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It's amazing how much effort and energy Russian pro-Kremlin, as well as foreign media loyal to Russia, put to writing discrediting articles about Ukraine with an enviable regularity. In this case, it is not because of the desire "of the journalist to understand the details and convey the truth to the readers" about certain circumstances, but the contrary - just to fulfil someone's order and acquire pseudo popularity.

 

For instance, in April this year, immediately after the Defexpo 2016 International Exhibition an Indian journalist Rakesh Krishnan Simha, in the online edition of INDRUS (Russian and Indian Report) published an article entitled "Frauds with MIGs! Lost Antonov planes! Why India should stay away from Ukraine («Fake MiGs! Missing Antonovs! Why India must keep away from Ukraine»). Upon reading his material, the familiar Russian approach is immediately recognisable - "speak only badly of the enemy/competitor", as well as typical clichés against Ukraine - "dysfunctional country," "Ukraine can not meet the complex requirements of India", "everything Ukraine touches turns to rust "etc.

 

Of course, what you would expect from a journalist who in the last few months wrote articles with content that reflects his (or maybe not quite) beliefs quite clearly: "Why India and the US can not be close allies," "Weapons of destruction: Russia is the main supplier for India", "Communication is an important factor in the development of Indo-Russian relations", "Why India and Russia will always remain the best friends" etc.

 

However, the material concerning Ukraine is worth special attention. While rushing various slogans and accusations against Ukraine, the author focuses on several circumstances. The investigations on the MiG-21, which were renovated in the interest of Croatia; as well as an incident of 5 military transport aircraft An-32 belonging to the Indian Air Force allegedly lost.

 

However, all this should be clarified and we should dot the "i's".

 

Concerning the scandal over allegedly defective Croatian MiG-21bis, which were modernized in the SE "Odessa aircraft plant." The initiators of the "exposures", not surprisingly, were local media. The Croatian press (notably, not government or certain officials) unexpectedly accused the Ukrainian side in the sale of substandard obsolete MiG-21. Allegedly, Odessa repairers assembled machine parts from different backgrounds, have made everything bad, and the officials in Zagreb ignored it, because they were corrupt.

 

Actually as found by Ukrainian media (Dumskaya.net), the situation is quite prosaic. It's important to point out that the repair and modernization of the MiG-21 is now impossible without the use of used parts (the planes have not made for more than 30 years). The Croats were well aware of that and knew what equipment they were buying. The pilots of the former Yugoslav Republic tested the jets before the transfer and were satisfied. This was confirmed by the Croatian Air Force Brigadier General, Hero of Croatia Ivan Selak, who personally experienced the planes transferred by Ukraine. In particular, he said: "It's not as bad as the press writes. I would never have approved to operate machines that can be dangerous for the pilots. When I walk to the planes at the airfield, I always look at the technicians in the eye and trust them as my own brothers. I always trust them and they trust me. If there's something wrong with a plane, no one would be silent about it - they would tell it me to my face, and would not keep quiet, and then they would write letters to the authorities. Perhaps there are such people in the editorial offices of newspapers and magazines, but there are no such people in the air force, and never will be. "

 

Furthermore, the leading Croatian military news portal defender.hr published a long article in April 2016, which brought a comparative description of the two contracts - Romania and Odessa. The journalists compared the Croatian contract to repair the MiG-21 in the Romanian factory "Aerostar" in 2002 with a similar contract with the State Enterprise "Odessa aircraft plant". Assessing both deals, the Croatian experts have come to the conclusion that Odessans have made a better job than Romanians. Also, in contrast to the "Aerostar", Ukrainian plant has provided high-quality sales service. During the period of receiving the aircraft in Croatia there was a team of Odessa repairers constantly on duty, and test flights were carried out at the expense of the Odessa aircraft plant. Both plants delayed the terms of performance of the contract, but Odessans paid a fine, and the Romanians have got off lightly. Meanwhile no one talks about the causes of the accident with two Croatian MiG-21 in 2010, that were refurbished and modernized by "Aerostar", which according to the preliminary conclusions of experts was caused by the replacement of the engines by the Romanians during the upgrade.

