WAR trouble brewing again in ukraine

danielboon

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Moscow warns Kiev against using force in Donbass — diplomat
Russia is calling on the Ukrainian government to stop coming up with new agreements and documents on Donbass regulation and to duly adhere to its obligations under the Minsk Agreements, according to the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova  Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs/TASS

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova
© Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs/TASS
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Kremlin concerned about rising tensions in Donbass

MOSCOW, March 12. /TASS/. Russia warns Ukraine against attempting to carry out further de-escalation or using force in Donbass, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said during Friday’s briefing.
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Kremlin says Moscow did not receive any Donbass settlement plan

"I would like to warn the Kiev regime and the hotheads that are serving it or manipulating it against further de-escalation and attempts to implement a forceful scenario in Donbass," she said, commenting on the statement of head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Contact Group for settlement in Donbass Leonid Kravchuk on some "radical steps" of Kiev if Russia refuses to recognize itself as a conflict side in eastern Ukraine.
The rhetoric of Ukrainian officials "gives reason to think about the true intentions of Kiev in this historical period," Zakharova pointed out. "Once again, we call on the Ukrainian government to stop coming up with some new agreements, new documents, and to finally start duly adhering to its obligations under the Minsk Agreements."
The spokeswoman stressed that Ukrainian officials regularly try to cover up their inaction and blatant sabotage of agreements reached earlier on settlement in eastern Ukraine with accusations against Russia and attempts to pass the buck. "At the same time, Kiev is trying to convince everyone that Moscow is allegedly a conflict side and that it allegedly has some obligations within the Minsk Package of Measures," she added.

Zakharova recalled that the Minsk Agreements clearly outline the conflict sides in Donbass as Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk. "The unwillingness of Ukrainian negotiators to recognize this fact and their refusal to find agreements with Donbass is the reason that hinders the establishment of long-lasting peace in the region," the diplomat noted.
 

danielboon

Has No Life - Lives on TB
EndGameWW3

@EndGameWW3

·
46m

Units will be mobilized in the Smolensk, Voronezh, Kursk, Belgorod, Bryansk and Moscow regions with the objective of testing the skills of division commanders in managing automated command and control systems in interaction with their deputy commanders.
 

danielboon

Has No Life - Lives on TB
EndGameWW3

@EndGameWW3

·
36m

Update: Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko: "We are closely monitoring the situation and will take all necessary measures to minimize the risks of such outcomes, including the diplomatic level."
 

Red Baron

Paleo-Conservative
_______________
I play this PC game a few times a week.

OVERVIEW
Currently v2.10 (Game Engine 4)

Combat Mission Black Sea
is a military grade simulation depicting a fictional series of escalations between Russian and Ukraine which results in open conflict in the summer of 2017. As Russian forces move into Ukrainian territory the Ukrainians do their best to defend their country against a numerically and technologically superior adversary. Events surrounding the invasion cause NATO to send its advanced rapid deployment forces to check the Russian advance. A brutal scenario, for sure, but one which allows you to get a glimpse of what full spectrum contemporary near-peer tactical warfare is all about.

It is important to note that the storyline for Black Sea was first developed in 2009 and production started in 2013. In early 2014 Russia invaded Ukraine, making our story much less hypothetical. As a direct result we slightly modified the story's timeline to minimize contradictions with real life events. However, we deliberately made no attempt to portray an ongoing, undecided conflict. This means Black Sea is not equipped to simulate the "frozen conflict" that has since evolved in eastern Ukraine.

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At your command are detailed, highly researched American, Ukrainian, and Russian units from common brigade types such as Mech Infantry, Motor Rifle, Stryker, Armored, and more. All the capabilities one expects on the modern battlefield are included, such as Active Protection Systems (APS) swatting incoming threats, UAVs hovering around the battlefield transmitting valuable intel, and precision guided artillery munitions that find their mark in one shot. Well, as long as the enemy's electronic warfare attempts fail, otherwise you might find your finely tuned fighting machine isn't so finely tuned after all. Take all of this for a spin with four high-stakes campaigns, 22 standalone scenarios, and a plethora of Quick Battle maps to test your tactical acumen.

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Battlefront
 

Plain Jane

Has No Life - Lives on TB
An opinion piece by The Saker. Lengthy, 2 parts.


