Intelligence Summary Russia

Reporting from Janes on Russian Military Affairs

Janes provides a wide range of data, insight and news across global defence and security. Here you will find a summary and curation of content around Russia derived from Janes connected intelligence solutions.

Region of Focus – Cyber:

No direction home: GNSS could be augmented with LEO satellites, signal verification

17 Nov: Recent history has shown that GNSS jamming can cause disruption. Reports of GNSS jamming in Israel in June 2019, which affected civil aviation around the country, blamed Russian electronic attack systems deployed to neighbouring Syria. Platforms like the R-330Zh were reportedly deployed to Hmeimim airbase, northwest Syria, where Russia maintains a sizeable deployment. Janes Analysis – “It seems unlikely that a single technology or approach will emerge to guarantee the integrity of GNSS transmissions. Instead, a combination of measures may be taken that could help to ensure GNSS signals worldwide are protected from nefarious interference.”

Social media disinformation disrupts EU missions worldwide

20 Nov: Disinformation campaigns that target the EU’s military and civil security missions in Africa and elsewhere to undermine their credibility are rising, according to EU officials. A new approach to analyse and counter the problem will be launched in the coming months. “Policy-makers are under pressure to make decisions quickly regarding regions in crisis. If Russia sows enough doubt about things to delay EU decisions by a week or even a day, that can make a big difference out in the field.” 

Military Technology Developments:

Update: Russia’s Southern Military District receives over 200 pieces of equipment

06 Nov: Russia’s Southern Military District (SMD) received over 200 new and modernised pieces of equipment within a month, the SMD’s press service announced on the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) website on 3 November. Equipment. Janes Analysis – “Judging from past MoD figures, the delivery of new and upgraded equipment to different armed services based within the SMD has gradually dwindled from around 2011. As the ratio of upgraded and modern equipment in the SMD’s inventory increases, reported to account for 66% in the summer of 2019, the focus is shifting away from the Southern and Western Military Districts to the Central and Eastern Military Districts.”

Russia’s CBRN Troops test TOS-2 MRL

17 Nov: Russia’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Protection Troops are testing the TOS-2 Tosochka multiple rocket launcher (MRL), the service’s commander, Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, told the Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star) newspaper on 13 November. Janes Analysis – “The TOS-1A MRL is among Russia’s best-selling ground platforms. In July the director general of Rostec’s Rosoboronexport, Alexander Mikheev, said it has been among the top five most popular Russian land systems for almost 20 years of Rosoboronexport’s existence.”

Russia developing tactical hypersonic missile

18 Nov: The Russian defence industry is embarking upon the development of a tactical hypersonic surface-to-surface missile based on the Shipunov Instrument-Making Design Bureau Hermes family of guided weapon systems, according to a 3 November article published in the Russian daily Izvestia. Janes Analysis – “This development may be seen in the context of Russia’s continued drive to introduce hard military power into its force structure. The Russian MoD has emphasised the need for standoff weaponry and extensively pursued long-range precision munitions linked to real-time reconnaissance systems.” 

Russian Domestic Security Affairs:

Russia sends peacekeepers to Nagorno-Karabakh after brokering ceasefire

11 Nov: Russian peacekeepers have arrived in Nagorno-Karabakh after Moscow brokered a ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the disputed enclave. President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced in a joint statement on 10 November the ceasefire and complete cessation of hostilities at midnight Moscow time. Janes Analysis – “Russia brokered a shaky ceasefire on 10 October, the first of three brokered that month. However, this latest ceasefire is likely to succeed as it is enforced by Russian peacekeepers and the agreement stipulates some major territorial concessions by the Armenian side.”

Vanishing act: policing new Arctic routes as ice cover retreats

18 Nov: As the polar ice mass above the Arctic Circle rapidly retracts due to global warming, diminishing ice is leading to increased maritime access to Arctic sea routes. The decrease in permanent sea ice, especially from June to September, has exposed coastal borders, driven increased military activity, and set the stage for the Arctic region to play a prominent role in geostrategic competition. Janes Analysis – “Ice-free conditions between the east Siberian Sea and the western Beaufort Sea increased by nearly three months between 1979 and 2012, and the volume of September ice decreased between 1980 and 2018 by about 69% (declining by an average of 70,000 km 2 a year). With the Arctic melt season lengthening, future maritime activity is likely to be an order of magnitude greater by 2050.” 

