were called to perform their duties at the monument with inscription “Eternal glory to Great Soviet Army that freed Korean people from burden of Japanese militarists and opened path toward freedom and independence.”.

The Russia-India submarine tango will blindside the US Navy

13 November 2015 Rakesh Krishnan Simha
Commissioning of Russian nuclear subs in the Indian Navy will generate a huge spinoff for both India and Russia.
INS Chakra

INS Chakra. Source:Anir1uph/
Russia and India – either through design or happenstance – are set to engage the western navies in an interesting game of undersea hide and seek.

Chasing nuclear submarines is how major navies earn their keep. The Russian and US fleets track each other’s subs on a 24/7 basis by listening to the acoustic signatures – a combination of noise emissions – that are unique to each type of submarine.

For several decades the Americans held the advantage as they claimed to have quieter submarines. The Russians closed the gap by the mid-1980s and today their submarines have got the inside track on the US Navy. The net result is this undersea contest has become more intense now and the stakes are a lot higher too.

Unlike surface ships and aircraft, submarines do not have markings or IFF (Identify Friend/Foe) codes that can out them. The only way to identify a sub is through its acoustics. This aspect works to the advantage of Russia and India if both have the same class of submarines.

The signature of an Indian Navy Akula is indistinguishable from the acoustics of a similar submarine with the Russian Navy, making it difficult or perhaps impossible for the Americans to tell one from the other. As more Russian nuclear submarines join the Indian Navy’s undersea fleet, it just adds to the complexity of tracking Russian submarines. The US Navy will have to divert more time, effort, vessels, aircraft and personnel to this increasingly complex job.

The US Navy does not just track the Russian fleets but Indian Navy vessels too. According to a report by the Indian Military Review (February 2014), the American P3 Orion aircraft operating in the Indian Ocean are known to generate data on both Russian and Indian submarines.

Since secrecy is paramount for the survival of submarines – which usually lack self-defence weapons – India cannot risk any country knowing the whereabouts of its second strike element. Hoping the US will not pass on information about the location of Indian submarines to Pakistan or China is not only bad policy but potentially suicidal as well. The wiser option is to achieve submarine synergies between the Russian and Indian navies and blindside anyone who is tracking their fleets.

Reports that New Delhi is in talks with Moscow to lease a second nuclear submarine for 10 years suggests this undersea synergy could be a reality in the coming years.

Akula: Wolf of the sea

The latest submarine likely to be handed over to the Indian Navy will be the K-322 Kashalot, which Russia’s Pacific Fleet had kept in reserve. This is the third time India is leasing a nuclear-powered attack submarine from Russia.

The Kashalot belongs to the same Akula II class as the INS Chakra II which is currently on a 10-year lease to the Indian Navy. The 8140 ton vessel has a submerged speed of 30 knots, has achieved a dive of a phenomenal 620 metres and is equipped with eight torpedo tubes. It has an endurance of 100 days with a crew of 73. According to the, the submarine achieved a Russian Navy record in 1991 by trailing foreign submarines for over 14 days without interruption.

No wonder the Indian Navy loves the Akula. “The Akula was built for one reason and one reason only: To kill US Navy ballistic missile submarines and their crews,” a US official told the Beacon. “It’s a very stealthy boat so it can sneak around and avoid detection and hope to get past any protective screen a boomer might have in place,” the official said, referring to the US Navy nickname for strategic missile submarines.

That pretty much sums up why the Akula was a big scare word among western navies during the 1980s. After a brief absence during the 1990s, when the Russian Navy shrank faster than a deflated balloon, these upgraded attack submarines are back, prowling the oceans.

Yasen for India?

If the Akula was a scareword, then the Yasen is a frightful nightmare for its opponents. The cruise-missile carrying boat was designed to target US aircraft carrier strike groups. Considering that India is a former victim of American gunboat diplomacy, the Yasen should be the perfect solution for scuttling any foreign adventurism in the Indian Ocean.

According to the US Naval Institute, “One of the US Navy’s top submarine officers was so impressed with Russia’s new (Yasen) nuclear attack boats that he had a model of K-329 Severodvinsk built for his office. Rear Admiral Dave Johnson said he had the model of Severodvinsk placed outside his office in a common area so that he could look at it every day on his way to his office.”

The 13,800 ton (more than double the size of the INS Arihant), 390 feet long submarine has a maximum “silent” speed of about 20 knots and a maximum speed of up to 40 knots. The sea endurance of these boats is limited only by food supplies.

The Yasen and similar new generation submarines have allowed the Russians to run rings around the Americans in recent years, demonstrating a quantum leap in technology and high levels of seamanship.

According to strategic affairs expert Bharat Karnad, “Despite the vaunted anti-submarine warfare capabilities of the US Navy, a Victor III class Russian SSN….tailed an Ohio-class SSBN almost to its pen in Guam without anybody getting wind of it — that’s how loud the US boomer is in turbulence terms and how little turbulence is generated by the Russian boat.”

