Russia Planning Troops
Deployment On Iran's Northern Border And Waiting For A Western
By F. Michael Maloof
April 12, 2012 "Information
Clearing House" ---
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
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 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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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.
F. Michael Maloof,
staff writer for WND’s G2Bulletin, is a former senior security
policy analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He can be
contacted at email@example.com.
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