Russia sends plane full of medical gear to help US fight coronavirus

russia-planeBoxes with medical equipment and masks to help fight coronavirus are seen aboard a Russian military transport plane ahead of its departure for the US.Reuters

 

A Russian military transport plane loaded with medical equipment took off early Wednesday from an airfield outside Moscow and headed for the US, following a conversation between President Trump and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, according to a report.

Putin offered supplies to help fight the coronavirus pandemic during a phone call with Trump on Monday, which focused on how to respond to the outbreak, Reuters reported.

“Trump gratefully accepted this humanitarian aid,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday, Reuters reported, citing the Interfax news agency.

The Russian Embassy said on its Twitter account that Moscow sent the aid as Trump predicted the death toll in the US could be between 100,000 and 240,000 and amid hopes that the Trump administration would return the favor if the outbreak becomes severe in Russia.

“Importantly, when offering assistance to the American colleagues, President Putin is guided by the following consideration: when manufacturers of medical equipment gain momentum they will be able to reciprocate if need be,” the tweet said.

Trump on Monday said he had talked to Putin and suggested Russia would be sending aid.

“I have to say, we’ve had great relationships with a lot of countries,” Trump said. “China sent us some stuff, which was terrific. Russia sent us a very, very large planeload of things, medical equipment, which was very nice.”

Russia reported more than 2,000 cases of the virus, but many health experts have questioned the accuracy of the data.

 

Russia says it snuck nuclear attack submarines near US bases undetected!

5aac108589188d3c128b471b-1334-667Russian President Vladimir Putin leaves the submarine Archangelsk as the crew salutes, in port at Severmorsk, February 17, 2004.

 

  • Russian media reported on Friday that its military snuck nuclear attack submarines near US military bases and left undetected.
  • Russia has been increasingly touting its nuclear capabilities.
  • Even though the alleged submarine patrols near the US are militarily meaningless, Russian media reports they will air a TV series on the event.

Russian media reported on Friday that its military snuck nuclear attack submarines near US military bases and left undetected just weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin hyped up his country’s nuclear capabilities.

“This mission has been accomplished, the submarines showed up in the set location in the ocean and returned to base,” Sergey Starshinov, a Russian navy submarine officer, told Russian state-owned media. Starshinov said the vessels came and went “undetected” and that without violating the US’s maritime borders, they got “close enough” to US military bases.

The Russian media, known for trafficking in propaganda to glorify Putin and the state’s military, will reportedly release a TV series on the exercises.

The Pentagon did not respond to request for comment on this story.

The incident remains unverifiable with deniability baked in. If Russian submarines truly came and went undetected, no credible third party could likely verify the exercises. The fact that the military drill will become a TV series suggests that it was carried out at least in part for propaganda purposes, rather than practical military needs.

The submarines, which carry long-range cruise missiles that can fire from underwater, have no business coming close to the US, as they have an effective range of more than 1,500 miles. The submarines named by Russian media are powered by nuclear reactors, but have no nuclear weapons.

The incident comes as Putin prepares for an election on March 18, though he is expected to win handily. Putin has limited which opposition figures can run and controlled the state’s access to information throughout.

Russia frequently engages in propaganda to glorify its military, as it did when it recently deployed early-stage supposedly stealth fighter jets to Syria. After a few days of dropping bombs on undefended villages in Syria, Russia declared the planes, which are designed for high-end warfighting against US stealth jets, “combat proven.”

In February, Russian military contractors suffered a humiliating defeat to the US military in Syria, with airstrikes and artillery wiping out up to 300 Russian nationals while US forces suffered no combat losses, a US General has confirmed.

Does it matter if Russia can sneak its submarines around like this?

5a980e02aae60525008b4671-1136-955

Both the US and Russia have heavily entrenched mutually assured destruction nuclear postures, meaning that any nuclear strike on the US by Russia would be immediately returned by US missiles fired from silos, submarines, and airplanes pummeling Russia.

Russia is currently facing increasing scrutiny and sanctions over its meddling in the US’s 2016 presidential election and its alleged role in the poisoning of former spies in Britain. Russia’s economy is heavily dependent on energy exports, and the weak price of oil and competitiveness from the US and other players have crippled its economy, though it continues to spend heavily on the military.

Despite having four times the population, Russia’s GDP is roughly equivalent to Canada’s and military sales and power remain one of its few lifelines to nationa prestige.

Though the US and Russia are Cold War foes increasingly at odds over foreign policy, the only recent significant clash between the two countries came in February, during the battle in Syria which Russia overwhelmingly lost.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!