Monthly Archives: November 2012

Communist Bloc Military Updates: Commonwealth of Independent States holds integrated air defense drills, 9,000 military personnel, 100 aircraft participate; Russian strategic bombers practice attacking ally Belarus; Belarusian troops travel to Red China for second joint Minsk-Beijing drill, Qatar for Ferocious Falcon 2012

On November 28, members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) kicked off annual large-scale drills to test the capabilities of their joint air defense network. “The exercises involve air defense and air force units from Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine,” explained spokesman Colonel Alexei Zolotukhin. More than 9,000 personnel, 130 command posts of various levels, about 160 electronic warfare units and 100 aircraft, including A-50 AWACS planes, took part in the exercises.

Pictured above: Russian MiG-29 fighter jets.

The CIS drills are designed to improve the combat capabilities and interoperability of the units protecting the CIS airspace. The Russian Aerospace Defense Forces coordinates the drills from headquarters outside Moscow. The CIS set up an integrated air defense network in 1995, the main purposes of which are to protect member-state airspace, issue early warnings of missile attacks, and coordinate joint efforts to neutralize potential airborne threats. Although news reports did not specifically mention the CIS’ mutual defense pact, known as the Collective Security Treaty Organization, this drill was presumably carried out under the stipulations of the CSTO.

The air defense networks of Russia and Belarus are particularly well integrated under the aegis of the Union State. During the CIS exercise, Belarusian air defense troops destroyed all imaginary aggressors, including Russian strategic bombers that pretended to attack the former Soviet republic. This particular scenario involved units of Belarus’ air defense missile troops and radio warfare troops, as well as crews of Belarusian and Russian aircraft. A Russian Air Force A-50 radar surveillance plane (NATO designation Mainstay) participated in the exercise, landing at Belarus’ Baranovichi airfield.

Meanwhile, Belarusian troops travelled to Red China and the Arabian Peninsula for joint exercises. In the first case, during a 12-day exercise ending on December 7, airborne troops from Belarus and Red China will carry out assorted drills, expanding on cooperative skills learned during the two countries’ first combined mission in Belarus in 2011. Although Minsk does not belong to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, SCO members Russia and Red China have carried out a number of high-profile “anti-terrorism” exercises since 2005 that look more like preparations for war with NATO.

In the second case, the Belarusian military joined the multinational exercise Ferocious Falcon 2012 , which took place in Qatar between November 4 and 22. The drill involved the delivery of international aid in crisis situations, the alleviation of consequences of catastrophes involving weapons of mass destruction, as well as responding to terrorist attacks. The Belarusian contingent included 70 troops, including air force and air defense troops, radiation, chemical and biological warfare protection troops, engineer troops, and special operations medical personnel. During the active phase of Ferocious Falcon, Belarusian special forces used unmanned aerial vehicles to perform counterterrorism warfare. Other participants were Greece, Spain, Lebanon, Jordan, Pakistan, and Algeria.

Although the Communist Party of Belarus has retreated from the public monopoly of power, long-ruling President Alexander Lukashenko openly praises Soviet dictators Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin. The former Soviet republic still has a centrally planned economy, necessitating a US$1 billion bailout from Communist China in 2011, viciously persecutes dissidents under the iron fist of the State Security Committee (KGB), and officially observes the anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Post-Soviet Belarus is a de facto communist country that lives under Russia’s diplomatic and nuclear umbrellas.

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USSR2 File: Russian Communist Party boss echoes Putin’s drive for Russia-led Eurasian Union, denounces US-led globalization, imperialism, capitalism; CPRF plans to withdraw support for PM Medvedev, organize “national salvation” government, implement large-scale nationalization; reds launch 24/7 Internet TV channel, promote leftism in Russia

WW4 File: Russian Navy’s guided-missile cruiser Moskva, amphibious landing ships in E. Mediterranean for possible evacuation of 400 nationals from Gaza Strip (in spite of Israeli naval blockade); Palestinian FM accuses Israel of violating 2-day cease-fire; US Navy deploys three warships, 2,300 Marines and sailors to coast of Israel

WW4 File: Fragile Cairo-brokered cease-fire holds between Israel, Hamas; Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi seizes total power in Egypt to “protect revolution,” blocks courts from dissolving Islamist-dominated assemblies; enraged opposition torches ruling Freedom and Justice Party offices; Egyptian security forces near Libya seize missile-laden truck bound for Gaza Strip

WW4 File: IDF halts civilian traffic leading into Gaza Strip, drops leaflets and texts mobile phone users with warning to avoid Hamas targets; terrorists in Sinai launch rockets into S. Israel; Egypt’s 2nd Army, military hospitals prepare for “emergency events” in wake of potential Israeli invasion of Gaza; Jerusalem considers drafting up to 75,000 army reservists