Russian Foreign Security Policy:

Russia releases details on naval base in Sudan

12 Nov: Details of a proposed Russian “logistical support point” in Sudan were published by Russia’s legal information website on 11 November. The document has been approved by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and submitted to President Vladimir Putin for his approval. Janes Analysis – “The document included co-ordinates showing the Russian base will be comprised of three areas that are currently inside the Sudanese navy’s base on the north side of Port Sudan, including about 200 m of wharf.”

Egyptian warships complete first deployment to Black Sea

26 Nov: Three Egyptian warships, the Perry-class frigate Alexandria, Gowind 2500-class corvette El Fateh and Ezzat-class missile attack craft M Fahmi , passed through Istanbul and entered the Black Sea on 15 November for the week-long exercise, which was held from 17-24 November off the coast of Novorossiysk. Janes Analysis – “Russia and Egypt usually conduct exercise ‘Friendship Bridge’ in the eastern Mediterranean, and the intention behind holding the joint exercise in the Black Sea this year could be related to a third country: Turkey. Relations between Egypt and Turkey have not recovered since the overthrow of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, whom Turkey had strongly supported, in 2013.” 

OSINT Force Monitoring:

Peacekeeping in Nagorno-Karabakh

Russian forces deployed peacekeeping elements, reportedly 1,920 troops, from multiple units to enforce a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh. The primary element of the taskforce is comprised of the 15th Motorised Brigade, which has deployed two battalion tactical groups equipped with BTR-82A, Orlan-10, Leer-3, and mortars. The taskforce is also supported by Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters from the 3624th Air Base and 332nd Helicopter Regiment.

Long range communications for the taskforce appears to be provided by a combination of 15th Motorised Brigade and 91st C3 Brigade units who deployed with some of the first flights into Nagorno-Karabakh.

  • Logistics support has so far been provided by the 30th Motorised Brigade and 92nd Missile Brigade’s logistics units who have both been identified as deployed mobile power generators to the region.
  • Engineering support including the deployment of Uran-6 EOD UGVs has been provided by elements of the 28th Pontoon Bridge Brigade, the 12th Engineer Brigade, and the 15th Motorised Brigade’s engineering company.
  • Other units operating in the region include the 102nd Military Base who have been manning some checkpoints and transportation, the 80th Tank Regiment who have also been spotted manning checkpoints.

Other Operations

  • During November several Russian ships including the destroyer Vitse Admiral Kulakov, the intelligence vessel Viktor Leonov have been identified as operating of the north eastern coast of Scotland in the Moray of Firth.
  • A pair of Russian warships; one Udaloy Class and one Slava Class, were spotted passing through the Singapore Straits.
  • Russian backed PMCs are reported to have deployed a radar to a suburb west of Sirte in the first week of November. 

 

OSINT Force Monitoring content provided by the Janes Intelligence Unit (JIU). For more information please visit here.

 

 

November 2020

Region of Focus – Cyber:

No direction home: GNSS could be augmented with LEO satellites, signal verification

17 Nov: Recent history has shown that GNSS jamming can cause disruption. Reports of GNSS jamming in Israel in June 2019, which affected civil aviation around the country, blamed Russian electronic attack systems deployed to neighbouring Syria. Platforms like the R-330Zh were reportedly deployed to Hmeimim airbase, northwest Syria, where Russia maintains a sizeable deployment. Janes Analysis – “It seems unlikely that a single technology or approach will emerge to guarantee the integrity of GNSS transmissions. Instead, a combination of measures may be taken that could help to ensure GNSS signals worldwide are protected from nefarious interference.”

Social media disinformation disrupts EU missions worldwide

20 Nov: Disinformation campaigns that target the EU’s military and civil security missions in Africa and elsewhere to undermine their credibility are rising, according to EU officials. A new approach to analyse and counter the problem will be launched in the coming months. “Policy-makers are under pressure to make decisions quickly regarding regions in crisis. If Russia sows enough doubt about things to delay EU decisions by a week or even a day, that can make a big difference out in the field.”

Technology Developments:

Update: Russia’s Southern Military District receives over 200 pieces of equipment

06 Nov: Russia’s Southern Military District (SMD) received over 200 new and modernised pieces of equipment within a month, the SMD’s press service announced on the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) website on 3 November. Equipment. Janes Analysis – “Judging from past MoD figures, the delivery of new and upgraded equipment to different armed services based within the SMD has gradually dwindled from around 2011. As the ratio of upgraded and modern equipment in the SMD’s inventory increases, reported to account for 66% in the summer of 2019, the focus is shifting away from the Southern and Western Military Districts to the Central and Eastern Military Districts.”

