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March 08, 2014
Threat Journal is a weekly supplement to the AlertsUSA National Threat
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Russian TOPOL-M ICBM - ALLOW IMAGES
U.S. Plays With Fire In Ukraine,
Russia Sends Ominous Warnings
March 08, 2014
 
Between March 3-5, 2014, AlertsUSA issued the following
Flash messages to subscriber mobile devices:

3/5 DoD: US increasing fighter jet & surveillance patrols of airspace over NATO members Poland, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. Other force increases also underway.

3/4 Amid tensions, Russia has just test-fired a nuclear-capable SS-25 ICBM. Launch site only 280 miles east of the Ukrainian border. Missile landed in Kazakhstan.

3/3 US Embassy Moscow warning Americans in Russia of possible anti-American actions in light of rising political tensions from Ukraine conflict. Vigilance urged.

3/3 Poland positioning tanks and other forces along border w Ukraine (defensive). Baltic neighbors increasing fighter jet patrols + requesting add'l NATO forces.

3/3 Concerns grow over safety of Ukrainian nuclear reactors (15). Ukraine gov asking int'l community for assistance in protecting facilities. Developing situation..

What You Need To Know

On multiple occasions this week AlertsUSA subscribers have been noticed via text messages to their mobile devices regarding increasingly dangerous developments in the Ukraine.

Following last week's relatively non-violent surge of Russian forces onto the Crimean peninsula, former Soviet-bloc Baltic nations including Poland, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania are understandably nervous and have been stepping up defensive measures, including movement of tanks and personnel into border positions, as well as seeking additional assistance from other NATO members.

On Wednesday of this week Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced that the U.S. was increasing fighter jet & surveillance patrols of airspace over these countries. On Thursday, the Pentagon announced that an initial group of 12 U.S. fighters had deployed to the region.

Subscribers were also notified of a request by the Ukrainian government for international assistance in securing and protecting the nation's nuclear power plants. In a letter presented to the Director of the IAEA, the situation was spelled out pretty clear: Russia's use of armed forces on Ukrainian territory amounts to a grave threat with potential consequences for its nuclear power infrastructure.

The Ukraine has 15 power reactors in operation at four sites across the country. Ukraine is also home to Chernobyl, which is located less than 70 miles North of Kiev.

While the mainstream media and U.S. government spokesman are portraying Russia's actions as expansionist and an unwarranted invasion of a sovereign nation, this is a simplistic explanation and provides little in terms the actual truth behind Russia's actions.

IMPORTANT BACKGROUND INFO - STRATEGIC THREATS TO RUSSIA

In December last year, Asst. Secretary of State for Europe, Victoria Nuland, delivered a presentation in front of National Press Club during which she revealed that the U.S. government has invested more than 5 BILLION dollars in helping destabilize the pro-russian Ukrainian government and to develop "democratic institutions and a good form of government," all in an effort to bring about Ukraine's entry into the EU, and ultimately, NATO. Needless to say, this type of meddling in Ukraine poses a direct strategic threat to Russia on numerous levels.

As an example, consider the geography of the region. Looking at a map you will see that the Black Sea is Western Russia's singular warm-water access point. All other ports in the North of the country, with the exception of Murmansk near the northeast corner of Finland, are blocked by ice at least 6 months out of each year. The only reason Murmansk remains ice free is due to the warm waters of the N. Atlantic current. Although 9 time zones in size, more than 90% of Russia's population lives in the Western third of the country.

Additionally, although Crimea is recognized as a part of Ukraine, it is actually an autonomous region. The Russian Navy has kept its Black Sea Fleet stationed at a naval base on the peninsula since the late 1700s and the time of Napoleon. The Port of Sevastopol has a large, deep, defensible harbor and is accessible in all seasons. In 2010, Russia negotiated an agreement with Ukraine that allows use of the strategically located Sevastopol naval base through 2042 in exchange for discounts on natural gas.

While Crimea is physically detached from Russia, it is connected by those parts of eastern and southern Ukraine that contain a large Russian speaking, pro-Russian population.

