An article in today’s USA Today by Oren Dorrell, “Ukraine may have to go nuclear, says Kiev lawmaker“, is very powerful.
The article implies that Ukraine is going to take the steps to rebuild its nuclear capability and, perhaps, use it/them in defense against Russian forces attempting to takeover Crimea.
Ladies and gentlemen, Ukraine gave up their nukes after signing a 1994 “Budapest Memorandum” Treaty, signed by the leaders of USA, UK, Russia and Ukraine. Another country, supposedly the US or the UK would have to give a nuclear weapon to Ukraine, because the nuclear weapons that Ukraine had are supposed to be gone. The weapons that Ukraine had were leftovers from when Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union.
What are the odds that the US or the UK would give a nuke to Ukraine? Zero. Nobody is going to escalate the Ukrainian crisis to nuclear levels for the first time since 1945. The US knows that. Ukraine knows that. Russia knows that.
What this does is send a very clear message to Russia, however, ‘back down’. Both gunfighters are going to have their hands on their pistols, reminiscent of an Old West gunfight, but neither gunfighter is willing to draw first. Doing so would cause a nuclear war and nobody wants to do that. Nobody.
But the words have been uttered. The threat has been made. Now is the time to say “yeah, I’m macho. I made the threat. Now I can back down knowing I’m a rough, tough leader. I stared my enemy in his eyes, stood my ground and proved I was macho.”
Words don’t get too much stronger than this.
This truly is an information war supported by conventional and unconventional weapons of war.
I spent too many years in Special Forces, too many years as an intelligence professional and too many years working in Information Operations,
not to believe what you are about to read. Are all my assertions against Russia true? Only time will tell. Again, these are my personal opinions, based on a lifetime of experience and observation.
Russia’s prescence is not inciting seeming anarachy and chaos in Ukraine, causing what appear to be a civil war inside Ukraine. Russian agents appear to be at work, inciting anarchy and chaos, it is my fervent belief. 17.5% of people of Russian heritage within Ukraine do not spantaneously rise up and scream ‘oppression’ without a push, someone is inciting them. A big indicator is flags. I have never seen so many thousands of Russian flags, even in Russia, than I have in Ukraine. Who supplied them? I say Russia. I didn’t see any Russian flags prior to February 28th, when ousted Ukrainian President Yanukovych fled the country.
Russians are quick to hurl the label of ‘fifth column’ in discussions regarding the West and the US (I monitor a ton of Russian sites), which indicates to me that they are all too familiar with that concept and have employed it inside Ukraine. Russia is definitely not clean and virginal when it comes to those kind of tactics.
Russia has also energized one of the most notable propaganda efforts I have ever seen, and I’ve been studying propaganda for decades. Voice of Russia, ITAR-TAS, Pravda, RT, Channel One Russia, and others, all have their people working overtime. RT is even recruiting for more assistance on social media. The Russian stations are widely viewed as disseminating Russian propaganda, misinformation and disinformation, inventing the truth, distorting the truth and just outright lying.
I, on the other hand, am screaming for even the semblance of a counter-effort from the West. The West is relying far too heavily on commercial source to spread the truth. The problem is that commercial news sources for information are increasingly from Russian sources. This is exacerbated because Western news coverage is prevented from Crimea by Russian Naval Infantry forces. The US State Department, VOA, RFE/RL, all have some reporting, but since VOA, RFE and RL only became accessible to the public last year, hardly anybody knows to turn to them for “fair and objective” reporting. They are, quite frankly, overwhelmed by the modest US effort at disseminating fair and objective reporting. I run a discussion group of ‘information professionals’. We commiserate about these facts all the time but the US government seems to not want to act.
There, you read it in plain black and white. Unlike the Russian invasion of South Ossetia in Georgia in 2008, there is not an existing preparatory strike by ‘patriotic hackers’ and Nashi. According to Jeffrey Carr, here, Russian cyber forces are much improved and do not need those groups.
Looking at the current conventional force array, one analyst, a good friend and someone more familiar with this area of the world than anyone I know, is predicting that Russian and Ukrainian forces will approach the precipice of warfare, then Ukrainian forces will claim that the West and the US pleaded with them to not engage in warfare, then will fall back and prevent bloodshed. Looking like a rough, tough, macho warrior, the Ukrainians oblige and withdraw. Everybody wins and everybody loses.
