While Putin threatens the West to aim Russia’s armed forces to the “territories from where the threat comes,” Moscow showcases its terrifying cutting-edge weaponry.
Russian armed forces and special military services presented a wide variety of armored ground vehicles, including next generation of military robots, on Wednesday at the Army-2015 expo in the town of Kubinka, which is located 30 miles outside Moscow.
The day included demonstrations of advanced Iskander missile launcher, a gentle-riding GAZ-3344 all-terrain vehicle, and various armored military vehicles running through an obstacle course.
Russian military officials also highlighted Russia’s traditional military equipment, which they take a great deal of pride of: the T-14 Armata tank and the latest copy of the Yak-130 fighter jet.
The expo also included an ultra-high frequency ‘microwave gun’ capable of deactivating aerial drones as well as high-precision warheads.
Putin was very satisfied and impressed to see Russia’s next generation military robots. The show included the Uran-6 minesweeper, which was already tested in field and such untested robots as the anthropomorphic ‘Avatar’ robots, which require more work.
Russia is also working on home-made drones, which are the main element of the Kremlin’s expensive military modernization program, thanks to which Putin promised to modernize at least 70 percent of all weapons by 2020.
The state-run defense corporation Rostec has agreed to start supplying the Russian military with the first operational drones by 2016. In January 2015, Rostec showcased its brand new flying drone that is called the ‘Chirok’ and is able to carry bombs and land on water.
Putin announced adding 40 nuclear missiles on top of 50 missiles in 2015
The military exhibition was organized by the Defense Ministry and is expected to continue through Friday. Russian military exhibition boasting the most advanced and latest military equipment welcomes all visitors who are eager to see Russia’s military capabilities and its future developments. The show is attended by many guests from dozens of countries.
Boasting the expo that was made possible by Putin’s $400 billion decade-long military modernization campaign, Russia tells the West about its return to the world’s most advanced militaries.
The Army-2015 expo is part of Russia’s ‘military-patriotic work with young people’. Speaking at the opening ceremony of Russian ‘military Disneyland’, Putin announced that Russia would add 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles to its nuclear arsenal this year.
Putin explained the missiles as part of an extensive program aimed to modernize the country’s military, and noted that they would be able to overcome “even the most technically advanced anti-missile defense systems.”
In response, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg criticized this “new nuclear capabilities and nuclear rhetoric,” and added that “The nuclear saber-rattling of Russia is unjustified, it’s destabilizing and it’s dangerous.”
Six months ago, Putin announced that Russia would add 50 ballistic missiles to its nuclear arsenal in 2015, while at least one high-ranking Russian military official has openly noted that the Kremlin’s appetite exceeds its wallet.
Is there enough money for Putin’s military appetite?
There are clear indications that with that kind of military activities, Russia’s money will run out fast. Furthermore, Russia lags behind in the advanced technology required for some weapons systems. Therefore, it can be noted that Putin might be just trying to maintain the image of a robust and nuclear military power without actually having the means to be the president of one.
As an example, Putin has vowed that Russia would buy 2,300 T-14 Armata tanks by 2020, while the estimated cost for them is more than $7 million apiece. This fact alone raises a question of whether the Kremlin will be able to withstand such expenses amid the plummeting oil prices, weakness of ruble as well as U.S. and EU sanctions, which have been recently renewed for another six months.
The new $360 million military amusement park opened by Putin offers its visitors to ride tanks, shoot guns and participate in extreme sports. The Russia’s Disneyland also features reenactments of the victories of Russian army, including a World War II tank battle between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.
The park is planned to be completed in 2017, and will cost Russia 20 billion rubles (£236m), according to Russia’s Kommersant newspaper.
Russia vs. the West: at a threshold of War?
While it is unclear whether we stand at a threshold of an actual war amid such bold moves from Russia side and its Foreign Ministry warning the U.S. that deployment of new military weaponry anywhere near Russian borders would “entail dangerous consequences,” there is a high possibility of a new arms race and Cold War.
There was also a worrying incident back in May, which was reported just a few days ago, of the Russian jet coming within 10 feet of an American spy plane in international airspace above the Black Sea.
The U.S. has recently said it is increasing its military presence in NATO states in Eastern Europe, including deploying some heavy military equipment in the Baltic states and Poland to rapidly send 5,000 troops to counter Russia threat and aggression. Russian officials then denounced such a move and called it the most aggressive U.S. act since the Cold War.
Speaking at the Army-2015 expo, Putin pointed out that Russia was mostly concerned about a long-term NATO’s project to build a missile defense system in Europe, and said that Russia “is not moving anywhere.”
Having powerful military forces located so close to each other, there is a high possibility of the situation rapidly escalating and turning into a military confrontation, which would be difficult to end once started, judging by the clear hatred between the Russians and Western people.