The 559th Fighter Bomber Aviation Regiment, equipped with SU-34 jets has been deployed to the Black Sea region.

The Open Source Intelligence Twitter account SkyWatcher Intel is following this, if you don’t follow them then I’d suggest you go do that now.

What Is Open Source Intelligence?

OSINT, or open source intelligence, is the practice of collecting information from published or otherwise publicly available sources. OSINT operations, whether practiced by enthusiasts or professionals use various techniques to sift through the vast haystack of visible data to find information few release is actually public.

What are the Russians saying about this?

The Russians say that this is a long-planned exercise. According to a translated excerpt from state media:

“The crews of the operational-tactical aviation of the Air Force and Air Defense Association of the Southern Military District redeployed to operational airfields to carry out joint missions with the naval aviation of the Black Sea Fleet. The activities were carried out during the control check during the winter training period.

In addition, the pilots of the two formations will carry out the tasks of escorting naval strike groups and acting as part of reconnaissance strike complexes while ensuring security in the Black Sea.

The control check of the Southern Military District troops for the winter period is carried out according to the approved troop training plan for 2021. It involves the troops of all associations of the district, including the Black Sea Fleet and the Caspian Flotilla. The commissions of higher military command and control bodies also check the staffing level and supply of troops, their ability to meet the standards established by the requirements of combat and operational training.”

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Pete
Pete
2 months ago

Wonder if Russians the are looking to escalate before the Ukrainians get hold of material volumes of Turkish loitering munitions and various others capabilities from the West.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
2 months ago
Reply to  Pete

It would only take a relatively small number of accurate shoulder launched SAM’s to ruin a Russian day or a few dozen loitering munitions that could make a mess or the Russian mobile scrap pile. As we have commented before on here; the number of up to date units of anything that Russia has is very small backed up by loads of antiquated kit and masses of semi trained people. I have great respect for the Russians and they are not dummies but they are foolish to think that Ukraine has not invested in or acquired some technologies that could… Read more »

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
2 months ago

Escalation is always a problem and in this case we have RAF Typhoons next door in Romania. This has to be handled carefully.

Pete
Pete
2 months ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

Thought the Typhoons weren’t leaving till the summer…understood it was all the advanced logistics and maintenance kit that had just left the UK to go and get set up..

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
2 months ago
Reply to  Pete

Your right Pete. Should have said ..will have.

Nic
Nic
2 months ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

I agee this has to be handled very carefully or it could end up drawning europe into open conflict with Russian forces

John
John
2 months ago

The US provided Ukraine with some stinger platforms if I’m not mistaken.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
2 months ago
Reply to  John

I hadn’t seen that in the FMS bulletins?

It would make sense and provide a formidable defensive capability for the Ukrainian ground forces.

Daveyb
Daveyb
2 months ago

There has been a fair amount of background information that the Crimea is running short of potable water. Prior to annexation, this was provided via a canal fed by Lake Kakhovs’ke and the rivers around the town of Mykolayiv. Since the annexation, Ukraine, blocked the supply. The Russians have moved a large ground force to near the Donetsk region and are moving amphibious forces to the Sea of Azov. This seems to be more that a show of force or a large exercise. Perhaps, it is just a show of force/an exercise. But if was Ukraine, I’d be worried. With… Read more »

Rfn_Weston
Rfn_Weston
2 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

I’d take my chances against the MANPAD’s I think. More chance of breaking line of sight with buildings/terrain etc than dodging AD missiles I’d imagine? Not confident in that answer though just thinking out loud…

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
2 months ago
Reply to  Rfn_Weston

As ever it depends on operator skill, location and tactics throw in a bit of luck and for a close air support pilot other than terrain those are imponderables.

With a really good MANPAD if you in a good position for a firing solution they are virtually impossible to avoid. Partly because the Time to Engagement is so short.

If you are taking pot shots with a MANPAD these tend to have more deterrence value / throw of target acquisition than high chances of downing an aircraft.

BB85
BB85
2 months ago

Have Stingers been upgraded over time? I know it has been around longer than I have been alive, but could it take out an SU34 for example.
Realistically they will need thousands of them to cover enough potential targets and potential bombing runs. I’m surprised the EU didn’t sell them some patriot batteries hasn’t Poland offered them a lot of assistance modernising their legacy equipment?