Is the Ukraine on the Brink of War (Again)?
THE SAKER • MARCH 10, 2021



Just a few weeks ago I wrote a column entitled “The Ukraine’s Many Ticking Time Bombs” in which I listed a number of developments presenting a major threat to the Ukraine and, in fact, to all the countries of the region. In this short time the situation has deteriorated rather dramatically. I will therefore begin with a short recap of what is happening.

First, the Ukrainian government and parliament have, for all practical purposes, declared the Minsk Agreements as dead. Truth be told, these agreements were stillborn, but as long as everybody pretended that there was still a chance for some kind of negotiated solution, they served as a “war retardant”. Now that this retardant has been removed, the situation becomes far more explosive than before.

The issue of the Minsk Agreements brought to the fore the truly breathtaking hypocrisy of the West: even though Russia never was a party of these agreements (Russia signed them as a guarantor, not as a party), the West chose to blame Russia for “not implementing” these agreements, that in spite of the fact that everybody knew that it was the Ukraine which, for fear of the various Neonazis movements, simply could not implement these agreements.

This kind of “in your face” hypocrisy by the West had a tremendous impact on the internal Russian political scene which, in turn, greatly strengthened the position of those in Russia who never believed that a negotiated solution was possible in the first place. In that sense, these agreements represented a major victory for the Kremlin as it forced the West to show the full depth of its moral depravity.

Second, it is pretty obvious that the “Biden” administration is a who’s who of all the worst russophobes of the Obama era: Nuland, Psaki, and the rest of them are openly saying that they want to increase the confrontation with Russia. Even the newcomers, say like Ned Price, are clearly rabid russophobes. The folks in Kiev immediately understood that their bad old masters were back in the White House and they are now also adapting their language to this new (well, not really) reality.

Finally, and most ominously, there are clear signs that the Ukrainian military is moving heavy forces towards the line of contact. Here is an example of a video taken in the city of Mariupol:

Besides tanks, there are many reports of other heavy military equipment, including MLRS and tactical ballistic missiles, being moved east towards the line of contact. Needless to say, the Russian General Staff is tracking all these movements very carefully, as are the intelligence services of the LDNR.

This is all happening while Zelenskii’s popularity is in free fall. Actually, not only his. Think of it: Biden stole the election in the US and has to deal with 70 million “deplorables” while the EU leaders are all facing many extremely severe crises (immigration, crime, COVID lockdowns, Woke ideology, etc.). The truth is that they all desperately need some kind of “distraction” to keep their public opinion from focusing on the real issues facing the western societies.
What could such a “distraction” look like?

Phase one: the trigger
The Ukraine is unlikely to simply attack the Donbass. Kiev needs to stick to the “we are the victim of the aggressor-country” narrative. However, if past behavior is one of the best predictors of future behavior, we can immediately see what is likely to happen.
Remember how three Ukrainian Navy vessels tried to force their way under the Crimean bridge? What about the Ukrainian terrorist groups which Kiev tried to infiltrate into Crimea? And, finally, there are the many terrorist attacks executed by Ukrainian special forces inside Novorussia. The truth is that the Ukrainian special services (SBU and military) have been conducting reconnaissance diversionary operations in the Donbass, in Crimea and even in Russia.

Right now, both sides (Kiev and the LDNR) have officially declared that they have given the authorization to their forces to respond to any provocations or incoming fire. Just imagine how easy it is for either side to organize some kind of provocation, then claim to be under attack and to declare that “we had to defend ourselves against the aggressor”.
Therefore, the most likely scenario is some kind of Ukrainian provocation followed by a “defensive counter-attack” by the Ukrainian military.

Phase two: the attack
Over the past years, the Ukrainian military has received a great deal of assistance from the West, both in terms of equipment/money and in terms of training. Furthermore, in numerical terms, the Ukrainian military is much bigger than the combined forces of the LDNR. However, it would be a mistake to assume that the LDNR forces were just sitting on their laurels and not working really hard to achieve a qualitative jump in their capabilities.

