The ‘Cold war’ ~ and ‘Cold War’ two

Russia, West Moving Towards New Cold War, [Former Russian President Mikhail] Gorbachev Warns
15 April 2017
“All the indications of a Cold War are there”. “It is not merely imminent. In some places, it is already in full swing”.
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev
President of the Soviet Union 1990 to 1991

Russian Naval Activity In Europe ‘Exceeds Cold War Levels’ Says NATO Admiral
10 April 2017
“We’re seeing activity that we didn’t even see when it was the Soviet Union. It’s precedential activity.”.
Admiral Michelle Janine Howard, Commander U.S. Naval Forces Europe, Commander U.S. Naval Forces Africa, and Commander NATO Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Italy.

Cold War Danger
Statement Made February 1986
“Never, perhaps, in the postwar decades was the situation in the world as explosive and hence, more difficult and unfavourable, as in the first half of the 1980s”
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev
General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union 1985 to 1991
Chairman of the Presedium of the Supreme Soviet 1988 to 1989
President of the Soviet Union 1990 to 1991


SET IN 1980 – 2017


Past and present day collide at breakneck speed in this high octane action thriller of chilling espionage, lethal betrayal, undercover operatives, special forces and deadly combat, the assassination of a head of state, and a deeply passionate love story set against a backdrop of high stakes international political intrigue.

What begins in December 1980 is a story whose heart-stopping action moves back and forth through time, including a spine tingling encounter in early 2012 between a young, honorable, but revengeful Russian SVR Intelligence Agent, and an aging bitter communist and former Chairman of the Soviet KGB; to a mysterious ruthless murder just outside Moscow in September 2013; and finally to a decisive lethal confrontation in 2017 on a breathtaking snow drenched forested mountain, where the deadly secrets of an incident in 1980 may be finally revealed.

Pristine ice coated snow crunches under foot as Colonel David Hurst (Ret.) makes a solemn pilgrimage along a tree lined mountain ridge in the Czech Republic in early 2017. In his gloved left hand an ancient worn photograph of a twenty something girl in uniform looks up at him. Tears trickle down his face. Kneeling down, he carefully places a delicate single Persian yellow rose on the pure white snow near a protruding rock. It is a place he knows all too well from his nightmares. For on this very spot events took place in the past which changed his life forever. In the distance the eerie shriek of a white tailed eagle permeates the still mountain air; and Colonel David Hurst involuntarily shudders as he comes face to face with a traumatic memory that has haunted him for years … a gapping emotional wound he has lived with every day of his life since …

The crackling of the public address system coming to life draws Major David Hurst’s attention towards a window in his military digs. Outside a sudden gust of icy wind draws a wry smile on Major Hurst’s face, confirming the ‘Met Officer’s prediction to him of an unusually cold December 1980. But David Hurst has far graver matters on his mind. A momentary glance at the mirror was all it took. David Hurst instantly recognized the face. A sudden cold chill went down his spine. Looking up at the mirror again, Hurst saw the inevitable; his alter ego, and the disturbingly changed eyes and demeanor. It is as though he has a twin; a cold-blooded, ruthless, but like himself highly intelligent sibling. Looking intently at the mirror he whispers, “Once again I need you, but only for so long”. In response, the reflection almost appears to mockingly smile back at him. Hurst digs deep and his troubling second-self disappears. For Hurst, his alter ego is a sheer necessity, the only chance his ‘Operations Intelligence’ (‘Ops Intel’) team and himself have for survival behind enemy lines. But David Hurst is in a personal battle for survival, to remain true to himself, against his powerful alter ego; but only time will tell if his iron will power can preserve his soul, aided by the love of his life.

By their very nature Special Operations forces like Major Hurst’s team are unconventional and unorthodox, and conduct what is termed by some asymmetrical operations, with heavy reliance on unique tactics, capabilities, specialized equipment, and unusual insertion methods into an adversary’s territory. This requires people with an unorthodox mindset with extraordinary ‘will power’, fortitude and resolve, and demands unusual training techniques. Such untraditional military units and tactics can make non-special forces senior military officers and even civilian political oversight uneasy; the very thought of which draws a welcome mischievous smirk on David Hurst’s face. The nonchalance however is short lived. As he continues shaving, Hurst pensively considers the complexity, and the myriad of variables and risks, and the yes the sheer danger of the known let alone the unknown of the operation at hand. His team is superbly well trained, field experienced and capable of handling the unpredictable and continually changing threats of operations deep inside … what was the term the training manual described them as, ah yes, … hostile, politically repressive and sensitive regions. Whispering to the empty room, Hurst reflects ‘who thinks up jargon like that anyway’. Training; can anything really train you for this line of work Hurst muses’. Still his people are in Hurst’s opinion the best, with physical fitness and endurance carefully balanced with strong mental qualities and superior education, resulting in a team with insightful maturity, common sense, swift situational analysis, and yes empathy.

Like all their previous clandestine operations within the officially and euphemistically termed territory of the ‘potential adversary’, in other words ‘behind enemy lines’ in Russia and its allies; Major Hurst and his team must strictly adhere to the operational mandate of concealing the true identity of the political entity sanctioning their mission, and allow the self-same political entity a credible denial if things go wrong. Hurst chuckles to himself; how unbelievably naïve he comments to himself. According to ‘Ops Intel’ team training, clandestine operations are tasked with concealment of the operation with a lesser priority on disguising who authorized the operation; whereas covert operations are aimed at concealing the identity of the sanctioning party and not the operation. But we, Hurst continues saying to himself with a good dose of sarcasm, are supposed to do both!!