Russia’s CBRN Troops test TOS-2 MRL

17 Nov: Russia’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Protection Troops are testing the TOS-2 Tosochka multiple rocket launcher (MRL), the service’s commander, Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, told the Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star) newspaper on 13 November. Janes Analysis – “The TOS-1A MRL is among Russia’s best-selling ground platforms. In July the director general of Rostec’s Rosoboronexport, Alexander Mikheev, said it has been among the top five most popular Russian land systems for almost 20 years of Rosoboronexport’s existence.”

Russia developing tactical hypersonic missile

18 Nov: The Russian defence industry is embarking upon the development of a tactical hypersonic surface-to-surface missile based on the Shipunov Instrument-Making Design Bureau Hermes family of guided weapon systems, according to a 3 November article published in the Russian daily Izvestia. Janes Analysis – “This development may be seen in the context of Russia’s continued drive to introduce hard military power into its force structure. The Russian MoD has emphasised the need for standoff weaponry and extensively pursued long-range precision munitions linked to real-time reconnaissance systems.”

Domestic Affairs:

Russia sends peacekeepers to Nagorno-Karabakh after brokering ceasefire

11 Nov: Russian peacekeepers have arrived in Nagorno-Karabakh after Moscow brokered a ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the disputed enclave. President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced in a joint statement on 10 November the ceasefire and complete cessation of hostilities at midnight Moscow time. Janes Analysis – “Russia brokered a shaky ceasefire on 10 October, the first of three brokered that month. However, this latest ceasefire is likely to succeed as it is enforced by Russian peacekeepers and the agreement stipulates some major territorial concessions by the Armenian side.”

Vanishing act: policing new Arctic routes as ice cover retreats

18 Nov: As the polar ice mass above the Arctic Circle rapidly retracts due to global warming, diminishing ice is leading to increased maritime access to Arctic sea routes. The decrease in permanent sea ice, especially from June to September, has exposed coastal borders, driven increased military activity, and set the stage for the Arctic region to play a prominent role in geostrategic competition. Janes Analysis – “Ice-free conditions between the east Siberian Sea and the western Beaufort Sea increased by nearly three months between 1979 and 2012, and the volume of September ice decreased between 1980 and 2018 by about 69% (declining by an average of 70,000 km 2 a year). With the Arctic melt season lengthening, future maritime activity is likely to be an order of magnitude greater by 2050.”

Foreign Affairs:

Russia releases details on naval base in Sudan

12 Nov: Details of a proposed Russian “logistical support point” in Sudan were published by Russia’s legal information website on 11 November. The document has been approved by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and submitted to President Vladimir Putin for his approval. Janes Analysis – “The document included co-ordinates showing the Russian base will be comprised of three areas that are currently inside the Sudanese navy’s base on the north side of Port Sudan, including about 200 m of wharf.”

Sudanese navy gets Russian training ship

26 Nov: Three Egyptian warships, the Perry-class frigate Alexandria, Gowind 2500-class corvette El Fateh and Ezzat-class missile attack craft M Fahmi , passed through Istanbul and entered the Black Sea on 15 November for the week-long exercise, which was held from 17-24 November off the coast of Novorossiysk. Janes Analysis – “Russia and Egypt usually conduct exercise ‘Friendship Bridge’ in the eastern Mediterranean, and the intention behind holding the joint exercise in the Black Sea this year could be related to a third country: Turkey. Relations between Egypt and Turkey have not recovered since the overthrow of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, whom Turkey had strongly supported, in 2013.”

 

OSINT Force Monitoring:

Peacekeeping in Nagorno-Karabakh

Russian forces deployed peacekeeping elements, reportedly 1,920 troops, from multiple units to enforce a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh. The primary element of the taskforce is comprised of the 15th Motorised Brigade, which has deployed two battalion tactical groups equipped with BTR-82A, Orlan-10, Leer-3, and mortars. The taskforce is also supported by Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters from the 3624th Air Base and 332nd Helicopter Regiment.

Long range communications for the taskforce appears to be provided by a combination of 15th Motorised Brigade and 91st C3 Brigade units who deployed with some of the first flights into Nagorno-Karabakh.

