Monthly Archives: April 2015

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Finnish Navy repels “unidentified underwater object believed to be a submarine” in territorial waters, near Helsinki, fires underwater depth charges at vessel; DM Haglund: “We strongly suspect that there has been underwater activity that does not belong there. Of course it is always serious if our territorial waters have been violated,” refuses to identify sub as Russian; Commodore Olavi Jantunen: “The bombs are not intended to damage the target, the purpose is to let the target know that it has been noticed”; follows Sweden’s well-publicized Russian sub hunt last October; RAF Typhoons scrambled at Scotland’s Lossiemouth base, chase away Russian bombers (yet again), RN monitors Russian destroyer, support ships sailing through English Channel (yet again); Russian Defense Ministry to revive production of Tu-160 supersonic bomber, build 2 new aircraft in 2015, upgrade 5, 11 of 16 “Blackjacks” operational in 2013; USAF places all strategic bombers under control of Air Force Global Strike Command, based at Barksdale AFB, LA; B1-Bs transferred from Air Combat Command, reorganization effective Oct. 1, AFGSC commander to be elevated from 3- to 4-star general; follows partial relocation of NORAD back to Cheyenne Mtn.

More whistlin’ emoticons needed here.

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Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russian Space Forces pushing for further deployments of GLONASS tracking stations, GPS delivers navigation data with accuracy of 1.8 m, Russian military’s alternative accurate to 2.9 m, Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Ivanov: “GPS is still ahead of us, but the gap continues to shrink. We will catch up”; Sandinista supermajority in Nicaragua’s National Assembly rubberstamps law allowing Russia to build satellite tracking stations, meanwhile Russian ambassador denies reports of MiG-29 warplane sale to Managua; Moscow seeking GLONASS bases in Cuba, Red China, Vietnam, Mexico expresses interest in GLONASS; fearing “nefarious” Russian plan to spy on USA, Republicans urged Obama to sign 2013 law prohibiting placement of GLONASS bases; Russian DM Shoigu after meeting Cuba’s Dep. Chairman of Council of Ministers in Moscow: “We intend to continue cooperation in supplying the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces with modern weapons and military hardware”; Ricardo Cabrisas: “Shoigu’s visit to Havana this Feb. helped to strengthen cooperation between Cuba and Russia”

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Donbass rebels flout Minsk 2 ceasefire, launch Grads at government-held town of Avdiivka; NATO spokesman Mark Laity: “There are hundreds of Russian supplied tanks in E. Ukraine, and thousands of Russians have gone into Ukraine to fight Ukrainians”; info war, ideological confrontation rages over insurgency: Lookingglass computer security firm: Russian FSB behind “Operation Armageddon,” cyberwar campaign targeting Ukrainian military, CI, LE; NATO’s CIRC wins world’s largest cyber defence exercise, Estonia hosts “Locked Shields 2015”; self-proclaimed PM of “Donetsk People’s Republic”: “We believed and will believe that we are part of the Soviet Union, part of Russia”; Medvedev on sanctions, Crimea annexation: “The losses from the introduced limitations have been serious for our economy . . . But everyone, the authorities and our society, realized that no matter the cost, we had no other way”; Putin issues notice to Crimeans (esp. Tatars) during annual phone-in: “After WWII we tried to impose our model of development on many Eastern European countries and did it by force . . . there’s nothing good about it”

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Washington accuses Russian army of setting up air defenses in separatist-controlled areas of Ukraine’s Donbass, Russian Defense Ministry retorts: US troops training government forces in SE oblasts; State Dept. scoffs at Kremlin allegation, maintains trainers in W. Ukraine, nowhere near combat zone; NATO Sec.-Gen. Stoltenberg says Moscow has “substantially stepped up supplies to the rebels”; Polish FM Schetyna intimates Warsaw may send troops to help Ukraine suppress separatists, repel Russian regulars: “We cannot exclude that in case of renewed escalation of military actions, we will be forced . . . to take a decision on stronger support for the Ukrainian state, including its defense capacities”; Poland to train 50 Ukrainian army instructors in 2015; Polish-Lithuanian-Ukrainian military command to be HQed in Lublin, 4,500-man trilateral brigade fully operational in 2016; Warsaw to outlay US$37 billion in massive defense upgrade, replace Soviet-era arsenal with 8 Patriot missile batteries, 50 Airbus multi-purpose helos, tender planned for 20-30 attack choppers

Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russia drawing “neutral” Serbia into its military orbit as latter walks tightrope between NATO, CSTO; Russian ambassador to Serbian lawmakers: “NATO is being very active in Serbia. It would suit Serbia’s interest to maintain good relations with the ODKB [CSTO] as well”; DM Gasic travels to Moscow, meets Russian counterpart Shoigu, discusses regional security issues (i.e., Ukraine); Russian, Serbian air forces planning joint drill in September (unclear where), Russian Defense Ministry: “Aircrew on MiG-29 fighters will perform tasks to intercept air targets, while Mi-8 military transport and combat helicopters will work on tactical landings, covering ground units from the air, firing missiles at ground targets . . .”; Russian, Belarusian and Serbian armies to hold trilateral drill in autumn 2015 (unclear where); Belgrade to buy 2 Russian military helos; Serbian political scientist on Pres. Nikolic’s, army’s presence at Putin’s planned Victory Day military parade: “We are definitely part of the coalition [of victors], considering how many Serbs were killed in the Second World War . . .”

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Ukraine’s top general, Col.-Gen. Muzhenko, identifies specific Russian military units operating in Donbass: “. . . Ukrainian army inflicted heavy losses on the Russian army, and disrupted Russia’s aggressive plans for further advance . . . regular units of the Russian army are still in Ukraine . . . such as the 15th Separate Motor Rifle Brigade of the 2nd Central Military District Army, 8th Motor Rifle Brigade, 331st Airborne Regiment from Kostroma, 98th Airborne Division and other[s]”; 290 US paratroopers arrive near Lviv, start joint exercise “Fearless Guardian 2015” with 900 Ukrainian service- men; Lithuanian DM urges EU to recognize Russia as “aggressor state,” says “NATO should be developing deterrent and defense forces”; Rada lawmaker Andry Teteruk maintains “some” OSCE observers in combat zone Russian FSB agents; Ukraine urges ICC to investigate alleged Russian war crimes in occupied Crimea, while Moscow dissuades Kiev, NATO against future attempts to recapture peninsula, bolsters seapower, airpower in Crimea, plans to sink US$2.2 billion into upgrading region’s infrastructure in 2015, create “analogue of Silicon Valley”

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: NORAD/ NORTHCOM chief, Adm. Gortney, admits Russia still threat to N. American security: “This past year has marked a notable increase in Russian military assertiveness. Should these trends continue over time, NORAD will face increased risk in our ability to defend N. America against Russian air, maritime and cruise missile threats. We watch very carefully what they are doing”; Gortney to reporters: NORAD moving communications gear back to Cheyenne Mtn., nuclear bunker “EMP-hardened,” reverses 2006 relocation to Petersen AFB in Colorado Springs; Gortney to Senate Armed Services Cmte.: Upgrade needed for North Warning radar sites across Canadian Arctic, current installations unable to track “low-altitude cruise missiles”; Russia’s top general, Valery Gerasimov, reiterates Kremlin’s late-2000s threat to target missile shield in former East Bloc (e.g., Poland, Romania, etc.): “Nonnuclear powers where missile-defense installations are being installed have become the objects of priority response”; Moscow brands new Nordic Pact between NATO, non-NATO militaries of N. Europe “confrontational”

Park whistlin’ emoticon here.