In reality, all the ‘Ops Intel’ teams in the Command Hurst serves under have a very blurred line between their Special Operations forces capabilities and command, and Civilian Intelligence level of activities. Their training also includes clandestine operational low visibility techniques, superior regional knowledge, linguistic skills and cultural expertise in order to blend into local populations effortlessly and seamlessly for short periods when required.

As always the element of secrecy of the pending operation is paramount to success. The enemy must not be afforded the slightest indication of when, where, or how the planned special operation will be executed. Major Hurst and his team have two specific geographically close targets, one a high security research facility, the other an “eyes on target” special reconnaissance, then surveillance, and exfiltration of a defector. Given the innumerable variables, pre-planning only goes so far with the defector aspect of the operation; and on location behind enemy lines real time analysis using their experienced judgment and initiative, is the only way final preparations can be refined for the exfiltration of the defector. Any operational security compromise behind enemy lines could result in discovery of the operation and hence annihilation of the ‘Ops Intel’ team let alone the defector.

But as the saying goes, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry, and on occasion ‘Ops Intel’ teams can find themselves having to ‘get the hell out’ of a compromised situation, often hotly pursued by determined armed secret police, security forces, sometimes involving vehicle chases, and having to employ every counter surveillance tactic they know to avoid capture. In worst case scenarios ‘Ops Intel’ teams either as a unit or in ones and two will employ their ‘Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape’ (SERE) training, as armed helicopter search and destroy and ground forces may well have been instituted against them. In such circumstances, avoidance is the key, but not always possible; and hence ‘direct action’ as a unit, with short duration tactical attacks have to employed to create confusion, destroy local communications, and transport. However, with their small size in number of personnel, supplies and ammunition, ‘direct action’ is a last resort.

On the morning of the 9th December 1980, most of the World awoke to the shocking news of the tragic death of former Beatle John Lennon the previous evening in New York City. On that very same morning, an intrepid ‘Ops Intel’ team under the command of Major David Hurst set out on their clandestine mission behind enemy lines. All of ‘Ops Intel’ team members had grown up with the evocative music of the Beatles, and John Lennon’s senseless murder added a very somber overtone to the already critical mission at hand. The mood onboard the Jolly Green Giant helicopter heading to Rhein-Main Air Base and the beginning of the ‘Ops Intel’ teams operation is palpable. After what seemed an eternity, but was in reality only a respectful few minutes, Major Hurst addresses his team, poignantly stating; remember people, we have to be the shadows in the night people don’t see!!

‘A Secret To Die For’ is a gripping and dramatic story of an elite ‘Western’ multinational Operations Military Intelligence (‘Ops Intel’) team, comprised of both men and women commanded by Major David Hurst. The Operations Military Intelligence team parachuted stealthily behind the infamous ‘Iron Curtain’ into communist Czechoslovakia on a bitterly cold night in December 1980. Their orders were to make their way from Czechoslovakia into East-Germany, and clandestinely infiltrate a top secret heavily guarded Soviet/East-German Research Facility. Once inside the top secret facility, the ‘Ops Intel’ teams’ task was to obtain extremely vital ‘Intelligence’ on a technological development which could change the balance of global military and thus political power. However, while clandestinely operating in Eastern Germany, the ‘Ops Intel’ team uncovers unrelated ‘Intelligence’ on a Soviet KGB/GRU espionage operation of a truly horrifying scale. This additional ‘Intelligence’ profoundly increases the danger and outcome of the team’s mission behind enemy lines.

The ‘A Secret To Die For’ saga is set against the backdrop of the tumultuous events stemming from the revolutionary turmoil in communist Poland in 1980, as Solidarity (Solidarność) Free Trade Union workers, democracy dissidents, students, and many other brave individuals risked their lives protesting against the communist Government. Such counterrevolutionary activities were not tolerated by the Soviet Union, the communist political masters of Eastern Europe; and secret plans and reserve forces mobilization for an invasion of Poland similar to that of Czechoslovakia in 1968 were quickly instituted. The clouds of war once again hung over Europe. The United States and its NATO allies reacted with dire warnings of severe consequences to the Soviet Union and its hardline Warsaw Pact military partners. The dramatic political and social upheaval in Poland and throughout Eastern Europe in the 1980’s changed the destiny of not just Europe but the World.

Interwoven into the fabric of this epic story is a compelling, tender and deeply passionate love story between two members of David Hurst’s Operations Intelligence team. As a professionally unsanctioned relationship, the intensely affectionate bond between this man and woman is fraught with danger at every step. Utterly professional and putting team and mission first, a series of tragic events leads to one of them making the ultimate sacrifice for the team.

As the young, brilliant, Russian SVR Intelligence Agent Valentin Sorokin continues his quest for the top secret classified truth about his Father’s mysterious past; the powerful grey cardinals in the Kremlin and its Intelligence organs, decide to eliminate this growing threat before the devastating secrets of December 1980 are uncovered. However, the ambitious Valentin Sorokin has high level political connections, and the grey cardinals must move cautiously in post-communist Russia. But time is not on the side of these aging former communists.

