The end of Belarusian socialism

ALAFF’s author’s translation of a recent article by Rostislav Ishchenko, one of the leading Russian political scientists. Ishchenko’s materials are distinguished by a deep understanding of the issue, a skillful handling of facts and simplicity of presentation. What is indicated in square brackets is ALAFF’s additions.

The following article addresses the issue of intensifying contradictions in relations between Russia and Belarus.


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2018 in the Russian-Belarusian relations ended with a heated discussion about the Russian tax maneuver, which, in the opinion of the Belarusian side, caused not just damage (no one argues this), but damage that Russia is obligated to compensate.

To make it clear, the logic of the Belarusian demand was that Russia should build its internal, tax, economic, financial and international policies in such a way that the Belarusian budget does not lose anything. Belarus, on the other hand, has no similar obligations with regard to Russia. Moscow is considered solely as a financial donor.

This approach is not new. The growth of the contradictions between Moscow and Minsk is not the first year and it can be stated with confidence that this trend will continue in 2019.

The system of relations between Minsk and Moscow was built in the 1990s. At that time, Belarus, led by Alexander Lukashenko, was under strong pressure from the West, who declared the Belarusian president “the last dictator of Europe”. Without the support of Moscow, the Belarusian authorities would have been difficult to not fall. But Russia was not interested in losing its last ally in the western strategic direction and allowing the United States to close the sanitary cordon that lined up along the Russian western border to break the economic (at that time almost only energy) ties between Russia and Western Europe.

We remember that in the 90s Russia was frankly weak. She was unable to provide Minsk with substantial diplomatic or military support. The only way it could help was to maintain the internal stability, to prevent the creation of a critical mass of discontented people in Belarus who were capable of organizing a coup (the term “color revolution” was not yet used).

Lukashenko bet on maintaining stability, at the expense of preserving the majority of social bonuses available in the USSR. By the mid-1990s, Belarus was probably the most Soviet of the post-Soviet republics. This bet was obviously correct. At that time, any changes led to a weakening of state power and the country falling under the decisive influence of the West. However, the social gains of the USSR were expensive and the Belarusian resources would not be enough to support them.

Under these conditions, Russia, supporting an ally, not only repeatedly issued concessional loans, but also opened its market for the products of the Belarusian industry and agriculture, while the energy carriers for Belarus were supplied at prices significantly lower than the world market. In fact, Moscow financed the Belarusian social sphere, supporting Lukashenko as an effective manager.

I stress that from the Russian side it was not charity or simply “fraternal assistance”. It was quite a pragmatic move aimed at preventing the deterioration of its geopolitical position due to the loss of a strategic ally.

However, since then much has changed. The point is not only that Russia has sharply strengthened, has gained many new allies, and the pressure of the West on Belarus has weakened and Minsk has gradually begun to resort to foreign policy maneuvering. This, of course, led to the emergence of a bad feeling when Minsk refused to recognize [the independence of] Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but [it] could not and did not cause the Kremlin’s gradual refusal to finance the Belarusian “economic miracle”. In the end, everyone knows that under Lukashenko Belarus will not go to the West. At least because it barely falls into the Western sphere of influence, Alexander Grigorievich will be changed to a more acceptable figure for the US and the EU. And in the Kremlin they know that Lukashenko knows this, and Lukashenko knows that in the Kremlin they know that he knows this.

All these years — Alexander Grigorievich in 2019 celebrates the 25th anniversary of his presidency — the Belarusian and Russian economies have moved in different directions. As already mentioned, in Belarus, largely for objective reasons, the semi-Soviet social system has been preserved. Russian enterprises have long been switched to the most capitalist principles of operation. The Belarusian leaders, when they conduct economic negotiations, have the task of preserving the excessive staffs of production teams and the social sphere of enterprises. For Russian negotiators, profitability comes first.

This is not because Belarusians are so kind, and Russians are so evil. It’s just that behind Russia’s back there’s no one being able to cover the economic losses resulting from insufficient profitability. Russia must live on its own, and help Belarus survive (and not only it).

Under these conditions, Russian enterprises are not willing to bear the losses caused by the low profitability of the Belarusian partners due to their obligations in the social sphere. Overpaying for products of Belarusian enterprises, Russian enterprises informally finance the Belarusian social programs.

Minsk has repeatedly been offered to resolve the issue through the full implementation of the financial and economic provisions of the agreement on the creation of a union state. I emphasize, not political (not Belarus’s entry into Russia, as some say), but economic [provisions], that is, the admission of Russian business to the privatization of Belarusian enterprises, creating a truly single market and a single financial system, with a single emission center that would work according to the same rules.

Minsk authorities say that in this case the Russian business will absorb the Belarusian economy. It’s true. But the big always absorbs the little. Sooner or later, Belarusian enterprises will either have to leave the Russian market and go bankrupt, because no one else needs their products on the scale produced, or start playing by the same rules as their Russian colleagues. This will mean that the Belarusian state bureaucracy loses control over its own economy, and will also lead to a restructuring of the social model of statehood according to Russian templates. Belarusian enterprises will not be able to compete effectively on the world market in another way.

However, the Belarusian elite is in the same state in which the Soviet [elite] was in the last years of perestroika. On the one hand, it is clear that it is high time for the reforms, on the other hand, they do not know how to lead within a different economic model and understand that a change in the economic structure will also entail changes in the political structure. Yes, this will happen mildly, since Russia, not interested in destabilizing a friendly state, will support [Belarus], but many managers, especially middle managers, will lose their posts.

Therefore, as long as one can change nothing, the Belarusian elite, like any other [elite], will strive to change nothing. Hence, the “Belarusian shrimp”, and the scandal around the tax maneuver and other scandals, both past and waiting for us in 2019.

Belarus to maintain the existing system requires constant financial support. Attempts to move to Western lending several times, including obtaining IMF loans, have shown that the allocation of money will be accompanied by far more stringent economic requirements than those put forward by Russia.

Most importantly, the primary will be the demand for political reforms, which in fact will consist in a gradual transfer of power to the pro-Western opposition. Consequently, this option was not passed, since most of the Belarusian elite understand that in the Western system there is definitely no place for them. However, Russian support every year is also surrounded by more serious conditions.

Loopholes with [Russian] oil, “Belarusian shrimps” and others give Minsk an opportunity to raise additional money into the budget without taking loans and formally asking nothing from Russia. Hence, the not always adequate reaction when Russia closes these loopholes. After all, when Lukashenko is counting the billions that Belarus has lost and is still losing from the Russian tax maneuver, we must understand that these billions are not falling from the sky, but were taken out of the Russian pocket, in which they now will remain.

At the same time, Russia is not going to destroy the Belarusian statehood, nor to destabilize Lukashenko’s power. Russia makes compromises, negotiates, and does not put forward ultimatums. Russia needs controlled changes that will lead to a genuine integration of the two economies, rather than the destruction of the Belarusian industry due to higher energy prices and the closure of the Russian market.

But Alexander Grigorievich puts forward ultimatums. The last one sounded last week and is still being discussed in the media. Just about the “compensation” of the Belarusian losses from the Russian tax maneuver, Lukashenko threatened [Russia] that he could go to the West, at the same time instructing [his subordinates] to develop the delivery of oil through Latvia (or, in general, through the Baltic ports).

As for the possibility of “going to the West” for Lukashenko personally, it’s said above. He is a hostage to his social policy. The fact is that “Belarusian socialism” began to hinder Russia only in recent years. Not very much, by the way. Russian business has a place to develop both in its homeland and in the world.

Let us be frank, with the exception of certain industries (mostly oil and defense) oriented to the Russian market, Belarus is not the most attractive place for investment. But Lukashenko caused concrete and very substantial damage to both Western speculative capital, which planned to make money on Belarusian privatization (less, of course, than on Russian or Ukrainian, but still it was about dozens, and even hundreds of billions of dollars), and political plans of the West which was never able to close the Russophobic front from the Crimea to the Baltic, and now it is too late.

Such things cannot be forgiven. So Lukashenko, “gone to the West”, will have to choose between the fate of Milošević, Gaddafi and Yanukovych.

But there are more significant moments.

First, in spite of the fact that the Belarusian authorities (in the face of the so-called “Makei group”) actively support local “European integrators”, who, by accident, like everywhere in the post-Soviet space, are part-time Russophobes, in Belarus there is no compact Russophobic ethnic reserve, comparable to the Ukrainian Galicia.

That is, any “European” regime in Belarus will have even less support from the population than in Ukraine. If in Kiev the authorities had to move to openly Nazi terrorist rule, then in Minsk (in the conditions of zero public support for “European integration” and the absence of a territorial base of nationalism), the “European” power would have to just be fully armed, most likely by foreigners. It is so uncomfortable that no one could do so for long.

Secondly, unlike Russian capital, which is interested in Belarusian enterprises integrated into Russian industrial chains with the aim of preserving and developing them (albeit with a substantial reduction in the social burden on them), Western [capital] is interested in destroying the Belarusian economy in the way the Ukrainian one was destroyed.

It cannot be said that Russia will not suffer any losses from this. Some problems will arise, but they will not be in any comparison with the problems brought about by the break in cooperation ties with Ukraine (there were more volumes [of cooperation], and the possibility of rapid replacement of some components was less).

The problems delivered by Ukraine were solved in four years (in six years the issue of gas transit will be resolved). The problem of replacing Belarusian suppliers can be solved twice as fast. At the same time, the West will destroy the Belarusian economy to zero.

What we have as a result of a hypothetical reversal of Belarus to the West?

  1. The enormous personal problems for Lukashenko and his family, organized by the West and the local “new power”.
  2. The destruction of the Belarusian economy by the West (as the Ukrainian experience shows, almost instantly, in three years).
  3. The destruction of social, communal and transit infrastructure by the West (also almost instantly).
  4. The beginning of an acute social conflict (with giving it an ethnic effect), in which power can be held only by relying on external forces (on the Polish contingent, if to be specific, — for the West, there is no other, quite numerous forces [there]).

The prospect of turning the country into a territory completely uninhabitable is obvious. And we must bear in mind that, unlike Russians and even Ukrainians, who are accustomed to survive in the rakish 90s without any government support, Belarusians are accustomed to a strong state social sphere. For them, the blow will be stronger. Plus, the experience of Yanukovych shows that you still have to be able to escape to Rostov. You may not be so lucky. The West, too, learns from mistakes, and they don’t like Aleksandr Grigorievich [Lukashenko] longer and more than the naive Viktor Fedorovich [Yanukovych].

In general, Belarusian blackmail looks like the threat of a schoolboy in puberty to suicide so that everyone (who did not appreciate him) would cry. Russia, of course, doesn’t give a damn about Belarus, just as it didn’t give a damn about Ukraine. Ukraine was even more important [for Russia]. There are more people there, and, as already mentioned, there were more production ties [with Ukraine] and they were much more substantial.

Nevertheless, the Ukrainian experience shows that Moscow is not going to either give in to blackmail by a fraternity, or force anyone to be friends. If the national government takes an inadequate decision, and the people are not able to cope with this power, Russia simply does everything to minimize its own losses, protect its strategic interests, and in the future even extract geopolitical dividends from the current situation.

Moscow does not force anyone to anything and does not allow itself to be forced. The burden of the “empire contrariwise” (in which the outskirts prosper at the expense of the imperial center) is not just tired of the Russian authorities, they can’t take this [burden] anymore. Not only and not even so much in terms of resource costs. Although it is also important.

Simply the messianic desire to remove the last shirt for the sake of friendship, to give a life “for your brothers”, to rush into the poor villages and hamlets, leaving after you the palaces, gardens, museums, universities, — all this left the Russian people. Left, not least because, as it turned out, not only the national suburbs do not have historical appreciation and are ready to respond to the Russians with genocide to the care of preserving and educating their own people, but also accidentally separated Russian suburbs, from mercantile reasons, first declare themselves not completely Russian, then not Russian at all, then they begin to make claims “for occupation”, thus it’s not far to the genocide of those who preserved their Russianness.

In such conditions, quite a sensible idea prevailed in Russian society. No need to give the last shirt, even the [something] extra should not be given just like that. People do not appreciate what was received gratis. Only what was earned is valuable.

Now, even if the Russian authorities wanted to, they would not be able to switch to a policy of content of social and national dependents at the expense of the Russian budget. People would not understand this. The tension in the society would sharply increase. Under the conditions of the ongoing geopolitical struggle, no one will destabilize their own society for the sake of someone’s inadequacy.

So, Aleksandr Grigorievich has been forgiven much, including the fact that in difficult times he really was the only ally (though he had his interest). This is not Lukashenko who is bad, this is “Belarusian socialism”, within which the whole system of Belarusian power was built, ends. And the system, like any other system, is trying to maintain stability, by replacing the missing resource from other sources (if Russia does not give it, we must take it from Europe). This will not work, but any system always seeks to restore stability.

Nobody will leave Belarus to the mercy of fate, and Russia will never work in Belarus against Lukashenko. But Russia cannot save Lukashenko from Lukashenko, and [save] Belarus from Belarus. If in Minsk they finally decide “to freeze your [own] ears to spite mom”, then so be it.


Rostislav Ischenko, specially for the alternatio.org website.

Source.

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On the military industry of the United Arab Emirates

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The UAE military industry is one of the most dynamically developing branches of the national economy. The country’s leadership is paying close attention to the development of the military-industrial complex, expanding the range of its products in order to increase the level of self-sufficiency of the national armed forces for certain types of weapons and military equipment. To this end, modern technologies are acquired from the world’s leading manufacturers of military products, and joint ventures are being created in the UAE and abroad. The process of its own military R & D is being established.

The creation of a national military-industrial base takes place with the direct participation and full support of the state and is one of the most important directions of diversification of the national economy. We also note the wide participation of local private capital in the creation of defense enterprises. In the military industry, the process of “UAEzation” of personnel is proceeding at an accelerated pace. The range of products is steadily expanding.

Today, the military industrial complex of the United Arab Emirates has enterprises of the aviation, shipbuilding, armored, artillery and rifle, ammunition and radio-electronic industries. At the same time, military production in the country is mainly a licensed assembly of various types of foreign (mostly Western) weapons and military equipment. There are also large service centers for the maintenance, repair and modernization of weapons and equipment acquired abroad. Most of the defense industry enterprises are located in industrial zones in the emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

In December 2014, the creation of the Emirates Defense Industry Company (EDIC) was announced, which included three unions of the national military industrial complex: the state-owned company «Mubadala Development«, the «Tawazun» holding and the «Emirates Advanced» Investment Group, a total of 16 enterprises with employed 10 thousand people. The largest in EDIC is «Mubadala Development» (MD). Enterprises of the company produce various types of products, both military and civil. Belonging to the state, the MD operates in many ways as a private company, working closely with foreign and local commercial firms, as well as investing in the civilian sector of the aerospace industry, energy, infrastructure, and the service sector in addition to defense projects.

The aviation industry enterprises are mainly engaged in the repair and maintenance of aircraft, helicopters and individual components of aircraft, which are in service with the UAE Air Force and other Arabian monarchies (F-16 and «Mirage» 2000-9 fighters, C-130 and CN-235 military transport aircraft , light aircraft «King Air-350» and F-110, combat (AN-64 «Apache») and multi-purpose («Bell» and «Puma») helicopters). The UAE has made significant progress in the creation and production of various types of drones, as well as avionics, navigation systems, flight control and airborne collision avoidance, and other aviation equipment. The complex of test flights and test firing of a new light attack helicopter 407MRH was successfully completed. In 2017, an agreement was reached with Russia to jointly develop a fifth-generation lightweight fighter. According to media reports, the UAE is buying new technologies in the aerospace industry in Israel. In general, the task was set to turn the Emirates into a major manufacturer of civil and military aircraft of world level.

Military shipbuilding is one of the most developed branches of the local military industrial complex. For the national naval forces, as well as for export, construction, repair and partial modernization of missile boats, small landing ships, high-speed amphibious boats, assault landing boats, high-speed patrol boats, remote-controlled and multi-purpose boats and auxiliary vessels are being conducted. With technical assistance from Western countries, production of underwater vehicles for the command of special operations forces of the UAE Armed Forces has been established. The industry leader is «Abu Dhabi Shipbuilding» company. Its basic production facilities allow for a wide range of repairs and upgrades for certain types of ships and vessels. The main consumer of the company’s products are the UAE Navy.

Armored industry enterprises produce multi-purpose armored vehicles “Nimr” of various modifications, armored personnel carriers, modular multi-purpose vehicles with mine protection, tank conveyors, evacuation tractors, small-sized vehicles for special forces. Some samples of light armored vehicles are exported to a number of countries in Asia and Africa. Repair and partial modernization of the automotive and armored vehicles are being conducted. The country plans to create large regional service centers for servicing various types of armored vehicles.

Artillery and rifle industry. The leading company in the industry is «Caracal International«. With the assistance of Germany, a 9-mm-size «Caracal» pistol factory was built in the Emirates. At the same time, some parts for assembling weapons are purchased in Europe. Initially, the production capacity of the enterprise was designed for the manufacture of 30 thousand pistols a year, but it is planned to bring them up to 50 thousand pieces. The company also produces 9-mm semi-automatic carbines “Caracal CC10”, 7.62-mm sniper rifles “Caracal CSR”, light machine guns and small-caliber weapons. «Caracal» pistols are exported to Arab countries. Emirati designers with the participation of foreign contractors have created a 122-mm multiple launch rocket system with a firing range of 16 — 40 km. A mobile coastal anti-ship missile system was also developed with a range of up to 35 km. The country is repairing and upgrading some foreign artillery systems, which are in service with the national army.

The ammunition industry is developing dynamically. The largest local companies in this industry are «Burkan Munitions Systems» and «Caracal Light Ammunitions«. With the assistance of the German company «Rheinmetall Munitions Systems», in the Emirates, a plant was built to manufacture ammunition according to NATO standards for small arms, artillery systems of ground forces and naval forces, as well as air bombs. An ecologically clean enterprise has been created at the plant for the thermal destruction of decommissioned ammunition and explosives. «C4 Advanced Solutions» company is engaged in the development of high-tech ammunition. The French company “Nexter Systems” plans to transfer to the Emirates side the technology for producing 120-mm ammunition for «Leclerc» tanks, which form the basis of the UAE’s armored forces. The local company «Emirates Advanced Investment» and the American Corporation «Raytheon» signed an agreement on joint development, technology transfer and production of 70-mm laser-guided missiles «Talon». Missiles will be made in the country completely or assembled from American components.

The radio-electronic industry produces in limited quantities various systems and equipment for military use, including closed satellite communications systems, night vision devices, and others. With Italy, an agreement was reached on the joint production of military electronics (electronic warfare equipment, equipment for the Navy and rear, etc.). The firm «Yahsat» has signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense of the country to provide the military with space communications. It is believed that the creation of a satellite communications system will allow UAE Armed Forces to conduct network-centric operations.

The UAE military industry is gradually increasing its presence in the global arms market. As the domestic market becomes saturated with defense products, this trend will increase.

As it seems, the leadership of the UAE will continue to expand the capabilities of the national military industrial complex, the creation of certain types of high-tech production. At the same time, the main obstacles to the development of the military industry, the development and production of their own weapons and military equipment are the weak overall industrial base of the country, the insufficient level of development of science and education (especially technical), the lack of trained personnel, primarily able to work on modern high technologies, lack of sufficient experience in the organization of military R & D. As a result, we cannot talk about creating a full-fledged national military industrial complex in the UAE, and for the foreseeable future, the local military industry will continue to be based on a licensed assembly of certain types of foreign equipment, which will determine the continued strong dependence of the country on foreign suppliers.


Institute of the Middle East.

December 31, 2018. On changes in the military-political situation in the Middle East and North Africa (December 24 — 30, 2018). Annex.

http://www.iimes.ru/?p=51607#more-51607

 

Syria. Monthly review (December 2018)

September/October 2018 review is here, November 2018 review is here.

 

May you rise, beautiful ancient country.


 

December 1, 2018. In the province of Al-Quneitra people harvested the first crop of carrots.

One of the most popular vegetables in Syria was again on the market shelves of the provinces of Damascus and Al-Quneitra after the return of security to these regions. This happened for the first time in seven years of hostilities in the country. For the first time in many years, people who are gradually returning to normal life have been able to sow and harvest vegetables. Source.

December 2, 2018. The Department of Museums and Antiquities in the Syrian province of Al-Quneitra continues to restore some important archaeological and historical monuments that were damaged during the hostilities in the republic.

Among the affected places is Khan Arnaba (Arnaba inn), which was shot at by terrorist groups. Militants also stole the main gate. In peacetime, this historically valuable place was used as a stopover for the rest of trade caravans, which were sent from Syria to Palestine, Egypt or the Mediterranean.

The total area of ​​Khan Arnaba is 2500 m², most of which is occupied by living rooms, vaults and stables. Khan Arnaba also has three arches that are important for archeology. The courtyard, still standing in its place, was built in the era of the Mamluks of black basalt stone. Inside this inn many finds from ceramics was discovered. Source.

The Russian medical team from the Center for Reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria assists residents of the village of Zafarana, located in the northern province of Homs. At the moment, Russian doctors are engaged in the health of 700 children, men and women. They work in five specialized centers designed to provide medical services to the local population. In the same centers food sets from the Russian side are being distributed to those in need. Source (photos).

December 4, 2018. Soldiers of the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria delivered 80 packages of humanitarian aid to the children’s boarding school in the city of Aleppo. In the packages that the Russian military handed out to children, there are sets of warm clothes, toys, school bags and stationery.

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In this orphanage there are 75 girls aged from three to 17 years. Parents of almost all of them died in the hostilities. According to the director of the boarding school, Juma Maki, in the beginning, in order to provide girls with food, the management of the orphanage worked in a small market. However, now financial problems are in the past.

According to the Russian Major General, the plans of the Russian military include providing New Year gifts to all orphanages and boarding schools of Aleppo. Source (video).

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Officers of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties conducted a humanitarian action in southwest Syria in the province of As-Sweida. It is reported that during this action, 500 sets of foodstuffs, which traditionally include rice, sugar, flour, and tea, were given to Syrian civilians. Source.

December 5, 2018. The first metallurgical plant opened in Aleppo, in the industrial zone of Jibrin. So far this is just a melting furnace under a dilapidated shed and about ten workers, but in the near future production will be restored.

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The terrorists destroyed the enterprise completely, the machines were destroyed, and the buildings of the shops were badly damaged by the bombing. After the war, the former workers of this plant, who returned to their homeland, decided to restore it on their own. They themselves built a blast furnace and repaired the conveyor.

Before the war, the company employed more than 200 people, it produced 700 tons of armature per day, fully providing the Syrian market.

Start of production is scheduled for the end of the year, and next year they plan to reach the pre-war facilities here. The main problem is the interruption of electricity and the lack of spare parts for machine tools. Source (video) / Source2.

