Posts Tagged russia

Obama Puts Troops In Baltic States

From The Sun:

And Lithuanian Defence Ministry spokeswoman Asta Galdikaite confirmed America has offered additional military support following Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

She said: “The United States was the first to offer additional safety assurance measures to the Baltic countries following the deterioration of the security situation in the region after the annexation of the Crimea.”

She added: “US Special Operations Forces presence in Lithuania is one of the deterrents” against military threats by Putin’s aggressive regime, reports the Express.

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Russian Aircraft Buzz U.S. Destroyer In Baltic Sea

From Navy Times:

Russian pilots rattled nerves aboard the destroyer Donald Cook, buzzing within yards of the ship in the Baltic Sea. Provocative, sure. But they weren’t a credible threat.

So concludes a retired Navy commanding officer, who reviewed photos and videos from the run-ins on Monday and Tuesday, when unarmed Sukhoi Su-24 fighters flew within 1,000 feet of the ship — once coming as close as 30 feet in what U.S. officials called “simulated attacks.”  On Monday, a low-flying Russian Ka-27 Helix helicopter also appeared to take photos of the ship.

This was definitely provocative, but it doesn’t amount to a threat, said the retired frigate and cruiser CO.

Russia also intercepted a U.S. reconnaissance plane.

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Threat Analysis Of Possible Future Russian Aggression

From CNAS.org:

In the report, CNAS senior fellows Julianne Smith and Jerry Hendrix examine possible security challenges in effort to prepare the United States and Europe for future existential threats posed by Russia. Smith and Hendrix note that although Europe’s security situation was largely considered stable for much of the last 10 to 14 years, that premise no longer holds true.

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Even As Russians Withdraw, Their Legacy in Syria Remains

Even As Russians Withdraw, Their Legacy in Syria Remains is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

Analysis

As the departure of Russian forces from Syria announced March 14 continues, evidence of construction at Russia’s main air base in the country demonstrates Moscow’s intention to maintain a military presence there. Imagery dated March 17 acquired by Stratfor of the Bassel al Assad air base in Latakia province and the naval base at Tartus highlights the ongoing Russian drawdown of its forces in Syria that Moscow contends will be largely completed by March 20.

The imagery shows that as of noon local time March 17, more than a quarter of the Russian air group at Bassel al Assad air base had departed Syria. Three Su-34 combat aircraft and a Tu-154 transport plane were the first to leave March 15, followed a day later by all 12 Su-25 ground attack aircraft and a number of Il-76 transport planes. The transport planes carried the mechanics, aircrew and equipment that serviced the combat aircraft. The Russians have indicated that a number of Su-24 aircraft departed March 17, but the imagery indicates that the Su-24 group was still largely in place. It is possible that those Su-24s departed after the imagery was taken. Read the rest of this entry »

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Russian Pilots Killed After Ejecting From Plane

From The Daily Mail:

Two Russian pilots were shot dead by Syrian rebels as they parachuted from their burning warplane, it has been claimed.

And a third was killed during a mission to rescue the pair as another rebel group shot a helicopter with an anti-tank missile.

Disturbing footage shows a dead pilot covered in blood, on the ground as anti-government fighters gather chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’ – Arabic for ‘God is great’.

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Turkey Shoots Down Russian Jet

From Sky News:

A Turkish official said two Russian planes approached the Turkish border and were warned before one of them was shot down, adding their information shows Turkish airspace was repeatedly violated.

 The downing of the jet is the first time a NATO member’s armed forces have shot down a Russian or Soviet military aircraft since the 1950s.

 

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Condi Rice and Bob Gates on U.S., Russia Relations

From The Washington Post:

One can hear the disbelief in capitals from Washington to London to Berlin to Ankara and beyond. How can Vladimir Putin, with a sinking economy and a second-rate military, continually dictate the course of geopolitical events? Whether it’s in Ukraine or Syria, the Russian president seems always to have the upper hand.

The fact is that Putin is playing a weak hand extraordinarily well because he knows exactly what he wants to do. He is not stabilizing the situation according to our definition of stability. He is defending Russia’s interests by keeping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in power. This is not about the Islamic State. Any insurgent group that opposes Russian interests is a terrorist organization to Moscow. We saw this behavior in Ukraine, and now we’re seeing it even more aggressively — with bombing runs and cruise missile strikes — in Syria.

 

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Russia Flew Bombers Near US Coast on July 4

From Fox17:

According to the report from FOX News, two bombers flew off the coast of Alaska at 10:30am and then off the coast of Central California at 11:00am EST. The bombers are capable of carrying nuclear weapons, although NORAD did not confirm if the bombers were armed at the time of intercept. The bombers did not cross into U.S. airspace but how close they came has not been revealed. A similar incident took place on July 4th of 2013.

