Tag Archives: Russia

Things I Learned this Week

Among the things I learned this week:
* Historically, New England Roast meant a light roasted coffee. (Courtesy: Coffee Review)

* Starting with World War I and then because of the revolution, scientific research journals didn’t reach Russia again until 1921. (Courtesy: Ron Cowen’s Gravity’s Century).

* Bitflipping due to extraterrestrial causes. (Courtesy: ZS)

Things I Learned this Week

Among the things I learned this week:
* Ulyana Sergeenko is a Russian designer with an incredible collection. The dresses, particularly the short ones, are fantastic. The shoe pairings are abysmal, though. (Courtesy: Russian Vogue, via Not Couture)

* The existence of halal cosmetics, and their attractiveness for vegetarians/vegans. (Courtesy: can’t remember, but The New Inquiry)

* Charlie Chaplin’s birth is shrouded in mystery and government absurdity. (Courtesy: New York Times)

* The term “bistro” may have developed from the Russian occupation of Paris in the early 19th century, when Russian soldiers would shout “быстро!” (quickly!). There is an alternative etymology, though, that involves coffee. (Courtesy: New Inquiry)

* “Roman writers subscribed to the idea of imitatio: they viewed their role as emulating and reworking earlier masterpieces. It wasn’t until the Romantic era, which introduced the notion of the author as solitary genius, that originality came to be viewed as the paramount literary virtue.” (Courtesy: New Yorker)

Vostok 2010 and Russia’s Move East

This RES Russian Analytical Digest article by Simon Saradzhyan (pdf version) is interesting:

The East-2010 War Game: Who Are Russia’s Potential Foes?
In June 2010 the Russian armed forces will stage an op-
erational-strategic exercise dubbed Vostok-2010 (East-
2010) that will become “the main combat-training event”
of 2010, according to a recent Defense Ministry press
release. Thousands of soldiers from the Army (includ-
ing the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear
Protection Forces) Navy, Air Force, Airborne Troops and
other elements of the Russian armed forces will partic-
ipate in the joint exercise staged by the Far Eastern and
Siberian Military Districts. While these two eastern dis-
tricts and the fleet will play the lead role in the game,
Vostok-2010 will also involve forces and assets from other
military districts and all of Russia’s four fleets, including
submarines, according to senior commanders. Russia’s
long-range aviation and the Ministry of Interior Affairs’
interior Troops will also participate in the war game.

The importance given to Vostok-2010 marks a significant
change from the recent past. More often than not, it is the
Zapad (West) exercise, which simulates a Russian war with
NATO, that concludes the Russian armed forces’ combat
training season. That was the case last year when tens of
thousands of troops participated in Zapad-2009, which
featured large-scale operations in western Russia and
Belarus, including beach landings and a simulated nuclear

But this year Vostok will mark the apogee of
Russian military training, according to commander of
the Ground Forces Col. General Alexander Postnikov.
President Dmitry Medvedev has already promised to
attend the war-game, during which troops will test
the new chain of command (military district-opera-
tional command-brigade) and practice re-deployment
from one region to another, chief of the General Staff
Army General Nikolai Makarov told RIA Novosti on
January 15.

The one comment I offer is that the rest of the article fails to discuss–and there are a number of approaches to take–Russia’s move to a professional army. Doing so would start a number of interesting conversations.