Monthly Archives: November 2014

Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russian DM Shoigu announces extension of routine strategic bomber patrols from Arctic Ocean to Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean (i.e., along US East Coast), follows spike in military flights around European periphery, covert intervention in Ukraine’s secessionist Donbass; supersonic Tu-160 “Blackjacks” made low-key but historic first visits to Caracas in 2008 and Managua in 2013; Moscow in talks with Algeria, Cyprus, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Cuba, Seychelles, Vietnam, Singapore to set up refuelling/ maintenance sites for Russian Air Force, Navy; Kuznetsov Design Bureau completes bench tests of new propulsion system for Russia’s PAK-DA stealth bomber, prototype expected to fly in 2019, “suppress modern air defenses,” deploy hypersonic weapons, replace aging inventory of Tu-95MC Bear, Tu-160 Blackjack, Tu-22M3 Backfire aircraft

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WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Government troops, Moscow-backed rebels in Donetsk city exchange artillery fire overnight, worst shelling since farcical Sept. 5 cease-fire; insurgents with RPGs, small arms resume months-old siege against Ukrainian army at Sergei Prokofiev International Airport, main terminal building, control tower in ruins since early Oct.; NSDC confirms Russian Ground Forces without insignia (“Little Green Men”) moved more than 32 tanks, 16 howitzers, 30 trucks, mobile radar over border into Lugansk Oblast, border guards repulse attack by gunmen near settlement of Blahodatne; Poland’s Gazeta Wyborcza reports Putin’s meeting with Russian Security Council on Nov. 6, creation of four strike groups of Russian mercenaries in Ukraine, speculates Russian army may again open hostilities in Donbass; NATO “aware” of (yet another) Russian troop buildup near Ukraine, checking reports of cross-border incursion; SBU nabs ring of saboteurs in W. city of Lviv, Russian FSB recruited Ukrainian citizens to plant explosives near critical infrastructure, military bases

Putin’s not giving up on his plan to dismember Ukraine. Crimea is not enough. He’s clearly determined to wrest the industrial Donbass from Ukraine.

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Blast from the Past File: Last Soviet dictator Gorbachev in German capital, attends ceremony marking 25th anniversary of fall of Berlin Wall, warns Ukraine conflict could descend into “new Cold War,” possibly already begun; Gorby implemented perestroika (restructuring), glasnost (openness) reforms, leading to (controlled) collapse of East Bloc regimes in 1989, Soviet Union in 1991; KGB defector Golitsyn, in New Lies for Old (1984), predicted rise of Gorbachev-like reformer in Russia, “confederation” of West, East Germanies; 1990 reunification resulted in infiltration of Federal Republic by ex-GDR communists, Left Party to lead first-ever coalition government with Social Democrats, Greens in state of Thuringia; German President, Chancellor both raised in East, Gauck questions Left’s commitment to democracy, Merkel calls coalition “bad news”

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The German Democratic Republic dismantled the Berlin Wall in November 1989.

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WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA AT WAR: Kiev: Russian armored column of 32 tanks, 30 trucks invades Donbass across rebel-held frontier, heads for town of Krasny Luch, Poroshenko: Ukraine must “repel possible attacks,” not allow “spread of this cancerous tumour”; NATO’s Gen. Breedlove says Russia maintains 250-300 troops in Ukraine to support rebel forces: “Russian equipment, re-supply, (and) training flows back and forth freely across that interborder space”; comments on surge in Russian long-range bomber patrols around European periphery: “They [Moscow] are messaging us that they are a great power and have the ability to exert influence”; notes US Army troop strength in Europe at 31,000; follows illegal elections for chief executive posts, leading to “victories” for Zakharchenko, Plotnitsky in Donetsk, Lugansk “People’s Republics”; Kremlin “respects” outcome of rebel votes

EU/USA Files: Poland to shift 1,000s of troops from Cold War-era positions along border with Germany to those with Kaliningrad, Belarus, thwart possible Russian (re-) invasion; Warsaw arrests, accuses army officer, lawyer of spying for Russian GRU, Czechs say Moscow dispatched “extremely high” number of spies to Prague in 2013; NATO: 1) replies to Russian aggression in Ukraine, Noble Justification exercise in Med. deploys alliance warships, US Air Force B-52s; 2) notes uptick in Russian bomber sorties, daily intercepts taking place over Norwegian, North, Baltic, Black Seas, along Portuguese coast; Kremlin reinstated Soviet-era long-range bomber patrols in 2007; Copenhagen: Russian planes with live missiles simulated attack against Danish island during major political event that drew 90,000 visitors in June; Tokyo curries Moscow’s favor while bolstering security pact with USA, holds drill with Russia’s Pacific Fleet while hosting Orient Shield drill with US Army on Hokkaido; Japanese intercepted Russian Air Force 235 times in April-June, Tokyo think tank: “The Russian missions are probably a message aimed at the U.S., which has 38,000 military personnel in Japan”

USSR2 File: Ukrainian president dismisses Nov. 2 vote in rebel-held Donetsk Oblast, “election” of mining electrician Zakharchenko as DPR chief executive, refers to “farce [conducted] under the barrels of [insurgents’] tanks and machine guns”; Communist Party boss Symonenko refuses to leave Ukraine in face of Rada ban, recent electoral flop; Poroshenko anxious for demise of communism, highlights CPU’s “past and present crimes,” e.g., Holodomor, consisting of Stalin’s forcible collectivization, dekulakization of Ukraine, leading to famine-deaths of 4 million Ukrainians in 1932-33; CPRF boss Zyuganov addresses congress of Union of Communist Parties-Communist Party of the Soviet Union (placeholder for old CPSU), exhorts Russian, as well as German, French, Italian communists to “provide all necessary and possible support” to Ukrainian comrades in face of “violent propaganda assaults and physical abuse”