Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas

Roger Scruton defines Western Civilization in these words:"The roots of Western civilization lie in the religion of Israel, the culture of Greece, and the law of Rome, and the resulting synthesis has flourished and decayed in a thousand ways during the two millennia which followed the death of Christ"(c)

Well, Western Civilization is Christian Civilization first and foremost. I, being an atheist, albeit of Oriana Fallaci's type, which she called Christian Atheist, understand clearly the roots of many things which I love and treasure in my life. In the end, it was Christianity which created a framework in which Western culture could flourish, including the science which, in many respects, spelled the doom to many Christian doctrines. It certainly demolished purely evangelical world-view. Yet, the message of Christ endures and so does morality which fights a desperate rear-guard battle for preserving what is left today of Western Civilization. It is the last bastion which separates our civilization from chaos and decay of gutless, self-centered world without any enduring and necessary inhibitors with which humanity managed to survive so far.

By celebrating Christmas we celebrate Western Civilization, this is especially true today and, being an atheist, today I am a christian in a full cultural sense that transcends the limits of scriptures. This day my thoughts are with persecuted Christian people of the Middle East, they are also with all decent, honest, hard working people who quietly live by 9 Commandments (unless we are talking Walter Sobchak types, if you get my drift;-). So, Merry Christmas, my friends, and let us hope that we will kick evil's ass and we should. 

Now to the Christmas presents. They are mostly for Russian Navy. 

1. Two Project 22800 Karakurt missile corvettes were laid at Pella shipyard in St. Petersburg.

These ships named Uragan and Typhoon are two first ships of what is promised to be 18 ships class. Displacing 800 tons they are more sea-worthy than notorious Byan platforms and, of course, are carriers of no less notorious Kalibr and Onyx missiles. First two hulls, as it seems now, will carry no missile Air Defense complex, albeit further ships in class will carry what is known today as navalized version of Pantsir gun-missile AD system, which will give these ships a very respectable close-range (18-20 km) air defense capability.

All this is not good news for US Navy and its, especially so, Littoral community. For US Navy, which became a hostage of sorts of its own magnificent and, arguably, unrivaled combat history which is dominated by large combatants (traveling 1 st Class, remember?), the whole notion of a 800-ton ship outgunning, in missile exchange, its own much larger and much too expensive combatants is anathema. Russian Navy will network these ships, making Russia's littoral impenetrable and will deploy these ships, in a good ol' Soviet tradition of 5th Operational Squadron, to Mediterranean, either as a part of Ship Strike Group (KUG) centered around larger combatants with vastly superior ASW and AD, or as an autonomous group. It is clear, however, that such a platform, albeit with "degraded" electronics and sensor suite has an enormous export potential, thus opening the door to export versions of  Kalibr and Onyx missiles. This could be a game changer in many littorals, especially of the nations which do have some semblance of real air forces and AD systems. 

2. A very important news: Northern Shipyard (Severnay Verf) has started a massive modernization program.

The centerpiece of this program is a brand new dry dock with the length of....400 meters. That means only one thing--aircraft carrier(s). Will the time be right for Russian carriers by 2020-2022? I am not in a position to judge but there never were doubts about Russia's blue water aspirations. We'll see. Judging by the tone of news, most of the programs for Russian Navy seem to be financed in full.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Project 22350 Admiral Gorshkov

Just an interesting clip which gives a glance into the newest Russian frigate's insides. The video was made by frigate's crew. 

The view of the CICS Sigma 22350 at GKP (Main Command Post) is most interesting, while, by now, most people should have gotten used to the view of launch consoles for Kalibr or Puma directors. So, here it is--new class of Russia's frigates or, which is more appropriate for the old Cold War farts like me, SKRs, aka Escort Ships. 

I don't like baseball caps--nothing personal against baseball caps per se, but Russian/Soviet naval tradition of the most of the 20th century was always pilotka hat, also popular in US Army. Here is one of my favorites of all time (human and military leader), Ike in his pilotka.

