Hear These Russian Warnings:
They Might Save Your Life
by Rachel Douglas and Nancy Spannaus
March 3—On March 1, Gen. Maj. Andrei Burbin, chief of the Central Command Post of Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces (SMF), gave an unusual on-air briefing on Russia’s readiness to use its strategic nuclear weapons under conditions of attack on the country, including the much-ballyhooed U.S. Prompt Global Strike scheme for a non-nuclear attempt to destroy the Russian retaliatory capability. The message from this Russian officer is that “utopian” military schemes for “limited nuclear war” or a “counterforce” destruction of Russia’s nuclear weapons are illusory: They will fail, and the result will be retaliation against the United States using the intercontinental ballistic missiles of Russia’s SMF.
Burbin’s RSN Radio interview by military analyst Igor Korotchenko, editor of the journal Natsionalnaya Oborona (National Defense), was a high-profile message, which was intended not to be missed. It was cited by major Russian wire services and newspapers, including the government daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta. Highlights were showcased in English by Sputnik News, RT, and other outlets, indicating a high-level decision to get out this statement of Russia’s military posture worldwide.
Within the days before and after Burbin’s radio statement, his message was amplified in additional speeches and comments by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, and Russian Ambassador to NATO Alexander Grushko. The Russians are reiterating a policy which leading Western powers have been determined to ignore.
The absorption of this message is essential to saving your life, that of your posterity, and of all mankind.
Burbin’s statement came a few days after Lyndon LaRouche issued his own sharp warning on the threat of nuclear war. What we’re looking at, LaRouche said, is a “Zeusian” threat—the intent of a faction of the British elite which believes they can “cull the herd” of humanity, by launching some sort of limited nuclear war against the nations of Eurasia. The underlying assumption among these utopians, who think they can carry off a limited nuclear war confined to Eurasia, is that a government, such as that of Russian President Putin, would be willing to respond in a limited fashion to a “limited” nuclear strike.
This is a fallacy and a fantasy, LaRouche said. These Zeusian forces must be told: “There is no way that you can survive the effects of your own genocide.”
The first half of General Burbin’s interview concerned the scientific and psychological training of SMF officers, who man the “most combat-ready and capable component of the strategic nuclear triad,” namely land-based ICBMs. These forces “are capable of performing their mission within minutes.” Also explored was the command-and-control function, including multi-channel communications between President Putin, as the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, and the SMF.
Korotchenko then asked about the just-ended, month-long SMF training cycle. Burbin said that their main practice mission had been “to move our mobile missile units away from an attack,” so that the ability to launch a retaliatory strike would be preserved:
“We worked on changing and extending the positioning areas, maneuvering the units, and thus increasing the survivability of these units and making the task of our probable adversary more difficult.”
“So, the retaliatory strike potential will be ensured under all circumstances? It is no secret that the Prompt Global Strike concept now exists, meaning large-scale use of high-precision non-nuclear weapons, in order to make a disarming first strike in a critical situation, and thus knock out capabilities such as our strategic nuclear forces.”
“This issue has been addressed. Within the developing or changing situation, we have already worked through this challenge and can meet it. The point is that, under any circumstances, the SMF can carry out their mission. In particular, in peacetime, our strategic mission is deterrence. But if it is necessary to perform the mission of launching a nuclear missile strike, this will be done in the prescribed time frame, with absolute certainty. Our units are geographically deployed in such a way, that no global strike is capable of disabling the entire SMF.”
To a follow-up question, Burbin replied that this “absolutely” applies to a nuclear attack on Russia, as well. The discussion also touched on the ability of the SMF to function “under real war conditions, with attempted interference and the deployment of sabotage teams.” The SMF officer said that this also involved countering new technologies, an allusion to stepped-up electronic or cyber warfare. Reviewing the Topol-M and Yars land-based strategic missile-building programs, Burbin noted that by 2020, 98% of the SMF will consist of new missiles.
