Tag Archives: Russian Armed Forces

Russia’s new S-400 air defense systems to be supplied to 12 regiments by 2020

S-400 Triumph

New S-400 Triumf air defense systems will be supplied to 12 missile regiments of Russia’s Aerospace Defence Forces by 2020, their spokesperson, Colonel Alexei Zolotukhin said on Monday.

Until the end of this year, four S-400 regiments will be protecting Moscow and the Central Industrial District of Russia, he said.

At present, three regiments have S-400 systems and the rest are armed with S-300 systems.

Future plans call for upgrading Moscow’s missile defense to bring air defense and missile defense systems under a single command to repel all possible attacks.

The united command will cover 25 regions and three republics. Radar stations used by air defense units can detect targets as far as 600 kilometers and an altitude of up to 40 kilometers.

Another regiment in the Moscow region will adopt Russia’s newest S-400 air defence systems this autumn.

“The fourth air defense regiment will receive a new set of S-400 systems at the Kapustin Yar training range in September or October, conduct initial live fire training and, after redeployment to the Moscow region, go on combat duty,” Aerospace Defense Forces Commander, Major General Andrei Demin said earlier this month.

First regiments armed with S-400

Three regiments in the Moscow region have already been armed with the S-400 systems. The first S-400 battalion went on combat duty in Elektrostal, Moscow region, in the summer of 2007 and was joined by another one in 2009.

The second regiment armed with S-400 systems went on combat duty in 2011, followed by the third one in 2014.

S-400 Triumf air defence systems were put on combat duty in Russia’s Southern Military District in late 2012 to replace S-300PM missiles.

Supplies of new air defense systems to the 4th Air Force and Air Defence Command in the District began in 2009. Since then, more than 60 pieces of new military hardware have been delivered and put into service.

The Triumf system is twice as effective as the previous systems. It can attack 10 targets with up to 20 missiles. The S-400 uses 3 different missiles to cover its entire performance envelope.

The Russian Ministry of Defense said that the S-400 was intended for the Russian Armed Forces only and would not be exported to other countries.

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Russian planes have not entered Ukrainian airspace – Moscow

Su-27 fighter jet

Russian military aircraft have not breached any state borders, including those of Ukraine, Russia’s Defense Ministry has said. Ukraine’s acting defense minister has also retracted claims by Kiev that Russian jets “violated Ukrainian airspace seven times.”

“Russia’s means of objective airspace situation control did not record any violations of air boundaries of the states adjacent to Russia, including those of Ukraine,” Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement Saturday.

Pentagon officials quoted by US media Friday claimed that “Russian fighter jets flew into Ukrainian airspace a handful of times over the last 24 hours,” calling it “a continued provocation.” The officials were not named.

“The unfounded claims of Pentagon officials on the alleged ‘breaching of airspace of Ukraine by Russian fighter jets’ appears to have been based on rumors and speculation,” a Russian Defense Ministry spokesman told Itar-Tass on Saturday.

“Those media allegations are populist in nature, they contain no information on the time and place of the incident, as well as no data on altitude, speed and the direction of aircraft, as well as no other objective parameters,” the spokesman said.

The US sources must have “dreamed it all up,” or “a little bird told them that,” the spokesman added.

The Defense Ministry spokesman called on Pentagon officials to stop “spreading unverified ‘facts’ through the media,” saying that “it does not at all help de-escalate the situation in Ukraine.”

Instead, the US Defense Department should “use the many years’ experience of cooperation on information interchange” with the Russian side.

The Ukrainian coup-imposed acting defense minister, Mikhail Koval, on Saturday told journalists that no violations of state borders by the Russian aircraft or troops have been recorded.

“Four [Russian] transport airplanes Il-76 were flying along our state border but they did not cross the borderline,” Koval was quoted as saying by Interfax-Ukraine.

Ukrainian army soldiers check vehicles on a road not far from the border between Ukraine and Russia, in the Kharkiv region of eastern Ukraine

The “peak of activity” of the Russian Armed Forces conducting military exercises near the Ukrainian border was recorded on April 24-25, he said. The closest that the Russian troops came to the Ukrainian border was 2-3 kilometers, Koval said.

