March 30, 2018

War Against the Whole World

February through April 2018, in the Armed Forces of Russia there is an integrated inspection of the troops for the winter period of training. In fact, the check is a full rehearsal of the Strategic Command-and-Post Exercise of the “East” series, which is quadrennially held in the Eastern Military District (MD) with the participation of the Pacific Fleet of the RF Armed Forces.

According to established practice, one of the components of the exercise is practicing a scenario of an armed conflict between Russia and China. In particular, such a scenario implies the use of the RF Armed Forces and other law enforcement agencies to localize and end the riots in the Chinese diaspora of the Trans-Baikal and Far Eastern regions of the Russian Federation, elimination of illegal armed formations, and prevention of China's interference in these events. These tasks were solved during this year's integrated verification of the troops of the Eastern MD.

For example, in March this year, tactical trainings on blocking and destroying illegal armed formations and enemy's sabotage and reconnaissance groups were conducted at the “Tsugol” training range in the Republic of Buryatia (one of the main areas of concentration and economic activity of the Chinese diaspora in Russia). The units of the 37th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade (Kyakhta) from the 36th Combined Arms Army (Ulan-Ude) of the Eastern MD were involved in the training — a total of 1.5 thousand servicemen and 300 pieces of military equipment.

At the same time, repulsing an offensive of the enemy's prevailing forces with retreating to the second defensive line was practiced at the “Trekhrechie” training range (located immediately near the border with the PRC) in Amur region of the RF. The training involved a Battalion Tactical Group of the 38th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade (Yekaterinoslavka) from the 35th Combined Arms Army of the Eastern MD.

In the Eastern Military District there is an integrated inspection of the troops
for the winter period of training

During the same period, against the single operational background, at the training ranges of Buryatia and Primorye were taking place: tactical trainings of the fighter and front bomber aviation with practicing the task of breaking the enemy's air defense system and inflicting rocket attacks on ground targets (with participation of Su-25SM and Su-34); training on air defense (involving Su-39SM, Su-35 fighters and S-300, “Tor”, “Osa” SAM systems); training on deployment of “Iskander-M” OTMS and simulated missile launches.


In general, the nature of Russia's military activity on the Eastern direction shows the growing understanding by Russia's leadership of the rise in the level of threats from China, despite the declaration of strategic partnership between the two countries. Thus, according to Russian experts, who are already openly on the pages of the media, China is an extremely complicated and ambiguous partner of Russia, and as its capacity grows, it will increase firmness in defending and advancing its interests.

In this regard, attention is drawn to the peculiarities of the political mentality of the Chinese nation, namely, the positioning of itself as a “metropolis” in relation to neighboring countries that are considered “vassals” of China. According to the Russian political scientists, such a vision of the world determines the strategy of consistent expansion of the People's Republic of China, which is carried out throughout the history of the country on the basis of the principle of “by small steps to the big goal”.

The strategy of consistent expansion of China carried out on the basis
of the principle of “by small steps to the big goal”

According to Russian experts, today such a strategy is being implemented by Beijing in the form of the construction of the so-called “Belt and Road”, which officially envisages deepening of trade and economic cooperation between China and its partners, but actually aims at expanding the zone of influence of the PRC. Due to the above-mentioned approach, China is gradually gaining control over the economies and resources of other countries, including Russia itself.

At the same time, Russian experts are pointing out the intensification of China's efforts to build up its military potential, which is already superior to Russia's military potential, with the exception of strategic nuclear weapons. Thus, within the framework of the Chinese People's Liberation Army's modernization program which is planned until 2035, the leadership of the PRC has already achieved rather significant results that have changed the entire military component of the country.

To date, the PLA has in fact been transformed from a typical of “Third World” countries Armed Forces into modern ones that are among the best in terms of their structure, strategy and tactics. Along with this, a powerful defense and industrial complex has been created, capable of independently developing and producing all kinds of modern military equipment.