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European War Games: Responses to Russian Military Drills

European War Games: Responses to Russian Military Drills is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

Summary

Several events have coincided to demonstrate the dynamic, if not guarded, relationship between Russia and the Nordic and Baltic states. Ten NATO countries and Sweden launched a two-week planned exercise in the North Sea on May 4 to improve their anti-submarine warfare capabilities. On the same day, Finland — not a NATO member — began mailing letters to about 900,000 reservists informing them of their roles in a potential crisis situation. Meanwhile, Sweden’s Foreign Ministry formally complained to Russian authorities that Russian navy ships were disrupting cable-laying work in waters between Sweden and Lithuania, the latest in a series of formal complaints over Russia’s activity in the area. Concurrently, the Swedish and Lithuanian foreign ministers met with Moldova’s pro-West leaders in Chisinau.

All of these events confirm that the Nordic and Baltic states are working to boost security cooperation in response to Russia’s military activity in the region. Consequently, the security buildup will continue — on both sides. Read the rest of this entry »

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Iraqi Caught Crossing Texas-Mexico Border

From Breibart:

Breitbart Texas exclusively obtained leaked information on the Iraqi man who was apprehended while illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border into Texas on February 12, 2015. The Border Patrol agent responsible for interviewing the subject initially expressed concerns that the Iraqi was sent by Russia, largely due to the Iraqi man’s history as a military trainer, his speaking several languages, including Russian, and his having lived in Crimea, according to one of the leaked documents. Breitbart Texas was provided with two documents by a federal agent who works under the umbrella of Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The agent insisted on remaining anonymous.

 

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Russia Fortifying Arctic Border

From Business Insider:

In order to capitalize on a changing Arctic, Russia is undertaking a major military upgrade of its northern coast and outlying Arctic archipelagos. These bases — which include search-and-rescue stations, military ports and airstrips, and military headquarters — are positioning Russia to become the dominant power in the region.

The Northern Fleet itself is due for a massive upgrade starting in 2015 that will last through the rest of the decade. The fleet has been upgraded to a unit called the Russian Joint Strategic Command North (JSCN), which, according to the Polish Institute of International Affairs, won’t be an ordinary naval force.

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Russia Targets NATO With Military Exercises

Russia Targets NATO With Military Exercises is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

Summary

Russian military exercises, the latest in a series across the country, have taken on a threatening posture. While the most recent installment is not the largest exercise Russia has conducted, the areas involved and the forces included seem to have been deliberately chosen to send a warning to NATO; the exercise itself seems to simulate a full-scale confrontation with NATO through the forward deployment of nuclear armed submarines, theater ballistic missiles and strategic bomber aircraft. Strategic weapon systems, including assets that are part of Russia’s nuclear capabilities, have also been deployed to locations near NATO’s borders. Read the rest of this entry »

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Gaming a Russian Offensive

Gaming a Russian Offensive is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

Summary

Editor’s Note: As part of our analytical methodology, Stratfor periodically conducts internal military simulations. This series, examining the scenarios under which Russian and Western forces might come into direct conflict in Ukraine, reflects such an exercise. It thus differs from our regular analyses in several ways and is not intended as a forecast. This series reflects the results of meticulous examination of the military capabilities of both Russia and NATO and the constraints on those forces. It is intended as a means to measure the intersection of political intent and political will as constrained by actual military capability. This study is not a definitive exercise; instead it is a review of potential decision-making by military planners. We hope readers will gain from this series a better understanding of military options in the Ukraine crisis and how the realities surrounding use of force could evolve if efforts to implement a cease-fire fail and the crisis escalates.

Russia’s current military position in Ukraine is very exposed and has come at a great cost relative to its limited political gains. The strategic bastion of Crimea is defensible as an island but is subject to potential isolation. The position of Ukrainian separatists and their Russian backers in eastern Ukraine is essentially a large bulge that will require heavy military investment to secure, and it has not necessarily helped Moscow achieve its larger imperative of creating defensible borders. This raises the question of whether Russia will take further military action to secure its interests in Ukraine.

To answer this question, Stratfor examined six basic military options that Russia might consider in addressing its security concerns in Ukraine, ranging from small harassment operations to an all-out invasion of eastern Ukraine up to the Dnieper River. We then assessed the likely time and forces required to conduct these operations in order to determine the overall effort and costs required, and the Russian military’s ability to execute each operation. In order to get a baseline assessment for operations under current conditions, we initially assumed in looking at these scenarios that the only opponent would be Ukrainian forces already involved in the conflict.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Jane’s Discusses Russian Airspace Incursions and Other Topics

From IHS Airport 360:

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Viewing Russia From the Inside

Viewing Russia From the Inside is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

By George Friedman

Last week I flew into Moscow, arriving at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 8. It gets dark in Moscow around that time, and the sun doesn’t rise until about 10 a.m. at this time of the year — the so-called Black Days versus White Nights. For anyone used to life closer to the equator, this is unsettling. It is the first sign that you are not only in a foreign country, which I am used to, but also in a foreign environment. Yet as we drove toward downtown Moscow, well over an hour away, the traffic, the road work, were all commonplace. Moscow has three airports, and we flew into the farthest one from downtown, Domodedovo — the primary international airport. There is endless renovation going on in Moscow, and while it holds up traffic, it indicates that prosperity continues, at least in the capital. Read the rest of this entry »

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