According to the Ukrainian official, the Russian drills were meant to discourage Kiev from continuing with the so-called “anti-terrorist operation” in three southeastern regions of Ukraine. However, he added, the military operation continues “although its pace is not high.”

Koval’s statements, made during the Saturday briefing, apparently contradicted the allegations earlier made by the Kiev government against Russia.

“Russian military aircraft today at night crossed and violated Ukrainian airspace seven times. The only reason is to provoke Ukraine… and to accuse Ukraine of waging war against Russia,” the coup-imposed Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk claimed during his visit to the Italian capital, Rome. Yatsenyuk, who had previously made similar unfounded allegations of “Russian tanks in Crimea” and nuclear weapons in Iran,” was speaking to reporters in English.

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Moscow: No troop build-up or undeclared military activity near Ukraine borders

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Russia is observing all international agreements on troop limits in regions bordering Ukraine, the Russian Deputy Defense Minister said, adding that foreign missions’ inspections can confirm that.

The statement was made in response to reports by several foreign media outlets over concentrations of “thousands” of Russian servicemen on the Russian-Ukrainian border.

“By the way this issue has during the last month been regularly raised in telephone conversations between Russia’s Minister of Defense Sergey Shoigu, and his foreign counterparts, including US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and even acting Ukrainian Defense Minister Igor Tenyukh,” Anatoly Antonov, the Russian Deputy Defense Minister said.

Sergey Shoigu has, in a very transparent manner, informed all of them about the real situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border. He also stressed that Russia has no intention to concentrate troops there, Antonov said.

Following recent probes by foreign missions in Russia of Ukraine’s bordering regions, foreign inspectors came to the conclusion that “Russian Armed Forces are not undertaking any undeclared military activity that would threaten the security of neighboring countries,” Antonov added.

The official said eight foreign inspection groups have recently visited Russia.

“Our venues and regions, where troops are stationed near Ukrainian borders, have twice been checked by the Ukrainian military,” the Deputy Minister said. “Besides, we have had on our territory inspectors from the US, Canada, Germany, France, Switzerland, Poland, Latvia, Estonia and Finland.”

Seven of those eight missions were interested in Russian regions bordering with Ukraine, Antonov said. Foreign inspectors were allowed to talk to chiefs of the Russian military units, make pictures of deployment sites and military vehicles, and control them during relocation.

“We did our best to meet our partners’ requests by allowing them to inspect all of the sites they wanted to. We have nothing to hide,” Antonov said.

The deputy minister said he was hoping that participants of those inspecting missions would inform their countries’ leaderships of what is really going on at the border between Russia and Ukraine.

“We believe this would to large extent facilitate release of tension, something the head of the Pentagon, Hagel, called for during his recent phone conversation with Minister Shoigu.”

Germans, French ‘nullified military co-op with Russia under pressure’

Berlin’s and Paris’ moves to halt military cooperation with Moscow are derailing the bilateral efforts of recent years and are completely unconstructive, Antonov said. However, according to the defense official, the two did so under pressure from their NATO ally.

“Obviously, the proverbial ‘Atlantic solidarity’ has made our French and German partners come up with loud statements against Russia,” Antonov said.

“Refusing from contacts and delegatory exchange though military departments brings to naught the positive tendencies established in the recent years, including the cooperation on Afghanistan, the dialogue on transparency of military activity and military-technical cooperation. We perceive the decision of the German side as taken under pressure and unconstructive,” Antonov stressed.

Both Russian and German defense ministries have recently undertaken some “serious efforts” in mutually beneficial cooperation, the official noted. He also highlighted the “unprecedented” bilateral work with France, including that of the Air Forces and Airborne Forces, noting that a “new impulse of cooperation” had been planned for 2014.

Addressing media on Sunday, Antonov stressed that Russia and its European partners are equally interested in military cooperation. It is “very easy to ruin what has been done by our countries [in the field of military cooperation] and it will be very difficult to restore relations,” he said.

The Russian side hopes that Germany and France will review the situation on the Ukrainian border upon receiving reports from the international inspectors and will move to restore the severed ties, Antonov said. For now, Moscow will act in accordance with the “existing realities,” he added.

