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Going Dangerously Astray
The Moscow Times ^ | September 20, 2005 | Pavel Felgenhauer

Posted on 09/20/2005 9:32:51 PM PDT by Bald Eagle777

This month, Russia lost two jet fighters during military exercises that simulated a major war with NATO. A naval task force was deployed in the North Atlantic on a mission to intercept and destroy U.S. reinforcements heading to the European theater of war.

During exercises on Sept. 5, a Su-33 jet fighter fell off the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov during landing and sank. The pilot ejected and was rescued.

Then on Thursday, seven Air Force jet fighters were sent from the St. Petersburg area to fly over the neutral waters of the Baltic Sea to Kaliningrad. The mission was to reinforce the exclave's garrison and to train it to defend the area from a NATO onslaught.

The military regards Kaliningrad exclave -- the most western part of Russia -- as the country's most vulnerable point and the center stage of any future war with NATO. European Union and NATO members Poland and Lithuania surround Kaliningrad.

An A-50 early warning plane -- the Soviet equivalent of the NATO AWACS -- accompanied the seven fighters. The powerful radar of the A-50 would detect any attempt by NATO fighters to intercept the jets before they reached the base in Kaliningrad.

The Russian jets were prepared to defend themselves. The group was made up of Su-27 fighters, armed with long-range air-to-air missiles, and MiG-29 jets, armed as though they were to take part in a close-range dogfight.

The scenario of the exercise apparently implied that radars and air traffic control capabilities in Kaliningrad were already destroyed by NATO air attacks. The reinforcement fighter force from mainland Russia was on its own over the Baltic states with the accompanying A-50 acting as command post, air traffic control and early warning facility.

The exercise turned out to be no game: Six jets managed to reach Kaliningrad safely, but a Su-27 piloted by 36-year-old lost its way and crashed in NATO territory in Lithuania near the village of Ploksciai, 190 kilometers northwest of Vilnius.

Troyanov successfully ejected and was captured by Lithuanian police. The Defense Ministry announced that the Su-27 lost its way because of a failure of navigation equipment. A Defense Ministry official told Itar-Tass on Thursday that the crashed Su-27 was unarmed. On Saturday, Lieutenant General Sergei Baynetov announced that the Su-27 had in fact been carrying four air-to-air missiles, Interfax reported.

The Lithuanian authorities are investigating the Su-27 wreckage and questioning Troyanov. A Cold War-style controversy has developed almost 16 years after it was officially announced that the East-West confrontation in Europe was over.

It has been reported that Troyanov is a first-class pilot. First-class jet fighter pilots are part of Russia's permanent readiness forces and are considered fit for immediate action. Troyanov's Su-27 apparently lost its way and crashed in daylight and good weather. It is not clear why Russian air traffic controllers in Kaliningrad did not help the lost jet reach Russian territory.

Last September, after the Beslan tragedy, President Vladimir Putin singled out as a major danger unnamed foreign hostile nations that "believe Russia as a great nuclear power is still a treat and should be eliminated."

Putin implied that "terrorism is only an instrument" of those forces that aim to tear away "fat chunks" of our territory. Anti-Western military preparations are today a strategic priority in Putin's Russia.

Russian warplanes in recent months have approached the borders of the Baltic states in war formation and often were reported to have briefly strayed into their air space.

Anti-Westernism is a policy gladly and fully supported by the military. NATO is the enemy of choice: Russia's top brass know perfectly well that NATO will not attack and that there is no real threat of war in Europe, so billions dollars from the state budget earmarked for preparing to fight the West can be misappropriated without much risk.

In fact, the danger is indeed high -- but not the danger of a NATO attack. The decay of Russia's military has sunk to a level where it is increasingly incapable of safely operating its sophisticated, Soviet-made weapons. Time and again jets plunge, subs explode and nuclear missiles fail.

The Soviet Union was a threat because of its strength; Putin's Russia is a threat because of its weakness.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Russia
KEYWORDS: a50; admiral; antiradiation; article5; atlantic; baltics; balticsea; coldwar2; counterbattery; east; eventsof95; exercise; incident; intentions; international; kaliningrad; kuznetsov; lithuania; majorvalery; mi; mig29; missile; nato; north; ploksciai; putin; radar; relations; russia; russian; russianmilitary; september5; stpetersburg; su27; su33; thebalts; treatyorganization; troyanov; west
For your consideration
1 posted on 09/20/2005 9:32:57 PM PDT by Bald Eagle777
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To: Bald Eagle777

When was this from, 1982??