Karl
Karl
2 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Makes sense to threaten over water supplies, after all in other parts of the world water is being used for strategic objectives.

AJP1960
2 months ago

Currently Russia have 85,000 troops in the area. Ukraine has a relatively modern army with 240,000.

Steve
Steve
2 months ago
Reply to  AJP1960

I’m surprised by that, I had assumed Ukraine army would be much smaller. Seems odd that they couldn’t retake crimea if they have the much of a numbers advantage.

AJP1960
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Probably because they know that Russia has 1m active military personel and 2m reservists

Paul T
Paul T
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Ukraine can’t match Russia in any sphere although as has been said their numbers are impressive

Graham
Graham
2 months ago
Reply to  AJP1960

In classic theory Russia would need 720,000 troops to be sure of successful full invasion of Ukraine, so that is not Putin’s intent- but what is?

Paul T
Paul T
2 months ago
Reply to  Graham

If you use the Invasion of Iraq in 2003 as an example you won’t need 720,000 Troops to achieve your objectives – the first being securing the Black Sea Coast to Crimea,the second being a Lightning Strike to Kiev to pre-empt a change of Government.

Daveyb
Daveyb
2 months ago
Reply to  Pete

Ukraine developed the TB2 with Turkey, based on their conflict experience. They also have a number of medium to small suicide drone based on commercial quadcopters. Both the Russian “separatists” and Ukraine have massively developed how UAVs are employed and countered in and around the forward line of conflict.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
2 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Although we shouldn’t underestimate Russian EW against commercial offshoot drones.

Mike Hannah
Mike Hannah
2 months ago

Russia biggest miscalculation could be if NATO will stand back and let Ukraine fight alone. NATO and individual countries have voiced too much support for Ukraine to be left to stand alone. RAF are present in Romania and can rapidly deploy more aircraft to the area. American abd U.K. special forces are in country.
Ultimately this could back fire badly on Russia

BB85
BB85
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike Hannah

I don’t think nato countries will get involved due to the risk of nuclear escalation. Basically nato has had 6 years to equip and train millions of Ukraine soldiers to make life extremely difficult for Russia if they choose to invade. Also Ukraine has to decide if they want to risk their country being combarded with heavy artilary.

Mike Hannah
Mike Hannah
2 months ago
Reply to  BB85

For NATO not to intervene it will be an open invitation for Putin to continue his rebuilding of the USSR . He will roll up Ukraine and move onto his next target .
This fight is coming whether we like it or not.

Also it sends a clear message to China, North Korea and other world dictators that they will get away with acquiring real estate.

Making it clear to Putin that the big cannot prey on the small will not be accepted. Sends a message to Putin and sends a clear message to others with similar ideas.

BB85
BB85
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike Hannah

It does, everyone knows HKs days under the 2 systems 1 country will soon become 1 system. China is probing India and Taiwan. Thankfully Taiwan has a sea border which makes insurgency intervention much more difficult without crossing a red line. But they are doing whatever they want in the SCS.
The issue is if Germany isn’t willing to defend Ukraine why would the US? Same for Taiwan why should a 70 year old doctrine force the US into a war with a regional super power if it does not threaten the US directly.

Mike Hannah
Mike Hannah
2 months ago
Reply to  BB85

China has shown itself to be a clear and present danger both economically and military to America and to the interests of Europe . Russia is playing games. It thinks it still has influence in the region as the head of NATO put it, NATO will decide whether Ukraine becomes a member not Russia.
Whether we like it or not conflict with both parties is coming. Pushing back now will send a message .

John
John
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike Hannah

Easy to say, hard to do. What precisely would you do about it?

Mike Hannah
Mike Hannah
2 months ago
Reply to  John

Do as they are doing now, not to make the first move, make it clear to Ukraine not to make the first move. But make Putin know we are watching and we have assets in place to intervene and that Ukraine does not stand alone if attacked.
If we gift Putin Ukraine he will not stop there he will just take aim at the next target country.