The General Electricity Authority in the province of Al-Quneitra is completing the rehabilitation of electrical towers in the cities of Brega and Bir-Ajam, which have been affected by terrorist groups. It is expected that within three days both settlements will be fully supplied with electricity. Source.

December 6, 2018. In Syrian Aleppo, the first school completely destroyed by terrorists was fully restored.

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The militants used this building as a command post, and in the basement they equipped a maternity hospital for their wives. Almost all the internal walls were demolished by radicals to make it easier to move inside the rooms, and during the retreat hundreds of deadly traps were left there. The repair went on for several months, and the children themselves helped to finish it faster. They were allowed to decorate the school walls with their drawings. By the New Year, builders are planning to commission several more schools so that after the winter holidays, in other areas, the children will return to their desks. Source (video).

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The officers of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria conducted a humanitarian action in the province of Lattakia. In the course of this action, the Russian military distributed 500 sets of food to Syrian civilians. Food sets traditionally consist of rice, sugar, flour, and tea. Source.

There is a restoration of the Deir-ez-Zor area destroyed by militants. Under the decree of the Syrian government, technical workshops of various sectors began cleaning sewer systems and water flow systems near bridges that were destroyed during the occupation of terrorist organizations. At the moment, technical workshops have been able to complete system restoration work in the areas of al-Tarif, al-Bvetiyah, al-Shmetiyah and Maadan. In addition, they were able to complete work in a number of villages located in the western suburbs of Deir-ez-Zor. Technical staff has been mobilized for this work. Source.

December 7, 2018. In Syrian Aleppo, a pumping station was launched that supplies the entire city with fresh water.

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On a strategic object, almost completely destroyed by the militants, they installed the latest equipment. Though, the water from the Euphrates is still purified in the old way, using chlorine. The modern cleaning system, which was at the station before the war, was destroyed by terrorists. It is impossible to restore it, and Western sanctions do not allow buying new ones. During the fighting in the eastern areas of Aleppo, the water supply system was almost completely destroyed. The laying of new pipes goes at an accelerated pace, and does not stop day or night, in order to return the former way of life to the citizens as soon as possible.

In the remote areas of eastern Aleppo, water still has to be delivered by cars. In order for the residents not to depend on the delivery schedule, in almost every yard the authorities drilled artesian wells. Source (video).

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Over the past day, the servicemen of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the warring parties distributed humanitarian aid in the province of Hama. During the campaign, 500 sets of food were distributed to those in need. In addition, it is reported that the authorities of the Arab Republic continue to work on the amnesty of persons who evade from the duties of military service, including among refugees and militants. As of December 6, 2018, 15 402 people were granted amnesty. Source.

At present, under the leadership of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties, the infrastructure of the western part of Aleppo is being restored. In particular, Fadua Tukan school is being rebuilt in the most modern quarter of the city number ‘1070’, which in 2012 was supposed to take thousands of families from the eastern part of Aleppo and the surrounding area, but instead for several years was the scene of fierce fighting between jihadist groups and the Syrian Arab army.

The school is a four-story building with a small sports field, it is surrounded by a high stone fence. In the near future, up to 1,390 students will be able to study there; it is planned to recruit at least 26 teachers to work in one shift at the institution. School rebuilding continues daily from 8 am to 4 pm. A working team of 30 people is engaged in a repair. It is planned that in the next school year the school will be able to take students. Source.

December 8, 2018. Syria has developed and is implementing a special state program for the revival of mass sports and the training of athletes to participate in the Olympic Games.

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Syrian athletes took part in all international competitions, every two years children’s competitions are held. Despite all the difficulties, the national football championship did not stop in the seven years of war in the country.

Participants in the junior swimming team are preparing for competitions in Damascus. There’s a great hope for this team. The swimming team is preparing to compete at the Youth Olympic Games-2022 in Senegalese Dakar. Young athletes are trained in the pool, built in 1973 by Soviet specialists. The lessons here did not stop even for a day, even at the height of the war. Children had to swim in icy water without lighting. Sometimes it was necessary to train even under the shelling of militants. Source (video).

December 9, 2018. The plant for the production of juices and carbonated drinks under the «Sinalco» brand began work in the Syrian Adra near Damascus, the country’s largest industrial zone.

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Construction of the plant began about two years ago. A month ago, the work was completed, at the moment they have begun to manufacture products. Investments in the creation of production amounted to about two million US dollars. Now the plant employs 120 people. They serve two lines — for bottling beverages in aluminum cans and plastic containers.

The industrial zone of Adra under Damascus is experiencing its second birth. In addition to the former factories that have re-launched their production, new factories are being built in Adra. This is not the first lemonade plant in the Arab Republic, but there are high hopes for the most modern equipment. Manual labor is completely excluded, modern conveyors are fully automated, all control is concentrated in one room. Drinks meet international standards, and their cost is much lower than that of their neighbors. Syrian businessmen have plans for deliveries to Russia, now manufacturers are working on logistics. Source (video).

The ministerial committee, which oversees the project to restore Aleppo, traveled through the Old City, looking into the Citadel and the neighborhood of the provincial capital, which had been liberated from terrorism. Local maintenance crews reported that thousands of tons of garbage and debris were taken out of the city. Work is now under way to rebuild the main streets around the Old Town in order to gradually pave the way to the local market. In the near future, it is expected that several projects will be launched to restore markets in old Aleppo, which should have a positive effect on the economic and social development of the city. Source.

In the course of the project to restore the city of Abu-Kemal, the local authorities completely cleaned it of debris left after the hostilities. At the moment, all the streets of Abu-Kemal fully functioning. In addition, several major municipal facilities have been restored in the city. In the spring, a local bakery and pumping station resumed work in Abu-Kemal, which were seriously damaged during the terrorist attacks. However, work to restore the buildings of the city is still ongoing. At the moment, in the area of Abu-Kemal, the equipment of the border checkpoints continues, after which the road from Iraq to Syria will be opened again. Source.

December 10, 2018. Syria’s largest pharmaceutical plant, Dimas Pharmaceutical Industries, plans to begin exporting medicines to the Russian Federation, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Sudan, Mauritania and Yemen.

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The company is restoring production and is preparing to enter the international market. In total for the year they plan to build three new buildings and completely replace the obsolete equipment. The pharmaceutical factory near Damascus, which did not stop working even for a day, even in the midst of hostilities, is again at full capacity. Now the pharmaceutical plant consists of several small buildings, each with its own production. Here they make ointments, tablets, ampoules, in total 62 names of drugs. The equipment, released in the middle of the last century, worked well all the war years. Source (video).

Charitable organization «Sanibel» together with the Syrian Society for Social Development held an educational event at the library of the Abdula Aziz Rantisi School in Hasaka province. Thus, volunteers hope to revive in Syrian children the need and desire to read books in Arabic. This initiative was the first of a kind in the province of Hasaka, but volunteers are confident that it will not be the last. It is expected that similar actions will soon be held in other libraries in the region, despite active attempts by the Kurdish leadership to force the inhabitants of the occupied part of Hasaka to read in their language. Source.

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An exhibition of small and medium-sized enterprises was opened in the province of Homs to activate the economic movement and stimulate the return of Syrian refugees. The event was organized by the Office for the Development of Small and Medium Business in Syria, in collaboration with representatives of the Industrial Chamber of Homs. In total, the exhibition was attended by over 60 projects, including handmade and handicrafts, as well as agricultural and food products brought by residents of various Syrian provinces.

This is not the first event organized in post-war Syria. Every day more and more exhibitions, concerts, fairs, promotions and even marathons take place in the liberated provinces. This primarily means that people are gradually returning to a peaceful and stable life. In the presence of the Syrian government army, they feel safe. Source (more photos).

December 11, 2018. Rehabilitation centers for war victims are scheduled to open in all regions of Syria.

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It is planned to help return to normal life primarily for those who need the support and care most of all — children. Many of the Syrian children for months spent in captivity by terrorists, survived torture and humiliation. Among them are immigrants including from the CIS countries. Radicals, taking advantage of the fact that, for one reason or another, the children were left without care, prepared from them suicide bombers or threw them on the front line. It is very difficult to work with such children, some of them have never been to school, and they even consider strangers as enemies.

The Syrian government has developed a special program for the rehabilitation of children liberated from the territory under the control of the militants. There are also plans to create a rehabilitation center, mainly for teenagers from the age of 12 — it’s the most difficult to rehabilitate them. For now teachers deal with such children in regular schools. The main task facing today is to gradually return the children to a normal life. For this purpose, qualified psychologists constantly work with them, they are trying to occupy children with something, but the main thing is plain human communication. Source (video).

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Over the past day, Russian troops conducted a humanitarian action in the Hirghilla village in the province of Damascus, during which 500 food packages were distributed to those in need.

In addition, as part of the implementation of the decree of the President of the SAR of October 9, the Syrian authorities continued to work on an amnesty for those who evaded military duties, including among refugees and former members of illegal armed groups. By December 10, 16,352 people were granted amnesty. Source.

December 12, 2018. Russian military held a humanitarian action in the village of Cadmiya in the province of Aleppo. During the humanitarian action, 500 food sets were distributed to those in need.

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Since the beginning of the settlement process, the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the warring parties held 2014 humanitarian actions. The total weight of humanitarian aid was 3162.1 tons. Source.

December 13, 2018. Residents of the Syrian province of Aleppo held an exhibition of exhibits collected from various combat materials.

The event organizers wanted to show that they are able to use absolutely any objects for creativity, even murder tools. Residents of the province of Aleppo collected the remains of rockets that hit the local monasteries and churches. Subsequently, the processed weapons were turned into real works of art, which most accurately reflects the realities of military Syria. The main task of the action is to call upon all the inhabitants of the Syrian Arab Republic to peace.

Most of the exhibits are made of remnants of rockets and shells left after terrorist groups have left. The idea of holding an exhibition came to mind of one of the local residents, a woman, who wanted to keep two rockets as a souvenir in order to put ears of wheat on them. She then decided to use empty rockets as a flower vase and a candlestick, which were exhibited in the local church during the prayer to the Virgin Mary. Source.

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Russian musicians, awarded with international prizes, held a master class for students of the musical institute in Syrian Lattakia. Musician Denis Chefanov said that when preparing children, the influence of the Russian performing school is felt. After the completion of the master class, a concert was held on the stage of the Assad House of Culture. It was heard by more than 850 people: representatives of the Russian-speaking diaspora, officers of the Syrian army, deputy governor of the province of Lattakia, as well as the deputy minister of culture. Source.

December 14, 2018. The textile industry is gradually restoring its work in the Syrian province of Aleppo. More than 500 factories located in the city of Sheikh Nadjar have already begun their work.

Despite the numerous difficulties associated primarily with the destroyed infrastructure, production gradually recovered in the region. At the moment, local manufacturers are looking for opportunities to export goods to foreign markets. This is a difficult task, as many Western countries have banned exports from the Syrian Arab Republic. As a rule, now all the goods go to other provinces of the republic, those that were recently liberated from illegal armed groups. The cost of goods is minimal, because people who have long lived under the oppression of terrorists have almost no money left.

The textile industry will help the province emerge from a protracted economic crisis and will provide significant support to the national economy. Now in Syria continues industrial boom. One after another, new factories and plants are being opened in the republic, agricultural land brings a new crop, the first after the outbreak of hostilities. Across the country, the active restoration of infrastructure destroyed by terrorist groups continues. Source.

In the settlements of the province of Al-Quneitra they continue to get rid of garbage and debris left after the withdrawal of terrorist groups. In Samadania and Hamadania villages located in the northwestern part of Al-Quneitra, local authorities are doing everything to bring the region back to life as soon as possible. Source.

Russian musicians performed on the stage of the opera house in the «Dar Al-Assad» cultural center in Damascus. The evening, organized by the Ministry of Culture, was held as part of the festival called “Music for Peace”.

December 15, 2018. Syria has launched a large-scale project on the use of solar energy. To ensure energy independence, the most important social facilities, such as hospitals and schools, were decided to be equipped with solar panels.

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For local engineers, this has become a real challenge. If the solar panels could be purchased in China, then the rest of the equipment due to Western sanctions had to be developed by them themselves. The field of solar panels is spread over two hectares. Fifty huge panels can save about 220 thousand dollars a year.

Before the war, there were 15 power plants in Syria, some of them were destroyed, the rest were seriously damaged during the fighting. Therefore, to ensure energy independence, the most important social facilities, such as hospitals and schools, were decided to be equipped with solar panels. Source (video).

December 17, 2018. The central commercial market has opened in the Syrian city of Hasaka. The event was attended by officials, as well as public and cultural figures.

Currently, there are 115 stores on the territory of the new commercial market, which were built in collaboration with the Hasaka city council and a private investor. The new market fully meets the needs of Syrian citizens: merchants offer various crafts, food. The opening of the new market was one of the stages of the reconstruction program launched by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. Source.

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The Syrian district ‘1070’ on the border with the rebellious province of Idlib again began to recover. The de-escalation zone, where militants are still located, is less than a kilometer away, but construction is in full swing. This neighborhood received its name by the number of apartments, it began to be built six years ago, but not a single house was settled — the war began.

In a short time after the end of hostilities, builders erected about a hundred new houses, in parallel with this, work is under way to restore the buildings damaged during the war years. According to the engineers, they will complete the project in four years. Source (video).

The first volunteer tree planting took place in the Syrian cities of Brega and Bir Ajam (province of Al-Quneitra). Both cities were seriously affected by the actions of illegal armed groups; they were liberated by the Syrian government army several months ago. During the occupation, militants deliberately destroyed the green forests of Brega and Bir Ajam, by uprooting trees from the ground. As a result, the local flora suffered significant damage. Not so long ago, «Syria Ariba Team», a group of young people living in the province of Al-Quneitra, launched a charity campaign aimed at restoring forests in the region. Source.

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Syria has opened a joint (Crimean-Syrian) trading house in the Crimea. Now the stage of registration of trading house as a resident of the free economic zone of the Russian peninsula is in progress, and the issue of the system of mutual settlements is being resolved. It is assumed that the payments will be in rubles. Source.

December 18, 2018. The Russian military held three charity events in the Syrian provinces of Homs, Aleppo and Daraa.

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In their course, the Russian military handed out to Syrian civilians, in addition to a ton of bread, another 482 kilograms of Tula gingerbread, 22 sets of sports uniforms, as well as five soccer balls from the «Spartak» Moscow football club. Source.

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The authorities of the Crimea are going to create a joint shipping company with representatives of Syria in the coming month (in December 2018 — January 2019). It can be organized on the basis of LLC «Sea Directorate», the operator of the Kerch ferry.

The creation of a joint shipping company is provided for by general agreements, said Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Republic, Permanent Representative of Crimea under the President of the Russian Federation Georgy Muradov. Source.

December 19, 2018. In the Syrian province of Al-Quneitra, a project was launched to treat wastewater in the settlements of Mansura and West Kaswa.

The goal of the project is to attract as many civilians as possible to the liberated province, freeing them from problems with getting of drinking water. The total cost of a project to remove pollution from the Al-Aawaj River in the liberated area of Al-Kaswa is 475 million Syrian pounds. Source.

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In Syrian Aleppo, the rehabilitation of schools and hospitals continues. During the restoration work in Syrian Aleppo, builders removed more than three million m³ of garbage. This is more than the pyramid of Cheops in Egypt. Workers clearing debris and repair. The builders demolish those buildings that can not be saved, and prepare the site for new ones. Schools and hospitals are reinstated first of all. Source (video).

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Russia has signed an agreement on donor contributions, under which it will donate $ 3 million to improve food security in Syria. The agreement was signed by Daniel Gustafson, Director of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and Viktor Vasilyev, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Rome. Vasilyev stressed that he hopes for a similar initiative from other international organizations.

This contribution will allow 360 thousand farmers to recover, who suffered as a result of the conflict in Aleppo. According to the UN, about 6.5 million people in Syria face problems in providing themselves with food. Source.

December 20, 2018. A graduation ceremony was held at the University of Al-Furat in Al-Hasaka for students who were able to continue their studies after the province was liberated from the terrorist groups of the «Islamic State» (organization banned in Russia).

In addition to graduates and their families, the event was attended by officials, deans of faculties, the rector, as well as national representatives. Relatives of graduates said that it was a real honor for them to attend such a ceremony. After all, a few years ago, no one could even assume that their children would be able to study again.

Many spoke at the event with solemn speeches. The teachers highly appreciated the efforts made by the students, stressing that this graduation should be an incentive for them to further develop and study. Source.

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The first civilians began to return to the former stronghold of militants near Damascus, the town of Yarmuk. It was seriously injured by numerous shelling: there are no schools, no hospitals, no electricity supply. Nevertheless, local residents return and rebuild their homes. Flowers on them — a distinctive feature of Yarmuk. Survivors of fierce battles rejoice at the simplest things and try their best to create a festive atmosphere for their children.

The principal decision on the restoration of this area has already been taken. As soon as funding is received, the builders will start working, but for now the local authorities, with what they can, are trying to help the residents. Source (video).

It will take from three to five years to restore this suburb of Damascus. But, despite the devastation around, residents are preparing for the New Year. Streets are decorated with flowers and garlands, and shells from projectiles are used as vases. Source.

December 21, 2018. In the settlements of Bir Ajam, Brega and Zayvan (Syrian province of Al-Quneitra), the project to restore the operation of water pumping stations was officially completed.

The cost of repairing water networks, 80% of which were destroyed by terrorist groups, amounted to 230 million Syrian lira. The head of the province, together with the manager of the water resources of Al-Quneitra, also completed the restoration of 46 wells and 26 reservoirs in the liberated area. They also restored 40 kilometers of the water network, which was almost destroyed by the militants. Source.

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The Moscow football club «Spartak» for the third time this week gave to Syria 22 sets of football uniforms and five footballs. The Russian military presented gifts to residents of the Sayda settlement in the province of Al-Quneitra. Also, a humanitarian action was carried out in the village of Kum-el-Visiya in the same province, during which the military distributed 500 food sets to those in need. Source.

December 22, 2018. The number of students in the Daraa province of Syria doubled after the region was completely liberated from illegal armed groups.

After liberation, colleges began to open in Daraa, and students resumed their studies. The Syrian authorities also began restoring a branch of the University of Damascus in the town of Muzerib, located in the vicinity of Daraa. During the occupation, terrorists severely damaged the school building.

The militants who had been keeping Daraa province for many years did not just destroy the buildings of schools, colleges and universities, they plundered furniture, interior furnishings of educational institutions. After the restoration of security, the students of Daraa province were able to continue their studies. Only at the pedagogical faculty there are now 6,000 students. Source.

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The officers of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria over the past day held a charity event in a village in the province of Damascus. In its course, the military distributed 260 blankets, 260 towels and 260 pairs of shoes in a school in the village of Maalula. The officers of the Reconciliation Center also distributed gifts from the «Spartak» Moscow football club: the players transferred 22 more sets of football uniforms and five footballs to Syria.

Also, the SAR authorities continue to work on amnesty of draft dodgers from serving in the Syrian army, including among refugees and former members of illegal armed groups. As of December 21 of this year, 19,068 people were amnestied. Source.

In the Syrian city of Al-Hasaka, the first exams of this year, dedicated to the completion of the first semester, started. At the moment, about 100 thousand students attend Al-Hasaka schools, but more than 10 thousand people were deprived of the opportunity to get an education due to the closure of schools by Kurdish units occupying Hasaka province.

At the moment, the number of schools forcibly closed by the Kurds, more than three thousand. In addition, many parents did not want to take their children to schools, where the state curriculum was abandoned. At the moment, more than 66 thousand students were able to pass exams. Source.

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Volunteers of the Christian Society of Queen Zenobia held a Christmas holiday for disabled children in the temple of the Prophet Elijah in Damascus. It was no coincidence that the ancient Queen of Palmyra Zenobia was chosen as the foundation’s symbol: it is believed that she was also involved in charity work, and this inspires volunteers.

While the volunteers entertained their wards, an unusual guest appeared in the church — the representative of the Russian Reconciliation Center. He came with gifts — Tula gingerbread. Source (video).

December 23, 2018. A charity event for children was held in Damascus, where children were offered to draw Christmas trees so that they would remember the magic spirit that comes every New Year.

Many children of Syria psychologically suffer the consequences of the war. Such events are aimed at helping them gradually return to their normal lives and forget about the difficult years.

At the moment, in the Syrian capital, there are many programs aimed at psychological support for children, among them «art therapy», the exhibition «Children’s drawings and war». All of them help specialists to understand what is happening in the inner world of a child who has survived the difficult years of military conflict in SAR. Source.

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On the eve of Christmas in the Syrian province of Damascus, representatives of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the warring parties held a humanitarian action in the sports school of the football club «Quneitra». The school did not stop working even during the war, and part of the training base was destroyed during the fighting.

The Russian military brought as a gift 25 footballs and a sports uniform with the symbols of the Moscow «Spartak» club. Young football players were delighted with the gifts, and representatives of the Center for Reconciliation wished the boys to play in the future as well as the Moscow club. Syrian football is now experiencing a rebirth. Source (video).

Residents of the Syrian cities of Nubl and Az-Zakhra (Aleppo province) witnessed the active recovery of the region, the infrastructure of which was destroyed by the militants. The authorities of the Syrian province of Aleppo are actively working to restore electricity in two cities, as well as repairing school buildings, despite a serious shortage of working personnel.

The cost of new projects for the rehabilitation of the region was about two million US dollars. Most of the funds were distributed between the repair of educational institutions and water supply networks; a part of the funds was received by a team engaged in restoring the road between the two settlements of Aleppo province. Source.

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Over the past day, representatives of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties held one humanitarian action in the village of Marrat, Deir-ez-Zor province, during which 500 food packages were distributed to people. In addition, targeted charitable assistance was provided in the city of Aleppo, during which 15 food packages were given to the needy families of the dead soldiers of the armed forces of the SAR.

Refugees are returning to their former places of residence. With the assistance of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties, the work of ten checkpoints was ensured, including one air checkpoint «Duvaly» and one sea checkpoint «Banias». As of December 22, 2018, 209257 people have returned. Source.

December 24, 2018. Activists of the «Yunarmiya» movement sent Christmas gifts to the children of the Syrian city of Skalbiya. In total, they collected more than 600 sets, which include the necessary items for the school — schoolbags, albums, paints and pencils.

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In addition, in each set they put a special gift — a drawing. The gifts were delivered to the Arab Republic by a special board of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation; on this occasion, the school even canceled the lessons.

The city of Skalbiya is located at the very border of the Idlib de-escalation zone, now about four thousand refugees live in it, almost half of them are children. Source (video).

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Over the past day, representatives of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties carried out one humanitarian action in the village of Isra in the Daraa province, during which 500 food packages with a total weight of 2.2 tons were distributed to the needy.

Assistance is ongoing to rebuild infrastructure and create conditions for the return of refugees. As of December 23, 2018, 30908 residential buildings, 713 educational and 121 medical institutions have been restored, 948 kilometers of roads repaired. Source.

December 25, 2018. A large religious festival was held in the Syrian province of Al-Quneitra, which was attended by a number of religious leaders.

