News that Russia is testing the latest addition to its underwater fleet of war machines, the BS-64 Podmoskovie nuclear submarine, have apparently left western analyst wondering what the watercraft is capable of while on months-long missions in the deep waters of the world ocean.
The BS-64, previously known as K-64, is not a new sub, but a refurbished Project 667BDRM ballistic missile submarine (NATO reporting name: Delta-IV) that spent over 15 years at a repair plant located in the Russian port city of Severodvinsk. Laid down in 1982, it was commissioned four years later and remained in service until 1999.
The Podmoskovie is capable of carrying a crew of 135 people and is armed with 16 R-29RMU Sineva liquid-fueled ballistic missiles. It has been assigned to Russia's Northern Fleet.
The 550-foot sub powered by two nuclear reactors was converted into a vessel designed to conduct scientific research, as well as a carrier for nuclear deep-water stations, including the top secret Losharik sub.
The new section allows the submarine to dock and undock deep-water vessels and houses a compartment for the crew and a research unit.
The BS-64 "appears to be part science vessel, part spy ship, part commando transport, and part 'mothership' for mini-subs and drones. But no one outside of the Kremlin and the Moscow's future crew knows for sure," defense analyst David Axe observed in an article titled "Russia's Mysterious New Submarine."
Norman Polmar, an expert focusing on naval and intelligence issues, fueled keen interest for the Podmoskovie by cautioning against underestimating Russian engineers.
"These guys are far more innovative than we ever were," Axe quoted Polmar as saying. The naval expert who has advised the US government on submarine strategy speaks from experience since he has been to the Russian design bureaus tasked with developing submarines.
Russia's refusal to support a UN Security Council resolution aimed at creating a tribunal to identify and prosecute those responsible for the MH17 tragedy "helped avert the risk of a major war," American journalist Carla Stea asserted.
The resolution was proposed by Malaysia and backed by Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands and Ukraine. It was supported by 11 out of the 15 UNSC member states. China, Venezuela and Angola abstained.
Stea maintains that those in favor of creating the MH17 tribunal seem to have "a preconceived agenda." They would fabricate "a bogus case against the East Ukrainians" and convict them using biased and highly politicized accusations. They will then use the proposed resolution in an attempt to justify a US and NATO attack on East Ukraine "to destroy the East Ukrainians' anti-Nazi struggle for dignity."
"This would make it impossible for Russia to avoid direct military involvement, and would constitute a provocation detonating a major war," Stea noted.
For the time being, Russia, according to the journalist, has prevented this scenario from playing out. But those who called the UNSC vote had additional goals in mind.
"The Russian veto of the Malaysian draft resolution S/2015/562 prevented a lethal and deliberate miscarriage of justice, and a probable escalation of the crisis in Ukraine, and the vote on this scandalous resolution was forced to embarrass Russia and create the illusion of Russian recalcitrance," the journalist noted.
The latest attempt to adopt a resolution under Chapter VII will not be the last. The West, according to the journalist, is likely to continue to scheme and plan its next move.
"There will be more conniving and barely disguised draft resolutions under Chapter VII to come in the UN Security Council. The target is Russia, and the pathological goal is regime change or world war," Stea wrote in an article titled "Ukraine and the MH17 Crash: Washington's Use of the UN Security Council as an Instrument of Propaganda, 'Regime Change' and War."
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