PDA

View Full Version : Lithuania: Security Forces On High Alert



TolkoRaz
09-12-2014, 17:11
Courtesy of STRATFOR

Lithuania has put its rapid reaction forces on high alert following reports of increased Russian military activity near its border zone, UNIAN reported Dec. 9. Lithuania's LNK television channel aired the reports the previous night, saying Russian military activity had increased on land, at sea and in the air.

.......................................................................................................

I understand that Vlad and his 4 friends have assembled with their hunting rifles, serviced their GAZ-66 and UAZ-469 and are ready to push back the advancing Russian military machine! :tv:

Fantastika
09-12-2014, 18:00
This is looking like 1914, with all the little countries with all their political passions. Lithuania's madwoman president is supplying weapons (where is she funneling the weapons from? NATO?) to Ukraine, now she is hypersensitive about her Russian neighbors (guilty conscience?).

If she is so gung-ho anti-Russia, why don't she go to Kiev and volunteer to be a gunner in one of the Chocolate King's tanks?

Fantastika
09-12-2014, 18:02
Courtesy of STRATFOR

I understand that Vlad and his 4 friends have assembled with their hunting rifles, serviced their GAZ-66 and UAZ-469 and are ready to push back the advancing Russian military machine! :tv:

There was an old Mosin Nagant at the auction here last month.

Armoured
09-12-2014, 18:05
I understand that Vlad and his 4 friends have assembled with their hunting rifles, serviced their GAZ-66 and UAZ-469 and are ready to push back the advancing Russian military machine! :tv:

Has he taken his shirt off yet?

FatAndy
09-12-2014, 18:13
I know nothing about Lithuanian army but was quite impressed with military power of their neighbours in Latvia. One can see at Youtube, search on "военный парад в Латвии".

TolkoRaz
09-12-2014, 18:43
It is all hype and hysteria! Why would the RF want to invade Lithuania?!??!

It would only happen if they decided to blockade Kaliningrad from the East and stopped RF military resupply of Kaliningrad via Lithuania.

If anywhere in the Baltics were to be invaded, it would be Lativa first.

Anyway, as NATO have troops there, it would have the potential to lead to a wider conflict, so it will not happen.

Fantastika
09-12-2014, 19:23
It is all hype and hysteria! Why would the RF want to invade Lithuania?!??!

VVP wants to pay for another million pensioners!

ConanS
09-12-2014, 20:53
It is all hype and hysteria! Why would the RF want to invade Lithuania?!??!

It would only happen if they decided to blockade Kaliningrad from the East and stopped RF military resupply of Kaliningrad via Lithuania.

If anywhere in the Baltics were to be invaded, it would be Lativa first.

Anyway, as NATO have troops there, it would have the potential to lead to a wider conflict, so it will not happen.

I mean, I'd imagine Estonia would be the first, IMO. They've been hit by purported Russia cyberwarfare activities in the past, and they have a relatively high Russian population.

TolkoRaz
09-12-2014, 21:51
I mean, I'd imagine Estonia would be the first, IMO. They've been hit by purported Russia cyberwarfare activities in the past, and they have a relatively high Russian population.

Regarding Latvia ................

Courtsey of STRATFOR

Summary

A reported uptick in pro-Russian activity in the eastern Latvian region of Latgale highlights Riga's concerns about Russia, particularly in light of the standoff between Moscow and the West over Ukraine. Although the potential for serious pro-Russian separatist activity to materialize is much lower in Latvia than it was in Ukraine, Moscow still represents a threat to Riga, as demonstrated in a Nov. 18 report of Russian military planes flying near Latvian airspace and territorial waters. Because Latvia supports the pro-Western government in Ukraine and is courting a greater security commitment from NATO, Russia will likely maintain pressure on the small but strategic Baltic country through Russian-speaking communities and other means.

Analysis

Latgale, which borders Russia, is one of Latvia's four main cultural and historical regions. It has a population of 286,000 and the highest concentration of ethnic Russians in the country, at around 40 percent. The regional capital, Daugavpils, has a majority population of ethnic Russians, at around 53 percent; by comparison, Riga is 42 percent ethnic Russian, and Latvia altogether is 27 percent.



Given the region's large ethnic Russian population, allegations of increased pro-Russian activity in Latgale are noteworthy. On Nov. 11, the mayor of the Latgalian town of Kraslava, Gunars Upenieks, voiced concerns that pro-Russian activists were engaged in door-to-door campaigning in support of Latgale's secession from Latvia to join Russia. Upenieks claimed that these activists visited not only people's homes, but also schools and other public institutions, adding that he was concerned about Latvian security forces' inactivity on the issue. However, he did not mention specifically who these activists were, how many were involved in the campaign or their specific political or financial ties — if any — to Russia.

This is not the first time officials have reported alleged pro-Russian activity in Latgale. In September, a Latvian parliament member said in a radio interview that similar campaigning was happening in Daugavpils. In that instance, the parliament member said it was the Russian Union party, led by Latvian European Parliament Member Tatyana Zhdanok, engaged in pro-Russian activities. It is not clear whether this same group is being held responsible for the campaigning in Kraslava, which is only around 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Daugavpils.

