The situation in the world is starting to get somewhat dire. China and the United States are firmly back into a Cold War setting despite the dependency the American economy has for Chinese manufactured goods. Russia’s war with Ukraine has entered into what could be a final phase with a failed Ukrainian offensive that began yesterday and growing evidence that Russia has achieved some degree of air superiority.
The tensions between the US and Russia are now at levels I have not seen since the early 1980’s, where the risk of nuclear war were at their highest.
Then this story crosses my early morning feed from RIA Novosti in Russia (via Google Translate):
MOSCOW, June 6 – RIA Novosti. Strategic missile systems “Yars” with intercontinental ballistic missiles went on combat patrols in the Barnaul formation of the Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN), the Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.
“In the Barnaul formation of the Strategic Missile Forces (Altai Territory), autonomous launchers of the Yars mobile ground-based missile system (PGRK) have been deployed to combat patrol routes. The missilemen are working out tasks and introductory ones, including those for performing intensive maneuvering operations on combat patrol routes” , – reported in the Russian military department.
The crews of the Yars will make marches at a distance of up to 100 kilometers, work out the dispersal of units and engineering equipment of field positions, their change, the organization of camouflage and combat guards, and also solve the tasks of countering sabotage and reconnaissance groups.
For those who ask, this is where the Altai Republic is in Russia per the map below.
The concept behind the Yars ICBM system is quite simple and very concerning. These weapons are deployed as a survivable strike missile system designed to launch the minute inbound nuclear missiles are detected by the Russian defense forces. By using mobile launchers they can hide in tunnels, mountain ranges, and within some forested areas making detection difficult for American satellites and destruction of these missiles before launch virtually impossible due to their mobility.
This excerpt from a May 16, 2023 article via The Drive indicates the threat these weapons present:
Russia is about to start production of a new version of its RS-24 Yars intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, with a final stage that incorporates much more mobile independent warheads, according to reports. The changes are expected to make the weapon far harder for an opponent to track and intercept, as well as improve its accuracy and overall capabilities. While warheads of this kind have been tested by Russia in the past, the latest evidence suggests that the country is poised to begin the series manufacture of these missiles, which will initially be fielded on road-mobile launchers.
For the Russians to deploy these missile systems now and not state in their media that this is an exercise should be deeply concerning to everyone. In the larger scheme of things, the fact that they are dispatched on combat patrols indicates that the Russian strategic forces are now at a higher level of alert.
Adding to this concern is the fact that there have been monthly exercises for the evacuation of key Russian government personnel to remote Ural bases via select Russian military aircraft and it is safe to say we are closer to a nuclear conflict than the US government will ever admit.
One mistake by the amateur hour Pentagon and/or State Department crew is all it will take.
Let’s pray that all of the major powers do not overplay their hand.