Russian Navy News and Some Other Updates

After the article from a few days ago which talked about decommissioning of the first Lada class submarine which entered service only in 2021, now there is a TASS article about the most powerful warship in the RuN awaiting the same destiny.

Peter the Great is currently the only serving member of the project 1144 Orlan (Bold Eagle) class battlecruiser. It was conceived and built in the late Soviet era, designed as an “aircraft killer”. Its main armament consists of 20 heavy and sophisticated supersonic anti-ship missiles, intended to disable or destroy a US Navy aircraft carrier group. It also carries the most powerful long-range anti-aircraft and point-defense anti-missile systems in existence.

It is a relatively old ship, but much older ships still serve in many navies, including the US Navy. Yet it is a unique ship for Russia, able to provide an effective anti-access/air-denial zone for a large group of surface warships. The next tier down are the Atlant class cruisers, one of which, the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, the Moscow, was lost in the moment of stupidity of the highest order, while sitting few dozen kilometers from the Ukrainian shore. Only two of that much less capable class remained, the Varyag and Ustinov. Another capital tier warship is the only Russian aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, which is still in overhaul, long after its original timetable.

A few years earlier, the plan was to return another two or free of the decommissioned or unfinished Orlan class battlecruisers into the service. But the actual state of the Russian shipbuilding industry was such that only the Admiral Nakhimov, the ship in best condition relative to others of its class, was put under repairs and modernization. It is still far from being completed and fully operational. As such, Russia is loosing its capital ships like never before. Not to the war, but to incompetency and budgetary issues.

It is now obvious that Russian military industry and military budget were overloaded by the so-called Special Military Operation in Ukraine. Large portions of monetary reserves were practically gifted to the enemy. Another large portion of profits made from the export of raw natural resources is staying outside of Russia — a figure similar to the reported $300B Russian money lost in the West. What remains isn’t enough to support the current low-intensity level of positional fighting, pushing Russia into the budgetary deficit. The corruption, accompanied by incompetence it gave birth to, eats away the funds while failing to output anything of significance. The backbone of Russian fighting abilities are the old Soviet stocks and reserves, which are now being exhausted. In this situation, Russian MoD can’t afford to even preserve what it inherited from the USSR, much less improve on it.

If the current trend of discarding brand new of old but still uniquely capable warships will continue, Russia would become a third-tier naval building country. Currently, only corvettes and smaller types like minesweepers or patrol and landing boats are being built in anything resembling a serial production. This is the shipbuilding capabilities of Israel. Only the building of nuclear submarines (which provide the nuclear deterrence) and merchant vessels (like tankers or ice-breakers) meant to support the distribution of Russian natural resources to Russia’s enemies and frenemies is still present.

By the way, the commander of the Pacific Fleet was relieved of his position, reportedly after a surprise inspection by the serving Minister of Defence, the woodworking master, mister Geppetto (aka Rasputin’s best buddy, Sergei Shoigu). If indeed true, and the reason for dismissal is the result of the inspection, I wander why such inspection didn’t happen in the last 11(?) years of this person commanding the Pacific Fleet. Hard to believe the state of affairs changed drastically to the worse only in the last year, the year of war. Or maybe there is another reason, a political one, for example.


In other news, Russian legislators are finalizing legislations intended to outlaw and criminally punish any public criticism of officials. Thus, Russia is ceasing to be a democratic state. When public criticism of government is outlawed, the democratic process in no more.

Yet, the legislation is one thing, and the practical implementation is something entirely different. People usually don’t care about laws, only about their practical consequences. For example, one of the most prominent opponents of the Russian government and its management of the war is Igor Strelkov (Girkin). Almost each one of his posts on his Telegram channel is explicitly critical of the top government and military officials. Therefore, he is now should be charged and persecuted by a criminal court. Of course, such action by the government would upset many of the people who find his arguments compelling and justified. And according to the number of his subscribers, were are close to one million of them. The dreaded political collapse of Russia as a result of total popular distrust of their government would become one step closer. Economic problems and body count on the frontlines will only intensify the popular unrest (which is still dormant).

Another sign of the government fearing its own population is the decision not to have the traditional annual public demonstrations, honoring the memories of WWII casualties and veterans. The offered explanation is beyond idiotic, stating something along the lines of “since we want wider exposure to this event, we will cancel the annual demonstrations and instead put pictures in windows and on the internet.” The true reason is clear — the government doesn’t want any public gatherings taking place.

All of this is happening while the widely advertised Ukrainian spring offensive is expected to start in the new few weeks. After Russian MoD failed miserably in its Zaporozh’e offensive, loosing many soldiers and weapons with no result to show, it is now expected to stop the Ukrainian deep strike. What being said, both sides are now exhausted, suffering too many casualties of their combat-ready troops, of their armor, and wasted terrifying amounts of its ammunition stocks. The western supplies can only try to replace the equipment and the ammo, but not to create any significant advantage over the Russian Army. Therefore, Russia will be able to stop any offensive, the only question is how much people its ready to lay down to achieve it.

Judging by the past experience, Russian command is ready to “regroup” in order to prevent massive losses that would turn the public against it. On the other hand, any deep retreats like in Kharkov or Kherson regions would demonstrate to the people that Russia is still loosing the war Rasputin has started. The only way out is some kind of agreement. The problem is the West is still hopping to bleed-out Russia some more, before finally agreeing for a ceasefire that would humiliate Russia and put it in farther disadvantage against the NATO expansion to the East. This scenario will also be received poorly by the Russian public, with Rasputin loosing the public support he may still have, but may save the regime from total collapse.

I am sad to say that the most dark predictions of Russian political collapse are seem more and more probable as the time passes by. It looks like the Russo-Japanese War all over again, and it may again be followed by a political cataclysm, bloody and self-destructive.


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