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Old 09-06-2007
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Default Early today 14 RussianTu-95s took part in a test of the UKs air defenses.

Six of the aircraft broke off before the actual atlantic crossing began, the other eight tested the UK and Viking Coast air defenses right up to the limit.


Don't think that the number 14 was random, or having six of them turn back. The UK only keeps one flight of fighters (four aircraft) on scramble alert at any given time (sound suprising? It shouldn't be, the US only keeps about four flights [16 aircraft] on such alert at any given time... before 9/11 it was about half that number). A full squadron of Tu-95 Bears (the 14 aircraft mentioned) could easily push through the single flight of British CAP aircraft... Granted they'd probably lose 8 aircraft before they got within launch range, but that's still 6 Tu-95s firing sixteen nuclear cruise missiles at British cities... That's a total of 96 200kt class warheads... In simple terms the UK would cease to exist as a nation in about a five minute timespan.

That's why the Russians only sent six for the full mission. The odds were too high that sending all 14 would put the British in a "now or never" shoot-down decision making moment... That's how wars start. So the Russians gambled on a smaller number... They wanted to send a number of bombers as large as possible to rattle the British, but small enough that they could send them without making an actual weapons-hot intercept too likely for comfort.

The statement here is fairly obvious: "We could have sent all 14 if we had wanted".

Now of course the Russians are giving out the usual line of "We didn't violate any international laws, and other countries do long range bomber patrols all the time", and as usual, this statement prays on the ignorant and willfully blind.

No, of course they didn't violate international law... International law says a country only controls the airspace within 12 miles of their borders. Considering that the nuclear cruise missiles the Tu-95 Bear can carry have a range of 1,875 miles, that's kind of a moot point. It may have been legal, but it was none the less a hostile head-on, high-speed almost-penetration of British airspace. At the point they turned back the Tu-95s could have hit any city in the UK with their missiles. Not to mention that the Tu-95s can cross those 12 miles of "buffer" in almost exactly one minute... Kind of a useless buffer, if you ask me.

And yes, the United States still maintains long range bomber patrols.... Far, far away from Russian airspace. I don't think I was even alive the last time we did a head on mock-gauntlet run like that on the Soviets.

Now you'll notice they didn't try this crap on the United States/Alaska... They tried it in Europe...


Notice where the sabers are being rattled at, then ask yourself, why does Putin want to project power and fear to those areas?
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Old 09-07-2007
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Question Odd enough...

I can find no trace of this happening on the BBC website. But maybe it's just me...

Let's face it: the entire Russia (not just Putin) is sick tired of the current international situation of the USA as the only world superpower. Any other Russian government, no matter whether Putin is part of it or not, no matter if Communist, "Moderate" or Ultra-nationalist, would have done it. Russia wants to come back to the ol'days when its word made the world shake in fear.
You say that Putin is betraying the "promises of democracy"? Let's face it: from the mongols to the Principates, from the Czars to the Soviet era, in its entire history Russia has -NEVER- had a democratic, or even just liberal government. Odd enough, the best of all the above were the Soviets... Russia is escalating in "Tension strategy" because they are pissed off of US/NATO unilateral decisions like the SDI ("Star Shield") and the enlargement of NATO to Eastern countries (SHIT, I am pissed off of it too: NATO should not be enlarged, it should be DISSOLVED, period!). Particularly, they are recently pissed off with the UK because of the Litvinenko affair.

By the way, I don't think they will ever represent an actual danger: much like China, they have way too much crossed economic interests with the USA, the European countries and the West generally to ruin it all with some dumb demonstration of force. And besides, if they ever really want to hit UK or any other "enemy" country, using Tu-95 "Bear" bombers is a dumb option that leaves way too many chances of failure, since them can be intercepted and destroyet very easily: Russia has ICBMs which give way way less warning time (and thus less chances for the "receiving" Country to minimize the damages), less reaction time for the Air Force to try to stop them, all in all much more success probability.
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