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Agriculture: Commission adopts measure to increase farmers’ cash flow

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A combine harvester harvests wheat in a field near the village of Suvorovskaya in the Stavropol region of Russia on July 17, 2021. REUTERS / Eduard Korniyenko

During a televised session with ordinary Russians last month, a woman insisted that President Vladimir Putin write Polina devitt and Darya korsunskaya.

Valentina Sleptsova asked the President why bananas from Ecuador are now cheaper in Russia than carrots produced in the country and asked how her mother could survive on a “living wage” with the cost of staple foods like vegetables. potatoes so high, according to a recording from the annual conference. an event.

Putin acknowledged that high food costs were a problem, including with “the so-called borscht basket” of staple vegetables, blaming global price increases and national shortages. But he said the Russian government had taken steps to address the issue and further steps were being discussed, without further details.

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Sleptsova is a problem for Putin, which relies on broad public consent. The sharp increases in consumer prices are confusing some voters, especially older Russians with small pensions who do not want to see a return to the 1990s, when skyrocketing inflation led to food shortages.

This prompted Putin to push the government to take action to fight inflation. The government’s measures have included a tax on wheat exports, which was permanently introduced last month, and retail price caps on other staple foods.

But in doing so, the president is faced with a difficult choice: in trying to avoid voter dissatisfaction with rising prices, he risks harming Russia’s agricultural sector, with farmers in the country complaining that the new taxes are discouraging them. to make long-term investments.

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Measures taken by Russia, the world’s largest wheat exporter, have also fueled inflation in other countries by pushing up the cost of grains. An export tax increase unveiled in mid-January, for example, sent world prices to their highest levels in seven years.

Putin faces no immediate political threat ahead of the September parliamentary elections after Russian authorities carried out a broad crackdown on opponents linked to jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. Navalny’s allies have been barred from running for office and are trying to persuade people to tactically vote for anyone outside of the ruling pro-Putin party, even though the other major contending parties all back the Kremlin on most issues major policies.

However, food prices are politically sensitive, and containing increases to keep people largely satisfied has been part of Putin’s long-standing core strategy.

“If the price of cars goes up, only a small number of people notice it,” said a Russian official familiar with the government’s food inflation policies. “But when you buy the food that you buy every day, you get the impression that headline inflation is rising dramatically, even if it’s not.”

In response to questions from Reuters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the president was opposed to situations where the price of domestically produced goods “increases unreasonably”.

Peskov said it had nothing to do with the election or the mood of voters, adding that it had been a constant priority for the president even before the election race. He added that it was up to the government to choose the methods of combating inflation and that it was responding to both seasonal price fluctuations and global market conditions, which were affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Russia’s Economy Ministry said measures imposed since the start of 2021 have helped stabilize food prices. Sugar prices have risen 3% so far this year after growing 65% in 2020 and bread prices are up 3% after growing 7.8% in 2020, he said. declared.

Sleptsova, who has been identified by state television as a native of the central Russian town of Lipetsk, did not respond to a request for comment.

Consumer inflation in Russia has been increasing since early 2020, reflecting a global trend during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Russian government responded in December after Putin publicly criticized it for being slow to respond. He put in place a temporary tax on wheat exports from mid-February, before imposing it definitively from June 2. It also added temporary retail price caps on sugar and sunflower oil. The caps on sugar expired on June 1, those on sunflower oil are in place until October 1.

But consumer inflation – which includes food as well as other goods and services – continued to rise in Russia, up 6.5% in June from the previous year – it’s the fastest rate in five years. In the same month, food prices rose 7.9% from the previous year.

Some Russians consider the government’s efforts insufficient. With falling real wages and high inflation, ratings for the ruling United Russia party are at their lowest for several years. Read more.

Alla Atakyan, a 57-year-old retiree from the Black Sea resort of Sochi, told Reuters she did not think the measures had been enough and that it was negatively impacting her view of the government. The price of carrots “was 40 rubles ($ 0.5375), then 80 and 100. How come? asked the former professor.

Moscow pensioner Galina, who asked to be identified only by her first name, also complained about the sharp rise in prices, especially for bread. “The miserable help people have received is worth next to nothing,” the 72-year-old said.

Asked by Reuters whether its measures were sufficient, the Economy Ministry said the government was trying to minimize administrative measures imposed because too much interference in market mechanisms in general creates risks for business development and can lead to product shortages.

Peskov said that “the Kremlin considers government action to curb the rise in prices of a range of agricultural products and foodstuffs to be very effective.”

AGRICULTURAL FRICTION

Some Russian farmers say they understand the authorities’ motivation but see the tax as bad news because they believe that Russian traders will pay them less for wheat to offset the increased export costs.

