Russia and Ukraine – heading for war?

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — The author is concerned about the naval exercises of surface ships in the Baltic Fleet. The Kaliningrad region, a Russian enclave containing a large number of weapons, has long been a concern of NATO’s central command. “Aggravation” is observed not only in the Baltic, but also on the Ukrainian border, adds TNI.

Against the backdrop of growing military tensions between Moscow and the West, the Russian Navy has begun regular military exercises in the Baltic Sea.

The air group of the Russian Baltic Fleet performed training flights with practical bombing at a training ground in the Kaliningrad region. “In the course of training combat missions, aircraft crews [about 10 forward fighters and bombers] inflicted high-precision bombing strikes on command posts, destroyed the manpower and military equipment of the simulated enemy,” the press service said.

A mixed group of Su-30SM multipurpose fighters and Su-24 front-line bombers practiced aimed bombing at the enemy’s conventional infrastructure, including at “full-size targets imitating command posts and engineering fortifications.” “All practical actions of the pilots were recorded by means of objective control installed on combat vehicles, as well as on the ground in the area of ​​combat use. Analysis of the data obtained by means of objective control showed one hundred percent defeat of all targets, ”the press release says.

This latest exercise follows the other Baltic Fleet exercises held in the second half of March. The ship’s anti-submarine strike group of the Baltic Fleet, consisting of the small anti-submarine ships Aleksin and Kabardino-Balkaria, successfully completed control tasks for the search, detection and destruction of a simulated enemy submarine using an anti-submarine weapon system – torpedo armament and RBU-6000 rocket launchers. The press service of the Baltic Fleet noted that the BF surface ships regularly conduct exercises “to repel attacks by air attack means of a simulated enemy from various heights and directions with the implementation of practical firing with air defense weapons.”

The Kaliningrad region, a Russian enclave in Central Europe with a large concentration of weapons, has long been a source of concern to NATO central command, and for good reason. And the notorious interceptions in the airspace over the Baltic region are becoming more common practice, as Russian officials flying to and from Kaliningrad often attract the attention of NATO aircraft based in the region. The intensification of the activities of the Russian armed forces in the Baltic region paves the way for the Zapad-2021 exercise in September this year, a complex of large-scale joint exercises between the troops of the Russian Western Military District (ZVO) and the armed forces of Belarus.

As noted in the 2016 RAND report Reinforcing Deterrence on NATO’s Eastern Flank, Russia’s significant military presence in the region is one of the leading factors that give Moscow a significant tactical advantage in the Baltic region. The ZVO is numerically and (in many respects) qualitatively superior to NATO’s military presence in the Baltic region. In the last exercise “Zapad”, which took place in 2017, 680 units of military equipment were involved and about 13 thousand Russian and Belarusian military personnel took part.

The report says NATO lacks conventional means to counter a full-scale Russian invasion of the Baltic states, however unlikely that scenario may be. In recent years, the Baltic states have taken moderate steps to increase their defense spending, but these measures are more than offset by the Kremlin’s consistent military build-up near their western borders.

The recent tense relations between Russia and the West, however aggravated they may be, are observed not only in the Baltic region. Kiev and Moscow are again in a state of readiness for war. This is happening after a sharp escalation of the ongoing conflict in Donbass and in conditions when the Kremlin is sending railroad trains with military equipment to the Russian-occupied Crimea.

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