organization:russian military

    • lien propre :


      RusBITech initially developed the OS for use in the Russian private market, but the company also expanded into the local government sector, where it became very popular with military contractors.

      A few years back, the OS received certifications to handle Russian government information labeled as “secret” and “top secret” —two data secrecy levels situated underneath “special importance” according to Russian law.

      Since then, Astra Linux has slowly made its way into government agencies and is currently in use at the Russian National Center for Defence Control, among various other government and military agencies.
      Already used by the Russian military

      In January 2018, the Russian Ministry of Defence announced plans to transfer military systems from the Windows OS to Astra Linux, citing fears that Microsoft’s closed-source approach might hide Windows backdoors that can be abused by US intelligence to spy on Russian government operations.

      Since then, RusBITech has been going through the Russian government’s certification process to get a “special importance” classification for Astra Linux — which it did, on April 17, according to two local media reports.

      In addition to the FSTEC certification, Astra Linux also received certificates of conformity from the FSB, Russia’s top intelligence agency, and the Ministry of Defense, opening the door for full adoption by Russia’s top military and intelligence agencies.

      The certification was granted for Astra Linux Special Edition version 1.6, also known as the Smolensk release, per local reports. This is a commercial (paid) release.

      The news comes after earlier this week it was reported that the Chinese military was taking similar steps to replace the Windows OS on military systems amid fears of US hacking. The Chinese military didn’t go for a Linux distro but instead alluded to plans of developing a custom OS instead.


      #Russie #sécurité #militaire #défense #Debian #Linux #Windows

      #Chine #États-unis

  • Why You Shouldn’t Start a Crypto Company

    Why You Shouldn’t Start a Crypto CompanyImagine that you are a Soviet weight lifter. It’s the height of the Cold War. You’ve trained for years to crush the bourgeoisie on the battlefield of the Olympic podium, to bring back gold and glory to the motherland. One day your trainer pulls you aside and tells you that not only does he have access to performance-enhancing drugs developed for the Russian military, but also that all other Russian athletes are taking them, and that the USSR will help you hide the doping from international regulators.This is the situation of most crypto startups today. On the fundraising and execution side, it is very, very easy to get ahead by playing fast and loose with compliance. It isn’t sustainable, but neither is prolonged drug abuse. When the lines aren’t (...)

    #blockchain #cryptocurrency #crypto-companies #venture-capital #crypto-compliance

  • ‘Criminal negligence’ or disregard to Russia-Israel ties : MoD details chronology of Il-20 downing — RT World News

    A minute-by-minute account of the Il-20 downing shows Israel’s culpability and either its military bosses’ lack of appreciation of relations with Moscow, or their control of commanding officers, the Russian defense ministry said.

    We believe that the blame for the Russian Il-20 aircraft tragedy lies entirely with the Israeli Air Force,” said spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov, before revealing a detailed account of events leading to the downing of the Russian Il-20 military aircraft on September 17. The plane was shot down by the Syrian air defense units as Israeli’s F-16s effectively used it as a cover during the attack on its neighbor.

    The report featured previously undisclosed radar data and details of communications between Russian and Israeli militaries, and concluded that “the military leadership of Israel either has no appreciation for the level of relations with Russia, or has no control over individual commands or commanding officers who understood that their actions would lead to tragedy.

    On the evening of September 17, the Russian Ilyushin IL-20 with 15 crew on board was circling over the Idlib de-escalation zone on a special reconnaissance mission, when four Israeli F-16 fighter jets left their country’s airspace and flew over the neutral Mediterranean waters towards the Syrian coast. The Israeli Air Force gave the Russian side less than a minute’s warning before dropping the precision-guided glide bombs, leaving virtually no time for any safety maneuvers, Konashenkov said, calling such actions “a clear violation of the 2015 Russian-Israeli agreements.

    Moreover, the Israeli military failed to provide the location of their jets or properly specify their targets, claiming they were going to attack several ’industrial facilities’ in northern Syria, close to the Il-20’s area of operation. The misinformation prompted the Russian Command to order the recon plane back to the Khmeimim air base. The Israeli jets, however, instead almost immediately attacked the western Syrian Latakia province.

      (article paru avant la conférence de presse du ministère de la Défense russe)

      It would seem that there were two significant contributory factors here: i) the Israeli ‘bad-faith’ abrogation of the proper protocols for communication between themselves and the Russian Military, in order to attain a deliberate advantage for carrying out their attack; and ii) the regrettable features of outmoded air-defence hardware which ultimately lead to the shoot-down.

      The solution to the second issue is rather straightforward: Russia had earlier proposed selling S-400 systems to Syria – a move which wound up effectively ‘veto’d’ by Israel stating in no uncertain terms that they would carry out airstrikes against any such systems before they had been fully installed, regardless of whether they were still Russian crewed at that point. Given Israeli airstrikes are presently causing Russian casualties anyway; as well as the fact that the Russians have already had their own advanced SAM systems for Russian defence set up in Syria for some time now, in the present situation of Israeli diplomatic weakness created by Monday’s events, now is the ideal time to engage in such technology-transfer directly to Syria with an explicit view to ensuring that Monday’s events do not recur thanks to half-century old hardware malfunctioning.

      The first issue is much more complex, as I would be rather surprised if Russia genuinely wanted to seriously contemplate abandoning its significantly close relationship with Israel – although it may potentially be convinced to ‘downgrade’ it somewhat, assuming that we do not see a repeat of what happened following Turkey’s downing of a Russian military aircraft in 2015 (ironically, a seeming catalyst for the two countries beginning to work more closely together than ever before). Whether Russia chooses to remain on ‘friendly’ ‘terms with Israel in a militaristic sense or not, the plain reality is that the Israelis have demonstrated that they cannot and should not be trusted to behave in an up-front manner when it comes to the communication and co-ordination protocols essential to allowing them to continue to operate with relative impunity above Syrian airspace.

      Russia should therefore suspend this facility they have provided to the Israelis forthwith – and openly state that future instances of Israeli military aircraft turning up unannounced above Syria will simply be treated as hostile, and dealt with accordingly. After all, from the perspective of that IL-20 crew, what else characterizes the Israeli conduct than this designation? Certainly not the actions of something approaching a ‘trusted’ ally! The net effect of this would be to impose a ‘no-fly zone’ of sorts over Syria – thus allowing operational freedom for Russian and Syrian air assets, and denying precious, vital air-cover to the extremist forces which theoretically everybody agrees need to be wiped out.

