Thu. May 26th, 2022

The Americans and its allies have imposed a slew of sanctions against Russia over its military action in Ukraine, including new constraints on high-tech exports that U.S. President Joe Biden said were designed to “degrade Russian aerospace industry, including their space program.”

The head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, asked Biden in a series of tweets in Russian, “Do you want to destroy our cooperation on the International Space Station (ISS)?” Warning about the consequence of the U.S. sanctions on Russia’s aerospace industry, the 500-ton space lab could come crashing down on the US, Europe, China or India.

“If you block cooperation with us, who will save the ISS from an uncontrolled de-orbit and fall into the United States or … Europe?” he added, pointing out that orbital control of the ISS into a safe altitude is maintained using periodic thrusts from engines of a Russian cargo craft docked to the ISS.

“The ISS does not fly over Russia, therefore all the risks are yours. Are you ready for them?” asked Rogozin, who has been at the helm of Roscosmos since May 2018, also citing the possibility of all of the 500-ton structure falling on India and China. “Do you want to threaten them with such a prospect?”

Earlier this week, Western nations imposed an initial raft of sanctions, including personally against Putin and his foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. They also targeted the biggest Russian banks and effectively stopped energy-rich Russia’s prized new export pipeline for natural gas, known as Nord Stream 2.

“Russia has become a global economic and financial pariah,” said the senior US official, who asked not to be named, noting that “Moscow’s stock market had suffered its worst week on record and that the ruble was at a historic low against the dollar. Putin’s government is getting kicked off the international financial system.”

Cut from Swift, the chosen Russian banks will not be able to conduct transactions without going back in time and using a fax machine or a telephone in every single instance — effectively bringing their commerce beyond Russia to a halt.

But Russia has earlier prepared for this eventuality by spreading out its currency exchanges away from the US dollar and western currencies and stocking up in Chinese yuan and even gold.

Worst, Vladimir Putin already unsheathed its nuclear sword, in a veiled warning in a speech that he has the weapons available if anyone dares to use military means to try to stop Russia’s takeover of Ukraine.

According to John Daniszewski of the Associated Press, “The threat may have been empty, a mere baring of fangs by the Russian president, but it was noticed. It kindled visions of a nightmarish outcome in which Putin’s ambitions in Ukraine could lead to a nuclear war through accident or miscalculation.”

He was interpreting the words of Vladimir Putin, “As for military affairs, even after the dissolution of the USSR and losing a considerable part of its capabilities, today’s Russia remains one of the most powerful nuclear states.

“Moreover, it has a certain advantage in several cutting-edge weapons. In this context, there should be no doubt for anyone that any potential aggressor will face defeat and ominous consequences should it directly attack our country.”

Russia first took care of its nuclear capability to be first in the Multiple Independently-targetable Reentry Vehicles and the number of deliverable nuclear warheads, while remaining second to the US in the traditional ballistic launch missiles. With 200 more nuclear warheads, delivered by supersonic MIRVs, Russia leads the nuclear arms race.

But armies think more of conventional weapons the proliferation of which are hard to control on the ground. This has enabled warmongers to go in and out of demilitarized zone to conduct raids on secessionist forces to destabilized the Donbass region. So, the solution here is really geopolitical more than military dominance.

It is said that the best weapon in the art of war is the preemption or element of surprise.

I was not surprised at all, however, when Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to recognize the independence of two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine and plant peacekeeping boots on the ground there.

Of course, this has drawn condemnation especially in the US and some of its Western allies, with the NATO chief calling it a violation of international agreements.

But what agreement in customary international law can be paramount to the people of Lugansk and Donetsk exercising their inherent right to self-determination?

 The test of sovereignty here by these two former regions of Ukraine can easily be proven and cast in stone, first through a plebiscite, and second, because with the help of Russia, they can enforce their will over the territory.

The dissonance does not end here. This is why I have mentioned in many discussions since 2014 that the template which Crimea did, bolting out as an autonomous region of Ukraine, proclaiming itself as an independent state and joining the Russian Federation, would not stop the animosity, especially with CIA and Mi6 operatives intervening.

This issue will nag for another decade or so. Putin must be proactive because nobody can trust NATO, and more so nobody can trust the United States, its puppeteer. The UN is a better fit here than NATO where Russia has a veto vote.

Minsk 1 and Minsk 2 did not deliver on its 13-point agreement, namely:

•   Immediate, comprehensive ceasefire.

•   Withdrawal of heavy weapons by both sides.