 

When purchasing additional MiG-21, the Croats have definitely known that neither in Ukraine nor anywhere else, there were no original "twenty-firsts", which have been withdrawn from service even before the collapse of the Soviet Union. The last batch of 40 pieces had gone in the mid-1990s to the Croats as well, most of the planes became spare part donors. In the early 2000's Odessa aircraft plant had five dozen MiG-21 in various degrees of preservation. They came from Algeria, Ethiopia, Egypt, Mongolia and Bulgaria. And the Croatian side was well aware of it and had been warned. Therefore we can say that Ukraine acted quite honestly and transparently concerning Zagreb.

 

Also, if you carefully examine the investigation by Croatian journalists who covered the Ukrainian side in a negative way, you can clearly see a "double bottom". According to local experts, Ukrainian companies have been used just as a bargaining chip in the political confrontation between the local parties CDU ("Croatian Democratic Union") and the SDP ("Social Democratic Party"), where one political party sought to discredit the other, using a signed contract for "twenty-one". 

 

Also, one of the purposes of these articles was compromising the SC "Ukrspetsexport" and Odessa aircraft repair plant in the world arms market, particularly in the Balkan countries, which have the prospect of enhanced cooperation. It is evident that there are points of contact, at least from the fact that in April 2016 the Romanian delegation headed by Chief of Staff of the Air Force of the country, composed of representatives of "ROMAERO" companies and the same "Aerostar", visited the State Enterprise "Lviv State aircraft repair plant "and got acquainted with the possibilities of an enterprise on repair and modernization of MiG-21 aircraft in the interest of the Romanian Armed forces. Also, if you carefully examine the investigation by Croatian journalists who covered the Ukrainian side in a negative way, you can clearly see a "double bottom". According to local experts, Ukrainian companies have been used just as a bargaining chip in the political confrontation between the local parties CDU ("Croatian Democratic Union") and the SDP ("Social Democratic Party"), where one political party sought to discredit the other, using a signed contract for "twenty-one".

 

Also, one of the purposes of these articles was compromising the SC "Ukrspetsexport" and Odessa aircraft repair plant in the world arms market, particularly in the Balkan countries, which have the prospect of enhanced cooperation. It is evident that there are points of contact, at least from the fact that in April 2016 the Romanian delegation headed by Chief of Staff of the Air Force of the country, composed of representatives of "ROMAERO" companies and the same "Aerostar", visited the State Enterprise "Lviv State aircraft repair plant "and got acquainted with the possibilities of an enterprise on repair and modernization of MiG-21 aircraft in the interest of the Romanian Armed forces.

The information about the alleged lost 5 Indian military transport aircraft An-32 originally was not true. The news of the loss of the aircrafts appeared on the website «DefenseNews» agency, which, with reference to for some reason anonymous representative of the Indian Air Force, has stated that "the five remaining airplanes are almost lost, since they are difficult to find, and diplomatic efforts to find out their whereabouts have failed". It was of course picked up by Russian media, particularly television and radio company "Zvezda" and RIA Novosti, and after them, "Vesti" and other Internet resources.

 

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However, as it turned out later, the aircraft did not disappear, but were at the State Enterprise "Civil Aviation Plant 410", where all Indian An-32 were undergoing renovation and modernization, which Delhi was well aware of. Information about the missing aircraft has been disproved by the press service of "Antonov" state enterprise, as well as the Ministry of Defence of India in an official clarification. The Indians then declared: "Statements in some media that the Indian military aircraft disappeared during modernization, are false, which is confirmed by the Indian Air Force. The last five AN-32, sent to the Ukraine, are at a factory in Ukraine. The delay in repairs related to the unavailability of spare parts is due to the ongoing geopolitical confrontation between Ukraine and Russia. "

 

The latter circumstance has left a definite imprint on the implementation of the second part of the contract - the remaining 65 of the 105 AN-32 aircraft were to be subject to renewal in India, on the technical basis of the Air Force BRD number 1 in the city of Kanpur. Since the factory number 410 was responsible for the preparation and delivery of repair kits in Kanpur, some problems have arisen as a result of the confrontation between Ukraine and Russia, and affected the organization of work with the Indian military in their territory.

