Where and how Romania will fight Russia – Part II

American troops looking at Moldova this March

American troops looking at Moldova this March 

2015/05/01 • Analysis & Opinion, Military analysis

If Russian Forces Come by Sea: The Odesa-Transnistria Scenario

Putin hasn’t given up the idea of bringing war to Ukraine’s major port city of Odesa (Odesa). While the city of Mariupol is needed to create a land bridge from Russia to occupied Crimea, Odesa is needed to create a direct connection to occupied Transnistria.

Transnistria is only reachable through Ukraine or Moldova, and since Russia has begun its war against Ukraine the only way for Russia to reach, resupply and support Transnistria is through Romanian airspace and Moldova’s main airport at Chișinău. But Russia cannot supply Transnistria with fresh ammunition and modern weapons through the airport because Moldova inspects every incoming plane. Therefore Russia will sooner or later attack Odesa in order to open a direct supply line to Transnistria and to deprive Ukraine of its most important port, thus weakening Ukraine’s economy even further. For the last year Russian agents have repeatedly infiltrated the city from Transnistria to place bombs at offices and business locations of pro-Ukrainian civil society organizations. This terror campaign is meant to intimidate the city’s population and facilitate a coming Moscow-engineered “uprising.”

One of the many Russian terror bombings in Odessa

One of the many Russian terror bombings in Odesa

This staged “uprising” will come just days before Russia’s military will attack Odesa: first Russian agents and Transnistrian volunteers will join with corrupt Ukrainian police officers (of which sadly there is an endless supply) and a few local pro-Russian idiots to create death and destruction in Odesa. Personally I believe that between May 2nd and May 9th there is a high risk of such “unrest,” as these dates are key in Russia’s current propaganda: last year on May 2nd Russia’s first attempt to seize Odesa was defeated by the citizens of Odesa, who took it upon themselves to eliminate Russia’s agents and mercenaries when Odesa’s corrupt police openly aided the armed Russian. Therefore the days between the 1st anniversary of this failed attack and the 70th anniversary of the end of World War 2, which was the last time Russia successfully expanded its colonial empire, are likely to see increased Russian terror activity in Odesa.

Corrupt Odessa police officers shield Russian agents firing with Kalashnikovs at Ukrainians

Corrupt Odesa police officers shield Russian agents firing with Kalashnikovs at Ukrainians

Nowadays Ukraine’s 28th Mechanized Brigade and a battalion of Ukraine’s National Guard garrison Odesa. Therefore any Russian-staged unrest would quickly fail in bloodshed, which is exactly what the Kremlin wants. Putin needs rivers of blood, preferably on the famous Potemkin Stairs, as a pretext to send the Russian Navy and Air Force to attack Odesa.

Putin needs a massacre in Odesa to justify a direct military intervention and therefore there will be one. As soon as Russian propaganda has the massacre it needs, Russian and Transnistrian forces without insignia will attack Odesa from the rear. Once again Russia will pretend that these forces are local self-defense, who bought their tanks, artillery and other equipment in a shop. However these forces are too small to take Odesa, but they are needed as neither the Russian Black Sea Fleet nor the Russian Air Force could stage a direct attack on Odesa without an attack from the rear to distract Ukrainian forces.

Until 2013 Russia’s Black Sea Fleet had four Ropucha-class and three Alligator-class landing ships, but since the occupation of Crimea at least two more Ropucha ships have arrived at Sevastopol and Russia kept Ukraine’s Kostiantyn Olshansky Ropucha-class ship. This fleet could transport about 1200 troops with 30 tanks and 200 vehicles to Odesa, which is not enough to defeat Ukraine’s 28th Mechanized Brigade. It is not even enough to secure a beachhead, especially as there is a good chance that Ukraine’s coastal missile artillery and 299th Tactical Aviation Brigade based near Mykolaiv with its Su-25 fighters would sink some of the Russian ships.

Likewise Russia’s Air Force on its own is unable to stage an air landing in Odesa, as Ukraine’s air defense radars would pick up the Russian planes as they pass the Black Sea giving Ukraine ample time to ready its 160th Anti-Aircraft Artillery brigade in Odesa, which armed with S-300 air-defense systems would shoot down dozens of Russian planes. Therefore Russian forces will first attack Odesa from the rear to eliminate Ukraine’s coastal artillery and 160th Anti-Aircraft Artillery brigade.

