Russian special forces troops seen in Egypt and Libya, say reports

 

Russia may have become the latest country to deploy special forces soldiers in Libya, according to news reports citing anonymous United States officials. Late on Tuesday, the Reuters news agency reported that Russian special forces troops had been seen on the border between Libya and Egypt. The news agency said that the information came from “two US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity”. The same article cited unnamed “Egyptian security forces”, who said that a 22-member Russian paramilitary team had set up an operations base in the Egyptian town of Sidi Barrani, which is located 60 miles from Libyan territory. Continue reading

Russian general admits special forces ‘directing warplanes’ in Syria

“I won’t conceal that there are also contingents of our special operations forces in Syria,” said Alexander Dvornikov, who serves as commander of Russian troops in Syria and recently received top military honours from President Vladimir Putin.

“They are carrying out additional reconnaissance of targets for Russian airstrikes, they direct aircraft to targets in far-flung areas and solve other special tasks,” he said in an interview to Rossiyskaya Gazeta state newspaper. Continue reading

U.S. Spots Russian Commandos in Syria

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AP

 

Spetsnaz troops helping Syrian, Hezbollah, foreign forces near Aleppo, Latakia

Russian special operations troops are working covertly in Syria to support an array of Iranian-backed fighters, including members of the international terrorist group Hezbollah, U.S. defense officials and counterterror experts say.

The Spetsnaz commandos were detected working closely with military forces of the regime of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, as well as several Iranian-backed groups, which even include armed Iraqis and Afghans.

Officials did not disclose the specific numbers of Spetsnaz troops in Syria but said the numbers were in the dozens.

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Russia to build more Arctic airfields

Ezekiel 38

Ezekiel 39

 

 

Russia is to have 14 operational airfields in the Arctic by the end of the year, state media quoted defence officials as saying on 13 January.

Ten airfields will be constructed by the end of 2015, in addition to the four already in use, deputy defence minister Dmitry Bulgakov reportedly said, according to the state-controlled Sputnik news agency.

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Russian Combat Dolphins Hold First Exercises in Black Sea: Military Source

What they took over in Crimea is where this stems from.

 

First training exercises with combat dolphins in Crimea by Russian Black Sea Fleet’s Special Forces.

“Training exercises were held with combat dolphins in the Sevastopol Oceanarium in the search of military equipment at a depth of over 60 meters. An object that looked like a mine was spotted by a dolphin and tagged with a buoy,” the source said.

After the fall of the Soviet Union the military dolphin program was passed to the Ukrainian Navy. After Crimea rejoined Russia in March 2014, the program was returned to the Russian Defense Ministry. Continue reading

Russian troops move closer to Ukraine border: NATO chief

Brussels: Russia has moved troops closer to the border with Ukraine and continues to support rebels in the country’s east, NATO’s chief said on Tuesday, after an election held by the pro-Russian separatists and condemned by Kiev and Western leaders.

Ukraine’s president said Sunday’s vote flouted terms of a plan to end a war that has killed more than 4000 people, and that newly formed army units would be sent to defend a string of eastern cities against a possible new rebel offensive.

“Recently we are seeing Russian troops moving closer to the border with Ukraine,” Jens Stoltenberg, secretary-general of NATO, told a news conference with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini. Continue reading

Putin: Not Russian – but local forces took control of Crimea. DEBKAfile: They are Russian special forces

Russian President Vladimir Putin, addressing reporters for the first time Tuesday, March 4, said that the forces which have taken control of the Crimean Peninsula are not Russian but self-defense locals in Russian uniforms which, he said, “anyone can buy.” debkafile’s military sources challenge this statement. They have identified one unit as members of Russia’s Rapid Intervention Brigade 22, which is based in the southern Russian town of Rostov on-Don, along with air units. It was from Rostov that deposed Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych broke his silence to the media on March 1, a week after he fled Kiev.

He has since dropped out of sight again.

