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Medvedev: Russia may target missile defense sites

HavokFour

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MOSCOW (AP) -- President Dmitry Medvedev says Russia will aim its missiles at the U.S. missile defense sites in Europe if Washington fails to address Russian concerns on its missile defense plans.

Medvedev said that Russia will deploy missiles in its westernmost Kaliningrad region and other areas if Russia and NATO fail to reach a deal on the U.S.-led missile defense plans.

He also said in a televised statement Wednesday that Moscow may opt out of the New Start arms control deal with the United States and halt other arms control talks if the U.S. proceeds with its plans to deploy its missile shield in Europe.

Russia considers the U.S. shield as a threat to its nuclear forces.

Uh oh.  :-\
 

HavokFour

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Plans to counteract the US missile defense shield

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Russia warns it will deploy Iskander missile systems in the Kaliningrad and Krasnodar regions, and in the neighboring Belorussia if there is no agreement over the planned American missile defense shield in Europe between Russia and the US. A spokesman for Russia’s Defense Ministry told this to reporters in Moscow on Wednesday. He also announced that by the 1st of December Russia will raise Aerospace Defense Forces that will be able to effectively handle potential missile threats.

That Russia-US missile defense negotiations have hit an impasse, as the US has refused to give legally binding guarantees that the system would not be aimed at Russia’s strategic nuclear defenses under any circumstances. The US claims the shield is to protect Eastern Europe from a rogue missile strike.

In September 2009, the Obama administration decided to scrap the initial plan for a missile defense shield to be deployed in Poland and the Czech Republic for another one. After 2015, the US wants to install missile defense elements across the countries of Eastern Europe. At a summit in Lisbon a year ago President Dmitry Medvedev proposed a common missile defense network, but NATO refused to accept this plan assuring that it will continue to work on a solution in the future.

Until then the US signed an agreement to deploy missile defense elements in Romania and Turkey and plans to build a tracking station in Georgia and a base for its fleet in Spain. The US stressed that the system will be deployed in any case, together with Russia or without it. Russia promised an adequate military response.

Military experts say it is not time for a war of words right now. The US is unwilling to give up its plans, so Russia has to take reciprocal steps, the military observer of the Komsomolskaya Pravda Viktor Baranets says.

"We are pinned down to facts. If we deploy our forces in the above-mentioned locations, we will be targeting all the missile defense elements installed in Eastern Europe."

Iskander tactical missile systems have a range of 500 kilometers (according to Mr. Baranets, some at a range of 2 thousand kilometers). The missile was reported to be able to carry multiple warheads, both conventional and nuclear.

The deployment of mobile missile systems with a range of 500 km the Leningrad and Kaliningrad regions would allow Russia to target almost anywhere in Eastern Poland and the Baltic region, and in Germany.

At the same time the proposed missile defense system is a multidivisional one. It is clear that Iskanders deployment is just a part of Russia’s “asymmetric” response, the military expert Konstantin Sivkov said in an interview with the Voice of Russia.

"We should understand that no weapons can solve all the problems. The system deployment is one of the measures taken to counteract the US plans. The Defense Ministry said that it plans to move ships to the region, to stop the ongoing disband of one of strategic rocket forces divisions, and to expand aviation forces. This is a bunch of measures to wipe out the possible US threat."

By the 1st of December, Russia is planning to raise Aerospace Defense Forces that will be able to effectively handle potential missile threats. This country’s Defense Minister Anatoly Serdukov told this to reporters in Moscow. He said that the forces will be capable of destroying enemy targets in near space and in the future could be used for defense from stray asteroids.

When the US refused to cooperate with this country on the missile defense shield, President Dmitry Medvedev warned of “another arms race”. He was not heard, though. It may be too soon to speak about the restart of the Cold war, but the ghost of it is wandering, and not only across Europe.
 

Edward Campbell

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This plan depends upon the assumption that the Russian missiles have been maintained and that the rocket fuel hasn't been sold.
 

vonGarvin

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E.R. Campbell said:
This plan depends upon the assumption that the Russian missiles have been maintained and that the rocket fuel hasn't been sold.
I think we'd be prudent to assume that they have been maintained and that the rocket fuel hasn't been sold.


Edited to add (for levity):

0f6d5cbb-2717-41b1-afba-8458ac2e8cba.jpg
 

tomahawk6

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Obama has decided not to deploy the missiles and sold out the UK at the same time. Obama hates Britain its his Kenyan roots. This man is single handidly wrecking our long standing relationship with the UK.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/8304654/WikiLeaks-cables-US-agrees-to-tell-Russia-Britains-nuclear-secrets.html#

Information about every Trident missile the US supplies to Britain will be given to Russia as part of an arms control deal signed by President Barack Obama next week.

