Posted 2 декабря 2021,, 07:52
Published 2 декабря 2021,, 07:52
Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37
Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37
Experts compare this situation with the Cuban missile crisis.
A satellite image of the Russian submarine base taken from the Sentinel-2 spacecraft cannot be wrong: all Russian nuclear-powered submarines of the Russian Pacific Fleet have left the naval base in Vilyuchinsk, Kamchatka. There are reports that the nuclear submarines Borey-955, Borey, 955A, Borey-A and 949A Antey left their permanent base, lost in the vastness of the Pacific Ocean. At the same time, exercises with the participation of thousands of military personnel started in the south of Russia.
We asked the Russian Defense Ministry to comment on the reasons for the withdrawal of Russian nuclear submarines from the military base. The request was not answered. It is clear that the movement of troops and equipment is a military secret. But this does not prevent experts from putting forward their versions.
“Perhaps this is a military exercise. This activity of Russian nuclear submarines can also be linked to the statement by Vladimir Putin that the Russian armed forces have Zircon submarine missiles. True, in order to create a real threat to the United States, they need to go through anti-submarine defense areas. This is not a trivial task for the Russian military. So so far we are dealing only with dashing conversations. They can end badly. An attempt to play on the nerves of those who are considered geopolitical adversaries of Russia is quite dangerous”, - military expert Alexander Golts believes.
The entry of Russian nuclear submarines into the Pacific Ocean coincided with President Putin's statement that Russia would have something to respond to if strike systems were deployed in Ukraine with missiles reaching Moscow in a few minutes. Then, at the ceremony for the presentation of credentials by the ambassadors, the president said that "Russia is taking adequate military-technical actions." "We are not threatening someone, but threats are approaching our borders", - Putin stressed.
It is not difficult to guess what exactly the Supreme Commander-in-Chief had in mind when he spoke about adequate measures. “We have now tested, and successfully, and from the beginning of the year we will already have in service a new sea-based missile, a hypersonic one - Mach 9. The flight time will also be five minutes for those who give the order”, - the President noted.
Let's remind: on Monday, November 29, the frigate "Admiral Gorshkov" performed a test launch from the waters of the White Sea of a ship-based hypersonic missile "Zircon" at a distance of more than 400 tons.
But let's first figure out where the news comes from that NATO missiles can be fired from the territory of Ukraine across Moscow?
“There have been no statements on this by Ukraine. In any case, President Zelensky did not openly talk about this anywhere. There was, however, an initiative to consider at a meeting of the Rada the issue of allowing NATO troops to be present on the territory of Ukraine during joint exercises. This was probably followed by a statement by the Russian president", - says military observer Alexander Golts.
Theoretically, NATO weapons that threaten Russia and at the same time Belarus can be deployed under the cover of training centers of the armed forces of Ukraine. This is probably what Vladimir Putin had in mind. "Tomorrow rockets will appear near Kharkov, what should we do with this?" - asked the Russian President, speaking in October at the Valdai Forum.
According to Andrey Kortunov, Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), the deployment of strike systems in Ukraine can be formalized as a joint decision by the country's leadership and Western partners of Kiev, adopted on the recommendation of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
“Such systems have nowhere to come from, except from Western countries and, above all, from the United States. Accordingly, there should be coordination of the positions of Kiev and Washington”, - the expert said. "In fact, NATO strike systems may appear in Ukraine, if such is the will of the United States, the center that issues orders to its satellites", - said military expert, reserve colonel Igor Korotchenko.
In this regard, it is still not superfluous to recall that the Constitution of Ukraine formally prohibits the deployment of foreign military bases on the territory of the country. “The US Constitution also prohibits the deployment of military bases anywhere other than NATO allies. Ukraine is not a NATO member, so all talk about the deployment of missiles aimed at Moscow from the territory of Ukraine is hypothetical”, - military expert Alexander Golts said. “Besides, before that, Russia had deployed two of its divisions on the border with Ukraine. And in 2014, by order of the President of Russia, 40 thousand Russian military personnel were deployed to the border with Ukraine, which greatly facilitated the successful annexation of Crimea".
Nevertheless, some politicians have already dubbed the latest events a new Cuban missile crisis. Recall that then, in 1962, the Soviet Union deployed and deployed in Cuba, in the immediate vicinity of the US border, military units and subdivisions of its armed forces, as well as equipment and weapons, including nuclear weapons. All this could lead to a nuclear war. Isn't a similar situation developing now? And it's not just about military activity. Military rhetoric is increasingly heard by many Russian politicians. So, the other day the speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko said: "If anything, the Russians immediately run to the military registration and enlistment office, let our western partners mean it." Commenting on this statement, users of Telegram channels note, not without irony: “Remember that neither Matvienko's son nor the children of the rest of the ruling elite will run to the military registration and enlistment office. They will remain in NATO countries, where they live. And they will send you to fight".
So why all this military activity of the last days?
“This spring, too, there was a concentration of Russian military forces, and this could have been aimed at pushing Joe Biden to the summit, which eventually happened. Now this game is also producing results. It looks like things are heading for a new Russian-American summit”, - says Alexander Golts.
Political scientist Alexander Kynev agrees with him: “There is in all this an element of blackmail as a way of communication. It is somewhat effective, time will tell. Most likely, the purpose of the current military activity is to draw attention to oneself, to call for contact. The question is: why? Guesses here can be different - from satisfying their ambitions to solving some political problems".
But as often happens, the result of the political confrontation between the two sides unexpectedly becomes a third. This seems to be the case now. Russia's ally in the CSTO and partner in the Union State, the head of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, announced its readiness to take part in joint protection from external threats. He said that if NATO nuclear weapons appear in Poland, Minsk will offer Moscow to place Russian nuclear weapons on its territory. “We are ready for this on the territory of Belarus. As a zealous person, I’m sorry, the owner didn’t destroy anything. All the "sheds" are standing still", - Lukashenko said, apparently calling the infrastructure for the deployment of Russian nuclear weapons" sheds".
In this case, Belarus becomes an indirect participant in the club of nuclear powers, and this, oddly enough, will play into the hands of the Belarusian ruler, first of all.
“Lukashenko wants to participate in nuclear games. Why not? Moreover, the hangars of intercontinental missiles have survived on the territory of Belarus. Lukashenko understands that if he becomes a participant in the nuclear game, no one will touch him”, - Alexander Golts believes.
As for the comparison with the Cuban missile crisis, history, as you know, repeats itself twice: once in the form of a tragedy, another time in the form of a farce.