Dedicated Russian thread

Russia, U.S. clash over INF arms treaty at United Nations | Reuters
Russia submits a paper to the U.N. but misses the deadline for the Resolution, so called for a vote by all 193 members. 31 for Russia’s Resolution, 55 against and 54 abstentions. Not sure what happened to the other 63. Maybe they weren’t there?
Russia had proposed a draft resolution in the 193-member General Assembly’s disarmament committee, but missed the Oct. 18 submission deadline. On Friday, it called for a vote on whether the committee should be allowed to consider the draft, but lost with only 31 votes in favor, 55 against and 54 abstentions.
Obviously the US says Russia is already breaching the treaty with their 9M729’s. Russia obviously denies it:
“In a year, if the U.S. withdraws from the treaty and begins an uncontrolled build-up of weapons, nuclear-capable weapons, we will be confronting a completely different reality,” Andrei Belousov, deputy director of Russia’s Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control, told the committee.

He questioned whether the United States was preparing for a war, asking: “Why is it then ... do they want to leave the treaty? Why do they want to build up their nuclear capability?”
The US states it’s tried for five years to discuss this (alleged) breach with Russia who firstly said they weren’t developing and testing them and then said they didn’t fit the range criteria:
U.S. Disarmament Ambassador Robert Wood told the committee Washington had spent some five years trying to engage Moscow on the issue of compliance and that Russia had “denied having produced or tested a ground-launch cruise missile.”

“It’s only recently that they admitted to having produced a ground-launch cruise missile but then maintained that it did not violate the range limits of the treaty,” he said
The US and the EU both hope Russia will destroy the weapons systems (allegedly) breached by the treaty:
“The U.S. has been extremely patient with Russia and our hope is that Russia will do the right thing and destroy that ground-launch cruise missile,” Wood said.

European members of NATO urged the United States on Thursday to try to bring Russia back into compliance with the treaty rather than quit it, diplomats said, seeking to avoid a split in the alliance that Moscow could exploit.
Mattis looks to calm European allies nervous about INF treaty | Reuters
More on Mattis and the possible (albeit it looks certain), withdrawal from the INF Treaty. He says he’s in contact with European govts who want the US to try and persuade Russia to comply with the INF. however, when asked how, there are no responses according to him:
“We are in consultations with our European counterparts, I was speaking about it the day before with the German defense minister, and so as I said the consultations continue,” Mattis told reporters traveling with him to Prague.
NATO meeting in December may be the ‘culminating point’:
Mattis said ministers from NATO would be meeting in Brussels in December and at that point he would have some kind of “culminating point.”
Asked for how to get Russia to (allegedly) comply, no response yet:
Mattis said he had asked his NATO counterparts after the last summit if they had any ideas on how to bring Russia back into compliance of INF treaty, but so far none had come back to him.
He’s not ruling out deployment of such missiles by the US, but it’s only one possible response:
When asked whether he could rule out placing intermediate range missiles on the ground if Washington left the INF treaty, Mattis said: “I never rule things out like that, I also don’t rule it in.”

“There are a number of ways for us to respond, it does not have to be symmetric and it’ll be in close consultation with allies,” he added.
Man killed in blast at FSB office in Russia brought bomb with him - authorities | Reuters
At first glance it looks like suicide bomber has detonated the device he brought with him to FSB offices in northern Russia injuring three personnel. Whether that is the case or somebody walked in and dropped a grenade they were carrying is unknown at this time:
A man who was killed on Wednesday in an explosion at an office of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) in northern Russia brought the explosive device with him, Russia’s anti-terrorist committee said in a statement.

Three FSB employees were injured in the explosion, it said.

Russian news agencies earlier reported that an explosion had occurred just inside the FSB’s office.
1 killed & 3 injured at local FSB HQ in Russia’s north, ‘terrorist probe opened’
What RT say happened:
A blast has occurred at the headquarters of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) in the northern city of Arkhangelsk. The suspected perpetrator has succumbed to injuries and three more people are in the hospital.

Local Governor Igor Orlov told reporters that an unknown device went off and its type is being determined. He also elaborated on the number of casualties.

“Three are in hospital. There is one dead, the person is being identified,” Orlov said.

Russia’s national anti-terrorism committee (NAC) clarified that the person killed in the blast was the one who carried and detonated the explosive device. The three wounded are FSB employees, it added.

“According to preliminary information, the person who entered the building took out of the bag an unidentified object, which after a while exploded in his hands, causing him fatal injuries,” the committee said in a statement.

The incident is being investigated as a terrorist attack, Russia’s Investigative Committee said. A 17-year-old local resident is suspected to have carried out the attack.