An executive from a large agricultural company in southern Russia said the tax would hurt profitability and mean less money for investment in agriculture. “It makes sense to reduce production so as not to generate losses and increase market prices,” he said.

Any impact on investing in farm equipment and other materials will likely not become clear until later in the year, when the fall planting season begins.

The Russian government has invested billions of dollars in the agricultural sector in recent years. It boosted production, helped Russia import less food, and created jobs.

If agricultural investments are cut, the agricultural revolution that turned Russia into a net importer of wheat at the end of the 20th century could begin to end, farmers and analysts have said.

“With the tax, we are actually talking about the slow decline in our growth rate, rather than the revolutionary damage overnight,” said Dmitry Rylko of the Moscow-based agriculture consultancy IKAR. “It will be a long process, it could take three to five years.”

Some may see the impact sooner. The farm manager and two other farmers told Reuters they plan to reduce their wheat sowing areas in fall 2021 and spring 2022.

Russia’s agriculture ministry told Reuters that the sector remains highly profitable and that transferring the proceeds from the new export tax to farmers will support them and their investments, preventing a drop in production.

The Russian official familiar with the government’s food inflation policies said the tax would only rob farmers of what he called an excessive margin.

“We are in favor of our producers making money on exports. But not at the expense of their main buyers who live in Russia,” Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin told the lower house of parliament in May.

Government measures could also make Russian wheat less competitive, traders say. They say this is because the tax, which has changed steadily in recent weeks, makes it harder for them to guarantee a profitable futures sale where shipments may not take place for several weeks.

This could prompt foreign buyers to look elsewhere, to countries like Ukraine and India, a trader from Bangladesh told Reuters. In recent years, Russia has often been the cheapest supplier to major buyers of wheat such as Egypt and Bangladesh.

Sales of Russian wheat to Egypt have been weak since Moscow imposed the permanent tax in early June. Egypt bought 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat in June. It had bought 120,000 tonnes in February and 290,000 in April.

Russian grain prices are still competitive, but the country’s taxes mean that the Russian market is less predictable in terms of supply and price and could cause it to lose some of its share in export markets in general, a said a senior Egyptian government official, the main buyer of wheat.

($ 1 = 74.4234 rubles)


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Brazil cancels order for millions of Sputnik V and will now become ours

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The regional governments of the nine northeastern states of Brazil announced on Thursday the temporary suspension of the contract they signed with the Institute of Aesthetics and the Russian Sovereign Fund to import 37 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine against the COVID-19.

The suspension was due to the fact that Brazilian health authorities had approved the use of Sputnik V in Brazil with several restrictions and the Ministry of Health had not included this vaccine in its national vaccination campaign.

The National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) authorized the import of Russian Sputnik V vaccines in June, but only “certain specified lots” and “on an exceptional and temporary basis”.


The regulator set a series of “conditions” for the use of the Russian immune system in Brazil and limited its application to one percent of the population in each of the northeastern states.

The suspension of the contract was announced in a statement from Consorcio Nordeste, the forum that brings together the governors of the nine states in northeastern Brazil, the poorest in the country.

According to the Northeast Consortium, the contract suspension came at a time when the first batch of one million vaccines was due to be delivered due to “new restrictions imposed by Anvisa as the vaccine is not included in the national immunization plan and the lack of an import license. “

So far, the only vaccines included in the national vaccination plan are those from AstraZeneca, Sinovac, Pfizer and Janssen, which are authorized for use by Anvisa.

“It is unfortunate. Brazil is experiencing a high death toll, with around a thousand deaths per day, and we have vaccines available, but they have been barred from entering the country due to Anfisa’s decision.” , declared the governor of the State of Piauí, Wellington Dias., president of the Confederation of the North-East.

Dias said the contract will be suspended until Anvisa clears the vaccine for permanent and unconditional use.

“We have already suspended the delivery of the first vaccines, and now we agree to suspend the contract until we obtain the authorization and the release of Sputnik V in Brazil,” he added.

This was mentioned by the Russian sovereign wealth fund The doses that will be sent to Brazil will now be distributed to Mexico, Argentina and Bolivia.

Anfisa, in a statement released Thursday, clarified that she demanded that the importation of Sputnik meet 22 conditions in light of the need to “fill the gaps in existing information regarding aspects of quality, safety and the effectiveness of the vaccine ”.

The note stated that “Anfisa confirms that she has not added any other conditions” and confirms that she was “guided by absolute transparency in all her decisions to defend the protection of the health of the population”.