Thus, during the military reform, the number of personnel of the Ground Forces of the PLA was significantly reduced, while their mobility and combat potential increased. In addition, Rapid Reaction Forces are being established on the basis of the Marines, Airborne, Air Assault and Special Task Forces. At this, by the number and quality of the main battle tanks, artillery systems and tactical missile systems, China is not inferior to the United States and in the near future will be ahead of Russia.

The Air Force and Navy of China are also developing very fast. In three to four years, the basis of the Chinese Air Force will be multi-functional 4th generation fighters and their subsequent modifications similar to the Russian Su-35. At the same time, the 5th generation combat aircrafts will begin to serve in the Air Force. In general, China is already ahead of Russia in terms of the number of the 4th, 4th+, and 4th++ generations of aircrafts that are in service in the PLA, which allows it to absolutely dominate in the air on the Far Eastern theater. In three to four years, the PLA will be armed with anti-aircraft missile systems of long range, similar to the Russian S-400.

The Navy of the PLA are quickly being equipped with new warships of different classes, including aircraft carriers and cruisers and destroyers with guided missile weapons systems similar to the American “Aegis”. By ships of such classes, China is absolutely ahead of Russia.

The PLA has in fact been transformed from a typical of “Third World” countries Armed Forces
into modern ones

The leadership of the PRC is paying special attention to the development of missile and nuclear forces, which are the “cornerstone” in ensuring the national sovereignty and security of the country. In this aspect, China's main efforts are focused on the deployment of a number of new missile systems, including DF-5B (silo-based with multiple warheads) and mobile solid-fuel ballistic missiles DF-31 and DF-31A with a range of 11,200 km. Besides, in recent years, China has introduced into service the first four nuclear missile submarines, and in the near future is going to introduce the fifth. The nuclear missile submarines are equipped with missiles “Julang-2” with the range of 7.4 thousand kilometers. Work is under way to create new strategic long-range (bomber) aviation aircraft and air-launched cruise missiles.


Given these circumstances, Russian experts do not rule out the possibility of China's changing its policy towards Russia and turning to a rigid and aggressive course on the Russian direction. At this, the threat of an armed conflict between the two countries is not excluded. The ground for such a threat is the spread of revenge moods in different strata of the Chinese society (from ordinary citizens to scientific, military and political circles), namely, being sure of the illegality and humiliation for China of previous treaties on territorial delineation with Russia. According to estimates of Chinese experts who support such views, all in all, Russia owes China about 1.5 million square kilometers, which have been annexed since the tsarist times.

A threat for Russia is the spread of revenge moods in different strata
of the Chinese society

Today, the above-mentioned problem is being resolved by peaceful means at the expense of Russia's territorial concessions to China, as well as leasing of Russian land to Chinese entrepreneurs. Thus, according to the agreement between Russia and the PRC of May 15, 1991, which provided for the border along the fairway of navigable rivers, about 600 islands on the Amur and Ussuri rivers, as well as 10 square kilometers of land territory were transferred to China. Another 1.5 thousand hectares of land in the Primorsky Territory of the Russian Federation were transferred to the PRC within the framework of the implementation of the 1994's agreement on the Russian-Chinese border in its Western part. On October 15, 2004, V. Putin signed an additional agreement on the Russian-Chinese border in its Eastern part, which included the transfer to China of Tarabarov island and a part of Bolshoy Ussuriysky Island on the Amur river, as well as Bolshoy Island in Chita region, a total of 337 square kilometers. Along with this, about 340 thousand hectares of land for commercial use have been leased to China (about 4 million hectares are planned to be leased in total).

At the same time, the above-mentioned actions of the leadership of the Russian Federation cause an increasingly negative reaction of local residents of Eastern Siberia and the Far East of the Russian Federation, because of the uncontrolled increase in the number of ethnic Chinese in the region, and with the “predatory” exploitation of its natural resources. For example, in the autumn of 2017, the initiative committee of the inhabitants of the Trans-Baikal Territory, Buryatia and Irkutsk region issued a petition demanding a 10-year moratorium on the export of unprocessed timber from the region to China. To date, the petition has already 145 thousand signatures. Moreover, along with peaceful protests against the negative aspects of China's economic activity in the East of Russia, acts of outrage of the local population against Chinese businessmen are also noted, including attacks on forest harvesters, setting on fire and destruction of their housing camps and damaging their equipment.

