For a long time I wanted to write my first and also quality article about Russia, and now I have finally decided to do it. In a bunch of information from the global scene that come to us about the involvement of Russia about the issue of Syria, Iran, Ukraine and others, I will try to get out what might be important and crucial during 2014, as well as relations between the United States and NATO – on one hand and Russia on the other. I will start my analysis with the annual press conference held by President of Russia Vladimir Putin on December 19th, 2013. The conference lasted more than 4 hours and topics were various, from Snowden to the Ukrainian issue, but what is important for this text and what I will point out here, is actually the question of Russian ballistic missile systems. This part is important because it applies as a potential answer on the setting of NATO ( U.S. ) missile shield in Europe called EuroPRO. Putin´s conference was very interesting for watching, and from minute 28 in video you can find a question that reporter asked Putin regarding the missile systems Iskander. Video of particularly this part I put below.
The most important moment in Putin´s answer was the information that Moscow has not yet made an official decision about placing those missiles in the Kaliningrad region, and that the “Iskander missiles are not the only means we have at our defense however, and not the only possible response to the threats we see around us. They are just one possible response and certainly not the most effective, though in their particular class they are the most effective weapons system in the world.” Now we ask ourselves which are an additional potential responses and what is the meaning of Putin´s words? I will try to give my opinion and to explain this below, but first something about the operational – tactical missile system called Iskander and its performance.
Iskander system consists of two subsystems Iskander – M and Iskander – E. These are new Russian tactical ballistic missiles on solid fuel and with range from 50-280 km (Iskander M) and 400 km (Iskander E). In addition to this feature there is also modern inertial – optical guidance system, warhead with weight of 480 kg and possibility of use on temperatures between – 50 and + 50 degrees of Celsius. Rocket is launched from launch carrier military vehicle that can carry one or two Iskander missiles. Accuracy of “Iskander” is two meters shortfall, which is ideal for shooting small targets. Although to its ballistic trajectory, “Iskander” missile is set on vehicle as sloping shot, and it allows missile to remain almost hidden from radar one part of the flight. In the picture below you can see a graphics that explains the features of “Iskander”.
As Putin himself said in response, Iskander is not all that Russia can “offer” and that’s just one of the possible options. The real question is what is the second stage of Russia adequate response to the actions of NATO? The answer was just given by Dmitry Rogozin in his New Year’s greeting card addressed to NATO from his official Twitter profile.
Naturally this was joke from our great and convicted Serbian friend, who also mentioned information about his Serbian ancestry in one interview few years ago. As we know by the Murphy´s law that “in every joke has a bit of a joke”, and based on it, this image carries a strong diplomatic message. On this photo except Santa Claus, his pretty Claus Lady and soldiers, there is a missile Topol – M or the smartest rocket in the world! I believe that Putin, in his reply at the conference primarily meant exactly on this rocket, as something what Russia can further show or just simply “the second stage of missile diplomacy”. Topol – M rocket is also on solid fuel with static and mobile base. Length of its three stage corpus with the head portion is 22.7 m and diameter is 1.95 m, while the weight of the warhead is 1.2 tons! The range of missile is greater than 10 000 km and it crosses that distance as shown from rehearsals in 20-25 minutes. According to the level of combat readiness and precision this missile twice exceeds all previously existing intercontinental ballistic rockets in the world. The missile complex “Topol – M”, in the eyes of its general constructor Yuri Solomon, overcome all other intercontinental ballistic missiles by many parameters, and “fall into the brightest flares that we have today“. To shut down Topol – M someone must use between 5 and 7 interceptors from land. Today United States have 26 installed interceptors at Fort Greely in Alaska and 4 at base Vandenberg in California. At the same line with this info, we should add an interesting report of Chuck Hagel U.S. Secretary of Defense about installment of additional 14 missile interceptors until 2017. So, from the everything above we can make conclusion that ” Topol – M ” is the second level that comes after “Iskander”.