The Ukrainian government is working on yet another mobilization (there were many such waves of mobilization in the past, none of them really successful), and considering the chaos in the country, it is unlikely to go better than the previous ones. If we want to do some “bean counting”, we can say that Kiev could theoretically mobilize about 300,000 soldiers while the standing LDNR forces number approximately 30,000 soliders (these are standing forces before mobilization). However, we must take into account that the Ukrainian forces are mostly conscripts whereas the LDNR forces are 100% professional volunteers fighting for their own land and in defense of their own families and friends. This makes a huge difference!

Besides, like all “bean counting”, this purely numerical comparison completely misses the point. That point is that the LDNR forces are much better trained, equipped, commanded and motivated. Furthermore, the LDNR forces have had years to prepare for an Ukronazi attack, In fact, both sides of the line of contact are now heavily fortified. Yet, and in spite of all this, the LDNR suffers from a huge weakness: no strategic (or even operational) depth. Worse, the city of Donetsk is quite literally on the front line.

Could the Ukrainian forces “punch through” the LDNR defenses? I would say that this is not impossible, and “not impossible” is serious enough to warrant a lot of preparations by the Russian armed forces to quickly intervene and stop any such breakthrough by the Ukrainian forces. Does the Russian military have the means to stop such an attack?

Yes, absolutely. First, all of the LDNR is literally right across the Russian border, which means that pretty much any Russian weapons system can “reach” not only into the LDNR, but even throughout the Ukrainian tactical, operational and even strategic depth. Russia can also deploy a classical Anti Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) “cupola” over the LDNR using a mix of air defense and electronic warfare systems. Russian rockets and artillery systems can be used not only as counter-battery fire, but also to destroy attacking Ukrainian subunits. Finally, the Russian forces in Crimea and the Black Sea Fleet can also be engaged if needed. As for Russian coastal defense systems (Bal and Bastion), they can “lock” the entire Black Sea.

The biggest problem for Russia is that she cannot do any of that without triggering a huge political crisis in Europe; just visualize what the likes of Antony Blinken, Ned Price or Jane Psaki would have to say about such a Russian intervention! Remember, these are the folks who immediately accused Russia of attacking Georgia, not the other way around. We are now all living in the “post-truth” era of “highly likely”, not of facts.

I have said that for years now the real point of a Ukrainian attack on the Donbass would not be to reconquer the region, but to force Russia to openly and, therefore, undeniably intervene. This has been a Neocon wet dream since 2014 and it is still their ultimate objective in the Ukraine. So what would a Russian counter-attack look like?

Phase three: the Russian intervention
First, let me ask you this: did you know that about 400,000 residents of the LDNR already have Russian passports? Is that a lot? Well, the total population of the LDNR is about 3.7 million people, so more than 10% of the population. This is crucial for two reasons: first, you can think of these Russian citizens as a kind of tripwire: if enough of them get killed, Putin have no other choice than to intervene to protect them and, in fact, Putin has made it clear many times that Russia will never allow the Ukraine to seize Novorussia by force or to massacre its population. Second, there are many precedents of countries (mostly western ones) using military force to protect their citizens. Examples include the US in both Grenada and Panama, the Turks in Cyprus and Syria or the French in many African countries.

Next, in purely military terms, Russia has plenty of standoff weapons which could be used to disrupt and stop any Ukranian attack even without sending in a ground force. Not only that, but the Russian response does not have to be limited to the front lines – Russia could easily strike the Ukraine even in its strategic depth and there is really nothing the Ukrainians could do to prevent that. Still, I do not believe that the Russian counter-attack would be limited to standoff weapons, mainly because of the need to relieve the LDNR forces on the front line which will be exhausted by difficult defensive operations. In other words, this time around Russia won’t even bother to deny her involvement; at this point in time, this would be futile and counter productive.

The west loves concepts such as the “responsibility to protect” (R2P)? Good! Then Russia can use it too.

Of course, I am not naive to the point of believing that anybody in the West will be suaded by notions such as fairness or precedent. But the Kremlin will use this argument to further educate the Russian people in the true intentions of the West. This is especially helpful for Putin during an election year (which 2121 is for Russia), and this will only further weaken both the pro-western opposition (for obvious reasons) and even the anti-western “patriotic” opposition which will have no choice but to fully support a military intervention to save the Donbass.