A sanctification of the Christmas tree took place in a church that was once destroyed by the Israeli occupation. It happened back in 1974. The residents of the liberated province of Al-Quneitra have gathered to remember the brightest holidays of the year: Christmas and New Year. The event was attended by Patriarch Hasim and a number of other Christian leaders. In addition, representatives of other Syrian denominations were seen in the church, who came to share the joy of the holiday with their fellow citizens. Source.

Residents of the settlement of Quseir (Damascus province), located right on the Syrian-Lebanese border, organized a Christmas holiday right in the courtyard of the Church of the Prophet Elijah, which was restored after the terrorist attacks.

In a special statement, Father Issam Kasuha said that residents of the city of Quseir thanked the Syrian army and Russians in the city for their help in restoring most of the regions of the republic after the SAA victory over illegal armed groups. Source.

December 26, 2018. The Syrian army opened an infantry college in the northern suburb of Aleppo after the province was liberated from terrorist organizations.

In addition, the Syrian Ministry of the Interior is also busy rebuilding Aleppo’s central prison, located north of the city. For a long time, it was under siege of militants, but the Syrian army was able to lift this siege. Source.

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An old mosque is being restored in Syria — a UNESCO monument. Restorers have several years of work to fully restore the mosque. The mosque of the Umayyad dynasty is experiencing difficult times. During the fighting, it was almost destroyed. But today the UNESCO monument is being restored with the help of Russian specialists and charitable foundations.

A detailed reconstruction plan was drawn up. The most important task facing historians and builders is to do everything exactly as it was. Archives, previous studies conducted by various archaeologists, and a large number of photographs taken before the war helped in restoring the mosque. Source (video).

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Over the past day, representatives of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties held three charity events in the settlements of Abu-Ed-Duhur in the province of Idlib, Skalbiya in the province of Hama and in the refugee camp of Hirjilla in the province of Damascus, during which one ton of fresh bread and 20 kg of confectionery sets were distributed, 300 kg of medicines, 30 kg of children’s vitamins, as well as books and stationery with a total weight of 45 kg. Source.

December 27, 2018. About 900 apartments were restored in eastern Aleppo as part of the government program.

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The deputy director of the construction company, Majd Al-Yusfi, said that out of 56 buildings in the Al-Zarad district, on Savanu Shabashi Street, 30 buildings were restored (it’s about 900 apartments). He added that the first house will be commissioned in 2 months. Source.

Apartments in the area will also be received by residents of the nearby neighborhoods, whose houses are now practically unsuitable for living — many do not have electricity and water, so they have to heat the rooms with the help of stoves. Source (video).

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Over the past day, representatives of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties held one humanitarian action in the Genderiya refugee center in the province of Lattakia, during which 250 food packages were distributed. In addition, one charity event was held for refugees in Adra village, Damascus province, during which 160 kg of confectionary sets, 310 kg of children’s vitamins, as well as books and stationery with a total weight of 375 kg were distributed. Source.

December 28, 2018. Russian and Syrian schoolchildren communicated via video link and congratulated each other on the upcoming New Year.

The Russian Ministry of Defense organized the first children’s teleconference in the history of the two countries, which connected cultures across thousands of kilometers. For an hour schoolchildren talked about their studies, recreation and traditions. Source.

The Russians asked a variety of questions. Among them: how many exams do Syrian schoolchildren pass in a year, is there snow in the Republic, what is the main dish of the new year and does Santa Claus come to Syria? From Damascus, in turn, they asked what the frost is, what Russian schoolchildren play in, and what are their favorite subjects in school. Children literally bombarded each other with questions. Source (video).

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Over the past day, representatives of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties held one humanitarian action in the Sheikh-Miskin village of the province of Daraa, during which 500 food packages with a total weight of 2.2 tons were distributed to those in need. Source.

December 29, 2018. Syrian children received more than 1.5 tons of New Year and Christmas gifts from Russia. Actions took place in three Syrian provinces at once: Hama, Damascus and Aleppo.

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Airplanes with toys, sweets and school supplies arrived at Khmeimim airbase, from where the Russian military delivered them to all parts of Syria. The first distribution of gifts took place in Damascus and its suburbs. Most of the humanitarian aid was financed by the Moscow and Kaluga regions and a number of public organizations from these regions, including the All-Russian organization “Combat Brotherhood”. Source (video) / Source2 (video).

Restoration of the Syrian provinces continues. Thus, special vehicles arrived in the Syrian province of Al-Quneitra in order to clear the garbage and debris that remained after the departure of the terrorist formations.

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In the Syrian Arab Republic, work continues on the peaceful resolution of the conflict and the provision of comprehensive assistance to Syrian citizens in restoring peaceful life. Over the past day, representatives of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties held one humanitarian action in the city of Homs, during which 150 food packages with a total weight of 650 kg were distributed to those in need. In addition, one charity event was held in a refugee camp in the village of Rsas in the province of As-Sweida, during which 60 kg of children’s vitamins, 30 kg of confectionery sets, as well as books and stationery with a total weight of 80 kg were distributed. Source.

In the Syrian province of Homs, under the leadership of the local Ministry of Justice and the relevant authorities, a court has been opened as part of the province’s rehabilitation program. According to the provincial prosecutor general Khalid Izz al-Din, the Ministry of Justice is implementing a plan to reopen the courts located in the liberated areas of Homs. Source.

In Aleppo, after many years of stagnation caused by the long-term occupation of the militants, a restored textile factory in the Alarkub area began work. As soon as the factory owner managed to resume production, the products began to be sold within Syria. Today, the Aleppo shawl factory exports its products even to neighboring countries. For example, in Jordan. This was made possible by the opening of a corridor between the two countries. Now the textile factory in Aleppo also supplies scarves to France. All products have special markings «Made in Syria». Now all materials are in great demand. In the near future it is planned to expand production. Source.

December 30, 2018Russian musicians took part in the “Music for Peace” charity project and performed at the Damascus Conservatory, and then talked to Syrian students.

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A year ago, the musicians also performed in the Syrian Arab Republic. This year at the concert sounded the most different music, which covered the period from the XIX century and to our days. Musicians performed works by composers from France, Poland, Japan and, of course, Russia. Source (video).

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) re-opened its representative office in the Syrian capital Damascus. The official statement of the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs notes that this step indicates the interest of the government in restoring the relations between the two countries. In the future, they will be able to strengthen and intensify the role of the Arab states in support of the independence, sovereignty and integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic.

Representatives of the UAE Foreign Ministry expressed confidence that security and stability would soon return to Syria. Source.

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Over the past day, representatives of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties held a humanitarian action in the city of Mazlum, Deir-ez-Zor province, during which 500 food packages were distributed with a total weight of 2.2 tons. Source.

The Ministry of Local Government of Syria imported 50 buses in the framework of the government program for the support and development of the vehicle fleet.

On the occasion of the New Year in the Syrian city of Seidel (Homs province) was a holiday of love and joy.

New Kronstadt: paying tribute to the greatness of the Russian fleet

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Kronstadt. Krone - "crown", Stadt - "city"

At a recent extended meeting (dedicated to the construction and reconstruction of military infrastructure) under the leadership of the Minister of Defense Army General Sergei Shoigu in the Admiralty library, it was announced a new ambitious project of the Russian Ministry of Defense. The military department, which has already succeeded in implementing the project of the innovative technopolis ERA, now plans to undertake a large-scale renovation of the famous Kronstadt — impregnable fortress in the Neva Bay, reliably guarding St. Petersburg from any attempts of encroachment by the enemy. It should be clarified: Kronstadt is an island-city with a population of about 45 thousand people. Of course, not the entire city will be renovated, but only a part of its coastal area — the one where the forts and other historical sites are located.

The project is scheduled to start in 2019 (it is not known exactly when, most likely in spring-summer). It is planned to create the world’s largest museum dedicated to the glory of the Navy. The project will combine the experience of the world’s leading naval expositions. The official presentation of the project (see below) announces it as «the perfect combination of modern infrastructure and living history».

Apparently, the museum of the «new Kronstadt» will be a place telling visitors about the great naval victories of Russia (starting from 1696, when the Russian fleet was created), about the outstanding military leaders who forged these victories, and also about hero ships, on which these victories were won.

The modernization program, among other things, includes renovation of the following objects:

1) Fort «Alexander I» (founded in 1836) — interactive theater venue:

2) Fort «Kronschlot» (founded in 1704) — restored internal marina and hall for holding ceremonies according to the canons of the XIX century:

3) Fort «Peter I» (1724) — vivid historical reconstructions:

Currently, some forts («Alexander I», «Kronschlot» etc) are used including as a spot for training special forces. Each of the restored forts will be part of a large open-air museum. «New Kronstadt» includes 7 exposition halls «Tape of Time», a lecture hall and a cinema hall. Creation of a VR-attraction is also planned (video presentation claims that «one can feel himself a pilot taking off from the heavy aircraft carrying cruiser’ deck»).

In addition, the project provides for an oceanarium and a technology park, a diving center, research laboratories, a modern hotel complex — hotels from 3 to 5 stars on the waterfront (number of rooms up to 500 people), parking for ships for 300 vessels in the Kabotazhnaya harbor, restaurants on the quay. A working depth at berths of up to 10 meters is declared, which will allow ships of small and medium displacement to enter the water area. In the Kabotazhnaya harbor will be an opportunity to board the acting warships, symbols of the combat power of Russia. A museum on a submarine is also provided.

How can visitors get to the place? It is stated that speedboats will connect the center of St. Petersburg or Peterhof with Kronstadt (journey time is about 30-35 minutes). The ferry from the capital of Finland, Helsinki, is also announced. It is also planned to build a 1200-meter cableway (the video presentation shows how the cableway connects the fort «Alexander I» with the coast).

As a result of the renewal of Kronstadt, it is planned to increase the tourist traffic to 5 million people per year. If implemented, it will become an important component of the economic development of the unique island-city. By the way, the «new Kronstadt» project provides for the creation of 1,000 jobs, which of course will also be positively perceived by the Russian society.

The following shows exactly which area of Kronstadt will undergo renovation as part of the project of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation:

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However, the renewal of the coastal part and the creation of an open-air museum are only part of the modernization of Kronstadt that the Russian Defense Ministry plans to carry out. Thus, it is planned to create a cluster of the Navy in the island-city. Construction of the cluster will begin in 2019 and will improve the efficiency of the Russian Navy. In this regard, at a meeting in St. Petersburg  in early December the Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said:

«In 2019 we will start the creation of a cluster of the Navy in Kronstadt, which will make it possible to concentrate educational, scientific and applied activities in a single modern center and significantly increase its effectiveness». Source.

Speaking at the meeting, Admiral Vladimir Korolev, Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, said that part of the naval high schools located in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region would be relocated to Kronstadt as part of the creation of an educational and scientific base of the Navy. The commander-in-chief noted that “the facilities of the educational and scientific base are planned to be located in the central part of Kronstadt with the maximum use of the adjacent water area for the base of training ships, boats and oceanographic vessels”. According to him, “the existing territorial disunity of educational and scientific institutions in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region, the autonomous presence in dense urban areas, far from the sea area, is a deterrent not only for their integration, but also for self-development”.

Among the main goals of creating an educational and scientific base of the Navy in Kronstadt, the commander-in-chief of the Navy called, in particular, “ensuring the unity of the training and material base, integrating science and education, developing training and research ships on innovative technological solutions, using the capabilities of Patriot Park and other elements of the naval cluster”. Vladimir Korolev stressed that for the first time in the history of the Navy, “in such a short period of time, a large-scale project for the development of educational and scientific complexes in the city of maritime glory, Kronstadt, was planned for implementation”. Source.

Acting Governor of St. Petersburg, Alexander Beglov, who participated in the meeting stressed that the implementation of all ambitious plans to change the urban environment of Kronstadt will require very serious and coordinated work of all executive and legislative authorities of St. Petersburg and the Ministry of Defense. A roadmap for this project is already being developed. In addition to revenues from the federal and regional budgets, it is planned to attract funds from investors to the project. Source.

In addition to announcing the creation of a cluster of the Navy, Sergei Shoigu also noted that next year the Boarding School of the Ministry of Defense students will open on Bychiy Island in St. Petersburg, which will continue the traditions of the first [in Russia] women’s educational institution, the Smolny Institute of Noble Maidens (founded in 1764). The Minister stressed that the work on the creation of the Institute was initiated by the numerous requests of residents of the Northern capital of Russia.

The Boarding School is scheduled to open as early as July 2019 on Navy Day. Though, according to other source, the female Boarding School is scheduled to open on April 24 — the day the Smolny Institute of Noble Maidens was founded 250 years ago (in this case, builders must finish everything in less than four months). On the other hand, the third source calls September 2019 the time of the object to be commissioned. So, apparently, the deadline for the object are not precisely defined yet. Obviously, at the end of the first quarter of 2019, it will be clear when one can expect the opening of a Boarding School.

A few images of the planned object, which will be located near the stadium «Saint Petersburg»:

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To create the Boarding School, the builders used the ready-made buildings of the Bychiy Island. They adapted a sports and hotel complex, which was planned to be built there earlier, as an institution. Upon completion of the work, 560 girls will be able to live and study in the Boarding School. Source.

It is reported that the educational institution will be a branch of the Moscow Boarding School of the Ministry of Defense students. All pupils of the institution will be on full state support.

The complex of buildings will include a swimming pool, game, sports and ballroom, library, medical center, other facilities and premises. In addition to the school curriculum, the program of study will include the study of four foreign languages, sports, art and music education, literary art, dance and handicraft.

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Swimming pool / Source

The daughters of servicemen serving in remote garrisons, daughters of deceased officers and daughters of war veterans, girls from incomplete families have priority in entering the Boarding School of the Ministry of Defense students. Source.

«Before / After» images of the exterior:

Well, there is every chance to believe that all these projects — open-air museum on the Kronstadt quay, cluster of the Navy, Boarding School of the Ministry of Defense students — will also be a success for the Russian Ministry of Defense. ALAFF will closely monitor these great projects.

‘to be or not to be’, US-style

«An idle life always produces varied inclinations»
— Marcus Annaeus Lucanus

 

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October 18, 2017 — Pentagon: No Plans to Withdraw U.S. Troops Even After ISIS Defeat (Source).

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November 30, 2017 — Coalition: Over 400 US Marines to Leave Syria. Marines and Artillery Ordered Home (Source).

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December 11, 2017 — Sarah Sanders: the US did not plan to withdraw its troops from Syria, despite Russia’s decision to pullout the military contingent from the country (Source / Video).

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March 30, 2018 — Trump: «We’ll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon» (Source).

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April 3, 2018 — Trump: «I want to get out. I want to bring our troops back home. I want to start rebuilding our nation» (Source).

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April 5, 2018 — President Donald Trump has agreed to delay withdrawing troops from Syria after clashing with Pompeo and Joint Chiefs of Staff (Source).

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April 24, 2018 — Trump: «As far as Syria’s concerned, I would love to get out. I’d love to bring our incredible warriors back home» (Source).

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April 30, 2018 — James Mattis: US Doesn’t Want to Leave Syria While War Is Ongoing (Source).

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June 29, 2018 — President Trump brought up the idea of pulling U.S. troops out of Syria during a private meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan (Source).

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September 24, 2018 — John Bolton: U.S. forces will stay in Syria until Iran and its proxies depart (Source).

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December 19, 2018 — Trump: «After historic victories against ISIS, it’s time to bring our great young people home!» (Source).

 

So judge for yourself whether to take Trump’s intention to [finally] withdraw a US troops from Syria seriously. Sounds more like fake news.

The Arctic beyond fiction (p.II)

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ALAFF continues to publish translations from the book «The Arctic beyond fiction«. This time it’s a chapter dedicated to architectural projects for construction in the High North, developed by Soviet (and not only) architects back in the 30s-60s of the last century. Fantastic cities in the conditions of the Arctic cold, unfortunately, have remained a pipe dream of humanity. However, we can appreciate the courage and ambition of the architects who designed such cities. After all, who knows — maybe in the future these projects will be revived and implemented…


 

Architecture of the North

The Arctic is rich in various resources, is of great scientific interest, it affects various aspects of life on the entire planet. But the harsh climate and long polar night become a significant obstacle for a human. Life and work at the polar stations is akin to a feat, and polar explorers become real heroes. It is not surprising, therefore, that projects have emerged designed to make human life in the Arctic not just comfortable, but independent of the effects of adverse environmental factors. Since 1956, the Leningrad branch of the Academy of Construction and Architecture of the USSR (ACaA) developed the complex theme «Construction in the High North» — a scientifically based concept of building in the Polar Region new types of settlements that are fundamentally different from the existing ones. Within the framework of the topic, individual areas were being worked out — the creation of new types of residential complexes, neighborhoods, individual houses, enterprises, and recreation areas for the population. We will consider some ideas of architects that were never implemented in practice.

The experience of the «North Pole-1» first research drifting station made us think about creating a real research complex in order to make the work of the polar explorers not only more efficient, but also safe and comfortable. Active shipping along the Northern Sea Route and extensive land development outside the Arctic Circle pushed for the development of special cities, the dome structures of which would allow living in a more comfortable climate. Let’s get acquainted with these projects.

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Friendly caricature of the artist V.I. Fomichev «Pole in the near future». The weather factory, the drifting Academy of Sciences, and Pole mall — the North Pole is suitable for life. (Pole laughs. M., 1938. P.16.)
Vasily Ivanovich Fomichev (13.1.1908 — 1998) — famous Soviet graphic artist, caricaturist, member of the Union of Artists of the USSR. Honored Artist of the RSFSR (1966). Until the mid-1930s, he lived and worked in Sverdlovsk — in the editorial offices of the newspapers «On the shift!» and «Ural worker». At the All-Union competition for the best caricature organized by «Komsomolskaya Pravda», Fomichev was awarded, in 1936 he was invited to work at «Komsomolskaya Pravda» in Moscow, and two years later — [he was invited] to the editorial office of the «Moscow Bolshevik». From that time on he became a permanent artist of the «Moskovskaya Pravda» and «Komsomolskaya Pravda». Since the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, Fomichev served in the ranks of the Red Army as part of the editorial offices of the front and army newspapers, he was awarded several orders and medals. After the war, he headed the satirical section of the «Gudok» newspaper, from 1949 — deputy editor of the «Illustrated Newspaper», from 1953 — art editor of the «Soviet Sailor» magazine, he also collaborated with other publications. The personal exhibitions of the artist’s works in Moscow on the themes of international politics (1978, 1983, 1985) were held with great success. The theme of the Arctic was present in his works of the late 1930s.

 

Polar sphere of Pavel Grokhovsky

The editors of the “Technology to Youth” magazine in number 4 for 1938 announced a competition for the best science fiction stories for the section “Dreams of Youth” [1]. Stories were collected for publication in the anniversary issue dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Komsomol. Wanting to make it easier for readers to choose the topic and method of presentation, the editors put several notes under the general title “A window into the future”. Each note is devoted to one topic, briefly outlined, illustrated with drawings; however, its author made an attempt to substantiate his claims. In this section, P.I. Grokhovsky published his article entitled “The Polar Sphere” in one of the issues of the journal. Just at that time, the whole country talked about the heroic wintering of Papanin‘s polar team, which allowed to get full and accurate information about the Arctic and its nature. Previously, such observations were impossible, since the ships on which scientists were rushing to the North could not go far enough into high latitudes due to the threat of ice compression. The need for such stations to work was obvious, so P.I. Grokhovsky proposed “to create absolutely safe structures that are not afraid of any compression, [and] which could drift in the ice for several years in a row” [2]. The inventor called the sphere the most convenient form of such a structure.

What was this polar station in the presentation of P.I. Grokhovsky? “The sphere can be made of steel, of light alloys, or of wood. For greater guarantee, the seams of the sphere are sealed with rivets or welding. To increase the durability inside a sphere the frames are passed. Over the entire surface of the sphere is a series of sealed hatches that can open and close. The sphere should not be submerged above the center. Only under such conditions, when the ice is compressed, it will always be displaced upwards [from the water]. The sphere’s diameter depends on the number of passengers and the planned drift duration… Ten people can live culturally in its premises, having a supply of food and fuel for three to four years” [3].

A hemisphere, located inside, or the inner sphere with a “truncated upper part” should have been ensure the stability of the sphere. Inside the hemisphere — several floors with different rooms. On its deck — a plane with folding wings, snowmobiles of amphibian type, several sledges, sled dogs, searchlights, windmills, a small motorboat, closed-type tents, tools. Under the deck — laboratories for scientific studies, cabins, workshop, etc. Below the floor there are “oil-fired boilers”. At the very bottom of the hemisphere are all goods — food and materials warehouse.

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The structure and operation of the polar sphere. Drawings of A. Preobrazhensky and S. Lodygin. Technology to Youth. 1938. № 7. P. 36-37.

The icebreaker delivers the sphere on the ice floe. An ice floe suitable for the polar station must first be found. While the drift conditions are favorable, “the sphere crew breaks up the camp on the ice floe, sets up windmills, which will charge the sphere’s batteries with electric energy”. As soon as the danger appears, the whole camp is curtailed, the crew goes into the sphere, and its hatches are sealed. This solves the problem of survival of researchers, if natural conditions lead to the fact that the ice breaks and the sphere falls into the water: “Being in a hemisphere rotating inside the sphere, the crew will not experience almost any pitching even during the most severe storm” [4]. The sphere is not a ship, so at the end of the expedition an icebreaker was to come after it. This idea remained an idea — its implementation was too complicated, but it received a new impetus.

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Polar sphere of P. Grokhovsky. Image by S. Lodygin. Technology to Youth. 1938. № 7.

Following the polar sphere P.I. Grokhovsky proposed to create a bathystat. The inventor presented it as a large sphere, in which there are laboratories, a library, an engine room with a device that supplies clean air, and machines that generate electricity. The sphere could float like a bobber. A mine was attached to its lower part, consisting of “a whole series of cylindrical pipes interconnected” in such a way that “the mine can be extended to arbitrary limits, depending on the depth of the chosen place” [5]. The idea of ​​the bathystat was based on the use of bathyspheres — “spherical devices that fell into the sea depth on the cables”. Compared with the bathysphere, the bathystat was more comfortable and safer. Using it also made it possible to observe underwater life and “establish direct communication between the seabed and the surface” [6].

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Bathystat of P. Grokhovsky. Drawings of A. Preobrazhensky and S. Lodygin. Technology to Youth. 1938. No. 6. Pp. 46-47.

These proposals of P.I. Grokhovsky were not implemented — they are rather aimed at the development of creative thought and imagination than of practical value. It is noteworthy that in the works of the classics of Russian fiction, the Strugatsky brothers, one can find a description of a sphere that was used for the benefit of human development — an even more fantastic sphere, “a mechano embryo”, which may be converted into a “hermetic residential dome for six people, with a tambour and an oxygen filter”. The sphere in the work of the Strugatsky [brothers] was intended for the study and development of other planets, but its tests were carried out on the Northern Kuril Islands on Earth [7].