Already fraught with nightmarish danger at every turn, the mission Hurst and his team are undertaking in December 1980 also requires them to clandestinely exfiltrate (extract) a high profile defector at any cost. The ‘Ops Intel’ teams target is a brilliant East German Engineer, who is under the constant electronic and physical surveillance of ruthless Soviet KGB Counter Intelligence Agents and the notorious East German Stasi Secret Police. The defector is located deep within the inner realms of the historic City of Dresden, Germany; just a few streets away from the offices of the cold-blooded Soviet KGB at Angelikastraße 4, Neustadt, Dresden. With understandable trepidation, the ‘Ops Intel’ team realizes that the Dresden KGB offices are in fact a mere stone’s throw away from the infamous Ministry for State Security (MfS), the East German Stasi Secret Police offices and prison on Bautzner Straße, in the Neustadt district of Dresden. (From the mid 1980’s until the early 1990’s KGB Major Vladimir Putin served at the KGB Offices in Neustadt, Dresden). After conducting a perilous undercover reconnaissance of the defectors location; Hurst and his team soberly realize that exfiltration of the defector will be extremely challenging and dangerous. At that moment, unbeknownst to Major Hurst and his Operations Intelligence team, the defector is hiding an explosive secret which could compromise the entire mission and the lives of the team.

In ‘A Secret To Die For’ the World is literally on a knife edge, and all it would take is just one wrong move, and all would be lost in the conflagration of all-out war in Europe if not World War III itself.

Sardonically recognizing the immense danger he was in, after confronting a still powerful and ruthless communist former KGB Chairman; the tough and resourceful Valentin Sorokin has clandestinely slipped out of Russia and ‘gone off the grid’ in Western Europe. He must act quickly before he is disavowed by his own country and declared an enemy of the State. After nearly three years of skillful Intelligence work, the young SVR Intelligence Agent has come to the sickening realization that the truth he so desperately seeks; is a cover up of unimaginable proportions by powerful individuals from the former Soviet Union, who still wield immense authority in today’s Russian Federation.

Quietly reflecting on his life since the tragic events of late December 1980, David Hurst and his former teammates are making plans to visit the very location in the now Czech Republic, where the momentous conflict of December 1980 occurred. But the past is reaching swiftly forward to the current day of 2017 to create a destiny for David Hurst and his friends they are as yet totally unaware of.

All Valentin Sorokin needs now is one final piece of classified information to learn the truth about the shadowy death of his Father; which he believes can only be obtained from a group of former ‘Western’ Operations Intelligence personnel. Pressuring a deep undercover Russian asset within NATO Headquarters to reveal highly classified files, the single-mindedly driven Valentin Sorokin is now closing in on David Hurst and his remaining team personnel. At that very moment in late January 2017, David Hurst and his former military team friends are driving towards the Czech Republic, to quietly and somberly pay respects to their fallen team member from December 1980.

Waiting for the traffic lights to change on a decidedly chilly evening in Munich, Germany, in late January 2017; Valentin Sorokin smiles ironically at a large wall poster of whistleblower Edward Snowden with the title ‘American Hero or Traitor?’ He cynically laughs to himself about Snowden being granted refuge in Russia, while at the same moment he is being ruthlessly hunted down by Russian Foreign Intelligence Agents intent on killing him.

With a powerful mind bending plot twist the grand finale of the ‘A Secret To Die For’ story in late January 2017, finds David Hurst and his team in deadly action again. This time it is against a tenacious and ruthless Russian Military Intelligence (GRU) Spetsnaz (Special Purpose Forces) group supported by helicopter born snipers. The crack of heavy weapons fire once again permeates this remote and stunning mountain region of what is now the Czech Republic. Valentin Sorokin finds himself in the thick of the fast paced action, and forced to make a heart wrenching decision which will forever affect his family, and possibly whether he lives or dies. The aging former communists and their modern day high level Russian Government counterparts have thrown caution to the wind; intent at all costs that the explosive secrets from 1980 are never revealed to the World. However, NATO and ‘Western’ Counterintelligence have not been sitting idly by, as the final act of ‘A Secret To Die For’ is nothing short of truly explosive!!


The ‘A Secret To Die For’ feature film is much more than an espionage thriller per se; its high octane rollercoaster storyline believably transcends time from 2017 to 1980, and back and forth again, as well as portraying the sheer danger and terrible human tragedy of military combat, juxtaposed with high stakes political brinksmanship, and in its most sensitive moments, the depiction of a bond of love tested to unbelievable limits in almost surreal circumstances. The ‘A Secret To Die For’ feature film is an action adventure thriller of wide demographic audience appeal.

Special Advisory:

The above is only a brief synopsis of the ‘A Secret To Die For’ storyline. Numerous important story elements have been purposely left out in order to keep the saga secret until the World Premier release of the feature film.

KGB Major Vladimir Putin’s Confrontation in Dresden in 1989

Less than a month after the fall of the Berlin Wall on the night of 9/10 November 1989, an incident occurred involving the future President of Russia on the evening of 5th December 1989. Following the storming of the infamous East German Stasi Secret Police offices and prison on Bautzner Straße, Neustadt, Dresden; a large group of angry protestors ran the short distance to the Soviet KGB (Intelligence Service) offices at Angelikastraße 4, and tried to break in. However, the protestors were stopped in their tracks by the persuasive arguments of a pistol wielding KGB Major Vladimir Putin. He told the crowd in perfect German language, that the building he was defending was a Soviet military office and thus Soviet territory; and that he was he was prepared to use force of arms to prevent them storming the building. Major Putin was quoted as saying: “I’m serious when I say that I will shoot trespassers.” A witness stated that KGB Major Vladimir Putin issued the threat with his now trademark assurance.