Phase four: the Empire’s response
I don’t believe for one second that anybody in the West will volunteer for suicide and advocate for a military intervention in the Ukraine or against Russia. NATO is a “pretend” military alliance. In reality, it is a US instrument to control Europe. Yes, historically the pretext for NATO was the supposed threat from Soviet Union and, now, from Russia, but the true reason for NATO has always been to control the European continent. Nobody in the West believes that it is worth risking a full scale war against Russia just over a (relatively minor) Russian military intervention in the eastern Ukraine. However, once it becomes undeniable that Russia has intervened (the Kremlin won’t even bother denying this!), the trans-national imperial Nomenklatura which runs the Empire will see this as a truly historical opportunity to create a major crisis which will weaken Russian positions in Europe and immensely strengthen the US control over the continent.

We have all seen how the western politicians and presstitutes have invented a (totally fake) Russian intervention in the Donbass and how they said they would “punish” Russia for “not implementing the Minsk Agreements”. We can only imagine how strident and hysterical these Russia-hating screams will become once Russia actually does intervene, quite openly. Again, if past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, then we can rest assured that western politicians will do what they always do: exacerbate and prolong the conflict as long as possible, but without directly attacking Russia. That is the purpose of the Ukrainian military, to provide the cannon fodder for the AnglioZionists.

Phase four prime: possible Ukronazi responses
Take it to the bank: “Ze” and the rest of the clowns in the Rada are no military leaders. Even Ukrainian military commanders are truly of the 3rd class type (all the good ones are either gone or fired). The first concern of the folks in Kiev will be to safely evacuate the western “advisors” from the area of operations and then to hide themselves and their money. For all the running around in battle fatigue and for all the hot air about super weapons, the Ukrainian military won’t continue to exist as an organized fighting force for longer than 48 hours. As I mentioned above, Russia can easily impose a no-fly zone, not only over the LDNR, but even over the entire eastern Ukraine. Russia can also basically switch off the power in the entire country. There is a very good reason why Putin declared in 2018 that any Ukrainian serious attack or provocation “will have very serious consequences for the Ukrainian statehood as a whole”.

Yet it would be extremely dangerous to simply dismiss the Ukronazi potential for creating some real headaches for Moscow. How?

For example, I would not put it past the Ukrainians to threaten an attack against the Operational Group of Russian Forces (OGRF) in Transnistria. This is a small force, far away from Russia, surrounded by hostile neighbors. Keep in mind that Tiraspol is about 600km west from Donetsk! Not only that, but if Moldova is not a member of NATO, Romania is. As for the current President of Moldova, Maia Sandu, she is both Romanian and deeply anti-Russian. But while all this is true, I think that it is also important to keep another factoid in mind: Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, is only about 300km away from the Crimean Peninsula. This places all of Moldova well within reach of Russian standoff weapons and rapid reaction mobile forces. For the Moldovans, any notion of attacking the OGRF in Transnistria would be really crazy, but for a desperate Ukronazi regime in Kiev this might be preferable to a defeat against Russia.

Of course, the Ukronazi regime in Kiev really has no agency, ever since the “revolution of dignity”. All the decisions about the Ukraine are made by Uncle Shmuel and his minions in Kiev. So the question we should be asking would be: would anybody put it past the Neocon crazies in the White House to egg on the Ukronazi regime in Kiev to further widen the conflict and force Russia to also intervene in Transnistria?

Some commentators in the West, and a few in Russia, have suggested that the “Biden” plan (assuming there is such a thing) would be to trigger simultaneous crises in different locations all around Russia: the Donbass, but also the Black Sea and/or Sea of Azov, Georgia, Belarus, Transnistria, Armenia, etc. The Empire might also decide to come back to Hillary Clinton’s plan to place a no-fly zone over Russian forces in Syria. I am not so sure that this is the major threat for Russia right now. For example, there is a good reason why Russia is split into military districts: in case of war, each military district becomes an independent front which can fight autonomously, support other fronts and be supported by the strategic capabilities of the Russian military. In other words, the Russian military can handle several major and simultaneous crises or even conflicts in her neighboring states. As for Hillary’s no fly zone over Syria, considering the undeniable reality that all of CENTCOM bases are under a double crosshair (the one from Iran and the one from Russia), it is unlikely that the US would try such a dangerous move.

