Rzeczpospolita (Poland): Russia has only army is not afraid of the coronavirus

Because of the epidemic of coronavirus in Russia abolished all the important economic events in which the propaganda showed the Russians that despite the sanctions and strained relations with Europe and the United States, Moscow remains an influential player, which want to do business. A victim of the pandemic in February fell Investment forum in Sochi, the Russian business Week was canceled, but is scheduled for the beginning of June St. Petersburg international economic forum has been postponed until next year. At the end of August will not take place East economic forum, designed to spur the development of the Russian Far East.

The secret guest list

Coronavirus is not only afraid of the Russian defense Ministry. 23-29 August Moscow will host the international forum “Army 2020”, which attracted last year more than a million visitors.

“The situation of coronavirus has not had a significant impact on the activities of the Russian armed forces”, — assured at the end of may defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. The forum annually organize in Moscow Park “Patriot”. It is a stronghold of Russian propaganda: there is a polygon with a pond, a huge trade fair complex, as well as a Museum dedicated to the Second world war. Event organizers say that in addition to demonstrating the latest Russian weapons and technology in the framework of the Forum there will be meetings and discussions with the participation of foreign guests. Last year, the defense Ministry announced that to participate in it invited the defense Ministers of 133 countries. So far, however, Moscow did not disclose the information who of them accepted the invitation. On the event’s website you can read that it will be “a territory free from Covid-19”: at the entrance, each participant will measure the temperature, visitors will be obliged to wear a mask and keep a distance of half a meter.

“Organization engaged in Military Academy of the General staff of the armed forces, they are professionals. They will surely take care of security,” — said in an interview with “Rzeczpospolita” Professor Alexey Podberezkin — Director of the Center for military-political studies at MGIMO. He will take part in one of the round tables of the Forum with a speech on the military-political situation in the world. Podberezkin suggests that among his listeners will be “influential Russian politicians and military”.

“Now we are seeing a serious aggravation of the international situation. Unfortunately, I don’t see any optimistic solutions, there are serious threats to Russia’s security. By 2025, the tension may rise, he said, adding that during the Forum will be closed for the foreigners debate. — Will be discussed, in particular, trends of the Russian space industry”, — says Podberezkin.

Forum visitors will be able to watch “tank biathlon”, which will show within the international Army games (Russia is also not abolished). Last year they took part not only the military of the countries in the CSTO, but also, in particular, the representatives of China, Venezuela, Cuba, Vietnam and even Zimbabwe.

The Central military action in Russia will be scheduled for September, the exercises “Caucasus-2020” — the largest Russian maneuvers in recent years. Their conduct is not limited to the Russian part of the Caucasus and other southern regions, it will also include the occupied Crimea. This is especially alarming in Kiev. Ukrainian intelligence suggests that the border with Ukraine in the course of these exercises will be up to 120 thousand Russian troops, hundreds of aircraft and tanks.

Recently, Vladimir Putin in preparation for large-scale maneuvers announced the sudden checking of all units of the southern military district, and a few days ago in St. Petersburg on parade Navy promised to supply the army with new ships and hypersonic weapons. A few weeks ago took place the solemn ceremony of the Navy’s new nuclear submarine “Prince Vladimir”.

“The militarization of the country is becoming increasingly prominent, propaganda aktiviziruyutsya. It started with ever since came to power, Putin. He relies on a strong army and modern missiles. Reborn Imperial thinking, he wants to dictate to neighbouring countries its will. The sooner we return to Soviet totalitarianism, the more propaganda forms the cult of the army and security services, says “Rzeczpospolita” independent Director “Levada-center” Lev Gudkov. — Were the polls that showed that the army is more popular than Putin. Propaganda is effective, there are many TV programs on the military theme, and even special television channels. Many Russians, however, fear that it’s not just words, rhetoric, and preparation for real war”.