Relevant Quotations

“During the Cold War, the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact threatened the very existence of the free world,” … “The responsibility for countering that threat fell on the shoulders of those who served during that time period; from those that developed and maintained our strategic deterrent, to those ‘silent warriors’ who risked and often lost their lives, collecting intelligence”

– Dr. Donald C. Winter, (former) United States Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) 2006 – 2009.

“Those who weren’t here [West-Germany / West Berlin] during the Cold War can’t really understand what it was like,” … “You couldn’t just drive or take the train to Dresden, Leipzig, the Czech Republic, the Baltic States or Ukraine. We take that for granted today.”

-Colonel Eric Hammersen, Defense Attaché, United States Embassy Berlin, Germany, July 2001.
(Colonel Eric Hammersen spent five duty tours in West-Germany during the Cold War and in reunified Germany throughout the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s, and a sixth tour in Germany early in the new millennium.)

“For history does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.”

– U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Inaugural Address, Washington, D.C., 20 January 1953.

“Take it all in stride. Be the hunter, not the hunted: never allow your unit to be caught with its guard down.” … “Situation awareness (SA) involves being aware of what is happening in the vicinity, in order to understand how information, events, and one’s own actions will impact goals and objectives, both immediately and in the near future.”

– General James Mattis’ message to the 1st Marine Division March 2003 on the eve of the Iraq War, as quoted in “Eve of Battle Speech” in The Weekly Standard 1 March 2003. General Mattis served as the Commander of the US Central Command (USCENTCOM) from 2010 to 2013. From 2007 until 2010 he commanded the U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) and was the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) for NATO. (On 20 January 2017 General James Mattis was appointed U.S. Secretary of Defense).

Relevant News Articles

Cold War Two

On Edge: ‘New Cold War’ Tensions High In Eastern Europe
10 September 2017
Russia is preparing to kick off its wargame exercises – just as east-west relations are at their most strained since the fall of the Soviet Union. Zapad, held 14-20 September 2017, comes almost three decades since the fall of the Berlin Wall. They also come shortly after the U.S. imposed new sanctions over Moscow’s alleged interference in its presidential election. And Russia’s flexing of its military might is not confined to Zapad (which means “west”): Moscow has been strengthening its presence in the region for some time, spurring a tit-for-tat that is rapidly accelerating tensions. Military Stand Off: Most recently, and in a bid to boost permanent presence in the area, Russia sent two large newly-upgraded submarines to reinforce its naval presence in the Mediterranean. Russia has also deployed warships, submarines and aircraft carriers to other parts of the region. It’s an undisputed show of force, said Geoffrey Van Orden, Conservative defence spokesman and a former senior British military officer. “Through hybrid warfare, Russia has expanded its physical territory with the annexation of Crimea, restoring control of major naval bases in the Black Sea,” he said. Such enhanced Black Sea capabilities are coupled with the creation of large scale military infrastructure across Crimea aimed to combat air and surface threats in the region. “And In the Atlantic, [where] Russia now has six major military bases and specialized naval capabilities including 40 ice breaker ships, once more we are seeing Russian strategic submarines with similar intensity to Cold War days,” Van Orden added. Lithuania, which borders Belarus and Russia’s semi-exclave on the Baltic Sea, Kaliningrad, is particularly wary. Moscow deployed nuclear-capable missiles to Kaliningrad last year and will send fighter-bomber jets and naval ships by the end of this year. Its response was to reinforce its Kaliningrad border with a 6-foot-high fence alongside the Ramoniškiai border crossing. Built with NATO funds, the barrier will sit opposite a barbed-wire fence (built by Russia) five years ago. In fact, the Baltic countries — Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania — have all been sounding alarms about Russian action in the region for some time. NATO, by way of response, has deployed four battalion-size battle groups to the Baltic States as well as Poland already this year. This comes as Russian and NATO aircraft regularly engage each other in the skies over the Baltics and Eastern Europe — at times coming within feet of each other during fly-bys. As NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said earlier this year, the defense bloc is seeing increased Russian military activity “on land, at sea, and in the air.” In 2016, RAND Corp. conducted war games of its own to test NATO’s ability to protect the Eastern flank. It concluded that Russian forces could reach the outskirts of the Estonian and Latvian capitals of Tallinn and Riga, respectively, within 60 hours and said a force of about seven brigades, including three heavy armored brigades, at an annual cost of about $2.7 billion, was necessary to repel such a threat.

NATO Battlegroups In Baltic Nations And Poland Fully Operational
28 August 2017
NATO’s four multinational battlegroups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland are now fully operational. This milestone comes after the Canadian-led battlegroup based at Camp Ādaži in Latvia became the fourth battlegroup to complete its Certification Exercise. In response to a changed security environment, Allied leaders decided at the Warsaw Summit in 2016 to enhance NATO’s military presence in the eastern part of the Alliance. Since then, four multinational battlegroups totaling approximately 4,500 troops have deployed to the Baltic nations and Poland. Canada leads the battlegroup in Latvia, with contributions by Albania, Italy, Poland, Slovenia and Spain. Germany leads the battlegroup in Lithuania, with contributions by Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Norway. The United Kingdom leads the battlegroup in Estonia, with contributions by France. The United States leads the battlegroup in Poland, with contributions by Romania and the UK. These forces are a defensive and proportionate deterrent force, fully in line with NATO’s international commitments. They send a clear message that an attack on one Ally would be met by troops from across the Alliance. The four battlegroups are one part of the Alliance’s response to Russia’s use of force against its neighbours and its military build-up in the Baltic region and beyond. NATO is also strengthening its multinational presence in the Black Sea region, based around a Romanian-led multinational framework brigade. The Alliance has also tripled the size of the NATO Response Force to 40,000 – with a high-readiness Spearhead Force at its core – and set up eight small headquarters (NATO Force Integration Units) to facilitate training and reinforcements.