Putin’s comments Tuesday were rambling and often self-contradictory. Continue reading

Russian Ships Arrive On Ukraine’s Crimean Coast As Fears Mount Over Russian Invasion In the Region

Berlin and Washington upped the ante, had the current Kiev regime overthrown and now Moscow has responded. In addition to what DEBKAfile had reported, the Russians are now preparing for potential conflict in the nearby sea. To what extent this will play out is not yet known.

According to Russian news site flot.com, Russian military ships carrying soldiers have arrived on Ukraine’s Crimean coast in what some are claiming could be the early signs of a Russian coup in the hotly disputed autonomous region of the 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. Continue reading

Spetsnaz 2: Special operations forces set for combat

Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov recently said that the Ministry of Defence has formed – and is ready to use – the Special Operations Forces; military units trained to perform combat missions both in Russia and abroad. He said the decision was based on the leading nations’ experience in forming, training and using special operations units, including the best-known of them all – the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM or SOCOM).

Such units have completely altered the very concept of special forces and their operating methods. The key difference is that command identifies only the scene of operations, whereas special operations units act autonomously and define their objectives independently in order to accomplish the ultimate mission. They are actively engaged with space and tactical reconnaissance units and involve Army, Air Force and Navy units. Continue reading

India and Russia to hold joint military exercise

The exercise, codenamed as Indra-2012 will start from this month 7th. More than 250 soldiers are expected to take place in the exercise, which will take place in the Siberian republic of Buryatia. The exercise will go on for 10 days, ending on August 16. Indra-2012 is one of the several bilateral military exercises between India and Russia planned for this year.

From the Indian side, in addition to the army, a contingent from the Indian Air Force (IAF) will also be taking part in the operations. The Ilyushin Il-76 multi-purpose strategic airlifter is likely to reach Russia by next week. The army contingent will be commanded by Additional Director General (Mechanised Forces) Maj Gen R S Chand. Troops from the 16 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles, Army Medical Corps, 14th Mechanised Infantry, Parachute Regiment, and Artillery are likely to take part from the Indian side.

From the Russian side, hundreds of soldiers will take part, in addition to the armored infantry vehicles and Main Battle Tanks (MBTs). Troops from the Russian Special Forces are also likely to take part in the exercises. The Indian troops will be given the opportunity to use Russian equipment during the drills.

This is the fourth “Indra” exercises to be conducted by India and Russia. The first exercise was carried out in the Indian state of Rajasthan, in 2005. The Russian province of Pskov hosted the second event, while the third one took place in Kumaon, India.

Full article: India and Russia to hold joint military exercise (Indian Defence)

Big powers move in on Syria: Russian troops for Tartus. US forces ready to go

A contingent of Russian special forces is on its way to Syria to guard the Russian navy’s deep-water port at the Syria’s Mediterranean coastal town of Tartus, Pentagon officials informed US NBC TV Friday, June 15. They are coming by ship. According to debkafile’s sources, the contingent is made up of naval marines and is due to land in Syria in the coming hours.

In a separate and earlier announcement, US Defense Department sources in Washington reported that the US military had completed its own planning for a variety of US operations against Syria, or for assisting neighboring countries in the event action was ordered – a reference, according to our sources, to Turkey, Jordan and Israel.

The Syrian civil war is now moving into a new phase of major power military intervention, say debkafile’s military sources. Moscow, by sending troops to Syria without UN Security Council approval, has set up a precedent for the United States, the European Union and Arab governments to follow. They all held back from sending troops to Syria because all motions to apply force for halting the bloodshed in Syria was blocked in the UN body.

According to US military sources, in recent weeks, the Pentagon has finalized its assessment of what types of units would be needed and how many troops. The military planning includes a scenario for a no-fly zone as well as protecting chemical and biological sites. The U.S. Navy is maintaining a presence of three surface combatants and a submarine in the eastern Mediterranean to conduct electronic surveillance and reconnaissance on the Syrian regime, a senior Pentagon official said.

Full article: Big powers move in on Syria: Russian troops for Tartus. US forces ready to go (DEBKAfile)