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Wed, Jul 05, 2023

Russia Cancels Premier International Air Show

Diversions Along the Direct Route to World War III

The British Ministry of Defense (MOD) has released a statement in which the agency alleges the Kremlin has chosen to cancel 2023's MAKS (Mezhdunarodnyj Aviatsionno-osmicheskij Salon—Russian: “International Aviation and Space Show”) airshow, an undertaking by which Moscow showcases the prowess of Russia’s civil and military aircraft industries, highlights the products thereof, and drums up exports of such.

The Ministry of Defense posited cancellation of the high-profile event was attributable in part to Ukrainian drone strikes on Russian targets and the security risks connoted thereby.

In its regular intelligence update, the MOD set forth: "Russia has canceled the 2023 iteration of MAKS, its premier international air show. MAKS—which usually takes place near Moscow—helps Russia to drive up exports for its military and civil aircraft by showcasing its best planes. The show has probably been canceled due to genuine security concerns following recent uncrewed aerial vehicle attacks inside Russia.”

In addition to the threat of Ukrainian belligerence, the Kremlin’s concerns encompass the humiliation inherent foreign delegates’ reluctance or outright refusal to attend the show amid the security exigency occasioned by Ukraine’s surprisingly effective weaponization of commercial drones. Recent weeks have seen Ukrainian drone operators successfully strike targets well inside the Russian motherland.

The MOD update continued: "The war has been exceptionally challenging for Russia's aerospace community. The sector is struggling under international sanctions; highly-trained specialists are being encouraged to serve as infantry in the Roscosmos space agency's own militia."

The update concluded with comments pertaining to the Wagner Group's "abortive mutiny," and revealed General Sergei Surovikin, Commander in Chief of Moscow’s Aerospace Forces, has not been seen since the attempted coup.

Surovikin was reportedly the key point of contact between the Wagner mercenaries and Russia's principal Ministry of Defense.

News of Surovikin’s disappearance coincides with unsubstantiated reports that he may be planning to blow up Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant—the largest such facility in Europe.  

Russian troops overran the Zaporizhzhia installation approximately one month after the February 2022 onset of the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian conflict.

In May 2023, Yevgeny Balitsky, governor of Ukraine’s partially-occupied Zaporizhzhia Oblast, within which the nuclear plant lies, ordered civilians from 18 settlements to leave the area—including Enerhodar, home to the majority of the plant’s staff.

Ukrainian president and alleged war profiteer Volodymyr Zelensky has fueled fears of a radioactive calamity, stating a “serious threat” remains in place at the Zaporizhzhia plant and remarking a breach of such would result in a catastrophe that would dwarf 1986’s Chernobyl disaster.



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