Published On: Sat, May 12th, 2012

Russia builds up troops on Iran border as West plans its invasion

WASHINGTON -– The Russian military anticipates that an attack will occur on Iran by the summer and has developed an action plan to move Russian troops through neighboring Georgia to stage in Armenia, which borders on the Islamic republic, according to informed Russian sources.

Russian Security Council head Viktor Ozerov said that Russian General Military Headquarters has prepared an action plan in the event of an attack on Iran.

Dmitry Rogozin, who recently was the Russian ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, warned against an attack on Iran.

“Iran is our neighbor,” Rogozin said. “If Iran is involved in any military action, it’s a direct threat to our security.” Rogozin now is the deputy Russian prime minister and is regarded as anti-Western. He oversees Russia’s defense sector.

Russian Defense Ministry sources say that the Russian military doesn’t believe that Israel has sufficient military assets to defeat Iranian defenses and further believes that U.S. military action will be necessary.

The implication of preparing to move Russian troops not only is to protect its own vital regional interests but possibly to assist Iran in the event of such an attack. Sources add that a Russian military buildup in the region could result in the Russian military potentially engaging Israeli forces, U.S. forces, or both.

Informed sources say that the Russians have warned of “unpredictable consequences” in the event Iran is attacked, with some Russians saying that the Russian military will take part in the possible war because it would threaten its vital interests in the region.

The influential Russian Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper has quoted a Russian military source as saying that the situation forming around Syria and Iran “causes Russia to expedite the course of improvement of its military groups in the South Caucasus, the Caspian, Mediterranean and Black Sea regions.”

This latest information comes from a series of reports and leaks from official Russian spokesmen and government news agencies who say that an Israeli attack is all but certain by the summer.

Because of the impact on Russian vital interests in the region, sources say that Russian preparations for such an attack began two years ago when Russian Military Base 102 in Gyumri, Armenia, was modernized. It is said to occupy a major geopolitical position in the region.

Families of Russian servicemen from the Russian base at Gyumri in Armenia close to the borders of Georgia and Turkey already have been evacuated, Russian sources say.

“Military Base 102 is a key point, Russia’s outpost in the South Caucasus,” a Russian military source told the newspaper. “It occupies a very important geopolitical position, but the Kremlin fears lest it should lose this situation.”

With Vladimir Putin returning to the Russian presidency, the prospect that he again would order an attack on Georgia as he did in August 2008 also has become a possibility, these informed sources say.

The Russians believe that Georgia would cooperate with the United States in blocking any supplies from reaching Military Base 102, which now is supplied primarily by air. Right now, Georgia blocks the only land transportation route through which Russian military supplies could travel.

Fuel for the Russian base in Armenia comes from Iran. Russian officials believe this border crossing may be closed in the event of a war.

“Possibly, it will be necessary to use military means to breach the Georgian transport blockade and establish transport corridors leading into Armenia,” according to Yury Netkachev, former deputy commander of Russian forces in Transcaucasia. Geography of the region suggests that any such supply corridor would have to go through the middle of Georgia approaching Georgia’s capital of Tbilisi given the roads and topography of the country.

In September, the Russian military plans to hold its annual military exercises called Kavkaz 2012. However, informed Russian sources say that preparations and deployments of military equipment and personnel already have begun in anticipation of a possible war with Iran.

These sources report that new command and control equipment has been deployed in the region capable of using the Russian GPS system, GLONASS for targeting information.

“The air force in the South Military District is reported to have been rearmed almost 100 percent with new jets and helicopters,” according to regional expert Pavel Felgenhauer of the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation.

In 2008, Felgenhauer pointed out, Kavkaz 2008 maneuvers allowed the Russian military to covertly deploy forces that successfully invaded Georgia in August of that year.

Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov already has announced that new Spetznaz, or Special Forces units, will be deployed in Stavropol and Kislovodsk, which are located in the North Caucasian regions.

Russian sources say that the Russian military believes that if the U.S. goes to war with Iran, it may deploy forces into Georgia and warships in the Caspian Sea with the possible help of Azerbaijan, which since has stated that it will not allow its territory to be used by Israel to launch an attack on neighboring Iran.

There had been speculation that given the improved relations between Israel and Azerbaijan, the Jewish state may use bases from which to launch air attacks on neighboring Iran’s nuclear sites. Israel recently agreed to sell Azerbaijan $1.6 billion in military equipment.

A further irritant to Georgia’s President Mikhail Saakashvili is the prospect that Russian assault airborne troops, or VDV units, with helicopters could be moved into Georgia’s two breakaway provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. These two provinces were taken by the Russian military during the August 2008 Russian-Georgian war. Initially they were declared by Moscow to be independent countries, but now the Kremlin is indicating they may be annexed to Russia.