Summing up, Burbin said,
“The missile forces, which are in permanent combat-readiness, perform the task of strategic deterrence in peacetime. Thanks to the SMF, we are living without war today.” Korotchenko rejoined, “The conclusion for all of us, for our country and for the world, is that Russia’s nuclear shield is reliable, and that military orders will be carried out in any situation that develops.”
In the call-in portion of the program, after the general had left the studio, Korotchenko continued this discussion with listeners, noting the turnaround of the Russian military during the past two years since General Shoigu became minister of defense, and the emergence of a new, highly competent generation of Russian officers. He commented,
“This is very important, when Obama is threatening us with sanctions and divine retribution, and hands are itching to press the button. So the Americans know that if you press, then the button will be pressed in response. And this makes for strategic equilibrium, and puts us on an equal footing with the Americans. Maybe we’re weak in some areas, or the liberals say things are bad here, and that sanctions will suffocate us, but a great country that has a nuclear shield cannot be suffocated by any sanctions.”
General Burbin’s policy statement is a reiteration of a Russian policy repeatedly stated by President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, and the top military brass. EIR highlighted this policy in its special report on “The British Empire’s Global Showdown, And How to Overcome It” in Spring 2012, and subsequently reported the detailed Russian warnings about the threat which the NATO/U.S. European Ballistic Missile Defense deployment and the increasingly eastward deployment of NATO represent for upsetting the strategic balance. (Helga Zepp-LaRouche reviews these insane utopian schemes in this week’s Feature.) Numerous of those warnings explicitly referenced that this “Western” deployment could potentially trigger nuclear war.
In a public address Feb. 29, 2012, President Putin emphasized his determination that Russia be prepared to deal with attacks. Referring to the lack of preparedness of the Soviet Union at the time of Hitler’s attack in July 1941, Putin said,
“We cannot afford a replay of the tragedy of 1941, when unreadiness of the state and army for war was paid for by enormous losses.”
An article by two Russian military experts in Military Thought, the English-language edition of the Russian Defense Ministry journal Voennaya mysl (No. 4, 2012), elaborated the thinking of the Russian military establishment about Western military strategy against Russia, including assumptions that the West could use new generation weapons that would “achieve the war goals without much loss of life or property for their user.”
How would Russia deal with this? We quote:
“In these conditions, Russia is going to resolve its problems in inter-state relations by using every kind of deterrence—by force or peacefully, or by nonmilitary and indirect (asymmetrical) actions.
“Any forms and methods will do to deter the aggressor by force, such as, in the face of direct threat of attack, demonstrative deployment of a powerful defensive task force in the area where the aggressor is expected to strike; an ultimatum with a caution that Russia would (in the event of war) use nuclear weapons immediately and exercise no restraint in employing high-precision weapons to destroy strategically vital objectives on the aggressor’s territory; and planning and conduct of an information campaign to mislead the adversary about Russia’s readiness to beat off aggression.”
A Two-Pronged Policy
The Russians’ military warnings have been more than outpaced by the government’s offers of cooperation with the European Union and the United States on common objectives such as fighting terrorism, combatting drugs, building infrastructure like the Bering Strait tunnel, and even collaborating on space research which could defend the planet against asteroids (the Strategic Defense of Earth proposal of October 2011). But these offers have been ignored, in favor of increasingly blatant efforts toward degrading Russia’s sovereignty, if not dismembering it as a potential rival altogether. (See EIR, Dec. 19, 2014, “Who Is Behind the Drive To Dismember Russia?”)
Foreign Minister Lavrov’s address to the Diplomatic Academy of the Foreign Ministry Feb. 27 provides a guide to how the Russian leadership is thinking, and thus the context for the military warnings.
Lavrov lamented the “systematic violations” of principles of the UN Charter by the U.S.A. and others. He especially emphasized the lack of security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic region, attributed it to the West’s “line towards seizing geopolitical space and moving eastward: both through NATO expansion and the implementation of the EU Eastern Partnership initiative.” Said Lavrov,
“Russian interests were not taken into account, and our numerous initiatives, including the elaboration of the European Security Treaty, were either dragged out or shelved. This policy reached its peak when the Washington- and Brussels-supported unconstitutional coup and armed seizure of power took place in Ukraine in February of last year.”