But then again, traditional naval uniform hats known as gribany (mushrooms) were also "Emercomed", making Russian naval officers look more like the operatives of Sergei Shoigu's former ministry. Well, if it is the price one should pay for getting new classes of highly capable naval ships being procured (plus fairly hefty pay-checks of Russian officers), I guess Russian naval officer corps would agree that this is a small price to pay.  So, here it is.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A Short (Relatively) Bypass Or Why I still Have Questions For Putin.

I was working on the continuation (second part among many to come) of the Military Power, when I got sidelined, first by a short, and rather friendly, exchange with one of the users at the Unz Review and then by horrendous cold. I do not post much at all on any of the discussion boards, but this was an exception and it was here, if any one is interested:

The point of exchange was not what Saker, among very many other observers of the Russia's foreign policy and military-political dynamics, described but, yet again, the quality of the so called "elites".  In this particular case, Russian and US "elites". I promised that I will expand on my personal opinion on this matter and here it is--I am "expanding". I will say nothing new or what have not been discussed before but before I delve deeper into the topic here comes my fine print--I really do not like Putin that much.   

While the "western" media salivate, or, rather, vomit bile, on Putin's account and exhibit all signs and symptoms of unhealthy obsession with his persona--why, I will discuss later in this post--I still remain critical of him for his domestic endeavors. Even return of Crimea and of my beloved Sevastopol back to Russia, while softened greatly, did not completely transform my stance on Putin's account in so far as his domestic policies go. There is NO denial that today Vladimir Putin is the most influential statesman globally. In fact, he is a true statesman, not just politician. This fact alone carries a lot of weight in modern world, especially against the background of the so called "western leaders" who are overwhelmingly neither leaders nor western. In fact, most of them are anti-western and all of them, without any exception, are professional bullsh...politicians driven by the principles of the internal politics, while having no principles of their own. This has a name and it rhymes with constitution, revolution...just doesn't come to me at the moment from the top of my head. In other words, I am no Putin's fanboy and I see not only his, undeniably impressive, geopolitical persona but also a man with his own faults and there are few of those. Some of those few had and continue to have a direct, and not always positive, impact on Russia. I do, however, understand that he is not alone on Russia's political Olympus and that he, apart from Russian people, does have obligations to Russia's "elites". I also know well that, unlike me, a consummate arm-chair "strategist", Putin is briefed daily by, probably, the best analytical team in the world. Now that I made my "fine print" presentation--back to the "elites".

Here comes first and most profound difference between Russian and American "elites". I am talking about real Russian elites, not the fringe collection of Russian "pro-democracy", so called liberal, freaks, ranging from Masha Gessen to cretin Boris Nadezhdin, among many--all of them on the payroll of US State Department and other US "sponsored" NGOs. This Navalny, Inc, no matter how popular among US media, are not elites and they represent nothing of consequence for peoples of Russian Federation. Real Russian elites, however, always lived and continue to live in the world in which WAR constantly remains a real possibility for Russia proper. NO American politician, intellectual, military leader, or what have you, ever lived under the constant threat of the conventional war being waged on US territory. As none other than Richard Pipes noted about the  Soviet (Russian) political culture: "whose roots feed on another kind of soil and which has had for centuries to weather rougher political climes."(c)

As I already stated many times in this blog, in fact, one of the major rationales for starting this blog was to write about this phenomenon--US "elites" have no idea about consequences of application of military force. Russian elites do. Back to Pipes, who, unlike me, can not be accused of being a Russophile and has a well deserved reputation of a rabid anti-Soviet and Russophobe "scholar". "Such a country (Russia) tends to....assess the rewards of defense in much more realistic terms."(c) And what are those realistic terms? Here is an example: 

Here is another one:

And here is another one, Serbia--attack on the Slavic Christian Orthodox Oecumene. 
So, here comes the warranted and irresistible question: what can possibly Hillary Clinton, mama's boy Marco Rubio or, ever so tearful, former Speaker John Boehner (8 weeks of service in US Navy), know about war? Or, speaking in political "science" parlance--about application of military force? Well, nothing. Unless, of course, say, Congressional Research Service will do an incredible job and prepare for them a special briefing on how to deal with their relatives being killed, raped and their properties destroyed. Here is the thing--overwhelming majority of the US political class, "academe", especially war-mongering neocon one, and military hawks never served in the armed forces of their own country. Let's take a look at some of the most vocal hawks in US political and  "intellectual" class:

Marco Rubio--not a day spent in armed forces, let alone in actual operations, a lawyer by trade. The fact of him working as an assistant to real war veteran Senator Bob Dole doesn't count as military service. Aggressive interventionist hawk.