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Russians seize Ukrainian missile defense units in Crimea : Interfax

 

Russian forces seized two Ukrainian missile defense battalions in the Crimea region on Wednesday, Interfax news agency quoted a military source as saying.

The Ukrainian Defence Ministry was unable immediately to confirm on the report, which quoted the source saying: “We now expect the arrival of Russian missile specialists and pro-Russian activists who will have to persuade the Ukrainian military personnel to carry out joint combat duties.”

 

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US suspends trade talks, military cooperation with Russia over Ukraine

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The US has suspended forthcoming trade and investment talks with Russia over situation in Ukraine, according to a US official. In addition, the Pentagon announced that the US has also suspended all joint “military engagements” with Russia.

“We have suspended upcoming bilateral trade and investment engagement with the government of Russia that were part of a move toward deeper commercial and trade ties,” a spokesman for the Office of the US Trade Representative said.

Earlier Monday evening, Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby announced in a statement that US-Russia “military engagements,” such as military exercises and port visits, are on hold for now.

“Although the Department of Defense finds value in the military-to-military relationship with the Russian Federation we have developed over the past few years to increase transparency, build understanding, and reduce the risk of military miscalculation we have, in light of recent events in Ukraine, put on hold all military-to-military engagements between the United States and Russia,” the statement reads. “This includes exercises, bilateral meetings, port visits and planning conferences.”

Kirby said the events in Ukraine have not changed US naval movements in the region.

“Some media outlets are speculating on possible ship movements in the region,” Kirby said. “There has been no change to our military posture in Europe or the Mediterranean; our Navy units continue to conduct routine, previously planned operations and exercises with allies and partners in the region.”

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Russia gives Ukrainian forces in Crimea ultimatum to surrender – Interfax

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, left, and the commander of the Western Military District Anatoly Sidorov, right, walk upon arrival to watch military exercise near St.Petersburg, Russia, Monday, March 3, 2014. Putin has sought and quickly got the Russian parliament's permission to use the Russian military in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, left, and the commander of the Western Military District Anatoly Sidorov, right, walk upon arrival to watch military exercise near St.Petersburg, Russia, Monday, March 3, 2014. Putin has sought and quickly got the Russian parliament’s permission to use the Russian military in Ukraine.

(Reuters) – Russia‘s Black Sea Fleet has told Ukrainian forces in Crimea to surrender by 5 a.m. (0300 GMT) on Tuesday or face a military assault, Interfax news agency quoted a source in the Ukrainian Defence Ministry as saying.

 

The ultimatum, Interfax said, was issued by Alexander Vitko, the fleet’s commander.

 

The ministry did not immediately confirm the report and there was no immediate comment by the Black Sea Fleet, which has a base in Crimea, where Russian forces are in control.

“If they do not surrender before 5 a.m. tomorrow, a real assault will be started against units and divisions of the armed forces across Crimea,” the agency quoted the ministry source as saying.

 

 

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Putin outfaces USA over Ukraine : Analyst

Russian President Veladimir Putin is downright to lay down a tacit military marker to Washington over Ukraine, says a prominent analyst.

In an article published on Press TV website, Finian Cunningham wrote, “Putin is entirely right to lay down an unspoken military marker to Washington over Ukraine, just like he did when the Americans tried to mess militarily with South Ossetia in 2008 through its NATO proxy, Georgia.”

This is while Washington has ironically blamed Ukraine’s current political turmoil on Russia in an apparent ignorance of Washington’s complicity in the Eastern European country’s destabilization, the analyst said.

In a veiled threat of military confrontation, US President Barack Obama warned earlier this week that Russia will face “costs” if it intervenes in Ukraine.

“But, here’s the laughable irony of Obama’s protestations. The latest apparent Russian military moves follow months of US-sponsored destabilization in Ukraine. This illegal and covert American interference has trampled all over Ukrainian sovereignty, which ironically Obama is now accusing his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin of doing,” he said.

Cunningham also noted that the current crisis in Ukraine has all the hallmarks of Washington’s covert agenda for regime change, an agenda which is being “ruthlessly pursued” against Syria as Russia’s Arab ally.