In fact, the leadership of local authorities is beginning to be against Chinese expansion in the region too, which is completely contrary to the Kremlin's policy. In particular, in February of this year head of the Altai Republic, A. Berdnikov, banned the implementation of plans for the “development” by the business entities of the People's Republic of China of a land plot with relict forests in the Choy district of the Autonomy. At the same time, he initiated a lawsuit at the Republican Arbitration Court over the issue of legality of granting permission to the Chinese to cut the forest in the said territory.

Such a development of events poses a real threat of conflict between local residents and the Chinese diaspora in Eastern Siberia and the Far East of Russia, including the use of force from both sides. In turn, it can become a catalyst for the spread of unrest among the Chinese community in the region of both, purely domestic and separatist character. This actually will create an excuse for China's actions to protect their compatriots in Russia, with the subsequent annexation of its territories. In 2014, a precedent of this kind was created by Russia as an excuse for its military aggression against Ukraine. Due to this was actually opened the way for China's implementation of the same scenario for Russia.


As pointed out above, the leadership of the Russian Federation more and more realizes the reality of such a prospect. It is precisely because of this that measures are being taken to get prepared for the possibility of a military conflict with China. In addition to working out different scenarios of such a conflict during military exercises, these measures include the build up of the RF Armed Forces in the eastern part of the country and their re-equipment with new types of weapons and military equipment. In 2017 alone, more than 1100 pieces of weapons, including “Iskander-M” and “Bastion” missile systems, were given to the Eastern MD. As a result, the combat power of the Eastern MD has increased by more than 10 %.

At the same time, great importance is attached to ensuring the possibility of operative reinforcement of the Eastern MD by the transfer of formations and units from other regions of the country. In particular, due to the expansion of Russia's participation in international transport corridors, the capacity of the Baikal-Amur and Trans-Siberian railways, as well as the development of the airdrome network, increases.

Great importance is attached to ensuring the possibility of operative reinforcement
of the Eastern MD

Additional command posts are being constructed, the number of barracks is growing, new weapons, equipment and material-and-technical storages are being created. It is also planned to resume the production of heavy An-22 and An-124 transport aircrafts. The issue of the transfer of troops to Eastern Siberia and the Far East of Russia is systematically practiced during exercises of the Central and Southern MDs of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (including the forces of the 4th Army of the Air Force and Air Defense, deployed on the Ukrainian direction).

At the same time, the Command of the Armed Forces of Russia actually recognizes Russia's inability to deter a possible military invasion of the People's Republic of China through the use of conventional Armed Forces alone. Proceeding from this, they draw a conclusion about the crucial role of nuclear weapons, which remains the only means that can give Moscow control over its eastern territories.

The Command of the Armed Forces of Russia actually recognizes inability to deter a possible military invasion of China

By the way, during the integrated inspection of the RF Armed Forces for the winter period, along with practicing of the scenario of the war with the People's Republic of China, the issue of military confrontation between Russia and Ukraine with NATO was also worked out. For example, in March this year, was conducted a large military training in the Crimea (involved about 10 thousand servicemen and 2 thousand pieces of military equipment). The main participants in the training were units of the 810th Separate Marine Brigade and the 126th Separate Coast Guard Brigade of the 22nd Army Corps of Coastal Forces of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, as well as the 7th Airborne Assault Division (Novorossiysk). During the same period, a series of military trainings of the 8th, 49th and 58th Armies of the Southern MD, as well as of the 4th Army of the Air Force and Air Defense ware conducted on the territory of Rostov region and the North Caucasus of the Russian Federation.


Thus, in fact, Russia is actually preparing for war on two fronts, and in fact — against the whole world. During the first and second world wars in this situation was Kaiser, and then Nazi Germany, which ended in a completely expected catastrophe for it. Putin's Russia will quite obviously face the same catastrophe if it continues its current policy.