Russia-Ukraine: the big picture

Most Russians Would Back Kremlin In Case of War With Ukraine, Poll Says

  • By Anna Dolgov
  • Apr. 01 2014 00:00
  • Last edited 11:03

Almost a quarter of Russians think war with Ukraine is likely and three out of four Russians would support their government if such a war were to break out, a recent poll showed.  http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/most-russians-would-back-kremlin-in-case-of-war-with-ukraine-poll-says/497115.html

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3-26-14  “The situation in Ukraine reminds us that our freedom isn’t free, and we’ve got to be willing to pay for the assets, the personnel, the training to make sure we have a credible NATO force and an effective deterrent force,” Obama said in a news conference at the Council of the European Union.

Only a handful of countries other than the United States met NATO’s target last year of spending at least 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/despite-wake-up-call-in-ukraine-europe-reluctant-to-bolster-its-militaries/2014/03/27/91e041d4-b4f6-11e3-b899-20667de76985_story.html
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1.3 Percent Doctrine, 98.7 Percent Delusion 

Why Obama can’t convince Europe to spend on defense
Germany spends 1.3% of GDP on defense 
3-29-14  EU leaders retain false confidence in something else: the belief that America will continue to bear the burden — forever, if necessary, and alone, if necessary. And that’s a very dangerous delusion.

Because Putin and company see a different America.   http://www.nationalreview.com/article/374500/13-percent-doctrine-987-percent-delusion-tom-rogan

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Complex Ties: Russia’s Armed Forces Depend On Ukraine’s Military Industry

3-28-14    The Ukrainian facilities which are most important for Russia’s military are Motor Sich in Zaporizhzhya, which produces helicopter engines, Yuzhmash in Dnipropetrovsk, which manufactures rockets and missiles, and the Russian company Antonov’s plant in Kyiv, which makes planes.

In his article for RFE/RL’s Russian Service, Voronov notes that more than half of the components of ground-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) can be traced back to Ukraine and that these rockets carry over 80 percent of Russia’s warheads.
 
The essential components include targeting and control systems, most importantly for Russia’s keystone ICBM, the RS-20B Voyevoda, known by NATO as the SS-18 Satan. The guidance system was produced in Kharkiv at a factory known as “Elektropribor” in the Soviet era and as “Khatron” today.
 
Ukrainian specialists continue to carry out regular inspections of Russia’s strategic missiles in order to certify them for service.
 
Voronov writes that the technical certification is particularly important as even the newest Satan missiles are almost 25 years old and nearing the end of their service lifetime. Moscow needs to keep them operable until 2018 – 2020, when a new Russian-built ICBM, the Sarmat, is due to take their place.
 
Military experts say that Russia itself could carry out the inspections work on the missiles but that losing the cooperation of Ukrainian factories would be a setback….

“The Ukrainian military industry heavily depends on Russia because Russia represents 30 percent of Ukrainian exports and these are the most valuable exports because these are the most expensive,” he says. “It would be extremely difficult for Motor Sich which produces the helicopter and jet engines to find a European market because [the market] is already dense and these engines do not perfectly fit the European and world standards, quality standards, noise standards, pollution standards,” said Sutyagin.
 
Still, the very tightness of the military industrial partnership between Russia and Ukraine makes it an unpredictable factor in the current crisis.

http://www.rferl.org/content/russia-ukraine-military-equipment/25312911.html

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