Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Putin Names Russian Army Units After UKRAINIAN Cities

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President Putin named several Russian divisions and regiments after Ukrainian cities such as Lvov and Zhitomir, as well as the Polish capital Warsaw. This move is sure to anger Ukrainian and Polish ultra-nationalists. Indeed, the names already trigger and anger Ukrainian nationalists. Putin assigned the names as honorifics, commemorating the participation of these units in liberating the city for which they received their name.

For this reason, Putin’s decree named the 6 Guards Tank Regiment the 6 Lvov Guards Tank Regiment in honour of the Western Ukrainian city of Lvov in Galicia. The 68 Tank Regiment will now be the Zhitomir-Berlin Guards. The name of the regiment (originally raised in 1944 and reformed in 2017) is in honour of Zhitomir in the northern Ukraine and the title “Berlin” comes from the capture of Berlin in 1945. The 381 Artillery Regiment received the title Varshava (Warsaw), after the capital of Poland (note that Warsaw wasn’t the capital during the Polish occupation of the Ukraine… the then-capital of the Polish-Lithuanian Rzeczpospolita was Krakow). Soviet soldiers fought to liberate Warsaw and Poland from the German fascists and the heroes of the Red Army liberated the Nazi concentration camps. We mustn’t disregard this, even if contemporary Polish political figures forget it.

The 933 Anti-Aircraft Missile Regiment received the title “Verkhnodneprovsk” (Upper Dnepr River) and the 102 Motor Rifle Regiment received the title “Slonim-Pomeransk”. The 90 Tank Division is now the 90 Guards Tank Division Vitebsk-Novgorod. Vitebsk is a Belarusian city located in the north near the Russian border. When people hear the name Novgorod they often think of the famous ancient city where Russian history began. Veliki Novgorod is close to Vitebsk and is the logical reason for the name, but we mustn’t forget the name simply means “New City”, and there’s the much larger and younger Nizhny Novgorod in Russia, as well as Novgorod in the Ukraine, which is located south of the original Veliki Novgorod. Additionally, the 400 Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment has the title Transylvania (in Romania), which means “Beyond the Forest”. In fact, that’s a common Slavic name, as there is one such place of the same name near Moscow, as well as one near Kiev.

Transylvania in Slavic languages uses a variant of its Austro-Hungarian name, Semigorod, meaning Seven Cities. The region is most famous for Voivode Vlad Dracul, also known as Vlad the Impaler, who spawned the Dracula legends. The lurid accounts emphasising Vlad’s ferocity might’ve been slightly exaggerated slander by the Germans. Contemporary Russian and Slavic accounts provide a more fair and unbiased middle ground. They acknowledge his cruelty, but also note his successful diplomacy and campaigns against the Ottoman Empire. They did criticise him for what they felt was a betrayal of Orthodoxy and believed this is what caused his death, in contrast to the life of his cousin, St Stephan the Great, but this is beyond the scope of this article. The focus is the units and the names Putin assigned them, but it’s worth understanding a little something about the regions from which they take their names.

The last three units mentioned were the 856 Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment (Guards of Kobryn), the 150 Motor Rifle Division (Idritsko-Berlin), and the 144 Motor Rifle Division (Elnya Guards). In Russian military tradition, a Guards Regiment or the title “Guards” refers to an élite or particularly distinguished unit. This isn’t the same as Special Operations (Spetsnaz) forces, but a Spetsnaz unit can also be a Guards unit. Officers of a Guards unit bear the title “of the Guards” added to their title, so, a Colonel of a Guards regiment would be a Colonel of the Guards or Guards Colonel. Of course, it’s important to address an officer or unit appropriately. The legendary and beloved Russian movie Only Old Men Go to Battle (a must watch for Russia lovers) joked about this. In the film, singer and ace pilot Captain Titarenko is walking by and one of the surprised soldiers in the scene said, “Oh, excuse me, Comrade Captain”, and he jokingly replied, “That’s Comrade Guards Captain to you!”

