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Press review: Russia saving hypersonic missiles for later use and Putin wagers on AI

Top stories from the Russian press on Friday, November 25th

MOSCOW, November 25. /TASS/. The West’s air defense systems are unlikely to protect all of Ukraine’s military facilities, Putin wagers on AI and the US urges Turkey to de-escalate. These stories topped Friday’s newspaper headlines across Russia.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta: Russia saving its hypersonic missiles for future use

Moscow thinks that strikes by Russia’s Armed Forces delivered on "Ukraine’s military command system and related electric power facilities" are effective, while Kiev denies it and insists that the majority of projectiles were downed. The Zelensky regime claims that for a greater reliability of its air defense, the US and NATO members should provide new supplies of air defense systems, including Patriot missiles. Both NATO and Ukraine are ready to continue hostilities.

A military expert, retired Lieutenant General Yury Netkachev noted that so far Moscow has not yet used any hypersonic weapons on a mass scale and Ukraine’s current air defense is powerless against them.

"During the entire time of combat action, while carrying out the tasks of the special military operation, the 9-А-7660 Kinzhal hypersonic airborne system has been used only three times," the expert noted. "Only three missiles were launched and all at important targets. Meanwhile, back in 2021, in the Southern Military District, an entire platoon of the carriers of such weapons, hypersonic long-range fighter-interceptor MiG-31K aircraft, was created. So far there is no information as to how many planes it is supposed to include. Yet, I think that it is no less than 30. And their Kinzhal weapons capacity should be no fewer than 10 units per aircraft. So, potentially, Russia can hit no fewer than 300 strategic targets in Ukraine with 100% probability," the expert concluded.


Izvestia: Putin calls for creation of new international payment system

Russia’s future depends on its success in the sphere of artificial intelligence, President Vladimir Putin said at an international conference devoted to this technology on November 24. It should be implemented in all industries, he stressed. In order to do so, he urged that legislation be streamlined and that young specialists need to get involved.

As Deputy Economy Minister Maxim Kolesnikov told Izvestia, the AI market has been actively developing, nearly doubling over three years. As for the sphere of international payments, the president pointed out that Russia is constantly under attack since the system itself nowadays is being controlled by a "narrow circle of states and financial groups." Given this background, the Russian leader called for the creation of a system independent of banks and third-country interference.

The US-led West’s sanctions won’t be lifted any time soon, so indeed it is necessary to seek out new solutions with regards to payment systems, economist Vladimir Klimanov told Izvestia. However, due to external pressure, cooperation on this score even with friendly countries is highly limited since they are afraid to end up sanctioned together with Moscow.


Vedomosti: US pressing Turkey to de-escalate in Syria

The United States is insisting that Turkey de-escalate the conflict with Syria’s Kurds whom Ankara has been pounding with airstrikes since November 21, Pentagon Press Secretary Patrick Ryder said. Turkey considers Washington’s allies, the Syrian Kurds from the YPG group tied to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), involved in the November 14 terror blast in Istanbul. A number of US military bases supplying the Kurds are located in the regions controlled by the YPG.

"The Americans are not very active in defending their partners, the Syrian Kurds, because they are not excited by the possibility of their statehood, which threatens the region with mounting instability," says Deputy Director of the Institute of International Studies at Moscow State Institute of International Relations Victor Mizin. Turkey thinks it can act with impunity since the US does not have many opportunities to stop it, although Ankara’s actions in Syria do irritate Washington, the expert says. In his opinion, since the US does not want to risk distancing Turkey, it will try to prevent it from a land invasion or may threaten it with sanctions or reduced military-technical cooperation.

According to Kirill Semyonov, an expert with the Russian International Affairs Council, delivering strikes on the Syrian Kurds is beneficial to the current Turkish political leadership on the eve of parliamentary elections and then the 2023 presidential election. However, in his opinion, Turkey is not technically ready for a full-scale incursion on the ground and for now wants to observe the situation in the region.


Nezavisimaya Gazeta: Moldova to reject Russian gas next year

Moldovan President Maia Sandu convened a session of the Supreme Security Council on Thursday where she raised the issue of supplying the country with energy resources. The leader of the Moldovan Social Democrats, Victor Shelin, told Nezavisimaya Gazeta that Moldovan officials plan to weather the winter with Russian gas and then switch to Romanian supplies. Moldova is already purchasing electric power from Bucharest instead of cheaper energy from Transnistria, the politician noted, stressing that the point is a complete rupture of relations with Russia while turning towards the EU. According to him, Brussels promised Sandu €600 mln to compensate for the energy split with Moscow and prevent mass riots in the country.

Leader of the unrecognized Transnistria Republic Vadim Krasnoselsky slammed Chisinau’s actions as "mindless." "They led Moldova to being left without stable electric power supplies. Transnistria is suffering from this as well," he said.

The Dnestrenergo power supplier said that if the Moldavskaya hydroelectric power plant functioned as usual and produced electric energy for Moldova then the energy system would have weathered the November 23 blackouts.


Izvestia: Russian wine occupies 55% of domestic market

More than half of Russia’s wine market has been taken up by domestic products, according to the 1st Russian Winemaking Forum which kicked off in Moscow on November 24. Leading winemakers and experts discussed agriculture, industry and science - the three main components of modern winemaking. On opening day, the spotlight focused on the quality of the products. Russian producers are confident that their wine has already reached global standards. This is confirmed by a scientific approach. According to the Kurchatov Institute, out of 100 bottles of imported wine, most do not contain what is indicated on their label, yet Russian wines demonstrate the opposite trend.

According to Deputy Prime Minister Viktoria Abramchenko, the geography of domestic grape culture and winemaking is constantly expanding. "If 10 years ago, everyone heard about Kuban and a little about the Rostov Region, then five years ago they began to note successes of winemakers from Crimea and Sevastopol," she said, additionally listing a number of Russian regions where winemaking is flourishing and developing.

The proportion between imported and domestic wines is gradually increasing in favor of Russian products, Deputy Industry and Trade Minister Viktor Yevtukhov said at the forum. He asserted that Russia will outperform imported products in sales as early as this year.

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