Hillary "under the bullets" Clinton--well, no comments. 

Robert Kagan--not a day in the armed forces, "degree" in Peloponnesian War. Neocon, war-monger. 

President Obama--not a day in the armed forces, Harvard lawyer. Convinced that Global Warning is the root cause for terrorism.

Dick Cheney--draft dodger. Political "scientist" by trade. 

John Bolton--lawyer, warmonger. Some service in National Guard, no deployment to Vietnam. Supported Vietnam War. 

So, the pattern emerges, even if to consider some few true armed forces veterans who serve in the US Congress and play an important role in formation of the American political class' views on war. Obviously, the names of warmongers such as John McCain pops up immediately. And so does the name of Senator Tim Cotton. The conclusion, after even brief review of US House Of Representatives armed forces veterans gives the next picture: 80 military veterans of all kinds, including those who served in Reserves, out of 435 Representatives--that is 18.4%.  

Veterans in Congress (114th) 

Here is PBS and PEW Research data for  2010 regarding military service veterans. 

By the numbers: Veterans in Congress

In all, by 2010 only 7% of US population had any relation to any military service. Even fewer (and by a huge margin) ever saw combat or operations which involve serious risk to life. Most importantly, the US losses in all of its conflicts barely form what would be called a national military historic experience. 

Enter Russia. It is not a secret that ALL Russian men of the ages between 40 through 60 (the group from which most of political elites are drawn), unless were given stay of military service due to attendance of the institutions of higher learning (such as Russia's PM Dmitry Medvedev),  served in armed forces. Soviet Union had a mandatory military service (VVO--Vseobshya Voinskaya Obyazannost, Common Combat Duty). Add here the mandatory school subject of NVP (Nachalnaya Voennaya Podgotovka--Initial Military Training) which was making high school students pretty efficient with basic tactics and the use of firearms. Yours truly, as a high school boy, together with my class mates, visited not for once real military ranges, shooting AKMs and AK-74s. This was school program. Military Departments were and still remain an inseparable part of most Russian (not even Soviet) institutions of higher learning. To put it mildly, the pool of people in Russia, from which elites are formed is on several orders of magnitude more aware of the....well..military and what it means. It does not make those people better or worse than their American counterparts, in fact, some segments of Russian political elites are anything but. But fact remains, when dealing with application of military force, considering Russia's combat history....well, let's see:

Vladimir Putin--lawyer by trade but spent most of his life in KGB and headed FSB, before becoming Russia's PM and, eventually, President. 

Sergei Ivanov--Head of Putin's Administration. Linguist, KGB and SVR. Also served as Defense Minister.  

Viktor Ivanov--Former KGB, Afghan War veteran.  Headed FSK.

Even Sergei Shoygu, who replaced hapless and incompetent Serdyukov at the post of Defense Minister, while having civilian engineer background, for years  headed paramilitary EmerCom which does have its own actual military formations.   

Even by today's  Russian "liberal" standards, Russian society would be considered in the US as an extremely "militaristic". From numerous cadet corps, where boys and girls are taught in military environment and feats of heroism of Soviet and Russian people are extolled, to the vast network of military academies, preparing grad and post-grad officers, Russia remains the nation committed to its own defense. Lastly, every family in Russia either lost someone on the battlefields of WW II  or have someone who fought both at front lines or worked in the rear. This reality is incomprehensible for US elites, they simply do not understand the price of war. 

