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Russia Beefs Up Arms In Face of New Threats

Published: June 11, 2013 (Issue # 1763)


MOSCOW Russias ambitious program to revamp its army and fleet has already produced a missile defense killer that neither modern nor future American missile defense systems will be able to stop, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Friday at a lecture organized by the ruling United Russia party.

We live in a forest full of predators. We should not grieve over this or blame others. This is reality. This is how it is and this is how it will be, said Rogozin, speaking to a group of future United Russia leaders undergoing training as part of the Civil University project.

The Civil University, coordinated by State Duma Deputy Andrei Isayev, is an initiative of the ruling party to train future leaders by offering a series of seminars and public lectures led by top party officials. Prime Minister and head of United Russia Dmitry Medvedev has already given such a lecture, as well as Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin.

Describing Russia as a natural magnet for predatory aspirations of certain states and organizations due to its abundance of natural resources, the deputy prime minister quoted the ancient adage that if you want peace, prepare for war.

Rogozin did not specify which states and organizations might be targeting Russia, but he cited U.S. plans to install missile defense assets in Eastern Europe as one of the biggest challenges.

On Thursday, Russia conducted the first flight test of the new intercontinental missile designed to penetrate any current or future U.S. missile defense systems.

According to Rogozin, there is currently no missile defense system capable of stopping this missile defense killer from hitting the bulls-eye.

Rogozins comments come as the latest reminder of Russias wariness about U.S. plans to install missile interceptors in Romania and Poland, a constant bone of contention between the two sides, with Russia regularly threatening to deploy its Iskander surface-to-surface missiles in nearby Kaliningrad.

Another threat to Russia, according to the deputy prime minister, comes from the U.S. Prompt Global Strike initiative, an effort to develop a system that can deliver a precision conventional weapon strike to any target in the world within one hour. Once operational, such a system would diversify the means of deterrence available to the U.S.

In order to counter this and other threats, Russia has adopted a large-scale state armaments program with a planned budget of more than $600 billion for a complete overhaul of the military. The program received harsh criticism from Alexei Kudrin, who served as Russias finance minister for 11 years before resigning over a disagreement with the increase in defense spending.

These people have forgotten that the arms race was one of the reasons for the demise of the Soviet Union, Kudrin said in a recent interview with Spiegel.

Apart from military threats, Rogozin also cited social networks as a technology posing a new set of challenges.

All likes, all buttons that people click on [on social networks] are analyzed to determine the users preferences. This unites people of oppositional views into separate groups that can then be manipulated, Rogozin said.

A special department exists within the U.S. State Department to deal with these issues, he said, adding that hed met with the head of this agency, and that its objective was to use social networks to achieve U.S. military means in a nonmilitary manner.

A long-standing ally of Putin, Rogozin is known for his nationalist rhetoric, and he revived the pro-Kremlin, conservative Rodina party last September to act as Putins special force..





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Oct. 22


English teachers can expect to receive a few useful pointers today from Evgeny Kalashnikov, the British Council regional teacher, during the EFL Seminar this afternoon hosted by the British Book Center. The topic of todays seminar is Grammar Practice.


Young Petersburgers will get the chance to jumpstart their careers at Professional Growth, a job fair and forum featuring more than 40 major Russian and international companies vying for potential candidates for future positions. The forum not only is a chance to network but also to learn more about the modern business world and to understand what it takes to get the job you want.



Thursday, Oct. 23


AmChams Public Relations Committee meeting is scheduled to meet this morning at 9 a.m. in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center.


Sportsmen get their chance to stock up on all kinds of gear at the Hunting and Fishing 2014 exhibition starting today at Lenexpo. Everything from rods and reels to boats, motorcycles and equipment for underwater hunting will be on sale so that any avid outdoorsman can always be prepared.



Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBAs ongoing Breakfast with the Director series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at Sounds of the Universe, a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the clubs website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit Neophobia at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBAs Marketing and Communications Committees round table discussion on Government Relations Practices in Russia this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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