Defence analysts claim the agreement risks undermining Britain’s policy of refusing to confirm the exact size of its nuclear arsenal.

The fact that the Americans used British nuclear secrets as a bargaining chip also sheds new light on the so-called “special relationship”, which is shown often to be a one-sided affair by US diplomatic communications obtained by the WikiLeaks website.

Details of the behind-the-scenes talks are contained in more than 1,400 US embassy cables published to date by the Telegraph, including almost 800 sent from the London Embassy, which are published online today. The documents also show that:

• America spied on Foreign Office ministers by gathering gossip on their private lives and professional relationships.

• Intelligence-sharing arrangements with the US became strained after the controversy over Binyam Mohamed, the former Guantánamo Bay detainee who sued the Government over his alleged torture.

• David Miliband disowned the Duchess of York by saying she could not “be controlled” after she made an undercover TV documentary.

• Tens of millions of pounds of overseas aid was stolen and spent on plasma televisions and luxury goods by corrupt regimes.

A series of classified messages sent to Washington by US negotiators show how information on Britain’s nuclear capability was crucial to securing Russia’s support for the “New START” deal.

Although the treaty was not supposed to have any impact on Britain, the leaked cables show that Russia used the talks to demand more information about the UK’s Trident missiles, which are manufactured and maintained in the US.

Washington lobbied London in 2009 for permission to supply Moscow with detailed data about the performance of UK missiles. The UK refused, but the US agreed to hand over the serial numbers of Trident missiles it transfers to Britain.

Professor Malcolm Chalmers said: “This appears to be significant because while the UK has announced how many missiles it possesses, there has been no way for the Russians to verify this. Over time, the unique identifiers will provide them with another data point to gauge the size of the British arsenal.”

Duncan Lennox, editor of Jane’s Strategic Weapons Systems, said: “They want to find out whether Britain has more missiles than we say we have, and having the unique identifiers might help them.”

While the US and Russia have long permitted inspections of each other’s nuclear weapons, Britain has sought to maintain some secrecy to compensate for the relatively small size of its arsenal.

William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, last year disclosed that “up to 160” warheads are operational at any one time, but did not confirm the number of missiles.
 

Canadian.Trucker

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Plan for the worst, hope for the best.  The mere possibility of another cold war beginning is definitely a bad case scenario for everyone involved.  Lets hope it's just a lot of posturing and chest thumping.
 

Edward Campbell

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Canadian.Trucker said:
Plan for the worst, hope for the best.  The mere possibility of another cold war beginning is definitely a bad case scenario for everyone involved.  Lets hope it's just a lot of posturing and chest thumping.


Actually the Cold War served us very well: we reduced Russia from a stumbling, albeit strong giant to a rubbish heap by outspending them because we were (still are) orders of magnitude more productive. The Chinese are becoming more productive, the Russians not so much.
 

Canadian.Trucker

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E.R. Campbell said:
Actually the Cold War served us very well: we reduced Russia from a stumbling, albeit strong giant to a rubbish heap by outspending them because we were (still are) orders of magnitude more productive. The Chinese are becoming more productive, the Russians not so much.
Hindsight being 20/20 the fact that the Cold War did not go hot it is possible to say it served us well, but the mere fact that on a number of occasions fingers hovered over buttons that could have made our little planet cease to exist does not put a smile on my face.  The logic of the benefit of war could be used for WWII in that case since it assisted in bringing about the end of the depression and on the other end carried a wave of economic boom.  Regardless I would not want to see us back in another standoff and staring contest to see who blinks first, because no one would win if it came to blows.
 

vonGarvin

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Personally, I miss the predictability that came with the Cold War.  And, besides, in the Cold War, Germans were both our potential enemies:

ddr_flag.gif


And our friends:

germania-federale.jpg

 

Mirv

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"My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever. The bombing begins in five minutes."    >:D

-Ronald Reagan
 

a_majoor

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In the longer run, it does not matter.

Russia is in the grip of a demographic crisis which could see its population halved by 2035; who will man the borders and run the factories? Even today, while the demographic crisis hasn't struck full force, it is readily apparent that Russia's industrial base is still nowhere near as productive as that of the West, all the factors that caused the Russians to loose the Cold War are still in play; now Russia also has to divide her attention between the West, the Islamic south and China.

