Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
12th January, 2016
In response to the creation of the mobile forces of NATO, Russia can dispatch heavy military equipment in a Western direction.
The beginning of 2016 marked a new escalation in military tensions near the borders of Russia. Yesterday in Lithuania, as part of operation “Atlantic Resolve”, alongside the standard armaments, the main part of the American battalion of NATO troops from the 2nd cavalry regiment of the US army, stationed in Germany, arrived. The Northern Atlantic Alliance does not hide the fact that the military presence in the Baltic states will grow.
Yesterday the Minister of Defence of Poland Antoni Macierewicz, on the Polish radio station ‘Maryja’, once again expressed the hope that in the near future at the NATO summit in Warsaw will overcome the “German veto” on the formation throughout the country of permanent military bases of the Alliance.
In response, Russia continues to improve its forces, using the elements of hybrid war. Moscow is worried about the bellicose attitude of Poland. This country has already approached NATO with a request to place nuclear weapons on its territory. According to the Deputy Minister of Defence of Poland, Tomasz Siemoniak, the Alliance has a program in which NATO members can have nuclear weapons in the country-ally. This is highly likely, and not only in Poland or Lithuania, but also in other countries of Eastern Europe. This unequivocally was made clear recently by the Supreme commander of the allied NATO forces, General of the U.S. air force, Philip Breedlove. He said that, in regards to Russia, it is time for “tough measures”. Rigidity must manifest itself in the sending of American troops to Europe and “high-quality” training of the armed forces of the United States for a possible fight with a “former enemy in the cold war”.
Operation “Atlantic Resolve” began in the spring of 2014, i.e. from the time that Crimea became a part of Russia. In Lithuania and other Baltic States leaders then claimed that a similar thing could happen to them, and appealed for help to NATO. Since then, the soldiers of the Pentagon are on a rotating basis, ever present in the region. According to open sources, rotational troops deployed in Rukla (Kaunas district) consist of a mixed mechanized infantry battalion “Iron wolf”. Here, on the 14th of January, there will be a delivery of military equipment, including armored Stryker, armored SUVs and trucks. Basically it is a wheeled machine, equipped with automatic grenade launchers, heavy machine guns, and means of concealment.
In fact, the Americans have a unit in Lithuania for action in a local armed conflict. But there is already a concentration of offensive weapons. According to open data, NATO, in the village Munici of Šiauliai district, there is already heavy American military equipment – Abrams tanks and Bradley IFV. According to the latest plans of the Alliance, they should use units of rapid reaction forces, which are composed of national contingents of NATO. The same equipment was placed in Latvia and Estonia. In addition, the fleet in the Lithuanian Šiauliai was replenished with 16 NATO fighter jets. In all Baltic States units are placed from the American military, the function of which is to carry out military and pre-war actions. At the borders of the Russian Federation elements of electronic intelligence of the Alliance were deployed. That is, the U.S. and its allies continue to build up military strength at the borders of the Russian Federation.
The defense Ministry of Lithuania reported that, according to the decisions of NATO for collective defence, allies of the US will remain in Lithuania until such a time where the situation demands security.
Judging by the situation in Eastern Europe, their presence will be there for a long time. The American media is now actively raising the issue of the “Russian Bear”, which is supposedly “very dangerous”. They say it’s time “to stop him from hugging”. This theme fits well with, according to the Pentagon, the new national security Strategy of the Russian Federation (NSC RF), which was signed on December 31st by President Vladimir Putin. In the document the military activities of the USA and other NATO countries are viewed as “a threat to the national security” of Russia.
The previous NSS of the Russian Federation was adopted in May 2009, and it was supposed to guide the next 10 years. But political and military conditions have changed so a new document for the first post-Soviet times gives a hard-hitting assessment of the U.S. and the North Atlantic Alliance. Judging by what was said to German journalists the other day by Putin, such a valuation has existed for a long time, but it was not transparent, and here it was voiced. The head of Russia believes that the main mistake of Western politicians after the collapse of the USSR was “the development of military structures to the East” and NATO”s desire to “reign” on the continent. That’s why “now we are discussing the crisis”, said the President of the Russian Federation.
Such conclusions are, it seems, based on facts. It is difficult to refute what has been said at the annual meeting of the Defense Ministry last December. The Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that in NATO countries bordering Russia, “During this year the aircraft contingent has increased eight times, and the number of military personnel by 13 times”. To the borders of the Russian Federation “300 tanks and Infantry Vehicles were additionally deployed and missile defense systems by Aegis Ashore. In varying degrees of completeness are 310 aircraft-carriers capable of carrying about 200 U.S. nuclear bombs”.
“Tanks and 300 BMP’s are a technique for a full-fledged division. And she hosted and saw deployment in Eastern Europe in less than a year. While aircraft capable of carrying nuclear weapons have the flight time to our industrial areas and cities of just 5 minutes” – said military expert Lieutenant General Yury Netkachev. “Creating tasks to further militarize is the problem”, the General says, “NATO will only exacerbate the situation, prompting Russia to respond”. What the steps will be, you do not have to guess. Despite the severe economic crisis, Moscow made a decision not to reduce spending on defence and security.
Sergei Shoigu, reporting on the 11th of December 2015, to the President, stressed that next year will see the continued “building up of combat capabilities of the Armed forces.” According to him, measures will be taken “to strengthen military forces in the West, southwest and Arctic strategic directions”. From open sources it is known that in 2016, in addition to Arctic areas and the strengthening of groups in the Crimea and the Northern Caucasus, the formation and management of basic compounds of the 1st tank army of the Western military district will be completed. The 6th (Leningrad region) and 20th (Voronezh) combined arms army will be strengthened by new connections. Apparently, Moscow will respond to NATO plans to establish mobile units of the Alliance on the borders of the Russian Federation .
On January 3rd, 2016 the commander of the Airborne Troops Colonel-General Vladimir Shamanov said that the air assault brigades and divisions “assumed the formation of six tank divisions,” as well as “units of unmanned aerial vehicles, including shock army” and two divisions of electronic warfare. A similar set of weapons is necessary for a hybrid war. Their possible presence in the Airborne shows the mobile component is being referred to. Shamanov said that the strengthening of the combat capability of the Airborne Troops will be discussed at the board meeting of the Ministry of Defense on January 29th.
But it is already clear that the basis of the formation of the Russian armed forces from the mobile forced will likely involve the airborne troops. In the modern history of Russian, tank units were not part of the Airborne Forces. The formation suggests that the striking power of the airborne forces, that is mobile forces, will be strengthened. Apparently, the possibility will be considered that tanks and other heavy military equipment will be pre-placed in the military bases near areas of potential conflict (as Americans did in the Baltic States). That is, the Western and North-Western borders of the Russian Federation or military sites in Belarus, as it is already been underway for a long time. In the area of these bases, in the daylight, the airborne division will parachute down to perform military missions on the maintenance and development of tanks and infantry fighting vehicles for combat.