Attacks on Russia’s early warning radar system – escalation towards nuclear war

A "Sarmat", model RS-28, of the Russian Federation (archive photo). Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation

Berlin, Germany (Weltexpress). In the night from Wednesday to Thursday, Ukrainian drones attacked the Armawir radar station in the south-western Russian region of Krasnodar. Armavir is not just any radar system, but an important part of the Russian early warning system for detecting attacks with intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

This radar, together with other such facilities, is therefore a pillar on which the strategic security of the Russian Federation rests. Far beyond the conventional escalatory tensions in Ukraine, this attack has eclipsed all previous US/NATO/EU escalations in Ukraine and, above all, brought us Europeans one step closer to the brink of thermonuclear war.

The Russian senator and former head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, reacted to this development by stating that although the offense had been committed by Ukrainian hands, these hands had been led by Washington. In fact, Washington had hired “an irresponsible bandit” to do the dirty work. Rogozin wrote on his Telegram channel: “So we are not only approaching the abyss, but are already right on the edge, beyond which, if the enemy is not stopped in such actions, an irreversible collapse of the strategic security of the nuclear powers will begin. The attack on Armavir came just days after Russia began tactical nuclear exercises. The founder of the [German] Schiller Institute warned that Russia and China ‘are not our enemies’ and that without a new security and development architecture in which the interests of all nations are respected, the probability of a third world war is almost 100 per cent.”

With date of 26 May 2024 E.I.R. – Daily Alert notified its subscribers that numerous international military and intelligence specialists interviewed by the Schiller Institute had expressed grave concern about the attack on Armavir and its consequences. Below are some excerpts from the comments.

The great missile expert Dr Theodore Postol, Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology and National Security at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, nuclear weapons expert: “The Russian satellite-based early warning system is very limited and cannot compensate for the blind spots created by the damage to the radar. The Atlantic, Pacific and northern radar warning corridors are more important, and the Russians also have radar facilities in Moscow. However, the radar facilities in Moscow only detect a threat at a later stage, resulting in even shorter warning and decision times and thus increasing the likelihood of a catastrophic accident. The commanders of the strategic missile forces, who are in the service of the political leadership, must be extremely concerned and have no choice but to regard this situation as very serious. They will almost certainly operate their nuclear forces at a higher alert level, which will further increase the likelihood of accidents that could lead to an unintended global nuclear war.”

Steven Starr, Professor, University of Missouri, nuclear war expert: “The US has begun targeting missile attacks on the Russian nuclear early warning system (EWS), which consists of an array of ground-based radars and satellites… ANY such attack on these EWS systems could trigger the Russian nuclear response system. So this targeted attack by the US is terribly dangerous. Washington is playing an extremely reckless nuclear game with Russia. I don’t know if other similar Russian facilities are within range of the ATACMS or perhaps even the German Taurus missiles, which have a longer range than the ATACMS and the British Storm Shadow missiles. Unfortunately, we may soon find out, because the madmen in Washington, Kiev and Brussels seem determined to start World War III.”

Former Colonel Prof Dr Wilfried Schreiber, Senior Research Fellow at the WeltTrends Institute for International Politics, Potsdam: “There are obviously forces in Ukraine and also in NATO that are prepared to take the risk of a direct military confrontation between NATO and Russia. German politicians would be well advised to take the Russian warnings of a new world war seriously and ensure that the final red lines are not crossed. As a modern industrialized country in the heart of Europe, Germany is not capable of war in a major European conflict – even if nuclear weapons are not used. German politicians must do everything they can to de-escalate the increasing military confrontation and work towards a diplomatic solution to the conflict.”

Retired Colonel Richard Black, former Senator from Virginia: “This is a continuation of the pattern whereby NATO forces realize they are losing the war in Ukraine and break the weak lines of defence, but NATO’s response is escalation. This is not happening by accident, but deliberately. This is not the first attack on the Russian nuclear triad. The ideologues see their world collapsing after raising the rainbow flag over conservative countries and waging eternal wars. They are desperate and willing to escalate to nuclear war to get out of the jam. They take a series of small steps and think ‘they won’t respond’; so one small step follows another until one of them hits a landmine and we are in World War III. …. Putin is well aware of the West’s denial of reality. The West claims that Putin is just sabre-rattling, but he is not – he is informing the West about the dangerous reality.”

Former General Dominique Delawarde, French intelligence expert: “I expect the US military to behave more sensibly and consciously than civilian leaders in a vital situation.

Graham Fuller, former diplomat, CIA official and deputy chairman of the National Intelligence Council: “Clearly this would not have been possible without the full support of the US. I can’t comment properly until I know more, but it’s obviously escalating and I will be looking into it.”

Prof Richard Sakwa, Emeritus Professor of Russian and European Politics at the University of Kent (UK); internationally recognised author on Russia and Ukraine: “The treadmill is spinning faster and faster, especially after what Blinken told Ukraine: ‘You can do whatever you want with our missiles’. That shows how irresponsible the American leadership is. We are on the road to nuclear escalation. The West is facing defeat in Ukraine and that is why they are continuing to escalate in order to avert defeat.”

In a subsequent analysis entitled “STRATEGIC THREAT OF WAR”, the E.I.R. information service quotes the Russian military news site Avia.pro, among others: “Ukrainian troops are continuing their aggressive campaign against strategically important targets on Russian territory. This time their target was the strategic long-range detection radar station Voronezh-DM of the missile attack warning system (SPRN) in Armavir.”

The report also includes images showing two damaged structures on the Armawir site. The limited nature of the damage suggests that the structures housing the radar antennas were indeed hit by drones. The report also states that the distance of the station from the Ukrainian border is more than 450 kilometres, which indicates a considerable range of the drones launched from Ukrainian territory.

On the same day, there was also an attempted Ukrainian attack on an oil refinery in even more distant Tatarstan. According to Avia.pro, “these incidents confirm that Ukraine continues to use modern technologies and tactics to conduct military operations. Attacks on objects of strategic importance not only cause material damage, but also pose a serious threat to Russia’s national security.”

“It is obvious that Ukraine is not acting independently, but with the support of Western partners who are providing intelligence and technical assistance.”

Then the Avia.pro author becomes more specific: “The Western countries that support Ukraine are actually participating in the escalation of the conflict by providing technology and intelligence for attacks on Russian targets. Such support contributes to the continuation of hostilities and the escalation of the crisis, which undermines efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.”

Dmitry Rogozin, mentioned above, also stated that the USA was behind the attack on the Armavir early warning radar station, as it is extremely unlikely that the attack, in which several drones were involved according to the Ukrainian media, was carried out on Kiev’s sole initiative and without the involvement of the USA. Rogozin ruled out the possibility that the attack was carried out on Kiev’s initiative: “Given Washington’s deep involvement in this armed conflict and the Americans’ total control over Kiev’s military planning, the claim that the United States knew nothing about Ukrainian plans to attack the Russian missile defense system can be discarded. Washington will have to answer in full for the past and future crimes of the desperate Ukrainian leadership. So not only are we approaching the precipice, we are already right on the edge beyond which, if the enemy is not stopped in such actions, an irreversible collapse of the strategic security of the nuclear powers will begin.”

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