30 Hours Earlier. Ukraine Crisis – Recommended reading

The Boresight

Air Power Focus

All the elements are already in place for miscalculation and the nightmare scenario for the West: a shooting war with Russia.

11-Apr 2016: We have had another series of American/Russian incidents in the Baltic. Our old friend the USS Donald Cook (DDG-75) was buzzed repeatedly for 2 days by Russian maritime Su-24 aircraft off the coast of Poland near the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. The Americans are filing a formal protest while the Russian practice their attack profiles against USN Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers.

The USS Cook was 70 mi (dotted line) from the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. Its exact location has not been released. This is some of the stupidest behavior on both sides we’ve seen in a while. Both the US and Russia need to stop their provocations. Yes the planes were unarmed  – but both are acting like children. You are both going to run out of luck one day. And when that day comes it will signal the end of NATO – it is a guarantee – as the alliance members of 1987 will not go to war with Russia to protect the alliance members of 2016. They will not risk absorbing the incineration of say a Frankfurt, or Brussels, or Copenhagen to save a Tirana, a Vilnius, or even an Istanbul. They’re not. The Americans are overplaying their hand regarding both NATO expansion and in Ukraine. Just stop.

13-Apr 2015: There has been a second incident (made public) over the Baltic Sea between an American RC-135 ‘Rivet Joint‘ SIGINT (signal intelligence gathering) aircraft and a Russian interceptor. Details are unclear, but reportedly the Russian fighter came from behind and flew up the longitudinal axis of the American aircraft. The RC-135 was most likely operating out of RAF Mildenhall, UK. We have repeatedly warned (and history tells us) that NATO/Russian forces in close proximity near the Russian border is inherently dangerous (and is actually worse now than during the Cold War) and can start an unintended sequence of events, that no one wants and cannot control. You are going to run out of luck one day.

01-Feb 2015: Major upsurge in fighting in the last 2 weeks. Ukrainian defenders are facing encirclement around the city of Debaltseve (Donetsk Oblast of Ukraine) by Russian/Pro-Separatist forces. Debaltseve is a city of some 25,000. Russian/Pro-Separatist forces are on the offensive in eastern Ukraine the middle of winter. What remains of the UkAF (Ukrainian Air Force) remains grounded and ineffective.

Again…miscalculation is going to start a war – as this video of 02-Dec 2014 demonstrates:

19-Nov 2014: Large movements of man and material to the front by both sides. Major fighting appears imminent in Ukraine’s Luhansk region. Russian involvement in the conflict is no longer in dispute. We may spawn a new post.[Below] Unusual video (reportedly of separatists) using a quad-copter remotely piloted vehicle (UAV) for artillery fire correction. Fighting can be seen:

As NATO attempts to “respond” to events in Ukraine we will write a new post on the shift of gravely in American-Russian relationship that began in the late 1980s – and is now on full display.

[Above] this photograph appeared in early Oct-2014 [just days ago] over the Baltic. A Russian Su-27P gets within meters of a Swedish SIGINT (Signal intelligence) S-02 ‘Korpen’ Gulfstream IV aircraft. The Russian pilot has deployed the Flankers speed brake.

[Above] widely published photos taken over the Baltic in late-June 2014 by NATO Typhoons – of a Su-27SM or P ‘Flanker’ carrying R-27 and R-73/74 class missile rounds. The four Russian aircraft were on a training mission and were escorted away without incident. 

During our hiatus – a Malaysian airliner was shot down in a horrific accident with heavy loss of life by a Buk SAM at around the same time an American RC-135 ‘Rivet Joint’ aircraft was chased into Swedish airspace by Russian Flankers. Unfortunately, civilian passenger aircraft shoot downs are not as unprecedented as one might believe.

The possible intended target may have been an American RC-135 reconnaissance/SIGINT aircraft [below] rather than Malaysia MH17 Boeing­ 777. American RC-135 aircraft have been in the area for weeks before the Malaysia flight shoot down. What frightened a RC-135 aircrew enough to enter Swedish airspace after being denied permission to enter by Swedish authorities – is not yet known. As tensions increase – more incidents may occur. This is how wars get started because if Ukraine joins NATO treaty alliance now and Ukrainian eastern territories are involved in fighting with Russia – this will produce (NATO) war with Russia. Let us hope American/Russian generals impress this – upon their countries leadership respectively.

[Above] An American RC-135U. There exist a confusing variety of RC-135 series aircraft – all with various designations. All are highly secret and kept away from the public eye.

The American government has issued very pointed statements on events in eastern Ukraine and with regard to Kremlin behavior. Indeed, it is now an open secret that the Kremlin is defacto directly involved. There could be as many as 15,000 Russian troops in some form now in Ukraine.

Unfortunately, the United States is going to be of little assistance – as Washington is off shipping attack helicopters to a military dictatorship in Egypt – a dictatorship that includes over 41,000 in detention and death sentences to its political opposition. 

In addition, current US Assistant Secretary of State (Victoria Nuland) spouse is Robert Kagan – a neoconservative-imperialist and co-founder of the disastrous PNAC (Project for a New American Century). He also advised former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and is on the Council of Foreign Relations. PNAC Neanderthals (who pushed the Iraq war under Bush II) have proven capable of killing hundreds-of-thousands of people, of torture, and costing trillions $. This doesn’t guarantee direct influence in State department behavior – but it remains a concern. ANY action(s) advocated by Mr. Kagan – today – will later prove costly, reckless, or worse. 

14-July 2014: [Below] Images have appeared of a (newly?) downed Ukrainian An-26 turboprop purportedly hit by a more advanced SAM than rebels possess. Ukrainian authorities say the aircraft was hit at an altitude of 6,500m (21,325ft) which would appear to be slightly beyond the engagement range of the SA-13 “Gopher” SAM that rebels have been photographed with. The prevailing view is that only Russia could have shot down the aircraft. In fact it could have just as easily been an ‘own-goal’ kill by Ukrainian Air Defenses who possess system that can hit aircraft at 6,500m (21,325ft)? Historically ‘own-goal’ IFF losses are a neverending and persistent factor of war.

[Above/Bwlow] It is un

[Above] Ukrainian T-64BV photographed on 10-July 2014. Reportedly government forces are now pushing into Luhansk.

[Above] Ukrainian T-64BV photographed on 10-July 2014.

07-Jul 2014: In another dramatic development first three (now seven) bridges were blown up in the east of the country. [Below] One over the main road leading into Donetsk.

The article is pretty long you can read the rest: HERE



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