He adds: “Russian subs have since the sixties carried electro-optical devices in the sail and the hull to detect turbulence and identify enemy subs by their turbulence signatures. The Yasen can be in the SSGN cruise missile-carrying configuration, or, if India so wishes, it can be modified to carry a mixed ordnance load of conventional cruise missiles and nuclear ballistic missiles. That would be a devastating dual-purpose land attack-cum-strategic targeting weapons platform nonpareil to have in the Indian Navy service. There’s nothing like the Yasen-class with the Chinese Navy.”

Russian, Indian Troops Destroy ‘Terrorists’ in Drills

Russian and Indian soldiers during the joint anti-terrorist Russian-Indian drills


Russian and Indian troops conducted an exercise operation to destroy contingent terrorists as part of the Indra-2015 international military drills in India’s state of Rajasthan, the press service of Russia’s Southern Military District said Wednesday.

 According to a descriptive statement, a hypothetical group of ten militants captured two residential buildings, the press release said.

“Tactical task of Indian infantry units was to carry out a continuous clearing of the area with the simultaneous narrowing of the blocking ring, which allowed for the inspection of all [people] located in the area of operations,” the statement said.

After watching the Indian team in action, the Russians displayed their approach in fighting terrorists.

In order to achieve suddenness and efficiency for the operation, the Russian command blocked the perimeter, and sent in assault groups to seize certain facilities within the test grounds, according to the statement.Up to 250 Independent Russian Motorized Brigade troops arrived in India over the weekend to take part in the November 7-20 Indra-2015 exercises, focusing on “Counter-Terrorism Operations in Desert Terrain under a United Nations Mandate.” The same number of Indian Army Infantry Battalion soldiers are participating in the drills.

The exercises are expected to move from the first “Combat Conditioning and Tactical Training” phase to the active “Validation” phase on Monday.

Within the joint exercise Indra-2015 Indian servicemen familiarized themselves with Russian small arms

Within the joint Russian-Indian counter-terrorist exercise Indra-2015, Indian servicemen have familiarized themselves with Russian small arms at the Makhajan range, where the camp of the participants is deployed.

Trial shooting from pistols, Kalashnikov autorifles, AT and under-barrel mounted grenade launchers are planned.

Servicemen of the Southern MD motorized rifle units, in their turn, got interested in the weapons of the mechanized infantry units of the Indian Armed Forces. Moreover, representatives of the Indian party familiarized them with the history and traditions of India and their military base.

Tomorrow the Russian and Indian servicemen will show each other their counter-terrorist tactics. They will conduct a training operation on liberation of hostages from a settlement captured by terrorists.

The Indian servicemen will act taking into account the experience gained during the operations in Sierra Leone, Sudan, Kongo.

The Russian-Indian exercises Indra have been held since 2003. This year, the scenario of the exercise prescribes a United Nations-mandated counter-terrorist operation on the tactical level.

Russian Defense Ministry gets impression location of IS facilities is US state secret

Victoria Nuland told Congress hearings that the Russian air group in Syria delivered most of its strikes at regions no longer under the control of President Assad’s regime rather than at terrorists

Russian Defense Ministry Spokesperson Igor Konashenkov

Russian Defense Ministry Spokesperson Igor Konashenkov

MOSCOW, November 5 /TASS/. The Russian Defense Ministry denies US allegations that Russian warplanes in Syria are bombing regions, which are out of President Assad’s control, rather than terrorist infrastructure, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesperson Igor Konashenkov said on Thursday.

He explained that US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland told Congress hearings held earlier that the Russian air group in Syria delivered most of its strikes at regions which were no longer under the control of President Assad’s regime rather than at terrorists.

“If we analyze what various US officials say, there is an impression that the location of terrorist-held facilities is the most classified state secret in the United States. Representatives of the Pentagon and the State Department keep mentioning them all the time without specifying their exact location,” Konashenkov said.

Once again, he stressed that the Russian air group in Syria was not bombing regions or areas but objects of terrorist infrastructure.

Konashenkov recalled that Russia had officially handed over maps with detailed information on terrorist-controlled regions and facilities to the military attaches of countries members of the US-led coalition.

“Please note that neither the State Department nor the Pentagon has denied the information which we provided to them. Therefore, I believe, that comments are unnecessary,” the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman concluded.

Russian, US air groups drill skills to prevent midair proximity over Syria — General Staff


MOSCOW, November 3. /TASS/. Russian and United States air groups conducted joint exercise on Tuesday to drill skills of pilots and ground services in case of midair proximity over Syria, chief of the Main Department for Operations at the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, Gen Andrey Kartapolov said.

“At eleven in the morning Moscow time today, Russian and US air forces conducted joint exercise to drill skills of interaction between crews and ground forces in case of midair proximity,” he said.