Similarly, Lt. General Vladimir Shamanov, commander of the VDV, has announced that Russian troops in Armenia will be reinforced by paratroopers, along with attack and transport helicopters.

“The Russian spearhead (from the Transcaucasia region) may be ordered to strike south to prevent the presumed deployment of U.S. bases in Transcaucasia, to link up with the troops in Armenia and take over the South Caucasus energy corridor along which Azeri, Turkmen and other Caspian natural gas and oil may reach European markets,” Felgenhauer said.

“By one swift military strike, Russia may ensure control of all the Caucasus and the Caspian states that were its former realm, establishing a fiat accompli the West, too preoccupied with Iran, would not reverse,” he said.

“At the same time, a small victorious war would unite the Russian nation behind the Kremlin, allowing it to crush the remnants of the prodemocracy movement ‘for fair elections,’ and as a final bonus, Russia’s military action could perhaps finally destroy the Saakashvili regime.”

Putin has made no secret that he despises Saakashvili and with his return to the presidency, he may consider taking out the Georgian president as unfinished business. Just as in 2008, Putin will not have much to worry about if he sends Russian troops into Georgia, since there was muted reaction from the U.S. and the European countries to the Russian invasion and subsequent occupation.

By F. Michael Maloof

Business Insider

May 12, 2012

  • Kayse

    Russia is all talk. It never really stands on its backbone and defends its interests or allies. We seen the West prey on the former Yugoslavia in right in their faces and Russia did nothing. Then they took out Serbia and again Russia was all talk no action. The West then moved to Afghanistan. Russia just played its childish Vito card at the UN. The West then invaded Iraq, removing any Russian investment, military installments or contracts….bye bye mother Russia.

    Again the West moved up north to the Northern African nation of Libya…Russia lost all its contracts. Russia is surrounded and very soon it will be forced to do business with only one country — China, because the West can never mess with China. The West sees China as more threat than Russia. Russia has proofed many times throughout history that it is a fighter but it doesn't know how to defend its allies or interests…yes country but in this modern world you need more than just defending mother Russia.

    I doubt Russia will defend Iran. Iran should have gotten closer to China and perhaps put some Chinese investors and contracts in its soil. The West will never think twice coming near Chinese interest.

    Russia can move all its troops all it wants in the end it will settle for its losses. Iran is capable of defending its rights and interests.

  • Kayse

    The West's plan for the region will only backfire because they cant forever keep getting burned for the sack of few fanatic American Anglicans and Israel. They are already in financial turmoil and China will be the one bailing them out while it extends its sphere of influence.

    The West hopes, it can restrain the Han dragon using India, Japan and the Philippines, which of course is a joke. The West is already trying to create bad blood between the Chinese and the Filipinos…but both Asian people are smarter than that and know the game the West is playing by exploiting the South China Sea disputes.

    The West in particular America is trying to woo China's neighbours to go to war with Beijing because they cant fight Beijing themselves and feel their repressive and self proclaimed "world police" empire is declining by the month.

    Japan, India, Vietnam, Australia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Korea are been cheered to go to war, in this sense, America only guaranteed to protect its "Anglo-Saxon" Australian ally promising to move military to Darwin from US bases in South East Asia including Japan.

    But China has plans to outsmart them all. Focus on one, surround India, the only nuclear nation in the region opposed to China and with similar population.

  • osman5

    It sounds Russia is making a big scene to show off it's new military arsenal. Does Russia have an interest in Iran? of course it does. Would it really go to war against USA? I don't think so, because that would spark WW3 and Russia is not that crazy for war right now, because Russians just started to live like the west.
    would the US go to war with Russia? possibly, because the US in dire economical crisis and full fledged wars generate instant wealth.

    Osman Qaal

  • mohamed cheers

    What all these hum drum would seemingly amount to is sort of back to the cold war eras between
    the west and old Soviet Russia. Perhaps revival of non-aligned Countries should become a
    possiblity too?. With the US engaged in election year, it would seem unlikely that Iran could be
    an imminent target. However, committing Iran into wars would have, in my view, serious
    consequences for the ME Countries and World peace.
    Cheers.

  • Abraham

    @Kayse,
    I see now you are cheerleading for the Serbian racists!! What do you actually stand for mate? I really don't understand it.

  • tom elis

    we all know that no matter what views or opinions we have, any country that feels threatened will take what ever measures are necessary to protect it self. islamatisation of the middles east etc will never succeed because people who have tasted western freedom and democracy will prevail over dictatorships.

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