  • Logistics support has so far been provided by the 30th Motorised Brigade and 92nd Missile Brigade’s logistics units who have both been identified as deployed mobile power generators to the region.
  • Engineering support including the deployment of Uran-6 EOD UGVs has been provided by elements of the 28th Pontoon Bridge Brigade, the 12th Engineer Brigade, and the 15th Motorised Brigade’s engineering company.
  • Other units operating in the region include the 102nd Military Base who have been manning some checkpoints and transportation, the 80th Tank Regiment who have also been spotted manning checkpoints.

Other Operations

  • During November several Russian ships including the destroyer Vitse Admiral Kulakov, the intelligence vessel Viktor Leonov have been identified as operating of the north eastern coast of Scotland in the Moray of Firth.
  • A pair of Russian warships; one Udaloy Class and one Slava Class, were spotted passing through the Singapore Straits.
  • Russian backed PMCs are reported to have deployed a radar to a suburb west of Sirte in the first week of November.

OSINT Force Monitoring Details provided by the Janes Intelligence Unit (JIU). For more information on OSINT Force Monitoring, please reach out to the team: https://www.janes.com/defence-and-security-advisory/janes-intelligence-unit/

October 2020

Region of Focus – Caucasus:

Russia to provide military assistance to Armenia if its major cities come under Azerbaijani attack

16 Oct: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov proposed on 14 October 2020 to deploy its military forces in an observer and/or peacekeeping role to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone to monitor the ceasefire. Russia brokered a ceasefire between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on 10 September, but it was broken shortly thereafter and fighting has continued unabated. Janes Analysis – “Russia would only deploy its military in support of Armenia in the unlikely case of military attacks on Armenia’s major population centres causing multiple civilian casualties, or in the case of attacks on critical national infrastructure such as power plants.”

 

Naval build-up and modernisation in the Black Sea region

26 Oct: The annexation of Crimea by Russia in March 2014 marked a seismic event that changed the strategic picture in the Black Sea overnight, decimated the Ukrainian Navy, and handed the Russian Navy a strong grip on much of the northern and central areas. The picture has continued to evolve ever since as regional navies adapt to the new reality. Janes Analysis - “Russia’s emerging anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) strategy seems designed more to keep US Navy (USN) and NATO forces out of key regions within the Euro-Atlantic theatre. Moreover, with new capabilities being deployed to the Black Sea region – like the six latest (Project 636.3) Kalibr sea-launched cruise missile (SLCM)-capable, combat-proven Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines – Russia is seeking to further inflate the surface area of the Black Sea A2/AD ‘bubble’ far out into the eastern Mediterranean.”

 

Technology Developments:

Il-112V planned to enter serial production in 2023

12 Oct: The Russian MoD signed a contract with UAC for the initial batch of two Il-112Vs at the Army 2020 defence exhibition held in Kubinka near Moscow in August. UAC general director Yury Slyusar told media at the show that the two aircraft would be built in the reduced weight configuration. Janes Analysis – “The Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade and UAC foresee high demand for the Il-112V so it is being developed for both domestic and international markets. Manturov said VASO can produce 10-15 Il-112Vs a year.”

 

Russia’s T-90M tanks offer all round upgrades

15 Oct: The T-90M Proryv-3 (Breakthrough 3) main battle tank (MBT) upgrade was conceived after the T-14 Armata and has borrowed certain features from its more expensive and advanced cousin. However, the T-90M is less costly than the T-14, and is therefore set to be fielded in larger numbers, while T-14 will be limited to about two tank brigades. Janes Analysis – “T-90M’s role as an economic alternative to T-14 means that it is not likely to be produced as a new-build vehicle in large numbers, but rather would favour upgrading older T-90 models.”

 

Mulling future Russian armour designs

20 Oct: A radical new proposal for a tank to eventually replace the T-14 Armata main battle tank (MBT) was floated by Russian state news outlet TASS during the Armiya 2020 exhibition. The article, originally published on 25 August, includes a description of a future concept for a tank from experts at Russia’s 38th Research and Testing Institute of Armoured Weapons and Equipment. Janes Analysis – “There are several elements of the 38th Institute’s concept that warrant a further investigation. At first glance the use of an articulated hull seems sensible; it would enable the vehicle to reach much higher weights than contemporary tanks and still maintain a good, or even improved, level of mobility.”

 

Domestic Affairs:

Russian Navy fires cruise missile from Arctic island

20 Oct: An NPO Mashinostroyeniya Oniks anti-ship missile has been fired for the first time from the Russian Northern Fleet’s Arctic Trefoil outpost on the Franz Josef Land archipelago. The test firing from a Bastion-P system was announced by the Northern Fleet’s press office on 16 October. Janes Analysis – “The test firing of the Bastion system from the Franz Josef Land archipelago is part of Russia’s continuing build-up of anti-access/area denial capabilities in the Barents Sea region. It comes a month after US and UK warships made a foray into the Barents Sea and appears to be aimed at reinforcing Moscow’s interests in the strategic Arctic region.”