“The ultimate target of this meddling, as has been brazenly stated over many years since the early 1990s by [former US National Security Advisor] Zbigniew Brzezinski and other US imperial planners, is the destabilization of Russia itself,” he added.

On Saturday, the upper house of the Russian parliament unanimously approved President Vladimir Putin’s request to deploy troops into the autonomous region of Crimea in southern Ukraine.

Moscow said the troops move comply with Russian-Ukrainian agreements to protect Russia’s Crimean naval base.

Based on witness reports, some 12 military trucks carrying troops, two ambulances, and a Tiger vehicle armed with a machine gun were on the road on Sunday from the Ukrainian city of Sevastopol, the home to Russia’s Black Sea fleet, to Simferopol, Crimea’s administrative center.

Unrest erupted in Ukraine in November 2013, when now-ousted President Viktor Yanukovych refrained from signing an Association Agreement with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia.

PressTV

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Ukraine seeks Nato assistance as UN meets

A Russian flag behind an armed servicemen on top of a Russian army vehicle outside a Ukrainian border guard post in the Crimean town of Balaclava today

A Russian flag behind an armed servicemen on top of a Russian army vehicle outside a Ukrainian border guard post in the Crimean town of Balaclava today

Ukraine has asked Nato to look at all possible ways to help it protect its territorial integrity, foreign minister Sergei Deshchiritsya said today.

The minister said he had held talks with officials from the United States and the European Union and then asked Nato for help after what Ukraine’s prime minister described as Russian aggression.

A request had been made to Nato to “look at using all possibilities for protecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, the Ukrainian people and nuclear facilities on Ukrainian territory,” he said.

The United Nations security council was meeting tonight after Russia announced plans to send armed forces into the autonomous Crimea region of the former Soviet republic, council delegations said.

A diplomat from Luxembourg, president of the 15-nation council this month, said the meeting was convened at the request of the British government.

The council met yesterday to discuss the crisis in Ukraine’s Crimea region but took no formal action, as expected. The meeting highlighted the deep divisions between the United States and other Western nations and Russia, which has a major Black Sea naval base in the Crimea.

At yesterday’s session, Ukraine accused Russia of illegal military incursions onto Ukrainian territory, while US and European delegations warned Moscow to withdraw any new military forces deployed in neighboring Ukraine. Russia, however, said any military movements by Russian forces there were in compliance with its agreement with Kiev on maintaining its naval base there.

Russia is a veto-wielding permanent member of the security council and, therefore, able to block any actions proposed by its members.

The move comes as Russian president Vladimir Putin wrested control of the Ukrainian Black Sea region of Crimea from Kiev, citing a threat to Russian citizens and servicemen of the Russian Black Sea fleet based there.

Mr Putin asked the upper house of parliament to approve sending armed forces to the Ukrainian territory, which has a majority ethnic Russian population.

Federation Council meeting

Federation Council meeting

Crimea had already begun to slip from Kiev’s control with closure of the main airport and deployment of pro-Russian guards at key buildings.

Mr Putin’s statement, and remarks from a pro-Russian leader installed in Crimea this week, effectively confirmed what most people in the region had assumed: that military units who had seized control in the past two days were indeed Russian military.

Ukraine accused Russia of sending thousands of extra troops to Crimea, largely hostile to the Kiev government which emerged from the overthrow of president Viktor Yanukovich last weekend.

It placed its military in the area on high alert. After Mr Yanukovich’s overthrow, Crimea quickly became the focus of a crisis bearing perils for the entire region.

Mr Putin turned to parliament after a day of events viewed with deep concern in Europe and the United States. British foreign minister William Hague said he had spoken to Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and called for a ‘de-escalation’ of tensions. US president Barack Obama said any Russian intervention in Ukraine would carry costs for Moscow.

“In connection with the extraordinary situation in Ukraine, the threat to the lives of citizens of the Russian Federation, our compatriots, and the personnel of the armed forces of the Russian Federation…I submit a proposal on using the armed forces of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine until the normalisation of the socio-political situation in the that country,” Mr Putin said in a statement to parliament.

