Tag Archives: NATO

Ukrainian Armed Forces Receive Deep Concerns From US, EU Members

YAVORIV- The Ukrainian Armed Forces have just received the first shipment of “deep concerns” as part of a multinational military aid package in response to last Sunday’s incident in the Kerch Strait, where Russian coast guard ships attacked and captured three Ukrainian naval vessels along with their crews. Almost immediately after the incident was reported, representatives from the US and several of its NATO allies immediately announced their intentions to send aid to Ukraine in the form of both “concerns” and later “deep concerns” in order to counter Russia’s actions.

One State Department official told reporters on Monday that the Trump administration had also considered sending “grave concerns,” but this was later canceled so as “to avoid provoking escalation from the Russian side.” Meanwhile, experts disagree on whether the White House’s response was adequate or too provocative given the danger of opening another front in the conflict between the government in Kiev and rebel separatists in the east who are extremely well supplied, wear uniforms and equipment almost identical to that of the Russian armed forces, have more tanks and armored vehicles than some NATO countries, and whose leadership has historically contained a conspicuously high number of Russian citizens since their movement suddenly appeared in the spring of 2014.

“Deep concerns are not nearly enough if you want to send the right message to Putin,” said Anders Auslander, a fellow at a DC-based think tank.

“The only way you are going to raise the costs and deter him from further aggression is to equip Ukraine’s military with extremely grave concerns. There’s simply no other way.”

Other experts, however, suggest that even mild concern could provoke all-out war, possibly drawing the US and its allies into the conflict.

“We have to see things from Moscow’s point of view,” says Steve Kuhn, a professor of Soviet-Russian history.

“For years they’ve been watching as the US and NATO constantly express concern about Russia. If you want to start World War III, I can’t think of a better way than to arm the Ukrainian nationalists with more concerns, especially deep concerns.”

Meanwhile, Ukrainian military personnel are struggling to distribute the concerns and train personnel on how to use them while they are on full alert for a possible Russian ground invasion.

“I don’t understand how we’re supposed to use these,” says Roman Bondarenko, 27, a lieutenant in one of Ukraine’s mechanized infantry brigades.

“All these shipping containers with NATO markings arrived at the rail depot, but when we opened them they were empty. Nothing but air.”

Serhii Hopko, 19, is a soldier in Bondarenko’s platoon who also expressed his disappointment with the latest shipment of NATO military aid.

“We hear reports that the Russians are moving tens of thousands of troops and hundreds of tanks to the border, and we’re supposed to fight with this,” he said, gesturing to the empty shipping container behind him.

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KIEV- US Air Force crews unload the first shipment of deep concerns to aid Ukraine’s military in the face of renewed threats from Russia over access to the sea of Azov

Meanwhile, Russian officials slammed the decision to aid Ukraine’s military with deep concerns as “irresponsible” and a “clear provocation.”

“This simply shows that our Western partners are not interested in creating lasting peace in the Donbass, but rather irresponsibly encouraging the Poroshenko regime to escalate the war further,” Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on her official Facebook page.

Zakarhova also warned that Russia would be forced to take “appropriate, and proportional measures” in response to the new aid package. While it is not entirely clear what those measures might entail, military analysts and open source investigators have been monitoring Russian military activity in the region and believe they have already seen signs of a response.

“Based on intelligence provided via satellite imaging, social media, and other open source information, it would appear that Russia is already responding to NATO’s concerns and deep concerns with additional main battle tanks and attack helicopters,” said one Pentagon analyst.

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No, Russia is not going to invade the Baltics

The Russian press seems to have had a field day with the recent NATO conference in Warsaw. As is typical for them, they have portrayed NATO’s exercises and statements about the need for solidarity and responses to Russian aggression as “hysteria” and warmongering. This is rather amusing because at the same time many of these pundits are constantly screaming about “NATO encirclement” of Russia while ignoring the fact that Russia has far more troops on the border now than NATO does, even after the increases since 2014. But oddly enough, on a certain level they have a point. If you are not Ukraine, Georgia, or Moldova, you don’t really need to worry much about Russian aggression, at least not directly.

As some have pointed out recently, Russia’s strategy is based on appearing to be far stronger than it actually is. While half the time pro-Kremlin pundits point and laugh at the supposed alarmist tactics of NATO officials, Russian media often spends the other half talking about how powerful its military forces are and how they could easily conquer the Baltic countries and defeat NATO conventional forces. Sadly it seems some people pay attention to the latter type of propaganda and then fall right into the Russian trap.

I’m by no means the first person to point this out, but let me make it clear- Russia is not going to intentionally go to war with NATO. They are not going to invade the Baltic states. All the while these same pundits talk about how close we are to WWIII, but when a Russian military plane was actually shot down by a NATO member state last year, what actually happened? We got roughly six months of impotent buttrage and then Vladimir and Recep kissed and made up so Russia can get tomatoes and Turkey can get drunk Russian office plankton on its beaches.

