Putin shirtfronts Australia

I’ve already noted that while Tony Abbott was talking tough, Vladimir Putin was busy destroying the underpinnings of Australian LNG. But today it appears the vendetta goes further with Vlad now openly shirt fronting Australia and its many G20 guests by sending a naval armada to sit off Brisbane. From The Australian:

RUSSIAN warships are north of Australian waters in an unprecedented show of strength to accompany Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to the G20 in Brisbane this weekend.

Australian P3 Orion surveillance aircraft have been deployed to monitor the ships, along with Anzac class frigate, HMAS Stuart.

The ships are in the Coral Sea, south of Bougainville off Australia’s east coast.

…A warship from Russia’s Pacific Fleet accompanied former Russian President Medvedev’s visit to San Francisco in 2010, and a Russian vessel was also was sent to the APEC meeting in Singapore in 2009.

A guided missile Cruiser, Varyag, named after the country’s Viking ancestors, the Varangian people, is leading the contingent south in international waters.

It is accompanied by a destroyer, Marshal Shaposhnikov, and one of the world’s most powerful tugs the Fotiy Krylov. A supply tanker Boris Butoma is also heading south towards Australia’s east coast as part of the dispatch.

…a defence source said…the move was aimed at showing an “aura of power” around the Russian leader at the G20 summit which distracted from agenda items at the conference of world leaders.

Nothing like a little gunboat diplomacy to grease the wheels of negotiations. This may also have something to do with it, from Bloomie:

NATO accused Russia of sending columns of troops and heavy weapons into Ukrainein the past two days, as the government in Kiev warned the nation’s eastern combat zone is close to returning to open war.

Loose lips sink ships, what!

Houses and Holes


  1. The story about the ships is just media hype. Naval deployments of this type are incredibly common.

    Russian troops in Ukraine is marginally more concerning, but any link to Australia and the G20 is tenuous.

      • Probably says more about Russian reliability than anything else – that on a simple nautical mission, they have to send a retrieval boat on the expectation that something os about to break down!

      • Researchtime, it would be very foolish to think that Russia is some has been military superpower. They have a stock pile of cold war hardware just laying around, and it’s not all just rusting old junk as the media would have you believe. Russia is most likely the second strongest superpower next to the US today. Hell, even if it weren’t, if it came down to a 1 on 1 with Australia, Australia wouldn’t stand a chance. The first thing that would happen is a total cyber attack and Australia’s lack of readiness for that alone would pretty much knock all critical infrastructure offline. It’s that bad that cyber experts are warning Australian companies that they could be a target at the next G20.

        So that’s just a cyber attack, What does Australia have in the way of hardware to defeat the Russian navy , nothing, Australia would simply lose.

      • @bskerr2

        Very well said.

        The Russians are and have always been the world leaders in rocket technology – they lead the world in missiles and aircraft as well.

        Their anti-carrier ballistic missiles are by far the best on earth.

        Their Sukhoi outperform all other aircraft and are by FAR the best choice for any modern airforce – the alternatives are just pork barrelling and kow-towing to washington. They are shit.

        Their most recent subs are devastating.

        The Russians are also the supplier of the worlds BEST SAM’s the s-400 which is pretty much impenatrable and makes US defences look ridiculous.

        The Russians do not even export their s-500 which is on a another level altogether.

        On top of this Russia has been one of the major space platforms since the retirement of the Shuttle.

        The Russians military tech basically smashes the pants off pretty much everything else – the US stealth bomber’s being amongst the few things of any comparable danger which are however, like the US aurora x 37b nuclear shuttle irrelevant due to anti-satellite missiles which can take out both the X37b and the B-2.

        Finally the Russians long ago developed what China is now trying to achieve in supercavitational torpedos.

        So forget about rusting cold war material – Russia is leading the world in missiles, SAMS, ballistic missiles, antii-carrier missiles, anti-satellite missiles, jets, equal with US on subs, space platforms etc.


      • You have been watching way too much TV guys. Russia is no where near as strong as you make out… in fact they spend a only third on defence that the EU does, is out numbered in front line jet fighters by 5 to 1, out numbered in tanks, ships etc, etc. Thats before you take into consideration that in some areas the Russians are using technologies and equipment that is greater than 40 years old. Even on a GDP basis, EU spends around 1.3% on defence, Russian GDP spending is approaching 4%.

        Putin is not stupid, he has no intention of threatening anyone. Heck he played it extremely low key in eastern Ukraine for fear of upsetting EU hawks – despite the fact that regions (in places) were up to 90% ethnic Russians were under attack.

        It may be its an age thing, and I am too young to remember it all, but the Cold War is over guys. Finished, done.