Crimea’s regional premier had appealed to Mr Putin for help ensuring “peace and tranquillity”.

The newly appointed pro-Russian leader of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov said servicemen of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, based in Crimea under a lease, had been deployed to guard important buildings and that he was taking the region’s military, police and other security services under personal control.

Masked, armed men in camouflage uniform bearing no insignia took up positions today outside Crimea’s parliament in the local capital Simferopol. Similar groups seized the assembly itself on Thursday and have also taken airports and the main broadcasting building in Crimea.

6423Armoured vehicles and military-style trucks are on the region’s roads and Russian military helicopters flew over its territory yesterday.

Earlier Ukraine had vowed not to respond militarily to Russian “provocation”.

Russia’s foreign ministry claimed earlier that “unknown armed people sent from Kiev” tried to seize Crimea’s interior minister last night.

The alleged attack was repelled by “self-defence groups” but caused casualties, the ministry said, calling it a sign of the “desire of familiar political circles in Kiev to destabilise the situation on the peninsula.”

No Crimean officials or media outlets mentioned the alleged attack before the Russian ministry’s statement, however.

Ukraine’s defence minister Ihor Tenyukh said today that Russia had brought 6,000 additional personnel into Crimea and that Ukraine’s own military were on high alert in the region.

“We will not take any steps that could provoke armed confrontation. All responsibility for escalation of the conflict lies personally with the leadership of the Russian Federation,” said Ukraine’s premier Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

“The inappropriate presence of Russian armed forces in (Crimea) is nothing other than a provocation,” said Mr Yatsenyuk, whose government took power after a revolution ousted president Viktor Yanukovich.

“We demand that the Russian government and authorities withdraw their forces and return to their bases. Stop provoking civil and military confrontation in Ukraine.”

Much of Crimea’s ethnic-Russian population is calling for Kremlin intervention in the region, because they fear their rights will be abused by a new Ukraine government that is supported by ultra-nationalists. The government insists it is moderate and will protect all Ukrainian citizens.

Parliament in Kiev has called on the US and Britain to safeguard its borders and independence under the terms to the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, by which Kiev was given security guarantees in return for relinquishing its Soviet-era nuclear arsenal.

Britain’s foreign secretary William Hague is expected to visit Kiev tomorrow.

“We are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside of Ukraine,” US president Barack Obama said yesterday, adding that any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would be “deeply destabilising”.

“The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine,” Mr Obama warned.

US president Barack Obama said last night that th e United States stands with the international community ‘in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine

US president Barack Obama said last night that th e United States stands with the international community ‘in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine

Ukrainian officials believe Russia is trying to provoke armed conflict in Crimea to justify full occupation and annexation of a region that has was under Russian control for centuries.

They recall how Moscow claimed that it sent troops into Georgia in 2008 to defend Russian citizens there. Now Russia recognises two Georgian regions as independent states and has thousands of soldiers based in each one, blocking Tbilisi’s ambition of moving closer to Nato membership.

Russia’s parliament intends to discuss simplifying the procedure by which people in Crimea could obtain Russian passports. Thousands of people in the region already hold Russian citizenship.

The Irish Times 

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Russian senators vote to use stabilizing military forces on Ukrainian territory

Federation Council meeting

Russia’s Federation Council has unanimously approved President Vladimir Putin’s request to use Russian military forces in Ukraine. The move is aimed to settle the turmoil in the split country.

The upper house of the Russian parliament has voted in favor of sending troops to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, which would ensure peace and order in the region “until the socio-political situation in the country is stabilized.”

DETAILS: Russia’s Federation Council unanimously approves sending Russian troops to Ukraine http://t.co/7Cb2xX8MiX pic.twitter.com/bnoiti15Ik

— RT (@RT_com) March 1, 2014

The debate in the Federation Council has revealed that Russian MPs are united on the issue, with many of them sharing concerns on the recent events in Ukraine. The common notion was that since the power was seized in Kiev, the situation has only been deteriorating with radical nationalists rapidly coming to power and threatening the lives of those opposing their actions, most notably the Russian citizens living in Ukraine.

