The huge length of our borders, the presence of many "hot directions" for a probable attack at once, as well as the economic capabilities of the country, the conditions for the rapid transfer of troops and other factors forced our military to plan military operations in such a way as to provide the forces available in a given location to contain the enemy for that the period until units from the central regions of the country arrive at the site of the attack.
As a result of World War II, the USSR's capabilities in this matter changed dramatically only in the European theater of operations. Groups of Soviet troops in Europe have become frontier. The border districts in the Soviet Union itself were relegated to the second echelon, to the immediate rear. Hence, by the way, the problem of ammunition depots, a huge amount of equipment, which had to be simply thrown in the Siberian fields while talking about conservation.
With the collapse of the USSR, our European theater of operations not only returned to its original state, but also seriously changed for the worse for us. Now, in this theater of operations, a coalition of states is opposing, which in total has a much more powerful armed forces, a more powerful economy, a larger army and a larger mobilization resource.
But there is an enclave in our state - I deliberately use an everyday term, although it would be more accurate to name an exclave, which is a bone in the throat for our European opponents. I'm talking about Kaliningrad. A region that alone makes it possible not only to control the Baltic, but also the coast of many European states. We will talk about this region today.
Start from the end
The main problem of any enclave, regardless of the country, is the presence of a large number of voluntary or involuntary agents of influence, intelligence officers and collaborators. The reasons for this situation are clear. Open borders, when citizens of opposite states have the opportunity to cross the border in a simplified mode, young people who have opportunities to study in educational institutions of the opposite side, family ties of citizens of different states, etc.
Look at Donbass or Belarus. From 70 to 90% of intelligence information from there floats through these channels. When some grandmother who came for a pension, without hesitation, talks about the fact that the Republicans have equipped positions near her village, and now the Armed Forces of Ukraine will not capture them for sure.
And what about the events in Belarus? Why are there so many young people dissatisfied with life? And not workers and peasants, but those who are doing just fine, who study in universities at prestigious faculties, whose parents provide them with a comfortable existence and occupy not the last place in the enterprises where they work. But the most important thing is that these young men and women do not even understand that they have become instruments for the destruction of the country. For most, this is simply an expression of youthful maximalism.
Kaliningrad is no exception in this regard. More recently, in the spring of this year, the FSB revealed the details of the rather sensational BARS case. Three members of this organization were even arrested. What kind of organization existed in Kaliningrad? BARS, or rather, the Baltic avant-garde of the Russian people, is a movement of marginalized anarchists whose main goal is to return the city to its historical name and establish a monarchy in Russia.
Good ideas, the fight against debauchery, the development of Russian culture and, although controversial, the idea of restoring the monarchy soon turned into calls for a fight against the authorities, the assassination of the Russian president and extremism. The next step was logically fascism. Moreover, the idea of returning the historical name to the city was also transformed into the idea of seceding from the Russian Federation and joining the EU as a free city.
So the defense of the enclave must begin with the fight against agents of influence, extremists and collaborators. This is the task of the relevant special services. We will return to the military aspect, to strengthening the defense of the enclave.
Enclave does not mean one
Recently, Russia has significantly strengthened its military positions in Kaliningrad. Much attention was paid to strengthening the coastal defense of the enclave, creating a serious missile group, strengthening aviation and the transfer of units and formations to the most modern military equipment and weapons. So, this year alone, the region has already received 30 tanks T-72B3M, and this is just the beginning.
The neighbors are especially concerned about missiles. According to the NATO headquarters, only the Kaliningrad group of the Russian army with its blow can "clear" almost the entire European coast of the Baltic from the army and fleet NATO. This situation is being perfectly used by Poland today. Amid cries of the imminent seizure of the Baltic States and the Polish coast, Warsaw is knocking out subsidies from NATO and the United States for the development of its own army, consent to the deployment of American and NATO units and subunits on its territory.
The question arises - why do the Poles go to the deployment of military facilities at home? After all, any sane person understands that these objects will automatically become targets for Russian aircraft and missiles. The answer, it seems to me, lies in the policy of the Polish government.
The centuries-old confrontation with Germany and Russia and the constant being on the sidelines in world and European politics do not correspond to the current aspirations of the majority of Poles - the creation of Poland "from sea to sea". Today Warsaw is openly speaking about its desire to become the main US ally in the fight against Russia in Eastern Europe.
But then the question arises for our military leadership. If we see and understand everything, then why did we not react to the strengthening of Poland earlier? Why did they create a striking fist and not a safety glove? Why is NATO today demonstrating its exercises directly near the enclave and not hiding the fact that it is learning to conduct offensive operations in this particular region?
I can imagine some of the readers smiling now. Was it not the author who wrote about the principle of necessary sufficiency as the main condition for maintaining the stability of the state's economy? Exactly. The grouping that exists today in the Kaliningrad region is sufficient for the defense of this region today. But it is not sufficient for defense if the enemy carries out his plans to strengthen the Polish army, to deploy units and subunits on Polish and Baltic territory, and to re-equip these units.
