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A car for Russia: Project Kortezh

Alexander Mercouris

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The single biggest gap in Russian manufacturing of consumer products, and the one which more than any other is responsible for the distorted opinion much of the world has of Russian industrial prowess, is the absence of high end passenger cars.

Passenger cars are by far the biggest, most complex and most expensive goods which most consumers will buy.  At the very highest end they are the object of many people’s fantasies.  The technological and industrial prowess of a country is therefore all too often bound up with them.  Consider for example what Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini have done for the image of Italy, what Mercedes, BMW and Audi have done for that of Germany, what Rolls Royce and Bentley have done for Britain, what Toyota has done for Japan, what Citroen and Peugeot have done for France, and what Cadillac and Lincoln have done for the USA.

Prior to the 1917 Revolution Russia took the very first tentative steps to create what might have evolved into a comparable model of car in Russia in the form of the Russo-Balt car, whose design however depended heavily on imported technology

Nicholas II preferred Delaunay-Belleville cars imported from France.  Here is a picture of his son the Tsarevich Alexey behind the wheel of one

Lenin famously preferred Rolls Royce Silver Ghosts imported from Britain, of which the Kremlin car pool at one time had nine.  Here is Lenin at the back of one.

and here is a picture of what may be the same car.  Note the still intact original Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in the background.

The lack of interest and support for the Russo-Balt meant that development and production ceased around 1923.  Only a few examples are left in a few museums.

Stalin preferred American cars, his favourites being imported Packards.  Unlike subsequent Soviet leaders Stalin however took a strong personal interest in motor cars and was an active supporter of the Soviet car industry, whose development he saw as vital to the country’s industrial future.  During his rule the Soviet car industry boomed, being built up essentially on American lines, with US engineers and technology being brought in to create the factories.

This was reflected in what became Stalin’s own car, the first Russian made car used by a Russian leader, the Zis101, which was designed by a Moscow factory rebuilt and retooled with help from the US, and which clearly shows American and specifically Packard influence.

Here is Stalin inspecting his Zis101 in a picture from the late 1930s.

Subsequently the Zis factory (renamed ZIL during the de-Stalinisation period of the 1950s) became the sole producer of limousine cars for the top Soviet leaders, though the GAZ factory in Nizhny Novgorod (at that time named Gorky) also produced a series of limousine cars for middle rank officials under the brand name Chaika, as well as the USSR’s closest approximation to an executive car for the USSR’s middle classes, the Volga.

Here is a picture of a ZIL-117 as produced from the late 1960s

and here is a picture of a GAZ Chaika limousine from roughly the same period

and of a GAZ Volga, of which examples can still sometimes be found on Russian roads

The American influence on all these cars is very obvious.

In the 1960s when production of these cars was launched they were competitive with cars produced elsewhere.  However apart from the Volga, which was exported in limited numbers to the rest of the former Soviet bloc – the distribution system for these cars – with allocation within the USSR being through a centralised state run distribution system for designated officials – would have worked against their export even if there had been a Western market for them, which of course there wasn’t.

By the late 1970s all these cars were becoming outdated.  Production of the Chaika seems to have stopped in 1988, shortly before the USSR collapsed, production of the ZIL apparently staggered on to about 2002 but then stopped entirely, whilst the Volga, despite multiple relaunches and redesigns, could not compete with imported Western executive cars – especially the Mercedes E class and the BMW 5 class – and was discontinued in 2004.

Since then Russia’s domestic volume car manufacturer Avtovaz (maker of the Lada series of cars) has staged a strong recovery, and Russia makes some very capable off-road vehicles, but production of top end luxury and executive passenger cars has ended.  Though Russia’s Defence Ministry retains a few open top ZIL cars for use in parades, the Kremlin car pool today uses mainly Mercedes cars, with President Putin’s personal limousine being a stretched Mercedes S600 Pullman.

For a country as proud as Russia this is an unacceptable situation, and around 2010 discussion began of the need for a new top end car.  Dmitry Medvedev, who was at that time Russia’s President, in his typically unimaginative way, suggested this could be achieved by putting the old ZIL back into production.  On returning to the Presidency Vladimir Putin however – very properly – vetoed this idea, rejecting the re-engineered ZIL with which he was presented.  Since then a programme has been underway supervised by Russia’s Industry Ministry and specifically by its Industry Minister Denis Manturov, to develop a new line of top end Russian passenger cars.