 

Northern Combine

At the end of 1938, an article by engineer B. Shumyatsky about a thermoelectrochemical combine in Spitsbergen was published in the magazine “Technique to Youth” in the rubric “Window to the Future”. The author called it “the heart of the socialist North”. As part of an editorial competition about the future of Soviet science and technology, he talked about how the power station and the village in the archipelago were transformed in 25 years.

7 km from the Spitsbergen airfield, a northern resort appeared — “a green island surrounded by bluish snow”: “It differed from the resorts of the Caucasus and Crimea except for its modest size. We saw here in the far North pyramidal cypresses, fragrant magnolias, creepers and palm trees. Around the large pond were baths and beaches”.

Soviet scientist, military engineer, professor, Doctor of Technical Sciences Boris Yakovlevich Shumyatsky (1914 — 15.8.1982) was the son of a major party worker. He graduated from the Rabfak (1931), MPEI (1936), worked as an engineer at the [MPEI] institute. From 1940 he served in the Red Army, from 1944 — in the Zhukovsky AFEA in engineering and teaching positions. Then he headed the department at the Institute of Military Technology of the USSR Academy of Sciences. He was a specialist in the field of experimental aerodynamics, thermal physics, power engineering, winner of the Stalin Prize (1951), Honored Scientist and Technician of the RSFSR.

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Thermal Power Combine — the heart of the socialist North. Technology to Youth. 1938. № 10. P. 61.

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Northern resort on Spitsbergen. Technology to Youth. 1938. № 10. P. 60.

Here one could sunbathe under the rays of the electric “sun”. Despite the fact that the air temperature exceeded 25 degrees Celsius, it was not hot on the beach — a fresh, light breeze was blowing” [8]. The ability to create this northernmost resort in the world arose thanks to the work of the thermoelectrochemical combine located on the opposite bank of a pond in several small buildings. The combine produced high-quality cement for construction in the North, nitrogen fertilizers, sulfuric acid and other chemical products.

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The control room of thermal power combine. Technology to Youth. 1938. № 10. P. 63.

The central part of the combine was a power plant, whose power reached 300 thousand kW. Shale was burned in plant’s fireboxes, and the ash became a wonderful natural cement. The steam produced in the boilers rotated the turbines and then went to heating. Thus, almost all the heat extracted from the fuel was used at the combine. The efficiency of the installation was close to 100% [9]. All this also led to compact placement of units, the absence of huge chimneys and air pollution. The management of the whole combine was concentrated in the control room, while the work of all mechanisms was automated. This beautiful and courageous fantasy of a young engineer remained just a dream of the future.

 

The Arctic: houses-villages, houses-cities…

Thanks to the research work of the Leningrad branch of the Academy of Construction and Architecture of the USSR (ACaA), by the end of the 1950s, a draft of the Rules and regulations for the planning and development of populated areas of the Far North was created [10], and in 1960, draft proposals for building small settlements were developed [11]. The architects raised the number of floors of houses to 3-6 floors, designed buildings that combined living spaces and institutions, as well as trade and household combines. The techniques of planning and building settlements were aimed at creating a relaxed microclimate in a populated area due to compact construction, reasonable orientation of buildings, etc. But if at first, in the centers of the villages, various institutions sought to locate, and along the perimeter — residential buildings, using them as defensive structures (even houses-quarters were designed by architects S.V. Trofimov and A.K. Sidorov), then they decided conditions of the Extreme North “are best met by the reception of the planning and development of populated areas without ordinary streets, with light, covered galleries replacing them and with the most enlarged service institutions” [12]. It was assumed two methods of organizing housing: 1) a group of residential buildings and a group of public buildings connected by external galleries with light fences and internal corridors and passages; 2) a group of residential buildings united with a community center through sheltered transport and pedestrian paths. The choice depended on the number of people who would live in this place. The floors of the buildings could be increased to 12-15 floors when staying in the northern city of about 10 thousand people.

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Sketch of the city of Frobisher Bay, 1957. ЦГАНТД СПб. Ф. 17. Оп. 2-2. Д. 467. Л. 55.

Soviet architects took into account foreign experience also. For example, in Antarctica, the American base “Old Pole” was built (later renamed to “Amundsen-Scott” station): premises for various purposes connected by a network of walkways under snow and ice. The French base on Adélie Land consisted of three round corps connected by passages. In Greenland, Camp Century camp was of interest: premises under the ice in which one could live, work and relax. There was a project of the Arctic city of Luleå by Swedish architect Ralph Erskine — a complex of open and closed spaces providing convenient communication within the city, as well as the Canadian city of Frobisher Bay (architects V. Gardner and W. Fencott, 1957), in which the community center is covered with a dome and is surrounded by 36 round tower houses [13]. Projects of Canadians and Swedes were not implemented.

Proposals of Soviet architects were aimed at the reconstruction of the existing cities of the Arctic. Thus, architect K.N. Agafonov with the participation of S.P. Odnovalov proposed a new type of Amderma building: a reduction of the area by 15 times while creating reliable protection from the harsh nature and climate.

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General view of the French Antarctic base in Adélie Land (architect V. Bodinsky, M. Marré). ЦГАНТД СПб. Ф. 17. Оп. 2-2. Д. 467. Л. 45.

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This is how the architect K.N. Agafonov imagined the renewed Amderma. 1958-1959. ЦГАНТД СПб. Ф. 17. Оп. 2-2. Д. 467. Л. 35.

It was proposed to give the new houses a round shape, and on the first floors to place institutions to serve residents. The project looked too fantastic. In addition, the infrastructure of Amderma has already developed.

New quarters were designed for both Vorkuta and Norilsk. The basis of their planning was the idea of combining all the buildings with a system of covered pedestrian paths, which are a continuation of the first floors of each house. The buildings themselves should be located in the direction of the prevailing winter winds, have a rounded shape and be elevated above the ground.

In the Leningrad branch of the ACaA it was the architects S.P. Odnovalov and M.V. Tsimbal who worked on the project for creating special houses for the North — houses-neighborhoods, in which the life of Soviet people would be filled with warmth and light, so necessary beyond the Arctic Circle. They created a detailed project of an experimental residential building “made of aluminum and plastics” for Norilsk (1961). It was not only a drawing of the building, but also the idea of creating and operating a fundamentally new living space in the North, the introduction of which could be started in Norilsk or where the village still needs to be built. The architects also presented their ideas in a small article for the readers of the magazine “Technology to Youth”.

Architects believed that residential buildings in the North should resemble gigantic cylinders connected by a promenades to the space under a transparent dome. Under the dome — “a magnificent winter garden with green hats of trees and bushes, with sports fields, a stadium and light buildings of the music hall, with a restaurant and cafe”. In fact, it is the “city street”, its social center.

Stanislav Pavlovich Odnovalov (born 1934) — Leningrad and Petersburg architect, graphic artist. He supervised the reconstruction of the stadium «Petrovsky» (1994); the author of architectural solutions for the installation of monuments in St. Petersburg to Alexander II (2003), T.G. Shevchenko (2000), A. Brusilov (2007), busts to D.D. Shostakovich (1997), A. Mitskevich (1998), A.S. Pushkin (1999), A.G. Rubinstein (2005).

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Title page of the scientific report by S.P. Odnovalov and M.V. Tsimbal «Experimental residential house of aluminum and plastics for the city of Norilsk». ЦГАНТД СПб. Ф. 17. Оп. 2-2. Д. 467. Л. 1.

Why cylindrical houses? The authors of the project explained this as follows: “The perimeter of the outer walls in a cylindrical house is 20% less than in an ordinary [house]… It means that the heat loss through the walls is significantly reduced, and one’s managed to significantly reduce the length of the wiring of all sanitary and technical communications. The cylindrical shape of the building also creates better streamlining with gusts of wind. Therefore, the house is very stable during storms and blizzards. The cylindrical building will also be less snowbound. It was decided to make a multi-storey house because it reduces the area of the foundations, the erection of which on permafrost soils presents considerable complexity and is expensive” [14]. Houses were assembled from elements made “of light and durable aluminum alloys”. Exterior walls — “[made] of aluminum panels with the use of plexiglass and high-performance insulating gaskets”. 15-storey residential buildings with special racks raised above the ground to a height of 3m.

The promenade galleries would allow people to live and work without being constantly exposed to the cold. In order to maintain the temperature in the city, at which people would feel normal, and trees and bushes grow, a special heating system was created. Large hydropower plants built on Siberian rivers would give the city the necessary electricity. Then, special cameras, taking the outside air, would heat it with electric appliances. Already after that, the heat would fall into the living premises. Also, the rooms would be heated with the thinnest electric batteries hidden in the walls. Part of the warm air would come under the dome of the garden and the streets of the city. But the main climate of the garden and streets was planned to create with lamps of infrared radiation.

Outside the settlement, walking paths, playgrounds, roads, and ramps would be arranged. Moreover, it was assumed that they would be raised above the ground so that “the natural surface would be intact and would be well blown out”. People could walk along the footbridge “far to the mountains or the tundra, where sports bases and rest houses are arranged in picturesque places” [15]. In such towns-villages could live about 10 thousand inhabitants.

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General view of the residential complex (village-city for 10 thousand inhabitants) according to the project of S.P. Odnovalov and M.V. Tsimbal. ЦГАНТД СПб. Ф. р-17. Оп. 2-2. Д. 467. Л. 67.

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View of the new residential complex from the airport side. ЦГАНТД СПб. Ф. р-17. Оп. 2-2. Д. 467. Л. 69.

In the North, there are small settlements in which a smaller number of residents live (from 500 to 1500 people). The authors of the project offered the following option for them: “…a cylindrical residential house is used, united by a transition with service buildings… it is enough to have one residential house-tower and a relatively small community center. The village, which has 1-1.5 thousand inhabitants, should have 3 residential houses of the tower type, connected by transitions to the public center” [16]. Work on the project of such houses continued in the Leningrad branch of the ACaA of the USSR, but the ideas of building [such] settlements and cities were not implemented.

At the same time, in the early 1960s, the engineers N. Pershin and Y. Pivovarov presented the design of a ring high-rise block-building. The authors were familiar with the ideas of S.P. Odnovalov and M.V. Tsimbal, but believed that the north is still not so densely populated. For very small villages (about 500 people and less) other design solutions are needed. Engineers proposed to create a four-storey house, which in the plan “resembles a closed ring with an outer diameter of 51m and an inner one — 26m”: “The windows open both inward and outward of the ring. A transparent dome rises above the building, which overlaps the inner courtyard that forms in the middle of the ring — a wonderful resting place for residents of a residential village in the conditions of a 7-8 month polar winter” [17]. Northerners would live and work in the same house, where there are also utilities, a canteen and a shop. The ring shape, like the cylindrical one in the previous project, would reduce the construction costs, would be more resistant to the effects of the northern snowstorm and wind.

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Blooming cities of the Arctic. Image by V. Kashchenko. Technology to Youth. 1961. № 9. 4th cover page.

As we can see, the draft designs were approaching the stage of implementation. Let’s recall that the main methods of organizing settlements in the North were already formulated (1963). S.P. Odnovalov and M.V. Tsimbal continued to develop these ideas. A few more draft versions of townships and microdistricts of existing cities (Vorkuta and Magadan) were created. At last, a sketch of the Deputatsky settlement was prepared at the Leningrad branch of the ACaA, and at the “Yakutniproalmaz” Institute — a sketch of the Aykhal settlement [18].

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City of the future in the Arctic. Young technician. 1962. № 8.

Later, when building new quarters in the northern cities, the surveys of Leningrad architects were taken into account, but their bold projects were not destined to be realized. They were too complicated to implement. In Yakutia, on the top of a hill between the village of Aykhal and the local airfield, as a monument to the previous era, the pile field of the not-built city under the dome near the Arctic Circle remained.

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Village in one house. Image by artist F. Borisov to the article by N. Pershin and Y. Pivovarov. Technology to Youth. 1963. No. 2.

Somewhat later, in 1965, a group of Moscow architects and engineers (A. and E. Shipkovy, A. Popov, A. Gavrilin, with the participation of students of the Moscow Architectural Institute T. Adlerova, M. Bogdanova, S. Dobrovolskaya, V. Orlovskiy, O. Tsimgan) put forward the idea of building a residential structure in the form of a pyramid. Such a form, in their opinion, was best adapted to the uncomfortable conditions of the North. According to the project, the pyramidal structure provided a comfortable stay for 2041 people. The first floor is a public one, the rest were intended for people and technical equipment. The idea did not receive further development. And in 1968, Corresponding Member of the RAS, Doctor of Technical Sciences P.P. Budnikov proposed to create for the polar city a dome made of pneumatic structures using membranes. He called his idea “Polar Venice”. The design would use warm air, provide warming of the soil, install powerful light emitters, which would further change the landscape and climate (but only under the dome) [19]. Unfortunately, P.P. Budnikov in the same year died.

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General view of the village for 500 inhabitants, for 1000-1500 inhabitants, for 2500-5000 inhabitants according to the project of S.P. Odnovalov and M.V. Tsimbal. ЦГАНТД СПб. Ф. р-17. Оп. 2-2. Д. 467. Л. 94. Л. 96. Л. 98.

 

Shift settlement in the Far North

In the early 1980s, a young architect, A. Knyazev, developed a project proposal for the arrangement of the near future shift camp — “a place of life and work activity for work shifts serving the processing plant and the rare metals mine in the conditions of the Far North”. According to his plan, the shift camp was naturally divided into several functional zones: the scientific zone was supposed to have a laboratory physico-chemical building, a magnetic ionospheric station, cosmic ray detectors, a gamma telescope under a spherical shell, and a technical unit — an electrothermal unit and air conditioners; the biozone included a poultry house, greenhouses and a winter garden — palm reserve; in the sports and recreation zone it was planned to place several sports buildings; and finally, the residential zone could consist of four hotel-type houses (in each house there are 96 single and double rooms for 144 people, as well as a first-aid post, a library, etc.) and kitchen factory (the same building has a dining room, restaurant, billiard room and cinema). Also a transport and communication zone were planned, where there are aircraft hangars, snowmobile garages, a radio dispatch tower, radio and television receiving and transmitting antennas, a radar. The zone where the shift workers work, — the production zone, — was designed to include a processing plant, a mine department building with Aeroflot cash registers, a coffee shop, a shop, a communications center, a savings bank, and a helipad on the roof of the building. This area is adjacent to the warehouse area with stocks of products, parts and clothing.

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«I see the northern city». Image by A. Knyazev. Technology to Youth. 1982. № 10.

Since the village was located in the tundra, a number of its structures had the original constructive solution: “Palm reserve is made of laminated aluminum panels in the form of a paraboloid of rotation. The building is designed for increased temperature and humidity conditions and is provided with a double floor with an additional stainless steel tray. Coatings of the hangar and spherical shells of the processing plant are made of aluminum with convex or collapsing pyramid ribs” [20].

At the same time, a graduation project by V. Alesh was prepared at the Novosibirsk Institute of Civil Engineering under the leadership of candidate of architecture V. Simagin, in which, like in the project of A. Knyazev, the possibility of creating dome structures for regions with low temperature conditions was considered.

These projects were not implemented — they turned out to be too costly and technically difficult. Researcher E.A. Kalemeneva notes that Soviet architecture developed along the lines of Western European tendencies, but “the state did not at all undertake to be serious about” complex projects for building cities in the High North, although it nevertheless began to “listen to the needs of the inhabitants of these cities, striving to improve their way of life” [21]. Construction of the Aykhal village was mothballed. The dome design was built only by American architects: the aluminum unheated “tent” was built in 1975 in Antarctica at the “Amundsen-Scott” station. It housed a post office, a shop and a pub. But the construction of the dome was unsuccessful, and clearing (it was quickly covered with snow) was expensive. The construction since 2003 is not used and is only a showplace.

In September 2011, at the International Arctic Forum in Arkhangelsk, organized by the Russian Geographical Society, the project of the city of Umka was presented (the author is the honored architect of the Russian Federation V.N. Rzhevsky). “Umka” is the world’s only project of a city with an artificial climate, the existence of which will be ensured by a dome-shaped structure, resembling the International Space Station in external outlines. It was supposed that it would be created on the Kotelny Island (the New Siberian Islands archipelago) [22].


[1] To all readers // Technology to Youth. 1938. No. 4. P. 57

[2] Grokhovsky P. Polar Sphere // Technology to Youth. 1938. № 7. P. 36.

[3] Grokhovsky P. Polar Sphere // Technology to Youth. 1938. № 7. P. 36-37.

[4] Grokhovsky P. Polar Sphere // Technology to Youth. 1938. № 7. P. 37.

[5] Grokhovsky P. Bathystat / Image by. A. Preobrazhensky and S. Lodygin. Technology to Youth. 1938. No. 6. P. 46.

[6] ibid. P. 47.

[7] Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. The White Cone of the Alaid. M., 1959.

[8] Shumyatsky B. Northern combine // Technology to Youth. 1938. № 10. P. 60.

[9] ibid. P. 62.

[10] ЦГАНТД СПб. Ф. р-17. Оп. 2-2. Д. 428, 429.

[11] Villages and neighborhoods for the Far North. D., 1960: ЦГАНТД СПб. Ф. р-17. Оп. 2-2. Д. 443.

[12] Scientific report on the topic «Construction in the Extreme North», Section 1 «Methods of planning and building settlements of the Far North», November 1963 / Under the leadership of B.V. Muravyov and T.V. Rimsky-Korsakova: Ibid. Д. 481. Л. 60-61. See also: Scientific report on the topic “Construction in the conditions of the Far North”: Baseline provisions and recommendations on the composition of the building, July 1963 / Under the leadership of B.V. Muravyov and T.V. Rimsky-Korsakova. Ibid. Д. 479.

[13] ЦГАНТД СПб. Ф. р-17. Оп. 2-2. Д. 476. Л. 39-64.

[14] Odnovalov S., Tsimbal M. Blossoming Cities of the Polar Region // Technology to Youth. 1961. № 9. P. 38.

[15] Odnovalov S., Tsimbal M. Blossoming Cities of the Polar Region // Technology to Youth. 1961. № 9. P. 39.

[16] ibid. The same ideas were presented by O. Nosov for younger readers in the magazine «Young Technician»: Nosov O., A City with an Artificial Climate // Young Technician. 1962. No. 8. Pp. 22-24.

[17] Pershin N., Pivovarov Y. Settlement in one house // Technology to Youth. 1963. No. 2. P. 37.

[18] Scientific report on the topic «Construction in the Far North», Section 1 «Receptions of planning and development of populated areas of the Far North». L., 1963: ЦГАНТД СПб. Ф. р-17. Оп. 2-2. Д. 481. Л. 62-72.

[19] Platonov G.D., Chernykh B.V. Futurology and housing problems. On some theoretical concepts and trends in architectural search // Construction and architecture of Leningrad. 1969. No. 2. Pp. 24-25.

[20] Knyazev A. Village beyond the Arctic Circle // Technology to Youth. 1982. № 10. P. 21.

[21] Kalemeneva E.A. Cities under the dome: Soviet architects and the development of the Far North in the 1950s-1960s // Bulletin dea Deutsches Historisches Institut Moskau Nr.7: Constructing the «Soviet»? 2013. P. 107-108.

[22] The project of the polar city «Umka»: to conquer the Arctic, to amaze the British // Unknown World. 2011. October 26: http://tainy.net/25277-proekt-polyarnogo-goroda-umka-pokorit-arktiku-porazit-anglichan.html; Samovalova O. Like on a spacecraft // Vzglyad. Business newspaper. 2011. September 22: https://vz.ru/economy/2011/9/22/524545.html

ERA technopolis: from project to real scientific experiments.

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In late June, ALAFF already wrote about ERA — the ambitious innovation project of the Ministry of Defense of Russia on the Black Sea coast. The abbreviation ERA reads as Elite of the Russian Army. Although the official opening was scheduled for September 2018, the technopolis, in fact, began its work in mid summer. At the moment, we can consider the initial stages of the work of the unique ERA technopolis, which were covered by the Russian TV/media.

The photos used are screenshots from two videos that are presented below, plus a few photos were taken from the official website of the MIT ERA.


July 18, 2018. It is reported about the first conscription in the ERA technopolis in Anapa. According to the head of the organizational-mobilization department of the headquarters of the Central Military District, Major General Alexander Linkov, the first 28 young servicemen of ‘urgent’ service are called to serve in ERA. These are draftees from the regions of the Volga region, the Urals and Siberia. In particular, conscripts from Orenburg and Tatarstan arrived in Anapa.

It is also reported that ERA is developing technical «vision» for transport, including railway, studying promising materials, including materials based on the principle of biotechnology, conducting experiments in the field of medicine, developing IT complexes, etc. Source.

August 23, 2018. According to Deputy Defense Minister, Alexei Krivoruchko, the [ERA] technopolis will begin its work in a few days. «ERA will soon open, it is about literally a few days. Many industrial enterprises will work there. We attracted a lot of young people there. This is a unique project, great prospects are guaranteed here, there will be several stages of development and the first stage will start in September«, — Krivoruchko said at the International Military-Technical Forum «Army-2018». Source.

Roman Kordyukov, Acting Head of the Main Directorate of Research Activities of the Ministry of Defense of Russia, reported: «Literally within a month, the Ministry of Defense received more than one hundred applications from enterprises that want to create joint laboratories on our site for carrying out various studies«. He clarified that before this, the Russian Ministry of Defense conducted a study trip to the ERA technopolis for representatives of the Russian industry to show what kind of platform is being created, what conditions will be there for creation, creativity and resting. Technopolis was visited by representatives of 27 organizations. Kordyukov added that this year the Defense Ministry decided on 8 directions; 18 laboratories were created that will work on military tasks. Also, a list of 42 companies that have determined their research directions has been compiled. Source.

August 26, 2018. Roman Kordyukov, Acting Head of the Main Directorate of Research Activities of the Ministry of Defense of Russia, reported that «The first [ERA] employees will begin moving to the technopolis site almost immediately after the end of the «Army-2018» forum, while a scientific developments are already underway«. Kordyukov noted that more than 15 representatives of enterprises, who are ready to start cooperation at the [ERA] technopolis site, addressed him personally at the «Army-2018» forum. Source.

September 1, 2018. A modern hospital was opened near Anapa city, primarily aimed at providing medical assistance to employees of the ERA military technopolis. It was reported by the Department of Information and Mass Communications of the Ministry of Defense of Russia.

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On the area of 16 thousand m² there is a polyclinic, a hospital with 120 beds, a pharmacy, as well as an elevated three-story parking for 122 parking spaces. The hospital staff consists of qualified military doctors and nurses, and modern medical equipment allows for the provision of high-tech specialized medical care. Source.

September 3, 2018. It is reported that the Concern “Sozvezdie» of the “Roselectronica” Holding is ready for deployment of two special laboratories in the ERA technopolis. In these laboratories it is planned to develop a reconnaissance and observation complex of a mortar battery. It is also reported that in one of the laboratories the specialists will be engaged in the technology of reducing of the so-called radio-visibility. First of all, it is about the problem of radio-visibility of robotic systems.