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WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: NATO top cmdr., U.S. Gen. Breedlove, demands “Russia stops fuelling conflict” by sending troops, weapons to Ukraine separatists, abide by terms of Minsk 2 ceasefire; 50 NATO warships, 13,000 seamen hold maneuver near N. Scotland as Russian inspection team arrives at RAF Lossiemouth to monitor “Joint Warrior,” Typhoons chase away Russian Bear bombers (again), and Russian spy ships (“fishing trawlers”) lurk off UK coast; 450 troops from USA, Portugal, Poland, Lithuania hold artillery exercise Fire Thunder 2015 in ex-Soviet republic; 2,200 more from USA, UK, Moldova, Romania carry out Wind Spring 15 drill in Black Sea country, Romanian FM Dusa: “We will permanently rotate troops on this [NATO’s SE] flank”; USA contributes 290 troops, Canada 200, UK 75 to multinational training force in W. Ukraine, Pentagon military advisers to train Ukrainian National Guard; Polish biker incensed by Russian motorcycle club’s plan to re-trace WW2 route of Red Army to Berlin via Poland, “Night Wolves” fighting alongside Donbass rebels, urges “brother” bikers to block Russian convoy, “put aggressors in their place”; Polish PM Kopacz calls planned ride “provocation,” Putin rode with gang in Crimea in 2010

Putin invades Poland at head of motorcycle gang . . . yup, gotta see that one!

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USSR2 File: Russia subverts, divides West, preps for domestic unrest: 1) Putin, Medvedev woo Greece’s leftist PM during Tsipras’ state visit to Moscow, cagey about bailout for cash-strapped Greeks, meanwhile 100s of anarchists (once again) clash with Athens police; 2) Kremlin spokesman Peskov scoffs at CNN report “Russian government” hacked into US State Dept. computers, Obama’s schedule in Oct. 2014; 3) “International Russian Conservative Forum” draws 400 neo-fascists to St. Petersburg on Mar. 22, attendees from Bulgaria’s Ataka, Greece’s Golden Dawn, Germany’s NDP, Italy’s New Force, British National Party, FM of (terrorist group) “Donetsk People’s Republic”; “rightist Comintern” reportedly organized by Russian Dep. PM, Rogozin under US sanctions; 4) Kremlin invites dictators of Red China, N. Korea, Vietnam to view Victory Day military parade, “neutral” Serbia, PRC to send troops for May 9 march-past; Czech, Greek, Cypriot presidents beholden to pro-Russia lobbies, plan for Red Square appearances, Zeman bans US envoy from Prague Castle after row; 5) Kremlin fears repeat of 2011-2013 mass protests, 2014 Ukrainian Revolution, Interior Ministry troops hold “Barrier 2015” exercise, practice crushing demos with “irritant gases, water cannons and various types of military technologies and special weapons of non-lethal impact”

EU/USA Files/Useful Idiots Bin: NORAD responds to Russian Air Force provocations with “Polar Growl” exercise, Pentagon dispatches 4 Stratofortress bombers on missions over North Pole, North Sea, RCAF ensures safe passage for B-52s flying over Canada to bases in N. Dakota, Louisiana, USAF Stratotankers refuel Canadian CF-18s; 200 airmen, 12 F-15Cs of Florida Air National Guard’s 125th Fighter Wing head to Netherlands, Bulgaria for 3-month deployment, “bolster NATO forces in E. Europe set on edge by Russian aggression in the region”; Poland to erect guard towers along border with Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave, hosts Patriot missile battery, 100 U.S. troops near Warsaw, Poles heed call to receive army training “in case of an invasion”; Latvia to impose military service on university students in 2016, joins Lithuania in countering Russian revanchism; Norwegian businessman buys mothballed Olavsvern sub base in 2013, rents impregnable Arctic mountain hideaway to Russian research firms, 3 Russian vessels overwinter in facility; Vice Admiral (Ret.) Einar Skorgen: “We sold the only base worthy of the name that we had up there. It’s pure madness”