The reason Putin rejected the proposal to return to the ZIL has nothing to do with personal vanity.  The key difference between the cars which are being designed today and the ZIL-Chaika-Volga trinity of the 1960s is that the new cars are intended to be commercial cars, competitive with top end Western luxury and executive cars and attractive to private Russian consumers on the Russian market, and potentially capable of export.  In order for this to be possible they must be at least equal in quality and specifications to the best Western cars.

The result is a programme known in Russia as Project Kortezh.

The Russians have gone about this programme in a very characteristic way.  The Industry Ministry has focused Russia’s huge engineering resources on developing a range of car engines, with development centred on NAMI, Russia’s state scientific and motor research centre.  Little is known about these engines, of which there are known to be several.  However the most powerful is known to be a big and hugely powerful 6 litre V12 850 hp engine, which the media is already calling “the Tsar engine”.

Once these engines are fully developed they will be serially produced by NAMI or licensed for production to factories supervised by the Industry Ministry, from whence they will be made available for use by Russia’s various domestic car manufacturers who will be able to build their own individual car bodies around them.

This methodical and modular approach, combining the resources of both state and private industry in a carefully structured industrial partnership, is very characteristic of contemporary Russian industrial policy.

The launch of series production of these engines is expected to take place this year, for use in a series of cars principally designed for use by the Kremlin car pool (thus the designation Project Kortezh – ie. the “cortege” or vehicle convoy put together from the Kremlin car fleet).  This initial series is known to include a large luxury saloon car comparable to the Mercedes S Class or a Bentley, a newly designed state limousine for use by Russia’s President based on the saloon car, a large luxury SUV, and a luxury minivan.

The manufacturer selected to build the first series of cars for the Kremlin car pool, including the new state limousine, is Russia’s giant Severstal group, whose car manufacturing branch Sollers makes the well known series of UAZ off road vehicles both for the Russian civilian market and for the Russian military.

Sollers has displayed models of what some of these cars may look like, with particular stress on the state limousine, which will definitely use the V12 850 hp engine.  Here is a picture

The more commercially important car however will be the saloon, which has now been seen being test driven in camouflage paint

The fact that the saloon is being tested over snow shows the tough conditions dictated by the extremes of the Russian climate these cars are being designed to contend with.  It is known that all of these cars – including the state limousine and the saloon – will use four wheel drive.

The first order for these cars from the Kremlin car pool numbers 5,000 and is mainly intended for official use.  However – unlike the ZIL and the Chaika – the saloon and the SUV will also be available for purchase by private buyers.

It remains to be seen whether the cars produced by Project Kortezh will be internationally competitive.  However care is clearly being taken to ensure that they represent a fully up to date quality design, and the Russian government is uniquely placed to ‘persuade’ wealthy Russian buyers of the wisdom of buying them.  Besides many Russian buyers will not need such ‘persuasion’  to buy them if their quality is good since they are strongly patriotic people who are highly motivated to buy Russian cars.

That ought to ensure a strong domestic market for these cars, which experience shows is essential both for their future development and for their subsequent success on the export market.

If Project Kortezh really does deliver a high end product – and there is no reason to think that it won’t – and if it does produce cars that can compete successfully in the international car market, then the days when Russia was ridiculed for its inability to produce successful high quality consumer products may soon be over.

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Ron ChandlerTSBessarabynJOHN KHOURYVera Gottlieb Recent comment authors
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Ibraheem Musa Usman
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Ibraheem Musa Usman

Cute I wish Russia will bring out those models compete in the world car market

D.A
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D.A

Looks a bit too much like the Rolls Royce to be honest. And that is not an issue in itself, KIAs and Hyndais also look like knock-offs of german cars. Most importantly will be the question of quality and price but dont expect it to join the top end car line up… only way this will work is if those without the money want to drive like money and have a reasonably good quality product for example the Genesis of Hyndai which looks like Audi/Tesla or something this could be the Genesis of The Russian manufacturer like Rolls.

