"The Minstrel Boy to the war is gone
In the ranks of death you will find him;
His father's sword he hath girded on,
And his wild harp slung behind him;
"Land of Song!" said the warrior bard,
"Tho' all the world betrays thee,
One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard,
One faithful harp shall praise thee!"
-- Verse from the Minstrel Boy
MOSCOW- Russia's finance minister said on Tuesday the
country could no longer afford a multi-billion-dollar revamp of the
armed forces approved by President Vladimir Putin, stepping up a
campaign to trim spending as sanctions over the Ukraine crisis bite.
Anton Siluanov said a new defense program should be drawn up to take
into account the changed economic situation, even though the deputy
prime minister in charge of the sector has been ruling out any cuts in
"A new defense program will be prepared now, and in its framework we
want to reconsider the amount of resources that will be spent from the
budget in order to make it more realistic," said Siluanov, appointed
three years ago after his veteran predecessor, Alexei Kudrin, quit in
protest over the proposed military spending.
Siluanov's comments highlight a battle among different factions of
the government over defense spending which has heated up in recent
months, and which will ultimately be resolved by Putin himself.
They could indicate the president is preparing the way to postpone or
trim some defense spending, foreseen at 23 trillion rubles ($576
billion) in the decade to 2020 under his original plan to upgrade 70
percent of military equipment by then....http://www.bignewsnetwork.com/index.php/sid/226447177
-bth: lower oil prices, slower economic growth will directly impact defense spending. But one has to consider that the Russian economy doesn't function as a western one and Putin's vision of a revitalized Russian power will not be abandoned. One negative possibility is that he accelerates his attack on the Ukraine before it can be armed by the west.
A destructive “Trojan Horse” malware
program has penetrated the software that runs much of the nation’s
critical infrastructure and is poised to cause an economic catastrophe,
according to the Department of Homeland Security.
sources told ABC News there is evidence that the malware was inserted
by hackers believed to be sponsored by the Russian government, and is a
very serious threat.
The hacked software is used to control complex industrial operations
like oil and gas pipelines, power transmission grids, water distribution
and filtration systems, wind turbines
and even some nuclear plants. Shutting down or damaging any of these
vital public utilities could severely impact hundreds of thousands of
After annexing Crimea and with troops massed on the border of
Ukraine, Vladimir Putin will not stop trying to expand Russia until he
has “conquered” Belarus, the Baltic states and Finland, one of his
closest former advisers has said.
According to Andrej Illarionov, the President’s chief economic
adviser from 2000 to 2005, Mr Putin seeks to create “historical justice”
with a return to the days of the last Tsar, Nicholas II, and the Soviet
Union under Stalin.
Speaking to the Swedish newspaper Svenska
Dagbladet, Mr Illarionov warned that Russia will argue that the granting
of independence to Finland in 1917 was an act of “treason against
“Putin’s view is that he protects what belongs to him and his predecessors,” Mr Illarionov said.... http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/vladimir-putin-wants-to-regain-finland-for-russia-adviser-says-9224273.html
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
-bth: likely the Russian offensive will wait for the ground to freeze to give off road capability to the armor.