Rogbob
Rogbob
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike Hannah

In terms of advocating a NATO response, I’ll be in the vehicle behind yours…

Overall, let them, the Ukraine is practically worthless to us and the Ukrainians will fight whilst this will embolden anti Putin/Russian elements everywhete. Turn it into another Afghan meat grinder where we liberally supply resistence with int and weapons. Let Russia feel what overstretch is like, and let it bleed and spend its treasure and above all, thought and effort on this instead of elsewhere.

Mike Hannah
Mike Hannah
2 months ago
Reply to  Rogbob

And where do we draw the line? Do we then abandon Romania as that will undoubtably be his next target. Roll out the red carpet for China to take back Taiwan and annex the Philippines or North Korea to take the south.
This is as much about sending a message to other would be territory builders ?

You can bet your bottom dollar that as soon as Tanks roll across the front line in Russian occupied area of Ukraine, the Ukraine government will be screaming for help.

Rogbob
Rogbob
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike Hannah

Literally none of that is ever going to happen and we dont need to spend our blood and treasure fighting the same imaginary domino theory which was BS 5 decades ago and is BS now.

Mike Hannah
Mike Hannah
2 months ago
Reply to  Rogbob

I am glad Australia, India , Canada and the USA to name a few did not support your idea BS in 1939 !!

Rogbob
Rogbob
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike Hannah

It’s true, to a hammer fetishist, everything really does look like a nail. Do you really not see the difference between what did happen, in one specific conflict/decade, and what quite obviously wont happen (Russians in Romania, fk they’ve not go the logistics to get there let alone the blood to spill to hold it, not to mention similar crap about China in the Philphines or North Korea trying to roll south). On another forum all I see is hard left types eqauting now to the 1930s and the Tories as literally the Nazi party – the two ends of… Read more »

Mike Hannah
Mike Hannah
2 months ago
Reply to  Rogbob

Interesting over reaction to my post!! I see a strong country praying on a weaker country. I see one dictator imposing his will on an ever increasing part of Europe. I am neither end of the spectrum, I do not consider the Tory party to be Nazi or Labour to be communist. What I see are parallels with what the U.K. faced in 1939. You are entitled to your opinion and I respect that but don’t try and put words in my mouth or try and ram your opinion down my throat. There is an international rule of law (still)… Read more »

Rogbob
Rogbob
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike Hannah

Define irony. Someone having a hissy fit about posts having spent half a dozen labelling someone at the drop of a proverbial and even questioning why they should be posting, the polar opposite of “respect”. And as for words into mouths, Pot, meet kettle.

I see a wanabee warmonger who appears to have only a tiny telescope to see historical lessons through, and that really is the same stupid.

As Churchill said, jaw jaw is better than war war, and he should know, noting he said that after the war.

Mike Hannah
Mike Hannah
2 months ago
Reply to  Rogbob

Where did I have a hissy fit, or spend half a dozen posts doing anything you have stated unless your name is Putin? And I don’t think I even did it then?

Andrew
Andrew
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike Hannah

I think you’ll find that Australia, India and Canada would have had defence agreements with the Uk….

Anyway talking of the USA, what did they do in 1939? It was only after pearl harbour, 7th December 1941 that the USA entered the war, and only against the Japanese…. it was only Hitlers foolish decision several days later to declare war on the USA that eventually brought them into the European War…

Mike Hannah
Mike Hannah
2 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

I very much doubt we did especially with India!!

As regards the USA they were supporting the U.K. with material and Lend Lease of Ships aircraft and other materials .

Steve
Steve
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike Hannah

At a profit to the USA don’t forget. Anyhow what happened before any of was born is irrelevant, the world has changed a lot since then. Predominately around appetite for war, in the mass media age, that appetite has now vanished.

Mike Hannah
Mike Hannah
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve

And we profited in previous wars. There is no such thing as a free lunch.
As for media appetite, was there ever? Certainly in the US press post Pearl Harbour but not in the U.K. press at any stage leading up to the start of hostilities. .

Steve
Steve
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike Hannah

Yep, but this is the point, countries only really get involved in wars (where they are not forced into being involved) where money is involved. Unforutnely for Ukraine, their not that important to the international powers to get invovled, and unforuntely for most of eastern Europe, i suspect the same is true, NATO member or not.

