Do Obama & NATO want a war?
- Dear Leader Obama and NATO say Russia has no say at all over the millions of Russian speaking peoples in the Ukraine. Never mind that they were all Soviet citizens just a few years ago.
- Now we see NATO punishing Russia economically just as FDR punished Japan economically prior to December 7th, 1941. That strategy turned out well.
(Business Insider) - Russia is pouring troops and weapons -- including missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads -- into its western exclave of Kaliningrad at such a rate that the region is now one of Europe's most militarized places.
A NATO official, writing to RFE/RL on condition of anonymity, said that Moscow is stationing "thousands of troops, including mechanized and naval infantry brigades, military aircraft, modern long-range air defense units and hundreds of armored vehicles in the territory."
The military activity in Kaliningrad, which has no land connection to Russia and which borders EU members Lithuania and Poland, has raised alarms in Vilnius and Warsaw that can be clearly heard in Brussels and Washington.
"They're making quite big military exercises in the Kaliningrad district [which is] very, very close to our neighborhood," says Andrius Kubilius, a former Lithuanian prime minister. "So of course we are worried about such military developments very close to our borders."
In part due to such concerns, NATO this month is carrying out military maneuvers in Poland and the Baltic States, a U.S. military convoy recently traveled across Eastern and Central Europe in a show of the defense alliance's commitment to protect the region, and Washington is reportedly debating whether to store heavy military equipment in several Baltic and Eastern European countries bordering Russia.
The Kaliningrad region, which lies along the Baltic Sea in what was once East Prussia, has long held strategic value.
Annexed from Germany in 1945, Kaliningrad was a closed military zone during the Soviet era, meaning only someone with special permission could get in.
It is now home to Russia's Baltic Sea Fleet, as well as the Chernyakhovsk and Donskoye air bases, with thousands of Russian troops stationed there.
Kaliningrad also serves as the likely starting point for the numerous reports of Russian military activity over Baltic airspace and in the Baltic Sea, Gorenburg tells RFE/RL.
"From Kaliningrad you can just go right out and you're there; there's Sweden, Poland, Germany's not that far away," Gorenburg explains. "So, it's almost like you can set it up as a forward-operating base without leaving your own country's territory."
Gorenburg says the growing military role of the Baltic Fleet contrasts with its more peaceful past.
"It's right near where all the main shipyards are. It was a place where they tested a lot of the new ships," Gorenburg says. "Its main mission prior to the crisis was mostly focused on sort of coastal protection kind of stuff. There really wasn't a lot of military activity in the Baltic Sea until quite recently."
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered "snap" -- meaning with no prior notification to the West -- military drills in Kaliningrad in December 2014 and March 2015.
The size of the drills has been nothing short of impressive, with some 9,000 troops and 55 naval ships taking part in the December 5-10 exercises.Read More . . . .
Once a relic of the Soviet era, patriotic youth clubs in the Donetsk region of Ukraine are gaining new popularity, offering military training to their members. As young people practice assembling guns, marching, and military drills, a strong sense of allegiance flows through the ranks, with some members holding high aspirations of joining the Russian Federation army.
Among the thousands of foreign soldiers who are fighting alongside the pro-Russia separatists of the Donetsk People’s Republic is an American fighter known simply as “Texas.”