      • And cyber security, lets not forget that the Russians are pretty good at this, this alone would knock Australia over, without ever firing a shoot.

      • Really, well, here check this out, NONE of your critical infrastructure in Australia is protected by any government mandate, much of it is privately owned. See, this is what happens when National governments sell of national assets such as critical infrastructure. Here is the TISN pdf from government, basically a bunch of NON-mandated cooperative crap. It means profits come before security.


        Just read any of those pdf’s/docs

        The only people who don’t know it’s so bad is you and the(typical of most governments), the Australian tax payer. Russia knows it’s bad, even the script kiddy down the road knows it’s bad.

        If nothing in IT security is ever mandated, then you are simply an easy target. I wonder how many Pro Russian hackers who don’t work for the government or do, take your choice are probing Australia as we speak. I am pretty sure Russia’s cyber war fare department would be.

      • You have no idea what you are talking about – none. You never do.

        The United States has been Using Russia for its space platform (as has the EU) for years because the US has had no capacity to launch.

        The US has only JUST resumed its own launches. So – bullshit.

        Secondly the Russians Sukhoi jet fighter has out performed the US (22,35) and Euro fighters in every single test. It is by FAR the best jet on the market and orders around the world PROVE this.

        Any country which is not aligned to the US (Canada, UK, Australia) has chosen the Russian fighter over both the US and Euro versions.

        So again – you are full of it.

        The Russians developed the original sun-burner missile which there are STILL no defence to over 40 years ago. China has copied this anti-carrier technology and now produces the Dong-Feng which can take out a moving carrier over half the distance of the planet. There is absolutely NO DEFENCE to this and renders all carrier fleets and force projection utterly useless.

        The s-500 and s-400 are BOTH better than anything the Us offers.

        The ONLY area the US is leading is the B2, X-37b (both utterly useless against anti-satellite) and their robotics / drone program which is very very good.

        HOWEVER the Chinese have shown that anything the US has been producing over the past ten years has been available to the Chinese within days – in other words the cyber assault on the US is almost total.

        You really have no idea what you are talking about – zero – nada, nilch.

        Edit: Russias new subs –



      • Before you make any more stupid comments about cyber warfare here is a real time tracker showing exactly the current cyber war being waged globally – one of the best websites I know of for visualising this type of thing.

        Surprised you don’t know about it – wait, no, hang on – not surprised at all.


      • That tug boat will be there to assist the submarines to do a lift on the undersea cables in the region so that eavesdropping devices and hydrophones can be installed, maybe. WW

    • Our media just running more water for the USA foreign policy machine.

      Putin = some mutated spawn that Hitler and Stalin conceived.

      The USA = spreading purity and democracy across the world.

    • “The Russians are and have always been the world leaders in rocket technology – they lead the world in missiles and aircraft as well.
      Their anti-carrier ballistic missiles are by far the best on earth”

      You are right about their missle tech. It’s still the best, which is incredible when you consider it hasn’t seen any real spend and therefore innovation or improvements since 1992. The US still use Russian launch systems to get their guys up to the international space station.

      The Sukhoi is the best fighter plane in a dogfight, but the stealth US bombers (if they actually can’t be picked up) negate the need for dogfights.

      That said one of the more critical things you neglected is that their radar tech is excellent also.

      Their conventional military still lags though. This is why they are seeking to enshrine tactical nuclear defense into their constitution if overwhelmed by conventional forces.

    • @ Leviathan

      The real ingenuity of many Russian military systems is their simplicity. They are designed to work and work simply. That’s the difference. Americans spend boatloads of money on gadgets and all the rest of this fancy studff.

      Perfect example is the missle shield. If ever they got this to the envisaged level where they could shoot down and and all ICBM’s from Russian land mass, do you know what the Russians would do, besides build better missles?? They would spend a few million and do the simplest thing imaginable. Their agents would simply smuggle nuclear ICBM’s onto US soil to counter a trillion dollar nuclear

      • Disagree and also agree- Yes their tech is more useable however the Russians have some mind blowing tech.

        Their SAM’s are outstanding – completely destroy anything from the yanks, their supercavitational tech is something the US simply do not have.

        The Yanks are severely curtailed by the private sector gouging, and also enhanced by its innovation.

  2. Maybe they’re coming for “Vladimir Putin’s newest enemy: Australia”?

    It’s good to see that our PM is making news in the US thought the conclusion isn’t too flattering for him.