Lenson
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Lenson

Russia makes arguably the finest jet fighters, helicopters and heavy vehicles in the world so if it makes financial sense and with a bit of nationalistic pride to to help urge it along of course it can be done. The problem will be in the mass production phase of economy of scale and QC…..I hope they do it

JNDillard
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JNDillard

I think this could spell big trouble for the German export market. I have no doubt that the quality will be there and the price point will be excellent. The other plus that should not be ignored is that Russia’s status is climbing all over the world on many fronts. There are a lot of people who want to be associated with the revolutionary re-alignment of power that Russia represents. However, there are other issues. The market is moving toward 1) self-driving and 2) hybrid electrics. Not a word about the adaptability of the Russian plan to these two new… Read more »

Clem Kadidlehopper
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Clem Kadidlehopper

Indeed Mr. Dilliard, I am now 71 and driven literally hundreds of thousands of miles in 26 countries and in that period of time, may be 3-4 times would it have been advantageous to have had a self driven car, because of the hours behind the wheel.
For me the joy of having one of these cars is driving it myself. Especially that 12 cylinder 850hp. Would be delight. Makes me wonder the cost and possibility of importation to Latin America where I live.
Cheers

Vera Gottlieb
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Vera Gottlieb

The very last thing we need are more cars – cars which, when unsold, end up where???

JOHN KHOURY
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JOHN KHOURY

I believe the new cars shall be a success. They certainly look good. It is time that Russia starts producing
cars that shall be attractive on the international market. Addtionally, as earlier stated by JNDillard, the trend towards hybrid and self-drive needs to be addressed.
JOHN KHOURY Monte Carlo, Monaco

Bessarabyn
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Bessarabyn

I’ll buy a Niva in da meantime. , then save op for the V-12 . Gotta Holden v-8 now – Gas conversion . Good luck and get yer arses goin’ .

TS
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TS

Nice though, but the Russian version needs to be more of an SUV due to weather and the type of roads that can and will be encountered in Russia. For those that stay to good roads, they already have an SUV and at the high end level, want that foreign car, so just tax the hell out of it and produce repair parts (for when the rich abandon their foreign luxury cars).
Oh, the car featured.. looks like it has sheet metal for bulletproof upgrades.. so Russian..

Ron Chandler
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Ron Chandler

Wonderful. Russia should by all means approach car-making from its characteristic method. As a car design nut I offer some suggestions: 1. Use Isuzu technology to explore SILICON CERAMIC engine blocks. They require no cooling system at all, invaluable in Russia’s extreme cold, and simply operate at very high temperature, with low emissions. 2. Be cautious in plunging into battery hybrids, again because these can be inefficient in very cold conditions. 3. Adopt the almost-defunct Citroen oleo-pneumatic suspensions, and thus exploit a single parts set and tech for all cars from sub-compact city car to limousine, while obviating the laborious… Read more »

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Is the Violent Dismemberment of Russia Official US Policy?

Neocons make the case that the West should not only seek to contain “Moscow’s imperial ambitions” but to actively seek the dismemberment of Russia as a whole.

The Duran

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Authored by Erik D’Amato via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity:


If there’s one thing everyone in today’s Washington can agree on, it’s that whenever an official or someone being paid by the government says something truly outrageous or dangerous, there should be consequences, if only a fleeting moment of media fury.

With one notable exception: Arguing that the US should be quietly working to promote the violent disintegration and carving up of the largest country on Earth.

Because so much of the discussion around US-Russian affairs is marked by hysteria and hyperbole, you are forgiven for assuming this is an exaggeration. Unfortunately it isn’t. Published in the Hill under the dispassionate title “Managing Russia’s dissolution,” author Janusz Bugajski makes the case that the West should not only seek to contain “Moscow’s imperial ambitions” but to actively seek the dismemberment of Russia as a whole.

Engagement, criticism and limited sanctions have simply reinforced Kremlin perceptions that the West is weak and predictable. To curtail Moscow’s neo-imperialism a new strategy is needed, one that nourishes Russia’s decline and manages the international consequences of its dissolution.

Like many contemporary cold warriors, Bugajski toggles back and forth between overhyping Russia’s might and its weaknesses, notably a lack of economic dynamism and a rise in ethnic and regional fragmentation.But his primary argument is unambiguous: That the West should actively stoke longstanding regional and ethnic tensions with the ultimate aim of a dissolution of the Russian Federation, which Bugajski dismisses as an “imperial construct.”

