Russian News

‘Apocalyptic Conflict’: Attack On Russian Aircraft In Neutral Airspace Will Be Seen As Declaration Of War — Top Diplomat

A deliberate attack on a Russian aircraft in neutral airspace would be an open declaration of war against a nuclear power. This was announced by Russian Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov.

“Some lawmakers’ calls go far beyond common sense,” he said, commenting on US Senator Lindsey Graham’s (from South Carolina) threats to shoot down Russian planes approaching US aircraft in international airspace.

Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry published a statement stating that there was no impact between the two aircraft (MQ-9 and Su-27) and that the Reaper drone maneuvered abruptly, losing control and crashing.

The ministry added that the US drone was flying without transponders and entered airspace that the Russian government had designated as restricted following the start of their special military operations.

“The Russian aircraft did not use onboard weapons, did not come into contact with the unmanned aerial vehicle, and returned safely to their home airfield,” the ministry explained.

According to Ambassador Antonov, not the Russian pilots but US politicians are inciting the start of an apocalyptic conflict. We do not seek a conflict with nuclear power. We continue to maintain contacts, including through the Ministry of Defense, to prevent unintentional collisions. I would like American politicians to have the same attitude towards relations with Russia,” the ambassador emphasized.

Ukraine: 3rd Biggest Importer Of Weapons

Ukraine became the world’s third largest arms importer after Qatar and India in 2022, because of Russia’s full-scale invasion last year, according to a recent report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

The SIPRI report compares weapons sales globally between 2013–17 and 2018–22. It shows that Ukraine imported a few major arms from 1991 until the end of 2021.

However, “as a result of military aid from the USA and many European states following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Ukraine became the 3rd biggest importer of major arms during 2022 (after Qatar and India) and the 14th biggest for 2018–22,” the report by SIPRI stated.

The report noted that the deliveries to Ukraine were mainly second-hand items from existing stocks, including 228 artillery pieces, an estimated 5000 guided artillery rockets from the US, 280 tanks from Poland, and over 7000 anti-tank missiles from the UK.

Some newly produced arms were also delivered to Ukraine, such as air defense systems from Germany, Poland, the UK, and the US. In most cases, one country’s supply of these arms was financed by other countries or the European Union (EU) through its European Peace Facility.

For instance, by the end of 2022, the EU had allocated €3.1 billion for military equipment for Ukraine, according to SIPRI.

Overall, Ukraine accounted for 2 percent of global arms imports in the five years ending in 2022, as per the estimates by experts at SIPRI.

It is also essential to bear in mind that the supply of arms to Ukraine from the West has evolved significantly since the start of the conflict in February last year. While initially, the West was reluctant to fulfill Kyiv’s requests for main battle tanks (MBTs), Ukraine is now slated to receive various Western-made MBTs like the British Challenger-2s, German-made Leopard-2 tanks, and US-made M1A2 Abrams.

The Challenger-2s and Leopard-2s are expected to be delivered to Ukraine by the end of March. So, the scope of the military aid to Ukraine and the value thereof is only poised to increase going ahead.

Arms Shipments To Europe Doubled After Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine

The Russian invasion of Ukraine pushed Kyiv up the world’s top arms importers and nearly doubled the arms imports into Europe in 2022. However, a considerable portion of those imports was destined for the war-torn nation.

Ukraine alone was the destination for 31 percent of arms shipments to Europe and eight percent of global deliveries in total, according to SIPRI’s data.

However, the rise in arms imports was, in large part, also driven by an increase in spending by European states, including Poland and Norway, because of the rising threat posed by the Russian aggression in Ukraine, and the rate of imports is expected to accelerate further, according to SIPRI.

“The invasion has caused a significant surge in demand for arms in Europe, which will have a further effect and most likely will lead to increased arms imports by European states,” Pieter Wezeman, a senior researcher at SIPRI, told AFP.

However, there was already a surge in arms imports by European countries against the backdrop of Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, and the war in Ukraine only accelerated this trend.

Wezeman further said that European countries have either “already ordered or are planning to” order weapons ranging from “submarines to combat aircraft, from drones to anti-tank missiles, from rifles to radars.”

“Everything is being looked at because the idea is to strengthen military capacity through the whole spectrum of available military technology,” he continued.

Sharp Decline In Russian Arms Export

Over the past five years, the world’s top five exporters of arms remained the US at 40 percent of the global arms exports, followed by Russia at 16 percent, then France and China at 11 and 5 percent, respectively, and Germany at 4 percent.

Together, these countries account for a third of all global exports.

However, there has been a sharp decline in the volume of Russian arms exports, particularly in the years 2020, 2021, and 2022, according to SIPRI, which suggests that these export volumes are only likely to decrease as several states decide to move away from Russian arms.

For instance, India, the largest buyer of Russian arms in 2013-17, imported 37 percent less from Russia between 2018-22.

Also, multilateral sanctions by the West on Russia, including various trade restrictions and the pressure from the US and its allies on countries not to purchase Russian-made arms, have impaired Moscow’s efforts to export arms.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is likely to exacerbate this trend. The conflict will constrain Russia’s ability to export arms, as it will probably prioritize the production of arms for its military over those intended for export.

