Russia’s “Shock And Awe” Campaign In Ukraine Aims To Resolve The European Missile Crisis

Russia’s “Shock And Awe” Campaign In Ukraine Aims To Resolve The European Missile Crisis

By Andrew Korybko

The undeclared US-provoked missile crisis in Europe is practically a modern-day version of the Cuban Missile Crisis, albeit with the roles reversed. This is the objectively existing and easily verifiable truth of what’s now the worst strategic security crisis in history considering the fact that this one just went hot whereas its precursor remained cold…Hopefully the US-led West won’t escalate through nuclear sabre-rattling or threatening to attack Russian forces in Ukraine otherwise the doomsday clock might finally strike midnight.


Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized what he termed a special operation in Ukraine on the early hours of 24 February (Moscow time) in a special address to the nation. The stated goals are to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine, clarifying that “we have no plans to occupy Ukrainian territory.” He cited Article 51 of the UN Charter dealing with self-defence to justify his country’s actions. Plenty remains unclear at the time of writing due to the typical fog of war but it appears as though this special operation is intended to sustainably ensure Russia’s national security red lines that President Putin had previously gone to great lengths to articulate.

Among the most prominent examples of this was his “Expanded Meeting of the Defense Ministry Board” on 21 December. It was during that time that the Russian leader really explained the existential nature of the threat that neighbouring Ukraine’s post-coup authorities’ military-strategic cooperation with the US and NATO poses to his country. The entire meeting deserves to be read in full so as to obtain the most solid understanding of Russia’s national security interests but what follows are the main excerpts that reveal Moscow’s concerns that Washington is gradually eroding its nuclear second-strike capabilities:

“It is extremely alarming that elements of the US global defence system are being deployed near Russia. The Mk 41 launchers, which are located in Romania and are to be deployed in Poland, are adapted for launching the Tomahawk strike missiles. If this infrastructure continues to move forward, and if US and NATO missile systems are deployed in Ukraine, their flight time to Moscow will be only 7–10 minutes, or even five minutes for hypersonic systems. This is a huge challenge for us, for our security.

There are experts here, sitting with us, I stay in constant contact with them. The United States does not possess hypersonic weapons yet, but we know when they will have it. It cannot be hidden. Everything goes on record, successful or unsuccessful tests alike. We have a sense of when it might happen. They will supply hypersonic weapons to Ukraine and then use them as cover – that does not mean that they will start using them tomorrow, because we already have Tsircon and they do not – to arm extremists from a neighbouring state and incite them against certain regions of the Russian Federation, such as Crimea, when they think circumstances are favourable.

Do they really think we do not see these threats? Or do they think that we will just stand idly watching threats to Russia emerge? This is the problem: we simply have no room to retreat. That is the question.”

To put it simply, the US’ grand strategic goal is to neutralize Russia’s nuclear second-strike capabilities through the regional deployment of “anti-missile systems” and strike weapons – including hypersonic missiles one day and eventually perhaps to Ukraine itself too – in order to perpetually place the Eurasian Great Power in a position of nuclear blackmail. The author wrote on 24 January in his piece about “The US Deep State’s Grand Strategic Goals Vis-à-vis Russia & China” that:

“The long-term goal that the anti-Russian ‘deep state’ faction would be aiming to achieve is to successfully place their targeted Great Power in a position of nuclear blackmail. This would be accomplished by winning the ongoing arms race taking place in Europe related to the mass deployment of various US strike weapons – including hypersonic ones – and accompanying defensive ones like ‘anti-missile systems’ as close to Russia’s borders as possible.

The end game is to retake control of Russia’s economy after coercing it into carrying out never-ending unilateral concessions in this respect so as to ultimately deprive China of those resources. This is of course a political fantasy in the present and there aren’t any credible reasons to expect it to achieve any progress, not even in the far future, but it nevertheless attempts to explain the anti-Russian ‘deep state’s’ calculations in as seemingly ‘rational’ of a manner as possible.

If Russia can eventually be turned back into a US-led Western client state, then it could be ordered to join that bloc’s global ‘containment’ measures against China. That could see it ‘choking off’ the People’s Republic, which in the US ‘deep state’s’ expectations could then repeat the same process against this Great Power as they would have by then succeeded in doing to the other. The end goal, just like before, is to place their target in a position of nuclear but also economic blackmail.”

For those who are unaware, the author’s use of the term “deep state” refers to the permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies, which veritably exist in every state, and comprised of policymaking factions, and aren’t a so-called “conspiracy theory” like some ridiculously claim. Two days prior, the author published a piece “Debunking The Fake News That Russia Wants To ‘Invade’, ‘Occupy’, & ‘Annex’ Ukraine” where he predicted the following that’s since come to pass in light of Thursday morning’s dramatic developments:

“In the worst-case scenario of a conventional Russian-Ukrainian conflict – one sparked either by Russia defending its national security interests after Kiev provokes a third round of Civil War hostilities and/or possibly even attacks its forces across the border directly – Russia would seek to ‘get in, get it done, and get out’, not ‘invade’, ‘occupy’, and subsequently ‘annex’ Ukraine whether in part or in whole for the reasons that were explained above. All that Moscow would aim to do is neutralize the military threat to its red lines, though this might be done in a ‘shock-and-awe’ manner depending on the scenario.”