It is a tragedy and a travesty when Ivy League "educated" lawyer or "political scientist"  takes on itself a mantra of a military "leader" pushing for the policies which bring nothing but suffering and destruction to millions of innocent people. Maybe when they will have the pictures of their own homes on fire, their children killed or maimed, their wives raped, when they will have nothing to eat for days or when they will....will they? No. Sadly, the illness progressed so far that it is incurable. This is the level of these "elites".

I'll Fight Putin Any Time, Any Place He Can't Have Me Arrested 
This petulant "scholar", suffering from the small dick complex, is from Brookings Institute. No wonder then what kind of the pseudo-scholar BS is produced by this neocon cabal from Brookings. But forget that, Governor Christie seems to take it even further. 

Chris Christie wants to get in the ring with Vladimir Putin? Knock yourself out, Guv 

This is not funny. It is down right scary, including US Generals calling on killing Russians on network TV. I never heard anyone in Russia calling for killing Americans. I know no Russian officer will allow that and, probably, because Russians know the price of losing someone at war--the experience US was largely spared and that is the problem. Without conditioning of Continental Warfare, without shared historical experience of wars the immature bravado becomes more than just bragging but policy and it is now up to people, who do understand war to prevent it. US "elites" neither want to nor can do it anymore, neither do they understand what war is, even when they write history books on it.  

P.S. I will "like" Putin when Medvedev and his government is gone. It may happen yet. 


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Military Power.

Oh goody, and why am I doing this? But, but, as was promised, I will start slowly to go at this, oh ever so important, issue of military power. The last straw, which broke camel's back was this "discussion", as well as the post itself, in Anatoly Karlin's blog at UNZ Review. 

Considering the times in which I write this, it seems that this time is as good as any for starting to look at this most popular item on all kinds of military and foreign policy forums and blogs--yes, penis measuring contest and pseudo-scientific BS which is being regurgitated all over the world wide web. Even before we start, two things MUST be made very clear: when speaking about military power and before getting into this bizarre world of Osipov-Lanchester differential equations, salvo models, Operations Theory, strategies, GNPs, weapons and all other juicy mental and faux-patriotism masturbatory toys, these two very simple things are: 

Thing (Question) One: WHAT FOR military power. It is a potential energy, or capability, or military doctrine, or historical experience, or policy or, rather, all those things combined, which define the utility of the military power. It is also the question of culture.

Thing (Question) Two: HOW TO use this military power within the framework which is created once the Question One is answered. This Thing is the kinetic embodiment of the Thing One. You remember, of course, from basic physics, that two types of energy are inter-transformable. This is the world of fighting doctrines, of technological and operational dimensions of a war, it is also the field which is so popular (for all the wrong reasons) on the web-resources of which I spoke above. 

The issue of military power could have been settled easily for anyone who shares (I surely do) Correlli Barnett's definition of the national power:


And, military power being a function of a national power, Barnett's definition could have been easily reworded for military power and I may yet do that. But the problem here is that of assessing military power, and giving it some "index", or "number", or "coefficient" or anything what makes sense for all those penis-measuring competitors. Well, here I come out of the closet and state it openly--it is impossible for simple two things--see them above in this post and  they are named Thing One and Thing two. So, before going into Formal Models Of Capabilities and Salvo Equations we, indeed, MUST ask ourselves the question: why do we need military power, what for? Any discussion of, assessment, or quantification  of military power without answering this question is a fraud, unscientific and irrelevant to the reality. 

Here is a great example of appropriate "What For" thinking in Admiral Stansfield Turner's 1976 interview to Christian Science Monitor. He beautifully gives the range of things to consider when comparing Soviet and US Navies. 

 So, let's answer this question of what for in general:

Military power is needed to defend the interests of the owner of this power. 