I am acutely aware of the fact that the anti-Putin propagandists are trying to convince us that Russia and Israel are in cahoots or that Putin is Netanyahu’s best buddy. I already addressed this nonsense several times (see here, here, here, here and here) so I won’t repeat it all here. I will just say that a) Russian air defenses in Syria are tasked with the defense of the Russian task force in Syria, not the Syrian air space b) Syrian air defenses are doing a superb job shooting down Israeli missiles. These Syrian air defenses are forcing the Israelis to attack less defended and, therefore, also less valuable targets (say like a border post between Syria and Iran) c) there are now numerous reported instances of Russian Aerospace Forces driving Israeli aircraft out of the Syrian air space and, last but not least, d) the Israeli strikes are undeniably good for Israeli morale and propaganda purposes (the “invincible” IDF!), but the point is that they make absolutely no difference on the ground. In the near future, I hope to write an analysis showing that these rumors about Russia being sold out to Israel are part of a US PSYOP campaign to weaken Putin at home. Stay tuned.

For these reasons, I believe that the Empire will push the Ukraine towards an open confrontation with Russia, all the while making sure that US/NATO forces remain far away from the action. In fact, from a US/NATO point of view, once Russia officially admits that Russian forces did intervene to stop the Ukrainian assault, the main objective of the attack will have been reached: All of Europe will unanimously blame Russia and Putin for everything. That, in turn, will result in a dramatic deterioration of the security situation in the Ukraine and the rest of eastern Europe. A new “Cold War” (with hot overtones) will become the determining factors in east-west relations. As for NATO, it will reheat the old principle of “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down”.


 

Plain Jane

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Part 2

Phase five: the situation after the end of the war
Again, if past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, we can expect the Russians to do many things like they did in the 5 day war (really 3 day only) against NATO-backed Georgia in 08.08.08. For example, irrespective of where exactly the Russian military actually decides to stop (could be along the current line of contact, or it could include a complete liberation of the Donbass from the occupying Ukronazi forces), this will be a short war (long wars are mostly things of the past anyway). The Ukrainian military will be comprehensively destroyed but the Russian forces will not occupy major Ukrainian cities (just as they stopped short of taking Tbilisi in 08). As one LDNR officer declared in an interview 2015 “the further west we go, the less we are seen as liberators and the more we are seen as occupiers”. He is right, but there is something much more important here too: Russia simply cannot afford to rebuild the quasi totally deindustrialized Ukraine. The propaganda from their curators notwithstanding, the Ukraine is already a failed state, has been one for years already. And there is exactly nothing that Russia needs from this failed state. Absolutely nothing. The absolutely LAST thing Russia needs today is to get bogged down in a simultaneous effort to restore the Ukrainian state and economy while fighting all sorts of Neonazi nationalist insurgencies.
If they try to join the fight, then both Ukrainian Black Sea Fleet and the Ukrainian Air Force will simply vanish, but Russia will not launch any amphibious assaults on the Ukrainian coastline.

There are those who, on moral and historical grounds, want Russia to liberate at the very least the Ukrainian east and the Ukrainian south (the area from Mariupol to Odessa). I categorically disagree. It is all very fine and cute to say “Putin come and restore order”, but the people of the Ukraine must liberate themselves and not expect Russia to liberate them. Opinion polls in Russia show that most Russians are categorically opposed to a war (or a protracted occupation) and I see no signs that the people of the southern Ukraine are desperate to be liberated by the Russian military. This entire notion of Russia disinfecting the Ukraine from the Nazi rot is an ideological construct with no base in reality. Those who still dream of Russian tanks in Kiev or Dnepropetrovsk will be sorely disappointed: it won’t happen.

Thus, I fully expect the Ukrainian state to still exist at the end of this war, albeit a much weaker one. Furthermore, it is quasi certain that should the Ukrainian military attack Novorussia, then Russia would again repeat what she did in 08 and recognize the LDNR republics along with some kind of long term integration program. Civil unrest and even uprisings are likely, not only in the east, but also in the south and west of the Ukraine.

Needless to say, the EU and NATO will go absolutely crazy and yet another “curtain” (maybe a “salocurtain”) will yet again split the European continent, much to the delight of the entire Anglosphere. At the end of that process, the Banderastan-like Ukraine will simply break apart into more manageable chunks which will all come under the influence of their more powerful and better organized neighbors.