The reports coming in do indeed suggest that Russia is presently applying its own “shock and awe” strategy for neutralizing the imminent and hot threats to its national security red lines emanating from Ukraine. These were revealed in detail during two events on Monday, the televised meeting of Russia’s Security Council and President Putin’s subsequent address to the nation later that evening during which time he recognized the Donbass Republics as independent states.

The first event confirmed that the US and NATO haven’t satisfactorily responded to Russia’s security guarantee requests for entering into legally binding agreements aimed at: halting NATO’s eastward expansion; not deploying strike weapons near Russia’s borders; and returning to the continental military status quo of the now-defunct 1997 Russian-NATO Founding Act. The second saw the Russian leader reveal detailed information about the Ukrainian-emanating threats posed by US and NATO forces:

“Over the past few years, military contingents of NATO countries have been almost constantly present on Ukrainian territory under the pretext of exercises. The Ukrainian troop control system has already been integrated into NATO. This means that NATO headquarters can issue direct commands to the Ukrainian armed forces, even to their separate units and squads.

The United States and NATO have started an impudent development of Ukrainian territory as a theatre of potential military operations. Their regular joint exercises are obviously anti-Russian. Last year alone, over 23,000 troops and more than a thousand units of hardware were involved.

A law has already been adopted that allows foreign troops to come to Ukraine in 2022 to take part in multinational drills. Understandably, these are primarily NATO troops. This year, at least ten of these joint drills are planned.

Obviously, such undertakings are designed to be a cover-up for a rapid buildup of the NATO military group on Ukrainian territory. This is all the more so since the network of airfields upgraded with US help in Borispol, Ivano-Frankovsk, Chuguyev and Odessa, to name a few, is capable of transferring army units in a very short time. Ukraine’s airspace is open to flights by US strategic and reconnaissance aircraft and drones that conduct surveillance over Russian territory.

I will add that the US-built Maritime Operations Centre in Ochakov makes it possible to support activity by NATO warships, including the use of precision weapons, against the Russian Black Sea Fleet and our infrastructure on the entire Black Sea Coast.

Next, notably, Article 17 of the Constitution of Ukraine stipulates that deploying foreign military bases on its territory is illegal. However, as it turns out, this is just a conventionality that can be easily circumvented.

Ukraine is home to NATO training missions which are, in fact, foreign military bases. They just called a base a mission and were done with it.

Kiev has long proclaimed a strategic course on joining NATO. Indeed, each country is entitled to pick its own security system and enter into military alliances. There would be no problem with that, if it were not for one ‘but.’ International documents expressly stipulate the principle of equal and indivisible security, which includes obligations not to strengthen one’s own security at the expense of the security of other states. This is stated in the 1999 OSCE Charter for European Security adopted in Istanbul and the 2010 OSCE Astana Declaration.

In other words, the choice of pathways towards ensuring security should not pose a threat to other states, whereas Ukraine joining NATO is a direct threat to Russia’s security.

Furthermore, we are aware of the US leadership’s position and words that active hostilities in eastern Ukraine do not rule out the possibility of that country joining NATO if it meets NATO criteria and overcomes corruption.

All the while, they are trying to convince us over and over again that NATO is a peace-loving and purely defensive alliance that poses no threat to Russia.

As a result, the Alliance, its military infrastructure has reached Russia’s borders. This is one of the key causes of the European security crisis; it has had the most negative impact on the entire system of international relations and led to the loss of mutual trust.

The situation continues to deteriorate, including in the strategic area. Thus, positioning areas for interceptor missiles are being established in Romania and Poland as part of the US project to create a global missile defence system. It is common knowledge that the launchers deployed there can be used for Tomahawk cruise missiles – offensive strike systems.

In addition, the United States is developing its all-purpose Standard Missile-6, which can provide air and missile defence, as well as strike ground and surface targets. In other words, the allegedly defensive US missile defence system is developing and expanding its new offensive capabilities.

The information we have gives us good reason to believe that Ukraine’s accession to NATO and the subsequent deployment of NATO facilities has already been decided and is only a matter of time. We clearly understand that given this scenario, the level of military threats to Russia will increase dramatically, several times over. And I would like to emphasise at this point that the risk of a sudden strike at our country will multiply.

I will explain that American strategic planning documents confirm the possibility of a so-called pre-emptive strike at enemy missile systems. We also know the main adversary of the United States and NATO. It is Russia. NATO documents officially declare our country to be the main threat to Euro-Atlantic security. Ukraine will serve as an advanced bridgehead for such a strike.

Many Ukrainian airfields are located not far from our borders. NATO’s tactical aviation deployed there, including precision weapon carriers, will be capable of striking at our territory to the depth of the Volgograd-Kazan-Samara-Astrakhan line. The deployment of reconnaissance radars on Ukrainian territory will allow NATO to tightly control Russia’s airspace up to the Urals.

