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By John Helmer, Moscow

For the first time President Vladimir Putin’s annual address to the Federal Assembly has abandoned the distinction between  American partners and American enemies. In this week’s speech, Putin said that in response to the threats of missile attack the US is introducing against Russia, Americans in their command centres, all of them, are now targeted directly.  That’s US command-and-control centres in Europe, including Romania, Poland, Germany, Belgium, and the UK; and US command centres in the continental US.

In Putin’s speech  geography and time have also been transformed.  

If the Aegis-ashore system — US missile batteries currently based in Romania and Poland —  or the Aegis-afloat system —  US Navy vessels in the Black, Aegean and Mediterranean Seas —  are detected preparing to fire on Russian targets, the Russian response will be to launch counter-attacks on US targets within a 12-minute range.

The Russian launch order will be “mirror or asymmetric”, Putin said; that is, it may precede by seconds or minutes Russian detection of the US fire order. Flying time for the Russian counterattack ought to be counted at hypersonic speed for the incoming, he added.  

Code numbers stand for countries; 18=Poland, 43=Romania. For the Pentagon’s fake version of Aegis-ashore, click to read.   For analysis by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists of what this attack system threatens, read this and https://www.nytimes.com/ Taking the US side without analysis of the military position, Anatoly Chubais commented through his brother, academic Igor Chubais, on Radio Ekho Moskvy:  “Russia's problems cannot be solved in conditions of the continuation of the policy leading to the expansion and deepening of anti-Kremlin sanctions, i.e. in the conditions of the state's undeclared wars and absurd military spending.”

“Some of these missiles can reach Moscow in just 10–12 minutes,” Putin said.  “This is a very serious threat to us. In this case, we will be forced, I would like to emphasise this, we will be forced to respond with mirror or asymmetric actions. What does this mean? I am saying this directly and openly now,” Putin announced, “so that no one can blame us later, so that it will be clear to everyone in advance what is being said here. Russia will be forced to create and deploy weapons that can be used not only in the areas we are directly threatened from, but also in areas that contain decision-making centres for the missile systems threatening us.”

“What is important in this regard? There is some new information. These weapons will fully correspond to the threats directed against Russia in their technical specifications, including flight times to these decision-making centres.  We know how to do this and will implement these plans immediately, as soon as the threats to us become real. I do not think we need any further, irresponsible exacerbation of the current international situation. We do not want this.”

“What would I like to add? Our American colleagues have already tried to gain absolute military superiority with their global missile defence project. They need to stop deluding themselves. Our response will always be efficient and effective… within the [US] elite, there are also many people who have excessive faith in their exceptionalism and supremacy over the rest of the world. Of course, it is their right to think what they want. But can they count? Probably they can. So let them calculate the range and speed of our future arms systems. This is all we are asking: just do the maths first and take decisions that create additional serious threats to our country afterwards. It goes without saying that these decisions will prompt Russia to respond in order to ensure its security in a reliable and unconditional manner.”

A year ago, at his March 3, 2018, Federal Assembly speech  Putin unveiled the newest of Russia’s counter-threat weapons. At that time he did not identify their target with the precision he used this week, nor did he target the US alone.

BBC re-broadcast of video clip played during Putin’s speech. Source: https://www.bbc.com/

“I will say once again what we have repeatedly told our American and European partners who are NATO members: we will make the necessary efforts to neutralise the threats posed by the deployment of the US global missile defence system…”

“I hope that everything that was said today would make any potential aggressor think twice, since unfriendly steps against Russia such as deploying missile defences and bringing NATO infrastructure closer to the Russian border become ineffective in military terms and entail unjustified costs, making them useless for those promoting these initiatives. It was our duty to inform our partners of what I said here today under the international commitments Russia had subscribed to. When the time comes, foreign and defence ministry experts will have many opportunities to discuss all these matters with them, if of course our partners so desire…”

“We are not threatening anyone, not going to attack anyone or take away anything from anyone with the threat of weapons. We do not need anything. Just the opposite. I deem it necessary to emphasise (and it is very important) that Russia’s growing military power is a solid guarantee of global peace as this power preserves and will preserve strategic parity and the balance of forces in the world, which, as is known, have been and remain a key factor of international security after WWII and up to the present day. And to those who in the past 15 years have tried to accelerate an arms race and seek unilateral advantage against Russia, have introduced restrictions and sanctions that are illegal from the standpoint of international law aiming to restrain our nation’s development, including in the military area, I will say this: everything you have tried to prevent through such a policy has already happened. No one has managed to restrain Russia.”

“Now we have to be aware of this reality and be sure that everything I have said today is not a bluff ‒ and it is not a bluff, believe me ‒ and to give it a thought and dismiss those who live in the past and are unable to look into the future, to stop rocking the boat we are all in and which is called the Earth…”

“I should note that our military doctrine says Russia reserves the right to use nuclear weapons solely in response to a nuclear attack, or an attack with other weapons of mass destruction against the country or its allies, or an act of aggression against us with the use of conventional weapons that threaten the very existence of the state. This all is very clear and specific. As such, I see it is my duty to announce the following. Any use of nuclear weapons against Russia or its allies, weapons of short, medium or any range at all, will be considered as a nuclear attack on this country. Retaliation will be immediate, with all the attendant consequences…”

“We are interested in normal and constructive cooperation with the United States and the European Union. We hope that common sense will prevail and our partners will opt for honest and equal work together.” For more analysis of the March 2018 speech, read this.  For an analysis of Putin’s cross-hairs speech of  May 27, 2016, targeting Romania and Poland for the first time,  click to read.

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