Just 60km without any natural obstacles lie between Transnistria and Odesa, allowing a combined Transnistrian-Russian mechanized force of 3,000 troops to reach Odesa in less than two hours. Such a force would also secure the beaches to the South of Odesa to ensure a Russian amphibious landing there could proceed uncontested. Worst of all such a force would not only suppress Ukraine’s air-defense capabilities through artillery fire, but it would also conquer the undefended Lymanske Airport, which lies just 3km behind the Transnistrian border.

With the 160th Anti-Aircraft Artillery brigade suppressed, the coastal missile batteries destroyed, the Lymanske Airport in Russian hands and the 28th Mechanized Brigade tied down in combat Russia could land its 810th Marine Brigade on Odesa’s beaches and airlift large numbers of paratroopers to Lymanske within a day. At the same time the Kremlin would announce its “hand had been forced” to intervene to “save Odesa’s Russian population” from being massacred “by NATO sponsored Ukrainian Nazis.” And, naturally, Putin would also claim that NATO had done just the same when it intervened to save the population of Benghazi from being massacred by Gaddafi’s forces in 2011.

Within days Russia could transport at least three brigades to Odesa, but the big unknown is what the 28th Mechanized Brigade will do: either hunker down inside Odesa and see the city completely destroyed during the following Russian siege, or retreat and save the city and its population from total destruction and annihilation. As Ukraine’s ultra-incompetent political leadership has failed to prepare for the defense of Odesa during the last year, I assume the same leadership will order the 28th Mechanized Brigade to hunker down inside Odesa. If the brigade stays in Odesa it cannot be resupplied and cannot be relieved and ultimately will be totally destroyed at the cost of thousands of civilians, who will die in Russian artillery shelling. Therefore the commander of the brigade should ignore an order to hold the city and retreat towards Mykolaiv to save his troops for another day and save the city of Odesa.

Odessa, Moldova and Budjak key locations marked in red and blue

Odesa, Moldova and Budjak key locations marked in red and blue

Ultimately Russian forces will try to expand the territory under their control eastward until they reach the Tylihul Liman (Liman= shallow river estuary), which with its length of 60km and width of up to 4km forms a natural barrier. How far North Russian forces will go north is unclear as there are no natural barriers north of Odesa, and occupying Ukrainian territory up to the northern point of Transnistria would create an unsustainable 200km front line. Therefore Russia will probably anchor its frontline on the Transnistrian border about 25km North of Tiraspol and from there have it go in a straight line to the northern end of the Tylihul Liman. This would leave most of Transnistria exposed to a Ukrainian attack, but the Kremlin will insist that Transnistria is neutral and any Ukrainian attack on it would lead to all-out war between Russia and Ukraine, as Russia would be obliged to defend its “innocent” ally.

Russian forces would also advance south from Odesa to occupy the Budjak region. The Budjak is a multi-ethnic region to the South of Moldova between the Danube and Dniester. Until 1940 it was part of Moldova, but the Soviets decided to add it to the Ukrainian SSR. Today the Budjak is separated from Ukraine by the Dniester Liman and only reachable by two roads: one passing over the outlet of the Liman at Zatoka, the other passing through the Moldovan city of Palanca. If Russia were to occupy the Budjak, Moldova would become indefensible. Russia would be able to strike into Moldova from the South without any natural barrier in its way and it would be able to block Romanian reinforcements by destroying the Bug and Danube river bridges. But worst of all: Gagauzia lies directly at the Budjak border. With Budjak in Russian hands, Russia could replay the Donbas scenario, including incursions by Russian troops into Moldova, cross-border artillery fire and unlimited supply of weapons and mercenaries to sustain and expand a Gagauz war.