Sergey Karamov, Head of the Laboratory of Breakthrough Technologies of the «Sozvezdie» Concern, who heads the Concern’s laboratories in the ERA technopolis, noted: «Laboratories today face challenges that are of a breakthrough nature and involve the creation of armament complexes that have no domestic, and possibly foreign, counterparts. Solving these issues will require close interaction with other thematic divisions of the [ERA] technopolis, which will only add synergistic effect to our general research and development«. Source.

September 12, 2018. It is reported that ERA technopolis of the Ministry of Defense of Russia has become the basic element of a new effective model of interaction between scientific, educational and industrial organizations. In joint laboratories deployed in technopolis, advanced research and development are carried out under the guidance of scientists and designers, in close cooperation with the operators of the scientific companies of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, the military-industrial complex and industrial partners.

Currently, the main directions of scientific research of ERA’ employees are high-performance computing systems with a reconfigurable structure, mathematical, software and linguistic support of automated control systems, development, testing and certification of special software, as well as automation of management processes. One of the important goals of the ERA technopolis is the creation of a modern infrastructure for conducting large-scale scientific research in the field of artificial intelligence. Source.

September 26, 2018. It is reported that the Kurchatov Institute will open a laboratory of biosimilar robotics at ERA technopolis.

In particular, in the ERA technopolis, the laboratories of the «Kurchatov Institute» Research and Development Center will be opened, where they will be engaged in the creation of robotic systems, the development of nano-, bio-, information, cognitive and socio-humanitarian technologies, the development of technologies for the production of aviation and automotive fuel from renewable biomass, as well as other promising areas of modern science.

In addition, the [ERA] technopolis will soon begin a joint project with the Kurchatov Institute on the development and adaptation of virtual simulators for modeling the external environment for the Navy and civilian fleets. Source.

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October 3, 2018. About 500 resumes were received from candidates for scientific positions in the military innovation technopolis ERA. Information about this spread the Ministry of Defense of Russia. Official competitive selection was carried out from July to August 2018. Applicants sent resumes and portfolios describing advances in scientific areas in the stated areas. On average, 15 people applied for one vacancy.

119 candidates entered the first stage of the competition. Most are residents of the Southern, Central, Volga federal districts and the city of Moscow. There are also candidates from Siberia, Transbaikal and the Far East, as well as from the Republic of Tatarstan. The main selection criteria were the presence of work experience in the specialty, the presence of an academic degree, the relevant field of scientific activity and the field of science, the presence of an academic title, and patents for an invention or utility model. Source.

October 22, 2018. In the ERA technopolis, scientific companies began training with the UAV laboratory, transferred by the Advanced Research Foundation (ФПИ).

The flying laboratory was developed as part of a joint project of the Advanced Research Foundation and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT). The decision to transfer the complex to the [ERA] technopolis was made by the Fund’s Board of Trustees in September 2018. It is reported that the flying laboratory is a research platform based on a multi-rotor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), equipped with a technical vision systems and powerful on-board computing systems. In addition, the drones, in the framework of training, performed an autonomous flight along a given route with rebuilding into various formations. Source1 / Source2.

November 9, 2018. It is reported that the first 160 military personnel from four scientific companies arrived for military service in the military technopolis ERA. In 18 operating laboratories of the research and education sector, more than 600 units of unique laboratory test equipment are currently used, which are already involved in the implementation of 40 planned innovation projects. Their main focus is the development of advanced defense technologies. Source.

November 16, 2018. Roman Kordyukov, Head of the Main Directorate for Research and Development Activities of the Ministry of Defense of Russia, called the technopolis a project that has no analogues in the world. According to Kordyukov, the ERA military innovation technopolis will attract not only leading Russian, but also world scientists to work. Source.

November 22, 2018. Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the MIT ERA. The President familiarized himself with the work of the Center for Innovative Programming, intended for the development of breakthrough technologies in the information sphere, with the activities of the Scientific and Laboratory Center, conducting research in 8 scientific areas. Source.

During the visit, the head of state reviewed the laboratories in the areas of research biotech systems and technologies, where he was shown laboratories monitoring vital functions of the body of military personnel and preventing pathological conditions, laboratory of biomedical and additive technologies, laboratory of cellular technologies. Source.

Vladimir Putin highly appreciated the military technopolis ERA in Anapa, which should start working in full at the end of 2019. It is planned that by 2020 more than two thousand scientists and engineers will work in the technopolis.

According to V. Putin, modern research and production complexes will be created in Anapa, which will contribute to the rapid and efficient development of defense and security technologies. The President instructed the enterprises of the Russian defense-industrial complex to establish close contact with ERA technopolis. Source.

November 23, 2018. Promsvyazbank became interested in the work of the military technolopolis ERA, engaged in innovative developments, and opens a laboratory on its basis. The bank is going to do research in the field of IT security and focus on building technology and financial instruments.

«A bank that positions itself as the core structure of the defense industry must always remain competitive. The secret of success is simple — to invest in technology in a timely manner. The laboratory opened in [ERA] technopolis will replenish the list of successful Promsvyazbank ideas and allow us to achieve our goals«, — explained the head of the bank, Petr Fradkov. Source.

December 3, 2018. It is reported that a unique ERA complex was built in 155 days. The President signed the decree on the establishment of the [ERA] complex on June 25, 2018, and already in November the technopolis received the first soldiers. They are engaged in the development of unique weapons, robotics, pattern recognition, nanotechnology and many others.

In the military technopolis under Anapa, the army team are developing something that many have not even heard of. For example, in one of the laboratories, operators of scientific companies — that’s how the military’s guys call it — are working on a portable gas analyzer that will recognize toxic substances and immediately calculate their level in the air. Devices that ERA currently developing, can detect even the most subtle smells. And the «scent» of such aggregates is ten times higher than that of dogs.

In the technopolis, they are engaged in cell cultivation, the army team «interfere» including into DNA molecules. The technopolis does not disclose details, but it is here that they are developing ways of dealing with biological weapons.

Also, in the new [ERA] technopolis, they are engaged in landing aircraft without the participation of pilots. «Sukhoi’s» unique development is just being tested here. This is an antenna with the help of which any aircraft can be landed by operating it from the ground, rather than being in an airplane. The representative of the «Sukhoi» company, Sergey Glazkov, said that «already in the middle of 2019 it will be possible to autonomously land the plane from here, from ERA«.

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The robot, which itself destroys the target.

The automatic target tracking system is another unique development that is being tested in Anapa. Together with the army team, representatives of the «Kalashnikov» plant are testing it now. For example, if you set a goal to this system — to destroy the gang of the alleged enemy — it first eliminates those who go with the weapon, and then all the rest. Source.

Two recent news reports about the visit of the ERA technopolis by the Russian President Vladimir Putin. First video (watch interval 18’45 — 23’38):

Second video (watch interval 0’56 — 6’25):

There are a lot of people who want to serve in the ERA — a competition to scientific companies sometimes just beyond the limit, reaching up to 25 people per place. 37 industrial enterprises have already placed their laboratories in the technopolis — UralVagonZavod, Kalashnikov, Sukhoi etc. There are so many requests for cooperation with ERA that the Russian Ministry of Defense developed the concept of the second stage of an innovative technopolis — it is about expanding laboratories, research, living space etc.

The main goal of research and development planned in the ERA technopolis should be the creation of military-purpose artificial intelligence systems and the technologies supporting them. As well as the creation of projects capable of providing military-technical leadership of Russia, the creation of systems related to hypersonic unmanned aircraft, samples of precision weapons on new physical principles. The uniqueness of the ERA technopolis is that each development can be implemented entirely on its own basis: from the idea to the test sample. Source.

As part of the ERA technopolis under construction, it is planned to open a school-camp for gifted children, like the «Sirius» educational center in the city of Sochi.

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Fyodor Dedus, head of MIT ERA.

Colonel Fyodor Dedus, former deputy director of the Rosoboronzakaz, deputy chairman of the military-scientific committee of the Armed Forces, has been appointed head of the ERA technopolis. In an interview dated June 8, 2018, Dedus said that the ERA technopolis would be able to create new weapons in the shortest possible time — up to three years, whereas now it is up to ten years for complex [weapons] samples. Dedus also added that «according to preliminary estimates, about 80 organizations with their own laboratories, as well as design and engineering units will function in the  [ERA] technopolis«. According to Dedus, such intellectual potential will ensure the implementation at the same time of at least 45 research and innovation projects on the basis of ERA. Source.

Here is the source where one can see some more interesting photos of the ERA technopolis. ALAFF will continue to monitor the development of this unique project of the Russian Ministry of Defense.

Syria. Monthly Review (November 2018)

October (+September) 2018 review is here.

 

May you rise, beautiful ancient country.

 


November 1, 2018. Unique exhibition in the province of Lattakia was held.

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Syrian artist Nizar Ali Badr opened an exhibition right on the roof of his house in South Dahia, in the province of Lattakia. Many of the paintings presented at the exhibition were made of stones. All exhibits were exhibited directly in the open air, so that everyone could join the artist’s work. Nizar Ali Badr is considered one of the discoverers of this type of sculpture.

It is worth noting that the exhibition, organized by Nizar Ali Badr, was attended by a number of cultural and public figures of Syria, who decided to support the work of the famous artist. Source (more photos).

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In East Ghouta, work is actively underway to dismantle rubble. The civilians in East Ghouta are returning to their homes from refugee camps. At the moment, with the use of construction equipment, work is underway to clean up the streets of East Ghouta, which the militants had previously held. Many homes can not be restored. They will be demolished, and in their place a new ones will be build. Source (video).

Restoration of road infrastructure in the village of Misraba in East Ghouta, almost destroyed during the war, has been completed by 70%, repair work will be fully completed in the coming months. Source.

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Syria may raise the issue of joining the EEU. To enter the EEU, Syria needs to conclude customs agreements, settle legislation and obtain the consent of all member countries.

This was told to the «Izvestia» newspaper by the Minister of Economy of the Republic, Samer al-Khalil. The Minister noted that it is difficult to name the exact dates when the Syrian economy will reach the pre-war level of development, but, according to estimates, it can take “up to 10 years, no less” to restore it. Also, the official did not rule out that, after the internal political situation is stabilized, Syria may begin to produce oil on the shelf. Source.

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A dairy factory operated by ‘Almarai Aldemshkieh’ in East Ghouta, one of the largest dairy factories in Syria which was destroyed by militants, will renew its operation in seven months, said the factory’s head, Wissam al-Manfush. The plant located in Misraba was blown up by militants. About 500 people worked there before the war, and the cow population was about 1,000. There are 60 [animals] left there now. Before the war, the factory produced a wide range of milk products, including sour cream, kefir and cheese. Now restoration work is underway. Source.

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Russia will create in Syria the largest hub for the export of Russian grain in the Middle East region. As part of a full-scale project, it is planned to create the necessary transport infrastructure, SAR Transport Minister Ali Hamoud told RIA Novosti.

“Together with the Russian government, we have reached an agreement on the establishment in Syria of a center for exporting Russian wheat to other countries in the region. Therefore, it will be necessary to expand the ports in the SAR and create granaries in the port area to receive very large volumes of Russian wheat“, — said the minister.

According to the minister, Syria sees the «real interest» of the Russian side in studying this strategically important project. Source.

November 2, 2018. In the Syrian city of Izra, they decided to restore the Orthodox Church of St. George the Victorious, which was heavily damaged by military actions.

Local residents were hiding in the temple from the shells of militants, who have repeatedly tried to attack the building. But the temple survived. As a result, the terrorists did not manage to seize the city. It was planned to start the restoration work five years ago, but the war prevented it. Source.

In the near future, Russian restorers are planning to come to Izra to begin the restoration of the Church of St. George the Victorious. This unique architectural monument was built in 515 on the site of a pagan sanctuary and withstood the bombing of terrorists.

Saint George is the patron saint of Moscow and the whole Russian army. And Russia has always kept in touch with this temple in Syria. Moreover, 100 years ago, Russia participated in the repair of this temple. The main dome was split by an earthquake. The money for the restoration was allocated by Nicholas II personally. Source (video).

November 3, 2018. Syrian farmers are planning to resume the export of olive oil abroad, temporarily stopped because of the war.

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Olive oil from Syria may appear on the shelves of Russian stores. Very soon, local farmers and processors promise to start supplying quality and inexpensive product to Russia. Before the war they used to export oil to many countries.

Now on the Syrian plantations is a hot period. So that the harvest does not deteriorate, it must be harvested as soon as possible. Olives are harvested not with bare hands, but with the help of special combs. Despite the fact that apparently the olive trees seem small, from each of them one may collect 20-30 kg of fruit. Syrians produce excellent olive oil of this fruit.

During the season, the plant (the only one in the district) processes up to a thousand tons of olives. Now that the plantations have begun to revive, the most valuable product can return to the international market. Source (video).

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Deir Attiyah-1 gas field in Syria, north of Damascus, with a capacity of 150 thousand m³ per day was put into operation after a long break due to the crisis in the country. The Minister of Oil, Ali Ghanem, took part in the ceremony of starting the gas field.

Due to the crisis in the country that broke out in 2011, the field was closed. According to the department, gas reserves in it amount to about 4 billion m³. Currently, work is underway to connect this field with another two north of Damascus. Source.

November 4, 2018. Over the past day, the Russian military held three more actions on the distribution of humanitarian aid in the Syrian provinces.

Officers of the Center for Reconciliation held one charity event at the Qatana Hospital in Rif Damascus province. Also, in the Sheikh-Ahmed district of Aleppo, as part of distributing targeted charitable assistance, the Russian military distributed 15 food kits to local residents. In the village of Marrat, Deir-ez-Zor province, 450 food sets were distributed. Source.

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Complexes of industrial and commercial premises specifically for employment of the poor are planned to be built in the city of Bharma in the Syrian province of Lattakia during the year. The construction of the first building is underway, the authorities allocated 650 million Syrian lire (about 1.3 million dollars) to it, it will be opened in February 2019. Subsequently, three more similar buildings will be built nearby. The total cost of the project will be more than 1 billion lire (1.9 million dollars). The complexes will be located on an area of 30 hectares.

The project is implemented at the expense of public funds and is intended for employment of the poor — at preferential prices they can rent premises for workshops in the building or organize small production. On the lower floors of the first building 130 workshops for the repair of refrigerators, motorcycles, cars, plastic windows will be opened. The upper floors will occupy eight workshops, where people will produce olive oil, cheap knitwear and thread.

Bharma was chosen for the construction of buildings because of its high population density. In the city and surrounding villages live more than 150 thousand people. It is expected that, thanks to the implementation of the project, more than 3 thousand Syrians will receive work. Source / Source2.

November 5, 2018. In the Syrian Arab Republic, work continues on the peaceful resolution of the conflict and the provision of comprehensive assistance to Syrian citizens.

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Over the past day, the officers of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the warring parties held one humanitarian action in the province of Rif Damascus, during which 300 food sets were distributed to Syrian civilians. Source.

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The old city court building in the city of Haffa in the Syrian province of Lattakia, built about 100 years ago and exploded by militants during the war, will be reconstructed by January 2019, Haffa mayor Raed Ibrahim told reporters.

The building where the City Court of Haffa was located, the city hall and the police station, was built about 100 years ago in the tradition of Eastern architecture. In appearance it resembled a palace. When militants captured Haffa during the war, the building was ransacked, the archive of the court and the police where the criminal cases were kept were destroyed, and then the building was blown up.

As noted by engineer Fadi Julie, who manages the construction work, old stones that survived the explosion are used to restore the building. Source.

November 6, 2018. The unique «World Butterfly Exhibition» opened in Aleppo, Syria.

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The new science exhibition is aimed primarily at the younger generation. Thus, the organizers decided to arrange a contest in which children can vote for the most beautiful butterfly. According to the head of the exhibition, now such events are vital for Syria. The atmosphere of fun and joy will help the younger generation to forget about the bitterness of the many years of war, which already traumatized the little guests too much.

It is worth noting that this is not the first such event. Increasingly, various cultural exhibitions, fairs, concerts, festivals, sporting events, marathons and demonstrations are held on the territory of Syria liberated from illegal armed groups. All of this speaks primarily of the fact that with the arrival of the Syrian government army and the withdrawal of the militants, the civilian population finally could feel safe. People are gradually returning to the usual way of life. Source.

November 7, 2018. Destroy to build again: Syrian Harasta is being prepared for restoration.

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Many of the buildings for several months are kept only on steel armature and at any time may collapse. The building in the heart of the village Harasta can not be restored. Engineers examined it with the help of special equipment and concluded that it was unsuitable for life and, moreover, dangerous. So, it should be demolished. Before the war, about 45 thousand people lived in Harasta. Now there are just over two thousand. Many streets have yet to be cleared so that construction equipment could get there. Source.

It will take about a year to restore the Syrian city of Harasta in the Rif Damascus province. This was reported to journalists by the head of the administration of Harasta, Adnan Alvozach. Work on the restoration of the Syrian city are from the beginning of this year. 26 units of construction equipment are involved in the dismantling of [damaged] buildings. Source.

The first after war restaurant opened in East Ghouta. A small restaurant brings a little profit — people don’t have a lot of money here, and the prices are half as much as in Damascus. But the owner of the restaurant, Basel, says that he did not invest here on a cold business calculation, but more with his heart. Source.

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On November 7, the first flight of ‘Cham Wings’ from Damascus arrived at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow, Russia. The airport’s press service reports that the flight Damascus — Moscow — Damascus will be a weekly flight. Flights on the Airbus A320 will be operated on Wednesdays. Syrian Cham Wings Airlines began operating flights to Russia in June, 2018. Until November 7, Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport took Cham Wings Airlines flights. Source.

November 8, 2018. Russia helps Syria to restore its fuel and energy facilities.

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Currently, the Russian Ministry of Energy is involved in the rehabilitation and modernization of Syria’s gas transmission networks, its oil pipelines, refineries, power lines, gas and oil wells, and the four largest thermal power plants — «Aleppo», «Mehardeh», «Tishrin» and «Deir-ez-Zor». The implementation of all these plans will create in Syria a significant number of jobs and conditions for the return of peaceful life in the country. Source.

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The Syrian government will open a rehabilitation and psychological support center for former militants. This was stated by the representative of the Ministry of National Reconciliation of the Arab Republic, Yana Haddur. The tasks of the center will include psychological support and reintegration of former militants who have stopped resistance and settled their legal status. Additional support and social welfare for their families is also provided. Source (video).

Despite the fact that Daraa province came under the control of official Damascus only this summer, the Syrian government has already done a lot to restore normal life in the area. Syrian authorities continue the first stage of maintenance work on the main reservoir, which will deliver water to all parts of Daraa.

The reservoir, located in the Al-Arbain area, was severely damaged due to the criminal activities of terrorist groups that previously controlled territories in the south-west of the Syrian Arab Republic. The reservoir capacity is 10 thousand m³, and it is expected that the repair work will be completed before the end of this year. Repair shops workers confirmed their willingness to work around the clock to meet the needs of citizens in Daraa. Source.

November 9, 2018. The world famous castle Krak des Chevaliers in Syria for the first time in seven years has opened its doors for tourists.

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For almost a thousand years of history, a fortress in the province of Homs has survived hundreds of attacks and wars. The fortress also survived after being captured by terrorists. Now it is being actively restored, first of all ancient arches, built by the crusaders, are being repaired. The first after the war visitors to the legendary castle were Russian citizens who have long been living in Syria. Source (video).

The castle is still closed to visit, one can only get there as part of an organized group. With songs, dancing and laughter, the Russians «conquered» the Krak des Chevaliers fortress in Syria. These are mainly Russian wives of Syrians, who during the war could not even leave the city. Source (video).

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In Syria, in a week, civilians moved in about 150 houses. Also, during this period, the Syrian authorities launched eight industrial enterprises and three electrical substations. In addition, during the week, 2 schools, 4 bakeries, 1 medical institution, 1 pre-school institution, and 1 water supply facility were repaired and put into operation. Source.

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Syrian companies took part in the first International Import EXPO in Shanghai, which gave them the opportunity to show others that the country is alive, that the Syrian people are returning to business and can participate in international business events with everyone.

The head of the Damascus company Abu Bader Yassin Haydar said that the company brought about 500 kilograms of sweets to participate in the exhibition so that everyone could taste it. There were a lot of people who wanted to try Syrian sweets. Source.

November 10. 2018. Production of natural marble resumed in Lattakia.

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Every stone in the factory in Lattakia is carefully monitored. The main thing is not to have the slightest flaws: cracks or foreign inclusions. Stone’s value depends on its purity. Natural Syrian marble has always been one of the main wealth of the Republic. When the war began, the demand for marble fell several times. Nevertheless, the plant in Lattakia did not stop work even during the hostilities. Now, when large-scale restoration has begun in Syria, orders for this material are growing every day.

The factory produces about 200 thousand m³ of tiles per year. Next year, the plant director assures, the production volumes will increase significantly. The reserves of natural stone will be enough for at least another 50 years. Source (video).

November 11, 2018. The process of restoring a peaceful life in Syria continues.

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In the city of Deir-ez-Zor a working meeting was held with the heads of administrations of the settlements of the province of Deir-ez-Zor. During the meeting, problematic issues of restoring socially significant objects were worked out.

Also, a humanitarian actions were held in the settlements of Mazlum (Deir-ez-Zor province) and Kubbet El-Kurdi (Hama province), during which 900 food packages were distributed to people.

As part of a charity event, 10 wheelchairs, 25 sets of towels and warm blankets, and clothes for patients were handed over to a military hospital in the village of Es-Sanamein in the province of Daraa. Source.

November 12, 2018. Russian servicemen delivered humanitarian aid to the suburbs of Damascus.

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Humanitarian aid was received by refugees from the Adra-Duer camp. In total, two tons of food was distributed to Syrians. There are more than two thousand people in the Adra-Duer camp today. The queue for humanitarian aid from Russia was divided into two parts, male and female. Each of the Syrians received a special coupon to get food. Before the war, there was a children’s camp like the Russian “Artek”, where the most gifted children were invited.

In the food sets there are the most necessary things — flour, rice, sugar and tea. But traditionally, the mission was not limited to the transfer of products: Russian military doctors arrived at the camp as well. They assisted women and children. According to doctors, young patients mostly suffer from colds, the elderly — hypertension and osteochondrosis. Syrians thanked servicemen for help and support. Source (video).

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By the beginning of the school year, about a thousand schools were restored in Syria after the war, of which about 250 are in the Aleppo area, said the deputy head of the Center for Reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria, Major General Yevgeny Kharchenko at a meeting with representatives of the public and local authorities in Damascus. The military noted that the process of restoring the Syrian schools continues.

