Category Archives: Russia

USA | US Defense Budget Not That Much Bigger Than China, Russia: Gen. Milley

“I’ve seen comparative numbers of US defense budget versus China, US defense budget versus Russia,” Gen. Milley said. “What is not often commented on is the cost of labor. We’re the best paid military in the world by a long shot. The cost of Russian soldiers or Chinese soldiers is a tiny fraction.”

Sweden | Global military spending remains high at $1.7 trillion

Total world military expenditure rose to $1739 billion in 2017, a marginal increase of 1.1 per cent in real terms from 2016, according to new figures from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). China’s military expenditure rose again in 2017, continuing an upward trend in spending that has lasted for more than two decades. Russia’s military spending fell for the first time since 1998, while spending by the United States remained constant for the second successive year. The comprehensive annual update of the SIPRI Military Expenditure Database is accessible from today at www.sipri.org.

Russia | US Reprieve for Rusal does not Relieve President Putin of Fatal Choice for Oleg Deripaska

By John Helmer, Moscow

There are two reasons why  the aluminium metal markets are not making long-term bets on the price of the metal, the alumina required to make it, and the share prices of the metal producers, including Russia’s aluminium monopoly United Company Rusal. The first reason is that the US Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin has decided to eliminate Rusal’s controlling shareholder, Oleg Deripaska, but leave Rusal to carry on its business without him.  The second reason is that President Vladimir Putin cannot make up his mind on whether to sacrifice Deripaska for the good of the company and Russia’s metal industry.  If Putin refuses Mnuchin’s deal, the US sanctions to put the company out of business, announced on April 6, will be enforced in full.  Pricing the consequences now of then is next to impossible.

The Syrian “Show” Must Go On. US-led Strikes against Syria: A Carefully “Choreographed” Dance between US and Russia

By Andrew Korybko

“The Dance”

What just happened this morning in Syria was nothing more than a carefully “choreographed” dance between the US and Russia that allowed both rivals to “save face” and avoid further escalating the situation.

Russia | Blocking of Telegram and legal restrictions on social networks will limit freedom of expression in Russia, says OSCE Representative Désir

VIENNA, 13 April 2018 – The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Désir expressed his concern about a court’s decision to block the Telegram messaging and social networking application in the Russian Federation.

“The decision to block Telegram is deeply worrying as it hampers the important role of internet intermediaries in facilitating the exercise of the right to freedom of expression. In recent years, Telegram has also become an important channel for the dissemination of information by various media outlets,” Désir said. “I call on the Russian authorities to reconsider this restrictive measure and to promote a free, independent and diverse communications environment.”