Explosion at FSB Building in Rostov-on-Don, Russia

There has been an explosion at the Federal Security Service (FSB) building in Rostov-on-Don, Russia. At least two people have been reported as seriously injured. Fire department is responding. Video from nearby security cameras, shows the explosion below:

Explosion at FSB Building in Rostov-on-Don, Russia

Social media is filling with other videos showing the damage and debris:

40 African countries are in Moscow today

International Parliamentary Conference Russia – Africa in a Multipolar World

Vladimir Putin spoke at the International Parliamentary Conference Russia – Africa in a Multipolar World, held in Moscow under the auspices of the State Duma of the Russian Federal Assembly.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Dear friends,

I would like to sincerely welcome all the representatives of legislative bodies and leaders of political parties and public movements from African states in Moscow and at the international parliamentary conference.

Your conference is undoubtedly important in the context of the continued development of Russia’s multifaceted cooperation with the countries of the African continent. We also consider this event a key part of the preparations for the upcoming second Russia-Africa summit scheduled to be held in St Petersburg in July.

The first Russian-African summit held in October 2019 in Sochi was very productive and noticeably invigorated our ties with African states, gave a boost to business interaction and cultural and humanitarian exchanges. The partnership between Russia and African countries has gained additional momentum and is reaching a whole new level.

This conference brings together representatives of most countries on the continent. Given that it is legislators who are supposed to express the will of their voters in their countries and work in the interests of their people, your arrival shows that the peoples of Africa are interested in stepping up efforts to develop multifaceted and mutually beneficial relations with Russia.

I want to emphasise that our country has always and will always consider cooperation with African states a priority. It would not be an exaggeration to say that it is one of the unchanging priorities of Russia’s foreign policy.

Ever since the African peoples’ heroic struggle for independence, it has been common knowledge that the Soviet Union provided significant support to the peoples of Africa in their fight against colonialism, racism and apartheid, how it helped many African countries to gain and protect their sovereignty, and consistently supported them in building their statehood, strengthening defence capabilities, laying the foundations of their national economies and workforce training. The symbol of this cooperation was the construction by Soviet experts of the Aswan Dam, the largest in Africa. And today, the Russian Federation continues its policy of providing the continent with support and assistance.

NATO Forced Russia to Upgrade Missile Defenses, Russia is More Secure While NATO Cities are Undefended

Since the Pentagon was supposedly hit by a stolen/repurposed airliner going just over 120 knots, flown by an amateur, the US has only disarmed…when it comes to protecting the homeland…sending anti-missile systems to Romania, Israel and Iraq but deploying none at home. Every American city is 100% helpless to any air attack at all, much less Russia’s ‘dancing’ hypersonic missiles – TID

NATO’s attempts to paralyze the Russian rocket and space program have failed completely. This conclusion is made by the specialized publication Defense News, after analyzing the latest launches of Russian satellites.

In November, Russia launched its sixth Tundra early warning satellite. It now has just 4 to launch to reach its goal of 10 satellites by 2024. The next launches will cover medium Earth orbit, the best for observation at high latitudes, writes Defense News. In such an orbit, the satellite needs only 12 hours to make a complete revolution, and 8 hours “Tundra” is above the observed hemisphere.

“Tundra” is part of a single grouping of the Ministry of Defense, codenamed “Dome”. It is an integrated space-based detection and command and control system designed to track enemy ballistic missile launches.

The Dome became a replacement for the Soviet-era Oko and Oko-1 systems, which were operated from 1982 to 2019.

For the full functioning of the detection system, it is necessary that at least 10 Tundra satellites be in a highly elliptical orbit. In addition, a number of geostationary satellites are needed to support the system. Colonel General Sergei Surovikin , while still the commander-in-chief of the Russian Aerospace Forces, promised that the Dome would cover Russia by 2024.

As a matter of fact, already now we can talk about the functioning of the “Dome”. Indeed, back in May 2020, Igor Ozer, the CEO of the Energia rocket and space company, announced that the group had reached the “minimum standard capacity”, that is, it was actually capable of solving imputed tasks.

At that time, four Tundras were launched from Plesetsk. And this is really the minimum number of satellites that allow round-the-clock surveillance of NATO ballistic missile launches, space and missile expert Bart Hendrix says in an interview with Defense News . At the same time, further deployment of a satellite constellation allows increasing accuracy and reducing the likelihood of false alarms. And in general, it is always useful to have backup vehicles in orbit.

The launch of the sixth satellite of this system, according to Sergei Shoigu , will allow Russia to continuously monitor priority areas “in the northern hemisphere.” An absolutely transparent allusion to the most aggressive enemies of the Russian state – the United States and its NATO satellites.

NORTHCOM: Russia Close to Persistent Nuclear Cruise Missile Attack Sub Presence off U.S. Coasts

Russia could have its most powerful and quiet nuclear attack submarines on persistent patrols off either U.S. Coast in the next two years, the head of U.S. Northern Command told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday.