Here is a conundrum, what interests? And that is where the military doctrine of the entity (usually, state) building its military power comes forth. Military Doctrine is the SYSTEM OF VIEWS of the state on the building and use of its armed forces. Military doctrines differ, drastically. Enough to take a look at present day Russia and US. The former's main national interest is the defense of its state and is explicitly defensive, the latter--well, it is explicitly expansionist and expeditionary. So, whose military power is larger? Russia is manifestly non-interventionist state (we'll discuss Syria separately) and, in fact, does not posses military power to intervene globally, beyond the fairly limited sphere of its interests. The good ol' USA, however,  tries to hone its military power almost exclusively as interventionist. Is US military power larger in this respect than that of Russia? Absolutely. In fact, on the order of magnitude. But here is the catch, unlike the US, Russia IS NOT interested in this capability and is not intent in competing with the US in this field. Russia is not planning ground (amphibious) assault on US territory, she also has no contingency plans for combined arms warfare operations around Chicago or Boston. Russians, generally, do not live in the fantasy world when it comes to military. US, on the other hand, while being the backbone of NATO, DOES have contingency planning on not just bombing Russia into oblivion (Russia does have same contingency plans for US) but also on amphibious assaults and combined arms operations within Russia.   

So, we start with the doctrine(s). There is no other way to approach the assessment and quantification of military power. In this case, the Composite Index Of National Capability (CINC) may come really handy but even here we have to keep in mind what Stephen Biddle calls "empirical anomalies". 

To be continued........

Friday, November 27, 2015

Payback Time

This is how the start of the payback looks like and Turkish operatives (and units) operating in the border, so called Turkmen (NO relation whatsoever to Turkmenistan, former Soviet Republic) areas, should take a note. Those who survived. 

 Now to the subject matter:

1. Judging by the erratic, bordering on outright hysteria, filled with blatant lies and contradictions, statements by Erdogan in the last 72 hours (I wonder if Davutoglu is already seeing himself as a De-jure, not just De-facto, caliph), the process of facing the gravity of the Turkish provocation has began, sort of, in Ankara. The first indication is the fact that "suddenly" Turkish "heroic" Air Force realized the difference between Turkish and Syrian air space. And in Turkish air space it should remain if it doesn't want to really become "martyrs". Needless to say, that most of the statements coming from Erdogan are, traditionally, filled with characteristic for the area poetic hyperbole, exaggerations and...well...BS. Anything to evoke any response from Putin. Good luck with that.   

2. Now to a stinky business. All those, predominantly Western media, which propagated the so called Turkish record of "warnings" to Russian SU-24 were propagating....drum roll...a complete BS.  Russian military attache in Ankara did visit Turkey's General Staff to obtain any materials re: Turkish cowardly action and was told that NO such materials exist. I stated many times, I will reiterate again--West DOES NOT have respected media other than some independent (and mostly fringe) outlets and all those "journalists" and "experts" from HuffPro, FOX, CNN or WaPo (and NYT) should concentrate on what they are only qualified for--reporting on Hollywood starlets' lingerie, LGBT issues, maybe criminal issues and, of course, sucking cock of their masters. The vaunted "free speech" is DEAD. Today it is nothing more than propaganda and gossip. 

3. As was predicted, nothing of substance came out of Hollande's visit to Moscow. Of course, there were smiles and promises of "tight" cooperation but, as I already stated many times, France does not have subjectivity in foreign policy. Once proud nation is a toy and the only role Hollande can play here is that of a messenger. Until big boys settle some key issues, nothing will come out of this vaunted "coalition". Obama's fragile ego and detachment from the reality, coupled with his Administration's infestation with neocon psychopaths, prevents any possibility of any settlement. Russia remains the main factor and burden carrier in fighting ISIS. Yet, France still may play an important role if the question of the ground force will arise seriously. As of now, however, this issue remains, as it should, on the back-burner for a number of reasons:

a) ISIS in itself is not some magical awesome fighting force. Depending on the possible deployment configuration of the ground troops and with Russia's and NATO's air power preponderance, the task of crushing ISIS as military force is not that difficult. Mopping up could, indeed, be left to Syrian Army and Iranians. It is a matter of a logistics and that is where Turkey enters the equation.

