Daily Archives: July 15, 2010

Bulava SLBM Test Next Month


This afternoon a Navy Main Staff source told Interfaks the next Bulava SLBM test will occur in mid-August from modified proyekt 941 Akula (Typhoon-class) SSBN TK-208 Dmitriy Donskoy.  This is earlier than previously announced.  The Navy source also claimed that the new proyekt 955 SSBN Yuriy Dolgorukiy will be the launch platform for one of this year’s three planned Bulava tests.  He also reiterated that Russian military men are committed to Bulava, seeing no alternative to it as the Navy’s nuclear deterrent for the future.

In May, Defense Minister Serdyukov said three identical Bulava missiles are being assembled in the hope of discovering a common flaw in their construction.  Serdyukov said the next Bulava launch wouldn’t occur before November at the earliest.

Bulgakov Adds More to His Portfolio?

General-Colonel Bulgakov

In addition to his new title Deputy Defense Minister for Material-Technical Support and his responsibility for arms and equipment supplies, General-Colonel Dmitriy Bulgakov has apparently also picked up Grigoriy Naginskiy’s duties as Chief of Housing and Construction. 

Bulgakov accompanied Prime Minister Putin on a tour of military apartments under construction in Volgograd today.  The contractor told Putin the land was acquired three years ago, but delays in installing utilities held up construction until this year.  They also complicated the process and added 5,000 rubles to the per-square-meter cost of the apartments. 

Bulgakov was quoted saying the first batch of apartments in the new mikrorayon for servicemen (739 apartments) will be turned over in December.  He also said 1,978 servicemen need housing in the city.

Deputy Signals Chief Goes Down for Corruption

Colonel Andrey Kolupov (photo: Kommersant)

While President Medvedev may despair of the continuing corruption plague in Russian government and society, the Defense Ministry went after a fairly high-ranking figure this week. 

There’s been nothing general on the military corruption situation since earlier this year, so the Kolupov case is just an interesting, isolated one. 

A decorated combat veteran of Chechnya and Dagestan, Colonel Kolupov is the General Staff’s Deputy Chief of Communications, and he was in line to succeed his retiring boss until a check uncovered his failure to return a Defense Ministry apartment in Voronezh when he received another one in Moscow. 

In 1996, he had a 54-square-meter apartment in Voronezh with his wife and daughter.  In 2002, Kolupov became a senior officer of the MVO’s communications directorate.  Two years later he had a second daughter and received a three-room, 81.7-square-meter Moscow apartment, which he privatized in 2008, according to Kommersant

Meanwhile, Kolupov let his mother-in-law to privatize the service apartment in Voronezh rather than returning it to the Defense Ministry.  The loss to the state was put at 6.3 million rubles.  The colonel has been charged with large-scale fraud.  He apparently hasn’t acknowledged wrongdoing, and refused to speak with Kommersant

Kolupov’s housing machinations are less egregious than ones occurring in the Railroad Troops Command in recent years.  But there seems to be a campaign against apartment manipulations by senior military officers.  Generally, it might be possible to conclude that the Defense Ministry’s anticorruption efforts are relatively more vigorous and effective than those of other ministries, but it would also be impossible to prove this with any certainty.  And the key word is relatively.  The scale of Defense Ministry efforts may not be significant in an absolute sense against the scope of its overall corruption problem.  One can easily think of other apartment- and housing-related corruption, involving military men and civilians, that isn’t scrutinized similarly.