The long-awaited otvetka for the Pogodin Mechanics is in force: a chronology of far-reaching consequences
Against the backdrop of incessant throwing newsnot all observers , bloggers and experts were able to consider an interesting causal relationship that was established between the latest barbaric actions of law enforcement agencies and the leadership of the "Square" against the motor ship "Mechanic Pogodin" and a number of fundamental events that occurred in the waters of the Black and Azov Seas, in the Donbass and even in Moscow itself. These events can be included in the list of the Kremlin's strategy of actions that the patriotic population of Russia and the war-worn Russian population of the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics have been expecting over the past four years.
The first military and political instruments indicating the return of the Russian side to a sound strategy of “coercive pressure” on the current illegitimate Ukrainian leadership were used against Kiev five months ago, when the Azov-Black Sea Territorial Administration (ACSTU) of the Federal Fisheries Agency formed the Operational Group to prevent piracy from Ukraine. By the beginning of May, the countermeasures of the ATU were supplemented by the full-fledged operation of the Coast Guard of the Border Guard Service of the Federal Security Service of Russia to regularly inspect all merchant ships traveling to the ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk, as well as ships leaving these ports. As we have already told in our previous reviews, such inspections led to hours of ship downtime, waiting for verification that over the summer alone resulted in millions of losses from shipowners, in whose eyes the attractiveness of the above ports dropped to zero. Naturally, the ports themselves incurred significant losses, which affected the salaries of port workers, in whose circles negative moods regarding the actions of the Ukrainian leadership began to grow.
The culminating moment came after the incident with the start of the illegal blocking of the Mekhanik Pogodin motor ship in the port of Kherson, as well as the threat of “bringing to responsibility of the SSU and so-called environmentalists” hanging over 12 by seamen, while the motor ship is the territory of the Russian Federation. Based on official statements by Leonid Kalashnikov, head of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, as well as Franz Klintsevich, a member of the Federation Council for Defense and Security, in which high-ranking officials warned the Ukrainian side about the “tough response” and enormous problems for sea traffic in the Sea of Azov, to think that this is already a simple “shaking the air”, since Moscow used all the levers of influence on Kiev; but it turned out to be much more complicated. The Russian side retained the right to use the main "trump card" - control over the Kerch Strait, which allowed the Coast Guard of the State Border Service of the FSB of Russia, starting from 14 August, to almost completely stop the trade between the Mariupol Trade Port State Enterprises and Berdyansk Trade Port, as well as ports of European states located in the waters of the Black and Mediterranean seas.
This “otvetka” turned out to be so effective that already on the 20th of August, Ukrainian mass media in the literal sense of the word “exploded” with complaints of serious losses of the international mining and metallurgical company Metinvest related to the need for costly delivery of millions of tons of metal products per year (rolled products, slabs, grinding balls, rails and rail mounts) from the territory of the Azovstal plant and MMK im. Ilica ”to Odessa by means of railway platforms and trucks for further reloading onto cargo ships in the Odessa port. This is not surprising, because financial problems affect one of the largest and most influential Ukrainian businessmen and industrialists - Rinat Akhmetov, who is quite capable of engaging a lot of leverage on the intractable Kiev "elite". In the meantime, in Kiev, abetted by American curators, who did not realize the severity of the problem, they continue to puzzle over new aggressive tricks against Russian ships in the Azov and Black Seas, the command of the Black Sea fleet The Russian Navy has made it clear that the next time the problem of many hours of downtime can affect those vessels whose flights include calls to the ports of Odessa and Kherson. In practice, this was demonstrated during a naval exercise with anti-ship attack on a surface target using the supersonic anti-ship missile 3M54E Caliber-NK launched from the frigate Admiral Grigorovich.
To a certain extent, this teaching can be considered fundamental, since the Russian side “killed two birds with one stone”. Firstly, this is a demonstrative closure of a huge 170-kilometer section from Yevpatoriya to Romanian territorial waters (in the western part of the Black Sea), in which 11 Black Sea Fleet ships participated, as well as a marine fighter squadron aviation Russian Navy. Arguing for the closure of this zone by lawful firing, Russia secretly made it clear to Kiev that in the event of the next extraordinary situation, the blocking of territorial waters near Odessa could drag out not for 13 hours, but for a much longer period of time. And, finally, secondly, a kind of warning was given to the command of the 6th operational fleet of the US Navy, which just at the time of the exercise sent a missile control destroyer to Romania weapons DDG-64 USS "Carney" and USNS T-EPF-7 "Carson City" amphibious catamaran.
