US warship fires at Polish coast in joint exercise — Russia ’simulates’ nuclear attack on Poland — Wiki: Exercise Zapad — Poland Signs Up For New U.S. Shield — Russian tactical missile self-destructs during live-fire drills — Russia, Belarus begin joint anti-aircraft defense exercises — Botnet Attack on Polish Government Network


Zapad-2009_military_exercisesZapad-2009 military exercises (29 September 2009) Copyrighted

“It infuriates me to see generals act like female cats in heat in the company of politicians. Many of them are poor commanders but very efficient at currying favor with those who hand out promotions.” – Gen. Waldemar Skrzypczak, former commander of the Polish Army, on certain senior Army officers

Heard in passing (10/28/09) – Warsaw Voice




US warship fires at Polish coast in joint exercise

PressTV – Wed, 28 Oct 2009

An American destroyer has reportedly fired live rounds at the northern Polish coast while disposed of the combat-ready mode it had assumed during joint naval drills.

The 250-crew guided-missile destroyer, USS Ramage, fired three shots at the port city of Gdynia, said spokesman for the Polish Military Gendarmerie, Marcin Wiacek, ‘Russia Today’ reported on Wednesday.

Crewmembers and locals were being questioned on the incident which, according to preliminary data, caused no human or material losses.

The warship had just partaken in the joint naval exercises with the Polish Navy and was at the dock to ‘give its crew time for rest.’

“We will use this time to exchange experiences and hold meetings of experts,” spokesman for the 3rd Flotilla of the Polish Navy, Grzegorz Lyko was quoted as saying by the Xinhua news agency.

The American officials have not commented on the matter.

Russia has questioned the alleged intentions behind the visits, which mainly target Poland and Georgia.



Dmitry Medvedev and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko observed the final phase of the Zapad-2009 strategic exercises that took place in Belarus. Copyrighted


Russia ‘simulates’ nuclear attack on Poland

Russia has provoked outrage in Poland by simulating an air and sea attack on the country during military exercises.

Telegraph – By Matthew Day in Warsaw

The armed forces are said to have carried out “war games” in which nuclear missiles were fired and troops practised an amphibious landing on the country’s coast.

Documents obtained by Wprost, one of Poland’s leading news magazines, said the exercise was carried out in conjunction with soldiers from Belarus.

The manoeuvres are thought to have been held in September and involved about 13,000 Russian and Belarusian troops.

Poland, which has strained relations with both countries, was cast as the “potential aggressor”.

The documents state the exercises, code-named “West”, were officially classified as “defensive” but many of the operations appeared to have an offensive nature.

The Russian air force practised using weapons from its nuclear arsenal, while in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, which neighbours Poland, Red Army forces stormed a “Polish” beach and attacked a gas pipeline.

The operation also involved the simulated suppression of an uprising by a national minority in Belarus – the country has a significant Polish population which has a strained relationship with authoritarian government of Belarus.

Karol Karski, an MP from Poland’s Law and Justice, is to table parliamentary questions on Russia’s war games and has protested to the European Commission.

His colleague, Marek Opiola MP, said: “It’s an attempt to put us in our place. Don’t forget all this happened on the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland.”

Ordinary Poles were outraged by news of the exercise and demanded a firm response fro the government.

One man, identified only as Ted, told Polskie Radio: “Russia has laid bare its real intentions with respect to Poland. Every Pole most now get of the off the fence and be counted as a patriot or a traitor.”

Donald Tusk, Poland’s prime minister, has tried to build a pragmatic relationship with the Kremlin despite widespread and vocal calls in Poland for him to cool ties with Moscow.

After spending 40 years under Soviet domination few in Poland trust Russia, and many Poles have become increasingly wary of a country they consider as possessing a neo-imperialistic agenda.

Bogdan Klich, Poland’s defence minister, said: “It is a demonstration of strength. We are monitoring the exercises to see what has been planned.

Wladyslaw Stasiak, chief of President Lech Kaczynski’s office, and a former head of Poland’s National Security Council, added: “We didn’t like the appearance of the exercises and the name harked back to the days of the Warsaw Pact.”

The Russian troop exercises will come as an unwelcome sight to the states nestling on Russia’s western border who have deep-rooted anxieties over any Russian show of strength.

With a resurgent Moscow now more willing to flex its muscles, Central and Eastern Europeans have warned of Russia adopting a neo-imperialistic attitude to an area of the world it still regards as its sphere of influence.

