Saturday, November 08, 2014

Composition of Russia's Imports by Country 2012

Composition of Russia’s Imports by Country: 2012 est.
Source: CIA World Factbook.

Finance Minister Warns Russia Can't Afford Military Spending Plan - VOA

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 military spending.
"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....

-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.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

'Trojan Horse' Bug Lurking in Vital US Computers Since 2011 - ABC

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.
National 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 Americans....

Oil demand to supply imbalance ahead

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Vladimir Putin ‘wants to regain Finland’ for Russia, adviser says - The Independent

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 national interests”.
“Putin’s view is that he protects what belongs to him and his predecessors,” Mr Illarionov said....

Monday, November 03, 2014

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

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.....

-bth: likely the Russian offensive will wait for the ground to freeze to give off road capability to the armor.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Russian Tanks Ready To Attack Donetsk Ukraine, Nov 2 2014

'Russian' Convoy Enters Donetsk Ukraine

Isiah 6:8 "Here am I. Send me!"

Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?"
Then I said, "Here am I. Send me!"


Out of the night that covers me,
      Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
      For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
      I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
      My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
      Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
      Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
      How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
      I am the captain of my soul.