    • Avec, au passage, l’utile rappel de la possibilité de perte de contrôle des vieux missiles anti-aériens S-200.
      C’était il y a longtemps, le 4/10/2001 époque où il y avait encore des manœuvres communes russo-ukrainiennes.

      Vol 1812 Siberia Airlines — Wikipédia

      Un rapport préliminaire russe confirma les évaluations de responsables militaires américains faites à titre privé : le missile S-200 avait dépassé sa cible téléguidée qui avait été détruite avec succès par un S-300 tiré au même moment. Au lieu de s’autodétruire, le missile S-200 prit pour cible le long courrier qui se trouvait à près de 200 kilomètres ; le projectile explosa en projetant des billes d’acier (shrapnel) 15 mètres au-dessus de l’avion.

      Les responsables militaires ukrainiens nièrent d’abord que leur missile avait abattu l’avion ; ils déclarèrent que le S-200 avait été lancé vers la mer et qu’il avait réussi à s’autodétruire. Le porte-parole du ministère de la Défense Konstantin Khivrenko affirma que « ni la direction ni la portée (des missiles) ne correspondaient à l’endroit réel ou théorique où l’avion avait explosé. » Toutefois, les responsables ukrainiens admirent par la suite que c’était bien leur armée qui avait abattu l’avion de ligne.

  • Russia detects missile launches from French frigate off Syria’s coast in Mediterranean — RT World News

    © French Navy

    Russian airspace control systems registered missile launches from a French frigate in the Mediterranean on Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry reported.
    The French Navy’s newest frigate, FS Auvergne, fired rockets at around 8pm GMT on Monday, the Russian military said. “Airspace control has recorded rocket launches from the French frigate ’Auvergne,’” the ministry’s statement read. The ’Auvergne’ is deployed in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Syria.

    Paris denied “any involvement in [the] attack,” a French army spokesman said, as cited by AFP.

    It is a ’European multi-purpose frigate’ (FREMM) which entered the service of the French Navy in February this year. Prior to its official commissioning, the Aquitaine-class warship underwent deployment across the globe, including the Mediterranean Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf, the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean.

    The launch was detected at around the same time that air traffic controllers at Khmeimim Airbase “lost contact” with a military Il-20 aircraft during an attack by Israeli F-16 fighters on Latakia. Some 14 people were on board the plane at the time of the disappearance. A search and rescue mission is underway.

    The IDF has refused to comment on the report. Despite the fact that Israel rarely acknowledges striking specific targets inside Syria, earlier this month the IDF admitted hitting at least 202 “Iranian targets” in the country.

    As tensions over Idlib rise, Turkey and Russia on Monday agreed to establish a “demilitarized zone” between militants and government troops as part of an effort to clear the remaining jihadists from Syria.

  • Growing demand for Russian arms in the Middle East: The Syria Effect?

    A quick look on arms transfers databases reveals a growing demand for Russian arms in the Middle East. In 2012, Russia delivered weapons to four countries (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan and the UAE – in addition to Syria and Iran). Five years later, in 2017, it delivered weapons to eight countries (Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Qatar, the UAE and Turkey – in addition to Syria and Iran), and sales grew in variety, size and value. Compared to 2012, the sales, according to announced figures and estimates, at least doubled in size, both because of the expansion to new markets and increased sales to traditional partners. What could explain this increased interest in Russian weapons? Is President Vladimir Putin correct to credit the boost to the “marketing effect” of the Syrian war? Or are there other, more important, factors at play?

    The Russian military industrial complex showcased the best it has to offer in Syria, deploying a vast array of naval, air and ground weapon systems. Furthermore, the conflict has served as a major testing ground. According to various statements by Russian officials, a minimum of 60 and up to 200 of these weapons have been tested in combat for the first time in Syria. “Combat-proven” is in itself a major marketing argument. As Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said in 2017, “it cannot be overestimated (…) Customers have started queuing up for the weapons that have proven themselves in Syria.” Among those publicly confirmed first-time combat-tested weapons were both examples of the latest Russian state-of-the-art technology, as well as weapons serving in the Russian military for decades.

    “it cannot be overestimated (…) Customers have started queuing up for the weapons that have proven themselves in Syria” – Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov.

  • Europe’s forgotten war : The Georgia-Russia conflict explained a decade on | Euronews

    Moscow’s annexation of Crimea may have been prevented if Europe and others had ‘reacted adequately’ to Russia’s war with Georgia a decade ago, it’s been claimed.

    Expert George Mchedlishvili told Euronews that by forgiving Russia, the west had emboldened it ahead of the conflict in Ukraine.

    #géorgie #ossétie #russie #ossétie_du_sud
    The deadly five-day conflict, fought over Georgia’s separatist regions South Ossetia and Abkhazia, erupted on the night of August 7-8, 2008.

    Here we explain the roots of the war, the impact it’s had over the last decade and prospects for the future.
    What’s the background to the conflict?

    South Ossetians were accused of siding with the Kremlin after the Red Army invaded Georgia in the early 1920s.

    As a result, it ended up as an autonomous region within Soviet Georgia, with North Ossetia, on the other side of the Caucasus Mountains, part of Russia.

    Fast forward to the early 1990s, when the break-up of the Soviet Union saw Georgia gain independence from Moscow.

    The subsequent coming to power of Georgian nationalist Zviad Gamsakhurdia helped stoke separatist sentiment in South Ossetia and after flashes of violence it claimed independence from Georgia in 1992.

    Others say powerful figures within the Russian military, annoyed at the breakup of the Soviet Union, encouraged South Ossetians to rise-up in order to weaken Georgia and get revenge for its departure.

  • Russian navy put on high alert off Ukraine coast : sources | Reuters

    Sources close to the Russian military said on Thursday that Russian naval forces in the Black Sea had been put on heightened alert to discourage Ukraine from trying to disrupt the soccer World Cup as the tournament got under way.

    However, the Defence Ministry itself dismissed the reports, saying in a statement: “The forces of the Black Sea Fleet are working in routine mode. No measures to put (them) on high combat alert have taken place.

    Reuters was not able to verify a Ukrainian build-up independently, and there was no confirmation of that from officials in Kiev.