Therefore the moment Russian forces land in Odesa, Romania will be forced to occupy the Budjak. Immediately the 630th Paratrooper Battalion must be flown to the Dniester Liman to occupy Zatoka and Palanca. Additionally the bridges in Zatoka and Mayaky need to be blown up, while the road from Mayaky to Palanca needs to be mined extensively. At the same time the 528th Reconnaissance, 284th Armored and 300th Mechanized Infantry battalions of the 282nd Mechanized Brigade, which are all based in Galaţi at the Ukrainian border, must rush to Izmail in Ukraine to occupy the airfield there and thus block a Russian airborne landing. As the 630th Paratrooper Battalion is too weak to defeat a Russian armored attack, the rest of the 282nd Mechanized Brigade needs to advance into the Budjak as well. Romania’s 1st and 9th Mechanized Brigades will have to follow within days as reinforcements for the Dniester Liman front, while the 2nd Infantry Brigade will be needed to control the Budjak itself. At the same time Romania’s 15th Mechanized Brigade will have to drive to Chișinău to secure Moldova’s capital against a Transnistrian-Russian attack, with the 81st Mechanized Brigade following as fast as possible.

Ultimately Romania will garrison the Southern side of the Dniester Liman with the 1st Mechanized Brigade, while the 9th Mechanized Brigade will guard the Budjak’s coast against Russian amphibious landings and the 2nd Infantry Brigade will patrol the Budjak itself to prevent Russian stirred unrest. Romania’s 15th, 81st and 282nd Mechanized Brigades will, along with Moldova’s military, will guard the front between Moldova and Transnistria. Ukraine will actually welcome this occupation of its territory as it ensures that the Budjak will not fall into Russian hands and as it will force Russia to keep thousands of troops along the Dniester river to match Romania’s deployed forces.

Russia will be incensed and threaten Romania massively, but if Putin still retains some scraps of sanity then Russia will ultimately acquiesce to the Budjak’s occupation. As Ukraine will publicly approve the Romanian intervention Russia will be unable to seek a UN Security Council debate. As Russia occupied Crimea and then annexed it, it has no moral authority to castigate Romania. As Romania will have five mechanized brigades at the Dniester, with four brigades in reserve and will be supported by three Molodvan brigades, with at least two Ukrainian brigades to the North of Odesa, the Russian-Transnistrian forces will be outnumbered 2:1. As Romania could cut Russian supply lines to Odesa and as an attack on Romania would bring the United States into this war,, Putin, if still sane, will ultimately acquiesce, especially as his main goal isn’t annexing Moldova, but destroying Ukraine and breaking NATO by invading the Baltic States.

In the end it is much less risky for Romania to occupy the Budjak and send its army into Moldova than to sit idly by while Russia occupies the Budjak. If Russia occupies the Budjak there will be a Russian organized “Gagauz Peoples Republic”, which will lead to Southern Moldova sliding into war, which will lead to Transnistria attacking Moldova, which will lead to Russia occupying and enslaving all of Moldova, which will lead to a Russian-Romanian war, but under far worse conditions for Romania. Therefore the best course of action for Romania is to update its current defense plans, which already include the defense of Moldova, and coordinate with Ukraine on how to occupy the Budjak as quickly as possible when Russia lands forces in Odesa.

Furthermore Romania and Moldova need to prepare laws and treaties to rapidly reunite, because even if Russia grudgingly acquiesces to the occupation of Budjak, there is a high risk that Russia will take revenge by initiating an offensive by its Transnistrian proxies against Moldova. To stop such a Russian offensive before it can happen Moldova and Romania should reunite, while declaring Transnistria to be a temporarily occupied territory. If Russia then annexes Transnistria, it will just incur more sanctions. If Russia then stirs up renewed Transnistrian-Moldovan fighting, it will actually be a Transnistrian vs. NATO-member Romania fight. A fight Russia cannot win because the only way to supply its forces in Odesa is via sea and air lanes near Romania’s territory.

Romania's Coastal Artillery firing a 4K51 Rubezh anti-ship missile

Romania’s Coastal Artillery firing a 4K51 Rubezh anti-ship missile

If Russia fights only against Ukraine, its ships and planes can avoid Ukraine’s coastal artillery, air force and air-defense by crossing the Black Sea 150km to the South of Ukraine and then sail to Odesa as close as possible to Romania’s and the Budjak’s coast. Thus for the first half of their trip Russian supply transports will be out of range of Ukraine’s defenses, whereas on the latter half of the trip they will be so close to Romanian-controlled territory that Ukraine will have to hold its fire. It is only for the last 40km that Russia’s supply lines would be in Ukraine’s range; however this will only be true if Romania occupies the Budjak. If Russia were to control the Budjak, Russian naval supply lines would end at the port of Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi on the Southern side of the Dniester Liman, while aerial supply would be flown to the airfield at Izmail. This would make it impossible for Ukraine to disrupt Russian supplies to Odesa and is just one more reason Ukraine should invite Romania to occupy Budjak.

