Army major Deniss Metsavas was a role model for successful integration of Russians in Estonia. He appeared on TV several times posing as a patriotic Estonian. But now he has been exposed as a GRU spy, and suspicion against the Russian minority has soared.
Rosgvardiya general Viktor Zolotov challenges Alexei Navalny to a fist fight in a disastrous public video address. It is discomforting that this guy is in charge of the internal security forces in Russia. Zolotov is also Putin’s old-time friend and former bodyguard.
Russia is reintroducing political officers – zampolits – that bring back memories of political commissars from the USSR. The goal is to ensure patriotism and political unity behind president Putin’s line.
Long work hours are a problem in the Russian military. But now initiatives are implemented to reduce the burden and make life more bearable for the Russian officers and their families.
The submarine Alrosa will soon join the Baltic Fleet. It has a special pumpjet propulsion system, which makes it even more quiet that other Kilo class submarines. At the same time, Russia is retiring an old submarine from service in the Baltic Sea.
Official statistics support the notion that Russia has used Syria as a military training ground. Impressive numbers of personnel and equipment have rotated through the theater of operations.
Shaun Walker has written an excellent book about modern Russian history, identity creation after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the almost fetishized obsession with the World War II victory.
The Russian frigate Admiral Essen tracked down an American Ohio class submarine back in April. That claims a Russian newspaper which puts great pride in the accomplishment. But isn’t it a weird thing to brag about? After all, it does reveal that most of the time you have no clue where the American submarines are.
Nikolas Gvosdev argues in War on the Rocks that Russia’s build-up in the Black Sea Basin is more concerning than in the Baltic Area. This leads me to reflect on the differences. The Black Sea area is more contested, and there is no united deterrence against Russia. But that does not mean that there is room for complacency in the Baltic region.
Here is a video of the Navy Day 2018 parade in Saint Petersburg. Unfortunately, the TV producers fail to show the flagship of the parade, the nuclear submarine Orel. It seems they got their submarines mixed up and showed pictures of a Kilo class instead.