The Russian army has released a 2019 calendar showing off troops, equipment and more in a 12-part feature promoting the country’s armed forces.
The Russian Defense Ministry released its official 2019 calendar on Tuesday, alongside a dozen military photos corresponding with the months of the year, and made the images available directly through its official website. The pictures were accompanied by some tongue-in-cheek captions that caught the attention of both local and international media.
In the first picture, January was marked by an image of a Topol-M nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile mobile launcher driving in the snow and a caption that reads “Delivering cargo to any part of the world,” as translated by the state-run RT channel. Next up, February featured another staple of the Russian nuclear triad, the Tupolev Tu-95 strategic bomber, dubbed Bear by the U.S.-led NATO Western military alliance.
“Russian bears don’t hibernate in winter,” the caption states.
This Russian Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missile mobile launcher is a core component of the land-based third of Moscow’s nuclear triad. Russian Ministry of Defense
The Russian Tupolev Tu-95 is a massive aircraft seen in action in the fight against the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) in Syria. Russian Ministry of Defense
Four Russian troops appear in formation. The Russian military is often ranked second only to the U.S. in terms of strength. Russian Ministry of Defense
A Russian soldier aims his assault rifle as a second looks on beside him. Kalashnikov style rifles have been a standard for the armed forces since the invention of the iconic AK-47 in the late 1940s. Russian Ministry of Defense
Four Russian cadets, one of whom has her gaze fixed off-camera, are seen for March 2019, with a caption revealing, “Locking eyes is Kremlin’s secret weapon.” April features “Russian snowdrops” in the form of two troops donning gas masks and holding Kalashnikov assault rifles while training in wintery conditions.
In May, two young uniformed Russian girls are seen marching next to the caption “Preparing for a 2033 Victory Day parade” in reference to the annual May 9 celebration of Nazi Germany’s surrender in 1945, at the end of World War II, and usually marked with a massive military parade in Moscow. June shows a group of Russian soldiers inspecting their weapons, or, as the caption states, “Soundcheck before concert.”
Coming around to July, we see a missile silo being referred to as a “Tough Russian electric waffle maker” and, in August, the calendar brags that “Russian aces can make even crocodiles fly” as it depicts a Mil Mi-24 attack helicopter, nicknamed the “crocodile” due to its green camouflage color scheme. September’s profile features a Russian soldier pointing her rifle toward the camera, with the text proclaiming that “Some women will blow you away.”
Two young women in military attire are seen in this photo shared December 25. The U.S. and Soviet Union were allies during World War II, but quickly turned on another in a geopolitical competition that became known as the Cold War. Russian Ministry of Defense
Russian personnel inspect their equipment in this photo shared December 25. Russian troops are currently deployed in support of the government in Syria, where President Donald Trump recently declared the U.S. ground forces mission against ISIS over. Russian Ministry of Defense
Upon reaching October, viewers are greeted with a soldier holding a PK-style machine gun, known as “PC” in Russian. The soldier is called “An advanced PC user,” while others featured in November operate a man-portable anti-tank guided missile alongside the phrase “Cornet isn’t a rank, cornet is a calling” in reference to the officer rank of the same name within the former Russian Imperial Army.
A Russian missile silo is seen in this photo shared December 25. Russia has the world’s largest nuclear weapons arsenal. Russian Ministry of Defense
A Russian Mil Mi-24 attack helicopter is seen in this photo shared December 25. The aircraft have seen decades of warfare, including against Afghan mujahideen rebels who used CIA-supplied Stinger missiles to target them. Russian Ministry of Defense
The final image is a December display of “New Year’s lights and fireworks” actually made up of tracer fire and light trails left behind by missile launches.
The Russian armed forces have sought new and advanced weaponry as a countermeasure to the United States, whose massive global military presence has been viewed with deep skepticism in Moscow. Washington has also accused the Kremlin of interfering in foreign affairs, leading to political standoffs that have threatened to dismantle Cold War-era arms control treaties.
A Russian soldier aims a Kalashnikov model assault rifle in this photo shared December 25. The Kalashnikov is the world’s most popular gun, with its variants and copies numbering in the tens of millions. Russian Ministry of Defense
A Russian solder aims a PK machine gun in this photo shared December 25. NATO and Russia have both fortified positions on opposing sides of the border in Eastern Europe, accusing another of pursuing destabilizing policies. Russian Ministry of Defense
A Russian soldier operates 9M133 Kornet man-portable anti-tank guided missile system while another aims his assault rifle. Russia has the world’s largest tank army and has been accused of supplying both tanks and anti-tank weapons to separatists in eastern Ukraine. Russian Ministry of Defense
Tracer rounds and missile trails can be seen in this photo shared December 25. NATO and Russia held some of their largest exercises since the Cold War in 2018 and were set to continue their feud through the new year. Russian Ministry of Defense
The U.S. and Russia have accused one another of violating the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, which bans the deployment of land-based missile systems ranging from 310 to 3,400 miles. The White House has announced its intention to leave the landmark agreement. Meanwhile, Russia has threatened to target any new U.S. ballistic missile systems in Europe, while taking additional security measures of its own.
Moscow has also said that Washington refused to begin negotiations to renew the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) that limits the two countries’ nuclear arsenals.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has criticized the U.S. for a lack of communication on geopolitical issues, warning Monday that a conflict was possible if “the price of an error or misunderstanding becomes fatal.”
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