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Rebel mortar, tank fire hits Ukrainian army positions around Mariupol in past 24 hours, breaches Minsk 2 ceasefire, 2 soldiers killed, 4 wounded in combat zone; General (Ret.) Wesley Clark: Renewed Russian offensive in Ukraine “imminent,” “most probably” take place between Orthodox Easter (April 12), Russia’s VE Day (May 8); “[S]ome 9000 Russian Federation personnel and 30 to 35,000 separatist fighters are in eastern Ukraine. These forces include some 400 tanks and 700 pieces of artillery, including rocket launchers . . . 50,000 Russian military personnel are located along or near Russia’s border with Ukraine. A further 50,000 . . . are located in Crimea”; Ukraine’s Justice Minister Petrenko: Law- makers preparing to ban Communist Party by May 9; SBU interrogates CPU boss for 10 hours, Symonenko questioned concerning attendance at Communist meeting in Moscow, public statements; CPU cadres in Dnipropetrovsk, Odessa arrested on charges of terrorism in past weeks, months; SBU detains Russian citizen on charges of organizing bombings in Kharkiv, suspected of holding post in outlawed “Donetsk People’s Republic,” IED, ammo found in accused woman’s residence

EU File: NATO counters Russian aggression in Ukraine’s Crimea, Donbass, possible thrusts toward Mariupol, Odessa, Baltic states, with ongoing “Atlantic Resolve” deployments, drills in FSU, ex-Soviet Bloc; Latvia hosts troops from Lithuania, Germany, Luxembourg, USA, Canada, NATO’s “Summer Shield” designed to “enhance Latvian Land Force’s capacity and capability to integrate fire-and-maneuver at battalion and brigade level’; Pentagon deploys: 1) 12 A-10 Thunderbolt IIs to Romania, mission designed to “deter Russian aggression in region,” follows arrival of 4 “Warthog” tank-buster aircraft in Poland; 2) 12 F-15s to Bulgaria for joint exercise; 3) 290 US paratroopers from Italy-based 173rd Airborne Brigade to W. Ukraine for joint training with 900 Ukrainian National Guardsmen; NATO military chief, Gen. Breedlove, comments on recent US Army Stryker convoy through Baltics, Poland, Czech Rep., Germany: “The exercise tested many things that hadn’t been done for a long time in NATO … like multiple border crossings and which bridges are capable of handling the vehicles”; Lithuanian State Security Dept. claims 1/3 of Russian diplomats in EU spying for Russia’s SVR, warns “Moscow could test the alliance with unconventional tactics”

Breedlove’s comments are noteworthy. “Dragoon Ride” was more than a morale booster for Central and Eastern Europeans fearful of another Russian invasion/occupation. NATO is testing its own abilities in its main theater of operation: Europe.

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WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Russian generals to US officials at March mtg. in Germany: Kremlin will use nukes to defend Crimea annexation, if NATO deploys more forces to Baltic states; Ukrainian troops, volunteer battalions hold their ground in village 9 miles E of Mariupol as rebel artillery regularly breaches “Minsk 2” ceasefire; Russian merc on leave in St. Petersburg talks to BBC News, admits Russian regulars fighting alongside separatists: “All operations, especially large-scale ones, are led by Russian officers, by Russian generals. They develop plans together with our commanders … and then we fulfil the orders . . . our tanks came to help us. It was the Russian Army . . . Thanks to them, thanks to that heavy weaponry, we took Debaltseve”; DPR militants raid industrial sites in Donetsk O., ship equipment to Russia in 20 semi-trailer trucks; Kiev accuses Transnistrian KGB of destabilizing SW border after Moldovan citizen shot, injured; Ukraine arrests 3 Communists on charges of organizing spate of bombings in divided port city of Odessa, SBU chief Nalyvajchenko: “When the Russians openly invaded Ukraine, the Communists acted as collaborators and policemen helping the Kremlin in Crimea and Donbas”

In Belarus and the unrecognized, Moscow-backed “statelets” of Transnistria (Moldova) and South Ossetia (Georgia), the security services are still known by their dreaded Soviet-era name, KGB.

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