NATO Jets In Baltics Scrambled 8 Times Last Week To Escort Russian Aircraft
15 August 2017
VILNIUS – NATO fighter jets serving in the Baltic air policing mission were scrambled eight times last week to intercept Russian military aircraft flying in international airspace over the Baltic Sea, the Lithuanian Defense Ministry said on Monday. The ministry said that a total of 21 Russian planes were intercepted, around half of which were fighter jets, while the NATO jets also identified several transport and passenger planes over the Baltic Sea. Most of the Russian aircraft had their automatic transponders switched off, the statement said. The biggest number of scrambles took place last Thursday, when the alliance’s jets took off three times in total and intercepted ten aircraft.

China And Russia Combine Naval Forces In The Baltic Sea
24 July 2017
China and Russia are signalling to NATO that they are willing to cooperate militarily and deepen diplomatic ties with joint naval maneuvers currently taking place in the Baltic Sea. Experts say China wants a global navy. According to NATO, a Chinese destroyer, frigate and supply ship sailed into the Russian harbor at Baltijsk located on the Baltic coast of the Russian exclave Kaliningrad on Friday. They are there to participate in joint naval maneuvers with Russia being dubbed “Maritime Cooperation 2017,” which is set to last from July 24 to July 27. This joint naval maneuver with Russia in the Baltic Sea is the latest display of China’s geopolitical ambition as Beijing wants to increase its influence in international and strategic affairs. China’s emphasis on naval expansion is a sign of Beijing’s awareness that becoming a world power first entails being a maritime power. For Russia, the maneuvers are a continuation of aggressive foreign policy and a display of strength on Europe’s doorstep and the Baltic coast, where fears of Russian expansion are highest.

NATO’s Senior Military Officer: Russia Threat Growing On All Fronts
26 June 2017
General Petr Pavel said Russia’s increasing military presence was clear, even if its intentions were not. NATO’s senior military officer said the alliance was confronting efforts by Russia to increase its military capabilities on virtually every level and allies were on guard to prevent any repeat of the Kremlin’s military intervention in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. When it comes to exercises, their ability to deploy troops for long distance and to use them effectively quite far away from their own territory, there are no doubts.” [The General] noted Russia’s increasing military presence, and made reference to reports of the stationing of nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missiles in Kaliningrad and Crimea. “There are elements that have to worry us and we have to stay ready,” Pavel said. “So we take this even potential threat very seriously. “We face a huge modernization of all Russia military.” In addition to the threat from Russia, Pavel said that NATO was working to increase its efforts on counter-terrorism and that the alliance did not have the luxury of focusing only on threats from state actors.

US-Russia Tensions Soar With Sanctions And Aerial Brinkmanship
23 June 2017
Over recent days there has been a rapid escalation of military and political tensions between Russia and the US / NATO, with a series of fraught aerial incidents involving warplanes, and ongoing and planned military manoeuvres on both sides in the Baltic region that risk sparking a confrontation. On June 20, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance’s military exercises with 11,000 troops and scores of ships and aircraft now underway in the Baltic republics and Poland aim to send a strong signal of deterrence to “a more assertive Russia”. The deployments too of new battle groups to the Baltic region also underscore that “an attack on one NATO ally will trigger a response from the whole alliance”, Stoltenberg added. In the autumn, Russia will conduct with Belarus its Zapad (“West”) military exercises with 100,000 troops along NATO’s eastern border to simulate a full-scale conflict with the alliance, the first of these regular four-yearly wargames since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. But it is the alarming brinkmanship in the skies in the past days that raises the most worries. On June 19, the US said a Russian jet had flown within 1.5 meters of a US spy plane in the Baltic, while Moscow responded by saying that the reconnaissance plane had made a “provocative” move. Upping the ante further, on June 21 a NATO F-16 fighter jet flew close to Defence Minister Shoigu’s plane as he flew to the Russian Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad, prompting a Russian fighter plane to intercept and show a NATO pilot that it was armed by dipping its wings. The NATO jet then flew off, according to footage that was aired later. Russian fighter jets were scrambled 14 times during the past week to intercept foreign reconnaissance aircraft near Russian borders, the defence ministry in Moscow said on June 23. The previous week, the ministry reported 18 such incidents. Russia and NATO quickly blamed each other for aggressive intercepts in the strategically important Baltic region, which saw similar incidents earlier this and last year. In April 2016, a Russian warplane came within 9 meters of the US destroyer Donald Cook conducting exercises in the Baltic Sea in what the US navy described as a “simulated attack “Moreover, such a [mid-air] collision can trigger off an escalation that could lead to an armed conflict even though the leaders on both sides do not desire such a war – recall all the close calls during the [1962] Cuban Missile Crisis,” adds Simon Saradzhyan, Director of the Russia Matters project at Harvard University’s Belfer Center.