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The film is a classic about the Great Patriotic War, which is the main reason why these units received their special titles, to “preserve glorious military historical traditions, to instil in military personnel a spirit of devotion to the Motherland and loyalty in fulfilment of one’s military duty”. Of course, ultranationalists from the Ukraine, Poland, and (possibly) Romania may falsely see this as some form of expansionist threat, as some Ukrainians already have. This is ridiculous, as the units received such titles in honour of historical deeds of heroism. People shouldn’t blind themselves to their history, and the reality is that the USSR liberated these countries from fascism. Were it not for the might of the USSR, the fascists could’ve ruled all of Europe and likely the entire world. In the case of the Ukraine, this was Russian land, liberated by Slavic peoples… Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians, but the USSR also helped Polish, Romanian, and Moldavian partisans to push the fascists off their land.

It was particularly interesting and ironic, but very appropriate, that a Guards Regiment would receive the title Lvov, which means “The Lion-City”. Lvov is the historical capital of Galicia; it’s the most stereotypically Western of Ukrainian cities. The traditional date of the founding of Lvov is 1256; however, some historians believe its foundation was between 1240 and 1247, shortly after the fall of Kiev (1240). The city served as the capital of the westernmost principality of Rus, quickly conquered by Poland, then, merged with the Polish-Lithuanian Rzeczpospolita. During the period of the Rzeczpospolita, the Uniate Catholic religion arose; to this day, Lvov has one of the highest rates of Uniates or outright Roman Catholics in the Ukraine. This is illustrative of the extreme cultural differences between one part of the Ukraine and another, to the extent that it almost feels like they’re two separate countries.

Kiev, the traditional birthplace of Russia, was only separate from Russia for a period of around 300 years, between 1360 and 1654 (and again from 1991 to the present day); it has a much more Russian and Orthodox feel. If you didn’t know Russian cities and architecture, a foreigner could mistake it for a city like Volgograd… they both even have a “Motherland with a sword” statue. Kiev is over one thousand kilometres away from Volgograd, twice the distance to Lvov, which is about 500 kilometres from Kiev. Even though Kiev and Lvov are in the same country, whereas Volgograd isn’t, the former two are more distant in culture. Lvov looks, feels, and sounds much more Polish; it only reunited with Russia in 1939 after spending centuries in Austro-Hungary and Poland. It fell to the Germans during World War II; the Red Army only liberated it in 1944. Just imagine the differences between Lvov and the Donbass.

Not only does Lvov have a distinctly less “Soviet” look to it, but also the buildings even fit in with those in Poland, Austria, Hungary, Czechia, etc. The Churches look far more Catholic than they do Orthodox. These things influence culture and thought tremendously. There are Orthodox Christians from Lvov. Orthodox people in Lvov feel no different from those from the rest of the Ukraine or in Russia, aside from the language and accent of course. People in Lvov can still speak Russian if they encounter those who don’t speak Ukrainian. Lvov people are still Ukrainians, therefore, Eastern Slavs, and Galicia was once an equal part of Rus, so there’ll always be a common history. Still, one can’t deny the powerful foreign influence in Lvov. A simple look at the skylines reveals the cities have a different character. This doesn’t mean that it’s bad to be Polish, Austrian, etc, or it’s bad to have Catholic churches in your cities. Of course, it’s positive to coexist and respect all peoples and cultures. It’s simply worth noting that when a city looks and feels different, when the people speak a different, more Polish-influenced, Ukrainian, and when they spent most of their history in other states, it can cause cultural differences. These differences shouldn’t cause conflict, but human nature allows them to. I fully believe the Orthodox Church will unite the Ukraine, and see her through the storms, and that fascism has no future in this land, in the West, or the East. Still, there are difficulties today, caused by cultural differences.