    It leaves Abbott in an awkward position. For all his tough talk, an apology from Russia seems as distant as ever, and his macho “shirtfront” comment has been widely mocked; one online survey published by the conservative paper Sydney Morning Herald found that the majority of readers were unhappy with his efforts. And while Putin may receive a cold reception in Brisbane, he’s probably sure he has come out on top.

    • Abbott is very good in creating enemies. Just year or two ago we didn’t have any real enemy, now he managed to put us into a defence position against the most powerful neighbour Indonesia, the most powerful terrorist organisation ISIS and the most powerful nuclear power Russia – quite an achievement

    • The Washington Post and New York Times coverage of the situatiuon in Ukraine has been repugnant. They have been carrying the govts. water. No mention of the Ustasi wannabes in the Ukraine. No mention of the USA intelligence and private contractors subversive efforts in Ukraine. No mention of the role of NGO’s and Victoria Nuland. No mention of the use of cluster bombs by Ukraininian forces. No mention of war crimes committed by Ukrainina “army.”

      Their reporting is utterly childish to say the least. Shame to see comments on facebook today on articles re Putins attendance her eand the warships amounting to nothing more than a regurgitation of the Western media filth we have been served up.

      Those in the West are eating bowls of excrement daily from the media and they like the taste.

      • No sense of irony here….. the Kremlin have been using neo con propaganda or media tactics, mostly for domestic consumption, claiming conspiracy theories about ‘the west’ e.g. we’re all dupes, attacks on whoever questions the sovereignty Russia claims over borderlands etc.., and always demanding that only the Kremlin frame the questions.

        It is expected that Russians would follow the Kremlin line with it’s strangulated media and propensity for conspiracy theories, however the Kremlin must smile. This is when soft headed ‘westerners’ e.g. ‘Labour tories’ (UK lefties who like strong leadership or hero worship) who take every Kremlin utterance for ‘gospel’ while dismissing the media diversity and openess in the ‘the west’, which many middle class Russians seem to think too, while trying to set up bolt holes or plan emigration to US/Europe….

  3. I think you will find that Russia has sent a naval contingent to accompany a lot of major foreign trips by leaders. There is nothing out of the ordinary about this (from the Russians point of view). I would also add that the days of a mighty Soviet style naval armada are long gone.

    Maybe we could talk them into defecting………(though that 1.5% pay outcome for the ADF would need to be carefully explained)

  4. This should be a welcome wake up call to the government. I cringe when I hear our politicians talking tough particularly against nuclear armed powers. This talk of telling the world to increase growth by an extra 2% is in a similar cringe worthy vein. Surely they would already if they could without Hockey bringing it to their attention.
    Kevin Rudd should have been sacked by the GG after he told Hillary Clinton to Bomb China, if they don’t bend to U.S will !
    Australia couldn’t fight its way out of a paper bag with its military, I really don’t know where they get these delusions of grandeur.
    And yes the Russian military isn’t what it was but its still enormous and could no doubt sweep aside most EU nations with little problem, and take Australia out after lunch

    • Do you really not know? They get it from the media, just like the of us (well not me I don’t do media)

      • Yup – 23 years of ‘uninterrupted growth’ has done strange things to our national psyche.

        Bring on the humbling.

    • Yes yes yes yes no to your observations Rod

      Wakeup call – hey guess what Australia is not a middle power. Its a small nation which happens to occupy the biggest continent in southern Asia.

      Yes on the growth nonsense and on Rudd getting the chop.

      Yes on paper bag military – but thats a good thing – the best part of the ADF is the geographical arm. ADF only needs a capable submarine force, OTH EWS and some long range interceptors and everything else could be shelved/sent to the mines (sic).

      No on Russian military “sweeping” Europe – its in better condition than cold war obviously and could make a ruckus but definitely no chance of attacking Australia.

      Only one force on earth has the capacity to attack Australia (beyond a terrorist attack obviously) and thats the USN. China wont have that capacity for at least 20-30 years if at all.

      And its only a couple of ships – no big deal really.

      • If only we had a capable submarine force. We have 8 Subs with crew rotation and one laid up for maintenance we really don’t have anything effective for defence. Assuming that all of them are not laid up for maintenance that is. Even the Air Force. I wonder how Abbot feels now having sent 24 of our newest super hornets to the middle east to fight in a 1,000yr old sectarian conflict dropping “Humanitarian bombs”. That leaves about 70 of our ageing hornets and again crew rotation support crews does not leave much left. I saw a retired ADF officer make the same point on 7.30 report when Abbot announced Iraq 3 was a go.
        I don’t think we have a defence force as such more the scaffolding for when the Feds one day decide to build one.
        I know it wont happen but I just wish that Ministers and the PM would pull their heads in and explain to the media that we really have no influence in the world or capability to effect any change even if we tried and to stop asking them questions about international issues. We have and can offer nothing other then red dirt

      • “Only one force on earth has the capacity to attack Australia (beyond a terrorist attack obviously) and thats the USN. China wont have that capacity for at least 20-30 years if at all.”