Russia also has to factor the reduction of "petrodollars" as unconventional North American oil and natural gas come on the market and keep prices flat or even cause them to decrease. Men, machines and money; the three key elements needed to run or grow an Empire are going to be in short supply as the future unfolds...
 

GAP

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E.R. Campbell said:
Actually the Cold War served us very well: we reduced Russia from a stumbling, albeit strong giant to a rubbish heap by outspending them because we were (still are) orders of magnitude more productive. The Chinese are becoming more productive, the Russians not so much.

China is due for some turmoil....you can't keep that large a population under your thumb, all the while they are seeing what's going on in the rest of the world....They may be loosening up some controls, etc. , but I would suggest people are just going to start, if they haven't already, to ignore the government dictates. When done in large enough numbers the government will react; generally overreact.

That starts the avalanche. It might take 15 - 20 years to reach the tipping point, but it will come.

I don't think the US can out perform China that long, in todays markets and atmosphere....

:2c:
 
J

jollyjacktar

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E.R. Campbell said:
Actually the Cold War served us very well: we reduced Russia from a stumbling, albeit strong giant to a rubbish heap by outspending them because we were (still are) orders of magnitude more productive. The Chinese are becoming more productive, the Russians not so much.

Agreed, at least we knew who the bad guys were, and where they were.  Things were easier.  And, we had a bigger military with new equipment not the slow bleeding to death of a thousand cuts of the last 20 years.
 

Edward Campbell

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GAP said:
China is due for some turmoil....you can't keep that large a population under your thumb, all the while they are seeing what's going on in the rest of the world....They may be loosening up some controls, etc. , but I would suggest people are just going to start, if they haven't already, to ignore the government dictates. When done in large enough numbers the government will react; generally overreact.

That starts the avalanche. It might take 15 - 20 years to reach the tipping point, but it will come.

I don't think the US can out perform China that long, in todays markets and atmosphere....

:2c:


China will, indeed, have ups and downs and, almost certainly, some internal turmoil. But, as I keep saying, culture matters and the Sinic/Confucian culture has a deep, ingrained respect for the top level, national, Chinese authority. When there are problems - and we have already seen some, the Chinese people can and do take quick, often harsh action against local officials but they seem, to me, to maintain a benign delusion about Beijing.

The Chinese Communist party is in the throes of internal revolution; as far as I can tell everything from recruiting through training and all the way to advancement is on the table, including elections of leaders within the party. The party wants to be a "representative meritocracy," whatever that means.

Local elections are already being held - especially in poor regions. When elected officials prove just as incapable as the appointed ones at e.g. stopping floods, earthquakes or droughts the folks in Beijing, behind the red walls, say, "See, democracy doesn't solve your problems."

 

a_majoor

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We really need a Russian superthread. The future under Putin looks to be increasingly unstable and chaotic (with the occasional foreign adventure thrown in to change the focus):

http://www.forbes.com/sites/paulroderickgregory/2011/12/05/russias-voters-have-spoken-anybody-but-putin

Russia's Voters Have Spoken: Anybody But Putin

According to exit polls, Vladimir Putin’s United Russia lost its majority in the Russian parliament in Sunday’s voting. United Russia fell from a two third majority to under fifty percent. Prior to the election, Putin muzzled independent election monitors; so the actual vote was much worse for his former majority party.

To understand the magnitude of this electoral drubbing, consider a U.S. election in which Republican candidates are banned, and the Democrats vie against the Green, Libertarian, and the Freedom Socialist Parties, and THEY FAIL TO WIN A MAJORITY. This was the case in Russia on Sunday. The majority of ballots were not for someone but against the Putin regime.

In his more than decade rule, Putin has eviscerated any and all political opposition. Popular liberal figures, such as Boris Nemtsov, Mikhail Kasyanov (both Putin former prime ministers), and Gary Kasparov have been threatened, intimidated, and jailed. Anyone not towing Putin’s party lines is denied coverage in the Putin-dominated media. Putin has rid himself of major political figures carried over from the communist era, such as Yury Luzhkov, ousted mayor of Moscow.

Governors and mayors are now appointed by Putin. No political opponents can rise from their ranks. The Russian public can name only two national political figures other than Putin and Medvedev (communist Zyuganov and nationalist Zhirinovsky).

