RUSI in the News: 7 October - 14 October


UK and allies 'unwilling' to enforce no-fly zone in Syria

"I don’t think the US nor the UK and other countries would provide the credible force of threat to back it up," Ms Von Hippel said. "In order words, they have to be willing to shoot down Russian aircraft or Syrian regime aircraft if they’re violating Aleppo airspace."

Karin von Hippel on ITV, 11 October

West Rattled Over Russian Missiles on NATO Border

'The idea is to intimidate the West. Because Russia does not have any other tools to fight for its competitiveness in the international arena but psychology. Even the Russian military are comparatively weaker than NATO’s forces.'

Igor Sutyagin in Voice of America, 11 October 2016

Are Russia and the US entering a new Cold War?

‘The problem is, the general picture in my view, is that the Kremlin raises the stakes trying to portray itself as mad or crazy just to use that craziness, madness, political will to be crazy, as a force equalizer as Russia is much weaker than the West and even the United States alone and so the achieve it’s goal of securing its sphere of influence, Russia needs (to use) psychology and that is what they are doing.’

Igor Sutyagin on  Al Jazeera Inside Story, 10 October

Op Eds

Sectarian violence in Kashmir is increasingly spilling over onto the streets of Britain

Politicians and militant leaders from the sub-continent have long noticed and profited from this proximity of the now long-settled South Asian communities in the UK and the sub-continent and used it as a source of fundraising and support. Violence over there tends to resonate here. And while it will be impossible and incorrect to try to cut this umbilical cord linking us together, greater attention needs to be paid to understanding how this connection is evolving.

Raffaello Pantucci for The Telegraph, 14 October

Republicans are outraged by Donald Trump's sexism - but why not his anti-Muslim bigotry?

But there is something uniquely problematic about the 'Muslim question' in this presidential race. From the outset, Trump's stance actually resonates with much of the Republican Party base – it's not unpopular. On the contrary, it is admired – and that raises a problem that will far outlive Trump's political career. Trump may be exacerbating anti-Muslim bigotry – but he's tapping into a bigotry that actually exists, and will be there beyond him.

HA Hellyer for The International Business Times, 12 October

Quoted in the Media

Russia and the Syrian Crisis

At this point, the US would have to be ‘operationally, tactically brilliant’ to strike Assad

US pilots in fifth generation aircraft would have to be extremely well trained and "operationally, tactically brilliant" to knock out a Russian missile defense battery in Syria, Sutyagin said.

Igor Sutyagin in Business Insider, 13 October

Here’s what would happen if US tried to strike Russian-backed targets in Syria

Russian "air defense systems are designed to intercept high flying targets at a maximum range of  about 250 miles," said Sutyagin. While this does pose a threat to US and coalition aircraft operating normally in the region, the missile defense can be outfoxed, as they less optimal against low flying planes or missiles.

Igor Sutyagin in Business Insider, 12 October

Russia Announces Plans for Permanent Naval Base in Syria

Sutyagin estimates a battalion of marines, a company of Russian naval special forces and a squadron of up to four patrol ships will be among the deployments. Other capabilities will include Bastion anti-ship missiles, the already deployed S-300 missiles, as well as support personnel such as engineers and communications units.

“That will be the base—not just two piers plus one rusty workshop,” Sutyagin says.

Igor Sutyagin in Newsweek, 10 October

Exclusive - Russia builds up forces in Syria, Reuters data analysis shows

The S-300 basically gives Russia the ability to declare a no-fly zone over Syria,' said Justin Bronk, a research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London. 'It also makes any US attempt to do so impossible. Russia can just say: "We're going to continue to fly and anything that tries to threaten our aircraft will be seen as hostile and destroyed".'

Justin Bronk for Reuters and  The Daily Mail, 10 October

Russia's Foreign Relations

Bromance Between Xi and Putin Grows as U.S. Spats Escalate

“I definitely think this energized cooperation is significant, but fundamentally Russia and China will put their own interests first,” said Sarah Lain, a research fellow at the London-based Royal United Services Institute who specializes in Russia’s ties to world powers. “They will support each other on things that are of mutual interest, which is usually aimed at demonstrating an alternative power base to that of the U.S.”

Sarah Lain for Bloomberg, 14 October

Putin Picks New Paratrooper Chief With Crimea Experience

“Putin is very good in psychology, in bluffing,” Sutyagin tells Newsweek, noting that the Kremlin is not willing to start a war, but to test western commitment to eastern NATO partners. “It is not about occupation of northern Estonia or eastern Latvia. Just re-read the history of the appeasement policy in 1938, the Kremlin’s current plan is designed along the same recipe.”

Igor Sutyagain in Newsweek, 10 October

Counter-terror in the UK

UK airport terror fears as ISIS flag 'found stitched inside baggage handler's glove'

Raffaello Pantucci, director of international security studies at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) think tank, said: "People are consistently worried about aviation security and groups likely to exploit it. "Having said that, we haven't had a successful attack in UK against an airport yet."

Rafaello Pantucci in The Daily Express, 8 October

Cyber Security

UN Atomic agency admits a cyber-attack 'disrupted' a nuclear power plant

While the details are at best vague, Cristina Varriale, research analyst at the Royal United Services Institute's Proliferation and Nuclear Policy Team told SC that the admission “does re-highlight the issue of cyber in nuclear as a security challenge that needs considering, and at this stage raises more questions about the threat and how to address it.”

Cristina Varriale in SC Magazine, 13 October

Pakistan's Foriegn Relations

South Asian tensions seen dominating Indian BRICS summit

Overall, it will be an awkward summit," said Shashank Joshi, a senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London. He added that, for India, "diplomatic isolation of Pakistan will be the most important objective."

Shashank Joshi in Times of India, 14 October

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