•   Monitoring by OSCE: Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

•   Dialogue on interim self-government for Donetsk and Luhansk, in accordance with Ukrainian law, and acknowledgement of special status by parliament.

•   Pardon, amnesty for fighters.

•   Exchange of hostages, prisoners.

•   Humanitarian assistance.

•   Resumption of socioeconomic ties, including pensions.

•   Ukraine to restore control of state border.

•   Withdrawal of foreign armed formations, military equipment, mercenaries.

•   Constitutional reform in Ukraine including decentralisation, with specific mention of Donetsk and Luhansk.

•   Elections in Donetsk and Luhansk.

•   Intensify Trilateral Contact Group’s work including representatives of Russia, Ukraine and OSCE.

 US and NATO have also broken their 1991 word to Michail Gorbachev prior to the disintegration of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, that they will not recruit former member Warsaw Pact of 1955 signatories.

Now, Ukraine is being invited by NATO to improve its encirclement of Russia.

What happened yesterday teaches Ukraine a permanent lesson Lugansk and Donetsk are performing their act of self-determination. Against western propaganda, this not an invasion because the inflow of troops is obviously upon the invitation of the new states.

Delayed but still definitely a sign of protesting the 2014 so-called Orange revolution – which was really patterned after the Philippines’ EDSA, complete with American infiltration, funding and false promises, but sans the violence.

If Ukraine does not yet behave, then Donetsk should infect secessionism further south to Zaporizhzhya and Kherson, to eventually completely deny Ukraine of access to the Sea of Asov in the east, where Ukraine had occasionally challenged the Russia Navy based in Crimea.

Ukraine will still have access to the Black Sea and would no longer pose any over-the-shoulder danger to Russia and the non-Russian regions surrounding the Sea of Asov as the secessionist regions on the west and Russia on the east, take full control of that sea.

Most of Lugansk and Donetsk are urban industrialized area. With Russia as grandfather, they can sustain their economies. Zaporizhzhya is another urban area.

That would leave Ukraine with only two urban areas inland, adjacent to Lugansk and Donetsk –those are Dnipropetrovsk, and Kharkiv, the latter being also along the border of Russia, and very much vulnerable.

NATO cannot expect these four Ukrainian regions, Luhansk, Donetsk plus Kharkiv on the north and Zaporizhzhya on the south, to be sympathetic to them. They are mostly Russo-ethnic and beneficiaries of Russian industrialization and heavy investments when the USSR was still in existence.

Again, it would be foolish to trust the forked tongue and the twisted mind of the Americans. As member of the German parliament Sahra Waggenknecht says, “US is a threat to European peace, not Russia.

“The United States is the most dangerous country in the world.”

The 8th North Korean launch.

Meanwhile, North Korea has fired an “unidentified projectile,” what would be Pyongyang’s eighth launch this year after a month of relative calm on the peninsula during the Beijing Olympics.

Russia has produced an intercontinental ballistic missile planned for service this year that “beats all defense systems” with a range of 11,000 miles. The RS-28 Sarmat has been named “Son of Satan” because it is an updated version of the SS-18 “Satan”.

Running on liquid propellant, its first delivery stage travel as fast as Mach 21 or 16,000 mph, carrying up to 15 Multiple Independent Reentry Vehicles (MIRVs) each armed with up to 300 kilotons nuclear warhead, a payload capable of destroying an area the size of Texas or France, wrote the British newspaper The Mirror.

Russia has already deployed 521 RS-28 ballistic missiles with 1,735 MIRVs. The United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia and China are currently confirmed to possess functional MIRV missile systems. Pakistan and India are developing MIRV missile systems. Israel is suspected to possess or be in the process of developing MIRVs.

The US was leading the nuclear arms race until 2014 when it decided to phase out the use of MIRVs in 2014 to comply with new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. Ironically, the US was first to test MIRVs as early as 1968.

Today, the US still leads Russia in having the most deployed missile delivery systems by 200 at 721 but lags behind Russia in terms of warheads by 264 at 1481.

Besides, only Russia, and China last year and North Korea this year, have successfully tested exo-atmospheric MIRVs that reenters the earth’s atmosphere and glides at low altitudes capable of being guided to change targets while travelling at the speed of Mach 5.

As shown in the upper portion, traditional ICBM’s travel in a ballistic manner. Russia’s matured HGV technology, is in the lower portion. One Russian ICBM can carry up to 15 HGVs (MIRVs) capable descending the earth’s atmosphere guided to its target. Clustering 1 to 10 MIRVs in one ICBM is shown below.

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