2 posted on 09/20/2005 9:35:44 PM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: Larry Lucido
When was this from, 1982??

Oh no. The Ruskies were much more modernized in 1982.:)

3 posted on 09/20/2005 9:38:26 PM PDT by taxesareforever (Government is running amuck)
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To: taxesareforever
Troyanov successfully ejected and was captured by Lithuanian police.

"So, how was your day, dear?"

"Oh, the usual. Wrote some parking tickets, investigated a B&E, captured a Russian fighter pilot."

4 posted on 09/20/2005 9:40:57 PM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: Bald Eagle777

Ouch, This will leave a mark

5 posted on 09/20/2005 9:41:11 PM PDT by MJY1288 (Whenever a Liberal is Speaking on the Senate Floor, Al-Jazeera Breaks in and Covers it LIVE)
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To: Bald Eagle777

I'm not a fan of world government, by any stretch of the imagination, nor of the unfounded, overarching aspirations of the U.N. or even in any theoretical role as a 'required' clearing house for any National Security-related issue whatsoever, but I have always been a staunch fan of Article 5:

"The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence..."

6 posted on 09/20/2005 9:41:49 PM PDT by Bald Eagle777 (1) Honor God. 2) Honor your parents. 3) anti-Christian Secularism in the West has to "go")
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To: Bald Eagle777; madrussian

So tell me **how** do Russia's fighter jets stop the next "radical Islamic" massacre at a Beslan school?

Don't get me wrong, I understand why Putin is still PO'd about Kosovo...but he's fighting the wrong war here.

7 posted on 09/20/2005 10:03:53 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Larry Lucido


8 posted on 09/20/2005 10:04:32 PM PDT by taxesareforever (Government is running amuck)
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To: Bald Eagle777
Thats sad. I feel bad for them. IMO this is not good for US that their performance is that pathetic.

9 posted on 09/20/2005 10:08:47 PM PDT by RunningWolf (U.S. Army Veteran.....75-78)
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To: Bald Eagle777

I don't think they are a threat nearly so much for their "weakness", as they are for the "stupidity" of their leaders!

10 posted on 09/20/2005 10:32:18 PM PDT by singfreedom ("Victory at all costs,.......for without victory there is no survival."--Churchill--that's "Winston")
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To: Bald Eagle777
Maybe by 2020 - if the China threat is not completely overblown - the Russians will be modernized as part of NATO. Out of "world security" concerns.

Not that I think this is a good idea. I say NATO sucked from day one (Russians could've and should've been kicked back to their borders in 1945 except Roosevelt's administration was infested with pinkos. Very convenient how we demonstrated massive military superiority at Hiroshima immediately after giving Stalin Eastern Europe. Really I think all Hirohito/Tojo had to do was embrace Marxism to ward off the US attack. That was their big mistake. If they played their cards right Roosevelt would've signed a peace treaty delivering them half of Asia.)

Anyway, the most important thing the permanent US military presence in Western Europe did was provide a collosal peace dividend to each and every NATO member which of course floated every Democrat Socialist state. Countries which if they had to pay for their own defense could never have afforded the welfare state. And still couldn't today.

One reason Europe is so leftwing is they don't have the Electoral College system. But the other is they can afford the welfare with Uncle Sam paying the defense bills. So sure why not put Russia on the dole too? Team World Police.

Just wanted to get that off my chest. Thank you.

11 posted on 09/21/2005 1:21:45 AM PDT by XpandTheEkonomy
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To: Bald Eagle777

You cannot see the real condition of the Russian Armed Forces in this article. Both type of A/C accidents happen to us and that is not a reflection of our readiness. The larger problem that the Russians have is people and the structure of their forces, not a couple of A/C accidents. They still do not trust their enlisted. The US enlisted are the backbone of the Armed Forces and are completely trusted with things done only by Russian officers.

It is funny that the Communist system did not trust the "proletariat" and the US trusts them implicitly. All gets back to "We the people...".

12 posted on 09/21/2005 4:09:38 AM PDT by KeyWest
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