Posts Tagged ‘Dmitry Rogozin’

Tigers & You-Freightees

January 31, 2017

Just a few indicators that we’re now into the month of the Tiger during the Year of the Fowl:

Korean tigers return to Baekdu-daegan mountain range

The [South] Korea Forest Service announced that it has transported a pair of male Korean tigers named Duman and Geumgang to the tiger forest at the Baekdu-daegan National Arboretum in Seobyeok, North Gyeongsang Province. The Forest Service has set up a system of barriers around the forest to allow visitors to observe the tigers in safety.

“Mt. Baekdu tigers are a protected species designated as Level 1 endangered wild fauna,” said Park Jong-ho, director of the Forest Service’s forest usage bureau.

 

Bobcat escapes from National Zoo in Washington

A female bobcat, believed to be about 7 years old, was found to be missing Monday morning from its enclosure at the National Zoo when it didn’t show up for breakfast.

“We know that she is absolutely capable of surviving, even thriving, in this area,” said Brandie Smith, the zoo’s associate director of animal care. “If she doesn’t return, she would likely survive on a diet of birds, small rodents, house cats or small dogs that are left alone outside,” Smith added.

 

Man Mauled by Tiger, Killed at Eastern China Resort

A man named Zhang who climbed a fence at Dongqian Lake Resort in Zhejiang province to avoid paying the entry fee was attacked and killed by tigers when he into ventured into their enclosure.  The attack occurred on Saturday [New Year’s Day] at the Tiger Hill enclosure in Ningbo Youngor Zoo.  One tiger was shot dead by local police, and three others nearby were dispersed using firecrackers.

 

Precautionary measures in the Fire Fowl Year

Russia grounds Proton-M rocket for 3½ months

Russia’s workhorse Proton-M rockets will be out of service for three and a half months because of engine problems.  Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said some employees at the Voronezh factory had been involved in faking documentation linked to the rocket and would be “harshly punished.”  The director of the factory resigned last week after Russian officials concluded that the crash of a Progress [space] cargo ship in December was the result of a malfunction by engines built at the plant.

 

Kalash of Titans

November 13, 2012

Somehow, Lunghu has become an uncompensated, unacknowledged strategic brand advisor to the Russian Federation.  Emphasis is on the uncompensated aspect of this dubious honor, which turns out to be a good thing, because who wants the hassle of having to register with the National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice as an agent of a foreign principal?

How did this happen? The slippery slope began with a gentle gradient, when Lunghu made some offhand, less-than-flattering comments about Mosfilm’s back-catalog that drove ’em straight into the arms of Google’s YouTube.   Then, a bit later, he pointed out that (despite Rosneft, Gazprom, Rusal and the rest) Russia really only has two 21st century global brands:  Comrade Bear and the AK-47 Kalashnikov.

Someone has been listening:

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin called on Saturday for a merger of two of Russia’s leading small-arms makers, Izhmash and Izhmekh, under the Kalashnikov brand.
“We need to set up a new-old brand, named ‘Kalashnikov.’  Izhmekh and Izhmash, with all due respect, are not a brand.  Kalashnikov –that’s a brand,” Rogozin said.

Backstory

This didn’t exactly come out of the blue.   Rogozin has had prior run-ins with Izhmash management, and he probably hasn’t seen many recent improvements to their past performance:  Izmash’s foray into production of paintball guns hasn’t been too profitable.  Even worse, there’s been a recent optics issue:

Long-serving employees at Russian weapons manufacturer Izhmash, including the legendary Mikhail Kalashnikov, sent a letter to the Kremlin [in October] complaining about falling production and low wages.  Employees claim that bad management has led to the loss of several export contracts, [which] prompted wage cuts, forcing skilled personnel to leave in droves.
“Irreversible changes may take place at the enterprise, leading to the disappearance of brands such as Kalashnikov, Dragunov and Nikonov,” the letter said.

 

Given this context, it’s not surprising that Comrade General Mikhail K. is completely onboard with Dimi Rozgozin’s merger proposal:

Mikhail Kalashnikov, who turned 93 on Saturday, personally authorized the use of his name for the [combined Izhmekh/Izhmash enterprise], Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Sunday.
Izhmash has manufactured Kalashnikovs since the rifle first went into mass production in 1949, while Izhmekh is best known for producing Makarov and Yarygin handguns.

As long as the Russian Federation is accepting free and unsolicited advice, Lunghu suggests that the merger deal includes a generous personal-services contract for Comrade General Mikhail and his family.  A gesture of good will can be worth more than gold.

 

Give Chance a Piece

January 13, 2012

World peace ain’t exactly bustin’ out all over, but somehow the supply of barely-used AK-47s exceeds current demand.  That is, at least in two neighboring nations that border the Eastern Baltic Sea …

The Finnish Defense Forces will have to sell or scrap up to 100,000 assault rifles in mint condition.  In the 1990s Finland acquired 200,000 Kalashnikov-type assault rifles at bargain prices from China, and from Germany, which unloaded surplus equipment from the National People’s Army of East Germany.  …  They have not been used in the training of conscripts because they are of lower quality than Finnish-made assault rifles.  Commander Taneli Uosukainen says that they are good battlefield weapons, but they are not as durable in military training as Finnish-made guns are.

However, selling the guns is difficult, as there is little demand for AK-47s in [Europe].  Prospective buyers would be mainly from Third World countries … [but] Finnish policy forbids selling weapons to conflict zones.

Meanwhile, in the Kalashnikov Motherland itself, crates of AKs just end up in the dustbin of post-Communist history:

A local pensioner has found submachine guns in abandoned crates, which he was going to use for heating his stove, a source in Udmurtia’s law enforcement agencies told Itar-Tass on Friday. “On Thursday evening district police officers noticed that a resident of Sovkhozny in the Zavyalovsky district was unloading the containers and decided to examine them. Some 79 Kalashnikov submachine guns, spare parts and 253 magazines were found in the search of 64 containers,” the source said. The investigation continues.  A criminal case for negligence is about to be opened against Izhmash officials.

 “The weapons arrived at the Izhevsky arms plant for destruction from arms depots of the Defense Ministry … The Kamaz driver was taking the crates [with weapons] to a firing range … but sold them off on the way,” police said.  Izhmash PR officer Yelena Filatova suggested the truck driver was taking what he believed were empty crates to a dump but sold them on the way to a local resident for firewood.

Management at Izhmash can’t be too happy to hear that “Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin will fly to Udmurtia on January 24 to organize a meeting on firearms production and storage at the military compound.”

Elsewhere in the Baltic Region …

Investigators in the northern Russian port of Arkhangelsk have charged in absentia Estonia’s former spy chief, Eerik-Niiles Kross, with organizing the hijacking of the cargo ship Arctic Sea in 2009, a spokesman for the regional Investigative Committee, Yury Shperling said on Friday.  “We sent the documents [on the case] to Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) to put Kross on the federal and international wanted lists,” Shperling said.

Estonian Justice Minister Kristen Michal [retorted:] “Estonia will not hand its citizens over to Russia and [Russia] knows this well. One of the principles of the agreement on juridical assistance between Estonia and Russia says that if citizens are not exchanged, then an investigation of the case is exchanged.  If the Russian authorities wish to question Kross they should do so via the Estonian Prosecutor General’s Office.”

Lunghu suspects Russia has learned that one of Kross’ networks provided key intell to NATO back in June 2009 about what was going on in Kaliningrad.   It’s always payback time when Comrade Bear is involved.