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These differences express themselves clearly in Ukrainian political life and demographics. Naming a Russian regiment after Lvov is merely one of the ways to remind people of their brotherly bonds, of a time when people from all over the USSR fought together against fascism. There’s still much we must do to bring peace to the Ukraine after Western neocons and Ultranationalists tore it apart. Learning about when in history differences first emerged can help; ultimately, studying history reveals that all of the Ukraine, even Lvov, has roots in Kievan Rus. Instead, Ukrainian ultranationalists believe that they’re the “True Russians”, and that Russia has no claim to Kievan Rus. They think they’re more Russian than the Russians are! The Red Army drove the West out of Lvov, which invaded and occupied it. Indeed, Hitler came from the same group of Austro-Germans that occupied Galicia for centuries. It’s important to remember that and not to forget it.

3 July 2018

Russia Feed

http://russiafeed.com/putin-names-russian-army-groups-after-ukrainian-cities

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Saturday, 6 January 2018

6 January 2018. Statista Infographic. Global Nuclear Arsenal on 17 February 2017

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Both the Trumpkin Munchkins and the Clintonista Stepford Wives are raising a holy stink about the DPRK’s nuclear capability. Earth to neoliberal scumtickets:

The DPRK doesn’t have a significant nuclear capability. It doesn’t even have a minor nuclear capability. It has produced material for warheads, but intel proves that they don’t have enough for more than 10-20 low-yield weapons. It hasn’t produced a survivable re-entry vehicle for a tactical missile, let alone a MRBM or ICBM.

That is, Trump’s histrionics are nothing more but him taking out his gazoo and claiming, “My dick is bigger than your dick is!” The Clintonista clucking on the issue amounts to the same juvenile thing.  By the way… do note that the USA isn’t numero uno on this chart… Russia is. Hmm… Russia DOES have the DPRK’s back. The truth is an interesting thing, isn’t it?

BMD

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Peace Through Strength: How Russian Weapons Help Shift the Global Balance of Power

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Aleksandr III Aleksandrovich is “The Peacemaker”… as he kept the peace during his reign, by keeping the Russian Army and Navy strong.  V V Putin is doing the same thing… to deter the toddler Anglo aggressors and their peevish and arrogant “power projection”.

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In 2012, before the Ukraine crisis and before Russia began its counterterrorism mission in Syria, French-language news website AgoraVox lamented:

After the collapse of the USSR, the world could’ve entered into an era of peace and cooperation.  However, one country felt that victory belongs only to it and that it wasn’t necessary to listen to the others.

This was a very accurate diagnosis.  The USA’s “endless operations in the Middle East, the cowboy dismantlement of Yugoslavia, the expansion of NATO, the global offensive by international terrorism, all this dispelled any illusions about a coming “world without wars”.  Therefore, under pressure from abroad, Russia had to begin restoring its defence capabilities.  It began with a few rearmament programs, but it only made notable progress after the operation to force Georgia to make peace [with South Ossetia and Abkhazia] in 2008.  In South Ossetia, Russian troops first encountered NATO weapons, equipment, and communications equipment in battle.  Our technological weakness became apparent.  Procrastination was leading to gradual loss of state sovereignty.

In 2010, the government launched a 20 trillion Rouble (2.38 trillion Renminbi.  22.16 trillion INR.  344.48 billion USD.  470.29 billion CAD.  464.44 billion AUD. 313.23 billion Euros.  265.32 billion UK Pounds) rearmament programme envisioning a comprehensive modernisation to update 70 percent of Russia’s total military assets by 2020.  Russia is now successfully carrying out this programme.  Earlier this year, in a very detailed ‘primer’ on Russian military power for the new Trump administration, National Interest contributor Michael Kofman wrote:

Following reforms launched in October 2008, and a modernisation programme in 2011 valued at 670 billion USD (38.9 trillion Roubles.  4.63 trillion Renminbi.  43.1 trillion INR.  914.72 billion CAD.  903.33 billion AUD.  609.23 billion Euros.  516.06 billion UK Pounds), the armed forces have become one of Russia’s most reliable instruments of national power.