    One of the military sources said there were concerns that Ukraine was building up its military presence in the area as a “provocation” during the tournament.

    Three sources said Russia’s forces around the Black Sea Crimea peninsula had been put on a state of high combat readiness. Two of them said it was linked to the tournament.

    Trois sources russes insiders, longuement rapportées, pas de vérification indépendante, même pas côté ukrainien…

    Comment qu’c’est déjà ?
    « toute allégation ou imputation d’un fait dépourvu d’éléments vérifiables de nature à rendre l’information vraisemblable »
    ah non, ça c’est le projet initial, le dépourvu d’éléments vérifiables est tombé, sans doute parce que trop facilement … vérifiable : Reuters lui-même l’annonce. Actuellement, c’est :
    « toute allégation ou imputation d’un fait, inexacte ou trompeuse, constitue une fausse information »

    Vous en pensez quoi, M’dame la juge ?

  • Russian electronic warfare firm to upgrade products after studying US Tomahawks downed in Syria — RT World News

    Alleged fragments of missiles fired by the US-led coalition on April 13-14 and shot down by the Syrian air defense forces, as shown by the Russian defense ministry.
    © Igor Ermachenkov / Sputnik

    A Russian military contractor, specializing in electronic warfare, will use information gained from dissecting a US Tomahawk cruise missile, used during an attack on Syria, to boost the capabilities of its own equipment.
    The missile, delivered to Russia after the tri-party night attack on Syrian government targets by the US, the UK and France in April, is of particular interest to KRET, a leading developer of electronic equipment for the Russian military, according to Vladimir Mikheev, an aide to the company’s First Deputy Director Vladimir Zverev.

    Our new equipment needs to cover all spectra, optical and radio, which we found in the products of our counterparts,” Mikheev told Radio Sputnik.

    As specialists we were very interested in seeing the real-life use of various weapon systems in Syria, including the Tomahawks. Now having this missile in our hands we clearly know what channels it uses to communicate control, navigation and geolocation information,” he explained.

    Mikheev said incorporating the knowledge gained from studying the US cruise missiles will take KRET two to three years. It will help Russian electronic warfare systems be better in countering American missiles “on all stages of combat deployment” he said.

    Earlier reports claimed that Russia obtained at least two US missiles fired at Syria on April 14 in relatively undamaged state.

  • En quelques heures, les tensions internationales montent d’un cran en Syrie - L’Orient-Le Jour

    L’aviation américaine abat un chasseur syrien, des affrontements ont lieu entre les troupes gouvernementales et les rebelles soutenus par les Etats-Unis, l’Iran annonce des tirs de missiles dans la région de Deir ez-Zor.

    • Россия приостановит действие меморандума с США по полетам над Сирией

      Минобороны РФ с 19 июня прекращает взаимодействие с США в рамках меморандума о предотвращении инцидентов в небе над Сирией, говорится в сообщении российского оборонного ведомства.

      Авиация возглавляемой США коалиции по борьбе с ИГ сбила сирийский Су-22 в провинции Ракка после того, как тот якобы сбросил бомбы вблизи позиций SDF, сообщили ранее в коалиции. Дамаск заявил, что самолет сирийских ВВС выполнял задание против ИГ.

      «Министерство обороны Российской Федерации с 19 июня с.г. прекращает взаимодействие с американской стороной в рамках меморандума о предотвращении инцидентов и обеспечении безопасности полетов авиации в ходе операций в Сирии и требует тщательного расследования американским командованием с предоставлением его результатов и принятых мерах», — говорится в сообщении Минобороны РФ.

    • En angliche: Russian military halts Syria sky incident prevention interactions with US as of June 19

      “In the areas of combat missions of Russian air fleet in Syrian skies, any airborne objects, including aircraft and unmanned vehicles of the [US-led] international coalition, located to the west of the Euphrates River, will be tracked by Russian ground and air defense forces as air targets,” the Russian Ministry of Defense stated.

      Downing the military jet within Syrian airspace “cynically” violates the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic, Russian military said.

      The actions of the US Air Force are in fact “military aggression” against Syria, the statement adds.

      The ministry emphasized that Russian warplanes were on a mission in Syrian airspace during the US-led coalition’s attack on the Syrian Su-22, while the coalition failed to use the communication line to prevent an incident.

      “The command of the coalition forces did not use the existing communication channel between the air commands of Al Udeid Airbase (in Qatar) and the Khmeimim Airbase to prevent incidents in Syrian airspace.”

    • Syria conflict : Russia issues warning after US coalition downs jet - BBC News

      Any aircraft, including planes and drones belonging to the international coalition operating west of the Euphrates river, will be tracked by Russian anti-aircraft forces in the sky and on the ground and treated as targets,” the Russian defence ministry said.
      It denied the US had used a communications channel before the Su-22 fighter bomber was downed.
      Russia’s ministry of defence has responded sharply. In addition to the usual rhetoric - the charge that the US is violating Syrian sovereignty and breaking international law - there is a practical step - the immediate suspension of the co-ordination channel set up to avoid clashes between US and Russian forces.

      There is a threat too, namely that in areas where Russian aircraft are operating, coalition drones and aircraft west of the Euphrates river will be tracked and “treated as targets”. It should be noted that the co-ordination mechanism has generally worked well and its operation is as much in Moscow’s as Washington’s interest.

      Dans la déclaration de S. K. Choïgou (non nommé dans la dépêche) il ne s’agit pas d’une « menace » mais d’un état de fait.

  • US intelligence intercepted communications between Syrian military and chemical experts -

    The US did not know prior to the attack it was going to happen, the official emphasized. The US scoops up such a large volume of communications intercepts in areas like Syria and Iraq, the material often is not processed unless there is a particular event that requires analysts to go back and look for supporting intelligence material.
    So far there are no intelligence intercepts that have been found directly confirming that Russian military or intelligence officials communicated about the attack. The official said the likelihood is the Russians are more careful in their communications to avoid being intercepted.
    The Russian and Syrian governments have both denied involvement in the chemical attack.

  • Russian Defense Ministry’s photos of reindeer in the Arctic hold a coded message to the world — Quartz

    As Reuters notes, Russia is engaging in its largest military expansion since the fall of the Soviet Union, focusing heavily on Arctic regions. Up for grabs are massive deposits of oil and gas. While oil prices worldwide remain low, Russia is laying the groundwork for regional dominance, including building up a fleet of nuclear-powered ice breaker ships.
    Russia’s buildup hasn’t gone unnoticed: This week, US troops are conducting exercises with Poland. Two weeks ago, US Marines arrived in Norway.