Finally, after the US destroyed the INF Treaty, the Pentagon has been openly developing many land-based attack weapons, including ballistic missiles that are capable of hitting targets at a distance of up to 5,500 km. If deployed in Ukraine, such systems will be able to hit targets in Russia’s entire European part. The flying time of Tomahawk cruise missiles to Moscow will be less than 35 minutes; ballistic missiles from Kharkov will take seven to eight minutes; and hypersonic assault weapons, four to five minutes. It is like a knife to the throat. I have no doubt that they hope to carry out these plans, as they did many times in the past, expanding NATO eastward, moving their military infrastructure to Russian borders and fully ignoring our concerns, protests and warnings.”

The above excerpts might be extremely surprising for some readers who’d hitherto been denied access to this very important information by their manipulative media, which deliberately kept them in the dark about Russia’s legitimate national security concerns regarding the US-led West in order to misportray the victimized Eurasian Great Power as the aggressor despite that role objectively being played by their own governments. Washington’s efforts to place Moscow into a position of nuclear blackmail are directly responsible for this unprecedented security crisis. Its “perception managers” have wild spun the situation to gaslight everyone into thinking that Russia is at fault when it’s not.

Russia’s recognition of the Donbass Republics was Moscow’s final attempt to prompt the US-led West into taking its security guarantee requests seriously. That failed since their counterparts never had any sincere desire to negotiate with Russia on these issues as evidenced by their disinterested diplomatic response since the unveiling of that country’s related proposals in late December. With literally “no room to retreat” as President Putin himself unforgettably put it during his earlier cited 21 December meeting, it was therefore only a matter of time in hindsight that Russia would react in the only way possible intended to ensure that its national security red lines aren’t crossed in Ukraine.

The author’s prior scepticism of such a scenario was predicated on public information preceding that which was revealed on 21 February during the televised meeting of the Russian Security Council and President Putin’s subsequent address to the nation. Up until that point, it remained ambiguous whether the US and NATO posed an imminent threat to Russia’s earlier declared national security red lines. Relying only on public sources – including official statements – the determination was that the threat hadn’t yet fully materialized to the point of triggering a decisive Russian response, but that conclusion was ultimately inaccurate as revealed by subsequent information from those two cited events.

President Putin wouldn’t have authorized Russia’s special operation in Ukraine had his intelligence not been absolutely certain that those earlier warned threats were truly imminent or perhaps even right about to become hot. The US-led West refused to seriously consider Russia’s security guarantee proposals designed to revise the European security architecture in such a way that it would finally result in indivisible security for all in accordance with the OSCE’s principles. That desired outcome would have prevented any one country from taking steps under the pretext of ensuring its security that would end up occurring at another’s expense like the US has been doing vis-à-vis Russia these past three decades.

Looking back on it, that was the final chance for peace but the US-led West arrogantly ignored it, perhaps wrongly thinking that Russia was “bluffing” and wouldn’t do exactly what any other self-respecting Great Power would do if it literally had “no room to retreat” after appeasing the same military alliance whose raison d’être is the containment of that very same country. That was a grand strategic miscalculation if there ever was one since it prompted Russia to defend its national security red lines that are at risk of very soon being crossed in Ukraine. The undeclared USprovoked missile crisis in Europe is practically a modern-day version of the Cuban Missile Crisis, albeit with the roles reversed.

This is the objectively existing and easily verifiable truth of what’s now the worst strategic security crisis in history considering the fact that this one just went hot whereas its precursor remained cold. All of this could have been avoided had the US-led West simply respected Russia’s legitimate security guarantee requests. They inexplicably refused and thus prompted Russia to decisively ensure the integrity of its red lines through the ongoing “shock and awe” campaign in Ukraine that aims to resolve the missile crisis in Europe that the US itself irresponsibly provoked. To that end, Moscow might additionally attempt to encourage political changes in Kiev too.

The author warned earlier this week that “The End Of Lenin’s Mini-Empire In Ukraine Is Drawing Near” following Russia’s recognition of the Donbass Republics, which might in turn inspire other victimized minorities in that country – including other members of the Russian population there – to rise up in resistance to their (fascist-)”nationalist” US-backed coup authorities. That scenario could result in Ukraine’s far-reaching devolution into a federation of regions whose central government then agrees to remove the country’s constitutionally enshrined goal of joining NATO and finally recognizes Crimea’s democratic reunification with Russia in 2014. Such an outcome would quickly improve ties with Russia.

As Russia’s “shock and awe” campaign continues, the world would do well to remember the legitimate self-defence pretexts upon which Moscow is waging this war in accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter. There’ll be plenty of “perception managers” who rapidly try to spin everything in such a way that Russia’s misportrayed as the aggressor but those folks are simply parroting the US government’s information warfare narrative that doesn’t hold up to scrutiny upon a review of President Putin’s earlier cited speeches. Hopefully the US-led West won’t escalate through nuclear sabre-rattling or threatening to attack Russian forces in Ukraine otherwise the doomsday clock might finally strike midnight.


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Voice of East.


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Categories: Analysis, Geopolitics, International Affairs

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