If putting in readiness of Topol – M system wouldn´t be sufficient for the U.S. and NATO to stop their unilateral hegemony in its own polar world, I believe that Russians will enter into last stage before final and worst stage called global war. That war will be only in case if they are forced to, they will not cause it first, certainly because in the west “Me” is written with the uppercase M, and “me” in the east is written with lowercase letter. By my opinion and research the third phase of the Russian missile diplomacy would be positioning their submarines on the coast of Cuba. That position of Cuba was used earlier in the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union at the period of “Cuban missile crisis in 1962.” Nowadays, the president of Russia, “probably would not” install missiles directly on the territory of Cuba, but at the Cuban coast there would be at least one Russian submarine. That submarine would be probably the newest one and most modern that Russia is currently building of the class Borei, called “Vladimir Monomakh“. It is named after one of the best statesmen in medieval Kievan Rus, which participated in 13 successful military battles in the name and honor of his father, and except battles he often participated in diplomatic negotiations, so you have to admit that background of this submarine name fits nicely into the whole story. The first submarine of this class “Yuriy Dolgorukiy” whose construction began in 1996th, recently completed successfully a program of tests and is already officially in the use. Other submarine of the same class named “Alexander Nevsky” was introduced a few days ago in the composition of the Russian Navy at yearly ceremony. They carry out missile from the system “Bulava” which is actually a naval version of the continental system “Topol – M” with similar performance and range, by this we can clearly imagine their strength and purpose. Apart from these two submarines, Putin announced that Russia will expand its fleet to eight new submarines from the class of Borei by 2020.
That this story about third stage of Russian missile diplomacy have its value, is also confirmed by news from the August last year about “friendly visit” of Russian military ships to Cuba. All of us who observe the world with the eyes of geopolitics will certainly know that except friendly motives there are also those geostrategical. Beside this, relations between Cuba and Russia are more than friendly and that this visit is not just accidental is shown by the info from December last year. Info was about that Russia wrote off 90% of debt that Cuba had with the former Soviet Union, which amounted to 29 billion $. In addition, at the end of this text in last sentence, there is point about interest of Russian oil companies for drilling in Cuba. Following this sentence, I came up on information about official meeting at the end of last year, between Raul Castro and Igor Sechin CEO of Rosneft, as well as the activities of Zarubezhneft in Cuba in 2013. With all these geostrategic, friendly, diplomatic and economic initiatives Russians are obviously trying to provide support from Castro and to get undisturbed access to Cuban territorial waters. Someone would say, “once partners, always partners.”
With this I would try to finish my strategic text, which slowly introduces us to return of a bipolar world, or if you ask me the better one, because this polar we have on the scene today since the fall of the Berlin Wall, was not proved as successful at all. Many of us in the past 20 years or so, felt that hegemony on our back. If you are small and weak as it was case with fragmented republics of former Yugoslavia, there was no other option except to stay on your own way and being hit on your back immediately and now, or join them and also being hit on back during some time but so subtly and with a smile, and finally at least lose yourself even more. Certainly in geopolitics there is one old phrase and rule that only interests are eternal. This rule not exclude either Russia when the interests are at stake. They also showed their “capitalist teeth” even to Serbs, especially with agreements about South Stream ownership. We have choice to be in favor or against, but for the whole world balance and future of the planet, the awakening of Russia and eastward shift of pin scale is generally a positive thing. The first example of this kind that we have witnessed is the one with Syria issue, and stop of the resolution for the bombing which has proved so far as right decision. And we who are “small and weak” but with a big heart, should slow down a little bit and wait for the pan on a global scale to balance completely. If we put the question of Kosovo* in focus, Russia is the one who will put veto on Kosovo* application for membership in the UN, it will certainly not be done by the European countries in the Security Council, and neither the United States. If we put at that same focus the question of the Republic of Srpska then the presence of Russian companies here will actually ensure strategic compact of Republika Srpska in Brcko as well peace and stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina, because I doubt that the Russians would left their capital to “war junta” if by any chances we maybe experience war again in Bosnia. The third argument is the historical connection and sentimentality which our Serbian people has with Russia or as we call it sometimes (mother Russia). Of course that’s fine and nice, but today at the time of capitalism, big oil companies and global muscle training, I will leave this argument still in third place. These arguments we certainly do not have with a western civilization heritage, unless we exclude the first major export of prunes from Serbia to the U.S. in 1882, and its value of one million $/per year. But as far as I know, those were old better times of some other America, and other Serbia. Большое спасибо!