Mike Hannah
Mike Hannah
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike Hannah

Beside their is an international law to be upheld!!
We will agree to disagree !! I have no wish for war but If we are going to have to face Putin at some point, which we are.going to do eventually!!
I would rather it was as far from the U.K. as possible!!

Steve
Steve
2 months ago
Reply to  John

Agreed NATO won’t get involved.

There is no indication that NATO is moving assets into the region. To get involved they would actually need some forces to fight back.

Realistically the only thing NATO could do without starting a war, would be to get in first and at the invite of Ukraine place a large force at the Ukraine / Russian border, and then hope that stops Russia in their tracks. However politically it would be dynamite both locally within nato members (can you imagine our Parliament signing off on it) and globally and so would never happen.

Last edited 2 months ago by Steve
Mr Bell
Mr Bell
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Stationing substantial deterrence forces in Ukraine would be a red flag to Putin and Russia. Russians see Bellorus and Ukraine as their “near abroad” and under their influence. They (Russians) are scarred by history. They would never allow a large opposing force to be stationed on their border. I think there are easier means to control Russia via diplomatic pressure, sanctions, embargoes etc. Freeze the assets of Putin and all his oligarch cronies. Hit them where it hurts. Russia economically is very delicate and its economic ability to wage war can be severely curtailed. Just need our friends and allies… Read more »

Steve
Steve
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Yeah it would be a massive gamble, but all depends if you consider it more important to stop Russia in its tracks or to not wind up Putin. Ok a annoyed Putin could react irrationally but I suspect not.

We aren’t in 1940s but the history lessons I learnt was the mistake then was not doing something earlier to prevent Germany from attacking Poland. The great mistake of the not accepting Russias proposal of an military alliance to descalate Germany.

Again it’s not the 1940s and hard to know if such a move now would make things worse or not.

Cymbeline
Cymbeline
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike Hannah

I’d be surprised if Nato would willingly invoke its self were Russia move in, but I can see it going pear shaped very quickly and Nato getting drawn in. If they do move in I think we should withdraw all our diplomats and staff from Russia and give the Russians here their P45s at the very least, then replicate that across the EU and US, then take it from there

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike Hannah

Deeply concerning as I alluded to earlier in anticipation of an alliance that Russia warned the US on Ukrainian ‘interference’ on the very sam3 day China warned them off Taiwan interference while both build up and sabre rattle to judge responses. And yet barely a mention on News media. If that concerted action continues and builds then the inevitable developments will potentially change the balance of power in the world and make world war a very strong possibility. Someone has to judge if a line in the sand now is better than trying to act strong later, I wouldn’t want… Read more »

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
2 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Agree spy. It seems smokes and mirrors with China and Russia timing events together. Either both will act in unison and cause significant military trouble or they are both testing the resolve of Bidden.
If they sense hesitation or weakness they will feel emboldened.
Biden’s response so far has been measured. China sends the Lianlong battle group through Taiwan straits. Washington sends a Nimitz class super carrier and ARG together into the South China Sea to exercise freedom of navigation.
That must have given China some pause for thought.

James
James
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Agreed I think both are testing Biden, they may have to wait a while for a response mind but they are definitely seeing how he reacts. NK did it first with a couple of missiles last month, now its the turn of Russia and China, lets hope that is all they are up to.

Andrew
Andrew
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike Hannah

Why would NATO intervene in, what is in all reality, two countries it does not have any formal defence treaties with who have a border dispute/encroachments?

Stephen Ball
Stephen Ball
2 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

Ukraine want’s too join Nato, Russia doesn’t want Ukraine to join Nato.

We been in intense dialogue with Ukraine since 2005. Seems Ukraine want’s a Membership Action Plan the last hurdle till membership of Nato.

Last edited 2 months ago by Stephen Ball
Meirion X
Meirion X
2 months ago
Reply to  BB85

There will be No nuclear escalation. It will be kept conventional. Putin & Co is having a too good of a life of luxury in Palaces with hookers etc, for him to risk ammgadon!

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
2 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Yes but Putin is a mad arse psychopathic killer. So who knows. Anyone that sanctions a Novichok botched assassination attempt on a NATO member state’s home territories has got his risk calculation wrong.

dave12
dave12
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Well said Mr Bell.