    #rennes #arctique #russie #pétrole #extractivisme

    • L’angle de l’article me parait vraiment débile…

      • c’est quoi le message « codé » ?

      • première phrase :

      A first glance, the Russian military’s latest promotional photos are hard to take seriously: […]

      C’est bien connu, la mobilité en Arctique ne pose aucun problème que la mécanisation ne puisse résoudre…

  • Here’s why Assad’s army can’t win the war in Syria — Conflict Intelligence Team

    Quand les Russes se critiquent sur leur propre soutien au régime syrien.

    This is why apparently the Russian military and political leadership shall have to take a drastic decision: end the Syria campaign before the end of 2016, withdrawing all troops and leaving only the military bases.

    It is impossible to restore the constitutional order to Syria by solely military means without serious diplomatic, political, economic and propaganda efforts, as well as significant support of the ruined country by foreign states.

  • Top Israeli General: As Long as Erdogan Is in Power, Israel Will Face Problems
    Warning comes amid ongoing efforts at reconciliation between countries; IDF deputy chief of staff also criticized U.S. military’s ’custom of using extensive military force’

    Gili Cohen Mar 18, 2016

    Amid ongoing negotiations toward reconciliation between Israel and Turkey, the IDF deputy chief of staff made rare remarks on Tuesday regarding the negative effects the regime of Recep Erdogan has on the two countries’ relationship. 
    “As long as Turkey is ruled by a party with a strong Islamist orientation, by a ruler as adversarial as Erdogan, as long as this is the situation – we can expect problems and challenges,” Maj. Gen. Yair Golan said at a conference on “The IDF’s current challenges” at Bar-Ilan University.
    Terming Turkey a “very problematic factor,” Golan added that Israel ought not intentionally create hostility and tense relations with Turkey, since Turkey is a “large and powerful country.” Israel should instead strive to reduce tensions with Turkey, “while protecting our principles,” Golan said. 
    “This is a complicated subject but it should not lead us to extremes and undesirable corners,” he added.
    Ties between the two countries deteriorated sharply after a confrontation in the Mediterranean in May 2010 between Israel Navy commandos and passengers on the Mavi Marmara, a ship that was part of a flotilla seeking to break Israel’s naval blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Ten of the ship’s passengers were killed in the confrontation and a number of the commandos were injured in the confrontation.
    Recently, senior Turkish officials have said that the crisis between the countries could soon be over. In Israel, however, it has been stressed that sticking points in the negotiations remain, along with the stance that the optimism the government in Ankara is conveying is overstated. 
    In the conference, Golan also criticized U.S.’s military actions, saying that “The United States has made it a custom of using extensive military force in recent years – I’m not sure it’s to its benefit.” The U.S. military is “impressive,” Golan said, but “in very many ways not much better than ours.” 
    "There are things in which they are better and things in which they are less good,” he said.
    Asked about the IDF’s relations with the Russian military, in light of Russia’s campaign in neighboring Syria, Golan said that while the Russian presence in the region cannot be ignored it’s “not necessarily bad.” 
    The Russians “understand excellently” Israel’s red lines and dialogue with the Russian military was very good, Golan added. Coordination to avoid unnecessary friction between the two militaries is carried out on a very high level, he said.
    “Around certain events, when possible friction arose, we sat together and things were immediately corrected,” Golan said. “We are alright with them, don’t worry.”
    Golan also said that there is no need to use military power to invade Lebanon to wipe out the tens of thousands of missiles and rockets in the hands of Hezbollah. “We should go slowly. If in this chaos our situation is relatively comfortable, and I think it’s relatively comfortable, so let’s not disrupt it. And we will relate to threats from a position of strength.”
    Regarding Israel’s southern front with Gaza, Golan said he was “not convinced that this is a major reason for pride, the fact that we gave a number of years for Hamas and other groups to fire on residents of the border area around the Gaza Strip.”

  • Russian TV stations broadcast secret nuclear torpedo plans | World news | The Guardian

    The Kremlin has admitted that Russian television accidentally showed secret plans for a nuclear torpedo system on air.

    Two Kremlin-controlled channels, NTV and Channel One, showed a military official looking at a confidential document containing drawings and details of a weapons system called Status-6, designed by Rubin, a nuclear submarine construction company based in St Petersburg.


    • Bug or #controlled_leak ?

      Pour ceux qui auraient du mal à lire, RT a déchiffré les petits caractères…

      ‘Assured unacceptable damage’ : Russian TV accidentally leaks secret ‘nuclear torpedo’ design — RT News

      The presentation slide titled “Ocean Multipurpose System: Status-6” showed some drawings of a new nuclear submarine weapons system. It is apparently designed to bypass NATO radars and any existing missile defense systems, while also causing heavy damage to “important economic facilities” along the enemy’s coastal regions.

      The footnote to the slide stated that Status-6 is intended to cause “assured unacceptable damage” to an adversary force. Its detonation “in the area of the enemy coast” would result in “extensive zones of radioactive contamination” that would ensure that the region would not be used for “military, economic, business or other activity” for a “long time.

      According to the blurred information provided in the slide, the system represents a massive torpedo, designated as “self-propelled underwater vehicle,” with a range of up to 10 thousand kilometers and capable of operating at a depth of up to 1,000 meters.

      It remains unclear if such a system is indeed being developed or the slide was presented as just one of the options the Russian military could hypothetically offer. However, according to the leaked paper, the weapons system could be developed by the Rubin design bureau for marine engineering, and may potentially be delivered using nuclear-powered “Project 09852” and “Project 09851” submarines.

  • Poutine, âme d’airain, forêts de pins, guerre et paix | Par M.K. Bhadrakumar – Le 19 octobre 2015 – Source mkbhadarkumar | Traduit par jj, relu par Diane pour le Saker Francophone

    (...) Ma seconde considération était que la Russie a encaissé le coup du lapin de la nouvelle guerre froide et il est important d’obtenir une sensation de première main sur la façon dont il a réussi à surmonter le coup – et, enfin, à inverser la marée – de la stratégie de confinement tentée par les États-Unis. Bien sûr, il a dû sembler évident pour l’administration de Barack Obama, tout au long de l’affaire, que le projet d’isoler une grande puissance comme la Russie était voué à l’échec. Mais alors, Obama a été béni par le don de l’éloquence et a presque réussi à faire croire à un monde crédule qu’il était sérieux au sujet de l’aventure dans laquelle il se lançait. En fait, dans le processus, quelque chose a changé dans la mentalité russe. L’airain est entré dans son âme, et cela se reflète dans la conduite de la Russie sur la scène mondiale.