Russian Aerospace Forces started a military operation against the Islamic State terrorist group (which is banned in Russia) in the Syrian territory at the request of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on September 30. The air group in Syria includes more than 50 warplanes, including Su-34 and Su-24M bombers; Su-25 assault aircraft; Su-30SM fighter jets as well as Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters. The Russian Navy is also involved in the military operation. The warships of the Russian Caspian flotilla delivered a massive cruise missile strike from the Kalibr-class sea-based missile system on the night to October 7.

The Russian authorities have totally excluded a possibility of any ground campaign in Syria.

US, Canada to Hold Observation Flight Over Russia Under Open Skies Treaty

Boeing OC-135B Open Skies


Canadian, US military experts will fly over the territory of Russia under the Treaty on Open Skies on November 2-6, head of Russia’s National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center Sergei Ryzhkov has announced.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Russian Defense Ministry noted that C-130J is not equipped to carry on board and use any weapons.

“During the November 2-6 period, in compliance with the Open Skies Treaty, a joint mission of the United States and Canada is planning to perform an observation flight over the Russian territory on a Canadian C-130J observation aircraft,” Ryzhkov said in a statement.

In the course of the observation mission, Russian specialists on board the aircraft will monitor compliance with the agreed parameters of the flight and the use of agreed observation equipment, according to the statement.

The Treaty on Open Skies establishes a program of unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire territory of its participants.

It was signed in March 1992 and became one of the major confidence-building measures in Europe after the Cold War. It entered into force on January 1, 2002, and currently has 34 States Parties, including Russia and the majority of the NATO countries.

Moscow ratified the Treaty on Open Skies on May 26, 2001.

The treaty allows its participants to openly gather information on each other’s military forces and activities.

Defense Ministry Trolls US Over Comments on Russian ‘Recklessness’ in Syria

Russian tactical group seen at Hmeymim aerodrome in Syria

Responding to recent commentary by a US army spokesman that Russia has been “reckless” and “indiscriminate” in its campaign of airstrikes in Syria, Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov countered by noting that Russia is using its most advanced munitions and targeting systems, and releasing the footage from missions for the public to see.

Last week, Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman US Army Col. Steve Warren slammed the Russian operation, telling reporters via a teleconference from Baghdad that “the Russians have been indiscriminate” and “reckless in Syria…dropping cluster munitions around where civilians may be.”

Warren went so far as to suggest that Russia does “not appear to be interested in defeating [the Islamic State],” and that the Russian operation is “interested [only] in preserving the Assad regime.”

Responding to Warren’s comments Thursday in a statement issued on the Defense Ministry’s Facebook page, Konashenkov suggested that Col. Warren should pay closer attention to the ministry’s briefings.

“In the course of our briefings, I have repeatedly emphasized for representatives of the media that the targeting systems of our planes in Syria are state-the-art, allowing, figuratively speaking, to get a rock dropped from a great height to hit a shovel handle. And we use our special ammunition only for the relevant terrorist targets.”

“Furthermore,” Konashenkov noted, “unlike the Colonel, we do not just talk, but also provide the public with video materials of our airstrikes, since it’s better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times.”

“As far as Col. Warren’s commentary about ISIL terrorists’ ‘maneuvering’, following our airstrikes, what is there to add, really? Apparently, after bombings by US planes, the terrorists just stand where they are, spellbound, applauding and shout ‘Encore!’…Perhaps this explains why, after a year of bombing by US aircraft, ISIL terrorists have managed to capture and maintain control over the good chunk of Syria.”

Russia-Jordan Center to Coordinate Activities Close to Syria Border

Jordan Flag


Jordanian Ambassador to Russia Ziad al-Majali said that the creation of a new center will raise military contacts between Russia and Jordan to an unprecedentedly high level.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — A new Russia-Jordan anti-ISIL coordination center in Amman, set to begin its operations soon, will enable the sides to operate “on the ground” in close proximity to Syria, Jordanian Ambassador to Russia Ziad al-Majali told Sputnik Friday.Earlier in the day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia and Jordan agreed to coordinate military activities in the fight against the Islamic State in Syria through a center to be created in the Jordanian capital.

“This time, we are talking about a specific form of cooperation — a center for military coordination between two countries. Now we will cooperate on a higher level. It will not be just in a format of information exchange: we see a necessity ‘to be on the ground’ as Jordan has a border with Syria,” al-Majali stressed, adding that the center would open soon.

The ambassador added that the creation of a new center will raise military contacts between Russia and Jordan to an unprecedentedly high level.According to him, though the exchange of information between both states has existed before, the challenge of terrorism leads to the intensification of contacts.

“An exchange of information between two countries has been a case for a long time, even before this announcement, but it is clear, that when it comes to combating terrorism, we have to intensify this coordination,” the diplomat added.

Earlier this month, a military delegation from Russia visited Jordan in order to meet with their counterparts. Concerning the fight against IS, there have been a series of intense consultations on how to enhance this partnership, and strengthen it in the context of constructive cooperation on the ground.