If the Kremlin should choose to commence military operations against Romania, then Romania’s armed forces will massively disrupt the Russian supply route to Odesa and thus put Russian forces in Odesa under siege. Such a siege could only be broken if Russia would attack Romania with the full might of its air force and navy, which would definitely bring NATO and especially the US into the war. Therefore I assume Russia is more likely to begin a war of harassment and attrition against Romania similar to the War of Attrition Egypt fought against Israel along the Suez Canal from 1967 to 1970: namely a continuous series of artillery duels, special forces raids, aerial combat and naval engagements along the entire front, but with no major offensives.

Romania would have to fight such a war on its own as the cowed and weak politicians of the European Union will do everything to wiggle out of NATO’s Article 5 Common Defense unless Russian forces clearly–in force and with their insignias on clear display–enter Romania proper. Romania would fare well on land in such a war of attrition, but only ok at sea, and disastrously in the air.

On land Romania would have the Dniester between itself and Russian forces, which would also have to fight Ukrainian troops to their North. Only at Bender would Russian forces be on the Romanian side of the Dniester, but Romania can easily take the only bridge at Bender under artillery fire, and with two Romanian mechanized brigades deployed in the area, Russia would need to bring additional forces from Russia to the Odesa cauldron before being able to mount an offensive at Bender, which would give Romania enough time to destroy the Bender bridge. Furthermore Transnistria’s and Russia’s equipment in the area is atrociously outdated and all modern equipment shipped from Russia to Odesa would have to pass through a deadly gauntlet of Romanian coastal missile artillery and naval forces and through sea lanes mined to the brim. Therefore even if Putin would demand a ground offensive at Bender, there is little chance for Russia to mount one, especially as Romania would be supplied generously by America with Javelin missiles and other advanced equipment.

Still, Romania’s army equipment is outdated and needs to be replaced in its entirety: new main battle tanks to replace the obsolete TR-85M1 tanks with their weak 100mm gun; new infantry fighting vehicles to replace the MLI-84M, which combines an obsolete BMP-1 chassis with a modern remote turret; Romania already procured 31 Swiss Piranha IIIC wheeled armored personnel carriers, but a further 600 are needed to replace the outdated BTR-60/70/80 variants in service; towed 155mm howitzers and self-propelled 155mm howitzers are needed, as are surface-to-surface guided missiles, anti-tank guided missiles, man-portable air-defense missiles, a medium range air-defense missile system and drones. This makes Romania, along with Poland, one of only two interesting European nations for the global defense industry. However as Romania’s government spending is still under IMF control and as Romania needs modern equipment as quickly as possible and as it has a strong local defense industry, only those nations who can “donate” modern equipment to Romania right away and are willing to outsource much of the production to Romania, can hope to enter the Romanian market.

Donate Leopard 2A6 now, get a deal later

Donate Leopard 2A6 now, get a deal later

Let me give you an example: Romania urgently needs a new main battle tank, which its arms industry could produce with foreign help. However even before production in Romanian could commence, Russia and Romania might be already in the middle of a war. Therefore i.e. if Germany would offer Romania 54 of its stored Leopard 2A6 tanks for free now, with the understanding that Germany’s KMW would then produce a further 250 tanks in Romania and get paid a higher price for the new tanks to compensate Germany for the 54 “donated” tanks, Romania would instantly agree to such a deal, as it would provide Romania with a modern tank battalion now, would not need IMF approval and would strengthen Romania’s defense industry.

As Romania’s Army has to this point almost no Western equipment, all Western defense companies can compete for the many needed weapon systems: America’s M1A2 Abrams, France’s AMX Leclerc, Germany’s Leopard 2A7, Britain’s Challenger 2, even South Korea’s K2 Black Panther, Japan’s Type 10 or Israel’s Merkava IV tank – the market is wide open for the nation that finds a way to help Romania circumvent the IMF-imposed spending limits.