Indeed, the figures speak for themselves.  For example, in 2016 the army received over 5,500 pieces of military equipment and weapons systems, including scores of aircraft (such as Su-35 4++ generation fighters, Tu-160 and Tu-95 bombers, Mi-28, Ka-52, Mi-35, and Mi-26 helicopters), hundreds of new and modernised tanks, new anti-aircraft missile systems, and nearly two dozen RS-24 Yars ICBM systems.  The latter’s missiles are capable of penetrating any existing or future enemy missile defences.  So far, in 2017, the Aerospace Defence Forces received over a dozen Su-34 fighter-bombers and are set to receive over two-dozen more Su-30 multirole fighters.  In 2016, for the first time in nearly a quarter-century, Russia created a new tank army, and today two fully equipped combined arms armies defend the country’s western flank.  The Navy also saw significant upgrades.  Following its return to Russia in 2014, the Crimea soon turned into an impregnable fortress.  The Black Sea Fleet alone received several new surface ships [including two Admiral Grigorovich-class frigates] as well as Project 636 attack subs, armed with long-range Kalibr missiles.  Furthermore, Russia’s Navy returned to the world’s oceans, with its mere passage through international waters near the US or European coasts causing hysteria among Western officials and media.  Russian strategic aviation’s return to the skies is causing a similar stir.

Russia is developing its army and naval infrastructure in the Arctic and the Far East too, with the military recently deploying S-400s, and Bal and Bastion coastal defence systems in Kamchatka and the Kuril Islands, as the Navy builds up its fleet of icebreakers.  Working to modernise its nuclear forces, Russia continues development of its RS-28 Sarmat super-heavy thermonuclear-armed ICBM… expected to come online as soon as next year, along with the 3M22 Zircon hypersonic missile (mass production expected to start later this year).  Since 2015, the armed forces have demonstrated the effectiveness of modernisation efforts in combat, with the Russian operation in Syria striking a blow to global terrorism and helping to defend Syrian sovereignty against a number of very powerful regional and global actors who sought to dismantle the Syrian state.  Meanwhile, the combat experience Russian forces received is allowing the military to improve its force structure, weapons, and the tactics of their use.  The USA is indignant.  Look at a recent article in the Russian-language service of Voice of America with the headline “Why Does Russia Need a Million-Strong Army?”  Pointing to what it calls a growing “Russian threat”, the Pentagon rewrote its own strategies.  Last month, in commenting on the images of US cruise missiles launched by from ships in the Mediterranean to strike a Syrian airbase, MSNBC anchor Brian Williams excitedly recalled the words of singer Leonard Cohen and his line:

I’m guided by the beauty of our weapons.

Russia also has the right to see their weapons as “beautiful”, not due to their sleekness or destructive power, but because at the moment, they’re the main force in the world stopping the imposition of a unipolar world order based on financial manipulations and the threat of US carrier strike groups and Tomahawk cruise missiles.  Twenty-five years after the collapse of the USSR, our country is stronger than any potential aggressor is.  The “iron stream” of Russian weapons serves to strengthen peace in the world.

6 May 2017

Aleksandr Khrolenko

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/military/201705061053341800-russian-armed-forces-25th-anniversary/

Thursday, 4 May 2017

China Demanded that the USA Stop Its Deployment of THAAD ABMs in the ROK Immediately

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On Tuesday, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Geng Shuang said:

China’s position on the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) issue hasn’t changed. We oppose the deployment of the US missile system to the ROK and call on all parties to stop this process immediately. We’re ready to take necessary measures to protect our interests.

Colonel Rob Manning, US Forces Korea spokesman, told us earlier:

The THAAD system is operational and has the ability to intercept North Korean missiles and defend the Republic of Korea.

Supposedly, the ground-based THAAD missile system intercepts ballistic missile warheads at the end of their mid-course phase and during their approach to a target, to protect cities and key facilities from both short-range and strategic ballistic missiles. The USA claimed that they deployed the THAAD system in the ROK because of the DPRK’s nuclear missile threat. Seoul and Washington agreed on the deployment in July 2016. Russia and China strongly opposed this agreement.

2 May 2017

TASS

http://tass.com/world/944142

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