    Nous avons entendu tellement de lamentations américaines sur une Chine s’affirmant avec autorité. Mais nous n’avions pas encore vu à l’œuvre ce qu’est l’affirmation de soi tant que vous n’avions pas vu le retour de la Russie sur la scène mondiale. Est-ce une bonne chose ? Je pense que oui. Parce que, l’affirmation de soi de la Russie est une garantie de paix. L’équilibre stratégique mondial est extrêmement important pour maintenir la paix et seule la Russie peut fournir les bases de équilibre. Encore une fois, les règles de conduite internationale fondamentales doivent respecter le droit international et la Charte des Nations Unies. Le système international ne peut plus du tout être dominé par une superpuissance. L’insistance de la Russie sur ces règles de base introduit un mécanisme de correction bien nécessaire dans le système international d’aujourd’hui. (...)

    Putin makes his move on Syria
    M K Bhadrakumar in Sochi
    October 22, 2015 16:59 IST

    The sudden, unexpected meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in Moscow late Tuesday, October 20, focused on the diplomatic push to kickstart a political process, according to prominent Russian experts here.

    As a top Russian diplomat, Ambassador Alexander Aksenyonok (who was involved in the negotiations over the Dayton Accord) told me in Sochi today, October 22, Moscow is keen on a political settlement in Syria “as early as possible — which is also our exit strategy.”

    From all accounts, the meeting in Moscow on Tuesday took place in an exceptionally warm, friendly atmosphere. Assad had come at short notice at Putin’s invitation. The two leaders held delegation- level talks as well as a restricted meeting.

    The official transcript by the Kremlin quoted Putin as saying to Assad, ’On the question of a settlement in Syria, our position is that positive results in military operations will lay the base for then working out a long-term settlement based on a political process that involves all political forces, ethnic and religious groups.’

    ’Ultimately,’ Putin added, ’it is the Syrian people alone who must have the deciding voice here. Syria is Russia’s friend and we are ready to make our contribution not only to the military operations and the fight against terrorism, but also to the political process. We would do this, of course, in close contact with the other global powers and with the countries in the region that want to see a peaceful settlement to this conflict.’


    Russia, Iran hold common views on Syria
    M K Bhadrakumar – October 23, 2015

    Sochi – It turned out to be a real treat that the speaker of the Iranian parliament who is on a visit to Russia, Ali Larijani (a key figure in the foreign and security policymaking in Tehran) flew down to Sochi from Moscow and joined President Vladimir Putin on the podium Friday evening to address the Valdai Club members and have a Q&A with us, lasting nearly three hours. Syria, Ukraine, missile defence and Russian-American relations — it could have been predicted that these would be the areas of interest for the audience, which was almost entirely western.

    The ‘hot topic’ of course was Syria, given President Bashar al-Assad’s sudden visit to Moscow on Tuesday evening. (See my column in Rediff Putin make his move on Syria.) The salience that came through is that there is no daylight possible between the Russian and Iranian positions on Syria. Whereas, speculations were rife lately in the western (and Israeli) media that Russia and Iran are not on the same page regarding the future of Syria, and that it is a matter of time before the contradictions would surface.

    Indeed, Russia and Iran are pursuing different objectives in Syria insofar as although both are waging a war against the Islamic State [IS] and other extremist groups, Tehran also has an agenda toward Syria in terms of that country being a frontline state in the so-called ‘resistance’ against Israel as well as in terms of Tehran’s nexus with the Hezbollah in Lebanon (plus of course the rivalry with Saudi Arabia.) Again, Russia would have geopolitical considerations in Syria, whereas Iran has its commitments as an Islamic republic to fulfill. Putin made the following specific points:

    – The Russian military assesses that the air strikes in Syria have already yielded some results, although they are ‘insufficient’ and it will still be desirable if ‘all countries’ could work together in the fight against the terrorist groups.
    – Russia hopes that Iran will join the FM level talks between the US, Russia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. There cannot be a solution on Syria without Iran’s participation.
    – The Syrian army is making progress and this will continue.
    – Moscow is not planning any extension of military operations to Iraq. At any rate, the Iraqi government has not approached Russia so far. For the present, Russia is providing arms and intelligence to Iraq within the framework of the coordination centre that has been set up in Baghdad.
    – Putin had asked Assad whether he’d be open to working with moderate rebel groups to fight the extremists; Assad promised to consider.

    Larijani said:

    – He “totally agreed” with Putin’s analysis on Syria.
    – Iran regards that the Russian military intervention in Syria is legitimate.
    – Compared to the operations against the IS for over the past year and more by the US-led coalition, the Russian operations have proved effective. In fact, Russia has achieved already “much more” than the US-led coalition ever could during the past 18 months.
    – The IS transports its Iraqi oil in trucks moving in long convoys. “Don’t the Americans see these convoys?” The US failed to liberate any IS-held territory in Iraq. It is “playing games” with the IS and is virtually “handing over” Iraqi territories to the IS.
    – The intelligence agencies of “some major powers” have secret dealings with the IS, providing them weapons and so on with a view to use them as instruments to advance their interests. (Putin also indirectly, but forcefully, alluded to this collusion between the US and the IS.) The IS gets huge financial support from regional states.
    – “Long-term strategic bonds” are needed among “responsible countries” so that trust develops amongst them to tackle terrorism.(...)

    Syrian war ends West’s dominance of Middle East
    By M K Bhadrakumar – October 26, 2015

    Three weeks and 5 days into the Russian military operations in Syria, Moscow has achieved the objective of compelling the major external players involved to rethink their established stance on the crisis. Unsurprisingly, new fault lines have appeared in Middle East politics. Last week witnessed a surge diplomatic activity to cope with the new fault lines.

