The ‘Clown Hat’: Ukraine’s Latest Piece of Military Equipment From Israel

A paratrooper of the Israel Defense Forces with his Mitznefet on.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces will soon sport Israeli-made camouflage headwear often referred to as a “clown’s hat,” Russia’s Zvezda TV channel reported.

The removable helmet covering, known as a mitznefet in Hebrew, admittedly resembles a shower cap or a chef’s hat but is said to be a potent piece of military gear. The flopping fabric is intended to obscure the familiar round shape of a soldier’s helmet and protect against the light reflecting off the helmet’s surface.

The use of the term could be traced back to the biblical Book of Exodus. It was employed to describe a turban worn by the Jewish high priests in the Temple of Jerusalem. The term is often mistranslated as a “clown’s hat” but its root meaning is believed to come from the verb to wrap.Ukraine’s military will receive 20 mitznefet coverings in the near future, Zvezda asserted, citing Tzvi Arieli of the Kiev Jewish community.

The Ukrainian government has been persistently pushing Western countries to provide military aid, including offensive weapons, to suppress self-defense forces in the Donbass region. The US has already delivered Humvees, lightweight counter-mortar radar units, medical kits, night-vision goggles and Kevlar vests to Kiev.

Production of ship navigation systems previously purchased in Ukraine launched in Russia

The navigators are designed for both military and civilian ships

© ITAR-TASS/Yelena Nagornykh

KALUGA, July 29./ TASS/ The Kaluga telegraph equipment plant has launched the production of ship navigation systems that were previously imported to Russia from Ukraine, the company commercial director Konstantin Shamatulskiy told TASS on Wednesday.

“These products are no longer available in Russia. The navigators are designed for both military and civilian ships,” Shamatulskiy said.

The Breeze-KM-K system was developed by the navigation systems design bureau, and the Kaluga plant just launched equipment manufacturing. The modernization of the production line was not necessary for the process.

“The work began after an order from the Russian Ministry of Defense,” said Shamatulsky. The production volume for the navigation systems and the amount of financing for the project was not disclosed.

Breeze-KM-K is shipboard equipment for the consumer satellite navigation systems such as GLONASS, GPS and WAAS. It is intended to determine the current position, ground speed vector of a fixed point and the current time.

US Will Be Disappointed by Consequences of Military Drills in Ukraine

Ukrainian folk dancers perform for Ukrainian and US servicemen in a ceremony for joint-drill exercises between the two countries in Yavoriv polygon, Lviv district, western Ukraine on July 20, 2015

Washington and its allies use military maneuvers to force Russia to soften its position on the Ukrainian crisis, but they will be disappointed and it is likely they will receive a similar response from Moscow, says the researcher for China’s International Research (CIIS).

Military exercises in the framework of NATO operations Rapid Trident-2015 in the Western Ukraine, as well as the policy of sanctions against Moscow is a political instrument of putting pressure on Russia, says an employee of China Institute of International Studies (CIIS) Xia Yishan, reports Global Times of China.

“In the West it is believed that the joint exercises will force Kremlin to soften its position towards the Ukrainian crisis. However, Washington and its allies will be disappointed,” says the researcher.Yishan notes that Moscow has already warned the alliance about the potential “explosive consequences” of the US military activity in Ukraine.

If NATO is to continue expanding scale of their operations, it is likely that Russia would be forced to respond similarly to constraining measures.

It is clear that the exercise Rapid Trident-2015 will only lead to a result which diametrically opposes the stated goals of NATO, adds the analyst. Military activity in the region will only increase; therefore, the probability of a direct clash will be higher than ever.

The researcher is sure that it is impossible to achieve security and stability in Eastern Europe, which is gradually becoming a hot spot, by conducting a multinational military exercises. Moreover, these maneuvers on part of the western alliance would undermine the credibility of NATO countries in the eyes of Moscow.

Nevertheless, the expert concludes by saying that despite the increasing military activity, the key players of the alliance do not see war as the most wanted option.

