What so long feared both the leadership of NATO as a whole, and the Baltic countries in particular, all the same happened. Russian Iskander missile systems, capable of neutralizing American missile defense systems, arrived in the Kaliningrad region to be put on permanent alert duty. Apparently, Russia specifically gave NATO a leak about this event.
The President and Minister of Defense of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite and Raimundas Caroblis caused a sensation by announcing that on Monday "operational-tactical missile systems (OTRK)" Iskander "were delivered to Kaliningrad.
"Right now, this afternoon, today rockets" Iskander "are deployed in Kaliningrad," said the head of the Lithuanian state, adding that the missiles had arrived "for permanent residence. This means a threat not only to Lithuania, but also to half of European states. "
And Raimundas Caroblis added that previously these missiles, capable of carrying nuclear charges, were delivered here only for a while - for maneuvers, but "this time the situation is different - this is permanently located, with all the necessary infrastructure for this." "Iskander" in 12 hour. should have been unloaded at the Kaliningrad port, "Delfi quoted the Defense Minister as saying.
Lithuanian politicians did not specify the source of this information. But in fact, a regular cargo-and-passenger ferry from St. Petersburg with the same name "Petersburg" arrived to the Kaliningrad region in 12.29 on Monday. From the data of the portal Marinetraffic.com, anyone could know about it. Apparently, Vilnius received information that the Russian military is transporting the Iskander with this particular flight.
Surprisingly another: having shown such a high level of awareness of when the Iskander arrived in the Kaliningrad region, the President of Lithuania immediately broke off into part of the geography, having confused Kaliningrad and the port Baltiisk, located fifty kilometers from it. It is to Baltiysk that ferries from the big Russia always come from the port of Ust-Luga, located in the Leningrad region. There, and not at all to Kaliningrad, and "Petersburg" arrived.
In Moscow, meanwhile, they did not refute the message from Vilnius. "They placed it, yes," Vladimir Shamanov, head of the State Duma Defense Committee, confirmed. - The deployment of foreign military infrastructure automatically falls into the list (objectives) for priority destruction, "RT TV channel quotes the deputy. The newspaper VZGLYAD Vladimir Shamanov added:
"We warned NATO that if we deploy missiles in Kaliningrad, we will post them. In accordance with the agreements, we did not conceal anything. "
As for the exact date of missile arrival in NATO, Shamanov redirected this issue to "special agencies".
The exact location where the "Iskander" arrived to Kaliningrad is also known from the open data is the 152-Guards Missile Brest-Warsaw Order of Lenin. Red Banner Order of Kutuzov brigade in Chernyakhovsk. There, in the order of planned rearmament, the old "Tochka-U" complexes are being changed to modern "Iskander" complexes.
At the end of January, the missile commander Anatoly Gorodetsky publicly reported to Sergei Shoigu about the completion of the construction of the park zone for Iskander. After that, the arrival of missiles became a matter of time.
The editor-in-chief of the military-historical magazine Baltfort, Yuri Melkonov (Riga) doubts that NATO has learned the date of arrival of missiles thanks to its reconnaissance satellites or aviation that patrols the Baltic.
"Of course, the date of arrival was originally a secret. But I do not think that NATO planes showed something on the ferry. Most likely, the Russians themselves simply organized a leak of information, "the Riga expert told the VZGLYAD newspaper. "If they needed the Americans to notice the Iskander from the satellite, they did so that the Americans noticed. People know their business. "
"At least in the technical limits, NATO members understood in advance which objects and where they can be moved. Russia warned about this for a long time. There was no special military secret there. In this part, all the statements of the leadership of Lithuania in this case is not an indicator, they just drive a fool. "
The version that Russia deliberately lighted the movement of the Iskander to Kaliningrad for US intelligence has one more reinforcement. Two years ago, these missile systems were already moving (then temporarily) to the same place of deployment. And already then the Russian military commented that they intentionally put one of the installations on the open deck of the ferry to clarify the parameters of the work of the American intelligence satellite.
As you know, Russia warned about the possibility of placing "Iskander" in the Kaliningrad region since 2008. And it's not that, as the Baltic politicians say, "to threaten half of Europe". The situation is exactly the opposite: "Iskander" is needed, in case of a hypothetical conflict between Russia and the United States, within minutes to destroy the elements of the American missile defense system in Europe, in particular in Poland. These few minutes are critical when Russia strikes back on the United States with intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Lithuanian intelligence has previously been stipulated: it is not necessary to apply Iskanders to targets in Lithuania itself. But their location for Lithuania is potentially dangerous because the Iskanders, if necessary, will be able to thwart the actions of its NATO allies. Actually, the Lithuanian intelligence conscientiously retells the official statements of the Russian military-political leadership.
The fact that when deploying additional troops in the Kaliningrad region, Russia does not have in mind any aggressive plans, but only "defends its vital interests," the American analytical group Stratfor said at the time. The main thing that in this case outraged the NATO analysts was the impossibility (in the first place because of the S-400 complexes) to attack Russia with impunity.
And with the constant deployment of the Iskanders near Kaliningrad, NATO analysts may be completely sure that Russia will be punished with retaliation.