        Sorry – that is unmitigated crap.

        China well and truly has the capacity to attack Australia, it is beyond crazy, literally, to think otherwise.

        It always amazes me that people think Air Craft carrier == force projection – its a total fallacy.

        First off – carrier groups are absolutely USELESS against countries like Russia and China due to their anti-carrier technology.

        The cold war was about economics – people forget this – and the Russians thrust was to counter the BILLIONS spent on carrier groups with multi-million dollar anti-carrier missile tech – hence why Russia is and always has been – the world leader in aeronautics and rocket tech.

        Billions upon Billions countered with a single missile. US simply can not take any carrier group any where NEAR China or Russia.

        So what is left ?

        General battle fleets and Subs – both of which China has in spades. Excellent ones (not to mention two carriers now and a third already being built).

        China has surpassed the Russians in their reach with anti-carrier tech – they are able to reach as far south as PNG. Hence why the Yanks want bases in Darwin.

        The ONLY thing stopping the Chinese attacking Australia is the US – that is the ENTIRE premise of our defence strategy – and mightily stupid one at that. For anyone who knows what happened in Singapore and the second world war – our alliance with Britain meant nothing when things went to pot.

        If China decided it wanted to annexe the northern half of Australia and got the wink from the US – they could, they would and it would take less than a few days.

        NOTHING can on earth can stop an army of a million permanent soldiers – and absolutely nothing is going to stop the Chinese beyond nuclear war.

        The Chinese have been in lock step with nuclear, space, and military since the 1970’s – they were space walking last year, they are about to go to the moon.

        The notion of the Chinese as somehow being backwards or having shit tech is pure racism at its worst.

        • How about you focus less on aggressive commenting, untested technology (in combat at least) and focus on the most important aspect of warfare – logistics.

          Again, only USN with USAF/USMC supply line and control of sea lanes has the conventional capacity to attack Australia. Its an absolute – yes they can launch an attack on the North or even off of Sydney, but it would be a short conflict to say the least. You can’t win wars with high tech weapons or diplomacy – you need logistics. Check out the ORBAT for PLA-N supply ships, or PLA-AF lifting capacity and other stats – and stop looking at fancy brochures for missiles, guns etc…

          Didnt mention backwards/bad tech/racism or whatever – thats your implication and not mine. The Americans made that mistake in the 30’s against the Japanese, who had the best pilots, best aircraft (Zero outclassed everything) and arguably best navy (especially aircraft carriers) in the world, but denied all this due to race.

          again, study history instead of fantasy – the Pacific War was won on logistics and sea control, not superior technology (although the IJN and IJA were eventually outclassed towards the end of the war, but generally lost because they ran out of good pilots and couldnt match the logistical firepower of the USN and industry)

          On aircraft carriers – and general tactics as well – big difference here is quality of pilots, aircrew and general operations. Chinese still have a decade or two at least of catch up to get those skills. Its all well and good to have the carriers, the planes, the equipment, but you need operational readiness, which is a long way away – but completely doable of course.

          “It always amazes me that people think Air Craft carrier == force projection – its a total fallacy.”

          Tell that to the Argentines in the Falklands, or SH in GW1 and GW2, or say, Libya recently or anywhere in the last 60 years where the US has stamped its foot on the ground with a big stick. U-beat top of the range anti-ship missiles didnt stop the US and other carrier groups from using that force projection and hasn’t so far (could change, granted).

          I didnt mention unconventional warfare, which is an unknown known.

          So again, tone down the aggression or I’ll end the discussion here – its an interesting debate to have but not at a pub bar level as youve started.

      • Chris, you are mixing up attacking capabilities with invasion capabilities. Needless to say, invasion is much more difficult than attacking. Many nations, including Russia and China, can attack Australia. Heck, even ISIS can attack Australia.

        But invading Australia is a whole different matter.

      • “It always amazes me that people think Air Craft carrier == force projection – its a total fallacy.”Tell that to the Argentines in the Falklands, or SH in GW1 and GW2, or say, Libya recently or anywhere in the last 60 years where the US has stamped its foot on the ground with a big stick. U-beat top of the range anti-ship missiles didnt stop the US and other carrier groups from using that force projection and hasn’t so far (could change, granted).

        Do any of these countries have Anti-carrier technology ? The Dong Feng or the Sun Burner ? Force projection as I stated – is absolutely IRRELEVANT in Chinese controlled waters – period. As it is in Russian. You simply wont see it happen. Argue all you like.

