Monthly Archives: September 2016

WW4 File: Nuclear weapon states India, Pakistan teetering on verge of war as former evacuates civilians from 1,000 villages along Line of Control in Kashmir; Pakistani PM Sharif convenes emergency cabinet to address “deteriorating situation” in hotly contested region, Pakistan says 2 of its soldiers killed, 1 Indian soldier captured after clashes, but denies India’s claim latter carried out “surgical strikes” in Pakistani-controlled territory in apparent bid to thwart terrorist attacks; Indian intel reports Pakistan has “mobilized troops, mechanized infantry” along LoC, while Indian military say it has “prepared matching response mechanisms,” “satellites, radar chains and technical-intelligence facilities are monitoring western borders and airspace,” “Indian Army, Indian Air Force, Border Security Forces put on high alert in Punjab and neighboring states,” “[Indian] army convoys, carrying artillery guns, could be seen moving toward the [Pakistani] border”; follows Sept. 18 cross-border militant attack against Indian army garrison in Jammu and Kashmir, killing 18 soldiers, identity of gunmen unclear but India’s Home Affairs Minister Rajnath Singh blamed Islamabad: “I am deeply disappointed with Pakistan’s continued and direct support to terrorism and terrorist groups”; Kremlin stirs the pot in Pakistan: Former Cold War rivals hold first-ever joint military exercise Druzhbha-2016 between Sept. 26-Oct. 10

Major flash point for regional nuclear war with serious mass casualty potential.

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Communist Bloc Military Updates: Kremlin bolsters its military alliances in Asia as 2,000 troops of Shanghai Cooperation Organization conduct Peace Mission 2016 “anti-terrorist” drill in Kyrgyzstan, Russian Air Force contributes Tu-95 strategic bombers to maneuver; SCO includes Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan will become full members at 2017 summit; Russia to host 9th Peace Mission exercise in 2018, first took place in 2005 after end of Moscow-Beijing Axis’ fake Cold War-era split; 1,000 Russian and Mongolian troops, 200 pieces of military hardware participate in Selenga 2016 drill in Russia’s internal republic of Buryatia, between Aug. 30 and Sept. 7; Selenga involved tank battalion, motorized infantry company, mortar battalion, self-propelled artillery and rocket batteries, and air defense, recon and NBC protection units of Russia’s E. Military District; Russian Navy, PLAN wrap up Joint Sea 2016 maneuver in S. China Sea, marines from both countries practice seizing island off coast of China’s Guangdong province

USSR2 File: Just in time for resurrection of KGB in 2018 (see last post), new Soviet-style Russian law targets Western-based religious groups, esp. Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses, bans proselytizing outside officially sanctioned worship sites, effectively bans house churches, grants de facto protected status to Russian Orthodox Church; Billy Graham Evangelistic Association cancels World Summit of Christian Leaders in Defense of Persecuted Christians scheduled to take place in Moscow in Oct., reschedules event later in Washington, D.C., says new Russian law “severely limits Christians’ freedoms”; Billy Graham’s first evangelistic services in Soviet Union took place in 1982, 3 years before glasnost/perestroika; U.S. Baptist preacher charged with holding religious services in his home, advertising them on public bulletin boards, appeals case; Mormon Josh Harrison, based out of Russia’s Samara region from 2013 to 2015, observes: “There was propaganda that we were some kind of cult or spy system because we were American”

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Historic Flashback: Billy Graham’s First-Ever Evangelistic Services in the Soviet Union (source)

USSR2 File: Kommersant reports within 24 hours of massive United Russia victory in State Duma: Putin plans to restore KGB by 2018 presidential election, roll Federal Security Service, Foreign Intelligence Service, Border Service, Investigative Committee into resurrected Ministry of State Security (MGB); notwithstanding post-Soviet low in voter turnout, potemkin party of power’s seat total in parliament’s lower house jumps more than 100, Communists lose 50 seats, Just Russia, Liberal Democrats suffer huge losses in representation; United Russia “wins” all constituency seats in occupied Crimea, while allegations of “carousel voting,” official ballot stuffing materialize in Rostov, N. Caucasus, Siberia, although not apparently as egregious as 2011 election; US State Dept. refuses to recognize results of Russian election among Crimean voters: “The peninsula remains an integral part of Ukraine. Crimea-related sanctions against Russia will remain until Russia returns control of Crimea to Ukraine”; Prague lines up with EU, USA on sanctions, dismissal of Crimean vote, even as ex-communist Czech Pres. Zeman shills for Moscow: “Crimea cannot be given back to Ukraine”

Viva Golitsyn!

