Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, in Minsk for meetings with his Belarussian counterpart, Yuri Zhadobin, yesterday announced an expanded program of joint military drills in 2015 by the two countries, because of "new threats" to the Union State (of Russia and Belarus, formed in 2000).
"We have expanded our program for drills in 2015. The expansion is in light of the changing situation on our borders and in the world as a whole," Shoigu said, reported RIA Novosti. Shoigu said the Russian and Belarusian military
"would like to design a number of practical actions and events in case new threats against the Union State appear."
This is related to the Polish developments, Lyndon LaRouche commented today, with their decision to shift troops to the east, referring to the Polish defense minister's announcement of just a couple of days ago. The point, LaRouche said, is that Obama is trying to get the U.S. to swallow the British policy of striking deep into Russian territory — to weaken it, to invade it, to crush it.
It's not reported whether or not Shoigu made mention of the Polish decision while in Minsk, but he did refer to Western actions in Ukraine.
"The USA and the EU instigated the overthrow of the legitimate Ukrainian president and recklessly supported all the actions of Kiev regarding the forceful suppression of those who were dissatisfied with the new government," Shoigu said, in remarks reported by the Belarus News agency. "In this light we have to pay special attention to the processes in Ukraine. The western powers are trying to create pressure in this country on the Union State and influence the sustainable development of Russia and Belarus. This is why it is so important to have combat-effective armed forces and develop efficient international security mechanisms under the current circumstances," he said. Earlier in the day, Shoigu had announced the sale of 4 S-300 air defense systems to Belarus.
Russian activities over the past two days show that the Russians are, indeed, taking the war threat coming from the British Empire and Obama seriously. NATO issued a statement, yesterday, reporting that it had tracked four groups of Russian aircraft, one over the North Sea, two over the Baltic Sea and another one over the Black Sea on Oct. 28 and 29. A total of 28 aircraft, including Tu-95 Bear bombers, accompanied by air refueling aircraft, as well as tactical fighter aircraft and interceptors, took part in the air exercises that NATO tracked. The Russian formations were intercepted by Typhoons and F-16 jets from several countries over all three seas.
The NATO statement characterized these Russian flights as "an unusual level of air activity over European airspace." A NATO official stressed to Reuters that the Russian aircraft never violated the airspace of any NATO member country, leaving NATO to complain that the Russians often conduct these exercises without filing flight plans, without using their transponders and without contacting civilian air traffic control, thus endangering civilian air traffic. According to Reuters, NATO has conducted more than 100 such intercepts of Russian aircraft this year so far, about three times as many as in 2013, before the crisis over Ukraine broke out.
Equally important was the successful test launch of a Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile, yesterday, from the submarine Yuri Dolgoruky. According to Russian news reports, the missile was fired from the Barents Sea and successfuly hit its target in the Kura test range in the far east. It was the first launch of a Bulava from the Yuri Dolgoruky since it joined the Northern Fleet, last year, and it was the first launch from a boat with a full load of missiles aboard. In other words, this was an operational test of the system, not a flight development test of the missile itself. The Bulava has an operational range of 10,000 km and can carry 6 to 10 warheads of 150 kilotons each.