 

Russia demonstrates Orion UAVs

30 Oct: ‘The three Orions were shown arranged on a runway with two control stations, with Russian personnel operating the UAVs in flight. The delivery has not been confirmed by the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) but the news was reported separately by the Abkhazian Network News Agency and Regnum: an independent news outlet based in Moscow. Janes Analysis – “The Orion is the first UAV to be delivered to Russian forces that has the ability to carry weapons built into its design. Small munitions have been delivered by reconnaissance UAVs deployed by Russian forces in Ukraine but this does not represent the kind of capability that the Orion can purportedly deliver.”

 

Foreign Affairs:

Sudanese navy gets Russian training ship

13 Oct: The Sudanese Naval Forces received a training ship from Russia, the Sudanese Armed Forces announced on 11 October. It said a ceremony was held at the Port Sudan naval base where the Russian flag on the ship was lowered and the Sudanese flag was raised. Janes Analysis – “There were reports that President Omar al-Bashir offered to let Russia use Port Sudan as a naval base before he was ousted in April 2019. Defence relations appear to have continued, despite his demise.”

 

Russia begins delivering T-72B1MS MBTs to Serbia

27 Oct: Russia began delivering the T-72B1 MS White Eagle main battle tanks (MBTs) it is donating to Serbia under an agreement to supply 30 vehicles signed by Presidents Vladimir Putin and Aleksandar Vučić in December 2016, Serbian ambassador to Russia Miroslav Lazanski told the Serbian service of Russian state-owned news agency Sputnik on 30 October. Janes Analysis – “Lazanski did not reveal the number of tanks already delivered to Serbia but local media reported that 10 T-72B1MSs were airlifted by Il-76 transport aircraft from Moscow and Anapa to Batajnica airbase on 28 October and moved to Niš, where the Serbian Army is forming a new independent tank battalion to operate the tanks".

 

OSINT Force Monitoring:

Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh - Russian military activity in the Southern Caucuses is indicative of Moscow’s desire to maintain good relations with both Armenia and Azerbaijan. Russian forces are assessed to have deployed light forces to positions along the Armenian side of the southern Armenian-Azerbaijan border, likely to deter Azerbaijani forces from attacking sovereign Armenian territory. It is likely this deployment is an attempt to assure Armenia that Russia guarantees its borders without angering Azerbaijan by providing direct military to support. At the same time Russia’s military attaché to Azerbaijan was photographed visiting the town of Barda, alongside Azerbaijani and international counterparts to assess the damage caused by an Armenian artillery strike.

The Russian Air Force conducted one of the deadliest single airstrikes of the Syrian Civil War killing 78 rebels, and wounding over 135 others including civilians.

A Pantsyr air defence system, highly likely operated by Russian backed PMCs, was deployed to Brak air base in central Libya.

The Russian Ministry of Defence has conducted three tests of new weaponry during OCT 2020, including live fire testing of the 3M-22 Tsirkon hypersonic anti-ship missile and the 53T6M ABM missile.

A Russian destroyer, SEVEROMORSK, is operating within 40 nautical miles of Scotland in the North Sea.

OSINT Force Monitoring content provided by the Janes Intelligence Unit (JIU). For more information please visit here.

September 2020

Region of Focus – The Near Abroad:

Belarusian president likely to hold on to power with Russian help

24 Sep: Two small Russian military outposts are stationed in the country and Moscow is interested in additional military installations, which could potentially be used against Ukraine but also to intimidate NATO neighbours such as Lithuania and Poland. The Belarusian Ministry of Defence is also wary of a potential hybrid war threat from Moscow, similar to the annexation of Crimea in 2014 as Russia increased its military presence along its western borders. Janes Analysis - “The announced holding of bilateral exercises will establish a routine Russian military presence in Belarus that could provide cover for Russian military intervention in support of Lukashenka, should Russia decide on this option.” 