In this scenario, there is no need for cyberwar forces to fight, they will not be accompanying a conventional war. The Russians already have control over the information disseminating from Crimea and are already flooding the internet with news stories from Russian International Broadcasting propaganda sites like ITAR-TASS, Voice of Russia, Pravda, RT and others. There is no need to deny, degrade, destroy or otherwise attack Ukrainian information sources.
The Russians are not going to reveal their cyberwar capabilities if there is not a need.
Hat tip to VV. Something cyber related to Russia. At last!
A Russian hacker group called “Russian Cyber Command” allegedly stole 500 MB of documents from Rosoboronexport (roe.ru), the only state intermediary agency for Russia’s defense-related imports and exports.
Funny thing, I got this tip from a source in the Czech Republic. I saw this previously but it didn’t register, there’s too much going on.
Is this considered cyber? Probably. The group broke into Rosoboronexport through India’s embassy in Moscow and now they say they’ve infected a bunch of Russian sites. ”Infected” seems to be a nebulous term, my guess would be they’ve installed back doors, root kits, etc., but it doesn’t seem like they’re going to launch and destroy, degrade, deny, etc.
This is not an act of cyberwar. At most it might be considered espionage. With root kits installed and back doors, the intruders, Russia Cyber Command, can gain access again. Surreptitiously? Probably not. Chances are Rosoboronexport has all entry points locked down tighter than a drum, they most likely have a honey pot or two, so Rosoboronexport experts can watch how Russia Cyber Command performs, their techniques, their expertise, their interests, their stealthiness, if they are script kiddies, use new zero day or known exploits, if they install malware, trojans, if they replace logs, etc.
On a side note, by calling themselves Russia Cyber Command, this will surely throw a wrench in the works when referring to the official Russian Cyber Command.
A quick assessment of Russia Cyber Command, kudos. If everything you and the report from Softpedia says are true, you have just managed to download a good number of documents from a site that is probably well guarded. What is unclear is if you are a bunch of Russian hackers or international hackers aligned against Russia. Are these actions designed to embarrass Russia after their invasion of Ukraine? You’re called hacktivists, is that in response to Russian actions in Ukraine? Are you in this for the money or the Lulz? Call me, maybe?
I just hope they don’t disappoint and do website defacements.
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” - Joseph Goebbels
RT, one of Russia’s premier propaganda machines, can hardly ever tell the truth. When they lie (which is usually), sometimes it is so big as to qualify as a ‘Goebbels Big Lie’. Business Insider managed to do a screen capture when RT showed a map already showing Crimea as a part of Russia, here.
This is not like “Field of Dreams”, where the saying was “Build it and they will come”. No, it’s more like “Show it and people will believe”.
Sorry, bullcrap won’t even buy a box of Girl Scout cookies.
It’s starting. The faceoff between Russia and Ukraine. The Ukrainian Army is deploying towards Crimea.
According to the posting on Youtube, this is an Airborne unit (VDV).
It is unknown where they are deploying from and it is unknown where they are and when they might arrive near Crimea.
This definitely signals an increase in tensions in Crimea, between Ukraine and Russia, and absolutely risks an all out war. I’m sure every world leader has already been briefed on this development.
This move might trigger Russian forces to invade Ukraine in a pre-emptive strike, to take the tactical advantage and blunt any chance of Ukrainian forces siezing the initiative or to pause and organize their forces before a possible attack against Russian forces in Crimea.
From the short video this looked like a reinforced brigade, not nearly enough to take on the 18,000 Russian troop that are reportedly in Crimea. If force levels hold, this is a figurative move, meant to show Ukrainian resolve. The situation may still be settled peacefully. If Ukraine continues to pour their Army towards the Ukraine, the chance of a peaceful resolution will continue to diminish. Even with total mobilization of the Army, they only have 73,300 soldiers, source here. According to the same source, Ukraine has 1,000,000 in the Reserves (whose only purpose would be to provide targets, de facto). Russia has 150,000 soldiers allegedly on the Northern Ukraine border. The Ukrainian Navy is blockaded and useless in this situation. The Air Force is completely outmatched by the Russians and cannot hope to support the ground forces. If these two forces were to forcibly clash, it would be a slaughter, in my very humble opinion. Ukrainian equipment is outdated. Ukraine is outmatched, outgunned and outnumbered.
