A few days after the Paris attacks that left hundreds dead and injured, Russia confirmed that a homemade explosive device was detonated on board MetroJet Flight 9268 in October, killing all 224 passengers. Since then, ISIS published images of the bomb that was detonated inside the airplane, saying that the Russian flight wasn’t the original target. Instead, ISIS wanted to shoot down a Western plane. More →
All the annoying checks you go through before boarding a plane are supposed to increase security and thwart terrorists’ ambitions. But it looks like these safety measures aren’t foolproof because Russia on Tuesday confirmed that ISIS managed to sneak a homemade bomb onto a passenger jet that crashed over Sinai, Egypt late last month. More →
Russia is reportedly bringing back a fleet of Cold War-era mini-submarines, a move that could ramp up tensions with the West.
Moscow is set to bring back the Cold War-era Piranha-class midget subs as part of a $350 million military spending spree, according to the U.K.’s Daily Express. An unnamed source told the newspaper that Russian leader Vladimir Putin is “breathing life into many old programmes and thinks subs are an effective way of getting what he wants militarily.”
Relations between Russia and the West have sunk to post-Cold War lows after Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and its support for a pro-Russian insurgency in eastern Ukraine.
Amid these simmering tensions, Russian submarine activities are under close scrutiny, particularly in the Baltic. Last year the Swedish military launched amajor hunt for a suspected underwater intruder in the Stockholm archipelago, its largest anti-sub operation since the end of the Cold War. Defense experts cited Russia as the likely culprit, although Moscow denied its involvement.
The incident nonetheless prompted speculation that a Russian Piranha sub was involved.
Described as virtually undetectable, the covert subs can lay mines and fire torpedoes. The diesel-electric submarines displace a mere 390 tons when submerged and can carry nine crew and six combat divers, according to theU.S. Naval Institute.
The Piranha submarines could pose a “significant threat” to the U.K. if they enter British waters, according to the source interviewed by the Daily Express.
However, Dmitry Gorenburg, an analyst at naval research specialist CNA, is skeptical about the prospect of Piranha subs resurfacing in Russia’s military. “The two remaining subs of this class have been out of service for more than 15 years,” he told FoxNews.com, in an e-mail, adding that it would be a major task to refurbish them. “The subs were originally withdrawn because they were seen as difficult to use and too large for their purpose,” he added.
Gorenburg believes that Russia is more likely to build new midget subs at some point in the future, rather then revamping old ones.
Washington has been keeping a close eye on Moscow’s military moves. On Thursday President Obama’s nominee to lead the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff warned that Russia poses the world’s greatest threat to U.S. national security. “If you want to talk about a nation that could pose an existential threat to the United States, I’d have to point to Russia. And if you look at their behavior, it’s nothing short of alarming,” Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford told senators at his confirmation hearing.
Other senior military figures have voiced their concerns about Russia. In April Adm. William Gortney, head of U.S. Northern Command, warned that Russia’s modern military is now “far more capable” than that of the Soviet Union, saying Moscow is “messaging” the United States that “they’re a global power.” Gortney disclosed to Congress in March that Russian heavy bombers flew more “out-of-area patrols” last year than in any year “since the Cold War.” The following month, he affirmed that Russia’s “long-range” flights are rising – and occurring in places they haven’t before, like near Canada, Alaska and the English Channel.
On July 4 two pairs of Russian bombers flew off the coast of California and Alaska — forcing the Air Force to scramble fighter jets to intercept both flights, defense officials told Fox News.
The Russian Embassy in Washington D.C. has not yet responded to a request for comment on this story from FoxNews.com.
