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Five years of Russian Defense Policy tweets are available here.  The Advanced Find Add-on lets you search through these 2,200+ tweets.

Victory Parade 2015

Russia Today’s video of this morning’s parade . . . .

A Couple Jokes

Courtesy of, here’s a sample of recent Russian military humor . . .

The best color for army camouflage is purple.  Has anyone ever seen a purple army?

The Mongolian Army’s been called the world champion in maskirovka.  To this day, no one’s ever seen it.

A general heard an old saying:  “Whoever has served in the army doesn’t laugh at the circus.”  Voyenkomat workers went around to circuses looking for those who weren’t laughing.  The country’s armed forces were populated with thousands of soldiers.

When the young man learned that the girl was still waiting for his return from the army [on conscript service], he signed up on contract.

Only a country which first builds roads to move its army can go to war with Russia.

– If they ban profanity in the army, the country’s combat readiness would be threatened.  – Why?  – You try to explain to a soldier with just particles, conjunctions, and prepositions how he has to defend the Homeland.

It’s possible to do everything three ways:  correctly, not so correctly, and like they do it in the army.

There’s reinforcement in the RF Army:  into the inventory have come pilotless aircraft, turretless tanks, and brainless generals.

Russia is a unique country, it has a gun which has never fired (Tsar Cannon), a bell which has never rung (Tsar Bell), and an army general who has never served in the army (Shoygu).

They go on forever . . . alas, we cannot.  Enjoy.

Victory Day 2014

Russia Today provided video from today’s Red Square military parade.




Recently Interfaks-AVN, Interfaks’ Military News Agency, changed its publicly accessible front page with headlines like these to a new one where you can actually sample AVN’s fine reporting for free.

Marking the occasion by adding it to the blogroll.

Look for lots of tweets pointing to AVN stories.

Not Denmark

Yes, Russia is definitely not Denmark.  It’s more like the DROC.

Vision of Humanity has released its 2011 Global Peace Index (GPI), which places the Russian Federation as the 147th least peaceful country in the world.  To get your bearings, Pakistan is 146th.  The DROC is 148th, North Korea 149th, etc.

The most peaceful countries were Iceland, New Zealand, Japan, Denmark, Czech Republic, etc.  The United States was 82nd.

The study uses 21 indicators of peacefulness; it doesn’t just count active conflicts.  It looks at societal security and safety issues and militarization.  The results are tested against related indicators on democracy, tolerance, education, etc., things where a country would be expected to score high or low depending on how peaceful it is.

At any rate, add Russia’s 147th on the GPI to its “Not Free” rating by Freedom House, its 154th on TI’s Corruption Perception Index, and its 140th on RWB’s Press Freedom Index.

Some Russian media coverage of the GPI . . .

Novyye izvestiya quotes Sergey Karaganov:

“A steady negative background is following Russia in recent years.  And this influences the evaluations of experts.”

He says not to believe such semi-artificial research fully, but:

“It’s true Russia doesn’t appear to be a peace-loving country.  Because we have quite an impressive history of using armed forces and a quite strong power element in our domestic and foreign policy.  So there’s nothing offensive or surprising in this.  We actually use force in conflict situations.  We conducted two ‘victorious’ wars in the last decade.  One of them civil in Chechnya, the second in Georgia.  Therefore, it’s not appropriate to talk about needing to compare us with Denmark.  And the fact that we’re in such company [Pakistan, DROC???] should make us think.”

Aleksandr Khramchikhin doesn’t think this assessment of peacefulness is objective:

“From a scientific point of view, such ratings are bogus because a green square sums it up.  No kind of strict scientific assessments could be done this way.  Therefore, if this rating in some way coincides with reality, it’s completely accidental.  In general, it’s incomprehensible why such indicators, as, for example, corruption are included there.  It seems to me that everything’s very artificial in the indicators.” notes that Russia’s 147th rating on a list of 153 countries is a drop of four places from last year.  Looking into the report, it concludes Russia’s high level of crime and terrorist threat along with its significant spending on its power ministries explain its low ranking for peacefulness.  It also rated high for the ratio of police and internal security personnel to total population.

Full Parade Coverage

Here’s Pervyy kanal’s complete coverage of today’s parade.  The second half starts as soon as you reach the end of the first.

Victory Day Parade

Here’s the link for’s seven-minute report on today’s 63-minute Red Square parade.