And Brazil, which has recorded more than 560,000 deaths and 20 million contaminations, is the second country with the highest number of victims of the epidemic and the third with the highest number of contaminations, surpassed only by the United States. United and India.

Despite those high numbers, the weekly average of deaths fell as of Thursday to 887 deaths per day, the lowest level in about seven months, and the injury rate fell to 32,460 per day, the lowest in eight months.

The decline in cases and deaths coincides with the acceleration of the vaccination process in Brazil, where about 50 percent of the population has already received the first dose of some vaccines and 21 percent only the two or one dose of the vaccine.


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Russia blocks websites linked to Kremlin critic Khodorkovsky, World News

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Russia has blocked the websites of two media outlets and a human rights group linked to self-exiled Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky as authorities step up pressure on the opposition ahead of parliamentary elections.

Russian internet watchdog Roskomnadzor has restricted access to Open Media and MBKh Media websites, as well as the website of human rights group Pravozashchita Otkrytki following a request by prosecutors , they said.

The rights group and Open Media said Thursday they were closing their doors to protect staff from possible lawsuits.

In a statement on Twitter, Open Media, which was founded in 2017 with financial support from Khodorkovsky, said Russian authorities did not want critical media. “But at least we tried,” he said.

Read also | Kremlin says Biden is wrong to say Russia only has nuclear weapons and oil

A number of independent media groups and organizations have been banned in Russia in recent months as part of a growing crackdown on the opposition ahead of parliamentary elections in September.

Open Russia, an opposition group founded by Khodorkovsky, was designated an “undesirable” organization in Russia in 2017, under a law targeting foreign groups accused of political interference. In May, the group announced it was shutting down to protect its members from prosecution.

Khodorkovsky, who owned oil giant Yukos before being convicted in two controversial cases and spending a decade behind bars, now lives abroad.

In July, authorities banned Proekt, one of the last independent media in the country to devote itself to in-depth reporting on the wealth of Russia’s elite, including President Vladimir Putin.

That same month, the media regulator blocked 49 websites linked to jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, including his main website navalny.com.

The Russian parliamentary vote will take place from September 17 to 19.

International observers on Wednesday said they would not send observers to Russia for the September elections due to a number limit imposed by Russian authorities.


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Latest coronavirus: UK government to update traffic light travel system on Thursday

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San Francisco and six other Bay Area counties have reinstated a universal mask mandate for indoor public places. The requirement goes into effect Tuesday and will require individuals to wear face coverings when indoors in public places, regardless of their immunization status.

A climber wears a mask at the Planet Granite Climbing Hall in San Francisco, which restores mask requirements for all indoor environments starting Tuesday © AP

The United States has administered at least a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine to 70% of American adults, reaching the milestone almost a month later than expected. After a rapid start to the deployment in the United States, daily vaccinations now hover at around 550,000 per day over the past week, from a peak of more than 3.4 million in mid-April, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. .

Target and Home Depot became the last major U.S. retailers to update their in-store mask rules due to the continued spread of the Delta variant. The Home Depot announced Monday that effective immediately, all of its employees will be required to wear masks inside its stores, distribution centers and customers’ homes or businesses, regardless of their immunization status. The DIY retailer said it would “ask” customers to wear face coverings at its more than 2,200 stores in the United States, but did not say it was a requirement.

Boris Johnson has killed the idea of ​​creating an “amber watch list” for foreign holiday destinations, after warning that it could have forced hundreds of thousands of British tourists to cancel European holidays. The British Prime Minister has said he wants to create a system “as simple and people-friendly as possible” as the government prepares to update its traffic light ratings for travel this week.

Fewer people will be asked to self-isolate by the NHS Covid-19 app following changes to technologythe UK Department of Health said on Monday after weeks of disruption and staff shortages across the country caused by the “pingemia”. Previously, if an asymptomatic individual reported a positive coronavirus test, the app would contact anyone who had been in close contact with the individual within five days of notification of the test result.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo reiterated his appeal to private state companies to refuse service to unvaccinated people against Covid-19, as officials announced transport workers will either need to get vaccinated or undergo regular testing. New York City also issued a “strong recommendation” that people wear masks indoors, regardless of their immunization status.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has ordered authorities to review the Ministry of Health call for nationwide lockdown for the first time since the start of the pandemic following a further increase in the number of deaths caused by the highly contagious Delta variant.

Growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector slowed for the second consecutive month in July, plagued by the shortage of raw materials and the absenteeism of workers. The Institute for Supply Management’s factory activity tracking index slipped to 59.5 last month from 60.6 in June. Economists were forecasting a slight increase to 60.9.