We would be remiss if we did not also play "follow the money" and point out that Ukraine is a critical corridor for oil and gas pipelines from Russia and the Caspian region into Europe. These pipelines and the product they carry generate huge profits for Russia and directly compete with the planned Southern route which is at the heart of the instability in Syria.

Ukraine Oil and Gas Pipelines - ALLOW IMAGES

With just these few items (there are many more), it is easy to see how Russia is being backed into a corner and forced to act. Their strategic interests and national security are directly threatened.

And this is where the danger comes home.

Readers are reminded that Russian President Putin, Prime Minister Medvedev and the Chief of the Russian General Staff Gen. Nikolai Makarov, have on multiple occasions in the last 3 years made explicitly clear that Russia would use nuclear weapons, including in a preemptive capacity, if there is a threat to the integrity of the Russian Federation (see this, this, this and this). These scenarios include conventional attacks on Russia or it's strategic partners, placement of missile shield installations in former Soviet-bloc countries and more.

Read the rest of this important article by clicking HERE.

AlertsUSA continues to closely monitor the situation in the Ukraine and will issue additional alert messages to subscriber mobile devices as threats and events warrant.


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Damaged Wanapum Dam - ALLOW IMAGES
Cracked Dam Upstream from Nuclear Facilities
March 08, 2014
On March 4 , 2014, AlertsUSA issued the following
Flash message to subscriber mobile devices:

3/4
AlertsUSA monitoring major crack discovery in Wanapum Dam on Columbia River ~ 20 mi upriver from Hanford nuclear site in WA state. Significant risk of failure.

What You Need To Know

On Tues of this week, AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via text messages to their mobile devices of a potentially dangerous situation unfolding at the Wanapum hydroelectric dam located on the Columbia River in Washington state. A 2 inch wide, 65 foot long crack has been discovered in the structure and deformation of the dam is clearly visible. A potential threat of national significance exists as the dam is located less than 21 miles upstream from the Hanford Nuclear Site and approximately 60 miles upstream from the Columbia Generating Station, the Pacific Northwest’s only commercial nuclear reactor.

As of the time of this reports preparation, federal and state engineers indicate, at least publicly, they have no idea what caused the failure. In order to relieve pressure on the dam workers released significant amounts of water in the reservoir, lowering it's level by 26 feet. The result is that the deformation of the structure has lessened, but the failure still remains, as does the threat to downstream communities and the nuclear facilities mentioned above.

There are growing concerns about the stability of the dam once the Spring melt begins as the volume of water in the Columbia River will increase dramatically.

Specifically, the failure is a crack on the large concrete base of the spillway known as the "ogee." When a spillway gate is opened, water on the reservoir side of the dam flows over the ogee to head downriver. Divers have confirmed the ogee is cracked all the way across its upstream face, underwater.

According to Chuck Berrie of the Grant County Public Utility District, what’s troubling to experts on dams and concrete structures is that the ogee is not only cracked, it’s slipped a little...

See additional images and diagrams by clicking HERE.

AlertsUSA continues to monitor the situation at the Wanapum Dam closely and will immediately notify service subscribers of any change in the threat environment as events warrant.


Radiation Safety Products - ALLOW IMAGES

Travel Security Update

The U.S. Dept. of State is the authoritative federal source for information on the security situation at travel destinations worldwide. With tensions rapidly increasing in most regions, readers planning on international travel, even to such common destinations as Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands, are strongly encouraged to do a little research on the security situation prior to departure.

Important USGOV Travel Alerts and Warnings

Ukraine (Update)
03/07/2014
03/06/2014
02/07/2014
09/25/2013
 
See all USGOV Travel Alerts and Warnings HERE.

Take Advantage of These Resources

Our social media channels provide a steady steam of important news and resources between issues of Threat Journal with little or no overlap of content. Combined with the AlertsUSA service for instant mobile notification of the really bad developments, you have an unmatched set of tools to keep yourself fully up to speed on the nation's threat environment. With times getting worse by the day, we urge you to utilize these resources.

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