by James Rogers
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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Straight people in Russia have it really rough. They’re raised in an extremely heterophobic environment in which they’re constantly shamed by religious scolds for being attracted to the opposite sex. Even worse, their own government in recent years has discriminated against them by passing laws that ban “the promotion of non-traditional sexual relationships,” which has resulted in the closure of straight bars and clubs that used to offer straight people precious social outlets where they could congregate without fear of being castigated. More →
Tensions between the USA and Russia escalated on Independence Day, when the European superpower decided to send two pairs of Tupolev Tu-95 long-range strategic bombers, capable of carrying nuclear payloads, close to the coast of California and Alaska. The Air Force scrambled fighter jets to intercept them. More →
The Russian government is considering disallowing the use of Apple’s iPad tablet within government agencies due to security concerns, Russian-language business news site RBC Daily reports. Instead, it is investigating various alternative tablet options including RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook, Android-powered tablets or even a new device created by a Russian agency. Government security experts are reportedly looking for more “cryptographically secure tablet PCs” than Apple’s iPad tablet, and if the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology’s recent certification is any indication, the BlackBerry PlayBook could fit the bill. RIM announced last week that its PlayBook tablet received FIPS 140-2 certification, thus allowing it to be used by U.S. government officials. No other tablet has received FIPS certification to date. More →
eBay has revealed sales figures for the iPad 2 during its first two weeks on the market. The online auction house created a chart that shows just under 12,000 iPad 2 units were sold during the two week period that it was exclusively available in the United States. The graphic notes that 35% of iPad 2 units sold during that 2 week period were to international customers looking to get an early taste — that figure is down from the 65% of international customers who purchased the original iPad on eBay. Canada and Russia were the two largest importers, each purchasing about 500 iPad 2 tablets. Hong Kong, Japan, and the United Kingdom each bought about 350. Australia purchased 317 iPads last year, but only purchased 110 iPad 2 devices in 2010. The 16GB Wi-Fi version of the iPad 2 was the most popular, as it represented 30% of all iPad 2 sales. Apple has yet to release its official iPad 2 sales figures. More →
Samsung Russia has confirmed that it will launch a new version of the popular Galaxy S Android smartphone next month. The Galaxy S 2011 edition will ship with Android 2.3 and also feature a new metal back cover. The phone packs a faster 1.4GHz Qualcomm MSM8255T Snapdragon processor — as opposed to the 1GHz Samsung Hummingbird CPU in the original — as well as a 14.4Mbps HSPA+ radio and a larger 1,650mAh battery. The rest of the hardware remains identical to the original; that includes a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, 8GB of internal storage, Bluetooth 3.0, 5 megapixel camera capable of recording 720p HD video, and more. The Galaxy S 2011 edition is expected to hit Russia next month for 24,000 rubles ($846 USD). There’s no word if the 2011 edition will ever be available in other countries. Hit the jump for Samsung Russia’s blog post. More →
WIND Telecom SpA announced on Thursday that the shareholders of Russian mobile operator VimpelCom have voted to approve the acquisition of WIND Telecom for $6 billion. VimpelCom said regulators approved the acquisition as well. The deal covers all of WIND Telecom’s assets, which includes Orascom Telecom, a major WIND Mobile shareholder, and VimpelCom will add nine new markets including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burundi, Italy and Canada to the eleven it already covers. When finalized, the purchase will make VimpelCom the world’s fifth largest mobile Teleco with more than 173 million subscribers. “This is great news for us. Our partner, Orascom, will be even larger and stronger as a financial partner. This gives us more leverage and increased scale with telecom network equipment manufacturers and more importantly, for devices including handsets and tablets,” said Anthony Lacavera, WIND Mobile’s chairman, adding that the purchase will give WIND more access to long distance roaming services. Lacavera said he would provide more information as new details on the acquisition emerge.
Microsoft is set to officially debut Windows Phone 7 today at 9:30AM ET in New York City, but that hasen’t stopped Samsung Russia from publishing info about the company’s Omnia 7 WP7 handset a few hours early. The device has a 4-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen display, 800 x 480 resolution, 1 GHz Qualcomm QSD8250 processor, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth, aGPS, 5 megapixel camera capable of 720p video at 25fps, tri-band HSDPA/HSUPA radio, quad-band GSM radio, 8GB internal memory, and a built-in FM radio. Pretty snazzy looking spec sheet. The device will weigh a very reasonable 138 grams (10 grams heavier than the Captivate) and should be released fairly soon. We’ve got a screen grab of the specs after the break in case our friends in Eastern Europe realize that the phone’s operating system hasn’t actually launched yet. Enjoy! More →
Things we know: Microsoft has an Internet Explorer event scheduled for September 15th, Microsoft has released four developer previews of Internet Explorer 9, IE 9 beta is set to launch in September and in all likelihood will be unveiled at the 9/15 gathering. Things we don’t know: what IE 9’s interface will look like. However, thanks to Microsoft’s Russian press site, we may have a better idea of what we are in-store for. ZDNet found the screen shot above sitting on the Redmond software giant’s Russian web site. The screen capture shows a sleeker, less cluttered, dare we say more mature, version of IE. The shot depicts a unified search and address bar and the Russian site said the whole look and feel of the browser has been simplified. When contacted for comment, the company had this to say: “Microsoft is encouraged by the early enthusiasm around Internet Explorer 9; we have nothing further to share about Internet Explorer 9 at this time.” Guess we’ll just have to wait until the 15th. More →
Nokia is on the warpath regarding the leaked N8 prototype handset that was the subject of a scathing review by Eldar Murtazin of Mobile-Review. Nokia publicly announced on its Conversations blog that it sent a written request to Murtazin asking for the return of this unauthorized property. Murtazin reportedly failed to respond to this letter and Nokia has sought the assistance of the Russian police. Nokia claims that this heavy-handed response was not prompted by the negative review from Murtazin but out of a need to protect its intellectual property. The tale gets even more sordid with Murtazin claiming via Twitter that he was never contacted by Nokia and accuses them of lying about the letter. More →