Here’s why Russia isn’t going to invade the Baltic states- it has nothing to gain and everything to lose. In the case of Ukraine, it was a neutral country already within their sphere of influence. The economies of both nations were extremely intertwined, and when you look at the role Ukrainian firms played in Russia’s defense industry, at a time when Russia’s military standardization and modernization reforms were in full swing, you can understand why they were willing to gamble so foolishly on an attempt to maintain this relationship.

Putin and his cronies probably never expected any sanctions or at least serious repercussions from the West at the time. Why would they? The West is where these men hid their stolen fortunes, whether in banks, holding companies, or real estate. While Putin’s claim that Crimea represented “holy land” for Russians was laughably spurious, the holy land for Putin’s elite was no doubt London and various other pricey Western locales. Even from a military standpoint it’s clear that the operation to seize the Crimea went forward simply because the Russian authorities, after carefully testing the waters, saw that they could get away with it.

If we look at the wider war in Ukraine, the motive here is pretty obvious too. The basic goal is to prevent Ukraine from successfully building a functioning, prosperous democratic state at all costs. The Kremlin says Russians are too stupid to take part in the governing of their own affairs. It says they are inferior to Western people whose own political participation is usually not too far beyond that which Russians are allowed to enjoy. So what do you tell your people when they look across the border from Voronezh or the Rostov region and there are millions of Russian-speakers (the Kremlin holds that Russians and Ukrainians are the same people) who are somehow able to enjoy the most basic fruits of Western democracy and what is more, who can travel freely in Europe? On that note the destabilization and destruction of Ukraine serves another narrative purpose- “Don’t protest. Obey the legitimate government no matter what. If you protest you’ll get chaos.” In short, Russia is doing all this to Ukraine because it can, for reasons which are on some level logical, however immoral and reprehensible they might be.

By contrast, what is to be gained from invading the Baltic states? A propaganda coup? Would it really be worth it when the same results could be accomplished with some photo ops or state-sponsored concerts? Alarmists say that the Russian forces could easily defeat the NATO forces currently stationed there. Okay- but at what cost? They moved in the Crimea once they established that there would be no resistance, and this was largely the case. In the Donbas they could rely on proxies and volunteers who wouldn’t be missed in Russia. Even if a Russian invasion force managed to defeat the NATO defenders in the Baltic, it would suffer far more casualties, actual, acknowledged Russian military casualties, than in the Crimea or Donbas. I would not be surprised to see them lose more than they did in the entire war in Ukraine so far. And while there would be a massive campaign to whip up patriotism and glorify the conquest, those dead soldiers have families. The message to every one of them is: “this will cost you.”

And that’s not even talking about sanctions and other measures against Russia. Say goodbye to SWIFT. Say goodbye to virtually any Western investment. The Russian elite will see their assets seized and frozen en masse, which pretty much negates the whole purpose of being part of the Russian elite. And what about arms sales to Ukraine? NATO would start giving the weapons away. Much of Russia’s best forces are tied down in or on the border of eastern Ukraine, and then you’ve got another significant portion tied down in Syria. Taking troops out of Ukraine or off the border leaves the puppet states in the Donbas vulnerable to an offensive, and they’re a juicy target because Russia can’t claim that it was attacked here. NATO, with the help of Turkey and other allies in the region, could launch an all-out attack on the Assad regime and Russian forces stationed in Syria, all while closing the Bosphorus to all Russian shipping. What is Russia going to do then? Invade Turkey? Of course in any scenario they’ll scream and shout about their nuclear missiles, but deep down they know that the launch of one nuke means the end of Russia and much of human civilization as they know it. That and the Russian elite doesn’t want to fry its own children in London, New York, or Paris.

The Russian economy, which is slowly sliding downhill now, will basically go into free fall, and a significant portion of the Russian population will be faced with a choice- stand up for your rights and demand change or starve to death. This is that point that Russia’s current leadership keeps forgetting throughout their country’s history- the point where all that rhetoric about Russians enduring anything indefinitely is revealed to be bullshit. 1905, 1917, 1991, 20xx…

Essentially it would seem that NATO leaders are falling for Russia’s so-called “reflexive control,” and falling hard. Russia makes a lot of noise with exercises and airspace violations, Baltic nations get scared and call for more troops, and then the Russian media says they’re paranoid, reacting to a phantom threat, and warmongering against Russia. Putin needs “NATO encirclement” to look real. The second a majority of people in Russia stop believing in the NATO conspiracy against Russia, they will turn their gaze toward the real enemy of Russia- the government. And this is where NATO countries should focus their attention when it comes to threats.

