- Russia will soon launch a mock nuclear attack against
the U.S. and Britain during military exercises over the next week.
- Moscow's Nezavisimaya Gazeta reports that Russia's strategic
bombers and nuclear submarines "will deliver hypothetical nuclear
strikes on the U.S. and Britain, while locating and destroying aircraft-carrier
groups of the U.S. Navy."
- The massive air, sea and land maneuvers are being conducted
in the wake of America's stunning victory over Iraq, a long time client
state of Russia.
- The paper said the exercises are taking place because,
"Russian military leaders have learned a lesson from the Iraq war,
and intend to show the U.S. and its allies their determination to repel
any potential threat coming from the West."
- The Russian military, in plans drawn up at the request
of President Vladmir Putin, argues that the only way Russia can deal with
an escalating regional conflict with the U.S., would be to employ nuclear
- Though Russia's military has been considerably downzied
since the end of the Cold War, and its conventional forces hold little
weight against a modern, equipped army, Russia has continued to invest
heavily in strategic and tactical nuclear weapons.
- Sometime during the 90s, Russia attained nuclear superiority
over the U.S. While Russia's large, strategic nuclear weapons have remained
in parity with the U.S., Russia's tactical nuclear arsenal has been estimated
to include between 20,000 to 40,000 weapons.
- At the same time Russia has continued its nuclear buildup,
the U.S. has virtually destroyed its arsenal of tactical nuclear warheads.
Under orders from the Bush administration, the U.S. has also been moving
to further reduce the U.S. strategic arsenal. Currently, the nation's most
modern fleet of ICBM, the MX missiles, are being destroyed.
- The Russian military exercises show a desire by the Russian
military to deal with the huge technological lead U.S. conventional forces
have, demonstrated by Operation Iraqi Freedom.
- According to Nezavisimaya Gazeta, the Russian exercises
"will be linked with destroying the U.S. satellite group in order
to neutralize the NAVSTAR global navigation system, the Keyhole optoelectronic
intelligence satellites, and the Lacross radio-locating intelligence satellites."
- The paper said these maneuvers, "Under actual conditions
of a war this would 'blind' the Pentagon and does not let the U.S. use
high-precision weapons against Russian military groups."
- So far, the exercises are to include Four Tu-160 and
nine Tu-95MS strategic bombers, 12 Tu-22M3 long-range bombers, and four
Il-78 flying tankers will be involved in the maneuvers on May 17-18.
- The maneuvers are of a "global scale," the
- Major-General Igor Khvorov, commander of the 37th air
army of the High Commander-in-Chief, said that the official objective of
the exercise is to polish cooperation between the long-range aviation,
the Navy, and other branches of the army in the western, eastern, northern,
and southern regions of the Russian Federation, and over the world's oceans.
This emphasizes a global scale of the impending maneuvers.
- Submarines of the Northern and Pacific fleets will launch
ballistic missiles. Nuclear strategic and multi-purpose submarines, surface
warships of different types, coastal missile and anti-aircraft units, and
the missile-carrying, pursuit, and anti-submarine aviation will be involved
in the exercise.
- The paper also noted that Russian warships sent to the
Arabian Sea to take part in an exercise with the Indian Navy will support
strategic units. They will find and destroy U.S. Los Angeles class submarines
and deliver missile strikes at enemy warships.