West did not get impressed by Moscow parade

44_1.jpg According to the Kremlin’s plan, the parade on Red Square on the so-called “May 9” day (Soviet Victory Day) should have been a signal to the West that Russia has “again become a powerful state”. The Guardian writes that this was the goal set by a former President of Russia.

 

But Western military experts did not get impressed by Russian presentation. They slightingly noted that most of the military equipment has been known ever since the Brezhnev era. And the army with mandatory draft is mired in scandals over the abuse of conscripts.

 

“If they wish to take out their old equipment and take it for a spin, they’re more than welcome to do so” a Pentagon official said last week, when he was asked whether the Bush administration considers Russia as a threat.

 

According to the newspaper, Britain’s defense attache in Moscow, Andy Verdon, was less grudging:

 

“Their kit may be old, but it’s effective. A rifle bullet fired from a Napoleonic weapon will still kill you,” he pointed out to reporters, as soldiers decked out in second world war uniforms trooped past, one holding a banner with Lenin’s face on it.

 

Gordon Brown and other NATO leaders shouldn’t be worried about a resurgent Russia, the attache said. “This is a statement that ‘we are proud of ourselves and back on the world stage’. But we shouldn’t take this as an aggressive act. Nor are we quaking in our boots. We are not returning to the cold war.”

 

Meanwhile, other analysts, according to Guardian, noted that the source of Russia’s clout these days is oil and gas, not missiles.

“Russia wields its influence in very different ways. It would be more appropriate to parade through Red Square with oil derricks and pipelines,” Sam Greene of the Carnegie Centre in Moscow told the Guardian. He added: “You flaunt what you’ve got.”

 

“The whole ‘My ICBM is bigger than your ICBM’ is so passe,” commented Robert Hewson, editor of Jane’s Air Launched Weapons. “It’s just gesture politics. Anyone who knows about the state of Russia’s military knows investment, technology and production have withered over the past 20 years.”

 

We would also like to remind our readers that most of the weaponry, including missiles, was developed back in the Soviet era, 20, 30 or even 40 years ago. For example, SU-24 fighter jets have been in the Russian arsenal for over 30 years.

 

Strategic bombers TU-160 were adopted as far back as in 1981. Concerning the new SU-34 fighter, it was manufactured in the Soviet Union 20 years ago, then put into production just not too long ago, but most of these aircraft are being exported. Only a few of these warplanes belong to the Russian army’s arsenal.

 

Kavkaz Center

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