The Putin regime’s actions and style of government pretty much guarantee widespread instability and chaos in the Russian Federation at some point in the future. When that time comes, Eastern European nations will be faced with a terrible crisis. Massive migrant or refugee waves, organized crime, arms trafficking, and human trafficking from the struggling, possibly fracturing Russian Federation will challenge these states. It is not a resurgent, revanchist Russia bent on restoring the Soviet Union that the NATO countries should be worrying about- it’s the collapse of Russia that is a threat to the region.

Missing the point.

No doubt the wave of buttfury has already broke in response to news that the US is mulling the idea of returning heavy armor units to Europe, and possibly deploying them in Eastern Europe. The Russian press will be crowing about how the Dear Leader has been vindicated and how Russia is indeed under siege. The pro-Kremlin dupes and “realists” in the West will lament over this “escalation.”

What none of these morons and propagandists will note, however, is the fact that the US didn’t have these forces in Europe until recently. In fact, the US military presence in Europe, until Putin started his little adventure, was nothing but a shadow of its Cold War self. See the figures for yourself, cited in this article. Keep in mind that all throughout this period, the Russian government and their propaganda hacks were screaming about “NATO encirclement” and using this to justify their own military interventions or foreign bases (yes, little edgy leftist, Russia has bases on foreign soil too).

Some might say that this escalation will help Putin, because now he’ll be able to point to a “real” threat. I dismiss this argument, on the grounds that even when the threat was a fantasy, the Putin regime played it up as though it were real. If they’re going to scream about “NATO encirclement” and military threats, they might as well actually exist.

This is what Putin wanted, now he’s got it. All that’s necessary to do now is wait for him and his circle of morons to bankrupt and loot their own country and finally get killed by an angry lynch mob who believes that they are traitorous “CIA agents” or some such conspiratorial nonsense that was ironically cultivated by the Russian state media.

Then the whole cycle will start again- the Russian people will trade their freedom to another con-man thief who appears to be strong and who promises order and a renewed empire. Only this time it will be worse off so that “new Cold War” will be even shorter and even more pathetic.

And of course no matter how much worse it gets for Russia, and how weak Russia gets, Ukrainians will still scream about how Russia is ruling them like a colonial master and how it is still orchestrating a worldwide conspiracy to slander and denigrate the poor unsung heroes of the OUN and UPA- the only tolerant, liberal democratic nationalist movement in all of Eastern and Central Europe during the WWII era.

Phoning it in

For those of you who don’t read Russian, I’m going to summarize this article from the Russian army’s official media outlet. Basically it’s claiming that America is threatened by a massive volcano in Yellowstone which could erupt in the next two weeks. These people aren’t even trying anymore.

While we’re on that topic, it’s always funny to me how these people never consider the negative effects their country would suffer in the event of America’s destruction. They talk about reducing America to radioactive ash while not considering how this would bring the destruction of Russia even without the inevitable US/NATO nuclear response.

Lately Russia’s politicians and pro-Kremlin hacks have been crowing non-stop about the supposed threat of NATO bases on Russia’s periphery. Let’s be honest, many of those bases or deployments have been on Russia’s periphery for quite some time. NATO has held military exercises near Russian territory and on some occasions with NATO forces. None of this stopped Russia from enjoying extremely fast growth during the middle of the last decade. Indeed, those NATO countries were investing far more into Russia’s economy than they were into bases building bases around her borders.

Foreign investment and interest in Russia had a major positive effect on the lives of millions of Russians, whereas NATO bases and military exercises had no effect whatsoever unless you count the psychological terror they generated through the lens of the Russian media. Of course this point will always go unnoticed. The only think NATO countries to in regards to Russia is try to chain up the poor, innocent bear. All the progress of the last decade? That was due to Putin’s wise leadership.

Spilling secrets

Anyone paying attention to the news lately has probably noticed Russia’s impotent flopping around on the world stage, in an attempt to appear relevant and threatening on the world stage, and to distract from the fact that its corrupt oligarchy basically stole Russia’s future. Much of said flopping consists of running all kinds of military drills, many of which have led to airspace violations all over Eastern Europe.  Well guess what- turns out all these drills are great training for NATO pilots and radar crews. Not only that, but this has spurred new efforts by Eastern NATO countries to revamp their whole military arsenals with updated equipment. Countries like Sweden and Finland are now considering joining the alliance. Great job, Putin! You found a way to expand NATO when its own leaders were stumped!

Russia’s only hope to do significant damage in a war with a NATO country would necessarily be based on surprise. There are many new Russian weapons which haven’t really been tested in combat against a NATO-equipped foe, and Russia hasn’t been in a conventional war since August of 2008. Now that element of surprise has been pissed away, along with Russia’s economy, reputation, standards of living, and hope for the future. Good one, Vladimir! Are you absolutely sure you still want to go on taking advice from the delusional dipshits you’ve been listening to for the past few years?

The linked article does contain a couple factual errors that I must point out, however. It refers to Moldovan and Georgian territory supposedly annexed by Putin.  In reality the territories in question were taken by local forces with Russian help in the early 90’s.