8-Feb-17 Putin’s Tough Choice, or the US’s Tough Choice?

Remember the posting of the other day? “In conclusion, what Trump represents is the awareness, finally, in the US, that Russia is not there for the taking and a very hefty price would have to be paid to get half of Russia’s support. ”
Very interesting article in Zero Hedge: Putin’s Tough Choice: China Or The West.

Will he, or won’t he?

From the article: “Foreshadowing all of this was a news leak late last year in Germany’s Bild Zeitung, that Kissinger has drafted a plan to officially recognize Crimea as part of Russia and lift the Obama administration’s economic sanctions.”

Of course, the Russians will not be seduced by a man in his last hours, I mean Kissinger, but we should not lose sight of such real politics. Otherwise, how to explain this: Henry Kissinger becomes member of Russian Academy of Sciences

The US is in disarray, it is in conflict with itself and with everyone else. This is the gruesome spectacle of a dying elephant. Try not to get hurt.

5-Feb-17 Why all the antagonism against Trump?

A lot of conspiracy theories could be developed to explain this and that, but it’s not so much of a mystery as many would think. A book written in 1992, The New CommonWealth , basically explains that it is the rise of China that worried — and still worries — the white man’s world. Various tactics have been promoted on how to handle this long-term strategic threat.

Should the West conquer Russia first, just like Hitler attempted, and then focus on the main adversary (China)? Or ally with Russia?

Well, Russia has a “soul” and a mind of its own, and did not think it would be funny to be a colony of the West, and it refused to play along with the first option. Furthermore, Russia said, if you want us to be your allies against China, there is a price for that. That is, the whole of Europe and the Middle East. The West said, No Way! We’ll show you who dictates the terms.

Well, it turns out that Russia was weak on several points – low demographics, a strong fifth column, a weak consumer goods industry; but it had first class (second to none) military acumen and military technology. They said, OK, you want us as a colony? Come and take it!

And that is where things started to get messy. The US is a first-rate Madison Avenue PR superman, but a fifth-rate military power, such that they can only boast of conquering Grenada in a one-on-one fight.

The US bankrupted itself in 30 years, and now is begging Russia for an alliance against China. And you can see the signs of willingness to turn over the whole of Europe and the Middle East to Russia. But the Russians are still playing chess.

This past fall I’ve been visiting the Vladivostok and Irkutsk regions of Russia, and Moscow – all over Russia, and I can tell from first-hand experience of the appalling, numbing invasion of Chinese – crude, rude, aggressive, all over the main cities of Russia, while the Russians are sort of stunned, and mild. Ninety-five percent of the hotels are filled with Chinese. Trainloads, bus loads of them.

In conclusion, what Trump represents is the awareness, finally, in the US, that Russia is not there for the taking and a very hefty price would have to be paid to get half of Russia’s support. In the words of a British diplomat, the Russians played a weak hand brilliantly, while the US played a brilliant hand catastrophically poorly.

In the long run, China remains the number one rival/threat. We don’t know how this will all end, in another hundred years.

3-Feb-17 The ultra-secret weapon that allows Putin to assume his supremacy in the electronic radio war in Syria

Valentin Vasilescu

Translated from French by Alice Decker

Originally published in Ziarul de Garda (in Romanian) (11 October 2015)

And in French (12 October 2015) at Réseau international

Russia knew from the outset that NATO’s air and space surveillance systems were in a position to control all the activity of Russian military aircraft based in Syria. Thanks to the American reconnaissance aircraft RC135, the British Sentinel R1 aircraft, the AWACS radars and the Predator unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) deployed on Syria’s borders, it was possible to intercept : all radio traffic on Russian networks, the number and type of aircraft, their flight paths, the type of weapon used, the objectives targeted by the rebels, and their location — especially since most rebel groups in Syria are armed and supported by the United States and can be warned in time, for each operation.


The media had long been talking about the types of Russian bombers operating in Syria, the weapons they used for air strikes, and the results of these strikes. But the most sophisticated, the “secret weapon” that enabled the Russians to impose their supremacy in electronic warfare remains surrounded by mystery.

