Posts by Dmitry Gorenburg

Dmitry Gorenburg 11-19-2013
Ilya Kramnik has put together a handy set of summary tables of Russian naval surface ship construction, including contracts signed. The Russian original is here, and re-posted here, for those interested. The total for the Russian Navy as of November 17, 2013: 41 contracted combat ships, incl. 2 universal amphibious assault ships, 2 large amphibious assault ships, 14 frigates, 15 corvettes, 8 small missile boats. Of these, 24 ships are under construction,...
Dmitry Gorenburg 10-11-2013
A couple of weeks ago, I was at the PONARS Eurasia conference in DC, presenting my work on military assistance to Central Asia. During the Q&A, all of the panelists were asked a question that roughly amounted to the following; If you had a minute with John Kerry, what would you tell him were the United States' vital strategic interests in Central Asia? (I'm terrible at remembering what is said verbatim, so I'm probably getting the wording completely...
Dmitry Gorenburg 10-08-2013
Although Vladimir Putin began his first presidential term with reforms that were geared in part toward reducing illegal activity on the part of both state officials and average citizens, the hopes that tax and judicial reform and higher salaries for government employees would quickly reduce the extent of corruption in Russia proved unfounded. Corruption remains one of the most critical problems facing the Russian state and society. This issue of Russian...
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Dmitry Gorenburg 09-16-2013
I would like to highlight a truly excellent report that came out this month on shipborne Russian international arms transfers. The Odessa Network details the network of Ukraine-based companies that are responsible for transporting the bulk of Russian and Ukrainian weapons deliveries to foreign clients. These are not companies are working on behave of rogue individuals, but rather have contracts with each country's official arms exporting agency. The...
Dmitry Gorenburg 08-13-2013
I was back on bloggingheads.tv Foreign Entanglements with Robert Farley (from Lawyers, Guns and Money) again this week, talking about US-Russian relations. We talked about the causes of the cancellation of the Putin-Obama summit, and discussed the two countries’ unproductive paradigm with respect to Syria. We also talked about how  the Russian public has responded to Snowden.  Inevitably, the topic of a potential Olympic boycott in response to Russia’s “...
Dmitry Gorenburg 08-06-2013
President Vladimir Putin has staked his reputation on the 2014 Winter Olympics, scheduled to take place in Sochi, a city on the Black Sea coast, near the Abkhazia border. As preparations for the games enter the home stretch, the Russian government has intensified efforts to ensure security at the event. The threat of terrorism at international sporting events has been highlighted by the recent bombing at the Boston Marathon. The ethnic and religious...
Dmitry Gorenburg 07-29-2013
A week ago, the Russian military completed the largest spot check exercise it has conducted since 1991. The MOD has put out some information on the scale and units involved. The slides were helpfully reproduced by Ruslan Pukhov in his blog.  They are done in the usual Russian style -- it's all about how many planes flew, how many tons of equipment were moved, etc. Nevertheless, there are some interesting tidbits. Here are some highlights. The exercise...
Dmitry Gorenburg 07-27-2013
There have been a number of interesting articles written on the future of the Russian Navy in conjunction with the naval salon in St. Petersburg earlier this month. I’ll try to summarize the interesting points without repeating material found in my earlier articles on this topic. The most recent bit of news is that the Russian navy is planning to order an additional three Talwar class (project 11356) frigates, on top of the six already in the works. The...
Dmitry Gorenburg 07-15-2013
Just a quick note today. My friend and colleague Ilya Kramnik plots out four alternative designs for the new Russian destroyer currently in the works. 1) 7500-9000 tons, ~160 meters long, gas turbine propulsion, top speed of >30 knots Equipped with 1x1x130mm gun, 2 CIWS complexes, 32 universal shipboard firing complexes (Kalibr/Oniks) and 64 Redut shipboard missiles, 2 Paket-NK anti-submarine torpedo systems, 2 helicopters 2) 9500-11500 tons, ~190...
Dmitry Gorenburg 07-08-2013
The Russian Ministry of Defense recently published its activity plan for the rest of the decade. Everyone who can read Russian should go look at the handy summary in table form. There’s a lot of information there. I’ll try to pick out some of the highlights here. The first section covers personnel. Here we find out concrete plans for the number of contract soldiers per year. The numbers are as follows: 2013: 241,000; 2014: 295,000; 2015: 350,000; 2016:...

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