The developments follow an appeal by the Prime Minister of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, who requested that Russia to help cope with the crisis and ensure “peace and calm” in the region.

Crimeans began protesting after the new self-proclaimed government in Kiev introduced a law abolishing the use of other languages in official circumstances in Ukraine. More than half the Crimean population are Russian and use only this language in their everyday life. The residents have announced they are going to hold a referendum on March 30 to determine the fate of the Ukrainian autonomous region.

Facts you need to know about Crimea and why it is in turmoil

Putin on Saturday requested the Federation Council to use the Army for normalizing the socio-political situation in Ukraine in connection with the “extraordinary situation” there. The events in Ukraine indicate there is a “threat to the lives of citizens of the Russian Federation… and the personnel of the armed forces of the Russian Federation on Ukrainian territory,” the Russian president said.

According to Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, the president has not yet made a decision on sending the troops to Ukraine.

Moreover, taking the decision to use the Armed Forces in Ukraine does not mean that it will be carried out immediately, Grigory Karasin, Putin’s official representative in the Federation Council, has said.

“The approval, which the president will receive, does not literally mean that this right will be used promptly,” Karasin said.

Russian citizens are among the victims of the turmoil gripping Ukraine, the speaker of the Federation Council, Valentina Matvienko, has said. In Crimea, there were Russian casualties during the storming of the local Interior Ministry building by gunmen overnight, she added.

“During the attempts to seize the building of the Interior Ministry in Crimea some were injured, there were victims also, the people are being threatened, and in this situation they are naturally voicing concerns for the security of their lives and families. This compelled the government of Crimea to ask Russia for help,” Matvienko said.

The speaker’s words coincided with the statement issued by Russian Federal Migration Service noting that some 143,000 Ukrainians have sought asylum in Russia. The number represents a sharp rise in such requests, the authority said.

The new Ukrainian authorities have been formed “under the dictate of Maidan” and “continue to use force in the forming of the decision-making structures,” Karasin said.

“We are particularly concerned with the situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, where, in accordance with the international treaty, the Black Sea Fleet is stationed; where 1.5 million Russian people live,” Putin’s representative stressed.

The Crimean population “resents” the attempts to seize local administration buildings and the threats thrown at regional authorities, and demands stability, he said.

At the same time, Karasin said he believes the international community and those states that backed the February 21 agreement between the opposition and the legitimate Ukrainian government “have the power” to influence the self-proclaimed Kiev authorities to bring the situation back to “constitutional ways.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry also said that Moscow is expecting that the international community will influence the self-proclaimed Kiev regime to normalize the situation in the country.

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12 Signs That Russia Is Ready To Fight A War Over Crimea

russia army

By Michael Snyder

Russia will never, ever give up Crimea without a fight.  Anyone that thinks otherwise is just being delusional.  The Russian Black Sea fleet’s main base at Sevastopol is far too strategically important.  In addition, ethnic Russians make up approximately 60 percent of the population of Crimea, and most of the population is rabidly pro-Russian.  In fact, many prominent Crimean politicians are already calling for reunification with Russia.  So if you have been thinking that Russia is just going to fold up shop and go home now that pro-European protesters have violently seized power in Kiev, you can quit holding your breath.  The truth is that Russia is more than willing to fight a war over Crimea.  And considering the fact that vitally important pipelines that pump natural gas from Russia to the rest of Europe go right through Ukraine, it is not likely that Russia will just willingly hand the rest of Ukraine over to the U.S. and the EU either.  If the U.S. and the EU push too hard in Ukraine, a major regional war may erupt which could ultimately lead to something much larger.

Russia and Ukraine have very deep historical ties.  Most Americans may not think that Ukraine is very important, but the Russians consider Ukraine to be of the utmost strategic importance.

As an American, how would you feel if another nation funded and organized the violent overthrow of the democratically-elected Canadian government and replaced it with a government that was virulently anti-American?

By doing this to Ukraine, the United States and the EU are essentially sticking a pin in Russia’s eye.  Needless to say, Russia is extremely angry at this point and they are gearing up for war.