        I found the rest of your post profoundly condescending and simply wrong. I’m not looking at glossy brochures, I have studied military and history.

        Yes I have TWO masters degrees in international relations and political theory and have studied military (including US) as part of both. Including my these in IR on US Military.

        Seriously patronising post – and quite frankly totally wrong. Do you have a masters in these fields ?

        But wouldn’t want to get banned would we. So will leave it there.

    • Rod, They may be able to take us out with newks, but I don’t they have the capacity to support an invading force.

  5. Guys, the namesake of the destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov was a military commander of the USSR whose creed was to mobilise early for any conflict. Keep that in mind.WW

  6. With any luck Chris Joye is right (but I doubt it):

    “Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ­government is actively “condoning” hacks on Western retail and banking businesses, according to the founder of one of the world’s leading cyber security firms ahead of the G20 summit in Brisbane … And several local intelligence sources said there was also evidence of Russian hackers inside Australian networks.”


    Collapse the f***ers Vlad. Go you good thing.

    • Collapse what Op8? Some made up numbers? Ooooohhh so hard to just make them up again… FFS…

      BTC on the other hand IS rising — gold not so much….

      • Ahhh but mig, what about that little problem of them all trusting each other to be able to pay up on circa 1 point something quadrillion “worth” (giggles) of derivatives contracts. Bit of a problem there if some awful Russki gets in amongst all those digits and starts running amok 😉

      • What’s wrong with you this morning? Pay what up? Made up bullshit the Fed can just credit into their “accounts” at a whim?

        Oooooohhhh the liquidity crisis of it all…

      • Yeah I know you’re right, on a simplistic level *ducks head* … but it obviously wasn’t exactly a minor annoyance in 2008, was it. TEOTWAWKI until they were able to strongarm the govt / cb’s to agree to create those new digits to prop up their balance sheets.

      • Yeah what a ball buster those 3 days must have been, pffffft.

        Now they have algos to crash the market sooner. Get over your Russia worship they’re all as bad as each other…

  7. “Current cruiser Varyag is armed with powerful multipurpose attack missile system, SAM systems, ASW rocket launchers, torpedo tubes, and gun mounts of various calibers and purposes. NATO dubbed Russian ships of such class as “flattop killers”. ” (http://rusnavy.com)

    The Orion crew must be thrilled. Come on Tony, do the pose.

  8. KlimashkinaSydney

    While Abbott, and Australians, might like to think we’re important enough for an apology, I’m pretty sure Australia is the last thing on Putin’s mind.

    Let’s think.

    Middle East
    Commodity Prices



    • Slight correction:

      Commodity Prices

      Buy Koni some bone-flavored toothpaste

  9. this is the Defence release……


    Defence Monitors Russian Naval Vessels
    12 November 2014 | Media Release

    Defence is monitoring Russian naval vessels that are currently transiting through international waters to the north of Australia.

    In accordance with international law, Defence have been monitoring the Russian vessels.

    Defence regularly undertakes maritime surveillance patrols in the approaches to Australia.

    The movement of these vessels is entirely consistent with provisions under international law for military vessels to exercise freedom of navigation in international waters.

    Russian naval vessels have previously been deployed in conjunction with major international summits, such as the APEC meeting in Singapore in 2009. A warship from Russia’s Pacific Fleet also accompanied former Russian President Medvedev’s visit to San Francisco in 2010.

    Questions regarding the vessels should be directed to Russian authorities.

    Defence will not provide further details about the monitoring activity at this time.

    Media contact:
    Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999


    • It’s also a useful reminder to Australia in the event Abbott get a bit too full of himself and decide to arrest Putin for murder.

  10. I’m actually beginning to enjoy the Abbott government.
    It’s like a 1970s BBC comedy.
    Dads Army x Benny Hill.
    Que Kazoo

    • Nothing new there;


      ‘Russians are not just buying Gold Coast properties; they are active participants in the local real estate trade. Russian-born Elena Shakirova is selling properties for the Gold Coast office of First National Real Estate.

      “About 25 per cent of my customers are Russian,” Shakirova says. “What appeals to them most is the weather and the easygoing lifestyle here. In Russia you seem to work all the time and you’re tired all the time. Here you can relax more.”‘

      Eight year old article, but might be the shot in the arm the GC needs (no pun intended of course).

      Work all the time, tired? Wait till she becomes a property investor. Those guys are workaholics, the way they arrange annual refinancings, pick up pens and sign dotted lines. Its the stuff exhaustion is borne out of. They just work so hard.