The Russian Union's Role

The Russian Union is one of the most pro-Russian parties in Latvia. Its origins trace back to the late 1990s, when it belonged to a coalition of three parties (National Harmony Party, Equal Rights and the Socialist Party of Latvia) that catered to Latvia's ethnic Russian and Russian-speaking population. The bloc won 16 seats out of 100 in Latvia's parliamentary elections in 1998, but in 2003 it dissolved because of internal differences. Harmony Center later became the most popular party to emerge from the coalition catering to Latvia's ethnic Russian population, winning 17 seats in 2006, 29 seats in 2010 and a leading 31 seats in 2014. In the meantime, what would eventually become the Russian Union party faded in importance, winning only 6 seats in 2006 and failing to get any representation in parliament since then.

The Russian Union — which was the only Latvian party to recognize Russia's annexation of Crimea — operates on the fringes of Latvia's political spectrum. The more influential Harmony Center (whose leader, Nils Usakovs, is mayor of Riga) advocates a moderate and more pragmatic view in support of Latvia's ties with Russia. However, Harmony Center's friendly attitude toward Moscow has prevented its inclusion in the country's ruling coalition. EU-oriented parties formed an alliance excluding Harmony Center, despite the party's strong performance in the last two elections. The Russian Union is even more isolated. Its leader, Zhdanok, is restricted to running only in European Parliament elections, having been banned from running for national or local office because of her former allegiance to the Communist Party. Consequently, any pro-Russian activities sponsored by the Russian Union or other groups like it are unlikely to be completely effective.

Support for separatism among the ethnic Russian and Russian-speaking population is much weaker in Latvia than it is in Ukraine, though citizenship status and language rights do remain controversial issues in the country. Still, pro-Russian demonstrations in Latvia since the Ukrainian uprising have been small and sporadic, garnering only a few dozen activists at their peak. A demonstration held in April that was organized specifically to voice support for Latgale's joining Russia brought out less than a dozen participants. There have also been no signs that the demonstrations in Latvia have adopted a more violent or militant nature as they did in Ukraine, and the population is much more unified in the country's Western orientation.

Russia's Advantages and Latvia's Concerns

Nevertheless, the potential for Russia to destabilize Latvia — whether using ethnic Russian parties or other means — remains a key concern for Riga and the Latvian population. Latvia's small size and proximity to Russia, combined with its membership in the European Union and NATO, has made the country a target for Russia's more assertive behavior in response to the Western-backed uprising in Ukraine. Russia's military support of separatists in Ukraine and its subsequent buildup of forces near the Baltic region have prompted Latvia to call for a greater security commitment from the United States and NATO. While NATO has dismissed Latvia's request for a permanent stationing of forces on its territory, the military bloc has increased air policing missions and military exercises in the Baltic countries.

Still, this has not adequately addressed Latvia's fears. Despite the relatively small pro-Russian demonstrations in the country thus far, Riga cannot be sure these will not increase with assistance from Moscow. After all, of the Baltic states, Latvia has the highest concentration of ethnic Russians. Moreover, its population is less than two million, making even small demonstrations a potential threat to national security. This fact explains why the alleged door-to-door pro-Russian campaigning in Latvia's eastern region alarmed local officials, even though the likelihood of Latgale's secession is still minimal. Russia will likely exploit these vulnerabilities as long as Latvia and the other Baltic states remain staunch supporters of Ukraine and of NATO buildups in Central and Eastern Europe.

ConanS
09-12-2014, 22:09
Cool, thanks for that! Yeah, I remember watching a Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty video a while back that chronicled the issue of Russian Latvians and their citizenship and thinking that it didn't seem healthy

Yaks
10-12-2014, 11:29
lol, have any of you been to Vilnius ? traffic consists of one car on the road. the cbd is basically deserted. it is a lovely "big village" feel. I just can't imagine much of an army..

TolkoRaz
10-12-2014, 20:37
I have spent 3 x New Years in Vilnius - it is a great city with even better night life, but yes, it is much smaller and more compact than Moscow!

Uncle Wally
10-12-2014, 20:47
I have spent 3 x New Years in Vilnius - it is a great city with even better night life, but yes, it is much smaller and more compact than Moscow!




So there are some hot little women there! Why else would you go!

TolkoRaz
10-12-2014, 22:21
So there are some hot little women there! Why else would you go!

Yes, there are some very nice ladies there like there are in all cities, even in the evil US of A, but most of them would be tourists! ;)

Uncle Wally
10-12-2014, 22:51
Yes, there are some very nice ladies there like there are in all cities, even in the evil US of A, but most of them would be tourists! ;)





Yes there are some very pretty ladies there but few after talking with them would I still want to get to know them bettter.

TolkoRaz
10-12-2014, 22:57
Yes there are some very pretty ladies there but few after talking with them would I still want to get to know them bettter.

Why do American women have high pitched whiney voices? :eek:

Uncle Wally
10-12-2014, 23:51
Why do American women have high pitched whiney voices? :eek:




I don't know. Why do American girls have high pitched whiney voices?

Waiting for punch line.