In July, the region’s most famed and influential political figures, including Lech Walesa and Vaclav Havel, wrote an open letter Barack Obama warning him that Russia “is back as a revisionist power pursuing a 19th-century agenda with 21st-century tactics and methods.”

Moscow and Minsk have insisted that Operation West was to help “ensure the strategic stability in the East European region”.



Dmitry Medvedev visited the Baltic Fleet’s Khmelyovka training area, where joint Russian-Belarusian military exercises, Zapad-2009. Speaking with servicemen who have distinguished themselves during the exercises. Copyrighted


Exercise Zapad (Russian: Запад, literally meaning “west”) were large scale military exercises carried out in the Soviet Union in 1981, and later also carried out after the fall of communism in Russia during 1999 and in Russia/Belarus during 2009.


Exercise Zapad-99 was another large scale military exercise; it was carried out in June 1999 and its results forced Russia to adapt a new defense concept (Russia’s National Security Concept, 2000). The exercise showed that conventional Russian armed forces could not repel a NATO offensive, this in turn increased the tolerance for use of tactical nuclear weapons.

Apart from nuclear controversy exercise Zapad-99 also sparked international tensions when US fighters intercepted Russian bombers allegedly in violation of Icelandic and Norwegian airspace.

Further reading: (Kipp, 2001)


Exercise Zapad-81 (‘West-81’) was the largest military exercise ever to be carried out by the Soviet Union, according to NATO and US sources (de Weydenthall et al., 1983). It was conducted from September 4, 1981 and lasted approximately 8 days. It was a joint operation including elements from all Soviet service branches and introduced several new “complexes” such as the RSD-20 medium-range strategic missile complex and “Kiev” Project 1143 aircraft carrier [1].

The exercise was first and foremost a show of force. Propaganda tapes were made of the large scale offensives concluding in a large victory parade. Apart from being a show of force to the US and NATO countries Zapad was a grim demonstration of military capability in Poland. After the failure of reform communism in Poland during the seventies Poland was in a state of crisis and civil unrest. (See People’s Republic of Poland for more information). Exercise Zapad included amphibious landings in Poland near Gdańsk, reminding Poles that the Soviet Union could resort to military force if that was deemed necessary.

The exercise was widely criticised by the US for violating the Helsinki Final Act of notification of military exercises (Message to the Congress Transmitting a Report and a Fact Sheet on Soviet Noncompliance With Arms Control Agreements, 1983).


Dmitry_Medvedev_29_September_2009-4Dmitry Medvedev and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko observed the final phase of the Zapad-2009 strategic exercises that took place in Belarus. Copyrighted


Poland Signs Up For New U.S. Shield

28 October 2009

Poland is ready to take part in a new American missile shield system, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said during a visit by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden Oct. 21 that aimed to improve Washington’s relations in the region.

Biden’s trip to Europe, which also took in Bucharest and Prague, aimed to reassure America’s allies in the region that Washington remained committed to their security. President Barack Obama’s decision to scrap earlier plans for a missile defense shield caused anger and alarm here. Parts of former U.S. President George W. Bush’s earlier missile shield system were to have been based in Poland and the Czech Republic, where many had pinned their hopes on the shield cementing ties with Washington.

Biden told Polish President Lech Kaczyński and Tusk that Poland was an important ally for the United States and that the Obama administration’s new proposal for a missile shield system was beneficial for Poland and NATO. Kaczyński said the talk with Biden “filled him with optimism” and that he was now convinced that Poland’s international security was assured.

Tusk said that the United States views Poland as a partner that was expected to be “active and responsible” internationally. The Obama administration has proposed that Poland host land-based SM-3 interceptor missiles, which are to be a key element in the new system of defense against any short- and medium-range missile attack from Iran.

Biden described Poland as a model for countries which are not NATO members. He added the United States appreciated the participation and sacrifice of Polish troops in foreign missions. At the end of his visit, Biden met soldiers who had served in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina together with U.S. troops. He thanked the troops for their commitment and praised them for their bravery and professionalism.




Russian tactical missile self-destructs during live-fire drills

By RIA Novosti on October 30, 2009

MOSCOW: A Tochka-U short-range ballistic missile self-destructed on Thursday shortly after a practice launch at training grounds in northwestern Russia, the Defense Ministry said.