The rationale for dissolution should be logically framed: In order to survive, Russia needs a federal democracy and a robust economy; with no democratization on the horizon and economic conditions deteriorating, the federal structure will become increasingly ungovernable…

To manage the process of dissolution and lessen the likelihood of conflict that spills over state borders, the West needs to establish links with Russia’s diverse regions and promote their peaceful transition toward statehood.

Even more alarming is Bugajski’s argument that the goal should not be self-determination for breakaway Russian territories, but the annexing of these lands to other countries. “Some regions could join countries such as Finland, Ukraine, China and Japan, from whom Moscow has forcefully appropriated territories in the past.”

It is, needless to say, impossible to imagine anything like this happening without sparking a series of conflicts that could mirror the Yugoslav Wars. Except in this version the US would directly culpable in the ignition of the hostilities, and in range of 6,800 Serbian nuclear warheads.

So who is Janusz Bugajski, and who is he speaking for?

The author bio on the Hill’s piece identifies him as a senior fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis, a Washington, D.C. think-tank. But CEPA is no ordinary talk shop: Instead of the usual foundations and well-heeled individuals, its financial backers seem to be mostly arms of the US government, including the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the US Mission to NATO, the US-government-sponsored National Endowment for Democracy, as well as as veritable who’s who of defense contractors, including Raytheon, Bell Helicopter, BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and Textron. Meanwhile, Bugajski chairs the South-Central Europe area studies program at the Foreign Service Institute of the US Department of State.

To put it in perspective, it is akin to a Russian with deep ties to the Kremlin and arms-makers arguing that the Kremlin needed to find ways to break up the United States and, if possible, have these breakaway regions absorbed by Mexico and Canada. (A scenario which alas is not as far-fetched as it might have been a few years ago; many thousands in California now openly talk of a “Calexit,” and many more in Mexico of a reconquista.)

Meanwhile, it’s hard to imagine a quasi-official voice like Bugajski’s coming out in favor of a similar policy vis-a-vis China, which has its own restive regions, and which in geopolitical terms is no more or less of a threat to the US than Russia. One reason may be that China would consider an American call for secession by the Tibetans or Uyghurs to be a serious intrusion into their internal affairs, unlike Russia, which doesn’t appear to have noticed or been ruffled by Bugajski’s immodest proposal.

Indeed, just as the real scandal in Washington is what’s legal rather than illegal, the real outrage in this case is that few or none in DC finds Bugajski’s virtual declaration of war notable.

But it is. It is the sort of provocation that international incidents are made of, and if you are a US taxpayer, it is being made in your name, and it should be among your outrages of the month.

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At Age 70, Time To Rethink NATO

The architect of Cold War containment, Dr. George Kennan, warned that moving NATO into Eastern Europe and former Soviet republics would prove a “fateful error.”

Patrick J. Buchanan

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Authored by Patrick Buchanan via The Unz Review:


“Treaties are like roses and young girls. They last while they last.”

So said President Charles De Gaulle, who in 1966 ordered NATO to vacate its Paris headquarters and get out of France.

NATO this year celebrates a major birthday. The young girl of 1966 is no longer young. The alliance is 70 years old.

And under this aging NATO today, the U.S. is committed to treat an attack on any one of 28 nations from Estonia to Montenegro to Romania to Albania as an attack on the United States.

The time is ripe for a strategic review of these war guarantees to fight a nuclear-armed Russia in defense of countries across the length of Europe that few could find on a map.

Apparently, President Donald Trump, on trips to Europe, raised questions as to whether these war guarantees comport with vital U.S. interests and whether they could pass a rigorous cost-benefit analysis.

The shock of our establishment that Trump even raised this issue in front of Europeans suggests that the establishment, frozen in the realities of yesterday, ought to be made to justify these sweeping war guarantees.

Celebrated as “the most successful alliance in history,” NATO has had two histories. Some of us can yet recall its beginnings.

In 1948, Soviet troops, occupying eastern Germany all the way to the Elbe and surrounding Berlin, imposed a blockade on the city.

The regime in Prague was overthrown in a Communist coup. Foreign minister Jan Masaryk fell, or was thrown, from a third-story window to his death. In 1949, Stalin exploded an atomic bomb.

