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"Pentagon on alert as Russia steps up saber rattling in Eastern Europe and beyond"
Posted by: Ted King
Date: April 04, 2021 07:30PM
This could be ominous or it could just be Putin probing to see what Biden's response will be:



Russia has upped its saber rattling in Eastern Europe and the Arctic, a move that has put the Biden administration on alert.

In the past two weeks, Moscow has moved to test Washington and its allies on land, in the air and at sea with a buildup of military equipment in eastern Ukraine, military flights near Alaskan airspace and submarine activity in the Arctic.

“I think we’ve been very clear about the threats that we see from Russia across domains. ... We're taking them very, very seriously,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said Wednesday.

The Defense Department is overly observant of Russian activity after fighting resumed between Moscow-backed separatists and Ukrainian soldiers in eastern Ukraine, ending a cease-fire the two groups made last summer.

Twenty Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in the skirmishes since the start of 2021.

The two sides have been fighting since 2014 when Moscow seized and annexed Crimea from Ukraine, a conflict that Kyiv asserts has killed 14,000 people since its start.

Russian jets and bombers have also frequently flown near allied airspace, forcing NATO jets to scramble to respond 10 times on Monday alone.

In addition, in late March, three Russian nuclear ballistic missile submarines simultaneously broke through several feet of ice in the Arctic in a military drill, a maneuver that comes as the Kremlin has moved to raise its defenses in the Arctic.

Russia’s aggressive actions have prompted U.S. European Command to raise its alert status to its highest level, and the activity in Ukraine, in particular, has prompted Biden’s top national security leaders to call their Ukrainian counterparts and other leaders in the region.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley on Wednesday spoke by phone with Ukraine Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Ruslan Khomchak as well as Russia's top officer, Chief of the General Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov.

A day later, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called his Ukrainian counterpart, Minister of Defense Andriy Taran, to “discuss the regional security situation” and condemn “recent escalations of Russian aggressive and provocative actions in eastern Ukraine,” according to Kirby.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan last week also spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart, as did Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who said he discussed "ways of strengthening security cooperation" with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

All leaders have pledged that Washington would stand by Kyiv.

But Russia on Friday warned NATO against deploying troops to Ukraine, threatening that such actions would escalate tensions and that Moscow would be forced to respond.

“There is no doubt such a scenario would lead to a further increase in tensions close to Russia’s borders. Of course, this would call for additional measures from the Russian side to ensure its security,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday.

The head of U.S. Northern Command, Air Force Gen. Glen VanHerck, said the posturing is due to the United States and Russia being back in “great power competition,” much like during the Cold War.

“Clearly, Russia is trying to reassert on a global stage their influence and their capabilities,” VanHerck told reporters on Wednesday.

“The difference between the past and now is the intercepts are more complex — multiaccess, multiplatform — and oftentimes they’ll enter the [air defense identification zone] and stay for hours,” he added.
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Re: "Pentagon on alert as Russia steps up saber rattling in Eastern Europe and beyond"
Posted by: deckeda
Date: April 04, 2021 08:20PM
Putin is another despot desperate for attention from whomever he’s courting elsewhere. Apparently it’s a selling feature to be able to say, “Yo check it out. We flew right by them and the cowardly Americans do NOTHING.”

It’s doubly cute they announce how any NATO forces in Ukraine would be “a threat” to Russia.

Maybe a few could just oh I don’t know, vacation there.
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Re: "Pentagon on alert as Russia steps up saber rattling in Eastern Europe and beyond"
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: April 04, 2021 09:49PM
If Putin really wanted to do some damage, wouldn't he have done it with Trump in office?
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Re: "Pentagon on alert as Russia steps up saber rattling in Eastern Europe and beyond"
Posted by: Rolando
Date: April 04, 2021 11:27PM
Dennis S
If Putin really wanted to do some damage, wouldn't he have done it with Trump in office?

He can't afford it. The Ukraine adventure nearly bankrupted him. And he got a secure Naval base out of it.

He should be (and I would guess, is) worried about China "leasing" oil rights in Siberia!

San Antonio, TX (in the old city)

"All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke
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"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." - Theodore Roosevelt (1918)

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