b) Will Turkey stay out? Judging by the latest developments it is run by lunatics and in this case Turkey's sabotage or even entrance into the war on ISIS behalf can change the calculus completely. Is Turkey (rather Erdogan's regime) capable of suicide? Absolutely.

c) Bashar Assad. He should have been listed under the pp. "a". Russia is not going to betray its ally, so, make your calculations. This juncture automatically leads us into the much larger framework of global power realignment and the way US currently sees itself. The way US sees itself is distorted to such a degree that this vision prevents the US from properly forecasting or anticipating just about any move by anybody. The proof of that is in the open since 2008. Well, actually, since 2003. Chalabi syndrome afflicted US elites too seriously to be resolved by the present generation of American politicians. With minor exceptions, current American power elites ARE NOT treaty-worthy.  

Finally. Can Russia and Turkey clash? Yes, they can. But now I am not going to speculate on this issue. I am more interested in the possible number of 671RTMK submarines on combat patrol in Mediterranean;-)


Thursday, November 26, 2015

No Fly Zone

The S-400 Triumph Air Defense complex is already deployed in Syria. This is the first step in achieving a genuine no-fly zone over Syria and a clear message to Turkey (and some other "members" of the so called "coalition") to think twice before doing stupid things. Basically, with RKR Moskva "anchored" around Latakia and S-400 already in combat mode, we are talking about very serious coverage, including deep inside Turkey's territory. 

Judging by today's Erdogan's hysteria, it is possible that he may, indeed, have decided to commit this crime on his own and now knows that he got burned. It is now up to NATO (read: USA) to decide if it wants to be associated further with such a "partner". But then again, judging by the backgrounds of US "allies" such as terrorists states of Saudi Arabia or Qatar, and Obama's detached from the reality narcissistic view of himself and his Muslim "friends", nothing should come as a surprise. In the end, Obama's Administration is heavily infected with the neocon filth and they, not Obama, really make decisions on foreign policy. 

It is clear now, that Russia is in close communications with Syrian Kurd forces and is in the process of closing most Turkish-Russian economic relations. This will hurt, big time. This and, of course, at some point of time some "accidental" Turkish Air Force venturing into the Syrian airspace may result in Turkey losing one of her aircraft. 

Meanwhile, it is Thursday and it is Thanksgiving Day. To all my American good friends, colleagues and simply decent, hard working American folks--Happy Thanksgiving. And yes, I'll eat turkey today. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Few Short Thoughts On Turkey Shoot.

Each time I try to write on military power, something happens. Something happened today. I will abstain from regurgitation of media points re: downed Russian SU-24 and deceased Russian marine--my thoughts and prayers, if this could be called such in atheist, with them and their loved ones. Now to the subject matter:

1. No WW III. At least not yet. 
2. Turkey's behavior in first hours after shooting down Russian plane is a behavior of a coward (which is not surprising)--instead of establishing urgent connection with Russian General Staff they "disappeared" and later popped up already on the NATO Council. Very typical of the jackals and their masters. It is also very typical of people from that region--doing something irrational and hysterical and then trying to find a posse which will cover their ass, after realization comes of doing a very very naughty thing. Especially, against wrong people.
3. If anyone had any doubts about Turkey being a supporter of Islamic terrorism, well, NATO should be "proud" of having such an "honorable" members in their midst, but then again, the biggest NATO honcho seems to be in business of propping up radical Islam for the last 35 years. A "stellar" record, really. No surprise here.
4. Turkish Air Force (and Turkish General Staff) as of now have gained themselves a very attentive followers in form of Russian Air-Space Troops and, no doubt, some other unspecified organizations which usually do not advertise their activities. So.....for now.
5. No more Russian tourists (except for the Russian white trash sluts, but those can remain in Turkey forever) for Turkish poisonous moonshine, which passes as a legitimate alcohol, and for Turkish "5 stars" hotels and "resorts".
6. Good lesson for Putin. Will he start cleaning Russia's house about starting from his liberal buddy Medvedev and economic block which is incompatible with Russia's national interests? Why? Because.....
7. Things will get even dicier in coming months. After all, some Kurd (not all) factions need to suddenly gain some substantial air defense and attack capabilities.
8. Things will get even more dicier in Ukraine. 
9. Restoration of the 5th Operational Squadron (5th OPESK) suddenly moves into the very-very urgent category. 
10. In general, rearmament program needs boosting (albeit it is progressing apace), with X-101s and Kalibrs arriving in even larger quantities. 
11. In general, real economy must go in overdrive--this is what Russian society overwhelmingly is ready for and was calling for years now. 