Only the shopworn Communists, the clownish Zhirinovsky nationalists, and the Kremlin-allied Just Cause were allowed on the ballot. And these three fringe parties got more votes combined than the Putin machine! This is too big for even a Putin regime to cover up.

We knew this political earthquake was coming. The surprise is that Putin let us see it. A tsunami is hard to conceal.

In the March regional and municipal elections, Putin’s United Russia was shellacked. Despite the absence of any organized opposition, United Russia failed to achieve majorities in seven of the twelve regional elections. In Kirov and Kaliningrad, United Russia got less than forty percent. Few noticed this election result because of the Fukoshima nuclear disaster.

Also Putin’s approval ratings were probing new lows on the eve of Sunday’s election. In September of 2008, 88 percent approved and ten percent disapproved of his performance. By August of this year, 68 percent approved and 30 percent disapproved of Putin. In the space of a three short years, Putin’s previously-Teflon approval ratings fell by twenty percentage points and his negatives tripled. President Obama might welcome such ratings, but in Russia they are disastrous.

Putin’s regime fared even worse in terms of public opinion: On the eve of the election, more people disapproved of his government than approved. At least their ratings are better than our Congress.

Despite Sunday’s electoral drubbing, the political outcome is already sealed. United Russia will rule parliament and will rubber stamp Putin’s initiatives. In the absence of a rule of law, parliament really does not matter anyway. Putin will be elected president in March for a six year term. He will allow only token opposition on the ballot.

But Putin has lost his claim to legitimacy. His high approval ratings were his trump card, no matter how outrageous his suppression of political rivals or of investigative reporters. The Russian people do not like the decade of Putin’s corruption and economic mismanagement, but there is nothing they can do, other than cast protest votes. No doubt, they were annoyed when Putin “announced” that he would be the next president. Russia is a democracy, they had been told.

Putin’s claim that he restored order after the chaotic Yeltsin years is wearing thin. Only 22 percent of Russians think the Putin government can improve the situation of the country. Now a majority see little difference in corruption levels between the Putin and Yeltsin years. Putin, like Obama, must blame all woes on previous regimes, but that argument does not work after more than a decade of rule.

There are no signs that Putin intends major economic reforms. He is wedded to the “national champions” and “state capitalism” that puts so much wealth in his pockets and those of his cronies. Putin has lost the stabilizing influence of his experienced finance minister, who resigned when Putin announced his return to the presidency.

Putin’s former-KGB colleagues and favored oligarchs do not intend to cease their asset stripping and mismanagement of Russia’s economy. Russia’s energy industry will continue to stagnate. Unless oil and gas prices soar unexpectedly and for an extended period of time, the Russian state cannot pay its bills. The worldwide natural gas boom will eventually weaken Russia’s vise grip over Europe. Russia’s legitimate entrepreneurs are fleeing the country.

Putin can only try stunts (bare chested motorcycle riding) and contrive foreign enemies to try to restore his popularity, but the Russian people are not to be fooled. With rising discontent, he must raise the level of political repression. He must constantly be on guard to prevent the one act that could set in motion an Arab Spring in Russia. He has already warned the opposition it must be “loyal” to the greater cause, or else.

Vladimir Putin has become Russia’s Mubarak – an unpopular head of state constrained in his ability to repress those who stand against him. This is an explosive combination.
 

a_majoor

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Another one for the putative Russia Superthread. If this sort of protest movement takes flight, it will hamper Russia's dream of regaining superpower status. Indeed the internal chaos may well take Russia right off the table as a contender for a prolonged period of time (and if this goes on too long, the demographic "bomb" will make this state of affairs pretty much permanent):

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/8948526/Protesters-chant-Russia-without-Putin-as-Kremlins-opponents-stage-unprecedented-rally-by-Moscow-river.html

Protesters chant 'Russia without Putin' as Kremlin's opponents stage unprecedented rally by Moscow river

Up to 50,000 protesters chanted 'Russia without Putin' as they filled a Moscow square to demonstrate in unprecedented numbers against their rulers.
Russia election protests: tens of thousands gather for biggest demonstration since fall of USSR

By Andrew Osborn, Moscow

6:45PM GMT 10 Dec 2011

Comments172 Comments

It was not a chant that many had ever expected to hear, as up to 50,000 Russians from all walks of life stood, the snow falling steadily upon them, a few hundred yards across the Moskva river from the Kremlin.

"Russia without Putin! Russia without Putin!" they roared as they craned their necks to glimpse and hear the slightly-built internet blogger who had just taken to the open-air stage.

