>At Once Upon a Time in the West we have been following Russia’s resumption of permanent strategic bomber patrols, formally initiated in August 2007 but unofficially last year. A list of specific flights and incidents appears in this blogsite’s right column. It’s hard work tracking the communists. Hence, we are on Christmas vacation as of tomorrow and this will be our last post until at least January 2, 2008.
Russian commander says strategic bomber patrols to continue
15:23 | 20/ 12/ 2007
MOSCOW, December 20 (RIA Novosti) – There are no technical obstacles to the continuation of long-distance patrols by Russian strategic bombers, the commander of the Air Force’s strategic aviation said on Thursday.
Commenting on media claims that Russian bombers had severely worn-out engines, Major-General Pavel Androsov said: “The pilots and technicians’ training, as well as the condition of the aircraft, permit us to carry out our assigned tasks in full.”
Russia’s strategic bombers have carried out since August more than 70 patrol flights over the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans, as well as the Black Sea.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the resumption of strategic patrol flights on August 17, saying that although the country had halted long-distance strategic flights to remote regions in 1992, other nations had continued the practice, and that this compromised Russian national security.
Androsov had earlier said that bomber crews had practiced early detection and identification of potential targets and counter-intercept measures.
“Every patrol flight included elements of a tactical aerial engagement,” he said.
He also said at least 120 NATO interceptor aircraft had escorted Russian bombers during almost all their patrols, which had a total duration of over 40 hours.
Although it was common practice during the Cold War for both the U.S. and the Soviet Union to keep nuclear strategic bombers permanently airborne, the Kremlin cut long-range patrols in 1992. The decision came as a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the ensuing economic and political chaos.
However, the newly-resurgent Russia, awash with petrodollars, has invested heavily in military technology, and the resumption of long-range patrols is widely seen among political commentators as another sign of its drive to assert itself both militarily and politically.
According to various sources, the Russian Air Force currently deploys 141 Tu-22M3 Backfire bombers, 40 Tu-95MS Bear bombers, and 14 Tu-160 Blackjack planes.
One military theater where Russia might deploy her bombers in the near future is Kosovo, whose ethnically Albanian leaders are threatening to secede from Serbia. In response, Serbian Radical Party (SRS) deputy leader Tomislav Nikolic is calling for a total blockade of Serbia’s renegade province and the establishment of Russian bases in his country to counter any NATO offensive in Kosovo:
Serbia is not capable of fighting NATO. The way to establish military balance in the Balkans would be to establish a Russian military presence in Serbia. If we already have an American base [in Kosovo], why can’t we have a Russian base in Serbia? They would be watching each other and taking care of each other, and Serbia would be perfectly safe. Serbia must reduce its diplomatic ties to a protocol level with all states that recognize Kosovo’s statehood. It must enhance its ties with Russia, a traditional Serb ally, as well as with China and other countries that refuse recognition.Our road toward the European Union has to be careful, while our road toward Russia is open.
With this statement Nikolic is in effect acting as a spokesman for Soviet expansionism in the Balkans.
SRS founder Dr. Vojislav Šešelj is an “ex”-communist and close ally of potemkin Russian politician and alleged KGB agent Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Šešelj voluntarily turned himself over to United Nations authorities in February 2003. SRS deputy leader Nikolić has coordinated the day-to-day operations of the party while Šešelj awaits trial in The Hague. In both the 2003 and 2007 parliamentary elections the SRS obtained the largest number of votes, but was not invited to join the coalition government.
An important component in the Moscow-Beijing Axis’ plan for global domination is the absorption of India into the Communist Bloc by way of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, in which New Delhi holds observer status. Formerly enemies, the People’s Republic of China and India are currently holding their first-ever joint military exercise in China’s southwestern province of Yunnan. BBC News reports that “China appears also no longer to be objecting to the India-US nuclear deal that had initially upset it.” Indeed. For this war game, India’s communist-supported government selected troops from forces suppressing insurgencies in both northeastern India and Indian-administered Kashmir. Maoist insurgents control large swathes of territory in northeastern India. Beijing denies any current connection with India’s Naxalite rebellion and, in another example of communist trickery, in 2005 pledged to help New Delhi crush the insurgents. Pictured above: Indian troops head for China.
India and China launch war games
Last Updated: Thursday, 20 December 2007, 07:17 GMT
India and China have begun a joint military exercise, the first of its kind between the two largest armies in the world.
The exercise is taking place between 20 and 28 December in China’s south-western province of Yunnan.
It will involve a company of troops from each nation – just over 100 officers and men.
India and China fought a brief but bloody border war in October 1962 over a disputed Himalayan frontier.
The situation eased after the two countries signed a treaty for peace and tranquillity in 1993, agreeing to reduce troop levels on the borders.
Nearly 100 Indian soldiers have arrived in China for the exercise codenamed Hand in Hand 2007, says the BBC’s Subir Bhaumik in Calcutta.
‘Three evil forces’
“The joint training is aimed at enhancing understanding and mutual trust between Chinese and Indian armies and strengthening their exchanges in the anti-terror areas,” a statement issued by the foreign office of the Chinese Ministry of National Defence said.
“It is also aimed at deterring the ‘three evil forces’ – separatists, extremists and terrorists – and promoting the strategic partnership for peace and prosperity between China and India.”