 

Among other things, Russia itself should noted as well, which "pays no attention to the plank in their own eye". After all, Moscow has managed to "excel" in the Indian market too. Perhaps Indian journalist did not know... These are: a long, but exciting epic with the repair and modernization of the aircraft carrier "Admiral Gorshkov" for the benefit of the Indian Navy, as well as games on the draft of FGFA aircraft, created on the basis of Sukhoi PAK FA for the Russian Air Force - with the result that India's participation in the project decreased from 50% to 0%. Also a more recent scandal over the quality of Russian Su-30 delivered to India. The report, which was submitted at the end of 2015 to the Indian Parliament, had clearly stated that the availability of the Su-30 was extremely low, and the reliability and survivability of combat vehicles were lower than specified. Of the 210 aircraft available to the Indian Air Force, from 115 to 126 airplanes are grounded, being repaired. However, despite these significant faults from the Russian side, nobody tells "India to stay away from the Russian Federation."

 

Of course, the appearance of this clearly biased article in the online edition of INDRUS, was not accidental. All becomes clear considering the results of the participation of Ukraine and Russia at the Defexpo-2016 International Exhibition.

 

After all Kiev, represented by SC "Ukroboronprom" really tried to push away Moscow in the arms market in this region at the show in Delhi. The Kremlin was apparently puzzled by some of the achievements of the Ukrainian side. And this puzzlement, amid apparent success of the Ukrainian delegation, caused the Russians to sense a threat of losing the Indian market. Particularly, the signing of 15 memoranda of cooperation, including a memorandum with the Indian company Reliance Defence Limited to jointly develop a multi-purpose "AN" military transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force and civilian needs. Among the many factors that influenced the decision were the latest achievements of "Antonov". After all, in addition to the agreement on cooperation in the production of AN-132 in the interests of Saudi Arabia, today the company already has firm contracts with Azerbaijan (two AN 178), Iraq (two AN 148/158 and two AN 178) and the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine (three AN 148).

 

In addition, at Defexpo-2016 the Ukrainian side have reached the final agreement on a long-term partnership to supply gas turbine equipment "Zorya-Mashproekt" for the Indian Navy. The Indians are also interested in joint realization of projects in the field of aircraft manufacturing, production of radar systems and maritime surveillance, maritime vessels and armoured vehicles modernization, air defence systems, air force warheads development, joint development of air-to-air missiles. The Indian space agency ISRO, realizing clear benefits for themselves, expressed desire to cooperate with Ukraine in the field of cryogenic engine.

 

In turn, the Russian Federation, which is under international sanctions, introduced after the illegal annexation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine, and the deteriorating economic situation in the country, was counting on the impressive results of the defence exhibition in India, but ended up with only small advances, insignificant for the potential of the country's defence industry. So, "Rosoboronexport" and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) signed only a memorandum of understanding for the offset programs, under which the parties plan to develop industrial cooperation between the two countries. But Moscow had planned to sign a contract with India for servicing helicopters Mi-8/17 on a three-year extension with the condition of up to five years prolongation. However, this did not happen (although there is some prospect). In addition, the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation has prepared a draft intergovernmental agreement on the supply of 5 anti-aircraft missile systems S-400 to India and introduced him to Indian partners. However, there was no result here either.

 

Against this background, the Russian Federation perceives a clear threat from the Ukraine in the Indian market. Therefore, they're taking all possible steps to discredit the opponent, including through the media, which in fact is traditional for them. The Kremlin has repeatedly initiated and implemented anti-Ukrainian information operations in an attempt to discredit our country as a reliable partner in military-technical cooperation, but none of the charges contained in such propaganda works found confirmation.

 

The Indian side should remember that a large number of the former Soviet Union weapons and military equipment they purchased, was wholly or partially produced in Ukraine, and should know that Kiev could become an alternative option for Delhi to modernize the obsolete weapons in the next few decades. The desire of Ukraine "to cut a big chunk of the Russian pie" will only benefit India. The competition increases, which means that the Russian Federation would be more compliant at the conclusion of the Indian contracts. India's success will also be promoted by the fact that Ukraine has advanced greatly in the modernization of post-Soviet arms and military equipment, and in some areas has even surpassed Russia. And it's an undeniable fact that, for example, in delivery of the maritime vessel gas turbine power plants and a separate nomenclature of aircraft engines for the Soviet vehicles, Ukraine is in fact a monopolist.

 

So Delhi should be dealing with Ukraine, and also objectively and adequately assess the situation, and be highly sceptical of the propaganda articles.

 

Taras HORTICA

 

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Translation

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