Ukrainian components for KnAAZ to be replaced by the Russian ones


Deliveries of Russian components for military aircraft manufactured at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur aviation plant (KnAAZ, a subsidiary of “Sukhoi”) should begin before the end of 2015. New domestic products is intended to replace Ukrainian counterparts, the Ministry of Industry and Transport of the Khabarovsk Territory, with reference to the plans of the United Aircraft Corporation and the company “Sukhoi” informed on July 21.

“In order to address the issues of import substitution plan for the development of components production in Ukraine in the Russian Federation was developed. The new domestic products are intended for the production of military aircraft of the Su-34, Su-30M2 and Su-30MK2, Su35S, T-50, manufactured by a branch of “Sukhoi” KnAAZ named after Yuri Gagarin and Novosibirsk Aircraft Production Association named after Valery Chkalov”, the acting deputy chief of the department of industry and the introduction of scientific and technical programs of the region Alexey Abrosimov said. – Shipments of domestic products on aircraft factories is planned for 2015″.

US, Ukraine to Hold Observation Flights Over Russia

OC-135B Open Skies

The United States and Ukraine will hold observation flights over Russia as part of the Treaty on Open Skies.

   The United States and Ukraine will hold observation flights over Russia as part of the Treaty on Open Skies, the head of the Russian National Center for Reducing the Nuclear Threat said.

Sergei Ryzhkov said on Sunday the joint US-Ukrainian mission will take place on July 20-25 on board the US Air Force OC-135B observation aircraft.

Ryzhkov further specified that Russian specialists on board the aircraft will monitor the strict adherence to flight parameters and the use of equipment allowed by the treaty.

The Boeing OC-135B Open Skies plane is not equipped with any weapons and only uses internationally-approved observation technology allowed by the treaty.The Treaty on Open Skies, signed in 1992, established a regime of unarmed aerial observation flights over the territories of its 34 member-states to promote openness and transparency of military activities.

The treaty is designed to enhance mutual understanding and confidence by giving all participants a direct role in gathering information about areas of concern to them.

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

Ukrainian Engines Get the Boot From Russian Navy, Home Grown Preferred

Launch of guard ship 'Admiral Essen' in Kaliningrad

According to United Shipbuilding Corporation spokesman, new Russian Navy destroyers, originally intended to be equipped with Ukrainian gas turbine engines (GTE), will receive Russian-made engines exceeding the Ukrainian analogues.

New Russian Navy destroyers, originally intended to be equipped with Ukrainian gas turbine engines (GTE), will receive Russian-made engines exceeding the Ukrainian analogues, a United Shipbuilding Corporation spokesman told RIA Novosti on Monday.

“The first three patrol ships of the project 11356 and the first two ships of the project 22350 are already equipped with GTEs manufactured in Ukraine. Subsequent ships of both projects will be equipped with Russian-made power units with characteristics superior to Ukrainian GTEs,” the spokesman said.

He added that the modernization of existing Russian GTEs has begun and will be finished in late 2017 — early 2018.

Russian and Ukrainian defense sectors were deeply integrated following the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council suspended military cooperation with Moscow after Crimea’s reunification with Russia in March 2014.

Russia launched an import substitution program to replace foreign components used in the defense industry. The military equipment and arms import substitution plan was finalized December 2014 and will eliminate Russia’s dependency on foreign-made defense products.

Ukraine Grants Foreign Troops Right to Enter Country Ahead of G7 Summit

US and Ukrainian soldiers

On the eve of the G7 summit in Germany, the Ukrainian Parliament adopted a range of controversial amendments to an existing law that would allow foreign forces to enter the country – a decision which could potentially threaten the already fragile situation in Donbass

It could be that Kiev is simply trying to expand its cooperation with the EU and NATO in the hopes of securing an invite to become a fully-fledged member. However, the timing – right on the eve of the G7 Summit and amid renewed clashes in the Donbass region – is somewhat suspect.That, in turn, undermines hopes for a peaceful solution to the conflict in Donbass where fighting has recently broken out again near the city of Marinka. In this situation, deployment of foreign troops in Donbass could possibly aggravate the crisis and lead to a new escalation in violence.