Only last year beaten to within an inch of his life for writing something the authorities did not like, Oleg Kashin appeared to be without fear as he addressed his audience, at the biggest anti-government rally to be held in Russia for two decades.

"The most powerful weapon we have," he declared, reading from a statement, "is a sense of our own dignity. We must not take it on and off like we would a velvet jacket."

The crowd of up to 50,000 who had come to protest against last weekend's allegedly rigged parliamentary election filled a square directly opposite the citadel that houses Russia's authoritarian government, and its mood was both defiant and upbeat.

Space was at a premium and people hung off bridges, stood on benches and squeezed into nearby streets, listening as best they could even though the protest was so big that it was impossible for some to hear precisely what was being said.

"This handful of people and their media servants are trying to convince us that the falsification of votes in favour of their party of crooks and thieves is a prerequisite if we want hot water in the taps and cheap mortgages," Mr Kashin told the throng, reading fro

"They have been feeding us that line for the last 12 years. We're sick of it. It is time to break the break the chains. We are not cattle or slaves. We have a voice and we have the strength to get ourselves heard."

The crowd roared with approval. But as flakes of snow swirled in the winter air and the mercury hovered close to zero degrees Celsius, the man who had penned the statement Mr Kashin read was not there to enjoy the moment.

Alexei Navalny, a feisty anti-corruption blogger who is rapidly becoming a leading light in the opposition movement here, was languishing in a Moscow jail where he is serving a 15-day jail term for his part in an earlier opposition protest.

Boris Nemtsov, another prominent opposition leader, was there to rally the crowd though, despite being detained himself last week. Following his lead, people began chanting "Putin out!" over and over again as a police helicopter hovered ahead and more than 50,000 interior ministry troops and riot police looked on.

Such scenes, which were repeated in dozens of Russian towns and cities (albeit on a smaller scale), were unthinkable just a week ago. Mr Putin's grip on power seemed rock solid and his ruling United Russia party's dominance unassailable.

It is true there had been many opposition protests before but they were usually poorly attended, swiftly and violently broken up by the authorities, and put precious little pressure on the Kremlin.

This time it was different. The riot police could only stand and watch apprehensively as tens of thousands of people who had never protested before or even been particularly interested in politics took to the streets.

Yulia, a 29-year-old marketing manager who was there with a group of friends, said she had never been to an opposition demonstration before. "I am just sick of the same old story," she said. "I want my country to change and I want to have a say in how it changes."

Older people including Communist party supporters were there too flying the red flag adorned with a hammer and sickle and equally indignant.

The police and organisers squabbled about the precise numbers but one thing was clear: it was easily the biggest protest against Mr Putin's authority since he came to power at the end of 1999 and represents the first serious challenge to his rule.

Police estimated that at least 25,000 people had turned up, while the protest's organisers claimed attendance was pushing 100,000. Independent observers put the figure at up to 50,000.

"Things have changed," said Yevgeniya Chirikova, an opposition activist who has become one of the Kremlin's most implacable enemies since she started campaigning against a new Kremlin-backed road that has laid waste to her local forest. "A few years ago Putin really did enjoy popular support. But that is something he can no longer take for granted. He is losing support and there is no public relations campaign that exists which can help him."

Russia, she predicted, was on the brink of a new post-Putin era that would ultimately sweep the former KGB agent and his associates from power.

"A new Russia will begin," she said. "These are the most civilised protests in the world. There is no broken glass, no broken bottles and no burned out cars. We just want a new election and we will get it."

The election which has got tens of thousands of Russians from Vladivostok in the East to Kaliningrad in the West up in arms was won by Mr Putin's party last weekend in decidedly murky circumstances. The Kremlin, which has all the levers of power at its disposal, has since insisted that there were no significant irregularities and that it won the vote fair and square.

Conveniently, the head of the country's central electoral commission is a staunch Putin supporter who is on record as saying that "Putin is always right."

But international election monitors saw things differently, reporting serious ballot stuffing and said the contest was dramatically tilted in the favour of "one player.

The opposition has since provided numerous documents and videos which it contends are incontrovertible proof that the poll was massively rigged in the ruling party's favour.

Officially, the United Russia party won just under 50 per cent of the vote, a result which would mean its support base had dropped by 15 per cent in the last four years, something that must have alarmed Mr Putin in itself. But the real figure, experts and the opposition say, is sharply lower.

"Take off 25 per cent and you will be getting near the truth," Leonid Kirichenko, an independent election expert, told The Sunday Telegraph. "They drew in whatever figure they fancied."