Analysis: fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh unlikely to change the wider situation in the region

01 Oct: The pattern of fighting indicates that the goals of the Azeri forces may be to retake the districts of Fuzuli and Jabrayil, which Armenian forces captured from Azerbaijan during the 1994 conflict in the region. Neither district is within the Nagorno-Karabakh region itself, instead sitting just below it. Janes Analysis – “Military involvement by Moscow is therefore assessed to be unlikely beyond maintenance of the Russian base within Armenia. The strained relations between Moscow and Yerevan caused by the departure of the Republican Party of Armenia in 2018 may serve to further limit the prospect of Russian involvement.”

Technology Developments:

Russia to cancel contract for two Karakurt-class corvettes

23 Sep: The Russian Ministry of Defence is planning to cancel the contract for the construction of two 22800 Karakurt-class corvettes at Vostochnaya Verf shipyard in Vladivostok, and as a result the company is preparing to introduce a part-time working week. The trade union at the shipyard has agreed to this move in order to keep as many of the shipyard’s employees in work as is possible. If the five-day working week was retained, the company would have to reduce its staff by 500 employees. Janes Analysis – “The construction of Project 22800 Karakurt-class corvettes is suffering major delays, primarily due to Germany’s refusal to supply MTU 20V4000TE93 diesel engines as part of the enforcement of sanctions against Russia and the slow production of outdated M-507D-1 engines by JSC Zvezda.”

Russia upgrades nuclear submarines

29 Sep: The Russian Navy will acquire the Project 949A Irkutsk nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine in 2023 after it is overhauled and modernised, following the completion of the upgrade of the Project 971U Magadan nuclear-powered attack submarine in 2022, Russian media reported on 25 September. Janes Analysis – “Today the Russian Navy is in urgent need of carriers of high-accuracy conventional cruise missiles, and the modernisation of Project 949A Antey and Project 971U Shchuka-B submarines will considerably support efforts to improve this capability. However, the Russian shipbuilding industry is not in the best shape and delays are the rule rather than the exception.” 

Russia’s repair and modernisation of Akula submarines inches forward

30 Sep: On 5 August 2020 the Russian Navy’s Project 971 (Schuka-B) Akula-class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) Vepr (K 157) was officially placed back in service with the Northern Fleet following the completion of a major overhaul and modernisation programme at Nerpa shipyard in Snezhnogorsk, on the Kola Peninsula. Janes Analysis – “Delays in the Akula repair and modernisation programme are also endemic. In 2016 Zvezdochka’s press-service reported that the shipyard routinely had to begin repair work – dismantling the hull and equipment – while awaiting design documents.” 

Domestic Affairs:

Russia modernises Eastern Military District

23 Sep: Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has reviewed the implementation of the 2019–25 defence plans for the Eastern Military District (EMD) during a meeting of the collegium of the Ministry of Defence in Moscow on 17 September. The EMD covers Russia's border with China and the Asia-Pacific region. Janes Analysis – “The city of Khabarovsk in the Far East has seen strikes and protests since its governor was arrested on questionable charges and taken to Moscow in July, largely it is said for being too popular. Leading opposition figure Alexei Navalny was campaigning in Siberia immediately before he was poisoned in August.”

New Russian military equipment 

01 Oct: ‘Kavkaz 2020’ involved some 80,000 soldiers, including up to 12,900 during active phases, and approximately 1,000 foreign troops from Armenia, Belarus, Myanmar, Pakistan, and China. Janes Analysis – “According to the Russian MoD, troops used combat experience gained through operations in Syria during ‘Kavkaz 2020’, namely integrating reconnaissance and combat assets and countering suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices.”

Foreign Affairs:

Russian MiG-29s have crashed in Libya

14 Sep: Rear Admiral Heidi Berg, AFRICOM’s director of intelligence, told reporters on 11 September that the two MiG-29s were being flown by pilots employed by the Wagner Group private military company (PMC). The causes of the crashes are unclear but might indicate a lack of technical skill, she said. Janes Analysis – “There has been no indication whether the Russian Ministry of Defence, which has a large number of retired MiG-29s and Su-24s, donated the aircraft to the Russian PMC in Libya or demanded payment from a company that is being funded from local sources or another of the LNA’s foreign backers, but not Moscow.” 

China has ordered Mi-171Sh helicopters from Russia

18 Sep: In a 14 September news report about Russia’s Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant (U-UAZ, a subsidiary of Russian Helicopters), broadcaster Phoenix TV showed footage of one of its reporters standing in front of a Mi-171Sh helicopter bearing what appeared to be PLA markings. Janes Analysis – “The Phoenix TV report did not provide any details about the Mi-171Sh, but it seems that the helicopter shown with the PLA markings at the plant will probably be ready for delivery in the near future.”

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