WW4 File: Morsi tweets “Israel will pay heavy price for aggression” as fellow Muslim Brotherhood cadres protest in streets of Cairo; Egyptian PM arrives in Gaza City, rubs elbows with Hamas chief Haniyeh as Israeli paratroopers and infantry brigades prep for ground invasion; Hamas rockets land near Jerusalem and Dimona, site of Negev Nuclear Research Center

WW4 File: Egyptian army deploys tanks, APCs, soldiers across northern Sinai, positioned near “main roads,” contrary to 1979 peace treaty, Jan. 2011 agreement with Israel during anti-Mubarak uprising; Egypt’s pro-Muslim Brotherhood PM to visit Gaza on Friday, protest IDF operation

WW4 File: IDF widens offensive against terrorist targets in Gaza Strip as Operation “Pillar of Defense” enters 2nd day; Hamas militants pound S. Israel, Tel Aviv suburbs with 245 rockets as Iron Dome air defense system knocks down 80, 3 Israelis perish; Egypt’s ruling Muslim Brotherhood condemns Israeli military action, recalls ambassador

USSR2 File: Ukrainian Communist Party boss looks forward to coalition government with President Yanukovich after Oct. 28 vote, echoes Zyuganov’s remarks about worldwide resurgence of leftism: “Europe today is leftist, Europe chooses the socialist path of development”; ex-PM Tymoshenko languishes in jail

EU File: European Trade Union Confederation coordinates anti-austerity protests across continent: police and protesters clash in Madrid and Rome, workers protest in Greece and France, rail service stops in Spain, Portugal and Belgium; French communist Melenchon to ECB, IMF: “It’s unconditional surrender”; Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn hooks up with Italy’s Forza Nuova, opens office in Trieste

Event Convergence Alert: Hamas seizes opportunity presented by Obama re-election, pounds S. Israel with 100 rockets on Nov. 11; IAF carries out surgical strike against terrorist military chief, other targets in Gaza; Israeli army: “Jaabari had a lot of blood on his hands”; DM Barak: Syrian rebels control Golan’s eastern foothills

WW4 File: Israeli tanks respond to Syrian mortar strike on army post in Golan Heights, score hit against Syrian artillery unit; second such exchange since Yom Kippur War, IDF responded to Syrian mortar on Sunday as anti-Assad uprising spills over border

USA File: America’s enemies ecstatic over Obama re-election: Putin congratulates, invites Barack to Moscow in 2013; Russian deputy PM Rogozin reminds US president of pre-election promise to be “flexible” on NATO missile defense; Red China’s President Hu and Premier Wen praise Obama win, relieved “China-basher” Romney lost vote

USA File: 500 retired generals, admirals endorse Romney for president in self-financed ad, 100 to 1 edge over Obama; ex-special forces vow to confront New Black Panthers outside Philadelphia polls; OSCE election observers provoke “stir” in Alabama capital, Democrats demanded UN-linked group monitor vote after 2000 Bush victory

USA File: Voters in storm-battered, flood-wrecked New York, New Jersey troop to polls in presidential election, cope with power, food and gasoline shortages, fend off looters with makeshift weapons, brace for arrival of strong “Nor’easter” on Wed.; utilities throughout USA, Canada send linemen to restore electricity in tri-state area; CPUSA: Re-electing Obama “absolutely essential”

Neo-Sandinista File: Ortega consolidates second dictatorship: electoral chief Rivas declares ruling party victory as FSLN steals 83% of mayoral posts, follows hotly contested 2008 municipal elections; Sandinista thugs, PLC supporters clash after peaceful polling; Sandinista Youth occupy border islet claimed by Costa Rica

WW4 File: Russian nuclear-powered attack sub detected within 200 miles of US East Coast, electronic spy ship granted safe harbor in Jacksonville, Florida ahead of Superstorm Sandy; Akula-class sub sailed undetected in Gulf of Mexico in August; Russian Navy resumed long-range sub patrols in June

Neo-Sandinista File: Russia joins Red China in strategic encirclement of USA: President Ortega interviewed by Russia Today TV, reaffirms involvement of Russian firms in building interoceanic canal, joining Hong Kong-led consortium

Red Terror File: Rzeczpospolita daily: Polish investigators found traces of explosives aboard air force jet that crashed over Russia in 2010, killing President Lech Kaczynski, top Polish political and military leaders; Russian authorities blamed Polish air crew for trying to land in heavy fog