The Bank of England should reduce its quantitative easing program before any interest rate tightening once the UK is fully out of the Covid-19 crisis, a think tank has suggested. The Resolution Foundation said that given the slowing UK labor market and slowing economic recovery caused by the spread of the Delta variant, now was not the time for the central bank to raise interest rates. . Rising inflation would prove to be a “temporary” phenomenon, he said in a report on Monday.

The United Arab Emirates have approved the use of the Sinopharm vaccine produced in China for children aged 3 to 17 years. The health ministry said it approved the emergency use of the vaccine, which supported the UAE’s successful vaccination campaign, after strict clinical studies.


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NATO is desperate for frontline air defenses. The Old Gepards from Romania are the best.

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In 2017, NATO set up a new battle group to bolster failing defenses along the alliance’s eastern border.

NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Poland – widely known as the “Poland Battle Group” – could be one of the first mechanized units to take part in combat in the event that Russia attacks the Baltic states .

The Battle Group Poland is an impressive force with around a thousand soldiers and dozens of armored vehicles. But it is also a reminder of a serious flaw in NATO’s force structure. Incredibly, the Battle Group monopolizes almost all of the 30-nation alliance’s short-range air defense vehicles.

More precisely, twin Gepards of the Romanian army. The flashbacks of the Cold War which, with the resurgence of Russia, suddenly became very important again.

Four countries are contributing troops to the Poland Battle Group, which is training to fight alongside a Polish army brigade. The US Army sends a squadron of approximately 50 Stryker wheeled combat vehicles equipped with 30-millimeter guns. The Americans are also sending 155-millimeter towed artillery.

The British Army provides a troop of Boy Scouts aboard Jackal trucks. The Croatian army sends out 122-millimeter wheeled rocket launchers. But it is the contribution of the Romanian army that makes the battle group really special.

The Romanians send some of the 40 or so Gepards they acquired from the German army as the latter shed its short-range air defenses a decade ago. These Gepards, which combine a Leopard tank chassis with short-range radars and pairs of 35-millimeter guns, are among the only SHORAD systems remaining in NATO.

It’s a problem. There may have been a point in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union when NATO was doing well without close-range air defenses. Gone are the hundreds of attack helicopters and close air support planes that threatened to destroy NATO formations along the front line.

Now Russia is rearming. Not only with new and improved attack helicopters and attack planes, but also armed drones. In the middle of the last decade, the erosion of NATO SHORAD was a crisis in its own right. SHORAD “is a very rare ability,” said German Army Brigadier General Markus Laubenthal.

Several NATO countries are developing new SHORAD systems or, in the case of Poland with its grip of Soviet-era ZSU-23-4s, dusting off the old ones. The United States moved the fastest to create something new.

The US military launched a $ 1.2 billion program in 2016 to quickly equip around 100 Strykers with air defense equipment including radar, a 30-millimeter cannon, a Stinger missile quad-pack and a double launcher for Hellfire missiles.

The first of these short-range maneuvering air defense vehicles began arriving in Europe this spring and is expected to be combat-ready in the fall. Meanwhile, the Romanians used their 1980s Gepards to protect the Polish Battle Group.

“The Gepards bring incredible capability to the Battle Group,” said US Army Lt. Col. Jason Adler, Stryker Squadron Commander. During an exercise this spring, American mortar teams fired illuminating shells to help Romanian crews on Gepard train for night shooting.

The International Center for Defense and Security, an Estonian think tank, has recommended that NATO deploy more short and very short range air defenses in the Baltic states. The alliance “should encourage forces deployed in the region to include VSHORAD / SHORAD systems in their inventories,” the think tank advised.

The problem is that 40 Romanian Gepards and a hundred American M-SHORADs do not represent much capacity.

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The USSR’s first AEROWAGON – and the dark history behind (PHOTOS + VIDEO)

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What would happen if you passed a train with a plane? Would he “fly” on rails?

The question was asked 100 years ago by engineers around the world. Locomotives, the advantages of which still outweighed their shortcomings, were quite popular and in no hurry to come out. However, there were constant attempts to turn them into something with a little more promise. Making it go faster was the first order of the day. Among the most popular was the idea of ​​attaching an airplane engine and propeller to it.

The first to achieve this was the German Otto Steinitz in 1919. His self-propelled prototype with a Dringos aircraft engine system could reach speeds of up to 120-150 km / h.

However, the Dringos propeller locomotive never entered mass production – the Treaty of Versailles stood in the way by banning the manufacture and use of aircraft engines. Despite this, a year later the same project was attempted by a Soviet train conductor.

soviet version

His name was Valerian Abakovsky. Born in the Russian Empire, he found himself in Tambov (460 km from Moscow) after the Revolution of 1917, where he worked as a driver for the local counter-revolutionary security organ. Abakovsky, 24 at the time, loved technology. And the news reached him about the recent Dringos experience.