Vladimir Putin, Sergei Shoigu

The following are 12 signs that Russia is ready to fight a war over Crimea…

1 More Russian military vehicles continue to pour into Crimea.  Just check out this video.

2 Russian military vehicles have been photographed in the main square of Sevastopol.

3 Russian military jets near the border with Ukraine have been put on combat alert.

4 Russia has ordered “surprise military exercises” along the Ukrainian border.

5 In connection with those “exercises”, it is being reported that Russia has deployed 150,000 troops along the border with Ukraine.

6 Russia already has approximately 26,000 troops stationed at their naval base in Sevastopol.

7 Russian ships carrying additional soldiers have been spotted off the coast of Crimea…

Russia’s large landing ship Nikolai Filchenkov has arrived near the Russia Black Sea Fleet’s base at Sevastopol, which Russia has leased from Ukraine since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The ship is reported to be carrying as many as 200 soldiers and has joined four additional ships carrying an unknown amount of Special Forces troops. Flot.com also reported over the weekend that personnel from the 45th Airborne Special Forces unit and additional divisions had been airlifted into Anapa, a city on Russia’s Black Sea coastline.

8 Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu made the following statement to reporters on Wednesday…

“Measures are taken to guarantee the security of our facilities.”

9 An unidentified Russian official has told the Financial Times that Russia is willing to use military force to protect Crimea…

Moscow earlier revealed that it would be ready to go for war over the Crimea region in order to protect the large population and army installations.

“If Ukraine breaks apart, it will trigger a war. They will lose Crimea first [because] we will go in and protect [it], just as we did in Georgia,” an unidentified Russian official told the Financial Times.

10 Officials in Sevastopol have “installed” a Russian citizen as mayor of the city.

11 Approximately 120 pro-Russian gunmen have seized the Crimean parliament building and have raised the Russian flag.

12 There are rumors that Russian authorities have offered protection to ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych…

Viktor F. Yanukovych, the ousted president of Ukraine, declared on Thursday that he remained the lawful president of the country and appealed to Russia to “secure my personal safety from the actions of extremists.” Russian news agencies reported that he had already arrived in Russia, but officials did not immediately confirm that.

No matter what the “new government” in Kiev says, and no matter how hard the U.S. and the EU push, Russia will never give up Crimea.  The following is what a recent Debka article had to say about the matter…

There is no way that President Vladimir Putin will relinquish Russian control of the Crimean peninsula and its military bases there – or more particularly the big Black Sea naval base at Sevastopol. This military stronghold is the key to Russia’s Middle East policy. If it is imperiled, so too are Russia’s military posture in Syria and its strategic understandings with Iran.

And you know what?

The people of Crimea do not want Russia to leave either.  In fact, they overwhelmingly want Russia to help defend them against the “new government” in Kiev.

As you read this, militia groups are being formed in Crimea to fight back against the “nationalist invasion” that they are anticipating.  Just check out the following excerpt from a recent Time Magazine article

Many of the people at the rally in Sevastopol were not just ready to believe. They were convinced of the imminent nationalist invasion. What scared them most were the right-wing political parties and militant groups that have played a role in Ukraine’s revolution. “What do you think they’re going to do with all those weapons they seized from police in Kiev? They’re going to come here and make war,” said Sergei Bochenko, who identified himself as the commander of a local militia group in Sevastopol called the Southern Russian Cossack Battalion.

In preparation, he said, his group of several hundred men had armed themselves with assault rifles and begun to train for battle. “There’s not a chance in hell we’re going to accept the rule of that fascist scum running around in Kiev with swastikas,” he said. That may be overstating the case. Nowhere in Ukraine has the uprising involved neo-Nazi groups, and no swastikas have appeared on the revolution’s insignia. But every one of the dozen or so people TIME spoke to in Sevastopol was certain that the revolt was run by fascists, most likely on the payroll of the U.S. State Department.

And just remember what happened back in 2008 in South Ossetia and Abkhazia.  The Russians have already shown that they are not afraid to militarily intervene in order to protect Russian citizens.

So what would the U.S. and the EU do if a war erupts between Russia and Ukraine?

Would they risk a direct military confrontation with Russia in order to help Ukraine?

I am very concerned about where all of this could be heading.

Tom O’Halloran.

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