The building was reportedly evacuated and a nearby road blocked following the explosion.
Man killed in blast at FSB office in Russia brought bomb with him - authorities | Reuters
At first glance it looks like suicide bomber has detonated the device he brought with him to FSB offices in northern Russia injuring three personnel. Whether that is the case or somebody walked in and dropped a grenade they were carrying is unknown at this time:

1 killed & 3 injured at local FSB HQ in Russia’s north, ‘terrorist probe opened’
What RT say happened:
The security of their offices is on par with their fieldcraft.
A recent VOA article gave a reasonable summary of Russian involvement in CAR and elsewhere in Africa.
From the CAR to Eritrea, Russia’s African Ambitions Unfold
Russian PMCs are essentially a deniable extension of official foreign policy. Under the "Muscovite Mentality" there can be no such thing as an "independent Russian PMC". Entities such as Wagner would not exist if they were not under the full control of the Kremlin.
Russia unable to finish fixing carrier Kuznetsov after shipyard incident

"The sinking of Russia’s only drydock has scuppered plans to refit and repair their only aircraft carrier, leaving the country with the potential loss of the carrier Kuznetsov."
This quote from the story is rather interesting.
The loss of the dry dock and the damage to the Kuznetsov begs the question, is repair even worth it at this stage?
My own opinion is that the Russians would be better off scrapping the Kuznetsov and using the resources elsewhere in their navy. A modern amphibious landing ship would probably be more more use to them than the Kuznetsov.
Austria says it will not expel any Russians over spy case | Reuters
Regarding the recently retired Austrian Army Colonel who is (alleged Sergey) accused of spying for Russia, the Austrian govt have said they don't intend to take any action regarding the expulsion of diplomats (or even 'diplomats') against Russia in this matter. Austria's currently one of, if not the, most friendly EU nation's to Putin's Russia:
“There will be no unilateral action by Austria in that direction,” Kurz told a news conference after a weekly cabinet meeting when asked if Austria would eject any Russians.

Kurz has cited his country’s tradition of neutrality as a reason for not expelling any Russian officials over the Skripal case, even though Vienna is a major diplomatic centre where more than 100 Russian diplomats are posted.

“The relationship between Russia and the European Union is regularly discussed in European forums. That is where this debate belongs,” said Kurz, adding that spying by any country was unacceptable.
The Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz say's it won't improve EU / Russia relations but they believe a channel for communication is fundamentally important:
“This will of course not lead to an improvement in relations between the European Union and Russia. And yes, nevertheless we believe that fundamentally a channel for communication with Russia is important,” Kurz said.
An interesting development:
Russian Veterans Appeal To ICC Over Moscow's Alleged Use Of Mercenaries

Is Moscow's attempt at having their cake and eating it using Russian Army veterans employed in PMCs such as Wagner to promote Kremlin foreign policy, while at the same time denying it about to get exposed by pissed off former servicemen who have been used and discarded?

Are we going to see secret police bully-boys turning up the heat on these people and their families?
A neat example of the "Muscovite Mentality" in how the legal/justice system in Russia is there not to provide an independent branch of government in order to uphold "the rule of law", but to ensure that the "law" is there to do whatever the Kremlin wishes it to do in order to maintain control of the people and the state.
Kremlin critic, facing new charge, sounds alarm on Interpol
Head of Russian spy agency accused of British poison attack dies | Reuters
Is it in the job description that you must be called 'Igor'? Just died:
The Ministry of Defence heaped praise on Colonel-General Igor Korobov, 62, who had run the spy agency, best known as the GRU, since 2016, saying he had been made a Hero of Russia for his service in the post, the highest state award.
Newest incumbent:
.....while state news agency TASS cited a military source as saying Vice-Admiral Igor Kostyukov, the agency’s first deputy head, had been standing in for Korobov during his illness and was the favourite to formally take over his role.
Previous incumbent:
The last head of the GRU, Igor Sergun, also died at a relatively young age. He was just 58 when the Kremlin said in 2016 he had died unexpectedly.
Igor Korobov - Wikipedia
First naval officer nominated to head Russia’s GRU
First Deputy Head of the Russian General Staff's Main Intelligence Department (GRU)Vice-Admiral Igor Kostyukov has been appointed.....
Igor Sergun - Wikipedia

Here's the official TASS obituary. As a minor point, it puts him as being a year older than the BBC story.
Russian Defense Ministry confirms death of GRU head Igor Korobov

The initial unofficial report here gives a few more details on his military career.
Head of Russian military intelligence GRU Igor Korobov dies — source

The defence ministry version has more details as well.
Defence Minister General of the Army Sergei Shoigu on behalf Russian Defence Ministry expresses condolences over death of Head of the Main Directorate of the General Staff Colonel General Igor Korobov : Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation

They don't say it directly, but he appears to have been a fighter pilot before joining the GRU.
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Surprise, surprise... Though personally I'm not surprised.
It appears that one of leading Putin's propagandists has British citizenship.
So called Russian 'partiot' Sergey Brilev refused to answer direct question of RBC journalist about his British passport.
Навальный рассказал о британском подданстве ведущего «России» Брилева

With Putin

With Medvedev (Russia's PM)

With Lavrov (Russia's FM).
Interview with Boris
Brilev's wife lives in London where she owns 700,000 Pounds flat.
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