Mr Kirichenko, who took part in big protests in the 1990s, predicted that the protests would not change anything however. "It will fizzle out. All this will not lead to anything." Protesters took a different view however and endorsed a five-point programme demanding change. Top of their list was a new election, this time with genuine opposition parties like Mr Nemtsov's People's Freedom Party allowed to take part. Another key demand was for all of the more than 1,000 people who have been arrested in recent anti-Kremlin protests in Moscow and elsewhere to be released.

Most analysts believe that Mr Putin, who has announced his intention to return to the presidency for a third term at the election in May, remains safe for now but that he may be forced to make concessions if he is to keep a lid on rising discontent.

Battling voter fatigue, stalled living standards, growing intolerance of official corruption and a re-energised opposition, he has his work cut out.

Although he has seen his personal popularity rating fall somewhat in recent months, he finds himself in the peculiar position of remaining the country's most popular politician while increasingly becoming a lightning rod for the protesters' anger.

The Kremlin clearly did not expect such a backlash and has implausibly blamed the United States for stirring social unrest on Russian streets. Mr Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, admitted his boss was temporarily speechless on Saturday, explaining that the government was still in the process of formulating its position towards the protesters.

Andrei Isaev, a top official in Mr Putin's party, promised the protesters' voice would be heard but was conspicuously careful not to promise any specific changes.

"Of course people who protest against the election results or against how the election was held have a right to do so," he said. "We live in a democratic country and a democratic society," he added without irony.

"Expressing such a point of view is really important and it will be heeded by the media, by society, and by the state." Some state media did report the protests, something they largely avoided doing before Saturday for fear of angering the Kremlin. One of the country's main news anchors had reportedly threatened not to go on air yesterday evening if his channel refused to report the protest. But in the end he did not have to make good his threat.

As darkness fell in Moscow and the protesters began to disperse, a cult Soviet-era song Changes by a group called Kino began to blare out of loud speakers. The song was an anthem for people protesting against the Soviet regime in the 1980s but has now been adopted by the anti-Putin protest movement.

The protesters said they would give the Kremlin two weeks to announce changes or be back on the streets as early as Christmas Eve. The Kremlin must now decide whether it blinks or runs the risks that the protests will gather momentum and evolve into something akin to the Arab Spring.

Asked whether events here could become a new Arab Spring-style Russian revolution Ilya Ponamaryov, an MP for the Fair Russia party and one of the protest's organisers, said: "We are not there yet. But we are going in that direction."
 

camouflauge

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A missile shield is another expensive smoke and mirrors show that isn't needed. It's a ploy for the military and big business to further fatten their pockets and maintain control. Satellites presently surveil every inch of the surface of the planet and can detect a missile launch as it happens. The source can be determined and then decimated. End of story!
 

SeaKingTacco

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camouflage said:
A missile shield is another expensive smoke and mirrors show that isn't needed. It's a ploy for the military and big business to further fatten their pockets and maintain control. Satellites presently surveil every inch of the surface of the planet and can detect a missile launch as it happens. The source can be determined and then decimated. End of story!

You seem awfully certain of yourself.  How many years have you worked in the satellite surveillance field?
 
A

aesop081

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camouflage said:
It's a ploy for the military and big business to further fatten their pockets and maintain control.

Yes, i am sure that's it  ::)

Satellites presently surveil every inch of the surface of the planet and can detect a missile launch as it happens.

So ?

The source can be determined and then decimated. End of story!

Determining the source and retaliating does nothing about the missiles that have already been fired.
 

a_majoor

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Russia continues to crumble:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/a-fix-for-russian-science-isnt-taking-hold/2011/11/28/gIQAMJD99O_print.html

In Russia, the lost generation of science
By Will Englund, Published: December 21

PUSHCHINO, Russia — For the past decade, Russia has been pouring money into scientific research, trying to make up for the collapse of the 1990s, but innovation is losing out to exhaustion, corruption and cronyism.

In a rut and out of favor, the labs are barely wheezing here at Pushchino, once one of the brimming engines of Soviet science, a special closed city devoted to prestigious biological research. The government has turned its focus to newer ventures.

But the result has been like a great deal else in this country: expensive, flashy and largely hollow. Shot through with back-scratching and favoritism, the government’s science program has tripled its spending in the past 10 years — and achieved very little. The number of papers published in scientific journals is the same as it was in 2000 and as it was in 1990, even while the rest of the world’s output has exploded.

