U.S. and Russia Trade More Threats, NATO Launches Massive Military Drills, Protesters Storm Ukraine Nuclear Plant

On May 13, 2014, AlertsUSA issued the following
related flash message to subscriber mobile devices:

5/13 – Russia to end operation of all 11 U.S. GPS stations on Russian territory on 6/1, + bans U.S. use of Russian rocket engines for defense satellite launches.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

On Tues of this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via text messages to their mobile devices regarding Russia’s response to the latest round of economic sanctions.

According to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin who is himself a target of U.S. sanctions, Russia will ban the U.S. from using Russian-made MK-33 and RD-180 rocket engines for launching defense satellites. The engines are used to power Atlas V rockets lofted by United Launch Alliance LLC, a joint venture between Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing which is currently the sole supplier of rocket launches for the Pentagon. A day after Russia’s threat, Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren revealed that United Launch Alliance has a two-year supply of the engines already in hand.

Rogozin also told reporters that Russia will not be extending its role in the Int’l Space Station beyond 2020, thus indirectly threatening the taxi service for U.S. astronauts. He also stated that Moscow would switch off 11 U.S. Global Positioning System satellite ground stations in Russia on June 1 unless the U.S. allows placement of similar stations in the U.S. for Russia’s competing Glonass system. It is reported that the loss of the GPS stations across Russia would result in a decrease in system accuracy in the region.

[ It is interesting to note that on Thursday, two days after Rogozin's threats, a Russian rocket failed 9 min into it's flight while attempting to loft an advanced communications satellite into orbit. The unmanned Russian Proton-M rocket was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. A Stuxnet coincidence perhaps? ]

Late this week the Kremlin announced it would be holding a large military drill involving dozens of fixed wing fighter aircraft and attack helicopters within the three military regions directly on the border of Ukraine in the days leading up to and on the day of Ukraine’s national elections (May 25th).

The announcement was followed by yet another threat from Secretary of State John Kerry who warned, “If Russia or its proxies disrupt the elections or stand in the way of the Ukrainian people being able to exercise their vote, that is when and if there would be additional sanctions.”

On Friday NATO kicked off a major military exercise in Estonia involving 6000 troops from nine countries. Known as “Steadfast Javelin 1″ the exercise is based on a fictitious scenario and involves allied forces repelling an attack on Estonia. Participating units include an extensive array of air and ground forces.

LATE ADDITION – Nuclear Power Plant Attacked

Reports are emerging regarding some type of attack on one of Ukraine’s nuclear power facilities (see this and this). Given the experience of the country with the Chernobyl disaster, one can logically assume that authorities would intentionally downplay / distort / alter / or otherwise intentionally misrepresent the details so as to prevent panic. We remind readers that just one week ago, Threat Journal reported that NATO had deployed security advisers to Ukraine to specifically address security issues at the country’s nuclear power facilities.

AlertsUSA continues to closely monitor the increasingly tense situation in Eastern Europe and will immediately notify service subscribers of changes in the overall threat environment, major escalations and force deployments or the outbreak of hostilities as events warrant.