NATO Intercepts Of Russian Aircraft Are At The Highest Point Since The Cold War
25 April 2017
More NATO fighter jets responded to intercept Russian military aircraft nearing allied airspace in 2016 than in any year since the Cold War, reports the Independent. Amid growing tension between Russia and the U.S. with its NATO allies, roughly 780 incidents occurred in 2016 in which NATO jets were deployed from European air bases to intercept Russian aircraft. With an average of over two incidents per day, Russian long range bombers capable of delivering nuclear weapons have been involved in many of the intercepts.

[President] Donald Trump Warned He Is ‘One Step Away From Military Clashes With Russia’ After Syria Blitz
07 April 2017
Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump were last night urged to hold emergency talks as growing tensions in the Middle East threatened to explode into war. The Russian President sent the missile warship Admiral Grigorovich to Syria after the US leader yesterday unleashed 59 ­Tomahawk cruise missiles on the airfield from where Bashar al-Assad launched a sarin gas attack on his own people. A British nuclear submarine is patrolling the Mediterranean and NATO forces were on high alert throughout the region.

Russia’s Submarine Patrols Reach Levels Last Seen During Cold War
03 April 2017
Russia’s submarine patrols have reached a level of operation not seen since the Cold War, according to its navy chief. Admiral Vladimir Korolev told state media that Russian submarine crews had spent more than 3,000 days on patrol last year. The patrols match the activity of the country before the Soviet collapse in 1991, which Mr Korolev told state media is an “excellent level”. He made the remarks at the launch of the Yasen-class Kazan, a new nuclear-powered attack submarine, Sky News reported.

British Tanks Join NATO Battle Group In Estonia
22 March 2017
British army equipment including tanks and self-propelled guns on Wednesday arrived by boat in Estonia, part of a NATO move to reinforce its eastern flank to deter a militarily resurgent Russia, according to Estonia’s defence forces.

Back To Europe: The [U.S.] Army Is Sending More Troops, Tanks And Helicopters To Deter Russia
19 March 2017
Three years ago, the Army rolled its tanks out of Europe after decades of post-World War II and Cold War presence. But that didn’t last long. As the last M1 Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles shipped out, Russia annexed the Crimea region of neighboring Ukraine and stepped up its aggression in the Black Sea, routinely flying fighter jets low over U.S. ships. “Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, we have enjoyed a respite from worrying about the basic security of the European order,” David Shlapak, an international security analyst at the RAND Corp., told lawmakers in a March 2 House Armed Services Committee hearing. “That respite, ladies and gentlemen, is over.”

US General Says Russia Has Deployed Banned Missile
08 March 2017
WASHINGTON — A senior U.S. General on Wednesday accused Russia of deploying a land-based cruise missile in violation of “the spirit and intent” of a nuclear arms treaty and charged that Moscow’s intention is to threaten U.S. facilities in Europe and the NATO alliance.

Trump, Putin, And The New Cold War
06 March 2017
On April 12, 1982, Yuri Andropov, the chairman of the K.G.B., ordered foreign-intelligence operatives to carry out “active measures”—aktivniye meropriyatiya—against the reëlection campaign of President Ronald Reagan. Unlike classic espionage, which involves the collection of foreign secrets, active measures aim at influencing events—at undermining a rival power with forgeries, front groups, and countless other techniques honed during the Cold War. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, in the early nineties, the C.I.A. asked Russia to abandon active measures to spread disinformation that could harm the U.S. Russia promised to do so. But when Sergey Tretyakov, the station chief for Russian intelligence in New York, defected, in 2000, he revealed that Moscow’s active measures had never subsided. “Nothing has changed,” he wrote, in 2008. For those interested in active measures, the digital age presented opportunities far more alluring than anything available in the era of Andropov. The Democratic and Republican National Committees offered what cybersecurity experts call a large “attack surface.”

Vladimir Putin Orders Russian Air Force To Be Prepared To Launch Attacks At Any Minute As Fears Over World War III Continue To Grow
08 February 2017
[President] Vladimir Putin has ordered his army and air force to prepare for a ‘time of war’ during a check of the country’s armed forces. Russia’s defence ministry confirmed the measures during a “snap check” that included its massive S-300 and S-400 missile defence systems.

Russia Conducts Snap Air Force Combat Readiness Check, Western Media Accuse Moscow Of ‘Going To War’
07 February 2017
The Russian Air Force has been put on high alert as part of a sudden combat readiness check ordered by President Vladimir Putin. The Western media reacted to the drills with headlines accusing Moscow of preparing for war.

Mikhail Gorbachev: ‘It All Looks As If The World Is Preparing For War’
26 January 2017
By Mikhail Gorbachev, former President of the Soviet Union
The world today is overwhelmed with problems. Policymakers seem to be confused and at a loss. But no problem is more urgent today than the militarization of politics and the new arms race. Stopping and reversing this ruinous race must be our top priority. The Current Situation Is Too Dangerous: More troops, tanks and armored personnel carriers are being brought to Europe. NATO and Russian forces and weapons that used to be deployed at a distance are now placed closer to each other, as if to shoot point-blank.

US Armor Brigade Unloads In Europe To Deter Russia
08 January 2017
Hundreds of US tanks and vehicles attached to an armored brigade have arrived in Germany on their way to Poland. The deployment of a third US combat brigade signals Washington’s commitment to NATO’s eastern flank. The US military continued on Sunday to unload hundreds of tanks, trucks and equipment at the northern German port of Bremerhaven as part of a build-up to deter Russia and reassure NATO allies on the eastern flank.