The formidable Russian system of collecting and processing data also remains enveloped in mystery. These two categories of weapons constitute the C4i complex (command, control, communication, computers, information and interoperability) that the Russians created in Syria. It allows bombing targets to be identified and allocated among the different types of aircraft, while preventing NATO from discovering anything of the Russians’ modus operandi. Lacking even a minimum of information, NATO cannot trigger effective electronic countermeasures (ECM) against the Russians in Syria.

The land, naval and air of electronic warfare equipment that Russia has deployed in the theater of military operations in Syria make it possible to monitor the entire electromagnetic spectrum in order to locate enemy systems and to jam them. Electronic warfare now extends to the jamming of communications, radars and electro-optical monitoring systems. Modern countermeasures equipment, including in the visible, infrared or laser spectrum, uses aerial and space-based electro-optical (IMINT) monitoring to thwart the Russians in annihilating the EI. To protect against NATO reconnaissance, the Russians have deployed several Krasukha-4 in Syria. The Russian Su-24, Su-25, and Su-34 aircraft are equipped with SAP-518 / SPS-171 jamming pods and the Mi-8AMTSh helicopters with Richag-AVs. In addition is the Priazovye ship (Vishnya class), belonging to the Russian Black Sea fleet, which has been deployed in the Mediterranean Sea near the Syrian coast. This vessel specializes in scrambling and in collecting SIGINT and COMINT data (interception of all communication networks).

The Krasukha-4 is a mobile broadband system, mounted on the BAZ-6910-022 8 X 8 chassis, which interferes with the surveillance radars of military satellites, AWACS ground and air radars, and those mounted on unmanned aircraft (drones). The Krasukha-4 is the only system capable of blurring the Lacrosse / Onyx family of American spy satellites. These satellites travel in low orbit and are equipped with SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar), which allows them to penetrate the cloud layer as well as the ground or the walls of buildings, with a resolution of 20 cm.

What happened as a result of the Russians putting in place such electronic radio warfare equipment in Syria?

The Krasukha-4 system at the Russian air base in Hmeymim (Latakia Governorate) creates an invisibility cloak for objects in the air and on the ground with a radius of 300 km. The Krasukha-4 is capable of “blinding” the detection and guard radars of the MIM-104 Patriot anti-aircraft missiles on the Turkish border, and also the radars of the Turkish F-16C fighter jets taking off from the Incirlik base, thus helping to create a “no-fly zone” over Syria. The Incirlik Air Force Base is located not far from the city of Adana, 140 km north of Latakia.

Under the protection of Krasukha-4 and other interference systems, dozens of Russian aircraft went undetected by NATO as they were flying in and landing in Syria, being discovered only a few days after they had arrived at the Hmeymim air base.

How did the Russian fighters get to Syria without anyone noticing?

As a result of the Russians’ electronic warfare systems, “moderate” Islamist rebels, who were informed by the United States from 2013 onward about all Syrian army movements, had no information about the secret concentration of Syrian troops on the Latakia–Idlib axis (north of Latakia), Latakia–Hama (east of Latakia) and Latakia–Homs.

This allowed the Syrian army, supported by Russian bombers, to launch offensive actions with armored vehicles to take control of the Idlib–Hama–Homs segment of the M5 motorway between Damascus and Aleppo.

Major offensive of the Syrian National Army

Recall that in Syria, the Russian army created a surveillance-strike system in which the collection and processing of data is stratified on several levels. The first level of information is for the security units at the billets of Russian troops in Syria (Latakia airport and port of Tartus). This is ensured by 4–6 mini-planes and ZALA-type unmanned helicopters (UAV), ultra-light and silent, powered by an electric motor, with a range of up to 30 kilometers.

To detect targets for medium-range bombing missions, the Russians use 36 unmanned Yakovlev Pchela-1T and Orlan-10 aircraft, and for surveillance of the entire territory of Syria they use Dozor 600 or Altius reconnaissance drones, similar to the American MQ-1B Predator.

For monitoring the entire territory of Syria, the Russians have also deployed ELINT type II-20M1 reconnaissance aircraft equipped with Kvalat-2 radars, which can detect aircraft, land vehicles and artillery pieces Up to a distance of 300 km. The Il-20M1 is also equipped with a system for intercepting and interfering all military communications, radar and mobile telephony, as well as a high-resolution camera (A-87P).