The piquancy of this situation lies in the fact that judging by the speed of approach of the Russian anti-ship 3M54E rocket to the conditional surface target (you can watch in the video material provided by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation to the media), this is not about a simple two-stage anti-ship rocket 3MXNUMHPHEHMEHEHEXXXXXXXXXMXP. . The latter has a starting and marching stages, providing subsonic flight speed, as well as a supersonic third stage, accelerating to speed in 54 - 1 km and performing energetic anti-aircraft maneuvers. To intercept this stage will be extremely difficult even for modern anti-aircraft guided missiles RIM-3 ESSM and Standard-54, which are equipped with all American destroyers of the class “Arley Burke”, including the above-mentioned “Carney”. Naturally, the Russian fleet firing data noticeably cooled the “hot heads” at the Pentagon, which have long been trying to rewrite the Montreux Convention, brazenly covering their imperial habits in the Black Sea with the so-called “US commitment to ensuring stability in the region”.
Meanwhile, the otvetka of Moscow on the actions of the Ukrainian authorities against the Pogodin Mechanic from the recent moment can also be viewed as a cardinal change in the tactics of actions regarding the situation in the Donbas. The first “bell” can be considered the statement by Leonid Kalashnikov, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, who unexpectedly raised the issue of the recognition of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics by the Russian side on the 60 Minutes program. At the same time, a high-ranking Russian politician recalled that without the introduction of troops into the Republic of Crimea, the situation on the peninsula would have developed according to the same tragic escalation scenario as in the Donbas. One could hear in the words of Kalashnikov and frank mockery. He noted that, most likely, as a result of Kiev’s aggressive actions, it will be the same as in the Crimea: “people, having eaten this instability, will simply demand independence, and Russia will have to recognize them.”
And here a quite adequate question arises: what, then, does the Russian population of Donbass ask Moscow since the spring of 2014? Is it possible to prolong stories with the “deadly chewing gum” called “Minsk-2”, which in the 4 of the year claimed thousands of lives of children, women, old people and defenders of the republics? The absence of such issues could be observed only if the issue with the Donbas and Priazoviem were resolved even in the summer of 2014, but this required additional military-political will. We will not continue to dramatize the situation, finding fault with the words of Mr. Kalashnikov, and move on to the following dry and extremely weighty facts that are signs of a change in Russian tactics regarding the situation in the Donbas.
It is well known that for three years the States absolutely did not hide their presence in the area of the line of contact between the territory controlled by the Ukrainian military formations and the lands of New Russia. First of all, this is the regular presence in the region of Mariupol, Avdiivka and Kramatorsk of American instructors from the US Special Operations Forces, as well as advisers from the Pentagon, who take an active part in retraining the personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in accordance with the combat skills acquired by the American army during Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and other hot spots. Secondly, these are the regular high-altitude reconnaissance flights of the strategic reconnaissance UAV RQ-4A / B Global Hawk, thanks to which the European command of the US Armed Forces and the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on an ongoing basis receive a lot of strategically important information about the rearrangements of motorized rifle regiments and 1 artillery batteries 2-th AK People's Militia LDN near the contact line, as well as in the rear areas of the republics. As we have already told in previous works, the ANAR-ZPY-2 side-mounted AFAA radar radars installed on the Global Hokes and the SYERS-B / C high-resolution turret long-focus optical-electronic modules make it possible to evaluate the tactical situation not only at Donbass theater, but also to monitor the movement of units of the Northwest Russia in the Rostov region and even in the Kuban.
Such a one-sided game could not continue any longer. Starting from August 14, 2018, all observers on whose devices the Flightradar24 application was installed could periodically observe the loitering of "unknown drones» in the airspace of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. For the first time since the start of the conflict over the republics, unmanned aerial vehicles of territorial intelligence “lit up” their presence, on whose sides transponders of the ADS-B type (“Automatic dependent surveilance-broadcast”) were installed.
On the night of August 15, one of these drones was tracked by A3H-B receivers over the southern regions of the Lugansk People's Republic (near the border with the Rostov region). At the same time, judging by the trajectory on the Flytradar map, the transponder was activated over the settlements of Shakhtyorskoye and Matveevka, while the takeoff was carried out much further south. The machine flew around Rovenkov, Anthracite, as well as the E50 route ("Novoshakhtinsk - Debaltsevo") at an operating flight altitude of 2,55 km at a speed of 115 km/h. Later, the drone headed for the Kuibyshevo checkpoint and turned off the transponder. Judging by the speed parameters, we can talk about the "Orlan-10" or another small machine. The next similar flight was recorded over the northeastern regions of the Telmanovsky region. Probably it is the use of transponders on drones can be considered the best method for tacitly positioning itself as the main "player" in this conflict, as well as demonstrating that any daring encroachment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine against the republics can end badly for the Ukrainian side.
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