Kharchenko added that, along with the restoration of infrastructure, the Reconciliation Center together with governmental and non-governmental organizations provides humanitarian and charitable assistance. For the first half of 2018 alone, the Center for Reconciliation, together with funds, distributed more than 600 tons of food, 900 tons of bread, various humanitarian and medical kits to refugees and low-income citizens. Source.

Olive production resumed in the Syrian province of Al-Quneitra after the withdrawal of terrorist groups. Currently, the region has launched production of 40 tons of olives daily. New olive production figures equivalent to Syria’s prewar economic gains in Al-Quneitra province. Source.

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Officers of the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria delivered humanitarian assistance, including clothing and bread, to the city of Aleppo.

Two humanitarian operations were conducted in Aleppo. A total of 150 school backpacks with school kits were handed out to pupils in the Fatih Marashi school in the Ashaar neighborhood. As many as 150 outfits and 150 blankets were distributed among civilians in the Julub neighborhood. Apart from that, one tonne of fresh bread was handed out. Source.

November 13, 2018. Russian «Aeroflot» is considering the possibility of opening flights to Syria as part of the summer schedule, that is, from the end of March 2019.

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The company’s general director, Vitaly Savelyev, told reporters that the winter schedule has been formed, so a possible option that is being considered is flights from the summer schedule, that is, from March. “We are studying this issue”, said Saveliev. “First of all, there must be demand. One thing is a wish that we are ready, another thing is that people are ready to fly”.

In 2012, «Aeroflot» suspended flights to Syria, explaining that it was economically inexpedient. Currently, two Syrian airlines operate flights from Russia to Syria: Cham Wings Airlines and Syrian Arab Airlines. Source.

November 14, 2018. Russian military held a humanitarian action in the province of Aleppo.

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A humanitarian action was held in the village of Rayyan, Aleppo Province, during which 450 food sets and one ton of fresh bread were distributed to people in need. Since the beginning of the settlement process, the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the warring parties held a 1991 humanitarian actions. The total weight of humanitarian aid amounted to 3118.36 tons. Source.

In Syria, the restoration of the city of Daraa began. It was there that the fiercest battles took place. Now the city is almost completely destroyed, but residents are gradually returning. The streets are filled with construction equipment, hospitals and even a local museum are opening, in which they managed to preserve part of the surviving cultural heritage. Source.

November 15, 2018. The Russian military held humanitarian actions in the Syrian provinces of Hama and Rif-Damascus.

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In the administration of the village of Al-Husseinia, Deir-ez-Zor province, a working meeting was held with representatives of local self-government and the parties’ reconciliation committee on the rehabilitation of infrastructure facilities in Deir-ez-Zor province. In the village of Sheikh-Rih of Hama province, a humanitarian action was held, during which 450 food packages were distributed. A targeted charity event was held in the village of Barza, Rif Damascus province, during which 25 wheelchairs, 25 towels, 25 warm blankets were given to the needy. Source.

The police of Hasaka preparing new personnel to ensure the safety of local residents. At the moment, the battalion is engaged in active restoration of personnel through the introduction of new training courses, in which recruits have the opportunity to develop their physical data, to psychologically prepare for new work.

Future policemen actively demonstrate a great desire to work on their skills in order to demonstrate professional fitness at the end of training. New members of the internal security forces took upon themselves the obligation to defend their homeland, which for a long time was in a state of military action, as a result of which more than three thousand Syrian soldiers were killed. Source.

The Department of Education in the Syrian province of Hasaka conducted the second stage of scientific competitions among students in mathematics, physics, chemistry, science and computer science. In total, 250 people participated in the competition. Five best students from each Olympiad will compete in the third stage of the competition, which will be held at the region level. Source.

November 16, 2018. In the Syrian Arab Republic, work continues on the peaceful resolution of the conflict and the provision of comprehensive assistance to Syrian citizens.

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The Russian Reconciliation Center continues its work. Thus, in the village of Al-Ghasbiyah, in the province of Homs, a humanitarian action was held, during which 450 food packages were distributed to people. Also, a charity event was held in the Syrian-Kadim district in the south-west of Aleppo, during which the distribution of 1 ton of fresh bread to the needy residents was organized. Source.

The sports federation in the Syrian city of Hasaka, in collaboration with the education administration and the «Al-Jazeera» club, revived an event dedicated to the 48th anniversary of the Corrective Movement, led by its leader Hafez Assad.

As part of the ceremony, an event commemorating the great athletes of Syrian Hasaka was held. In addition, a number of sporting events and basketball competitions were held with the participation of residents of the Syrian city.

The participants of the event spoke about the sublime feeling of patriotism. As it turned out, the memories of this movement only reinforce the citizens’ sense of belonging to their homeland and the proximity of the final victory over terrorism in Syria. Source.

Residents of the Syrian province of Daraa organized a march to mark the 48th anniversary of the Corrective Movement. Participants in the event from various settlements liberated from terrorist groups carried the state flags of the Syrian Arab Republic, portraits of SAR President Bashar al-Assad, they also brought banners with slogans in support of the Syrian government army in the fight against illegal armed groups.

The Corrective Movement under the leadership of the Syrian leader Bashar Assad marked a new stage in the history of the Syrian republic, it also provided stability and economic growth in the SAR. Source.

The Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Syria, Imad Khamis, participated in the launch of a solar power plant in the Damascus province with a capacity of 1.26 MW. This is enough to secure 500 homes. In addition, the new power plant will save 500 tons of fuel. As part of his speech, Khamis announced the construction of a car dealership in the area of ​​Ad-Dweir. This [new] town will be built on an area of ​​145 hectares. According to the minister, a new residential area of ​​60,000 apartments will be built in the industrial city of Adra.

For his part, the Syrian Minister of Electricity, Muhammad Harbutli, said that the solar light station is the first step to begin the widespread use of renewable energy sources. Source.

November 18, 2018. Russian military continue to provide assistance to the affected areas of Syria.

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Thus, a humanitarian action was held in the village of Hsham of Deir-ez-Zor province, during which 450 food sets were distributed to people in need. In Damascus, a targeted charity event was held, during which 25 wheelchairs, 25 towels and 25 warm blankets were given to a specialized institute for war invalids. Source (video).

In addition, the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties in Syria distributed humanitarian aid between Syrian residents in the village of Haza, located in the eastern part of the province of Homs. Civilians received food items. Russian physicians also provided free medical care to those in need. Source.

November 19, 2018. Syria is in the process of restoring a peaceful life. Currently, 2,030 residential buildings in the country are being renovated and prepared for commissioning.

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In addition, the Syrian authorities are restoring production in the country to return refugees to their homes. For example, at the moment 180 power substations and 207 water pumping stations are participating in the restoration program. Source.

Syrian authorities are recovering phosphate mining in the desert to the east of the ancient city of Palmyra. For many years, phosphate production has been halted due to terrorism. The efforts of the Syrian authorities in the region opened new workshops for the phosphate mining. In addition, repair teams have successfully completed the program to restore the laboratories that the terrorists tried to destroy. Now, work is continuing to restore phosphate mines in order to return to the production rate that the region showed before the onset of the terrorist attacks. First of all, it is necessary to support the national economy of a country that is currently in decline. Source.

The Syrian authorities are continuing active restoration of public services in the liberated areas of Deir-ez-Zor after four years of terrorist domination. For the first time since 2014, the supply of electricity was resumed in Meyadin. Electricity supply of the city was provided after the launch of the power plant, for the repair of which about 300 million Syrian pounds were allocated. According to the governor of the province of Deir ez-Zor, work to restore the region will continue until the complete destruction of the damage caused by the terrorists. Thus, the Syrian authorities hope to attract civilians who were forced to leave their home province because of fear of becoming victims of the militants. Source.

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The boarding school for the children of the dead soldiers in Damascus received humanitarian assistance from a delegation of members of the inter-religious working group to assist Syria in the Council for Cooperation with Religious Associations under the President of the Russian Federation, headed by the head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk.

Children received winter clothes and toys. Humanitarian aid was gathered by a working group with the participation of the «Arab Diaspora» public organization and the «Russar» Foundation. A social organization of veterans «Combat Brotherhood» helped to deliver the goods. Source.

November 20, 2018. Officers of the Russian Center for reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria held a humanitarian action in the southwestern Syrian province of Daraa, during which they distributed to the civilians 450 food kits (1,900 kilograms of food). Thus, as of September 30, 2015, the Russian military held 1996 humanitarian actions, during which 3,228.1 tons of various humanitarian aid were distributed to Syrian residents. Source.

The charity event was held in the Syrian province of Damascus, where the authorities of Ingushetia sent another humanitarian convoy, timed to coincide with the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. A total of 18 tons of humanitarian aid was shipped from the North Caucasus Republic. The event was held on November 20 in the gym «Al Jala».

The event was also attended by representatives of the Syrian government, the authorities of Damascus, employees of various public organizations, as well as representatives of various religious concessions. It is worth noting that this was already the ninth humanitarian aid delivered by Ingushetia to the Syrian republic. As a rule, such an action is always timed to coincide with some big Muslim celebrations. Source.

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The Ministry of Transport of Russia is developing the issue of organizing a flight from the Crimean Simferopol to Syrian Damascus. This was stated by the head of the ministry Eugene Dietrich at the «Transport of Russia» forum. In October, the Crimean delegation visited Syria, where a memorandum was signed, which included the establishment of a flight connection between Syria and the Crimea. Source.

The head of the Republic of Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, sent a letter to Dietrich asking for support in organizing air links between Damascus and Simferopol. Source.

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The Syrian Artisans Union, with which the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) of Abkhazia concluded a cooperation agreement in September of this year, plans to open a trading house in Abkhazia. This was reported to journalists by the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Abkhazia, Tamila Mertskhulava.

19 representatives of the Syrian Artisans Union on November 19-20 at the invitation of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry participated in the exhibition in Sukhum at the second VisitApsny tourism forum. The tourist forum and exhibition of manufacturers of Abkhazia and Syria were successful, the Syrian artisans presented handicrafts, which were a success among the residents of Abkhazia. Abkhaz manufacturers held talks with their Syrian colleagues, an agreement was reached on the exchange of experience, the acquisition and supply of Syrian products to Abkhazia, the Abkhaz products to Syria. Source.

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Heavy Russian bulldozers will help restore the Syrian cities. A delegation from Damascus arrived in Chelyabinsk to test the products of the tractor factory. The Syrian delegation intends to conclude wholesale contracts for the supply of about 500 units of heavy equipment. Source (video).

The consular office at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was opened in the Syrian province of Hasaka to help immigrants and provide the necessary assistance to residents of the eastern part of the province. The office was opened in the city center of al-Hasaka and equipped with the necessary jobs. All cadres were trained in training courses at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The main service that the office staff will provide is the ratification of all documents submitted in the country. In addition, education certificates, death certificates, birth certificates and others will be issued. The opening of the consular office was one of the main demands of the citizens of the Syrian province of Hasaka. Source.

A group of volunteers from the organization “Salt of the earth” within the framework of the initiative “Sham Btakhki” organized a cultural event to identify the most important architectural sites in Damascus.

According to the participants of the action, the civilization of Syria began in the fortress of Damascus. It was she who showed the world where the roots of the Arab population are growing. First of all, it is necessary for tourists who gradually come to Damascus to look at the oldest city in the world.

The event was attended by 100 young men and 100 young women. All participants came from different Syrian regions. People were divided into eight teams, each of which clearly demonstrated its passion for knowledge, largely due to cultural and entertainment activities. Such events are necessary for future generations of Syria to be as committed as possible to the cultural heritage of their native country. Source.

November 21, 2018. In the mountainous regions of Lattakia, they began to rebuild houses damaged by the shelling of terrorists.

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All work is carried out at the expense of the state. Engineers along with residents inspect and assess the damage. Many buildings are destroyed to the ground, and in the walls of those that survived there’re holes from bullets and shells.

About a thousand and a half families are now expecting to return to their homes in the mountain villages of Lattakia. More than 400 houses in seven localities are already repaired. But this is still only a third of what remains to be done. Source (video).

November 23, 2018. In Syrian Lattakia, the construction of a new dam began, which will provide fresh water to all local residents.

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In order for the walls of the reservoir to withstand a gigantic load, a special substance is added to the concrete — a calmatron. This substance, like the entire project of a hydraulic structure, is the project of Russian specialists. Preparation of the site is almost complete — the channels of the mountain rivers temporarily diverted, and they have already begun to raise the dam itself. Its height will be 54 meters, and length — 210. As soon as the construction of the dam is completed, the fresh water reserves in this area of Lattakia will amount to almost two million m³. It will be enough, even if the population of the province grows tenfold. Source (video) / Source2.

November 24, 2018. Holidays dedicated to the return of stable life and the departure of terrorist groups were held in the old markets of Homs province.

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The event was held in the center of one of the largest markets, with the participation of civil and charitable organizations in Homs. In addition, a large number of ordinary civilians came to the market. Source.

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A new school is being built in the village of Al-Fakhura in Syrian Lattakia. In classrooms and corridors they finish laying tiles. On the first floor there will be classes of Arabic, Russian and English. The second floor will have offices of psychology, literature and mathematics. And even a physical education teacher will have his own office. 30 thousand people live here, and before that, there was only one school for several villages.

The new building construction began 5 months ago. The framework, walls, overlappings are already established. It remains only to carry out finishing work. A school for 360 people is scheduled to open in February 2019. Source (video).

In one of the exhibition halls in Syrian Damascus, an exhibition of the work of prisoners from the central prison of the province in Adra was opened. The event featured paintings, as well as works from wood, seashells and mosaics.

As part of an agreement between the ministries of culture and the interior of Syria, an exhibition of the work of prisoners in Adra prison was organized. In addition, the parties agreed to open two cultural centers in the prison itself to develop the creative potential of prisoners. In the future, similar centers will appear in other Syrian provinces. Source.

The General Energy Company in the Syrian province of Daraa continues to restore electricity in the city of Nava. Over the next few days, it is expected that electricity will be fully returned to the city in which more than 100,000 people live. Source.

The Russian government provided 450 food sets as humanitarian aid for residents of the Syrian city of Anhil, which is located in the north of Daraa province. Anhil residents expressed their gratitude to Russia for supporting the Syrian state in numerous international forums and the war against militants occupying their home country. Source.

November 27, 2018. The first tourists arrived in the restored city of Bosra ash-Sham.

The castle of the historic city of Bosra ash-Sham has reopened its doors to tourists. According to the Director General for Tourism, Yasser Al-Saadi, the return of visitors to Bosra is a turning point for the country’s tourism sector, which was in a state of decline during the crisis. The ancient city has a great historical and archaeological significance. Bosra ash-Sham is the cradle of human civilization. With the help of repairmen, this place looked better than before the outbreak of war.

The theater in Bosra al-Sham was preserved better than other buildings. At the moment it is included in the cultural heritage of UNESCO. Before the outbreak of hostilities, this place was used as a venue for a music festival. Source.

A cultural forum dedicated to the numerous victories of the Syrian government army over terrorism was held in the city of Khader in the province of Al-Quneitra. The event was attended by ordinary Syrian families and relatives of soldiers killed on the battlefield. The famous Syrian writer Adnan Azzam was also present at the forum. Source.

A medical team from the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria conducted a medical examination of residents of the province of Homs in the Tallbis area.

Medical team consists of doctors of different specialties, each of which provides all possible assistance to residents of the Syrian province. In addition, doctors bring the necessary medicines to people. Source.

In addition, over the past day, representatives of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties held one humanitarian action in the village of Aftriss in the province of Rif Damascus, during which 450 food packages with a total weight of 1.95 tons were distributed to the needy. Source.

November 28, 2018. The city destroyed by the militants in Deir-ez-Zor is being restored.

The Syrian city of Al-Ashara of Deir-ez-Zor province, liberated from terrorist organizations, is in full swing cleaning — people are cleaning the main streets of debris.

One of the oldest markets in the city of Al-Ashara, which is located in the vicinity of Deir-ez-Zor, is gradually returning to life: more and more sellers and merchants appear there, offering fruits and vegetables. Educational activities are also gradually being restored. This was due to the opening of 47 schools that were able to accept 14,600 schoolchildren receiving primary and secondary education. Also, a new teaching staff were formed in schools, the authorities provided textbooks and prepared classes for the conduct of lessons. Source.

The Department of Antiquities and Museums in the Syrian province of Daraa in the village of Al-Jiza found 103 previously stolen artifacts from the Bosra Museum. It turned out that all the antiquities seized were destined for smuggling. According to a source in law enforcement, all artifacts belong to the Roman period. Once they were kept in the Byzantine Museum, but were stolen during the terrorist siege of the city. Source.

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500 patients were served in one day by Russian doctors in the Syrian province of Homs, where a large-scale humanitarian action was launched. All those in need receive the necessary medications, as well as food packages. There are almost no surviving hospitals in the province itself. Even where the buildings are preserved, there is a catastrophic shortage of doctors. Therefore, the residents occupy the queue since the very morning.

In total, the Russian military doctors intend to visit ten cities and towns that were hardest hit during the war. It was in this region were the most fierce battles. Source (video).

November 29, 2018. Syrians intend to restore a strategic bridge in the province of Al-Quneitra.

The Syrian province of Al-Quneitra is being revived, in the literal sense, from the ashes. In the coming years, an industrial zone of 250 thousand m² will be built on the territory destroyed and abandoned as far back as the 70s of the last century. The only thing they will not restore is the capital of the province: they decided to leave the ghost town untouched, for the edification of their descendants.

For many years, Quneitra was one of the most backward provinces in Syria. But now it was as if they decided: it’s time to move from war to peace. A garden city will not be built — they plan a factory city. According to construction engineer Haisem Al-Akram, there will be four clusters: chemistry, food, metalware and textiles. A project has already been created: in the first stage, 500 million lire will be invested here. Source.

On some features of the current state of the armed forces of the Arab states

ime_article

Difficult and unstable military-political situation in the Middle East and North Africa, armed conflicts and internal political tensions in several countries of the region, continuing high activity of extremist and terrorist groups, periodically exacerbated inter-state, inter-ethnic and inter-religious tensions, lack of regulation of the Arab-Israeli conflict stimulate the efforts of the leadership Arab States to strengthen national military capabilities, increase the combat power of forces, improving their technical equipment. In this regard, it is noted that “a significant part of this force is directed not at external enemies, but at containing internal conflicts”.

The armies of Libya and Yemen, as a result of internal conflicts, ceased to exist as a single organism, while the army of Syria sharply weakened. The lack of real prospects for resolving crises in these countries impedes the recovery, and even less the development of their Armed Forces. The defeat of the Iraqi army by “Islamic State” militants (ISIS, prohibited in the Russian Federation) in 2014 led to the fact that the republic had to re-create the armed forces.

At present, the leading Arab states in matters of military construction are trying to keep up with current trends in military affairs and the level of technical equipment of the armed forces of the most developed countries of the world. On this basis, taking into account local specifics, the military doctrines of Arab countries are updated, plans for modernizing and re-equipping the Armed Forces are developed (or are being developed), changes are made to the training programs for military personnel, operational and combat training of staffs and troops. At the same time, many Arab countries have the ability to finance programs of national military construction. Nevertheless, a very strong qualitative backlog of the Arab armies from the level reached by the armed forces of developed countries remains.

Here we also note that in the Arab world, the ambitions of government and military leaders, their desire to demonstrate to the neighbors and rivals the capabilities of their state are of no small importance in resolving military issues, technical equipment of the armed forces.

To date, the total number of armed forces of the Arab countries is approximately 2.4 million people. The largest armies are Egypt (438.5 thousand people), Sudan (244.3 thousand people) and Morocco (195.8 thousand people).

The military expenditures of most Arab states remain at a high level. As of 2017, the amount of the military budgets of the countries of the region amounted to $ 122.705 billion. Saudi Arabia has firmly held the first place here for many years — $ 69.4 billion (4.0% of world military spending, third place in the world after the United States and China). Iraq is in second place — $ 13.1 billion. Significant amounts for military needs are spent by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Algeria, Kuwait, Qatar, and Oman.

A characteristic feature of the military policy of such states as Egypt, KSA, other Arabian monarchies, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia is their close attachment to the military-political course of the United States and the West. In many ways, this also applies to Iraq. It is the United States and the countries of Western Europe that remain the main suppliers of weapons and military equipment for the armies of these countries, assist in the training of their personnel, help to create objects of military infrastructure and military industry. A significant place in raising the level of training for the personnel of the armed forces of these countries is given to their regular participation in joint operational and combat training activities with the armies of Western states.

At the same time, Washington, providing military assistance to Egypt and Saudi Arabia, does not allow their military potential to come close to Israel’s capabilities. For their part, Cairo and Riyadh, while maintaining a predominant focus on the United States, are pursuing an independent foreign policy course on a variety of issues. In addition, Egypt is developing military-technical cooperation with Russia. Moreover, both countries are building up their military potential in many ways with the aim of achieving leading positions in the Arab world and the region.

A distinctive feature of the Arab states is their considerable human resources. However, the continuing low educational level of the population, a large number of illiterate and poorly educated people continue to limit the possibilities of recruiting armies with personnel capable of mastering and skillfully applying modern sophisticated military equipment. To date, the quality of training of personnel of the Arab armies as a whole is not high enough, they lack military professionalism. This applies particularly to conscripts. Thus, “the problem of educated personnel remains chronic for the armed forces of the Arab states”. The training of reservists remains weak. The Armed Forces of Jordan can be distinguished for the better by the quality of training of all categories of personnel.

“The Arab armies have a lot of problems with the fighting spirit of their soldiers and officers (they often showed cowardice on the battlefield)”.

The study of the military capabilities of Arab countries shows that one should be very careful about their quantitative indicators (the number of armed forces, the number of military units, the number of military equipment, etc.). An analysis of the real state of affairs suggests that the quantitative indicators hide the weakness of the country’s economic and scientific-technical capabilities, its full or significant dependence on foreign assistance in matters of military construction and technical equipment of the Armed Forces, the low level of technical readiness of weapons, the presence in service of a large number of morally and physically obsolete types of weapons, limited mobilization capabilities, low level of training of personnel, insufficiently developed military infrastructure etc.

As a result, it can be stated that the military potential of almost all Arab states today is at a level that does not allow them to independently provide reliable protection against external aggression, and in terms of quality parameters, the real capabilities of their Armed Forces are significantly inferior to economically developed countries, including Israel.

The main trends in the development of the armed forces of the Arab countries for the near term are: optimization of the organizational and staff structure of the troops, its adaptation to the solution of new tasks, including those related to countering terrorism; improving the quality of operational and combat training of staffs and troops; improving the quality of training of various categories of military personnel. In this case, as a rule, the number of Armed Forces will not increase significantly, and in some cases it may even be reduced.

The core of military construction will remain the technical equipment of the Armed Forces. Here, the focus will be on modernizing the existing means of warfare, equipping the troops with modern and effective types of weapons and military equipment: various types of precision weapons, aviation, missile, armored and artillery weapons, means of anti-tank and anti-aircraft defense and ADS, EW, intelligence and communication equipment, anti-ship and anti-mine weapons, weapons for fighting in the city and conducting military operations in low-intensity conflict situations, rear equipment; the introduction of modern command and control systems; equipping armies with the latest training equipment and training systems.