NATO Puts 300,000 Ground Troops On ‘High Alert’ As Tensions With Russia Mount
07 November 2016
‘We have seen a more assertive Russia implementing a substantial military build-up over many years,’ NATO Secretary General says. Up to 300,000 NATO troops have been put on alert amid rising tensions between Russia and the Baltic States. Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary-general of NATO, said the alliance hoped to speed up the response time of thousands of its troops to allow it to react to a combat situation more effectively. “We have also seen Russia using propaganda in Europe among NATO allies and that is exactly the reason why NATO is responding. We are responding with the biggest reinforcement of our collective defence since the end of the Cold War.” Mr. Stoltenberg refused to be drawn on the specific number of troops being put on alert, but Britain’s outgoing NATO representative [Ambassador] Sir Adam Thomson said it was likely to be around 300,000.

[President Vladimir] Putin’s New ‘Super Tank’
06 November 2016
British intelligence warns Russian vehicle is ‘the most revolutionary change in tank design in the last half century’ and leaves the West totally outgunned. [UK] Military intelligence officers have assessed Putin’s new Armata battle tank which was introduced in 2015.

Russian Subs Are Reheating a Cold War Chokepoint
04 March 2016
The recent U.S. promise to fund upgrades to Iceland’s military airfield at Keflavik is no diplomatic bone thrown to a small ally. The improvements will allow the U.S. Navy’s new P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft to keep an eye on Russia’s increasingly active and capable submarine force in a region whose importance is rising with the tensions between Moscow and the West. In short, the Greenland-Iceland-UK gap is back. During the Cold War, the maritime choke points between Greenland, Iceland, and the UK were key to the defense of Europe.

[Russian Prime Minister Dmitri] Medvedev Warns Of New Cold War
13 February 2016
There is a “new Cold War” between Russia and the West, Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev said at the Munich Security Conference, days after NATO agreed to beef up its forces along its border with Russia. “We have slipped into a period of a new Cold War,” Medvedev said on Saturday.

Russia Ramping Up Military Drills To Cold War Levels, NATO Says
05 February 2016
Russia has stepped up its military maneuvers to a level unseen since the height of the Cold War, according to a new report released by NATO Thursday. Jens Stoltenberg, the alliance’s secretary general and author of the report, noted that Moscow has conducted at least 18 large-scale exercises over the past three years, “some of which have involved more than 100,000 troops.” Those exercises included several simulated nuclear attacks against NATO allies and partner nations, such as Sweden in March 2013.

The Cold War Never Really Ended
July/August Issue 2015

Russia Bringing Back Cold War Mini-Subs, Report Says
11 July 2015

Moving Ever Closer To A New Cold War
24 June 2015

‘Cold War’ On The Cards After [Russian President Vladimir] Putin Missile Buy?
17 June 2015
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that Russia’s plan to buy more intercontinental ballistic missiles was concerning and could herald a return to the international hostility of the “Cold War.”

The West Talks About A New Cold War. For Russians It Has Already Started
14 May 2015

Russia Tests Distant Waters, Resurfacing Cold War Fears
10 May 2015

It’s Back To The Future In [President Vladimir] Putin’s Europe
18 March 2015
The language of the Cold War has returned with a vengeance, with renewed talk of nuclear alerts, alleged testing of medium-range nuclear missiles and worries about NATO’s defense umbrella.

The Looming New Cold War And Its Consequences
By Samuel Charap & Jeremy Shapiro
05 February 2015

Opinion: Why The New Cold War Matters
15 January 2015

Vladimir Putin Rearms His Cold War Military
20 August 2007
In a hangar at an airfield twenty-four miles south east of Moscow, technicians were yesterday checking over the latest additions to the burgeoning military arsenal which a resurgent Russia hopes can restore its status as a major world power.

Espionage And Spies

Russian Spy Ship Sinks
27 April 2017
A Russian naval spy ship on Thursday sank in the Black Sea off Turkey’s coast after hitting a Togo-flagged vessel packed with livestock but all of its 78 crew were rescued by Turkish coastguards. The Russian military said the Liman – a former research ship re-fitted as an intelligence vessel – had a hole ripped out of its hull in the early afternoon incident. The collision took place in fog outside the northwestern entrance to the Bosphorus Strait, one of the world’s biggest shipping thoroughfares.

Hungarian Secret Agent Reveals In Detail How Serious The Russian Threat Is
21 March 2017
Secret agents, counter-intelligence officers do not give interviews to the media very often and it is even more unique when they do so under their real name and with their own face. Ferenc Katrein worked for the Hungarian civilian counter-intelligence agency for 13 years, including defence against Russian secret services. Ferenc Katrein was asked one on a scale of one to ten, how serious the Russian threat currently is in Europe, and he answered nine or ten, the highest level.

Russian Spy Ship ‘Located Off American Coast And Just 30 Miles From Major US Submarine Base’
15 February 2017
A Russian spy ship from the Cold War era has been spotted “loitering” off the coast of the US just 30 miles from a major submarine base. US officials were keeping a close watch on the SSV-175 Viktor Leonov intelligence-gathering vessel as it travelled through international waters. The spy ship is armed with surface-to-air missiles and equipped with technology that can intercept communications and collect data on US Navy sonar capability.