    First, of course, much as the United States dislikes the Russian military role in Syria, Washington and Moscow concluded a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday regarding the ground rules guiding the aircraft of the two countries operating in the Syrian skies so that no untoward incidents occur. In political terms, Washington is coming to terms with a Russian presence in Syria for a foreseeable future. (By the way, an analysis by FT concludes that Russia can easily sustain the financial costs of the military operations in Syria.)

    This, in turn, has intensified the US-Russian diplomatic exchanges on Syria. The US Secretary of State John Kerry met his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Vienna on Friday at a meeting that also included the foreign ministers of Turkey and Saudi Arabia to discuss the various approaches to bringing together the Syrian parties to peace talks.

    Kerry disclosed that the discussions may continue in a wider format (possibly including Iran, Egypt and Jordan as well) next Friday, which suggests that there was sufficient meat in the discussions in Vienna to be followed up without delay. Put differently, some sort of coordinated US-Russian moves on Syria in the coming days or weeks cannot be ruled out. (...)

    #Valdai #Larijani

    • Dans le dernier texte MK Bhadrakumar écrit :

      Meanwhile, Egypt and Jordan have edged closer to Moscow. Russia and Jordan have agreed, in fact, to set up a coordination centre to cooperate on the ground in the fight against the Islamic State. This is a signal diplomatic achievement for Moscow since Jordan has been the ‘frontline’ state from where the ‘regime change’ agenda was being pushed into Syria by the US and its allies. In effect, Jordan has pulled out of the enterprise to overthrow Assad.

      As for Egypt, it has spoken in favor of the Russian operations in Syria and has stated that the fight against terrorism ought to be the top priority, and, furthermore, that Syria’s unity and stability is of utmost concern. Egypt’s stance has displeased Saudi Arabia, which explains the hurried trip by Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir to Cairo on Sunday. It appears that Al-Jubeir could not persuade Egypt to fall in line with the Saudi approach, which continues to be fixated on the pre-requisite that Assad must be removed from power and that in any peace process that comes first.

      Ta ta ta ta L’Egypte qui se rapproche de la Russie quitte à mécontenter l’Arabie Saoudite qui doit normalement payer les deux Mistrals, commandés par la Russie, à la France....

  • NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative says creation of NATO training center in Georgia does not pose threat to Russia

    The opening of a NATO training center in Georgia is not aimed against Russia, James Appathurai, NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, said in an interview with Georgia’s Channel 1 television.

    (intégralité de la brève)

    Vaziani à moins de 10 km au sud-ouest de l’aéroport de Tbilissi.

    Et puisque ce n’est pas dirigé contre la Russie, ce ne peut être que contre l’Iran, alors. Bon, on peut aussi imaginer une alternative à Incirlik, au cas où la Turquie évolue bizarrement, mais cela supposerait l’acceptation des survols par l’Iran.

    NATO Picks Site For Military Training Center In Georgia |

    Vaziani is a former Soviet base that remained in the hands of the Russian military until 2001. Russia bombed it during the 2008 war with Georgia over the breakaway territory of South Ossetia.

  • 5 ways the Russian military is falling apart - Business Insider

    Russia has been saber-rattling so hard that cracks are forming in the blade and the hilt seems to be falling off. The military has been embarrassed by a number of of high-profile failures and missteps in the past few years.
    To be clear, the Russians aren’t helpless and certain units are deadly. They have a large nuclear arsenal, some of the world’s quietest submarines, and an impressive new tank. 

    But here are six reasons Russian military planners can’t be sleeping easy.

    1. Their planes keep falling out of the air.

    2. Their only aircraft carrier needs a tug boat escort and can’t launch fully-armed planes.

    3. They rely on conscripts and soldiers forced into contracts.

    4. Even their domestic displays of power keep going wrong.

    5. Their funding situation is bad and getting worse.

    (je n’ai gardé que les inter-titres et les <strike>6</strike> 5 raisons.)

    En résumé, ils sont mauvais…
    Mais ça n’empêchera pas de hurler au réarmement massif. (article du 18/07/15)

    Russia’s huge military upgrade hit another snag — and Putin is not happy - Business Insider

    Nevertheless, Russia has continued with their hike in military spending, which is estimated to reach $29.5 billion in 2015, with around $4.4 billion to $4.7 billion going towards research and development alone.

  • Putin wants to spend $400 billion on the Russian military - Business Insider

    (AP) — Russia needs a mighty military to fend off threats near its borders, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday, in a stance that reflects soaring tensions with the West over the crisis in Ukraine.

    The Russian leader, whose approval ratings reached an all-time high this month despite a bruising recession, said a “powerful army equipped with modern weapons is the guarantor of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Russia.
    Despite the fact that oil-rich Russia is now in a recession, Putin’s plan aims to spend 22 trillion rubles (over $400 billion) through 2020 to give the armed forces dozens of navy ships, hundreds of new planes and missiles and thousands of tanks and other weapons.

    Il faut descendre dans l’article pour voir que cette dépense représente un programme multiannuel sur 5 ans.

    Le montant total représente moins de 60% de la dépense annuelle états-unienne. En valeur annuelle, cela représente tout de même plus qu’un doublement du budget annuel (52,6 Mds USD, chiffre 2010, surépenses_militaires ).

  • Tiens, revoilà #Limonov et l’#Autre_Russie

    Latvia arrests two Russians for entering military base | Daily Mail Online

    Latvia on Friday arrested two Russian activists after they were caught entering a military base as the country was taking part in U.S.-led military exercises.

    The men, sporting a black and orange St. George flag of the Russian military and holding anti-NATO leaflets, climbed over a wall of the Adazi base on Wednesday, the Latvian military said. They were caught minutes later but formally arrested on Friday.

    Their detention, and a hacking incident in Lithuania on Wednesday, will add to tensions between former-Soviet Baltic states and Russia which have been high since Moscow’s annexation of Crimea last year and its support of pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine.

    The states have large Russian minorities and are on alert for an information war conducted on their territory. Russia has been flexing its muscles around Europe with heightened activity by its warplanes and reports of submarines in Nordic waters.

    The Russian Embassy had no comment on the arrests.

    Latvian Defence Minister Raimonds Vejonis said the incident could be part of an information war but that the “(security) services work appropriately to eliminate such provocations”, according to local news agency LETA.

    The Other Russia, a small militant movement set up by National Bolshevik Party founder Eduard Limonov who wants to create a Eurasian state, said the two men were theirs.

    An investigation has been opened into whether to charge them with spying and attempting to conduct terror acts. If found guilty, they face up to life in prison.

