Air Force Gen. John Hyten, who was the chief commander of the U.S. missile and nuclear warhead arsenal, told members of Congress Tuesday that Moscow’s deployment last month of at least two battalions of the SSC-8 cruise missile, also called the RK-55 Relief, violated a 1987 arms treaty and put most of Europe at risk. Hyten told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Moscow’s latest move left the U.S. and its NATO allies off guard.
“We have no defense for it, especially in defense of our European allies,” Hyten told the Senate Armed Services Committee, according to the Agence France-Presse. “That system can range and threaten most of the continent of Europe depending on where it is deployed. … It is a concern and we’re going to have to figure out how to deal with it as a nation.” Continue reading
The war Russia has been waging in Ukraine is only the first phase of a possible future confrontation with the West and NATO countries in Europe, Chief of the Main Intelligence Department of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry Vadym Skibytskiy said on Espreso.TV. Continue reading
Latest aerial encounter occurred near new Russian missile sub
A Russian MiG-31 jet flew within 50 feet of a U.S. surveillance aircraft in Northeast Asia last week, Moscow’s latest aerial saber-rattling against American ships and planes, according to defense officials.
“On April 21, a U.S. Navy P-8 Maritime Patrol reconnaissance aircraft flying a routine mission in international airspace was intercepted by a MiG-31 Russian jet in the vicinity of the Kamchatka Peninsula,” Cmdr. Dave Benham, a spokesman for the Pacific Command, told the Washington Free Beacon. Continue reading
The Russians have poured over 10,000 troops, an air and missile defense system, and various warships into Kaliningrad as well perhaps as short-range nuclear-capable missiles. It’s all part of an overall Russian military buildup in recent years that, combined with NATO downsizing, gives Russia conventional military superiority in the Baltic. Whether Russia’s aim is strictly defensive, an aggressive move against the three former Soviet Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania), an attempt to humiliate and weaken NATO or some combination of the above is for the West a matter of debate—and of worry. How not, after Russian moves in Georgia, Crimea, Ukraine, and Syria? Military historians, however, might focus on the ironies. Continue reading
Israel, a nation roughly as large as New Jersey (the 5th-smallest U.S. state), is the only one at the moment truly not afraid of the Russian bear.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Tuesday that Israel is not coordinating its operations in Syria with Russia, as Moscow ramps up its buildup in that country. He spoke after DEBKAfile reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin had warned Israel against attacking Iranian targets in Syria, after a Syrian shell landed on the Golan. “ Continue reading
Russian forces have begun participating in military operations in Syria in support of government troops, three Lebanese sources familiar with the political and military situation there said on Wednesday.
The sources, speaking to Reuters on condition they not be identified, gave the most forthright account yet from the region of what U.S. officials say appears to be a new military buildup by Moscow, one of President Bashar al-Assad’s main allies, though one of the sources said the numbers of Russians involved so far were small. Continue reading
Khutor Chkalova, Russia: Russia’s army is massing troops and hundreds of pieces of weaponry including mobile rocket launchers, tanks and artillery at a makeshift base near the border with Ukraine, a Reuters reporter saw this week.
Many of the vehicles have number plates and identifying marks removed while many of the servicemen had taken insignia off their fatigues. As such, they match the appearance of some of the forces spotted in eastern Ukraine, which Kiev and its Western allies allege are covert Russian detachments.
The scene at the base on the Kuzminsky firing range, around 50 km (30 miles) from the border, offers some of the clearest evidence to date of what appeared to be a concerted Russian military build-up in the area. Continue reading