As the U.S. Army had gone home after V-E Day, the U.S. formed a new alliance to protect the crucial European powers — West Germany, France, Britain, Italy. Twelve nations agreed that an attack on one would be treated as an attack on them all.

Cross the Elbe and you are at war with us, including the U.S. with its nuclear arsenal, Stalin was, in effect, told. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops returned to Europe to send the message that America was serious.

Crucial to the alliance was the Yalta line dividing Europe agreed to by Stalin, FDR and Churchill at the 1945 Crimean summit on the Black Sea.

U.S. presidents, even when monstrous outrages were committed in Soviet-occupied Europe, did not cross this line into the Soviet sphere.

Truman did not send armored units up the highway to Berlin. He launched an airlift to break the Berlin blockade. Ike did not intervene to save the Hungarian rebels in 1956. JFK confined his rage at the building of the Berlin Wall to the rhetorical: “Ich bin ein Berliner.”

LBJ did nothing to help the Czechs when, before the Democratic convention in 1968, Leonid Brezhnev sent Warsaw Pact tank armies to crush the Prague Spring.

When the Solidarity movement of Lech Walesa was crushed in Gdansk, Reagan sent copy and printing machines. At the Berlin Wall in 1988, he called on Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.”

Reagan never threatened to tear it down himself.

But beginning in 1989, the Wall was torn down, Germany was united, the Red Army went home, the Warsaw Pact dissolved, the USSR broke apart into 15 nations, and Leninism expired in its birthplace.

As the threat that had led to NATO disappeared, many argued that the alliance created to deal with that threat should be allowed to fade away, and a free and prosperous Europe should now provide for its own defense.

It was not to be. The architect of Cold War containment, Dr. George Kennan, warned that moving NATO into Eastern Europe and former Soviet republics would prove a “fateful error.”

This, said Kennan, would “inflame the nationalistic and militaristic tendencies in Russian opinion” and “restore the atmosphere of the cold war in East-West relations.” Kennan was proven right.

America is now burdened with the duty to defend Europe from the Atlantic to the Baltic, even as we face a far greater threat in China, with an economy and population 10 times that of Russia.

And we must do this with a defense budget that is not half the share of the federal budget or the GDP that Eisenhower and Kennedy had.

Trump is president today because the American people concluded that our foreign policy elite, with their endless interventions where no vital U.S. interest was imperiled, had bled and virtually bankrupted us, while kicking away all of the fruits of our Cold War victory.

Halfway into Trump’s term, the question is whether he is going to just talk about halting Cold War II with Russia, about demanding that Europe pay for its own defense, and about bringing the troops home — or whether he is going to act upon his convictions.

Our foreign policy establishment is determined to prevent Trump from carrying out his mandate. And if he means to carry out his agenda, he had best get on with it.

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Photos of new Iskander base near Ukrainian border creates media hype

But research into the photos and cross-checking of news reports reveals only the standard anti-Russian narrative that has gone on for years.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Fox News obtained satellite photos that claim that Russia has recently installed new Iskander missile batteries, one of them “near” to the Ukrainian border. However, what the Fox article does not say is left for the reader to discover: that in regards to Ukraine, these missiles are probably not that significant, unless the missiles are much longer range than reported:

The intelligence report provided to Fox by Imagesat International showed the new deployment in Krasnodar, 270 miles from the Ukrainian border. In the images is visible what appears to be an Iskander compound, with a few bunkers and another compound of hangars. There is a second new installation that was discovered by satellite photos, but this one is much farther to the east, in the region relatively near to Ulan-Ude, a city relatively close to the Mongolian border.

Both Ukraine and Mongolia are nations that have good relations with the West, but Mongolia has good relations with both its immediate neighbors, Russia and China, and in fact participated with both countries in the massive Vostok-2018 military war-games earlier this year.

Fox News provided these photos of the Iskander emplacement near Krasnodar:

Imagesat International

Fox annotated this photo in this way:

Near the launcher, there is a transloader vehicle which enables quick reloading of the missiles into the launcher. One of the bunker’s door is open, and another reloading vehicle is seen exiting from it.

[Fox:] The Iskander ballistic missile has a range up to 310 miles, and can carry both unconventional as well as nuclear warheads, putting most of America’s NATO allies at risk. The second deployment is near the border with Mongolia, in Ulan-Ude in Sothern Russia, where there are four launchers and another reloading vehicle.

