It seems that one of the most important dimensions of Russia's fixation on Ukraine is one little discussed in the mainstream media. That dimension, namely the importance to Moscow of Ukraine's surprisingly well developed military industrial complex, is a key reason Russian President Vladimir Putin won't let go of Ukraine. Moreover, the bulk of Ukraine's military industrial
complex is in Ukraine's south and east, which adds clarity to Russia's focus on those parts of Ukraine.
Readers may remember the apocalyptic Hollywood thriller, 2012, and the Russian tycoon who owned an enormous jet loaded with exotic sports cars, boasting of the plane, "It's Russian". Well, the truth is, it wasn't Russian. It was Ukrainian. It was an Antonov AN225, the world's largest airplane. Antonov, based near Kiev, also designed and manufactures a medium-size transport plane, the AN70, a series of gliders like the AN15, a regional jet (the AN148), and a series of advanced jet engines. In fact, the Russian president's office owns two AN148-100Es.
Ukraine is also home to Motor-Sich, a firm that designs and manufactures aircraft and helicopter engines, as well as turbine engines for pumps for gas, oil and other applications including power-generation. Basically all of Russia's military helicopters use engines made by Motor-Sich. The firm also makes the engines for Russia's Yak 160 fighter/trainer. Russian military analyst Vladimir Voronov says Russia has an ambitious plan to add 1,000 attack helicopters to its armed forces, but this would be almost impossible without Motor Sich's provision of engines.
Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org provides his analysis of the impact of the recent energy deal signed between Russia and China. He notes that the deal ca...
Quociente Cultural 's insight:
" Here's my brief analysis of the impact of the recent energy deal signed between Russia and China.
I note that the deal can, at least in part, be seen as a counter-measure to US attempts to isolate Russia following the incorporation of Crimea into the Russian Federation. However, I also point out the fact that the talking points coming from the US regarding increasing gas exports to Europe to reduce the EU's dependence on Russian energy are repeated mostly for demagogic reasons. I add that the global shift to a multi-polar world is happening more rapidly than anyone imagined, precisely due to the arrogance and hubris of Washington and the West. "
Vladimir Putin has arrived in Crimea as the region holds its first Victory Day commemorations since Russia's takeover.
The day, marking victory over Nazi Germany in the second world war, has become a key display of Russian patriotism. It was marked in Moscow by a military parade in Red Square, where the Russian president had earlier told a crowd of soldiers and war veterans that those who defeated fascism must never be betrayed – a message with a poignant ring since Moscow has portrayed the interim government in Ukraine as being led by neo-fascists.