Ivashov’s Inevitable Revolution

Leonid Ivashov

Ex-GU MVS Chief, retired General-Colonel Leonid Ivashov was apparently either asked or inspired to comment recently on the revolutions in North Africa.  And his comments got some press play beyond the blog where they originally appeared.  Ivashov is an inveterate conservative who always has sharp jabs for the U.S., NATO, and globalization.  But he’s an interesting guy whose anti-Western commentaries usually end up criticizing the Kremlin and Russian policies as well.

They apparently asked Ivashov whether Russia needs to fear a repetition of Tunisian, Egyptian, or Libyan events.  He goes on for a couple paragraphs with his view that the Arab world’s lagging behind in economic and social development explains what happened in North Africa.  Then he turns to its relevance for Russia:

“The situation is much more complex in Russia.  A revolution here is unavoidable.  It will become an attempt to find its own future and course of development that preserves Russia as a unitary state, both Russian and remaining native peoples – as a national-social formation.  Under the current course and regime, Russia has no future.  Catastrophe looms ahead – the country’s division and collapse, the departure of the Russian world from the historical arena.  These are objective data – when you look at government statistics even, your hairs stand on end.  There are approximately one hundred million Russians, 23 million alcoholics, 6 million drug addicts, 6 million sick with AIDS, 4 million prostitutes.  We have the very highest percentage of disadvantaged families, for every thousand marriages, 640 divorces.  Revolutionary transformations are simply necessary.  Let’s hope to God they come in a peaceful way.”

“What is happening now in the Middle East gives us reason to talk also about our degradation.  Yes, Mubarak, Qaddafi and the rest stole, hoarded riches for themselves, however there has never been in the history of a single state such complete plunder as is occurring now in Russia.  Two oligarchic clans, privatizers of resources and bureaucrats have sucked everything out of the people and the country.  Real incomes of the population in January compared with January of last year have decreased by 47%.  Oil gets more expensive — our gas gets more expensive.  Oil gets cheaper — our gas still gets more expensive.  Prices for food and other things constantly increase.”

“A handful of powerful bureaucrats and oligarchs close to them understand perfectly that there’s no avoiding a revolution.  Therefore they’re hurrying to suck everything up and tie their business to foreign structures.  So that when they start taking their assets away, they can call on NATO to defend them.”

“Russia doesn’t have its own Middle East geopolitical project.  We are extremely inconsistent — we sign military agreements with Israel, we institute sanctions against Iran, irritating the Islamic world.  Medvedev calls Qaddafi a criminal for firing on his own people.  At the same time, they put up monuments to Yeltsin who fired on his own people and his own parliament.  Such a contradiction shows the complete cynicism of our current vlasti.”

“The fighting in Russia will undoubtedly begin, and it will be, unfortunately, much more severe — since the country is multinational.  In the Middle East, they call their own Arab presidents occupiers, but we also have other peoples.  And if anti-Semitism in the Arab East is aimed beyond the borders of their own countries, at Israel or the U.S., then Russian anti-Semitism is directed inward.”

A Really Cheap Post

Tomorrow will be this blog’s 365th day of existence.  One hopes it’s been a good source of understanding, or at least information.

309 posts in 365 days is a pretty good average, but one wishes there had been no “no post” days at all.  There’s been a conscious effort to avoid lots of cheap posts.  This author thinks there’s something significant to write about every day, and there’s a backlog of great topics too.  Some with great information that haven’t been written — more on YeSU TZ system testing, developments in the UAV production debate, and GLONASS.  You’re owed an update on German and Italian armor for Russian combat vehicles.

A post on the Air Forces and the GPV is almost ready.  This blog started last year with a post on the trouble brigade at Kamenka, and you deserve an update.  The recent reported suicides of two lieutenants in the Pacific Fleet is another interesting one.  How about the launching of an anti-Serdyukov movement among former officers from the Main Directorate of Combat Training.  One hasn’t managed to return to the military housing story, or to the anti-reform monograph by Grinyayev and Fomin.  How about this one — the ECHR has ruled Moscow must pay millions of Euros in compensation for civilian casualties in several 1999 and 2000 operations, some headed by Vladimir Shamanov.  There’s a great story from the FSKN and the General Prosecutor about illegal drug use among young Russians, including in the military.

You get the picture.

Input or feedback of any kind would be welcome and helpful.  The statistics say you’re out there, quietly reading.