Indian troops taking part have been picked from forces fighting insurgencies in restive north-eastern India and Indian-administered Kashmir, reports said.
Indian forces are carrying their personal weapons, light machine guns and mortars. The armoury – tanks, helicopter gunships and unmanned aerial vehicles – are being provided by the Chinese army.
Analysts say the exercise will bolster ties between the two countries.
“It will definitely help strengthen the mutual trust between the two countries, and the militaries in particular, given that they have an episode of unpleasant history,” Sun Shihai, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences told the BBC.
Swaran Singh, associate professor at the School of International Studies at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, said: “This reflects the growing mutual trust and understanding between the two sides, including between their military establishments.”
Ties between the two countries remained tense after the brief war in 1962.
During an Indian high altitude military exercise called Operation Chequerboard in 1987, the two armies nearly went to war again.
In between, both sides patrolled the desolate frontier aggressively and skirmishes were not infrequent.
India and China signed an agreement on defence cooperation in May 2006 during the visit of former Indian Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee to China.
Since then the two countries have been sending officers to each other’s military institutions for training, and military delegations have been visiting each other on a regular basis.
Last year, China agreed to reopen the strategic Nathu La pass to border trade, thereby accepting Sikkim as a part of India.
But in the last year China appeared to be uncomfortable with India’s growing strategic ties with the US, cemented through a series of joint exercises, including the huge five-nation naval exercise in the Bay of Bengal, this year.
In recent months, Indian forces reported more and more Chinese “intrusions” across the disputed border even as Beijing stepped up its rhetoric over the disputed frontier, reiterating its claims to the north-east Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.
Analysts say the visit of India’s governing Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi to China last month has helped put bilateral relations back on the right track.
China appears also no longer to be objecting to the India-US nuclear deal that had initially upset it.
Source: BBC News
Meanwhile, Russia’s internal repression apparatus, currently known as the Federal Security Service (FSB) but previously known as the State Security Committee (KGB), turned 90 years old today. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union–which still operates through the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, its allied republican parties in the Union of Communist Parties-CPSU, and potemkin parties like United Russia–tasked the FSB/KGB with executing Moscow’s brilliantly successful long-range strategic deception and far-reaching political restructuring scheme. “We consider ourselves heirs to the Cheka. The principles formulated by Felix Dzerzhinsky [pictured above] are still valid today. It is patriotism, dedication to your craft, and maximum effort,” gloats FSB officer Nikolay Ivanov, below. Ivanov’s superiors in the FSB, Vladimir Putin and Nikolai Patrushev, would no doubt concur. State-run Russia Today concludes below that as of the (fake) August 1991 coup “Russia’s security agents were no longer at the service of a totalitarian regime.” This is not true. The Soviet Union’s totalitarian regime simply morphed into its present “kinder, gentler” incarnation of neo-Stalinism.
Ssshhh! Guess who’s 90 today!
December 20, 2007, 10:51
KGB is the Russian abbreviation for Committee for State Security, the organisation serving as the Soviet Union’s premier security agency, secret police and intelligence agency. It is now known as the FSB (Federal Security Service) and is marking 90 years since its foundation.
The first incarnation of the KGB, the Cheka, was established on December 20, 1917. It was headed by Felix Dzerzhinsky. At first there were only 23 employees. Amongst its first objectives was to stop the looting of wine cellars and profiteering – but it did not stay that way.
“Secret services are necessary, but when they meddle with politics it leads not only to their moral degradation, but to tragic consequences for the country,” said Lyudmila Mikhailova, Director of the VCHK (Cheka) Museum.
In Autumn 1918, Vladimir Lenin instigated ‘the Red Terror’ to destroy all those who opposed the Bolsheviks. The Cheka had the power to arrest, try and execute thousands of political opponents and insurgents.
In 1921 it numbered over 30,000 officers, agents and even border guards. Despite the end of the Civil War, the terror continued to escalate in Stalin’s time.
Ranging from former top army and party leaders down to rich peasants, there were more than 4 million political prisoners across the Soviet Union.
In the Great Purge in 1937, 700,000 were executed in just one year. More than 20,000 were killed at one location, a firing range just outside Moscow.
“The Communists never felt secure in their power, because they won it illegitimately. To support their regime, they needed to manufacture an enemy and to have an obedient army of Chekists to deal with that enemy. Even the Party was scared of the KGB,” said writer Simeon Vilensky, a victim of repression.
The Soviet Security Services did not only fight internal enemies. While known at the time as the NKVD, they played an important part during WW2. Its agents were in charge of decoding enemy communications and spying behind enemy lines. By that time the Soviet Security Services had a well established intelligence network abroad.
“We consider ourselves heirs to the Cheka. The principles formulated by Felix Dzerzhinsky are still valid today. It is patriotism, dedication to your craft, and maximum effort,” said Nikolay Ivanov, an FSB Officer.
At the height of the Cold War, the organisation, which changed its name again to the KGB, maintained thousands of agents in foreign countries. At home its web of millions of informers permeated every sphere of public life.
But the secret services were unable to ensure ideological compliance.
When the failed coup of 1991 signalled the end of the Soviet Union, thousands of people gathered outside the KGB headquarters, and hauled down the statue of its founder, Felix Dzerzhinsky.
Russia’s security agents were no longer at the service of a totalitarian regime.
Source: Russia Today