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Flashback: 2011-2013 Anti-Putin Protests in Russia (source)

Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russian Armed Forces wrap up Kavkaz 2016 exercises in S. Military District, terrorize occupied Crimea ahead of illegal State Duma vote as amphibious armor pours out of Ropucha-class landing ships, marines storm beaches of Ukrainian peninsula with impressive display of air cover, live weapons fire, massive explosions; follows remarkable first-ever joint US-Ukrainian amphibious landings in nearby Odessa in July, under auspices of Sea Breeze 2016 drill; Russia, Red China begin naval maneuvers in contested S. China Sea, in which marines will be involved in 8 days of “live-fire drills, sea crossing and island landing operations, and island defense and offense exercises”; PRC’s CCTV reports: “Russia has sent some of its best vessels, including the Ropucha-class landing ship, and the Udaloy-class destroyer to participate in the exercises”; meanwhile, 22,000 US sailors, airmen, marines converge on Guam for Valiant Shield 2016, USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier to lead 10 days of drills in ASW, defensive counter-air ops, intel surveillance and recon; USAF B-1B strategic bombers conduct flights over S. Korea, send message of condemnation to North Korea for Sept. 9 underground nuke bomb test, Pyongyang howls: “They are bluffing that B-1Bs are enough for fighting an all-out nuclear war”

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: 4 Ukrainian soldiers killed in fighting against Moscow-backed Donbas rebels over past 24 hours; Russian DM Shoigu arrives in occupied Crimea to personally oversee regional element of Kavkaz 2016 exercise, which also includes N. Caucasus, Black, Caspian Seas; Crimean phase involves paratroopers, tanks, MRLSs, S-400 air defense batteries, cruise missiles, SLCMs; Kremlin media offers different versions of troop numbers involved in Kavkaz 2016: Sputnik, quoting Russia’s top general , says 120,000, while Itar-Tass, quoting news release from Russian DM, downsizes figure by nearly 90%; in any event, Gen. Valery Gerasimov adds: “. . . [T]he aircraft involved in the exercises actively used the experience gained in the Syrian Arab Republic while performing the assigned tasks”; Russian patrol ship, recon ship, Su-24 tactical bomber menace Ukrainian Sea Guard vessel Podillya off W. coast of Crimea, Russia’s Smetlyvy trains artillery at Ukrainian counterpart; US Def. Sec. Carter, Ukrainian DM Stepan Poltorak ink mil-mil deal in London, with intent of “increasing the defense capability” of, “expanding assistance” to Ukraine

Bolivarian Revolution File: Cuba prepares for collapse of 17-year MVR/PSUV regime in Caracas, offsets slump in deliveries of Venezuelan oil by turning to Russia, Algeria; US-based Citibank notifies Petroleos de Venezuela SA that it will stop processing payments on state-run giant’s bonds, leading to possible default; Venezuelans take to streets, demand implementation of recall referendum against Maduro, protest socialist president’s crushing of dissent, pervasive shortages; Chavez successor reportedly relies on Cuban advisers, North Korean special forces to prop up regime, personal protection; head of opposition-controlled National Assembly alleges Cuban Gen. Raul Acosta Gregorich issuing orders to Venezuelan army, “cabal” of 60 Cuban officers based out of Bolivarian Military University at Fort Tiuna; Paris-based intelligence Online maintains North Korean Gen. Kim Yong-chol “loaning” forces to Maduro, NKs trained with 21st Armed Group of Chinese PLA, Venezuela’s Grupo de Acciones Commando in Caracas in May; Dutch DM follows Venezuelan turmoil, considers larger military presence in Dutch Caribbean in view of possible influx of refugees

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Russia scrambles Su-24 fighter jets from Belbek air base in occupied Crimea, Flankers intercept 2 US P-8A Poseidon recon planes while latter allegedly approaching peninsula’s maritime border, shadow US aircraft for 19 minutes, one Flanker closes gap to within 10 feet of a P-8A; Pentagon protests Russian pilot’s “unsafe, unprofessional maneuver,” Moscow accuses Washington of “snooping” on Kavkaz 2016 military drill, underway in S. Russia, Crimea, says US spyplanes flying without transponder; Russian Armed Forces to conduct exercises throughout S. Military District between Sept. 5-10, deploy 12,500 troops, aviation, combat vehicles and naval vessels; Russian hybrid forces launch 21 attacks against Ukrainian forces in Donbas 6 days into latest “cease-fire,” use 120 mm mortars near Mariupol; Ukrainian HUR reports latest rotation of Russian regulars into E. Ukraine, participation of Donbas insurgents in Crimean phase of Kavkaz 2016: “Moreover, another 450 Russian soldiers from so far unidentified subdivision came from Russia through Snizhne to Donetsk. 115 militants arrived from Donbas to the occupied Crimea . . . ”

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR: Ukraine’s DM reports new cease-fire with Moscow-backed rebels holding since midnight Aug. 31/Sept. 1, follows spike in attacks by Donbas insurgents; Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, Caspian Flotilla marines practice blockading Kerch Strait, which separates occupied Crimea from Russia’s Krasnodar Krai; US Treasury Dept. slaps sanctions on Russian companies involved in “Putin’s Bridge” megaproject across Kerch Strait; Prague refuses to recognize “diplomatic office” of “Donetsk People’s Republic,” Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs to investigate pro-Russia activist, Nela Liskova member of far-right National Militia; 2 Czech Communist MPs visited unrecognized DPR in Jan., provoking protest from Ukraine; Czech Interior Ministry sets up team of media specialists to counter Kremlin propaganda, expose Russian fifth column in Czechia*; Communist Party of Russian Federation driving force behind Donbas separatists, recognizes newly formed sister parties in Donetsk, Lugansk oblasts, rebel-held areas only part of Ukraine where Kiev’s 2015 anti-communist ban unenforced

*Earlier this year the Czech Republic adopted “Czechia” (pronounced Check-ya) as the country’s official short name.

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