The accident occurred during life-firing drills at the Luga training grounds in the Leningrad Region. No casualties or damage have been reported.

“The missile self-destructed at the height of 1,000 meters [about 3,280 feet],” Col. Alexei Kuznetsov said.

The official added that the missile was carrying a dummy warhead because its service life has expired and it was due for destruction.

Nevertheless, an investigation into the accident will be launched, Kuznetsov said.

According to the official, the second Tochka-U missile, which was launched during the same drills, hit the designated target.

The Tochka-U (SS-21 Scarab) short-range tactical ballistic missile is a 1989 modification of the Tochka missile system that went into service with the Soviet military in 1976. It has an effective range of 120 km (70 miles).

Tochka-U is a high-precision weapon that can be used for strikes on enemy tactical targets, such as control posts, bridges, storage facilities, troop concentrations and airfields. It can carry conventional and nuclear warheads.

At least 15 Tochka missile systems were reportedly deployed by Russia during the five-day war with Georgia in August 2008.




Russia, Belarus begin joint anti-aircraft defense exercises

By RIA Novosti on September 21, 2009

MINSK: The first phase of joint Russian-Belarusian military exercises began on Friday with the involvement of some 100 aircraft and 12,600 military personnel, the Belarusian Defense Ministry announced.

The five-day first phase of the joint Zapad 2009 (West 2009) anti-aircraft defense exercises will concentrate on the preparation of defense operations of the regional forces. The second phase of the exercises, on September 23-29, will focus on the effectiveness of the unified regional anti-aircraft defense systems of Russia and Belarus.

The exercise will, among other things, rehearse interoperability within the framework of the Belarusian-Russian integrated air defense system, which the two countries agreed to establish in February.

According to the Belarusian Defense Ministry statement, 63 airplanes, 40 helicopters, 470 infantry fighting vehicles, 228 tanks and 234 artillery systems will participate in the exercises. S-300 air defense missile systems will also be used.

S-300s are considered one of the world’s most effective all-altitude regional air defense systems, comparable in performance to the U.S. MIM-104 Patriot system.

Belarus has several Russian-made S-300 air defense battalions on combat duty, and has long been negotiating the purchase of advanced S-400 systems from Russia, which should be available in 2010.

Besides the 12,600 Russian and Belarusian military personnel, around 30 Kazakh military personnel will also participate.


Botnet Attack on Polish Government Network

According to security researchers, computer servers at the government institutions of Poland suffered a well-synchronized cyber attack, which was allegedly launched by Russian sources in September 2009.

The details of this attack on the Polish government are not yet revealed, as reported by the daily Rzeczpospolita. The attack took place in the beginning of September, a particularly intense moment, near about Westerplatte visit of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The purpose of his visit was to commemorate the outburst of the Second World War, as reported by NATIONAL on October 11, 2009.

Meanwhile, security experts informed that generally botnets are behind such attacks. Botnet is a sort of robot network of PCs that are connected to the Internet, with all sharing a common technology, i.e. a spyware/virus that permits a remote hacker to access and control the system. A botnet may vary from 10 computers to 10,000 computers or even more. Further, the fact that most of these systems are located in a particular country does not mean that the hacker who is controlling the process is also there.

Russia was, however, linked to some other major cyber attacks in past. It was in 2007 that Russian hackers disabled the entire IT infrastructure of Estonia, after the Estonian government decided to shift a WWII soviet memorial monument. Then, the websites of Georgian Presidency and other government institutions were compromised during the armed conflict between Georgia and Russia in 2008. It is also suspected that the Russia’s cyber-militia was responsible for the incident that took place in January 2009, wherein Internet across Kyrgyzstan collapsed.

The deputy chief of Poland’s internal security agency Agencja Bezpieczenstwa Wewnetrznego, Colonel Pawel Bialek, told the daily that several anonymous agencies of Polish government became direct target of the attack. The agency’s cyber patrol, that identified the suspicious traffic, blocked the assaults, as reported by SOFTPEDIA on October 15, 2009.

Furthermore, the ARAKIS-GOV system registered more than 1 Million incidents in 2008. However, so far this year, nearly 450,000 attacks have been identified. As per the data collected, majority of these attacks were launched from systems based in the US and China, although this does not indicate the actual origin of these attacks.

» SPAMfighter News – 30-10-2009


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