As for Russia, she will mostly turn away from the West, in total disgust, and continue to develop a multi-polar world with China and the other countries of Zone B.

Conclusion: back from the brink, again?
In truth, all of the above are just my speculations, nobody really knows whether this war will really happen and, if it does, how it will play out. Wars are amongst the most unpredictable events, hence the number of wars lost by the party which initiated them. What I presented above is one possible scenario amongst many more. The last time when a Ukrainian attack appeared to be imminent, all it took was Putin’s words about “very serious consequences for the Ukrainian statehood as a whole” to stop the escalation and convince Kiev not to attack. This time around, the Russians are making no such threats, but that is only because Russians don’t believe in repeating threats anyway.

At this time of writing, there are serious clashes between the VSU (Ukrainian) forces and the LDNR defenders. Both sides are using small arms, grenade launchers and artillery systems. According to one well informed blogger, his sources in Kiev are telling him that:
“A while ago, an order came from the office of the old senile Biden to prepare the VSU for an offensive in the Donbass, but wait for the final go-ahead from the White House. At the same time, this source also said that similar military operations will be conducted in other countries where there are Russian interests, in order to deflect the public attention from the Donbass and weaken any support for the Donbass”.
There are many more such posts on Telegram, including pro-Ukrainian commentators spreading rumors about Russian mercenaries seen near the frontline east of Mariupol. We can already say that the informational battle has begun. Only time will tell whether this battle will turn kinetic or not. But right now it looks like we are “all systems go”.
 

Red Baron

Paleo-Conservative
_______________
View: https://twitter.com/Archer83Able/status/1370344174743080960

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RC-135V/W Rivet Joint > U.S. Air Force > Fact Sheet Display (af.mil)
 

Dozdoats

On TB every waking moment
SloJo is gonna get him a real war or die trying. No little sandbox fights for him.

For any who do not know, The Saker was a Russian FAO focused on the USA - FAO = foreign area officer. His job was to "know the enemy." He got sent to school, learned English etc.

We had an American equivalent program where I worked.
============

What is a Foreign Area Officer FAO? (faoa.org)

A Foreign Area Officer (FAO) is a commissioned officer from any of the four branches of the United States armed forces who are regionally-focused experts in political-military operations possessing a unique combination of strategic focus, regional expertise, with political, cultural, sociological, economic, and geographic awareness, and foreign language proficiency in at least one of the dominant languages in their specified region. An FAO will typically serve overseas tours as a defense attaché, a security assistance officer, or as a political-military planner in a service's headquarters, Joint Staff, Major Commands, Unified Combatant Commands, or in agencies of the Department of Defense. They also serve as arms control specialists, country desk officers, liaison officers, and Personal Exchange Program officers to host nations or coalition allies. Roles and responsibilities of FAOs are extensive and varied. They advise senior leaders on political-military operations and relations with other nations, provide cultural expertise to forward-deployed commands conducting military operations, build and maintain long-term relationships with foreign leaders, develop and coordinate security cooperation, execute security assistance programs with host nations, and develop reports on diplomatic, information, military, and economic activities. Each branch has its own process for developing Foreign Area Officers to address their specific needs.
/snip
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Russia Escalates Its Proxy War in Eastern Ukraine

Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 18 Issue: 41
By: Pavel Felgenhauer

March 11, 2021 05:37 PM Age: 21 hours

The ceasefire on the line of control in the breakaway Donbas region of eastern Ukraine is unraveling. In July 2020, both sides—the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) and the Moscow-backed “separatists”—agreed to enforce a “full suspension of hostilities.” Both sides withdrew heavy weapons from the frontline starting on July 27, while small arms skirmishes and combat casualties fell dramatically. The ceasefire had been essentially holding until February 2021, when the number of ceasefire violations registered by observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) again began to grow. Heavy weapons are reportedly being moved back into positions, and both belligerents accuse the other of “provocations.” Of course, shelling, shootings, deadly skirmishes and mutual recriminations along the Donbas frontline are nothing new. But this time, military observers and politicians in both Kyiv and Moscow seem to seriously consider the possibility that the present escalation could triggering a major “unfreezing” of the conflict and reignite a full-scale regional war that may drastically change the situation on the ground in Europe’s East (Komsomolskaya Pravda, March 4).

