Thursday, May 20, 2021

New Russian Carriers, if Ever Built, Should Be Called ‘Pension,’ ‘Zeroing Out,’ and ‘Putin’ Because of How They’ll Be Paid For, Critics Say

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 17 – Russian officials are discussing building three new aircraft carriers over the next 12 years at a total cost of at least 21 billion US dollars. Many critics say there is no strategic reason for building these ships or even repairing Russia’s only and much-troubled carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov (

            And other say that the new ships, if they ever are built and not simply used as another way to funnel tax money into the hands of Kremlin allies, should be called “The Pension,” “The Zeroing Out,” and “the Putin” because of the ways money has been extracted from the population for expensive government projects (

            Unfortunately, both groups of critics say, there is no chance that the population will have a say on whether Moscow will go down this route and be able to weigh in on whether the country needs these ships or should spend the money they would cost on other things that would benefit the population more.

            Even if Moscow does go forward with this project, many observers are concerned that the Russian aircraft carriers would be significantly smaller and less capable than their American counterparts and that the history of Russian shipbuilding is not encouraging as to when or even if they’ll be delivered (

            They point to the ill-fated life of the Kuznetsov which has spent most of its time in drydock being repaired and has had to be accompanied by tugboats whenever it does go to sea so that they will be able to tow the ship back to Russian naval bases in the event of problems. (On the Kuznetsov’s travails, see and  


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