Russia Contemplating KGB Comeback?
20 September 2016
Ahead of the 2018 presidential election, Russia is creating a new ministry for state security. Some are calling it the resurrection of the once powerful Soviet intelligence service, the KGB.

Russian Espionage In Germany Rising Sharply, Says Berlin
24 April 24 2014
Russian espionage activity in Germany has reached levels not seen since the days of the Cold War, according to senior counterintelligence officials in Berlin.

Interview: Writer Kristof Clerix Talks About Europe’s Hotbed For Spies, Brussels – 2014

Spy Scandal in Moscow Evokes An Earlier Era
15 May 2013
The arrest of Ryan Fogle, [a United States citizen], in Moscow shows that the Cold War is not over. For some, that is reassuring. “… running an operation in Moscow is a very difficult thing to do,” says Paul Redmond, a retired senior CIA officer who used to be their chief spy hunter. The Cold War continues, at least for diplomats, and certainly for the spooks.

New Documents Reveal Truth on NATO’s ‘Most Damaging’ Spy – Herman Simm
30 April 2010
For years, from his senior position in Estonia’s Defense Ministry, Herman Simm leaked highly sensitive NATO intelligence and the names of Western spies to Russia’s foreign intelligence service. In a classified damage analysis, NATO concludes that the former KGB colonel was one of the “most damaging” spies in the history of the alliance.

NATO Espionage Betrayal: Rainer Rupp Spied East German Intelligence Service HVA During The Cold War – Caught in 1993
BERLIN — A state supreme court in Duesseldorf found master spy Rainer Rupp guilty of treason Thursday and sentenced him to 12 years in prison, in what prosecutors said was the worst espionage case in the history of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. During his two-month trial, Rupp testified that for more than a decade–until the Berlin Wall fell in 1989–he took sensitive documents out of his workplace at NATO headquarters in Brussels, photographed them at home and delivered them to the East German security agency, known as the Stasi.

NATO Human Intelligence Centre, Romania

NATO / International Special Training Center (ISTC)

World War Three ~ Nuclear War

Russia’s Most Powerful Nuclear Attack Submarine Ever Is Almost Ready For Sea
15 March 2017
Russia is set to launch its second Yasen-class nuclear-powered attack submarine on March 30. Called Kazan, the new vessel is an upgraded Project 885M design that is in many ways much more capable than the lead ship of the class, K-560 Severodvinsk. “Kazan is expected to be rolled out and put afloat on March 30,” a Russian defense source told the Moscow-based TASS news agency.

World War Three Is Now A ‘Serious Threat’, Prominent [Princeton University] Historian Warns
17 February 2017
The possibility of World War Three breaking out is now a very “serious threat”, a prominent economic historian has warned. Donald Trump’s election and the Brexit vote suggests people are losing faith in globalisation and it could result in a new world conflict, Harold James of Princeton University suggests. “I think [a world war] is absolutely a serious threat,” he said in an interview with Sky News.

Russia Is Preparing For Nuclear War
25 October 2016
Across Russia, 40 million civilians and military personnel just finished up emergency drills aimed at preparing the general population for nuclear or chemical-weapons attacks, The Wall Street Journal’s Thomas Grove reports. Video shows Russian civilians practicing along with officials and workers in hazardous-material protective suits. But as troubling as the largest civil defense drills since the height of the Cold War have been, the steps Russia has taken to improve its offensive nuclear capabilities likely overshadow them.

Why The Baltic States Are Where Nuclear War Is Most Likely To Begin
20 July 2016
History may one day record that the greatest strategic blunder in history was the failure of U.S. leaders to take the possibility of nuclear war between America and Russia seriously once the Cold War ended.

The Atomic Chess Of The Cold War Has Returned
25 June 2015
Britain and its NATO allies are to review their preparedness for a nuclear standoff with Russia in response to President Putin’s threats to upgrade his nuclear arsenal, the Telegraph has learnt. In a return of the atomic chess games of the Cold War, Western defence ministers will conduct an audit of what they know about the Kremlin’s nuclear doctrine.

NATO To Review Nuclear Weapon Policy As Attitude To Russia Hardens
24 June 2015

NATO Condemns [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s Nuclear ‘Sabre-Rattling’
16 June 2015

Moscow’s Nuclear ‘Sabre-Rattling’ Is ‘Unjustified’ And ‘Dangerous,’ Says NATO
16 June 2015

Nuclear Specter Returns: ‘Threat Of War Is Higher Than In The Cold War’
13 February 2015
“In the Cold War, we created mechanisms of security. A huge number of treaties and documents helped us to avoid a big and serious military crash,” says former Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov. “Now the threat of a war is higher than during the Cold War.”

Vyacheslav Nikonov: Russia And America Are Very Close To Nuclear War
05 February 2015
Russia and America are on the brink of nuclear war, says Vyacheslav Nikonov, [Russian] State Duma Deputy and Chairman of the Russkiy Mir Foundation Management Board.

Merkel And Hollande On Mission To Avert ‘Total War’
05 February 2015
[German Chancellor] Angela Merkel and [French President] François Hollande began two-day visit to Kiev and Moscow in attempt to agree new ceasefire amid escalation in fighting in eastern Ukraine. Europe’s leaders were in last-ditch talks to broker a peace deal in Ukraine on Thursday night, as threats by America to send arms to Kiev raised fears of a direct confrontation between Russia and the West.

Russian Bomber Over [English] Channel Was Carrying Nukes
01 February 2015

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