The impact could extend even to the United States, which depends on Russian rockets, troubled by engineering failures, to carry astronauts to the international space station.

Twenty years after the breakup of the Soviet Union, a generation of scientists has been lost, young scientists say, and another is on the way out. Many are lining up to escape abroad, just as in the dark, poverty-stricken 1990s.

Science had prestige and plenty of support in the U.S.S.R. The Soviets wielded a formidable nuclear arsenal, put the first satellite into space, then the first man into space. Dedicated biologists nurtured what may have been the world’s foremost seed bank, ensuring its survival even through the 900-day Nazi siege of Leningrad. Nine Nobel Prizes for physics and one for chemistry acknowledged Soviet achievements.

Pushchino, founded in 1966 in a woodsy spot along the Oka River, about 75 miles south of Moscow, was one of several dozen special science cities built across the Soviet Union, owned and governed by the Soviet Academy of Sciences. With more than a million workers nationwide in its heyday, the self-governing academy — rather than the universities — ran the institutes that conducted research, many in special-purpose cities like this one. The academy dispensed apartments, ran hospitals, paid for nurseries — all to coddle its star scientists.

Today its Russian successor, exhausted and bedraggled as it is, still runs these cities. The academy remains a giant and sprawling organization, and employs the majority of Russian researchers even now. To visit Pushchino today is to visit a tattered remnant of the Soviet way of life.

‘Why am I doing all this?’

Twenty years after the Soviet breakup, the academy is described by its legions of critics as an ossified, geriatric organization, hidebound and hierarchical. Labs are ill-equipped, and pay is skeletal. At the Institute of Biochemistry and Physiology of Microorganisms here, 70 percent of the researchers are older than 50. The director is 73. He makes about $800 a month.

“In 20 years,” says Natalia Desherevskaya, a biologist at the institute, “all the positive things that existed in Soviet times have been destroyed, and replaced by nothing.”

At 37, Desherevskaya is torn between her desire to leave Russia and the inertia, family issues and, as she admits, diminishing ambition that keep her here. Her eyes light up when she talks about her research. But the conditions of her work, and the inflexible authority of the academy’s top ranks, leave her fuming. “Why am I doing all this, just to hit my head against the door yet again?” she asks herself.

Strolling along the town’s broad boulevards of classic 1960s Soviet urban design, she mentions
that more than half her univer­­-
sity classmates from Nizhny Novgorod are now living abroad. Here in Pushchino, as throughout the country, the cohort of those in their most productive years, from 35 to 50, has emptied. Most have left science or left Russia.

Desherevskaya used to share a desk with a woman who’s now in Japan. Her best friend went to Australia. Another colleague works in Scotland.

Hopes for new Silicon Valley

Though under pressure from the government, the Academy of Sciences has been resolute in resisting reform. So the government has decided to work around it.

Under President Dmitry Medvedev’s direction, billions have been budgeted for a high-tech center called Skolkovo, an attempt to create a Russian Silicon Valley. The Kurchatov Institute, which developed the Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons, is an independent center that is in great favor and has branched out into a whole variety of fields. Once the workplace of physicist-turned-dissident Andrei Sakharov, it is now run by the brother of one of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s closest cronies.

At the same time the Ministry of Education and Science is trying to create research centers at Russia’s universities, on the Western model — though the universities themselves are cumbersome, bureaucratic monoliths.

So far, the money hasn’t bought much prowess. In 1998, Russian scientists published about 27,000 articles in international journals; since then, the number has remained stagnant. That means that Russia’s share of global articles has dropped by 30 percent. (The head of the Kurchatov Institute, Mikhail Kovalchuk, scoffs at this, and says the answer is to start up more Russian journals to publish Russian research.)

In 1994, there were more than 1.1 million people working in research and development here. In 2008, the last year for which there are good figures, there were 761,000.

Russia has two universities among the top 500 worldwide, according to a ranking performed every year by a group at Shanghai Jiao Tong University; the United States has 156. Moscow State University, the leader here, has seen its overall ranking slip from 66th place to 74th between 2004 and 2010. In science, specifically, it has been on a decline compared with the rest of the world, dropping more than 10 places since 2007, even as the government has been trying to turn it into a leading research center.

Scientists wonder where all the money goes — though they have an idea.

In the 1990s, after the Soviet collapse, Russia set about building an open and honest system to support science. It created two grant-making foundations, similar to the National Science Foundation in the United States, and invited labs to submit applications.