    The Lithuanian Defence Ministry was hacked on Wednesday, it said. Media showed screenshots of its webpage with text saying the military exercises, known as “Saber Strike”, were in preparation to annex Russia’s Kaliningrad enclave, between Lithuania and Poland.

  • Survey Points to Challenges NATO Faces Over Russia -

    As NATO faces a resurgent Russian military, a substantial number of Europeans do not believe that their own countries should rush to defend an ally against attack, according to a comprehensive survey to be made public on Wednesday.

    NATO’s charter states that an attack against one member should be considered an attack against all, but the survey points to the challenges the alliance faces in trying to maintain its cohesion in the face of an increasingly aggressive Russia.

    “°At least half of Germans, French and Italians say their country should not use military force to defend a NATO ally if attacked by Russia,°” the Pew Research Center said it found in its survey, which is based on interviews in 10 nations.
    Not all of the data in the Pew report is bad news for NATO. According to the study, residents of most NATO countries still believe that the United States would come to their defense. Americans and Canadians also largely say that their countries should act militarily to defend a NATO ally, and nearly half of the British, Polish and Spanish respondents say the same.
    But the study highlights sharp differences within the alliance’s ranks. Of all those surveyed, Poles were most alarmed by Moscow’s muscle flexing, with 70 percent saying that Russia was a major military threat.

    Germany, a critical American ally in the effort to forge a Ukraine peace settlement, was at the other end of the spectrum. Only 38 percent of Germans said that Russia was a danger to neighboring countries aside from Ukraine, and only 29 percent blamed Russia for the violence in Ukraine.

    Consequently, 58 percent of Germans do not believe that their country should use force to defend another NATO ally. Just 19 percent of Germans say NATO weapons should be sent to the Ukrainian government to help it better contend with Russian and separatist attacks.

    Support for the NATO alliance in Germany was tallied at 55 percent, down from 73 percent in 2009. Those results are influenced by Germans in the eastern part of the country, who are more than twice as likely as western Germans to have confidence in President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.
    The findings on Russians’ attitudes are likely to be disappointing for NATO supporters.

    Western officials have calculated that economic sanctions will eventually erode Russian support for Mr. Putin’s decision to intervene in eastern Ukraine, but he has remained extremely popular by riding a wave of nationalism and controlling much of the news media. Most Russians are unhappy with the state of the economy, but they tend to blame not Mr. Putin but the drop in oil prices and the West’s efforts to punish Russia.

    Eighty-eight percent of Russians said they had confidence in Mr. Putin to do the right thing on international affairs, the highest rating since Pew started taking polls on the question in 2003.

    @klaus : encore un coup des #Ossis ;-)

  • Les Etats-Unis ont diffusé samedi des images de #satellites censées montrer des armements et déploiements de forces russes. Mais ce n’est pas d’une très grande précision tout ça…

    Ukraine : « We are confident these are Russian military, not separatist systems »
    -- US Mission to NATO (@USNATO) 14 Février 2015

    QUESTION: Let’s – there’s a lot going on, but let’s start with Ukraine.

    MS. PSAKI: Okay.

    QUESTION: So the ceasefire is not supposed to take effect until midnight Saturday.

    MS. PSAKI: Yes.

    QUESTION: But it does not appear that the run-up to this is that – since the deal was done and ahead of the ceasefire, it looks like things are just getting worse, and I’m just wondering what the Administration thinks. Is this a harbinger of doom, or do you still think that this is – that this will work, that the agreement will work?

    MS. PSAKI: Well, we are very concerned about continued fighting along and beyond the line of contact, including in heavily populated civilian areas, and reports of additional resupplies of tanks and missile systems coming across the border from Russia in the past few days, and I have a little more detail of that I just want to go into for a moment here. The Russian military has deployed a large amount of artillery and multiple rocket launcher systems around Debaltseve where it is shelling Ukrainian positions. We are confident these are Russian military, not separatist systems. The Russian military also has air defense systems deployed near Debaltseve. We are also confident these are Russian military, not separatist systems.

    Russian units along the border with Ukraine are preparing a large shipment of supplies to pro-Russian forces fighting in eastern Ukraine. This is clearly not in the spirit of this week’s agreement. All parties must show complete restraint in the run-up to the Sunday ceasefire, including an immediate halt to the Russian and separatist assault on Debaltseve and other Ukrainian towns. Clearly, the same options that have been on the table remain on the table, and obviously we’ll be watching closely to see what happens over the course of the coming days.

    QUESTION: On those – where the information on the Russian equipment is coming from. It’s not coming from Senator Inhofe’s office I hope.

    MS. PSAKI: No, it’s coming from our own internal information we were able to make public.

    QUESTION: U.S. information, not Ukrainian information?

    MS. PSAKI: Correct.

    Daily Press Briefing - February 13, 2015

    • Pour Molodyi Shakhtar (littéralement le Jeune Mineur (de charbon)), situé à 20 km au SSO de Debaltseve, il y a en effet peu de doute que des lance-roquettes multiples ont tiré en direction de Debaltseve.

      Pour le reste, j’imagine que c’est en lisant les marques des pneus imprimés dans la terre qu’ils ont pu déterminer qu’ils étaient russes…

    • Inhofe est l’un des parlementaires les plus conservateurs du Congrès, plus choqué par les photos des abus à la prison d’Abu Ghraib en Irak que par les tortures elles-mêmes commises par des soldats américains.

      Il est également connu pour être l’un des plus inconditionnels partisans de l’État d’Israël. En mars 2002, il prononce un discours au Sénat américain dans lequel il n’hésite pas à qualifier les attentats du 11 septembre 2001 comme une punition divine contre l’Amérique pour ne pas suffisamment soutenir Israël "One of the reasons I believe the spiritual door was opened for an attack against the United States of America is that the policy of our Government has been to ask the Israelis, and demand it with pressure, not to retaliate in a significant way against the terrorist strikes that have been launched against them."

      Il est également connu pour son opposition à la ratification du protocole de Kyoto par les États-Unis, au nom de l’idée que le réchauffement climatique n’a pas de cause humaine. Citation connue : "Se pourrait-il bien que l’hypothèse d’une cause humaine du réchauffement climatique soit une des pires blagues perpétrées à l’encontre du peuple américain ? Il semble bien que oui." - Sénat américain juillet 2003.

