The “New” Cold War Heats Up

BBC News – Russia Baltic military actions ‘unprecedented’ – Poland.

5 September: Abduction of an Estonian security service operative

INCIDENT: Estonian security service operative captured by Russian agents on Estonian territory in a raid involving communications jamming and smoke grenades. Incident took place immediately after Obama’s assurances to the Baltic States.

CATEGORY: High Risk. Incursion into NATO member state’s territory. Had the Estonian official or his colleagues resisted, fatalities on either side would have been a catalyst for further escalation.

This and other high- risk incidents have become more common as tension over the Ukrainian situation deepens.  Most of the activity has occurred over international waters, but contact between military airplanes is increasing.

Several incidents have been reported in the region this week:

On Tuesday the Norwegian military said one of its warplanes had a “near miss” with a Russian fighter which had ventured too close, north of Norway

The Finnish air force said that there had been “unusually intense” Russian activity over the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland, with most flights involving bombers, fighters and transport planes heading between the Russian mainland and the Kaliningrad enclave, between Lithuania and Poland

Nato said on Monday the alliance’s jets intercepted Russian planes repeatedly in the Baltic, and reported more than 30 types of Russian military aircraft in the area.

What does all this activity mean?  Could be nothing, or it could be Russia testing NATO capabilities.  Time will tell.

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