Stagnation, corruption

But in the past decade, even as Russia rebounded financially, Putin and Medvedev’s government cut back support for those foundations. Instead, ministries prefer to publish notices describing the research they want done — research that typically seems tailored to certain favored labs.

Kovalchuk and Andrei Fursenko, the minister of education and science, portray themselves as forward-looking modernizers doing battle with the creaky Academy of Sciences. (U.S. Embassy cables released by WikiLeaks glowed with praise for the two men.) Yet the Kurchatov Institute, still strong in nuclear physics, publishes very little for all the new types of research it says it supports. And a significant portion of the ministry’s budget — it’s impossible to gauge just how much — goes not to scientists but to companies set up by ministry officials for marketing and promotion of science.

In a country that has seen corruption grow to staggering proportions, scientists complain that grant recipients can be expected to kick back a proportion of the money to the bureaucrat who awards the contract. “Russian science is a replica of the society,” says Alexander Samokhin, a physicist at the Institute of General Physics.

Russia, in effect, now has two competing scientific systems: the moribund academy living out its Soviet legacy on the one hand, and a new, rotten, post-Soviet culture on the other.

Viktor Veselago, 82, is a physicist who did his most important work in the 1960s (involving the negative refraction of light). A member of the Academy of Sciences, he still runs a lab today but a bare-bones one. “I have no young people because I have no money,” he says. “I have no money because I am a product of the Soviet scientific system. I am not a businessman. Business is beyond me.”

Anna Kvitkina is a 28-year-old soil scientist here in Pushchino. She and her colleagues need high rubber boots to do their work, but rubber boots are not included in the list of allowed purchases under the contract they received. Even if boots were allowed, it would take six months to receive them through the legal purchasing channels. Across Russia, scientists struggle in frustration against thickets of bureaucratic regulations to obtain test tubes, reagents, cell lines, pipettes, even light bulbs. Their only recourse, typically, is to cut corners and pray that no one notices. Kvitkina, who is about to enter her most productive years, will be going to Munich next spring on a fellowship; she hopes she can win a permanent position there.

At Moscow State University, the new crop of scientists trying to build a university-based research system includes biologist Sergei Dmitriev, 34. His work involves viruses and protein synthesis, and it’s supported in part by a special presidential grant for promising scientists. He’s a rising star — and also one of the organizers of a protest movement among his colleagues nationwide.

Most of his university friends have gone abroad or gone into business. The way money is spent — and wasted — perplexes him. “It’s just a criminal situation,” he says. The scientists who are best at winning grants seem to be those who are least able to do good science, he says. The government will spend 323 billion rubles — about $11 billion — on civilian science next year, he says, “but most of this money is unavailable for people who actually make science.”

The organized protests, including a public letter to Medvedev and a demonstration in Moscow in October, seem to be persuading the government to allow researchers more flexibility in spending, he says. But Dmitriev and his colleagues argue that a few showy projects can’t sustain a national culture of science.

A system crumbles

The recent run of engineering failures in Russia’s space program mirrors the weaknesses of Russian science. The United States has a direct stake in this, because, since the retirement of the U.S. shuttle, Russian rockets now carry American astronauts to the international space station, from a launchpad in Kazakhstan. So far, the manned program has avoided major problems, but the rest of the system has been falling apart.

Over two decades, bad pay, neglect and low prestige emptied out the technicians who would now be in their 40s and 50s. “The losses were tremendous,” says Igor Marinin, editor of the News of Cosmonautics. And the consequences were real.

In November, the Phobus-Grunt probe to one of the Martian moons launched but was unable to leave Earth’s orbit. In August, the Progress cargo spacecraft failed, as did a rocket carrying a communications satellite. A geodesic satellite launch failed in February, and a rocket that was to put in place three satellites of Russia’s geo-positioning system, called Glonass, crashed a year ago. Medvedev has called for possible criminal penalties.

Marinin says the manned program is the last bastion of quality control, although in September the chief engineer of the cosmonaut training center was charged in a corruption scheme. The gaps in the Russian space program will take years to restore, even as the government plans to double its spending by 2014.

At Pushchino, as in the space program, pockets of quality persist, and more than a few scientists display a dedication that their employers neither deserve nor especially notice.

Desherevskaya, the biologist, was entitled to a free apartment as a young researcher when she came to Pushchino in 1996. She had to wait so long that when one finally became available, she was no longer eligible because she was no longer a young scientist.

She says she has no plans to leave: “In some ways we don’t have any choice. Our lives are inside the system.”
 
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