He had to make a strong case to be admitted to the Tambov railway workshop in the early 1920s, where, once accepted, he built his first aerowagon.

Abakovsky's chariot

There is no record of Abakovsky’s education, but the project received special recognition – mainly because it would be very well suited for quickly transporting high officials and sensitive documents.

Valerian Abakovsky

In order to achieve a more aerodynamic design, the nose of the cabin was shaped into a wedge shape, with the roof slightly tilted. Up front was an aircraft engine, spinning a two-bladed wooden propeller nearly three meters in diameter, while the central and rear parts of the cabin were intended to carry up to 25 passengers.

Abakovsky’s wagon could reach speeds of up to 140 km / h. Testing began in the summer of 1921, and by mid-July the wagon had traveled over 3,000 kilometers. The design was proclaimed a success and the builders decided to try it out with VIPs on board. It was a tragic mistake.

Disaster on the road to Kursk

Abakovsky with his comrades

In July 1921, the emergence of the aerowagon came at the right time. Several sessions of the Communist International with foreign delegates were taking place in Moscow at the same time. The Bolsheviks decided that it was better to speak about the meaning of the Russian Revolution in the presence of the power that propelled it forward – the proletariat. At the head of the delegation was Fedor Sergeev, known as “Comrade Artem” and a close friend of Stalin. He founded the Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Soviet Republic in 1918, known among people as the “Republic of Donbass”. The planned visit included a coalfield just outside Tula.

Group of delegates.

On the morning of July 24, Artem, accompanied by Abakovsky, German Communist Oscar Gelbrich, Australian Communist John Freeman, and other foreigners, set out to meet Soviet miners. The “high-tech aircraft” traveled at a speed of about 40 to 45 km / h, safely delivering the delegates first to the mine site and then to the Tula arms factory.

Farewell to the victims

After visiting the local theater for the formal meeting of the Local Council, the delegation was in a hurry to return: the train was now running at 80-85 km / h. At 6.35 p.m., about 111 kilometers from Moscow, near Serpoukhov, the aerowagon derailed at full speed and “crushed”. Two days later, the newspaper ‘Pravda’ published the article with the title: “Catastrophe on the road to Kursk”. The text read: “Of the 22 people on board, six were killed: Otto Strunat (Germany), Gelbrich (Germany), Hsoolet (England), Konstantinov Iv. (Bulgaria), chairman of the Central Committee of the Council of Miners, Comrade Artem (Sergeyev) and Comrade Abakovsky.

Political reprisals?

Later, the official reason for the tragedy would be attributed to the quality of the Russian railways: the aerowagon would have encountered a bump and derailed as a result. The investigation ended … with continued research and development of the aerowagon.

However, Comrade Artem’s son Artem Fedorovich Sergeev, one of the founders of the anti-aircraft missile forces of the USSR, had a different theory, which had matured over the years (he was only four years old at the time of the incident; three days after the tragedy he was taken in by Joseph Stalin himself). He will remember later:

“As Stalin would say, if an accident has political consequences, it deserves a closer look. It turned out that a bunch of rocks had been laid on the way to the aeroagon. In addition, there were two panels. One was led by Enukidze [Avel Enukidze, secretary of the Central Electoral Committee and godfather to Stalin’s wife], who saw the culprit in the faulty construction of the wagon itself. But Dzerzhinsky [Felix, the father of Soviet security services] told my mother it needed further investigation: rocks don’t fall from the sky.

Lev Trotsky

“In order to counter Trotsky’s influence, by order of Lenin, Artem created the International Union of Miners. The decision committee was set up several days before the tragedy. And, at the time, Trotsky wielded massive power: the majority of the army was on his side, as well as the petty bourgeoisie … “

Lev Trotsky, one of the leaders of the Revolution, had the greatest chance of coming to power after Lenin’s death. In 1940, already in exile, he was assassinated in Mexico, by order of Stalin. It is Sergeev’s opinion that Trotsky was the man behind the plan that resulted in his father’s death.

After the failure, no one dared to touch the aerowagon project again until 1970, when a new version was built with two AI-25 jet engines installed on the roof. The wagon quickly reached 250 km / h, the tests helping the development of next-generation trains.

However, he remained inactive after the tests, sitting at a station and gradually falling into disrepair. In 2008, the nose, along with the jet engines, were removed, painted, and reused as a monument to the 110th anniversary of the Tver Car Factory.