And yes, when this Washington puppet Hollande arrives to Moscow, please, Putin, remind him of France's "trust credit rating" which is zero. They are not there to fight terrorism. All of them ARE enablers of terrorism, either consciously or not. 

It is a war and there will be Russian casualties--this is NOTHING new for Russia. It seems, judging by the first reactions, Russia and Russians are ready.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Russian Lives Matter

For any Western (European?) "scholar" who ever bothered to seriously (I underscore--seriously) study Russia's modern history and Russian national character (together with Bernard Pares and George F. Kennan this amounts to about....several people)  it could have become very clear that Russians do not cry. Well, they do, but after they cried their eyes dry, they get even, or just go overkill. Russia and Russians (whoever they are) are a concentrated embodiment of Clausewitzian dictum that :

"In war the result is never final. Lastly, even the ultimate outcome of a war is not always to be regarded as final." (c) 

Carl Von Clausewitz, Vom Kriege.  

Now, that the emotional high after Paris terrorist acts receded somewhat it makes sense to remember those other 224 innocent Russian citizens (judging by the names' list--mostly Slavic with some possible Tartars and North Caucasus names) who lost their lives in the Metrojet A-321 crash in Egypt as a result of terrorist act. Russians paid the dues when they sent high explosive messages to IS in Syria by stating the reason for those rather deadly deliveries--"For our people" and "For Paris". 

Russia pounds IS jihadists with 'For Paris' bombs 

Western media's dirty insinuations, what is new, that it was nothing more than Russia's PR which pursued softening of the "West's" economic  sanctions ensued. This, by now, is typical. Evidently the thought of Russia having a genuine interest in demolishing "West"-sponsored ISIS and truly getting even is somehow lost on all those presstitudes and even if it didn't--don't expect recognition of it. For now the "West's" media machine is in overdrive trying to control image and actual political damage to its "elites". Evidently, this media sewer forgot how NATO "warriors" "greeted" Orthodox Christian Serbs in 1999 during Easter by writing a despicable "greetings" on their bombs

For Serbs on Easter Sunday, Bombs and Blessings 

Needless to say, anti-Serb and anti-Russian bacchanalia then (and today) was a product of those same urbanized 1968 Parisian a-holes who today watch in dismay on how their chickens came home to roost. And that is my point.
Do not expect any change in contemporary "West's elites" MO. Sure, there will be a lot of rhetoric about lofty goals, and revenge and, "democracy", and ideals, and even Marine Nationale will have its field day....but...but. It was France, USA and their pathetic minions who enabled the "Arab Spring" and, eventually, brought ISIS to power and they will do very little to face the problem and tragedy of their own making. They can not--they ARE the problem. That is why, the main burden of stopping IS(IS), Daesh, what have you, falls on Russia's shoulders. "Western elites" who are responsible for lighting up Middle East on fire and nurturing Jihad as early as 1980--they are still in place, so is their media machine and brainwashed "public opinion".  Expecting any real effort in solving what today is the deadly virus killing  European Civilization? Forget it, the descent to hell is in full progress. 
As for Russians. The fight continues. It will continue as it is always the case for Russia and, who knows, in the end, the appearance of Ivanovo and Pskov divisions in the skies over Syria can mark the final point in the mayhem. Will it be another "Afghanistan"? Well, the problem here is that Soviet-Afghan War in the "West" is known mostly through Rambo movies and that is why it is mostly a propaganda cliche. Sure, let's say that it will be another Afghanistan. 

 Meanwhile, Russia is getting even, after she cried her eyes dry and observes how "West" cries it a river.