NATO and America are poking the Russian Bear with hints of Winter War
WASHINGTON: The anti-Russia rhetoric is ramping up again. The “why” is significant. Implied threats of a “winter war” are surfacing from NATO countries as well as the American intelligence community.
Recent visits by American officials to Ukraine were ignored by most western media. However, Russia and its allies have been watching closely. They are preparing moves and counter moves.
Here are who and what the Russian government is concerned about:
The Director of National Intelligence Avril D. Haines traveled to Brussels this week and briefed NATO ambassadors of “the Russian threat”.
The trip had been scheduled previously but “the Russian buildup” was a prime topic of conversation.
According to Bloomberg News, Washington and its European allies were discussing “potential responses” should Putin decide on taking military action. However, President Putin has not indicated any intention to take military action against Ukraine.
Despite reporting that military equipment and personnel are being moved only within the borders of Russia, the Biden administration ordered the USS Mount Whitney and US warships to enter the Black Sea.
F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jets have been deployed to Bulgaria and Romania. This is viewed as an aggressive move against Russian territory.
The Biden administration is urging attacks
Washington seems to be once again encouraging Kyiv to wage a civil war in southeastern Ukraine. Ukraine concedes they have already launched Javelin rockets supplied by the USA under the Biden administration.
Last year the U.S. government’s end-use agreements under the Trump administration permitted Ukrainian troops to deploy these weapons to the front lines in Donbas, as long as they were used “defensively.”
Initially, the Ukrainian government had been prohibited from deploying these weapons except in the event of a more overt westward Russian invasion of the country.
“They are threatening to use the Javelin and they have already used the Bayraktar. Its use is categorically outlawed under the Minsk agreements. They have never said they did that accidentally.”
The head of the Ukrainian Directorate of military national intelligence, Kirill Budanov declared “with pride” that the Ukrainian military used these Javelin anti-tank artillery for the first time. And that they used them under the guidance of the US military this week.
They used the Javelins against their own towns in East Ukraine. The towns of Horlivka, Donetsk, Lugansk, and Yasinovataya were attacked without mercy in a show of force on the Ukrainian national day celebrating “Dignity and Freedom” on November 21st.
Recent comments by Russian Viktor Volodatsky, Deputy Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, expressed antipathy and contempt at the motives of the current US administration.
“All of the US’S actions are aimed at making Ukraine stage provocations. The US needs to make sure that conflicts engulf other countries in order to distract the public from the issues facing the States.”
Ukraine’s weak leadership
Ukraine’s notably weak President Volodymyr Zelensky, may be forced to resign. He has not addressed the serious economic issues of corruption plaguing his country’s government nor the pressure exerted by his neighbors, namely Russia and Belarus.
Around mid-November, domestic political pressure on President Zelensky intensified. Local oligarchs launched an information campaign accusing Zelensky of ineffective government management.
“It is not far-fetched to consider that this is highly likely a scenario orchestrated by Washington, in an attempt to force the Kyiv government into an escalation in order to create a diversion from its internal issues.’
“…repeatedly refused solutions to the conflict favored by Russia, such as a federal constitution granting autonomy to the eastern regions. Were tensions at the border to escalate into full-scale war, by accident or by design, many Ukrainians would ask: Is it worth it? We should compromise.”
Zelensky is directly beholden to the Biden administration.
“Warmongering is the only word I can think of to describe Kyiv’s aggressive plans”, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday, November 22, 2021.
The United States show of force
In the past month (October 20, 2021) the US deployed two U.S. B-1B strategic bombers over the Black Sea. Russia’s defense ministry said this incident coincided with a visit to the region by the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin.
Russia scrambled two Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets to escort the pair out of Russian airspace.
The supersonic U.S. Cold war-era planes were originally designed to carry nuclear bombs and missiles.
Now they are supposedly fitted to carry only conventional payloads. It was a deliberately provocative act by the US military.