We were taught, including our media, to view the Kaliningrad group as if in isolation from the main body of the Russian Armed Forces. She alone will take the blow and will resist NATO troops. This view is fundamentally wrong. An attack on any Russian object, on any of our territory, must be viewed as an attack on Russia. With a corresponding response from our military.
Put the aggressor in a puddle before the start of hostilities
Today the situation is changing quite rapidly. The impudent statements of the Polish Defense Ministry are combined with statements from NATO headquarters about the increased danger of a Russian attack on the Baltic States and Poland. Words are quite often accompanied by various teachings, one way or another related to this region. The latest example of such exercises is the Iron Wolf II 2020 maneuvers (Geležinis Vilkas II).
Theoretically, the exercises, which are taking place 252 km from Kaliningrad, do not threaten us too much. But in practice they are worth a closer look. In addition to the Lithuanian military, soldiers from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Great Britain, Estonia, USA, Poland, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal and Germany, as well as about a thousand pieces of military equipment, are involved in the exercises.
But that's not all. NATO is pulling up its units and formations to the near approaches to Kaliningrad. In order not to be unfounded, I will quote the words of the vice-president of the Russian Academy of Rocket and Artillery Sciences Konstantin Sivkov, said about the Polish city of Ozhish:
In this town, located 136 km from Kaliningrad, there is a consolidated contingent from the combined arms battalion of the US Army, a formation of elite Scottish dragoons from Great Britain, an artillery battery from Croatia, and a formation from Romania. NATO members are based on the basis of a mechanized brigade of the Polish army in operational subordination to the American contingent in Germany. The Polish military plays a supporting role in this formation.
And what about Moscow? I will refer to the journalists of the Vzglyad newspaper, who report on the decision to deploy a fully deployed motorized rifle division in the Kaliningrad region next year, subordinating it to the command of the 11th Army Corps. The division will be created on the basis of a separate motorized rifle regiment and a separate motorized rifle brigade, a separate tank regiment and an artillery regiment. In addition, the division will include all combat support units, according to the staffing table.
Thus, if you look at the staffing structure of such formations, the division will have about 12 personnel. Given the fact that NATO land formations will not be able to advance on a wide front, this formation is sufficient to ensure a reliable defense of the enclave. Even taking into account the possibility of an amphibious or airborne landing, the division will be able to successfully destroy them on its own.
Here it is necessary to take into account the presence of well-preserved fortifications, some of which even today are quite serious defense facilities. In general, the engineering structures of the Kaliningrad region are again of interest to our military. As the experience of the war in Syria has shown, today's war is largely turning into an underground one. Although the first call about such a prospect was still Vietnam, where the Americans even had to create an elite special forces unit (Tunnel Rats) to fight in the dungeons.
Above, I paid much attention to the Polish army in combination with the Baltic "tigers". This, most likely, caused a somewhat misunderstanding of the Kaliningrad problem among some readers. What the Polish army is demonstrating to us today cannot yet be called serious military training. And the threatening figures of the military budget, like "Poland is increasing the military budget at times", do not look so threatening - up to $ 12 billion.
No, I'm not talking about the impossibility of the Poles to launch an attack on the enclave. The strength of the Polish army today is about 100 people. They are really dangerous for our group, but ... It is worth looking at an even more dangerous player. Those who have ideas for revenge. Those who once owned East Prussia. I'm talking about Germany. Among the military of this country, there are already quite a few supporters of the return of East Prussia to Germany.
Today the German army, the Bundeswehr, has over 180 troops. And the budget of the Bundeswehr exceeds the Russian budget by a decent amount - $ 000 billion against $ 55 billion. Agree, such an enemy must be reckoned with.
Summing up the prospects and dangers
The Kaliningrad region today has become another place that frightens the European man in the street. It is enough to look at the latest issues of the leading European newspapers specializing in military topics to find out a lot of interesting things about this region of Russia.
For example, the "duck" launched in 2018 by the Reuters agency about the presence of nuclear weapons in Kaliningrad has successfully taken root. Allegedly, the Russians, along with the deployment of Iskander missiles, brought nuclear warheads to the city into the city. At least at the end of November, American journalists from the National Interest demanded that the Pentagon place its nuclear bombs in Poland "in order to force the Russians to remove their warheads from the enclave."
All the stupidity of this idea is understood in the American headquarters. Unlike Europeans, Americans have a vast enough territory to understand that it is not at all necessary and even stupid to “keep eggs in one basket”, and even put this basket “in the path of a herd of cows”. But such ideas, expressed publicly, are necessary in order to force Russia to get involved in an arms race. We need to "take the Russians to fear."
We just need to understand that in modern conditions the enclave is practically no different from the point of view of its defense from other regions of the state. It's just that you need to keep as many troops there as is necessary for a successful defense for a certain period, until the main forces strike at the enemy from the depths or begin hostilities directly on the territories adjacent to the enemy's borders.
In principle, the way the RF Ministry of Defense operates today is fully integrated into this logical scheme.