Lavrov denounced U.S. President Obama’s latest National Security Strategy document, for expressing
“a striving for global domination and a readiness to unilaterally use armed force.... This 30-page document mentions over a hundred times the issue of the exclusive right of the U.S. to implement the notorious ‘American leadership.’... The White House seems to have forgotten about the consequences of the attempts to gain hegemony at the expense of the interests of other members of the world community.”
“Concerted efforts” by nations, Lavrov countered, are the only way to address difficult international problems. He dwelt on “Eurasian integration, our absolute priority,” starting with the Eurasian Economic Union in its own right, and as “a bridge between the integration structures of Europe and the Asia-Pacific Region.” Russia’s current presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the BRICS, Lavrov added, is guided by “the philosophy of collective efforts,” exemplified by the BRICS “projects for a New Development Bank and a reserve currency pool, and coordinating the strategy of economic partnership and the road map of investment cooperation,” opening up “new vistas of cooperation.”
Lavrov pointed to President Putin’s commitment to meshing these efforts with cooperation with Europe, saying that Russia’s turn to the East is envisioned as paralleling better relations with the West. But he warned that this will be impossible, “without reaffirming the principles of non-interference in internal affairs of sovereign states, and without abandoning the sanctions pressure and the attempts to stage so-called color revolutions, or encouraging radical extremist forces.” He said,
“We have no plans for slipping into self-isolation or confrontation. At the same time, outside pressure will not lead us to revise our principled policy.... Washington has failed to put together a global anti-Russian coalition.”
Over the course of one day, March 2, three high-level Russian officials delivered the same message as that delivered most dramatically by General Burbin the day before: Russia is prepared to respond with full, strategic force to any existential threat.
It is likely all were aware of the most recent aspect of that threat. On the same day, the Commander of the U.S. 173rd Airborne Brigade, Col. Michael Foster, announced at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, that “before this week is up,” the United States will deploy six U.S. companies to Ukraine, for a six-month training program for Ukraine’s notoriously-Nazi riddled National Guard. Last week, British Prime Minister David Cameron had announced that the U.K. was sending its special forces in to train Ukrainian forces.
This, even as Russia’s NATO Ambassador Grushko stated in an interview with Rossiya 24 TV channel, that “Moscow will take all ‘necessary measures,’ including military, technical, and political, to neutralize a possible threat from NATO presence in Eastern Europe,” according to RT. He specified that NATO’s actions “significantly impair regional and European security, and pose risks to our security,” citing intensified NATO military drills in Eastern Europe, with about 200 exercises in its eastern member states, mostly in the Baltic and Black Seas, Poland, and the Baltic States. “Sending instructors and offering military technical assistance are playing in the hand of Kiev’s party of war and give grounds for certain figures in Kiev to believe the crisis can be settled by military means,” he said.
At the same time, Defense Minister Shoigu and Navy Chief Adm. Viktor Chirkov discussed the modernization of the Russian military, including its strategic forces, in public comments March 2.
Shoigu reported that the Russian Navy will receive two Borei-class ballistic missile submarines, this year—the Vladimir Monomakh, which began sea trials in June 2014, and the Alexander Nevsky, awaiting its load of Bulava ballistic missiles before transfer to the Pacific Fleet—along with two general-purpose submarines and five surface warships. He also said that the Air Force will receive 13 modernized strategic bombers this year, and that by 2020, the strategic bomber fleet will be 70% modernized. He added that bomber patrols will be expanded to new areas. “It is important to note that such flights are regular, and we will not abandon this practice,” he stressed.
The Navy will receive 50 vessels of various sizes and classes this year, Chirkov said, according to Interfax news agency. Those ships are part of a rearmament program begun under President Putin, which aims to provide Russia with a navy capable of operating far away from home—a capability lost after the collapse of the Soviet Union—by 2050. “The period of stagnation in the development of our potential has long since passed,” Chirkov was quoted as saying. He also announced that research companies are already planning for the new aircraft carrier which will be built.
Interfax added: “The expansion of naval power comes as Russia confronts the West over Ukraine.”