  • Updated : Provenance of Photos Showing Atrocities Questioned | Washington Free Beacon

    Titre original (dans l’url) : Exclusive photos show russian military in Ukraine arming separatists (12/02/15 13h15)

    New photographs exclusively obtained by the Washington Free Beacon reveal that Russian military forces have been more involved in the arming and training of Ukrainian separatist forces than previously disclosed.

    Russian tanks, soldiers / Photo provided by Sen. Inhofe

    Certaines de ces preuves porteraient à reconsidérer sérieusement la géographie de la plaine du Don…
    Celle-ci est très facilement identifiable et datable d’août 2008.

    Deux heures plus tard (15h11), (première) mise à jour.

    Following publication of this story, serious questions have been raised about the authenticity of some of the photographs provided by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R., Okla.). Several images of the Russian convoys appear to have been taken in 2008, during Russia’s conflict with Georgia. Given the similarities between the earlier images and those provided by the senator’s office, the Washington Free Beacon is investigating further and will update as necessary.

    Les photos ont été fournies par le sénateur (républicain) J. Imhofe, très en pointe pour la livraison d’armes « létales » à l’Ukraine.

    Évidemment, ce n’est pas de sa faute, mais cela résulte d’un malentendu sur la nature de ces photos qui lui avaient été remises par une délégation ukrainienne en décembre.

    Dans la liste de ladite délégation,

    figurent trois commandants de milices, dont S. Semenchenko (bataillon Donbas), Y. Bereza (bataillon Dniepr-1), A. Teretuk (bataillon Myrodvorets). Semenchenko est un habitué des voyages à Washington. Il y est signalé en septembre ( et en novembre (pas vu ici, peut-être le même séjour qu’en décembre)

    A delegation consisting of Ukrainian members of parliament, a paramilitary leader, and one Georgetown professor gave a senator’s office photos purportedly of the Russian military invading Ukraine that were later debunked.
    Several photos allegedly showing the Russian military in eastern Ukraine that ran on the Washington Free Beacon on Tuesday were quickly shown to actually be photos from other conflicts, some from years earlier. A spokesperson for Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe told the Free Beacon that the office had procured the photos from a “Ukrainian delegation” in December.

    • Le bataillon Donbas combat à Debaltseve

      ARTEMIVSK, Ukraine : Ukraine cease-fire deadline provokes bitter last-gasp battle | World | The State

      On Friday, Ukrainian access to the sole highway linking Debaltseve to government-held territory looked to have been compromised with the apparent capture of Lohvynove, a village just to the north. AP reporters on Friday saw the smoldering remains of two Ukrainian army trucks on a road nearby.

      The Donbass Battalion, a unit with Ukraine’s National Guard that is engaged in battles around Lohvynove, said in a statement that captured combatants had confirmed that Russian troops were actively involved in the battles.

    • Ce serait pas la première fois. En mémoire, les images diffusées dans les TJ lors de la guerre en Irak où on voyait un même tank dans les mêmes dunes du désert alors qu’on nous disait autre chose. A croire que tout le monde est Alzheimer :)

  • What You Need to Know About Joining the Russian Army | Business | The Moscow Times

    Tried to join the French Foreign Legion and didn’t make the cut? Don’t fret — the Russian military has created its own force of foreign citizens to fight Moscow’s wars.

    The Russian Defense Ministry last month announced that foreigners could enlist in the Russian military, a move ostensibly aimed at legalizing the status of citizens of former Soviet republics already serving, but its ranks are open to all foreigners — provided they speak good Russian and have clean criminal records.

    President Vladimir Putin signed the new policy into force on Jan. 2, five years after the proposal had originally been made.

    Now “foreign servicemen can participate in operations during martial law, as well as in armed conflicts, in accordance with [the] generally accepted principles of international law, international agreements and Russian legislation,” said the order, published on the Kremlin website.

    Ruslan Pukhov, director of the Center for the Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, a Moscow-based defense think tank, explained to The Moscow Times that the change was finally implemented to provide legal status to locals already serving on Russian bases in Armenia and Tajikistan.
    By allowing foreign citizens to join its ranks, the Russian military has moved beyond most other modern militaries. Typically, foreigners are allowed to join another nation’s military only after establishing residency, or by special agreements between their governments.

    In the U.S., for example, foreigners can only join the military if they are permanent residents with a green card. While service in the U.S. military does not in itself entitle a foreigner to U.S. citizenship, foreign contractors will be eligible for Russian citizenship after their five-year contract is concluded.

    In this way, the Russian military is taking a page from the French Foreign Legion, which since the 1800s has existed as a largely foreign-staffed military force. Legionnaires, who historically have served on the front lines of France’s wars, can apply for citizenship after three years of service with the French Foreign Legion, or immediately if wounded in action.


    Instructions pour les candidats (en russe uniquement, mais sa connaissance est une des conditions)
    Информация для кандидата

  • U.S. Envoy Blasts Kremlin Ahead of NATO Meeting | TIME

    U.S. Ambassador to NATO Douglas Lute accused the Russian military on Monday of engaging in irresponsible aerial maneuvers that put civilian aircraft in unnecessary danger.

    Avec l’indispensable référence au vol #MH17 dans le sens qui va bien.

    The Kremlin’s alleged indifference toward civilian aviation procedures is seen as particularly concerning to NATO members following Washington’s insistence that a Russian-supplied weapons system was responsible for downing Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in southeastern Ukraine this summer. Russia vehemently denies responsibility.

  • Tymchuk: Four strike groups consisting of nearly 30,000 Russians and Kremlin-backed proxies formed

    Military expert and head of defense think tank Information Resistance, Dmtry Tymchuk, said there are up to 27,000 armed Russian troops and Kremlin-backed proxies in eastern Ukraine divided into four separate strike groups, according to a Facebook post on the morning of Nov. 3. 

    They have in their possession 110-115 tanks, up to 280 various armored fighting vehicles, 80-100 cannon artillery guns and multiple rocket launchers, as well as 500 Russian military armored transport trucks of various design.

    He added that the four strike groups are named after their geographic location: Luhansk near Pervomaisk district, Horlivka-Donetsk, Volnovakha-Telmanovsk and Novoazovsk.

    Some 14,000-15,000 comprise of Russian military and mercenaries, and another 10,000-12,000 from among a radicalized local population.