BB85
BB85
2 months ago

Ukraine has had 6 years to gear up and prepare. I know the US has supplied them with plenty of javelin atms but ims sure they have received plenty of additional equipment to conduct a gorilla warfare campaign of Russia did roll in with heavy armour. It wouldn’t make much sense to counter with their own if Russian quickly establishes air dominance. Still with millions of trained soldiers, atms and manpads stashed across the country they could make the war unwinnable for Russia.

John
John
2 months ago
Reply to  BB85

Correct. They do not need to be able to win, they only need to be able to deny the other of it.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
2 months ago
Reply to  John

Yes that is the big hope I think there is only so much hurt the Russian e Ono you can take. If it fails though then the future is rather bleak I fear.

BB85
BB85
2 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

The other thing to consider is how much hurt is Ukraine prepared to take to maintain its sovereignty. Not much point in winning freedom if your country has been flattened. Paris and Copenhagen came out of their occupations in better shape than if they had have been flattened.

Rob
Rob
2 months ago
Reply to  John

The last time the Soviet Union / Russia tried to occupy a country (Afghanistan) they managed to fight the insurgency for ten years with the loss of 15,000 troops. That conflict had a decisive affect on the collapse of the Soviet Union. Moreover the terrible legacy of WW2 means that Russian people are very casualty averse, don’t get me wrong, if they were to be invaded they’d fight to the last but I’m not sure the general public would put up with the casualties a general war with Ukraine would involve. I think the most likely outcome of such a… Read more »

Steve
Steve
2 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Can’t really compare, Afghanistan was at war with itself for years and had built up massive mountain/guerrilla warfare experience, as the UK/US discovered. Ukraine doesn’t have the landscape, experience nor probably the stomach for such a war.

Probably chechnya is a better example.

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Ukraine is not Chechnya. Chechnya was minnow with a population of 1.4 million people and Was surrounded by Russia it had no hope. Ukraine is the second largest nation in Europe ( land mass ) and has 41 million population with a standing army of around 200,000 solders thats been at war with Russia since 2014. It’s not any easy pill to swallow. It also has boarder with other European nations so is not “surrounded by Russia”.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
2 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Agree a general war vs Ukraine would result in significant casualties on both sides. Russia would have to bring in it’s full armoured strength to steam roll ukraine. There would be civilian casualties and the world would not look kindly on Rusdia were this to occur. There is an alternative. I think hybrid warfare of our own. Seize the Russian oligarch possessions and assets. Deport all of Putins known associates and put a travel ban on all of them. So they cant go to Italy, Croatia, Monaco to splash their cash. Export embargoes on raw materials and goods that are… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Yes, with support ( money, material and training) Ukraine can fight its own war. Especially if the West really put the screws on Russia. A ground war with Ukraine and an economic war with the west is not something Russia is likely to manage ( people forget as a nations its not economically even in the same league as the U.K., Germany or france).

if the west provides to means to keep the Russian airforce honest invading a large nation becomes a very big problem indeed.

dave12
dave12
2 months ago
Reply to  BB85

We supplied the the Ukraine army with saxons lol.

Frank62
Frank62
2 months ago
Reply to  BB85

Maybe, but it will leave the Ukraine a devestated wasteland with huge numbers of the population imprisoned or dead. If we turn our backs on democracies on the front line we only invite our own demise in turn. Better stop Putin & the PRC in their tracks by wise detterance now than after millions suffer or die.

Andrew D
2 months ago

The clock is ticking and looking hot 🔥it’s just a matter of time now sadly.

