Moscow announces massive expansion of global military presence
Russian fighter jets along the country’s western border have been put on combat alert as tensions mount over fears that Moscow is preparing to intervene militarily to protect its interests in Ukraine.
Image: Russian Fighter Jet (Wikimedia Commons).
“Constant air patrols are being carried out by fighter jets in the border regions,” Interfax quoted a ministry statement as saying. “From the moment they received the signal to be on high alert, the air force in the western military region left for the … air bases.”
The news arrives just a day after the United States warned Russia it would be a “grave mistake” to conduct any kind of military intervention in Ukraine following Moscow’s announcement yesterday that a snap drill involving 150,000 troops would take place in western Russia.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s interim government has also warned Russia against making military movements in Crimea after armed men seized control of government and parliament buildings in the region. Earlier this week, pro-Russia citizens installed a Russian Mayor in the town of Sevastopol as part of a growing backlash against the western-backed coup.
Moscow has also announced that it plans a massive expansion of its global military presence with a number of new bases in countries including Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, the Seychelles, and Singapore. The move is significant because Russia only currently has one naval base outside the former Soviet Union – in Tartus, Syria.
Some are also speculating that the deployment of the USS George H W Bush (CVN 77) aircraft carrier to European waters is linked to the crisis, although such maneuvers were planned months in advance.
The United States is already moving to secure a financial stake in Ukraine following the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych, saying it plans to offer $1 billion in loan guarantees, ensuring the country becomes a debt slave to the Anglo-American establishment and thereby further reducing Russian influence.
Yanukovych himself asserted today that he is still Ukraine’s legitimate president while complaining of “rampant extremism on the streets of our country.” Russia is likely to provide personal protection for Yanukovych once he leaves Ukraine.