Ukraine cannot hope to defeat Russian forces in a battle. Ukraine’s only hope is to make a show of force, prove they are, indeed, warriors, and work towards a peaceful resolution.
Pray that cooler heads prevail.
The Crimean Self Defense Volunteers, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin, is composed entirely of Crimean locals.
Vladimir Karpushenko was recognized by journalists as the ‘Commander of the Crimean Self Defense Volunteers, while he is also the Deputy Commander of the 810th Brigade, deployed in Crimea. Vladimir Karpushenko is a “Hero of Russia”, appearing in a Wikipedia listing of Heroes, here. Reason: “… courage and heroism displayed during a counterterrorism operation in the North Caucasus…” “Герой России Карпушенко Владимир Валерьевич”. Warheroes.ru.
Here is his citation:
Karpushenko Vladimir V. – Commander of Reconnaissance Company 810 th Independent Marine Regiment Black Sea Fleet , Captain.
Born December 12, 1974 in Budapest – the capital of Hungary .
In the Armed Forces since 1991. In 1995 he graduated from the Far Eastern Military Command School named KK Rokossovskogo . From 1995 he served in parts Marines Black Sea Fleet . He commanded a platoon and company.
Member of fighting in Dagestan and Chechnya during the second Chechen campaign from September 1999 to February 2000 . During this time, the commander of a reconnaissance company of 810- th separate Marine Regiment Black Sea Fleet Captain Vladimir Karpushenko participated in 60 combat operations and repeatedly showed courage and bravery .
November 27, 1999 Intelligence Group Vladimir Karpushenko militants ambushed . Was seriously wounded one of the men . Risking his life , the officer made a slave in a safe place for medical assistance . Then he continued the battle. Scouts returned to the base with one wounded.
After the death of the 13th Marines Lieutenant JG Kuryagina (posthumously awarded the title Hero of the Russian Federation ) December 31, 1999 at a height near the village Kharachoy , Vladimir Karpushenko was requested to identify the location of the bandit , who did this . After a two-day raid January 2, 2000 Intelligence Group managed to find a gang that was engaged in the creation of new fortified positions . When conducting intelligence officer discovered that the bandits on routine work , leaving the nearest village for meals . During one of these absences Karpushenko secretly took position with his left scouts. At the time of the return of the militants were killed by a sudden -automatic machine gun fire at close range. Then, in the same position group repulsed attacks quickly arrived to the battlefield other bandit groups .
January 6, 2000 , acting at the head of reconnaissance patrol consisting of 8 – man and captain Vladimir Karpushenko found foothold militants numbering up to 40 people , controlling the road between the settlements of Karachi and Dis -Vedeno . Karpushenko passed intelligence to the battalion commander and ordered – along with the onset of the main forces battalion hit the militants from the rear. Marines attack from the rear Karpushenko caused panic among the militants and ensured the success of Action Battalion . At the beginning of the battle captain Karpushenko was wounded in the thigh , but remained in service and directed the actions of his subordinates to fight victorious conclusion . In this battle personally destroyed two machine-gun and militants. Were captured mortar and MANPADS , 15 machines on the battlefield corpses found eight militants.
For courage and heroism in the counter-terrorist operation in the North Caucasus region , Presidential Decree of April 14, 2000 Captain Vladimir V. Karpushenko awarded the title Hero of the Russian Federation with the award of the medal “Gold Star” .
Continues to serve in the Marine Corps Navy. In 2004 he graduated from the Combined Arms Academy . Several years commanded an airborne assault battalion of marines Black Sea Fleet . Military rank – lieutenant colonel .
He was awarded the Order of Courage medal .
Putin has vehemently denied Russian servicemen are used as self-defence activists in Crimea, source here.
Crimean, my buttockski.
Quick Update. Lieutenant Colonel Vladimir Karpushenko is the Deputy Commander of the Russian 810th Separate Naval Infantry Brigade from Sevastopol, that’s in Crimea.
Note: Thank you to milnewsca for the update in LCol Karpushenko’s rank!