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To dominate both air and outer space, Russia is developing “super lethal” Kh-95 hypersonic missile

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Russia is developing the latest Kh-95 long-range hypersonic missile, Colonel-General Vladimir Zarudnitsky, head of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff Military Academy, said on Tuesday.

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The military believes that dominance of airspace and outer space is necessary for the successful conduct of combat activities.

This superiority is notably ensured by the efficient use of attack and fighter planes, he writes in an article on the factors of victory in the wars of the future published by the journal Pensée Militaire of the Ministry of Defense.

“It is for this purpose that such new and modernized models of weapons, military and special equipment, such as the Tu-160M ​​strategic missile bomber-bomber; the Kinzhal [“dagger”] hypersonic airborne missile system; High-precision, long-range airborne weapons, in particular the Kh-95 hypersonic missile, are being developed and put into service for the Russian aerospace forces, ”Zarudnitsky said in the article.

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Russia is also developing various types of drones, over-the-horizon detection radars, anti-aircraft missile systems and complexes, and other recent military equipment is being created for aerospace forces, the said. army.

File image: Tupolev Tu-95 launching Kh-55 missile (from SMP) – Wikimedia Commons

A defense industry source told Sputnik that the advanced hypersonic missile was to be used as part of the modernized Tu-22M3M long-range bomber, modernized Tu-160M ​​strategic bomber and the alleged complex of prospective aviation for Long -Range Aviation strategic bomber.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in February that hypersonic weapons would be the main component of the country’s conventional deterrents.

Earlier, President Vladimir Putin said Russia is constantly and successfully refining its naval weaponry, including advanced hypersonic weapons, and is fully equipped to counter any attack.

“In the shortest possible time, Russia took its decent place among the major maritime powers, traveled the path of colossal development from the modest ship of the time of Peter the Great to the mighty ocean-going ships and submarines launching ballistic missiles.

US military draws inspiration from Tom Cruise’s sci-fi film to gain military advantage over key adversaries

[Russia] has acquired from long and short range naval aviation, secure coastal defense systems, the latest precision guided hypersonic munitions systems that still have no analogues in the world, which we are constantly and successfully perfecting ” , Putin noted.

The Russian Navy is present in almost the entire world ocean and, with its state-of-the-art naval equipment, it can counter any attack, no matter where the enemy is located, Putin added.


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Senior US diplomat Sherman to lead arms control talks with Russia next week

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Wendy Sherman arrives for a meeting on Syria at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva on February 13, 2014. REUTERS / Denis Balibouse / File Photo / File Photo / File Photo / File Photo

WASHINGTON, July 23 (Reuters) – Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will lead the U.S. delegation to nuclear arms control talks with Russia in Geneva on July 28, the State Department said on Friday.

At the first high-level meeting last month between the two nuclear powers since President Joe Biden took office, he and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to resume talks known as the Strategic Stability Dialogue between the United States and Russia, aimed at reducing the risk of nuclear war.

Sherman will travel to Geneva for the first meeting of the resumption of talks on Wednesday after meetings in China on Sunday and Monday and after a stopover in Oman.

She will be joined by Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Bonnie Jenkins, whose appointment to the post was finally confirmed by the US Senate this week.

“This meeting follows a commitment made between President Biden and Russian President Putin to have a deliberate and solid dialogue between our two nations that will seek to lay the foundations for future arms control and risk reduction measures,” the State Department said in a statement. declaration.

Reporting by Mohammad Zargham and Simon Lewis; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Giles Elgood

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Space Force rushes to “stay ahead of growing threat” as China and Russia attempt to “deny US access to space,” general says

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The SPACE Force is rushing to stay ahead of a growing threat as China and Russia attempt to “deny the United States access to space,” a senior general said.

General John Raymond, chief of space operations for the Space Force, said Thursday that China and Russia are building a “capability suite” to try to keep the United States out of space.

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Russia and leader Vladimir Putin test anti-satellite weaponsCredit: Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping has also led China in the space race

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Chinese President Xi Jinping has also led China in the space raceCredit: AP

“One of the main reasons we created the Space Force was to go fast and stay ahead of a growing threat,” Raymond said, according to the Washington Examiner.

“The best way we know how to deter conflict from [the] to start or expand in space is to do so from a position of strength, ”he continued.

“We are ready to protect and defend our capabilities today. We will remain ready to protect our capabilities in the future. “

China has already established itself as an aggressive space power after using a rocket to destroy one of its own weather satellites in 2007.

Russia has also tested anti-satellite weapons.

China and Russia both offered arms control treaties with the United States, but they were shot down by American officials.