John Hampson
John Hampson
2 months ago

Putin’s development of new types of nuclear weapons is simply despicable. The weapons are horrific. Putin is a manifestation of a psychosis that is deeply ingrained in Russia. He and the evolved paranoia of Russains are a significant threat to peace. But before jumping to predictable opinions about Eastern Ukraine consider this. In the Falklands, an external power acted to defend a population, of a small territory, that had voted for continued links with that mother power rather than be subsumed by another nation that spoke a completely different language and was of different ethnic background. In the Ukraine, a population of… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by John Hampson
James
James
2 months ago
Reply to  John Hampson

Why is it despicable? Russia must keep parity with US however it can, with improvements in America’s ballistic missile defence capabilities other ways in need to be found.
I’d hope we were as serious about maintaining our defence posture as the Russians instead of constant drawdowns.
And what difference will Poseidon actually make? The minute either side are releasing nukes we’re all screwed whether they come from space or sea

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago
Reply to  James

There are a number of reasons for our own nuclear deterrent, it adds a bit of mystery and keeps the others honest. The US knows it cannot just go la la not our problem if we have our own deterrent and Russia knows that so everyone shall we say stays honest in the face of mutual buggered. Sing 🎶 And we all go down together……

John Hampson
John Hampson
2 months ago
Reply to  James

Russian Ministry of Defense document described Poseidon as achieving : ““The defeat of the important economic facilities of the enemy in the vicinity of the coast and causing assured unacceptable damage to the country through the establishment of zones of extensive radioactive contamination, unsuitable for implementation in these areas of military, economic, business or other activity for a long time.” The intention of that weapon is not just to destroy the target but for the 1st time to intentionally turn the US into an uninhabitable radioactive wasteland. The H-bomb warhead is probably laced with cobalt to generate radioactivity that lasts… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by John Hampson
Meirion X
Meirion X
2 months ago

“…to carry out joint missions with the naval aviation of the Black Sea Fleet.”

It seems what the Russians are saying, is the SU-34’s could be used to attack western warships deployed in the Black Sea. The US DoD has said they may deploy more vessels in the region. Also there is a debate in Turkey to end the Montreux Convention, this would allow the deployment of USN Carrier groups in the Black Sea. Also we the UK could deployed a QE carrier we with F-35B’s in Black Sea.

Last edited 2 months ago by Meirion X
captain p wash
captain p wash
2 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

I might be wrong but, not too sure we could actually send a Carrier Group to the Black Sea as well as the South China Sea ? Do we have two Crews, Any spare F35’s. T45’s, T23’s ? If so then what will be left……..

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
2 months ago
Reply to  captain p wash

Hi Captain, Nothing would be left. It is one or the other. We should also remember that the Russian’s still have a few effective submarines and these would threaten the Atlantic sea routes even if they didn’t fire on anything. What we have left over from escorting the QE would be needed to keep track of those subs. NATO would be hard pressed to cover the Atlantic trade routes given the size of it’s fleet(s) (remembering that 1/3 of the fleet(s) would be at high readiness and more than half of the remaining US Navy fleet is deployed elsewhere on… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago
Reply to  captain p wash

It’s on the way don’t you know…well unless some other idiot crashes their ship into a desert. But I can’t see anyone putting a carrier into the Black Sea….it would be a bit like sticking a big sign on it saying “in case of war sink me please”. The med is a perfectly good sea for a carrier and there a whole shed load of handy NATO countries to park airplanes in.

Captain P Wash
Captain P Wash
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

“It’s on the way don’t you know.” Well Yup but off route and quite some distance from the intended (years long planned) destination. So unless they are diverted before the Canal, or before they reach the SCS, I guess we would have to look at what we have left and as others have said, Not a lot to spare given current commitments and lack of Hulls/Planes. Wouldn’t like to enter the Black Sea either without some serious back up.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
2 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

You dont need to send QE into the narrow confines of the black sea. Deployed in Eastern Med with mutual support from RAF in Cyprus would be sufficient. As long as over flights allowed in Turkish and Greek airspace that would block Putin from spilling out into the Med and help contain any adventurism.

Captain P Wash
Captain P Wash
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

I wouldn’t think that Mr Putin would chance “Spilling into the Med” though, Greece and Turkey are Nato Members after all and I can’t really see what would be gained there,( apart from Cyprus with it’s large Russian community, strategic position and Facilities ) reckon he would turn attention to the smaller ex soviet states northwards to the Baltic.

Frank62
Frank62
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Russia already has lots of presence on the Syrian coast, so could strike Cyprus with ease. Leaving Assad to murder his own people with Russian support really coming back to bite.

