New Russian heavy armour breaks cover (IHS Jane’s 360)

Armata MBT

The Russian Ground Forces’ new suite of armoured vehicles have been officially revealed for the first time by the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD), ahead of their formal debut at the 9 May Moscow Victory Day Parade.

The new vehicles are principally clean-slate designs and represent the biggest change in Russia’s armoured fighting vehicle families since the 1960s and 1970s.”

These vehicles include the Armata MBT, the Coaliation-SV AV, the Kurganets-25 IFV, and the 8×8 Bumerang IFV.

Read the full article here.

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“US Army Eyes Ukraine Conflict for Intel on Russian Military Technology” (DoD Buzz)

Still image taken from handout aerial footage shot by drone shows outline o airplane in the snow at the Sergey Prokofiev International Airport damaged by shelling during fighting between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government forces, in Donetsk

“The U.S. Army is working to glean intelligence on Russian military technology from the conflict between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces, American generals said.

The Moscow-backed rebels are waging a hybrid war that includes the use of soft power such as disinformation and cyberattacks to hard power such as truck-mounted Grad rocket launchers, according to Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, commander of U.S. Army Europe.”

See the full article here.

Preparing for War in Lithuania (Foreign Affairs)

U.S. Army Spc. Caleb Roberts fires an M9 Beretta pistol during the Mississippi National Guard's Best Warrior Competition at Camp McCain, Miss., Feb. 20, 2013. Roberts, with Detachment 1 of the 3656th Maintenance Company, was named Soldier of the Year.

“Visitors to Lithuania would be forgiven for failing to realize just how seriously its people take Russia. From Klaipeda to Vilnius, ordinary Lithuanians are preparing for the day that Russian President Vladimir Putin turns from Crimea and the civil war in eastern Ukraine toward them or their neighbors in Latvia and Estonia. Their jitters are understandable; every family in the Baltics has direct experience with Russian occupation. Jurgita Ludaviciene, a book editor, told me that when word of the Soviet invasion came in 1944, her grandfather—a reserve officer in the Lithuanian army—had only two hours to decide what to do. Since the Soviets would almost certainly have sent him to the Gulag, he fled west, leaving behind his wife and two daughters. They never saw him again.”

See the full article here. By Gregory Feifer

Putin reveals secrets of Russia’s Crimea takeover plot (BBC)

Putin

“Vladimir Putin has admitted for the first time that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the referendum on self-determination.

Crimea was formally absorbed into Russia on 18 March, to international condemnation, after unidentified gunmen took over the peninsula.

Mr Putin said on TV he had ordered work on “returning Crimea” to begin at an all-night meeting on 22 February.”

Read the full article here.

How to contain Russia without a new Cold War (Brookings)

Putin

This great article by Thomas Wright argues the best strategy to counter Russia is: 1. Make Article V Rock Solid 2. Create COCOM (Coordinating Committee) II 3. Change the Focus in Ukraine 4. Counter Russian Influence in the European Union.

Read the full article here.