In response to questions from Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) on the threat of Chinese and Russian cruise missile submarines operating close to the U.S., NORTHCOM commander Gen. Glen VanHerck said that the deployments of the Russian Yasen-class nuclear cruise missile attack boats have been deploying more frequently.

“[The risk is] absolutely increasing. Within the last year, Russia has also placed their [Yasens] in the Pacific,” he said.
“Now not only the Atlantic, but we also have them in the Pacific and it’s just a matter of time – probably a year or two – before that’s a persistent threat, 24 hours a day. … That impact has reduced decision space for a national senior leader in a time of crisis.”

Also known by their NATO reporting name Severodvinsk class, the 13,800-ton Yasen-class attack boats are among the most capable submarines in the world. In particular, the three current boats in the class are capable of a special quiet operations mode that make them difficult to detect in the open ocean. In 2018, the lead boat in the class, Severodvinsk, evaded U.S. efforts to find it for weeks, according to press reports.

Navy officials have told USNI News that the service has become increasingly concerned with the efficacy of the Russian submarine force.

The growing ability of Russian submarines to operate undetected in the Atlantic pushed the Navy to reactivate U.S. 2nd Fleet and create a command for anti-submarine warfare across the Atlantic in 2018.

The Russian Navy has planned to build ten Yasen-class attack boats, with the fourth to commission later this year, according to Russian press reports.

The Russians have also recently delivered two new strategic nuclear submarines.

In January, the Russian Navy commissioned the 24,000-ton Borey-class nuclear ballistic missile submarine Generalissimus Suvorov. In July, the Russian Navy delivered Belgorod – a strategic weapons platform fitted with school bus sized nuclear torpedoes that can be fitted with a 100-megaton nuclear warhead.

VanHerck also emphasized the need for the U.S. to expand its operations in the Arctic, as Russia has modernized its assets in the region and China continues to push farther north.

“Russia has modernized their fleet of icebreakers. They’ve modernized their strategic defense along with their submarine forces. China is sailing into the Arctic under the guise of research [missions] and we know they’re doing military operations, surveying the seabed.”

VanHerck said the U.S. is short of assets in the Arctic as Russia and China continue to expand operations.

“We’re not organized, trained and equipped to operate and respond in the Arctic. Infrastructure is a big concern for me, whether that be runway links, whether that be buildings, whether that be weapons storage, whether that be fuel storage,” he said.
“We need persistence that requires icebreakers. We as a nation are in bad shape regarding icebreakers, and I fully support the Coast Guard’s plan. We need to go faster.”

Russian Pilots ‘Spill The Beans’ On How They Intercepted US MQ-9 Reaper Drone Over The Black Sea

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu awarded the Order of Courage to the pilots that ‘downed’ the US MQ-9 Reaper drone over the Black Sea.

Last week, the Russian Defense Ministry said a US MQ-9 drone plunged into the Black Sea after engaging in sharp maneuvering, noting that Russian fighter jets sent to intercept it did not come into contact with it nor used weapons against it.

The ministry said the air control of the Russian Aerospace Forces recorded the drone’s flight in the Crimean peninsula’s region in the direction of the Russian border.

The US European Command earlier said that the incident that resulted in the complete loss of the drone involved a Russian Su-27 aircraft, which allegedly struck the drone’s propeller during an “unsafe and unprofessional intercept” over the Black Sea.

“The Orders of Courage were awarded to the pilots of Su-27 aircraft who prevented the violation by the US unmanned aerial vehicle MQ-9 of the borders of the temporary regime for the use of airspace established to conduct the special military operation,” the statement said.

Pilot Speaks

Russian Su-27 fighter jets maneuvered alongside an American MQ-9 Reaper drone over the Black Sea to stop it from performing its mission, fighter pilot Major Vasily Vavilov said in a video released by the Defense Ministry.

The fighter pilot said, together with his colleagues, he was on air defense duty. Having received the orders to scramble, two crew took to the air to intercept the drone moving near the Russian border.

“After the takeoff, we approached the aircraft, identified it, and performed maneuvers to force it to abandon its mission,” Vavilov said. In turn, Major Sergei Popov accentuated that the pilots did not use weapons and did not come into contact with the MQ-9.

According to the Ministry of Defense, the incident with the MQ-9 Reaper drone occurred on the morning of March 14 in the Crimean region. An American drone with transponders turned off flew in the direction of Russia.

After discovering the drone, Russian fighters from the duty air defense forces took off. The drone went into uncontrollable flight with a loss of altitude and fell into the black sea due to sudden maneuvering.

Russian fighters did not come into contact with the MQ-9, did not use airborne weapons, and returned safely to their base airfield, the Defense Ministry emphasized.

On March 15, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, in a telephone conversation with his American counterpart Lloyd Austin, among other things, said that the flights of American strategic Global Hawk drones off the coast of Crimea were provocative.

Shoigu also noted that the reason for the incident with the Reaper was the actions of the United States in non-compliance with the restricted flight zone declared by Russia.