In recent days, the Russian Army, Air Force and Navy have been shaken by extraordinary events. Each of them could be regarded as an unfortunate or tragic accident. However, taken together they are giving a sad idea that "something is rotten in the state of Denmark."
On December 13, a fire broke out aboard the only Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov during repair works at the Zvezdochka ship-repairing center in northern Russia. According to preliminary data, the fire was caused by a spark from welding equipment that fell on a heap of rubbish, which had been forgotten to clean up.
On December 15, the floating dock PD-16 with the written-off diesel-powered submarine B-380 sank in the Southern Bay of Sevastopol.
On December 17, the engine of a Tupolev-22M3 failed in the Astrakhan region while the bomber was performing a scheduled flight. "Thanks to the competent actions of the crew, the jet with the failed engine was diverted away from a populated locality and landed on an unpaved strip," said the Defense Ministry.
On November 25, the criminal investigation division
of the Interior Ministry in Sterlitamak (the constituent Republic of Bashkortostan) initiated a criminal case under part 4 of Article 158 of the Criminal Code (grand theft) over stealing 276 tons of explosives from the federal state enterprise Avangard.
People are writing in social networks that repair works on the aircraft carrier are held with the help of "experts" from the Dagestani community, and it is not a surprise. Outsourcing to individuals without necessary qualifications and mentality, and -- which is highly likely – without any permission for working at military and defense facilities has long become a tradition. Under such conditions, it is a real surprise that fires on combat ships of the Russian Navy do not occur every day.
A bizarre coincidence should be noted. Almost simultaneously with the fire on the Admiral Kuznetsov, a floating dock sank in Sevastopol as a reminder of a similar incident in Murmansk that involved a floating dock with the aircraft carrier itself. It was saved only thanks to the self-sacrificing actions of the crew. The question arises: was it a coincidence or an act of sabotage?
Military pilots are arguing at the air forums: how come that the failure of one engine led to an emergency belly-landing of a long-range bomber on a field? And why did the Defense Ministry report on the competent actions of the crew as soon as it became known about the incident without waiting for the results of the investigation? “Landing on the ground with one engine working properly and damaging the aircraft is all bad news, actually," wrote the pilots. "Tu-22M3 flies with one engine as perfectly well as with two ones with any payload. But it is not possible to land it with two engines out of operation at all. Only if a miracle of miracles happens. So, the question is still open: what really happened there?”
There is an opinion that the prompt announcement confirming the competent actions of the bomber pilots was made in order to protect them from possible punitive financial sanctions amounting to tens of millions of rubles, which have been recently imposed on officers who allowed an inappropriate missile launch.
As for the embezzlement at defense enterprises, it has already become a sad fact of life. "Hundreds of millions are stolen," Russian President Vladimir Putin said bitterly, referring to the situation at the Vostochny spaceport. However, there is no doubt that his words can be applied in a broader way -- to the entire Russian military and defense industry.
Could the situation be different, if the corruption has become a system factor of all Russian reality not only in the defense industry but also in the Army, Air Force and Navy?
For comparison, construction of four newest battleships Sevastopol, Poltava, Petropavlovsk and Gangut in tsarist Russia took only two years (1909-1911). It is noteworthy that the Russian defense plants had no experience in building such ships but acquired it quickly and skillfully. After a number of delays in the course of construction, Prime Minister Peter Stolypin intervened in the situation and fired officials of the Maritime Ministry.
At present, not only the repair works but also the construction of new combat ships are conducted halfheartedly and it take decades. Not so long ago, Russia mocked at China, which bought an uncompleted Soviet aircraft carrier Varyag from Ukraine at the price of scrap metal. It should be noted that the Chinese also bought technical and design documentation in Russia to complete the aircraft carrier. Now the Chinese Navy has put the ship on its tables of equipment. Another aircraft carrier has been built from scratch and a third one is under construction.
From time to time Russian engineers and constructors share the information with the media about their readiness to develop the miracle aircraft carrier Storm and the miracle destroyer Leader.
There is no doubt that our developers are quite capable of drafting sketch designs of such "wonder ships". But taking into account that the Russian scientific and design school has degraded no less (if not more) than other parts of the Soviet heritage, what will be the level of these projects?
The main reason for the plight of the Russian military and closely related defense industry and the Army, Air Force and Navy is the liberal privatization model of the economy against the background of a truly Tatar-Mongol invasion and the yoke of ‘effective managers’.
Shoveling the billions of rubles from the budget into these industries will not change the situation. The announced large-scale rearmament with modern combat equipment is needed here. It is taking place, indeed, but at a slack pace. The problem is, it is not changing the general atmosphere and the corrupt "aura" that has crept into all spheres of Russian national economy.
In the tsarist and early Soviet times, the professions of military engineer and defense factory worker enjoyed prestige and were highly paid. Now even an Asian guest worker in Russia requires a salary that exceeds the miserable earnings of workers and engineers at Russian defense plants. And this happens despite the fact that the top managers of our defense industry have a salary that Elon Mask has never dreamed of.
Almost every day, the Russian media highlight new facts on theft in the defense industry and even in the Defense Ministry. This shows that there are no corporate "rules of the game" based on the code of honor and responsibility for the country's defense capabilities.
In the current reality, in fact, the understanding of engagement in the military class -- the Kshatriya caste, as it were -- has been driven to the margins of corruption mentality or, maybe, has even disappeared altogether. In my opinion, this is probably the key reason for the degradation of the Russian defense sector, as well as the Army, Air Force, and Navy.
If in the leading military powers the "deep state", which is a symbiosis of elite military men, the army and intelligence services, plays a key role in state management, in post-Soviet Russia, the security forces of the "deep state" have found themselves in the shadow of offshore nouveau riches and even got a side job, in fact, in criminal groupings.
Without the revival of the elite caste of the so-called Kshatriya soldiers, the former defense power and military glory of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union cannot be reestablished.
To stop chasing profitable defense orders for some dubious projects, to start systemic scrutiny of the current catastrophic situation in the Russian economy and to look for an alternative to the liberal privatization model of management is the main task for analysts of the Russian General Staff, which in the old days was deservedly called the Brain of the Army.