The adopted amendment would widen the basis for allowing foreign troops to enter the country. Particularly, foreign military forces can be deployed by “Ukraine’s demand for conducting an international peacekeeping operation on its territory after UN or EU authorization.”

At the same time, the law prohibits deploying troops by a country which is designated as an “aggressor state” by the Ukrainian government.


According to the explanatory notes, the deployment of foreign troops “would help as soon as possible normalize the situation and restore law and order in Donetsk and Lugansk Regions as well as constitutional rights of their residents.”The idea to deploy foreign military forces in Ukraine has been avidly discussed since mid-April. For instance, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has called for sending UK peacekeepers and a UN mission to the war-ridden Donbass Region.

It was also reported the issue was discussed during a phone talks between “Normandy four” leaders (Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine) on April 30.

At the time, the official website of the Ukrainian leader reported that “Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on the possibility to send peacekeeping forces to Donbass to find a peaceful solution to the crisis.” However, Moscow dismissed the allegations saying that a peacekeeping mission requires authorization by both parties to the conflict – Kiev and the self-proclaimed Donbass republics.


Nuclear Paranoia: Kiev May Deploy Missile Defense Systems Over ‘Threats’

Polish and US soldiers look at a missile defense battery during joint exercises.

The Ukrainian National Security Service Secretary spotted a “nuclear threat” somewhere. He also called for imposing additional restrictions on Russia.

Ukraine may consider placing missile defense systems in its territory after consultations, Ukrainian National Security Service Secretary Oleksander Turchynov said Wednesday.“I don’t exclude that we will be forced to hold consultations on placing missile defense systems in the territory of Ukraine for security against nuclear [threats],” Turchynov’s press service quoted him as saying.

Turchynov also called for additional sanctions against Russia, including “blocking Russian warships from sailing through the Bosporus Straits and shutting down SWIFT access to Russia’s financial system.”


MH17: Berlin Knew Ukraine Flight Risks Before Crash – Media

MH17 flight recovery team members erect a  No Trespassing sign in an area of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 plane crash in the village of Hrabove, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine

The German authorities knew the risks of flying over war-torn east Ukraine before Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot out of the sky last year but did not inform the airlines, local media reported Monday.

A diplomatic cable by Germany’s foreign ministry a few days prior to the crash warned the situation in eastern Ukraine was “worrying,” and that a transport plane was shot down in the same area at more than 6,000 meters altitude, but never notified the Transport Ministry and the airlines, Zuddeutsche Zeitung reported.The foreign ministry report quoted aviation experts as saying that it took a special type of weaponry to shoot down a plane flying that high.

Investigators are still trying to determine who was responsible for downing the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 in Ukraine’s Donetsk region in July last year, killing all 298 passengers and crew on board.

The day of the MH17 crash “three Lufthansa aircraft also flew over the area, including one only 20 minutes before Flight MH17,” Suddeutsche Zeitung said in extracts of an article published Monday.

The German Foreign Ministry has not commented on the information and the Federal Ministry of Transport told Zuddeutsche Zeitung that the government had no information on increased dangers to civil aviation over Ukrainian territory prior to the Malaysian Boeing crash.

The Netherlands earlier this month released 569 documents related to the downing of the Malaysian jetliner, but 147 remain classified.


Mysterious Ukrainian Company Sells NATO Equipment

A Ukrainian weapons system installed on a British Saxon military armored personnel carrier during a presentation of new samples of Ukrainian-made weapons for the Ukrainian Army at a military base in Novi Petrivtsi outside Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday, April 4, 2015

VT Group offers the consumers with more than 2000 different items and has over 40,000 pieces of equipment ranging from road, construction, and track passenger machinery.

VT Group is a Ukrainian company with a unique offer — the possibility of acquiring and operating special engineering machinery as well as various types of NATO equipment.


As the official VT site states, these high quality machines and equipment are reliable and highly efficient. Some of them are one of a kind. They have no parallel.The company’s catalog demonstrates that they are capable of supplying almost every type of construction machinery, as well as airplanes, helicopters, airport equipment, ships, rescue and fire fighting vehicles. In addition to sales, the company provides rental services and rents out its vehicles and machines.