As for new infantry fighting vehicles: Italy’s Dardo, Spain’s Pizzaro, Germany’s Puma, Sweden’s CV-90, South Korea’s K21, America’s M2A2-ODS Bradley, Japan’s Type 89 are all possible options. The possible options for wheeled armored personnel carriers are too numerous to list, but as Romania’s industry is definitely capable to produce this kind of system, the nation willing to shift most of the production to Romania will get the deal. For the self-propelled and towed 155mm howitzers Romania can choose between the self-propelled German PzH2000, American M109A7, Polish AHS Krab and South Korean K9 Thunder, while for the towed variant the only real option is the American M777 howitzer. As for surface-to-surface guided missiles there too is just one option: the American HIMARS system with MGM-140 ATACMS Block IVA.

Last but not least the only two anti-tank guided missiles that any nation should buy are either the Israeli Spike or the American Javelin, supplemented by Swedish MBT LAW light anti-tank missiles. As for man-portable air-defense missiles and a medium range air-defense missile system: either the American FIM-92F Stinger or the Polish GROM 2 should be licensed for production in Romania, while clearly the American-Norwegian NASAMS II is the frontrunner for the medium range air-defense system. If Romania will settle on the NASAMS II, it should acquire it jointly with Poland to reduce unit costs.

Romania’s army also needs more unmanned aerial vehicles, i.e., drones. While on deployment in Iraq, Romanian troops used the American ScanEagle, one of the best naval drones. Romania should acquire a dozen ScanEagles and split them between its Army and Navy.

Romania’s Navy, while numerous, is outdated and lacks submarines and air defense frigates. Currently Romania’s fleet consists of 13 surface combatants and a Kilo-class submarine, which cannot dive and is moored permanently in Constanța harbour. Romania’s two Type 22 frigates lack air-defense missiles and a close-in weapon system to shoot down incoming missiles. However as Romania’s main goal in a war with Russia will be to deny Russia the use of the Black Sea between Crimea and Odesa, the acquisition of modern air-defense frigates isn’t as urgent as the acquisition of a long-range air-defense system, modern sea mines, submarines, long-range anti-ship missiles, and anti-submarine warfare helicopters.

By buying American MIM-104 Patriot air-defense systems and deploying them along the coast of Romania and the Budjak, Romania can create a protective umbrella for its fleet extending 100km into the Black Sea. Romania’s currently most advanced air-defense system is the MIM-23 Hawk XXI with a range of 50km, which is not enough to protect Romania’s fleet while it harasses Russian supply lines. As the US Army stores dozens of surplus Patriot systems, Romania could quickly put this system into service. Having eliminated the threat of Russian aviation, Romanian ships should lay dozens of sea mines in the approaches to Odesa to force Russia’s Navy into an endless mine-sweeping operation. Acquiring submarines will force Russia to send supply ships only in heavily guarded convoys to Odesa. With submarines Romania could even attempt to mine the exits of Sevastopol bay and thus blockade Russia’s Black Sea fleet in port until the mines are cleared. Because the designing and construction of submarines takes years, Romania needs to buy used submarines from one of its NATO allies. Currently Italy offers two 25-years old, but modernized Sauro-III submarines for sale, which are still better than anything the Russian Navy has in the Black Sea.

Poland already trains with the Naval Strike Missile

Poland already trains with the Naval Strike Missile

Replacing its Soviet-engineered 4K51 Rubezh anti-ship coastal missile system with a more capable long-range anti-ship missile system like the Norwegian Naval Strike missile or the Swedish RBS-15 missile will provide Romania with a system capable of sinking enemy ships up to 200km from its shore. Such a truck-mounted, long-range missile system, protected by Patriot and Hawk XXI air-defense systems would effectively deny Russia’s Black Sea Fleet the use of the gulf between Odesa and Crimea.

As Russia plans to add six submarines to its Black Sea Fleet, buying anti-submarine warfare helicopters would greatly improve Romania’s capability to detect, engage and sink Russian submarines lurking outside Romanian harbors. Romania already has three French-designed and Romanian built IAR 330 naval helicopters that are being modernized for the anti-submarine warfare role, however at least six additional anti-submarine warfare helicopters should be acquired.