Biden family strong-arm tactics destroy trust in America
Ukrainian trust in American “advice” and policy deteriorated over the years with numerous visits and strong-arm tactics by the Biden family, John McCain, and the various other politicians and their family members (including the Pelosi family). Read this post for more background. https://www.jopattimunisteri.org/blog/playing-with-fire-trying-to-split-christians-in-ukraine
Americans are viewed as 21st-century colonialists coming to exploit Ukrainian resources (oil, gas, coal, titanium, bauxite, sulfur, rock salt, minerals, fertile land, and agricultural products for export) and territory as a buffer against Russia.
The geopolitical landscape is complicated by the struggle for energy domination and pipeline routes.
The energy is needed by European countries who are part of NATO. Ukraine’s territory is coveted by its neighbors.
Russian military capabilities
Andrei Raevsky gives a realistic write-up on Russia’s forces, their new technologies, and their distribution. Andrei concludes:
“And so, yes, of course, NATO commanders are frightened by what they see, this is true, and quite understandable. What is not understandable is why these delusional idiots created the condition which left Russia no other choice than to be ready to fight a full-scale war in Europe, including a nuclear one.”
The Pentagon confirmed midday Tuesday, November 23, that Army Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had spoken with his Russian counterpart, Gen. Valery Gerasimov,
“…as a continuation of communication between both leaders to ensure risk reduction and operational deconfliction.”
Moscow does not believe that the United States has been taking its position seriously. In October 2021, Putin noted that although Ukraine may not formally be granted membership into NATO, “military development of the territory is already underway”.
This poses a threat to Russia.
“It is doubtful that these are empty words. Russian leadership sees no prospect for a diplomatic resolution and thinks Ukraine is slipping into the U.S. security orbit. It may for this reason Russians see war as inevitable.”
On Wednesday, November 24, Russian fighter planes and ships practiced repelling air attacks on naval bases and responding with airstrikes, during military drills in the Black Sea area, Interfax reported. Ukraine also held combat exercises in the same time frame. The drills come at a time of high tension over Ukraine, with Ukrainian and U.S. officials voicing concerns about an imminent Russian attack on its southern neighbor, a suggestion “the Kremlin dismissed as completely false”.
There are still neo-cons in the US government influencing policy and pressing for a direct confrontation with Russia using Ukraine as the initial battleground.
These individuals only want leaders in Ukraine who are “pro-west”. There are even those who call for a war against Russia using “defense of our ally Ukraine” as a pretext for the attack, albeit far from the United States’ home ground.
Historically, Russia’s and America’s war experiences cannot be compared.
Russia’s dwarfs that of the United States in scale, scope, and in the capability of enemies Russians fought in defense of their own country.
Moreover, there are a significant number of Ukrainians who would side with the Russians over the Americans should it come to an actual war.
The Russian economy has doubled several times since Putin became the leader. People are generally quite happy, but there is this recognition that they have run afoul of these westerners who now are pushing towards war. “The Russians are preparing to fight.” Putin does not make idle threats.
Have we not learned our lessons from the failed interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and other countries over the years starting after World War II?
Throughout history advancing armies have underestimated the resolve of the Russian people. Attacking Russia, especially during the winter, is a deadly strategy. It is never a smart move to poke the Russian bear.
About the Author:
Joanne Patti Munisteri lives a ‘different’ life. One that has taken her around the world working as a contractor in education, health, research, analysis, and training. Munisteri is a certified Combat Analyst and Social Scientist. She was part of the Human Terrain System (HTS) with the US Army, training at Ft. Leavenworth. Munisteri earned her Bachelor of Science from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. Her graduate degree from Massey University in New Zealand. Her Diploma in Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine from the New Zealand School of Acupuncture and TCM in Wellington, New Zealand.
Joanne continues to be rostered on the US Department of State Specialist programs and with USAID. Her technical writing is found in Small Wars Journal, Real Clear Defense, the Journal of Traumatic Stress Disorders and Treatment, Research Gate, and the New Zealand Herald. In addition, Defiance Press just published her non-fiction book, “Traveling Off the X” in October 2021. Joanne continues to work in the education and training sector.
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