JJ Smallpiece
JJ Smallpiece
2 months ago

As others have said – if Vlad is stupid enough to invade the Ukraine NATO should not get involved with the direct fighting, but help Ukraine drawing Russia into a long war, inflict maximum Russian casualties. Make it a another Russian Afghanistan. It will be messy and not very pretty, but lets see how popular Putin is when there are lots of crying Russian mothers.

James
James
2 months ago
Reply to  JJ Smallpiece

Lack of popularity is great when votes are counted properly, sadly I very much doubt a single election in Russia in living memory has been correctly counted.

G Hanson
G Hanson
2 months ago

If only the west had NOT made the former Warpac states into NATO members and created a buffer zone of free trade both ways, demilitarised and fixed in a binding and comprehensive treaty. Russia has a long memory and remembers well the horrors of 1941-45 and the millions killed and died with the result that Russia has a national paranoia about the real or imaginary threat posed by the West. I fear war if started with Putin in charge will escalate as Putin like Stalin cares little for the average Russian person and will sacrifice them on the alter of… Read more »

Meirion X
Meirion X
2 months ago
Reply to  G Hanson

No one force the former Warpac countries to join NATO! Most of the former Warpac countries were either invited or asked to join NATO. It would of been very self-righteous of NATO to have refused them entry.

G Hanson
G Hanson
2 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

It doesn’t matter, we always make the same mistake in assuming that Western values are the answer to every geo-political problem in the world.

Frank62
Frank62
2 months ago
Reply to  G Hanson

“Russia has a long memory and remembers well the horrors of 1941-45”-but a very short one, ignoring its treaty with Nazi Germany 1939-41. Stalin & the Bolsheviks killed even more Russians than the Nazis.

Last edited 2 months ago by Frank62
G Hanson
G Hanson
2 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

Exactly that why Russia is dangerous under Putin I am sure they are capable of doing anything to anyone. If it does kick off with NATO then I think we will see diversionary operations in the Baltic states and possible China / Taiwan as an opportunistic move.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

ignoring its treaty with Nazi Germany 1939-41″

In what way, Frank?

Frank62
Frank62
2 months ago

They focus on the great patriotic defence after the 1941 invasion but ignore the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact preceeding it from August 1939 that allowed Nazi expansion while the USSR swallowed up the Baltics & eastern Poland. Stalin did not believe the warnings of his own intelligence that Germany was preparing an attack because he thought he was completely safe under that treaty with Hitler.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

Hi Frank. Yes I’m aware of all that. Wonder if I read your post wrongly, I took it to mean they ignored their own treaty at the time! I think you’re saying they ignore their own complicity in Germany’s expansion. I’m slow today! Be that as it may, up til 22nd June they still sent trains west with raw materials while the Brandenburg went the other way. Stalin I believe was well aware, Churchill warned him through Ultra and the Luftwaffes own aircraft were making maps of Russia hundreds of miles beyond the border, inecof which crashed. I think he… Read more »

Karl
Karl
2 months ago

Oh this could get nasty.

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago

I wonder if there is a red line in here somewhere, I suspect Putin is testing to see. I’m not sure the Ukraine should be our red line, NATO is making it pretty clear where the red lines are around NATO states. The question is will we go to war with Russia over Ukraine ? Not sure, but there is plenty of legal justification that would make intervention possible. There is the NATO-Ukraine charter which could be interpreted robustly by the west especially in things like supply and intelligence and placing personal on the ground in training and advisory roles.… Read more »

Captain P Wash
Captain P Wash
2 months ago

Just my Thinking aloud here but, with all this talk of China and Russia, isn’t it about time we started building up our numbers, not just big ticket stuff but less expensive still capable Subs, Frigates, Aircraft ? Isn’t it about time the Press pick up on these threats and help turn the publics opinion ? You can never be too prepared for the Next One.

Frank62
Frank62
2 months ago
Reply to  Captain P Wash

Absolutely. Could probably do with a few more tanks methinks rather than cutting them!

James
James
2 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

I dont think we have scrapped them yet, well I hope.

James
James
2 months ago
Reply to  Captain P Wash

Great idea but how would we get the money to fund it? It can only come from other budgets in the state we are and if we start slicing the police, fire, education or god forbid the NHS can you imagine the field day the press let alone the opposition would have!