A senior US diplomat accused them last month of being “the two countries that … turned space into a battlefield”.

“JAMMING OF AMERICAN SATELLITES”

“We have seen what China has done with it, and Russia has done by developing a suite of capabilities designed to deny us access to space,” Raymond added Thursday.

“Everything from reversible jamming of communications satellites and GPS satellites to directed energy weapons, to orbiting satellites designed to destroy American satellites in orbit, to missiles launched from the ground to destroy satellites as China has demonstrated. – Russia has the same type of program – and cyber threats.

Space Force was launched in December 2019 as the first new military service since the Air Force was established as an independent entity in 1947.

Donald Trump said at the time: “When it comes to defending America, it is not enough just to have an American presence in space. We must have American domination in space.

“We’re going to have the Air Force and we’re going to have the Space Force, separate but equal. It will be something. So important.”

The push to create a military space service began long before Trump entered the White House, but his relentless advocacy dulled what remained of the opposition inside the Pentagon.

“WE WILL REMAIN THE BEST IN THE WORLD”

Since its launch. Space Force brought together 6,400 people known as the “Guardians”.

“There is still a lot of work to be done, but we have already planned and put in place the things that are already making a difference,” said Raymond.

“And I will say that we are focused and determined to move fast and develop the tactical capabilities and deadlines we need to stay ahead of this growing threat and remain the best in the world.”

“I look at the challenges we face, again, with a very crowded, very competitive and very contested field, I think there are even more opportunities.”

Raymond’s comments come after it was revealed that Space Force is preparing to “protect and defend American interests” up to the moon after an official report warned of a lunar war.

An Air Force research lab has reported details of how Earth’s only natural satellite – and the space around it – could become a new military frontier, according to SpaceNews.

The 23-page document, “A Primer on Cislunar Space”, was published by the Air Force Research Laboratory.

The report explains that it “is aimed at professionals in the military space who will answer the call to develop plans, capabilities, expertise and operational concepts.”

He adds: “When it was created in December 2019, the USSF [United States Space Force] was tasked with defending and protecting US interests in space.

Since its launch.  Space Force brought together 6,400 people known as the

3

Since its launch. Space Force brought together 6,400 people known as the “Guardians”

“Until now, the limits of this mission have been close to Earth, at an approximate geostationary distance (22,236 miles).”

The report adds: “With new U.S. public and private sector operations spanning cislunar space, the reach of the USSF’s sphere of interest will extend to 272,000 miles and beyond – a reach more than ten times greater and a 1,000-fold expansion in service volume. “

Cislunar space is the space between the Earth and the Moon.

NATO leaders agree to join forces in space war if Russia, China detonate satellites


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The world is at a crossroads for a cleaner future

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July 22, 2021

La seguente intervista è apparsa sul daily “La Repubblica” del giorno July 22, 2021
by Maurizio Molinari

“By protecting the environment, we have a real possibility of improving people’s lives; we are on the eve of the biggest change since the industrial revolution ”. The President’s Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry, accompanied by Senior Advisor and Former Ambassador to Rome David Thorne, meets us at Villa Taverna. He carefully examines the preparatory documents for the G20 environment, climate and energy forum which opens today in Naples. Kerry is aware of Beijing’s resistance and inter-European tensions, but he looks beyond: he believes “in a convergence of the G20 on the commitments of the G7”, he speaks of “a possible collaboration with Moscow”, he applauds the “cohesion of the EU” despite the controversies over the “Green Deal” and he looks forward to the UN conference scheduled for November in Glasgow because “the co-presidency of Italy and Great Britain gives us high hopes ”.

Secretary Kerry, you are asking the G20 summit to follow the G7 in its commitment to climate protection. Do you think the Naples summit will listen to this suggestion or will it be blocked by cross vetoes?
“My impression is that individual countries want to do better when it comes to protecting the environment and they want to do it now.”

However the differences are there and the top appears while uphill….
“There can be differences of opinion on whether one decision is enough or whether someone is doing better than others. So we have to listen to everyone, carefully. And that’s what I will do at the Naples summit. But the G7 was a big success in terms of the commitments that were made – no funding for coal-fired power plants abroad, reducing emissions by 2030 and limiting global heating to 1.5 degrees – and I believes that we can continue on this path with the full support of the G20. We have more options in Naples.

Italy, the rotating G20 presidency, is trying to facilitate a deal at the environment summit. Will it be successful?

“Absolutely. Your ministers, Cingolani to name but one, are doing a great job, they are very competent. I met Prime Minister Draghi and he described very clearly Italy’s ambitions: not only to lead COP26 towards success but also showing the way forward. The co-presidency of Italy and Great Britain at COP26 gives us great hopes “.