The line of control in Donbas has not undergone any significant positional shifts since February 2015, when a winter offensive begun in mid-January 2015 by proxy forces strongly but unofficially supported by regular Russian troops first pushed UAF fighters from Donetsk airport and then out of the Debaltseve bulge north of Donetsk. The Ukrainians were humiliated, routed and suffered heavy casualties. It was not clear at the time whether the Russian-led forces would stop after capturing Debaltseve or push deeper into Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, French then-president François Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, together with Ukraine’s head of state at the time, Petro Poroshenko, met in Minsk in February 2015 to hammer out a formula to prevent the Donbas conflict from escalating into a major regional war. Since then, the Minsk accords—envisaging a reintegration of the Russian-controlled part of Donbas back into Ukraine while retaining a measure of autonomy and Russian identity—have been broadly held up as, ostensibly, the basis of a peaceful resolution of the Donbas conflict. But over the coming years, the Minsk accords have proven to be practically unworkable (see EDM, September 24, 2019 and January 23, 2020). The July 2020 ceasefire was enforced as a prelude for realizing a “Minsk accord” roadmap. In reality, political talks were deadlocked as before despite a relatively successful tamping down of frontline hostilities (Kommersant, February 17). The Minsk accords were drawn up to stop a local conflict from developing into a regional war, and this worked relatively well for a time; but trying to use this agreement as a roadmap to permanent peace in Donbas has proven futile.

Kyiv wishes to snuff out the Donbas “rebellion” and push the Russian and proxy occupying forces out with Western help, hoping the same formula may someday work in Russian-seized Crimea. Separatist Donbas’s de facto authorities have said they want their territory to be annexed by oil-rich Russia. The Kremlin, in turn, wants a Moscow-friendly government installed in Kyiv that would effectively recognize the Crimean annexation and provide ironclad guarantees that Ukraine will forever stay out of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Union or an alliance with the United States. At present, Moscow is not much interested in annexing any portion of Donbas. The Minsk accords do not provide a formula or roadmap to somehow reconcile such diverse objectives.

In February 2021, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy took off the air three pro-Russian television channels connected to the pro-Russian Opposition Platform–For Life party, which won 43 seats in the Verkhovna Rada in the 2019 Ukrainian parliamentary election. Kyiv also imposed sanctions on the leader of the pro-Russian opposition, Viktor Medvedchuk, who was accused of “financing terrorists”—paying the Donbas separatists money (see EDM, February 24). Medvedchuk (66) is a Ukrainian oligarch and a personal friend of Putin’s. He fervently wants to see Ukraine stay clear of NATO, the US and the EU, while keeping close ties with “brotherly Russia” (Interfax, February 19).

The Russian political and military ruling elite strongly believes the US and its allies are waging a hybrid war against Russia and its interests, in part by promoting opposition leader Alexei Navalny (see EDM, February 4). They see actions like the removal of pro-Russian TV channels in Ukraine; sanctions against Medvedchuk, his wife and business interests; and possible criminal charges against the Kremlin-friendly oligarch as moves by the West to take over Ukraine and snuff out any vestiges of Russian influence. A casus belli in short.

The pro-Kremlin media in Moscow accuses the Ukrainian military of massing forces and preparing a decisive offensive to defeat the separatists and reclaim Donbas. To prevent this from happening, the propaganda contends, Russia must intervene militarily (if need be, preemptively) and trounce the UAF (Komsomolskaya Pravda, March 4). On March 3, 2021, Donbas separatists were given orders to open fire preemptively to destroy UAF positions (Interfax, March 3). The Zelenskyy administration announced it was putting forward a revised political settlement plan for Donbas that had been agreed with France and Germany. But the Kremlin replied it does not understand what the Ukrainians are talking about. Army General (ret.) Vladimir Boldyrev, a former commander of the Russian Ground Forces, told journalists, “If the Ukrainians attack, we may stop pretending and openly intervene” (Ura.news, March 10).