An increasing place in the plans for building up military potential is given to the development of national military-industrial complexes and the conduct of R & D to develop their own types of weapons. This is largely due to the desire of Arab countries to reduce their dependence on foreign suppliers. This is what contributes in a number of cases to the strengthening of the tendency to purchase not finished goods, but to localize production, to acquire technologies. Egypt has the most developed military-industrial complex. Great efforts to establish military production are undertaken by KSA, the UAE, Jordan and Algeria.

In general, the armed forces of most Arab states are maintained in combat readiness, however, as already mentioned, their combat capabilities are limited. At the same time, “the current revolution in military art, the emergence of new types of weapons, a change in the strategy and tactics of warfare can deal a heavy blow to the Arab armed forces. They may not be ready to wage war in modern conditions. The reason for this is not only and not so much the condition of the troops themselves, but the system of government, education, etc. that has developed in the Arab states, which do not allow the initiative and educated servicemen to succeed”.


Institute of the Middle East.

November 19, 2018. On changes in the military-political situation in the Middle East and North Africa (November 12 — 18, 2018). Annex.

http://www.iimes.ru/?p=49920#more-49920

neo-Nazism/neo-Fascism hydra rising a head. Some food for thought

Let it be no special introduction. Let the following just cause the reader some thoughts.


(1) June 22, 2018. Estonia. Mustla. Installation of a commemorative plaque to Waffen-SS Standartenfuhrer Alfons Rebane.

The installation in Estonia of the memorial plaque to Waffen-SS standartenfuhrer Alfons Rebane purposefully, extremely cynical and «symbolical» took place on June 22, 2018 — the day when fascist Germany attacked the USSR 77 years ago. June 22 is Russia’s day of national tribulation.

Coverage of the event in the Estonian media — one and two.

It is worth recalling that in 2004 a monument to A. Rebane was erected in the village of Viitna in western Estonia. A member of the Estonian Parliament, Trivimi Velliste, speaking at the opening ceremony, called Rebane a national hero. Velliste noted that «it is extremely important, given the need to preserve the historical memory for our descendants, to preserve the spirit of the Estonian nation». Rebane’s deserts to Nazi Germany were marked on the monument with the inscription: «For the chevalier of the Order Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves». Source.

You don’t have to be a great specialist to guess that the Nazi Germany bestowed such a high reward as the «Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves» only to the most select personalities, as they say, for special merits. It was necessary especially to try for war crimes in order to deserve this award. Alfons Rebane was awarded it.

June 26, 2018. A special comment was made by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs — video + text.

«We were shocked to read about a ceremony held in Estonia on June 22 to unveil a memorial plaque on the 110th birth anniversary of Waffen-SS Standartenführer (Colonel) Alfons Rebane, who commanded punitive operations against civilians in the Soviet territory occupied by Nazi troops during the Great Patriotic War.  We consider this policy to be unacceptable and urge the international organisations concerned to convince Tallinn to put an end to this unashamed propaganda of neo-Nazism in Estonia».

June 26, 2018. A well-known news source ANNA NEWS also mentioned this event (at 1’51).

June 27, 2018. The event was commented on, in particular, by the famous Russian publicist, historian and political scientist Armen Gasparyan:

«[A.Rebane is] The diligent and consistent enemy of the Soviet Union, with all the ensuing consequences. One of nine people, foreigners, awarded by the Third Reich with Oak Leaves to the Knight’s Cross. In 1943, Rebane in the rank of Haupsturmfuhrer, i.e. captain, headed the 658th Eastern Battalion, which committed many war crimes in the Kingisepp area. Khabalovo and Chiperinka — two villages from this list [of war crimes] were burned in full force. Does anyone in Estonia remember this today, where Rebane is most actively glorified? Of course not. Or maybe the EU reacted somehow to the deplorable circumstance that a memorial plaque on which a person in the form of the SS Standartenfiihrer (with all the consequences, with the same Knight’s Cross) is depicted on its territory? There is no reaction to this. I repeat, not a military man was heroized. The most ordinary war criminal was heroized, for the very crimes that were condemned at the Nuremberg Military Tribunal. If Brussels says that this is not the case, and Rebane was a fighter against tyranny — well, this will at least be a designation of the position, we will no longer feed ourselves with unnecessary illusions [as to] what views the EU is currently holding».

Internet source Voltaire Network unambiguously characterized the event:

«Estonia celebrates a Nazi Criminal».

Sputnik news portal, of course, also covered this event.

(2) Spring — Autumn 2018. Ukraine. Attacks and smashing of the gypsy camps. Killing people.

The persecution of gypsies in Nazi Germany is a well-known story. Today’s Ukraine (patronized by the West) is no less «remarkable» in this regard. Here’s a brief chronology of a recent events:

October 23, 2018Source:

Neo-Nazis from the C14 group attacked a camp of gypsies, which was located near the railway station in Kiev. Video from the site of the pogrom was posted by Sergey Bondar on his Facebook page, who is a member of the radical nationalist group C14. The incident occurred on the evening of October 23. According to Bondar, after gypsies were expelled from the station square, public services began to clean the territory.

July 1, 2018Source1 / Source2:

In the city of Beregovo, in the territory of the railway depot, unknown persons killed a Gypsy woman. The mortally wounded woman ran away from the attackers and went to the house of one of the local residents where she died from the injury.

June 25, 2018Source (photo, video):

In the evening of June 25 in Kiev near the metro station «Akademgorodok» neo-Nazis from the ultra-right group «Nemesis» smashed another camp of gypsies, consisting of a couple of dozen tents.

June 23, 2018Source:

«Late on the evening of June 23, an attack was committed on a gypsy camp on the outskirts of Lviv, as a result of which people were killed and injured. All the victims and one dead — gypsies from Transcarpathia».

«As a result of the attack, one person was killed, four were injured, including a child. According to human rights activists, this is the sixth attack by supporters of ultra-right groups on gypsy settlements in Ukraine over the past 2 months».

The attackers were in the ultra-right organization «Sober and Evil Youth», which, apparently, is one of the units of the Nazi group Misanthropic Division (an extremist organization banned in Russia), closely associated with the structures of the «National Corps» and «Azov«. Source.

Media reports (videos) — one and two.

The attack on the Gypsy camp was condemned by the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Daniel Holtgen:

June 11, 2018Source1 / Source2:

Radical football fans from the ultras group «Trouble Company» attacked gypsies who settled at the train station. It turned out that these are the same gypsies who were expelled from Goloseevskiy Park  by the radicals from the «National Teams». About 100 people were attacked. The victims and witnesses said that the ultras threw a smoke bomb at the tent with the children — the children began to choke, attackers also beat up the elderly and the pregnant woman.

June 7, 2018Source:

The paramilitary ultra-right organization «National Teams» announced a raid on the Gypsy camp in Goloseevskiy Park in Kiev. Activists issued an ultimatum to Gypsies: to leave the camp within 24 hours. But radicals did not wait even for this time. After about four hours, about 30 young people shot a video, which clearly shows how a group of radicals with axes and hammers heads towards the camp site. Source.

Media report (video). 

Btw, the police was present, watched indifferently and did not interfere. No «activists» were detained.

May 22, 2018Source:

According to eyewitnesses, in the evening on Mikulinetskaya Street in Ternopil, aggressive-minded people with baseball bats broke into the territory of a temporary Gypsy settlement. They threatened its inhabitants with violence and demanded to get out of the city. Several police patrols arrived at the scene and detained 12 people. As noted, the case in Ternopil was the first when someone from the rioters was detained.

In the camp lived both adults and children. At the time of the attack, there were seven adults and thirty-three children. They came to the regional center from the Transcarpathian region. They earned their living by collecting and delivering scrap metal. Source.

May 9, 2018Source:

On May 9, 2018, about 30 unknown young people in black clothes burned gypsy camp, located near the village of Rudnoye, Lviv. As a result, the property of gypsies was destroyed, and the residents of the camp were forced to leave the settlement.

April 23, 2018Source:

nazism-fascism-02-gypsies_[23.04.18]

Radicals from the ultra-right extremist group «Nemesis» burned down several houses in Rusanovskiуe Sady (cottage area on the left bank of the Dnieper river in the Dnieper area of the city of Kiev), which were temporarily occupied by Gypsy families. The victims claim that four children were burned alive in a fire. The left activist and journalist Rita Bondar (formerly Moskalets) wrote about this on her Facebook page (screenshot only, because the original post was deleted, apparently due to threats from the radicals from «Nemesis», which came to the woman because she began to cover the event):

nazism-fascism-02-gypsies_[23.04.18]_2

«Yesterday I was grabbed by the hand of a gray-haired gypsy woman with glassy eyes when I asked her where else there had been arson. She led me along. Showed the house in which four children were burned alive. My friend and I built a microaltar. She just stood there and then left. When we returned, she was going towards us. We crossed eyes, and she, turning around over her shoulder, shouted to me «two of these children were mine*«. P.S. — Sorry, friends, this week I will not write about good things until this is all over».

* Apparently, the gypsy children did not burn, they managed to run out of the house in a last moment, however, they received minor burns. The gypsy woman herself talks about this in a report that Rita Bondar made from the scene and posted on her YouTube channel:

Also, a video appeared on the Internet, showing unknown people set fire to one of the Gypsy houses:

April 20, 2018Source:

In Kiev, the militants of the neo-Nazi group C14 dismantled and burned the camp of gypsies, who for a long time lived on Lysaya Mountain.

Neo-Nazis were not stopped by small children and frightened women in the camp. Dozens of people in black clothes and balaclava broke into the middle of the night. With them they had pepper spray cans, bits and air guns. The inhabitants of the camp had no choice but to escape. Source.

Btw, on July 26, 2018 the Russian MFA commented on the persecution of Gypsies in Ukraine:

«We are following developments in Ukraine with concern. Numerous acts of violence against ethnic minorities and representatives of certain ethnic groups, particularly Romani, have not gone unnoticed. We have repeatedly drawn the international community’s attention to the frenzy of nationalism and neo-fascist ideology in Ukraine. Acts of violence against religious people, violating the language rights of residents, restricting freedom of speech, the murder and intimidation of journalists, and assaults on representatives of ethnic minorities have long become the norm in that country. The most cynical thing is that all these actions are performed with the connivance of the official authorities in Kiev, who either cannot or do not want to curb violent radicalism. In fact, what we are witnessing now is attempts to divide citizens into Ukrainians and other second-rate people. We know from history what such a policy can lead to.

International monitoring mechanisms for human rights cannot be blind to this outrage occurring in Ukraine. Experts from the United Nations Human Rights Council have made a rather strong statement in connection with another assault on a Romani community that resulted in one of its members being murdered. In his twitter account, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe Daniel Holtgen also condemned this crime. We are pleased that the international community is beginning to see the human rights situation in Ukraine clearly. We expect the international community to respond to other crimes committed by Ukrainian radicals, as well as to the Ukrainian authorities’ discriminatory treatment of all ethnic minorities, and we expect the guilty to be held accountable».

These are just some of the events of 2018. Attacks on Gypsies in Ukraine have occurred in previous years also, not once.

(3) May 2018. Ukraine. Nazism in the high echelons of power.

The employee of the Consulate General of Ukraine in Hamburg, Vasil Marushchinets, for many years remained unknown to the public about his hobbies and worldview. However, recently the dubious activity of the Ukrainian official was exposed and the data became public. The Ukrainian diplomat turned out to be an ardent anti-Semite and a Nazi.

Publications in the media:

May 14, 2018. Internet sourse ‘Focus’ reports:

«Ukrainian consul in Hamburg accused of anti-Semitism».

May 14, 2018. Newspaper ‘AIF’ reports:

«Europeans who sympathize with Ukraine once again found themselves in an awkward position — while they talk about the «European choice of Ukrainians», it turns out that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine employs people who are able to give 100 points ahead even to diplomats of the Third Reich».

May 20, 2018. Internet source ‘Lenta.ru’ reports:

«Consul of the highest race. The Ukrainian diplomat did not like Jews and considered himself an Aryan. Colleagues were silent».

Among other things, it is worth noting the following:

In February 2016, the Consul of Ukraine in Hamburg, Vasil Marushchinets, received for his birthday from colleagues a cake in the form of a book by Adolf Hitler «Mein Kampf» (post on Facebook of February 20, 2016).

Btw, this post was ‘liked’ by such people as the first secretary of the Ukrainian Embassy in the United States Valery Stupak, the first secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Valentina Krotova, the advisor-envoy of Ukraine in China Vasyl Gamianin and others.

In addition, the odious official was photographed in a Nazi helmet, pronounced anti-Semitic / fascist speeches, actively denied the Holocaust.

nazism-fascism-04-2

Here are some statements by Vasil Marushchinets in his facebook:

«It’s honourable to be a fascist!» (facebook comment of June 28, 2014)
«Hail Ukraine! Death to antifascists!» (facebook comment of August 21, 2015)
«Death to antifascists!» (facebook comment of October 11, 2017)
«Hail Roman Shukhevych, a hero of Ukraine! (facebook comment of March 5, 2018)
«Oh Lord, do punish Yids and Moskals« (facebook comment of September 23, 2013)
«Passing by zionist, hit him in the face with bayonet and butt-stock» (facebook comment of February 8, 2014)
«Yids are sh*t!» (supposedly January 2014) / * — edited by ALAFF

Vasil Marushchinets have, for example, these people among his facebook friends:

— Valentina Krotova, an employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
— Valentin Adomaitis, worked as the ambassador of Ukraine in Nepal, India.
— Vyacheslav Tsyvatiy, Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine.
— Natalia Zadorozhnyuk, an employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
— Igor Lossovsky, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (Ambassador of Ukraine to Vienna, Austria).
— Miroslava Zinkevich, an employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
— Valery Stupak, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
— Anna Tertychna, works at the Ukrainian Embassy in Bulgaria.

Not the full list, of course. As one can see, all these are Ukrainian diplomats, and many of them pressed ‘like’ button seeing the posts of neo-Nazi and anti-Semite Vasil Marushchinets.

A famous Ukrainian blogger, Anatoly Shariy, conducted a detailed exposure of the strange hobbies of a high-ranking Ukrainian official.
Here are 3 video clips that are worth seeing (English and other subtitles available):

May 12, 2018 — the first part of the exposure.

May 13, 2018 — the second part of the exposure.

May 13, 2018 — the third part of the exposure.

Be sure to check out these videos!

By the way, a few months after the dismissal (Marushchinets was fired at the end of May), our “hero” again showed himself. Thus, at the end of October 2018, there was news that a former high-ranking Ukrainian official took part in the celebration of the fourth anniversary of the Ukrainian nationalist battalion «Karpatska Sich». Source1, source2.

nazism-fascism-maruschynets_nazisalute

The director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, Eduard Dolinsky, published on his Facebook a photo of the ex-consul of Ukraine in Hamburg, Vasil Marushchinets, on which he, standing behind the podium, without embarrassment, throws up his hand in a Nazi salute.

The scandalous trick of the Ukrainian was noticed including by the Polish source. Well, surely when Marushchinets was a consul of Ukraine in Germany, such a person could bring a lot of useful things to the relations between Ukraine and Germany. Isn’t he?

In addition, it’s interesting to mention one more case. On the morning of April 20, 2018 the deputy of the Lviv City Council from the «Svoboda» party Maryana Batyuk posted on her Facebook page congratulations on the birthday of Adolf Hitler. Source.

nazism-fascism-04-hitler_birthday

English translation of her post:

«A great man, whatever one may say…

Nation and Fatherland — this is the only, truly important doctrine for me and for all true National Socialists.

Those who want to live, let them fight, and those who do not want to fight in this world of eternal struggle do not deserve to live».

Maryana Batyuk writes that A.Hitler is a great person, and then places two quotes from his infamous book «Mein Kamph».

nazism-fascism-04- hitler_quote

About an hour after the publication, the deputy deleted her message. Maryana Batyuk herself then claimed that her facebook page allegedly was «hacked».

A wide response was received by a photograph in which Maryana Batyuk together with her students (in addition to her parliamentary activity, Maryana Batyuk is a history teacher in secondary school) in the school corridor throws up hands in the Nazi salute:

nazism-fascism-04- nazisalute

In particular, this scandalous picture was commented on by the Head of the Jewish Committee of Ukraine Eduard Dolinsky on his Facebook page.

Earlier Maryana Batyuk was remembered for having the proposal to hang a red-black flag of OUN-UPA (an organization whose activities are banned in Russia by court order) on the tower of the Lviv Town Hall and on the flagstaff in the High Castle. However, Ms. Batyuk’s colleagues decided that it was too much. Lviv already has to wriggle out before foreign tourists every time, explaining to them a kind of [their] nationalistic «features».

(4) Ukraine, Baltic States, Europe. The manifestations of Nazism in the form of desecration of (Soviet) monuments and the destruction of (Soviet) burials.

A selection of numerous cases of desecration of monuments mainly to Soviet soldiers in Eastern Europe (and not only):

May 12, 2008Lithuania, Vilnius — video:

August 11, 2009Estonia, Tallinn — video:

December 13, 2010Latvia, Riga — video:

The inscriptions were covered with white paint strips, without a swastika. It was quickly eliminated. Earlier, an act of vandalism was committed in a new Jewish cemetery [in Riga], where 89 graves were mutilated by swastikas (see photos).

August 23, 2013Bulgaria, Sofia — video:

September 13, 2013Poland, Legnicy — source1 + source2:

December 9, 2013Poland, Warsaw — video:

February 3, 2014Latvia, Riga — video:

Btw, the action with the installation of the gallows near the Victory Monument was sanctioned(!) by the authorities, and local police officers followed it.

May 22, 2014Polandvideo:

May 29, 2014Germany, Hannover — source:

nazism-fascism-05-_[29.5.2014]

September 7, 2014Bulgaria, Sofia:

Attempted desecration. Prevented.

Russian MFA’ comment.

September 24, 2014Ukraine, Kiev — video:

September 2014Poland, Nowy Sącz — video1, video2:

The court acquitted the vandal, who desecrated the monument to the soldiers of the Red Army.

December 6, 2014Russia, Volgograd — video:

nazism-fascism-05-11_[6.12.2014]

February 23, 2015Austria, Vienna — video1 + video2:

«On the night of February 23 this year, a memorial to the Soviet soldiers-liberators on the Schwarzenbergplatz square in the center of Vienna was desecrated».

April 14, 2015Bulgaria, Sofia — video, text:

nazism-fascism-05-12_[14.4.2015]

September 25, 2015Poland, Milejcicc — video1, video2:

Vandals splitted the red stars from the tombstones. Official statement of the Russian MFA.

September 30, 2015Poland, Szczecin — source:

«Theft by unknown offenders of five gravestone stars at the Szczecin cemetery, where over 3,000 Red Army soldiers were laid to rest«.

October 3, 2015Russia, Oha — video:

November 2, 2015Germany, Berlin — video1, video2:

November 11, 2015Poland, Warsaw — video + media report:

November 27, 2015Poland, Garwolin — video, media report:

December 22, 2015Poland, Kalisz — video1, video2:

January 17, 2016Poland, Szczecin — video1, video2:

Russian MFA’ statement.

February 3, 2016Kazakhstan, Aktau — video1, video2:

Vandals wrote on the walls of the monument someone’s name.

February 7, 2016Hungary, Chor — video:

February 26, 2016Poland, Slavno — video:

«Vandals tore off a memorial tablet from the monument».

March 9, 2016Russia, Perm — video1, video2:

Disrespectful attitude, mockery. The teenager used the monument as a skate ground and dried his feet at the Eternal Flame. He was detained by the police and apologized.

September 6, 2016Lithuania, Miroslavas village — source:

nazism-fascism-05-_[6.9.2016]

«In Lithuania, vandals painted a monument to a Soviet soldier with red paint».

September 17, 2016Poland, Makow Mazowieckie — source1, source2:

nazism-fascism-05-_[17.9.2016]

November 15, 2016Russia, Saransk — video:

December 22, 2016Ukraine, Kiev — source:

January 16, 2017Austria, Vienna — source /  video1, video2:

«In the capital of Austria, unknown people doused the monument to Soviet soldiers who died during the liberation of the country from fascism».

February 22, 2017Bulgaria, Plovdiv — source1, source2 / video:

March 25, 2017Latvia, Riga — video:

April 20, 2017Ukraine, Mariupol — source:

October 3, 2017Poland, Szczyrk — video:

October 5, 2017Poland, Strzegom — video (statement):

«In the town of Strzegom (Lower Silesian Voivodeship), vandals attached a tablet with an insulting inscription to the monument to Red Army servicemen killed in battles for the town’s liberation from Nazis».

Russian MFA’ statement.

November 4, 2017Bulgaria, Plovdiv — video1, video2:

December 14, 2017Ukraine, Kiev — source:

«Unknown vandal-fascists mutilated recently installed Hanukkah menorah».

January 8, 2018Ukraine, Gayvoron — source:

«A monument to the soldiers of the Great Patriotic War is disfigured in the city of Gayvoron, Kirovograd region [of Ukraine]».

January 10, 2018Austria, Vienna — source / video:

January 22, 2018Poland, Olsztyn — source1, source2:

nazism-fascism-05-_[22.1.2018]

«The Polish radical, Vojtech Kozel, an oppositionist from the times of the People’s Republic hung a banner with the words «Monument of gratitude for captivity» on the monument of gratitude of the Red Army in the Polish city of Olsztyn. The inscription is accompanied by a picture depicting a Soviet soldier harassing women».

Russian MFA’ comment.

February 2, 2018Ukraine, Kiev — source / video:

nazism-fascism-05-_[2.2.2018]

«Neo-Nazis destroyed the Wayside cross, established in Kiev».

February 16, 2018Ukraine, Lviv — video:

February 20, 2018Lithuania, Gribine village — sourcevideo1, video2:

March 6, 2018Austria, Vienna — source:

March 19, 2018Ukraine, Berdichev — source1, source2 / video:

nazism-fascism-05-_[19.3.2018]

«Radical Ukrainian nationalists have desecrated the monument to General Nikolai Vatutin in the town of Berdichev in the Zhitomir Region of Ukraine, where neo-Nazi young men in broad daylight broke the commemorative plaque and mocked, with impunity, the memory of the commander who led the Red Army to liberate Ukraine from Nazi invaders».

April 13, 2018Ukraine, Kiev — video:

April 18, 2018Ukraine, Odessa — sourcevideo:

«In Odessa, on the Alley of Glory, neo-Nazis from the fascist group C14 smeared with red paint the names of Russian cities-heroes of the Great Patriotic War».

April 22, 2018Poland, Warsaw — video1, video2:

April 23, 2018Ukraine, Poltava — source:

nazism-fascism-05-_[23.4.2018]

April 27, 2018Estonia, Rakvere — source / video (comment):

nazism-fascism-05-_[27.4.2018]

Btw, some days later, on May 10, 2018 the monument was again desecrated — the vandals scattered flowers and smashed the candles. Estonian source with photos.