The European Union is committed to achieving zero emissions by 2050, reducing greenhouse gases by at least 55% compared to 1990 levels. Is this a realistic target or could it cripple our savings?

“This is a realistic, achievable and positive goal for the economy. We are facing the possibility of the greatest economic transformation since the industrial revolution. Millions of jobs will be created. there is no doubt. For example, in America we need to create a national power grid – which we don’t have – and that means jobs, electricians, plumbers, pipefitters, construction workers, heavy equipment workers. We are facing the need for massive construction and other countries are in a similar situation. In addition, new technologies must be developed: green hydrogen, electrolysers all the less expensive the more efficient they are. Hydrogen is zero emission if it is not produced with fossil fuels, that means we can produce clean hydrogen. Of course, there is also blue hydrogen that can be made with gas, but we want to reduce all emissions. can we do this? Yes. Is it clear how we’re going to get there? No. We must raise our ambition. And that is why we will meet again in Glasgow, in November, during the UN COP26 ”.

The EU wants to introduce a tax on imported goods produced creating harmful emissions. It is a kind of environmental tax. What is the position of the United States on this?

“President Biden asked me and my team to assess the impact of this possible European tax. We have no idea what effect this would have on the production chain, if it could negatively affect trade and employment. We need to carefully assess all of these things. But the idea that a country can export cheap products because it does not meet environmental standards is not acceptable. There are countries that must answer for such actions. It’s just. There can be different ways to do it, but we can take the basic idea.

More broadly, do you think that the European Union and the United States will succeed in harmonizing environmental laws and regulations?

“I do, absolutely. The more harmony we can create among ourselves, the better it will be for everyone. It is important to reach common principles and rules in environmental matters.

In mid-July, you met Russian President Putin in Moscow, who spoke of “common interests with America” ​​in environmental matters. How can the Kremlin help reach a UN deal in Glasgow?

“Russia can do a lot. Putin has made it clear that he also sees climate change as a problem for his country. Russia has methane and in its northern regions it’s a problem where it’s leaking into the thawing tundra, into the permafrost. Large buildings and entire cities have become unstable due to thawing and melting of the soil. Plus, Russia has gas, and while it’s not the ultimate solution, the use of gas can help bring the solution closer. “

In short, you looked President Vladimir Putin in the eye and you had the impression that he really wants to protect the climate. Is that the case?

“I’ve been in diplomacy long enough to know that words are just words and cost very little. So words are needed to reach agreements which, once signed, become facts and are observed by all. This is why commitments are necessary. I believe Putin sees the problems but it remains to be seen when he will achieve his goals ”.

China continues to support the financing of coal-fired power plants abroad. Why is President Xi moving in this direction?

“You have to ask the Chinese. I think it’s a problem, it’s a challenge, for which Beijing must be responsible. We know that some countries regard these plants as crucial for their energy production, but we no longer believe that to be the case: today we have wind, solar and other renewable sources available and cheaper. . It is up to countries like China to take advantage of these advantages ”.

In your speech in London on Monday, you offered China the opportunity to ally with the West to protect the climate. Do you think they will accept?

“Until they refuse, there is a possibility that they will accept. I have worked a lot with the Chinese. I had 14 virtual meetings with them and on one occasion when I went in person to Shanghai the outcome was positive. So I think China will agree, because we all know that without it – like without the other big economies – we can’t do it. If we go zero emissions and Beijing’s emissions continue to rise, we will fail in protecting the planet. It is not about politics or ideology but mathematics and calculation: and scientists know very well what we have to do ”.

On the road to the United Nations Climate Summit in Glasgow, can we say that the biggest obstacles are China and India?

“No. They are part of a patchwork of challenges we face. The climate challenge is different in every country. Some have no electricity, others have huge amounts of energy but no gas. . We need to take advantage of new technologies to respond to this agenda. Of one thing I am sure: the climate issue can only be tackled and resolved if all countries participate. It can generate jobs and wealth practically everywhere We need regional river water agreements, for example, so that everyone can benefit from clean hydropower.

In short, do you believe in the possibility that the EU will overcome divisions and join the United States in the fight against climate change?

“Yes, Europe has overcome Brexit and is now facing the climate crisis with determination. Thanks to its leader, Ursula von der Leyen and Vice-President Timmermans, he can succeed. He can join the United States to promote new alternatives, green technologies, financial solutions, clean energy sources and power plants that make a season of discovery possible. It’s a great time for all of us because we can make people’s lives better. It is an opportunity for all of humanity.

Traduzione di Luis E. Moriones


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