Ukrainian officials are attempting to counter the onslaught of belligerency in the Moscow media by announcing Ukraine is ready to meet an enemy attack even if it takes the form of a massive invasion. According to interior ministry advisor Valery Potseluyko, “We [the Ukrainian government] understood there would be a serious response from Moscow to our moves against pro-Russian TV channels and Medvedchuk; but the time to begin a military offensive is wrong—the fields must first dry up” (Novyny.24tv.ua, March 7). Indeed, the snow is just begging to melt on the East European (Sarmatic) Plain. It is currently Rasputitsa or mud season, which is incredibly problematic for offensive maneuver warfare. Maybe six to eight weeks remain before belligerent rhetoric and sporadic bombardments in Donbas might truly transform into something much more ominous.


Russia Escalates Its Proxy War in Eastern Ukraine - Jamestown
 

vector7

Veteran Member
Barbara Durkin
What did the Mayor of Moscow’s wife want from Hunter Biden for $3.5 mil?
What does China want 4 their $Billion to Hunter, son of VP Biden?
Why was VP Biden’s son Hunter put on the board of Ukraine’s Burisma, with no experience?
You don’t see an alarming pattern here?

Seamus Bruner's posts below are shadow banned from re-posting from Twitter so I went straight to YT.

Hunter Biden’s ‘forgotten’ Russia scandal bombs (4:27)
Sep 27, 2020
Joe Biden found himself in hot water following bombshell revelations about his son Hunter Biden’s business connections.
View: https://youtu.be/xhPs1zzpWf4


DEMOCRAT RUSSIAN COLLUSION PROJECTION AGAINST TRUMP:
Seamus Bruner

Here is John Solomon with Maria Bartiromo revealing “why Clinton chose Russia” and how the campaign concocted Russia Hoax even BEFORE Trump was the nominee in 2016. This was never about Trump, just about covering up Clinton corruption. It was adapted by FBI to get FISAs.
RT 2min
View: https://youtu.be/qXPOBKFGUWA?t=332


Seamus Bruner
In a recent interview, I discuss the Clinton campaign’s Uranium One/Russia mitigation strategy that Solomon and I describe in #Fallout and the docs released by DNI Ratcliffe just confirmed. Begins around 8 min but whole interview is worthwhile.

Bruner Breaks Down 'Fallout' Revelations, Follows the Money to Obama-Biden Russia-Ukraine Scandals (23min)
Jul 23, 2020
View: https://youtu.be/19tucMK92yM?t=120
 

jward

passin' thru

EndGameWW3
@EndGameWW3

12m

Military expert: Russia will undoubtedly defend Donbass
View: https://twitter.com/EndGameWW3/status/1370487878845927432?s=20

Military expert: Russia will undoubtedly defend Donbass

about an hour ago Avis Krane


7c9b89d418c0-e1615581377935.jpg Hope in a Prison of Despair by Evelyn De Morgan, 1887.

12.03.2021, Moscow.
If the Ukrainian army attacks, Russia will provide its support to Donbass, military expert and editor of the Arsenal of the Fatherland magazine Aleksey Leonkov said in an interview with Rossa Primavera News Agency on March 10.
Recently, Ukraine has been regularly shelling the defense line in Donbass with artillery. According to the expert, in this way it conducts reconnaissance in order to launch a full-scale offensive.

Leonkov is sure that in this case, Russia will actively defend Donbass.
“Undoubtedly. Russia will support with aerospace forces and high-precision missile systems. Ukraine understands this, which is why they are bringing air defense systems such as S-300P and Buk-M1 closer to the front line,” the military expert said.
He also noted that Ukraine knows about it. It is being instructed by foreign experts who have been studying Russia’s combat experience in Syria for four years.

According to Leonkov, the upcoming battles will be very hard exactly for the defenders of Donbass. This is because of training the Ukrainian military forces and objective problems in the armament of the LPR and DPR. The expert believes that there are certain problems related to the system of fortifications, professionalism of soldiers, etc.
“That is why I have already told other media that Lugansk and Donetsk will not have the 44 days that Nagorno-Karabakh had,” Leonkov summarized.
 

jward

passin' thru
Tis clearly Obama's 3rd term- I've even heard it suggested Rice is part o' the behind curtain string pullers- maybe we should start being proactive instead of reactive as the biden-puppet rolls out the agendas...

NEOCON's just skipped 4 years of Trump and are back on track to what Hillary was supposed to do. Russia has already warned us once.
 
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