May 1, 2018 — Austria, Vienna —  source:

Attempt for desecration. Prevented.

«On May 1, Russian tourists prevented an attempt to desecrate the Monument to the Soviet Soldier-Liberator in the center of Vienna, driving the intruders away from the monument. This was reported on Wednesday, May 2, to the TASS correspondent at the Russian Embassy in Austria».

June 6, 2018Czech Republic, Prague — source1, source2:

«Press Secretary of the Czech President Jiří Ovčáček personally took part in the restoration of a monument to the Soviet soldiers-liberators desecrated by the vandals».

July 5, 2018Austria, Vienna — source:

nazism-fascism-01-1_[5.7.2018]

«The memorial to the Soviet soldiers-liberators on the Schwarzenbergplatz square in Vienna was desecrated for the fourth time (in six months). The monument was built in memory of 17000 Red Army soldiers who died during the Vienna Offensive Operation. Vandals poured black paint on the pedestal and flowers assigned to it».

On July 5, 2018 Embassy of the Russian Federation in Austria responded to an outrageous case of vandalism:

«[We] Declare Strong Protest! This is a blatant act of vandalism, aimed at combating the memory of the sacrifices incurred by the Soviet people in the war against Nazism».

Of course, this list is not complete and exhaustive. This is only a superficial survey, which, however, shows a trend of a certain definite orientation. The vandals’ actions in Europe and Ukraine, which have become more frequent in the past few years (at times) and, in fact, remain unpunished, are a direct reflection of the Russophobic policy of the authorities of the countries concerned. Attempts to rewrite history, denigrate the role of the USSR in the WWII, distort historical facts, the heroization of Nazi criminals, wild Russophobia, as a matter of fact elevated to the rank of a cult in some countries (Ukraine, Poland etc)… — all this educates the societies of the respective countries in a very definite mood. At the same time, impunity and connivance once again assure the vandals of the correctness of their actions.

Btw, following the results of the first half of 2018 Poland became the leader in the number of acts of vandalism against Soviet monuments — there are 39 such cases in the country. One can imagine what statistics will be now, at the end of the year…

(5) Ukraine. Glorification of Waffen-SS division «Galicia». Nazi propaganda among children.

Just some of recent «remarkable» events in Ukraine:

April 28, 2017 — Ivano-Frankivsk. March of the memory of Waffen-SS division «Galicia»:

In Ivano-Frankivsk, the far right held a march in honor of the 73rd anniversary of the creation of the Waffen-SS division «Galicia». About 100 people went with torches through the streets of the city to the Memorial Park, where a memorial service was held for the deceased members of the division. Source / Video.

July 23, 2017 — Solemn reburial of the remains of 23 soldiers of the division «Galicia«.

The ceremony was attended by people dressed in the SS uniform (strictly forbidden not only in Russia, but also in Europe). As a mockery of the Nuremberg trials, banners with swastikas, skulls and eagles developed in the cemetery. Source / Video.

April 18, 2018 — Lviv. Opening of the exhibition dedicated to the troops of Waffen-SS division «Galicia»:

In Lviv, near the monument to Vyacheslav Chernovil opened an exhibition of weapons and uniforms, dedicated to the 73rd anniversary of the creation of the Waffen-SS division «Galicia». Source.

More photos of an exhibition: here and here (Ukrainian source).

Commentary of the famous Russian publicist, historian and political scientist Armen Gasparyan in his twitter (Source):

«In Lviv, an exhibition dedicated to the division of the SS troops «Galicia» was opened. Two photos from the event. Don’t need more for understanding».

Btw, the mentioned above [see (3)] deputy of the Lviv City Council  and part-time history teacher in secondary school Maryana Batyuk also visited this exhibition, which she gladly described in her Facebook:

On the photo Batyuk smiles and poses with a machine gun in her hands.  In another photo the smiling Batyuk, along with her students, posing with a group of SS soldiers. Translation of her facebook post:

«Together with the students of the secondary school number 100 [we] visited a remarkable exhibition dedicated to the history of the «Galicia» Division. That’s just what one need. Thank you. We were very interested».

April 22, 2018 — Lviv. Neo-Nazis rides a car around Lviv in fascist uniform and under Ukrainian flags — source / video.

nazism-fascism-06_ss_galicia_ride_[22.4.2017]

Pay your attention to the car’s number with SS symbol:

(photos source).

April 28, 2018 — Lviv. «March of greatness and spirit» in honor of the 75th anniversary of the creation of Waffen-SS division «Galicia»:

Almost a thousand people passed through the streets of the city. During the procession, participants shouted slogans: «Galicia — a division of heroes», «Ukraine above all». Source / video1, video2 .

Commentary of the famous Russian publicist, historian and political scientist Armen Gasparyan on his twitter (Source):

«In Lviv, a march took place in honor of the 75th anniversary of the SS division Galicia. Don’t have to remind that the West did not notice this coven».

April 2018 — Issue of postage stamps depicting soldiers of Waffen-SS division «Galicia»:

«For anyone who still doubted the presence of Nazism in Ukraine, Kiev issued postage stamps with the «heroes» of the fascist SS division «Galicia». Many are portrayed directly in Nazi form». Source.

Ukrainian organization called «Union of Orthodox journalists» noted this news on its twitter.

Famous Russian publicist, historian and political scientist Armen Gasparyan commented on this issue too:

«Postage stamps of one democratic country».

Ukrainian source mentioned that the illustrator is a Ukrainian artist Oleg Kinal and that cancellation of a stamp will be held in Lviv on Saturday morning (at 11 am), April 28 at St. Jura Square.

! Note: there’s no 100% confirmation that this news about Waffen-SS division «Galicia» postage stamps is not a fake. On the other hand, to this date (November 2018) there’s no info or details that this news is not real. I.e. presumably this news is reliable, but still there is a possibility that this may be a fake.

Indirect signs speak for the reliability: Ukrainian source mentioned above reported the concrete name of the illustrator, as well as the exact place and time of stamps cancellation (the source had to find out somewhere about this data)Artist Oleg Kinal on his Facebook page on April 28 (the day of the march in honor of the «Galicia» division) wrote an unambiguous post that he considers the soldiers of Waffen-SS division «Galicia» as the national heroes of Ukraine (this means he could well be an illustrator of the stamps). The general situation on Ukraine speaks in favor of this (the heroization of Nazi is commonness for today’s Ukraine). Plus, the fact that such unofficial stamps (of course you’ll not find them in the official Ukrainian Mail catalogs) in honor of the «Galicia» division are freely sold and available. But still, all this is indirect signs.

November 7, 2018 — In Kiev gymnasium No.315 a military valor lesson was held, and the Waffen-SS division “Galicia” became a role model. Source.

nazism-fascism-05-galicia_[9.11.18]

This was reported by the Director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee Eduard Dolinsky in his Facebook:

«In Kiev gymnasium №315 a lesson of military valor was held. A model of valor was the Nazi formation — SS division «Galicia». A lecture on the “glorious” SS men was read to the children by a representative of the Ukrainian Military Honor community, which is dedicated to praising Ukrainians who served in the Nazi units. This is the newest trend for schools, when valor and courage are taught through examples of collaboration, service in the SS, schutzmannschaft, auxiliary police and the fight against civilians».

In the UMH community itself, commenting on the lesson, they stated: “It should be noted that the references to this glorious military formation in the school curriculum are not adequately covered. Therefore, we decided to correct this situation. Listeners liked it. To be continued”.

Speaking of Nazi propaganda among children in Ukraine, in March 2018 Lviv Department of Science and Education announced a drawing competition on the topic «Ukrainian volunteers in the ranks of the division «Galicia» 1943-1945″. To participate in the competition adolescents aged between 14 and 18 are admitted. Source1, source2.

Here is the advertising poster of the contest:

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The prizes were distributed as follows: for the first place 3000 hryvnia (~ $114), for the second place 2000 hryvnia (~ $76), for the third place 1000 hryvnia (~ $38).

Head of the All-Ukrainian Jewish Committee Eduard Dolinsky commented on the event:

«If you are from 14 to 18 years old and you draw well — hurry up. Lviv Department of Education and Science holds a drawing competition on the topic «Ukrainian volunteers in the ranks of the division «Galicia» 1943-45″. If you’ll draw well an SS officer or a meeting of Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler with the personnel of the [«Galicia»] division , you will win a prize of 3,000 hryvnia. The award will be held on April 28 during the march dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the Waffen SS division».

Children sent a variety of drawings. A few samples (more drawings here and here):

The last photo where the girl is holding a drawing is the winner of the contest.

The drawing contest is just the tip of the iceberg. In Ukrainian schools lessons are held, where children are given lectures on the history of Waffen-SS division «Galicia», information and educational activities are carried out under the name «Galicia Division — Heroes of Ukraine», where the children are inspired with the idea of the «heroism» of Waffen-SS division «Galicia» chasteners soldiers…

Thus, in Lviv State Secondary School(!) No.34 operates the Museum of the SS division «Galicia». This was reported by the famous Ukrainian historian Vasyl Rasevych. It is interesting that during the Second World War in this school there was a German Sonderkommando, who came to organize the extermination of the Jews. Source.


Inscription on the plate: «Museum of «Galicia» division».

Deputy Chairman of the Anti-Fascist Committee of Ukraine, Chairman of the Lviv AFC A. Kalynyuk in 2012 reported:

«Since [Ukrainian] local government bodies finance schools, designate leadership, they set the rules. Thus, in the secondary school No.34 in Lviv, a museum of the [Waffen-SS] «Galicia» division was created, and in secondary school No.21 they even came up of creating a museum of kryivka, i.e. Bandera’ cache (kryivka — the military-defensive structure of the UPA, located under the ground). In the secondary school No.7 in Borislav city, at the entrance to the school in the hall, they made a corner of the nationalists (corner — a special place with all the information, i.e. photos, text, pictures etc). Surprising is not the creation of this corner, but the presence of the national flag [of Ukraine] together with the flag of the OUN(b).

State propaganda, especially when Viktor Yushchenko was the president of Ukraine, fooled the people. Many openly believe that the veterans of the «Galicia» division in no way fall under the category of Nazi, because their division belonged to the category of «Waffen SS». I have to disappoint everyone who thinks so. In the materials of the tribunal in Nuremberg it is clearly written:

«The International Military Tribunal recognized the following organizations as criminal (…) Die Schutzstaffeln der Nationalsozialistischen Deutschen Arbeiterpartei (known as the SS), in particular, also all members who were formally recognized as members of the SS, including:

(Information — Atle Grahi-Madsen, «The Status of Refugees in International Law», Leyden, 1996, pp. 277, 279)».

In the secondary school of the village of Malyi Khodachkiv, located 20 kilometers from Ternopil, a memorial stand was erected dedicated to Theodor Barabash — a native of the village, a veteran of the Waffen-SS division «Galicia».

The director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, Eduard Dolinsky, reacted violently to the opening of the stand. Source.

Facebook post translation:

«Look at how the school is being reformed, how history is being rewritten, and how children are being fooled. In the secondary school of the village of Malyi Khodachkiv, located 20 kilometers from Ternopil, a memorial stand was erected dedicated to the veteran of the SS division «Galicia», a native of the village Theodor Barabash. The stand tells about the life of a veteran, a short battle path, a captivity, further life in Spain. But, most interestingly, there is not a single word that Theodor served in the German SS division «Galicia».

It says that veteran served not with the Nazis, but simply in the Ukrainian division. You see: there is not a single word on the stand about who fought with whom, about the SS, about the Nazis, or about Germany. Everything is extremely simple: Theodor Barabash joined the Ukrainian division «Galicia», «around which there are many unsolved secrets, which the Soviet historians-ideologists and their heirs in our time diligently hid».

In was «The Galicia Division Reserve» organization who installed a stand at the school. A solemn ceremony was held with a march through the village. The priest sprinkled the stand with holy water. What happened to the Jews in the village of Malyi Khodachkiv and how their memory is honored — you can guess for yourself».

It’s very funny when the Western elites, like stupid little kids, continue to insist that «there is no Nazism in Ukraine»™, «there’s no Nazi propaganda», and that «all this is a Russian propaganda». Sure.

(6) Ukraine. Nazi camps for the «patriotic education of children».

This paragraph echoes the previous one, which dealt with the Nazi propaganda among children in Ukraine. In this case we are talking about a phenomenon that is worth to allocate it into a separate paragraph. These are camps for children, where they are trained to be «patriots of Ukraine». The «trainers» themselves are no less interesting… But let’s get everything in order.

Recently, the newspaper Associated Press came out with a «shocking» and «sensational» material that caused a resonance in the West — the newspaper’s reporters visited one of the camps in Ukraine, where children are trained to kill «the enemies of the country». In the West, it was called the propaganda of Nazism among children. Strange behavior. What, before you did not see all this? For four years now, Russia has been talking about turning Ukraine, in fact, into a Nazi state (with the patronage and connivance of the West), including the propaganda of Nazism among children. Oh, sorry, that was a “Russian propaganda”. Of course. But what about the statement that «There is no Nazism in Ukraine»™? Well, now Western reporters suddenly recovered their sight and saw the truth. Anyways, better late than never.

Well, let’s show a cursory chronicle of events.

July 2014. The «Russian Spring» source comes out with an article entitled «Children’s Fascism in Ukraine: the girls in the summer camp shout Nazi slogans and raise their hands».

In the summer camp of Ukraine, girls go in line, raise their hands in a German greeting, shouting football chants, as well as nationalist slogans: “Ziga zaga!”, “Glory to Ukraine!”, “Glory to the nation, death to the enemies!”.

One of the top Russian political analysts, Sergei Mikheev, believes that the propaganda of Nazism for children is part of an anti-Russian project designed to split the neighboring nations:

This is the construction of some kind of anti-Russia, which is the only content of the Ukrainian Nazi idea. And so it has been since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Even before, all Ukrainian nationalism was based on this “anti-Russia”. On the creation in Ukraine of a certain ethnic community, which purposefully opposes Russia. This goal was pursued by the creators of nationalism. At one time it was Austria-Hungary and Germany, nowadays the Poles, Americans and partly Europeans have picked up this baton”, the expert believes.

For Russia, undoubtedly, this is a danger, because there is an attempt to create a neo-Nazi state directly on our borders with an extremely radical anti-Russian orientation”, Mikheev summarizes. “As for the cynical methods of using children, this is a common practice of neo-Nazism”. Source.

February 2015. The «Russian Spring» source reports: «The Nazis from the battalion «Azov» in Mariupol prepare the «Hitlerjugend» of adolescents 14-17 years old».

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In Mariupol, the punitive battalion «Azov» organized the youth battalion «Azov» of adolescents and boys 14-17 years old. Ideological young men who have sports training were selected.

The first task and verification of loyalty for young “Azov guys” was the proposal to make each a list of 100 names of separatists and anti-Ukrainian minded citizens from among acquaintances and social circle.

June 2015. The «Russian Spring» source published an article entitled «In Dnipro, they opened the camp of the young Nazis called «Ukropchik».

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On Saturday, June 20, the first three hundred children were sent to the camp. The opening of the camp was reported by the people’s deputy of Ukraine Boris Filatov in his Facebook. In particular, the children learned nationalist slogans.

The camp is sponsored by the Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoyskiy. The camp program is free, designed for children 10-14 years old (they can hold a machine gun). Its goal is to enhance the patriotic spirit of young people and familiarize children with the basics of orienteering, scout skills, and elements of Cossack life. Duration of stay in the camp — 3 days. Source.

After the coup d’état in 2014, “Ukrop” (in English — “Dill”) became the generally accepted contemptuous name for Ukrainians who were hostile to Donbass. The name appeared as a response of the residents of Donbass, whom the Ukrainians called «Separs» (i.e. separatists). «Ukropchik» is a diminutive form of the word «Ukrop» (i.e. «Little dill»).

August 2015. «Neo-Nazis from «Azov» battalion teach children to kill» — new report on the «Russian Spring» source.

The neo-Nazi battalion «Azov» opened a children’s camp «Azovets» near Kiev. The “counselors” from among the militants of the extremist group teach children between the ages of 9 and 18 to handle weapons and other intricacies of the art of war. The camp is primarily designed for children of the Azov regiment fighters, however, it is also proposed to visit the rest of the children.

Volunteer battalion «Azov», part of the National Guard of Ukraine, was formed in May 2014. In September, it was decided to turn the battalion «Azov» into the regiment.

In June 2015, the US House of Representatives (the lower house of the US Congress) unanimously supported the amendment of Congressman John Conyers to the law on military appropriations, according to which the US military is forbidden to train the Ukrainian National Volunteer Battalion «Azov» of the National Guard of Ukraine, because the ideology of this armed group was recognized as neo-Nazi.

Sputnik reported about the article in the German magazine «Blauer Bote»:

The English-language Ukrainian newspaper Kiev Post praised the Ukrainian battalion Azov for training children at its summer military camp, German magazine Blauer Bote reports.

«Kiev Post follows the line of one song. This song is about Ukrainian soldiers defeating their enemies. Now, Russia is the enemy. ‘I want the war to end and all Russians to be killed’, a little boy whispered«, a Blauer Bote journalist comments.

Famous Ukrainian blogger Anatoly Shary exposed fake of Ukrainian media, which claimed that it is about the usual «scout camps». In his video, Shary showed that children in the camp are taught by representatives of the «Right Sector» (extremist organization banned in Russia). Source.

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Surprisingly, but propagandists from the British tabloid The Daily Mail were also “shocked” by the discoveries about the children’s Nazi camp in Ukraine.

September 2015. Pavel Astakhov, the ombudsman for the President of the Russian Federation for the rights of the child, sent a message to the UN calling for a check of the «Azovets» children’s camp, in which the soldiers of the Ukrainian battalion «Azov» teach children military affairs.

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Relevant appeals were also sent to the Investigative Committee and the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation. Source.

August 2016. Information source «Ridus» reported on training in the children’s camp of the radical gang formation “Azov”, which the Kiev media prefer to call a “volunteer battalion”.

According to the author of the video, Donetsk journalist Konstantin Dolgov, the video shows the morning parade — classes for young Ukrainians begin with a collective repetition of the “Prayer of the Ukrainian Nationalist”.

“The similarity of the camp students with the Hitlerjugend is obvious, and the text of the Prayer itself glorifies Bandera, Konovalets, Shukhevych and other Ukrainian fascists”, the author notes.

September 2016. «Warming up at the barrel of the machine-gun: shocking pictures from the Ukrainian children’s camp» — with this title comes a new article on the «Russian Spring» website.

At first, we see one of the children squat in front of the line, apparently for some kind of offense, after which the neo-Nazi, putting a gun on the children, commands the army to spread out in a line on a distance of an outstretched arm.

Judging by the way children tremble, the morning is cold. One of the children is wrapped in a blanket, which a neo-Nazi forces him to take off with a rough shout: «Hey, blonde, you won’t need a blanket!». Until the end of the warm-up, he does not lower the sight of the machine gun from the children.

Apparently, the «leader» is a Ternopil nationalist and neo-fascist Nikolay Marko, a former member of a punitive operation in the Donbass. Source.

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The Dutch journalist Michiel Driebergen described in the English version of the Arabic edition of The National, how for twelve days the militants of the punitive battalion «Azov» of fifty children between the ages of eight and sixteen make “true patriots” in the summer camp near Kiev. Source.

June 2017. On the shores of the Azov Sea, in the children’s summer camp «Azovets», created by the eponymous nationalist formation «Azov», under pseudo-patriotic songs, Ukrainian children are taught Nazism and hate everything Russian. Source.

At the end of the video, one can clearly see how the children shout the Nazi slogan «Glory to Ukraine, Glory to the Heroes!» (see (25) for more info about this slogan).

The Ukrainian Nazi party «National Corps«, created on the basis of «Azov», opens children’s camps, where they will educate «patriots». The opening video was posted on the party’s Youtube channel:

In such camps, children are taught how to handle explosives, disguise, skills of handling military topographic maps.

The Ukrainian invaders have never really concealed their plans for the population of the lands of Donbass they control. When one of them was asked about such plans about a year ago, he called only two words: the gallows and the schools. The policy of «gallows» the [Donbass] population has already experienced in the full extent. Now it was the turn of the «schools». This is an old truth: if you want to break a nation, educate its children. That’s what they actually do. Source.

July 2017. The American media have made the «discovery» — television company NBC News published a documentary film, which tells about the Ukrainian nationalist formation «Azov» (banned in the Russian Federation). The material contains cadres of teaching children to military affairs in one of the summer camps of an extremist organization. It is about «Azovets» camp near Kiev.

Particular attention is drawn to the chants, which Ukrainian ultranationalists teach children in the camp. For example:

We are children of Ukraine! Let Moscow lie in ruins, we spit on it! We will conquer the whole world! Death to Moskals!

We’ll return the Crimea, we’ll return the Kuban, and we’ll throw off the Moskals’ filth.

An NBC correspondent reports that children in the actual Nazi camp can be woken up at 3 am by breaking grenades and getting involved in the imitation of hostilities. Source.

NBC shows interviews with camp instructors. They proudly and with obvious pleasure talk about their mission: they say, children do not know what war is, and we have to tell them what it is, because the return of the Crimea and the seizure of the Kuban are ahead. Source.

The camp instructors advocate hatred of Russia and Russians as nation, and also “lay the ideological foundation for future generations”. But that’s not all. The tasks of “patriotic” education include the promotion of hatred towards compatriots who sympathize with Russia. Source.

Ukrainian Nazis use every year in power for mass recruitment of the younger generation in their ranks. Thus, nationalist battalion «Azov», whose fighters «became famous» for their particular cruelty in the Donbass, published a video of the new group in the children’s camp, where boys and girls from childhood will be inculcated with the Nazi ideology and hatred of Russia. Source (with photos).

Camp activity was also «noticed» by ABC News and Foreign Policy (back in 2016).

Hundreds of such camps are functioning all over Ukraine, where they teach to hate everything Russian, to passionately love their homeland, to kill enemies and, without thinking, to give up their lives. The truth is, all this is similar to what happened in fascist Germany, where the Hitlerjugend was cultivated. Then these children not only marched and shouted nationalist chants, but, already as part of the German army, they burned and killed people in the Great Patriotic War. Source.

Military training is paid by politicians and the Ukrainian elite. Each camp has its own sponsor. It is their so-called support that helps sell vouchers to the camp at bargain prices.

Experts compare such a parenting program with radical methods of ISIS* militants, forcing their children to kill almost from birth. Little infantrymen, as NBS’ filmmakers call them, do not understand anything, shout what they are told, and do what they said to do. They absorb the hatred of adults, and it’s not hard to imagine what these Ukrainians will be a few years later. Source.

* Organization banned in Russia.

September 2017. Antifashist.com source reported that «A stay in the Nazi camp for children, where they will make child «a patriot of Ukraine», costs 3,000 hryvnias (about $108).