[Fox:] Earlier this week, Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of Russia’s Security Council, said authorities of the former Soviet republic are being “controlled” by the West, warning it stands to lose its independence and identity as a consequence. “The continuation of such policy by the Kiev authorities can contribute to the loss of Ukraine’s statehood,” Mr Patrushev told Rossiyskaya Gazeta, according to Russian news agency TASS.

This situation was placed by Fox in context with the Kerch Strait incident, in which three Ukrainian vessels and twenty-four crew and soldiers were fired upon by Russian coast guard ships as they manuevered in the Kerch Strait without permission from Russian authorities based in Crimea. There are many indications that this incident was a deliberate attempt on the part of Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko, to create a sensational incident, possibly to bolster his flagging re-election campaign. After the incident, the President blustered and set ten provinces in Ukraine under martial law for 30 days, insisting to the world, and especially to the United States, that Russia was “preparing to invade” his country.

Russia expressed no such sentiment in any way, but they are holding the soldiers until the end of January. However, on January 17th, a Moscow court extended the detention of eight of these captured Ukrainian sailors despite protests from Kyiv and Washington.

In addition to the tensions in Ukraine, the other significant point of disagreement between the Russian Federation and the US is the US’ plan to withdraw from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). Russia sees this treaty as extremely important, but the US point of view expressed by John Bolton, National Security Adviser, is that the treaty is useless because it does not include any other parties that have intermediate range nukes or the capability for them, such as Iran, North Korea, and China. This is an unsolved problem, and it is possible that the moves of the Iskander batteries is a subtle warning from the Russians that they really would rather the US stay in the treaty.

Discussions on this matter at public levels between the Russian government and the US have been very difficult because of the fierce anti-Russia and anti-Trump campaigns in the media and political establishments of the United States. President Putin and President Trump have both expressed the desire to meet, but complications like the Kerch Strait Incident conveniently arise, and have repeatedly disrupted the attempts for these two leaders to meet.

Where Fox News appears to get it wrong shows in a few places:

First, the known range for Iskander missiles maxes at about 310 miles. The placement of the battery near Krasnodar is 270 miles from the eastern Ukrainian border, but the eastern part of Ukraine is Russian-friendly and two provinces, Donetsk and Lugansk, are breakaway provinces acting as independent republics. The battery appears to be no threat to Kyiv or to that part of Ukraine which is aligned with the West. Although the missiles could reach into US ally Georgia, Krasnodar is 376 miles from Tbilisi, and so again it seems that there is no significant target for these missiles. (This is assuming the location given is accurate.)

Second, the location shown in the photo is (44,47,29.440N at 39,13,04.754E). The date on the “Krasnodar” photo is January 17, 2019. However, a photo of the region taken July 24, 2018 reveals a different layout. It takes a moment or two to study this, but there is not much of an exact match here:

Third, Fox News reported of “further Russian troops deployment and S-400 Surface to air missile days after the escalation started, hinting Russia might have orchestrated the naval incident.”

It may be true that Russia deployed weapons to this base area in Crimea, but this is now Russian territory. S-400s can be used offensively, but their primary purpose is defensive. Troops on the Crimean Peninsula, especially at this location far to the north of the area, are not in a position strategically to invade Kherson Oblast (a pushback would probably corner such forces on the Crimean peninsula with nowhere to go except the Black Sea). However, this does look like a possible defense installation should Ukraine’s forces try to invade or bomb Crimea.

Fox has this wrong, but it is no great surprise, because the American stance about Ukraine and Russia is similar – Russia can do no right, and Ukraine can do no wrong. Fox News is not monolithic on this point of view, of course, with anchors and journalists such as Tucker Carlson, who seem willing to acknowledge the US propaganda about the region. However, there are a lot of hawks as well. While photos in the articles about the S-400s and the Russian troops are accurately located, it does appear that the one about Iskanders is not, and that the folks behind this original article are guessing that the photos will not be questioned. After all, no one in the US knows where anything is in Russia and Ukraine, anyway, right?

That there is an issue here is likely. But is it appears that there is strong evidence that it is opposite what Fox reported here, it leaves much to be questioned.

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