Romania’s Navy currently has six missile-boats and seven corvettes and frigates on its rolls, none of which possess an air-defense system, making surface sorties outside the Patriot provided air-defense umbrella risky. To augment the fleet with air-defense missile frigates Romania could either acquire used Italian Soldati-class frigates, of which Italy currently offers four for sale, or buy German Bremen-class frigates, eight of which Germany is currently taking out of service. Romania will need to build faster, more agile, stealthier, better equipped and armed missile boats and corvettes; Romania should commence development of such a class within the shortest time possible. Ideally Romania would seek the advice of Finland, which is the undisputed leader in building heavily armed and fast multi-purpose corvettes like the Hamina-class missile boats.

Finland's "Pori" missile boat in Helsinki's harbor

Finland’s “Pori” missile boat in Helsinki’s harbor

If Romania speedily acquires the key systems mentioned above its Navy will be able to remain undefeated in a war of attrition against Russia and be able to protect Romania’s coast from Russian attacks. This ability of Romania to remain undefeated in a war of attrition against Russia would be even further enhanced if Romania would be able to acquire more modern fighters for its air force. Currently 12 F-16AM/BM Block 15 MLU ordered from Portugal’s stock are the most modern fighters in Romania’s arsenal. This is not enough, not by a long shot.

In a war of attrition against Russia, Romania would see its 12 F-16 and 36 MiG-21 LanceR destroyed by Russia’s air force within weeks. Romania needs at least 48 additional F-16 fighters as soon as possible. However the price for this number of jets is out of reach for Romania, and therefore the only option for Romania is, just as for Bulgaria, to lobby the United States to provide 48 used American F-16C/D Block 40/42 fighters, which can be upgraded in Turkey via the US licensed Common Configuration Implementation Program to Block 50/52+ fighters. If Romania succeeds in this endeavour, then it will be able to withstand a Russian war of attrition on land, on the sea and in the air.

Ultimately Russia cannot win a war of attrition against Romania if Romania controls the Budjak and ensures its air-defense is modernized. Only an all-out attack by Russia’s air force and Navy could then break the Romanian line of defense along the Budjak’s coast or on the Dniester, but that would see the US military enter the fight and annihilate Russia’s Black Sea Fleet and devastate Russian forces in Odesa. Therefore I assume that Russia will keep its focus on combat against Ukraine while keeping its war of attrition against Romania at a low boil. This stalemate could naturally be broken if Romania and Ukraine would go on the offensive in a joint operation.

A joint Ukrainian-Romanian attack on Transnistria and Russian forces in Odesa would overwhelm the Russian forces there quickly. However Putin made it clear that if he were to lose a battle, then he would use tactical nuclear weapons against the attacking force to “de-escalate the situation.” If it comes to this, then Russian forces on Crimea will fire Iskander-M short-range ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads against Romanian and Moldovan cities to cow both into surrender. The only possible defense would be for Romania to acquire additional MIM-104F Patriot batteries in the ballistic missile defense role, as the US Navy‘s Aegis Ashore Ballistic Missile Defense system activated this year at Naval Support Facility (NSF) Deveselu is based too far inland to effectively protect Romania’s coastal cities and Moldova.

Romania would be even smarter to avoid going on the offensive and patiently wait for Russia to bleed out economically, or wait until the Kremlin loses it patience and either attacks Romania or the Baltic States and then loses the ensuing NATO-Russia war. Afterwards Romania and Ukraine could divide Transnistria among them with the Romanian settled areas joining the united Romanian nation, while Ukrainian settled areas would revert back to Ukraine, thus eliminating the last remnants of the 1924 communist artificial creation of the Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.

If Russian Forces Come by Land: World War III Scenario

Well, if Russian forces come by land, then Putin has started World War III. For Russian forces to reach Transnistria by land Putin would have to commit most of Russia’s armed forces to the offensive. All pretense of Russia not being involved in this war would disappear with Russian forces pouring out of Crimea and advancing to Kherson and Zaporizhia and assaulting Mariupol, while Russian paratroopers take the Dnieper bridges and the Russian bombers attack Ukrainian air fields.

If that happens, then we all will know that Putin will have gone from crazy, to totally bonkers. That war will affect us all: in Europe and in the US, as well as in Asia and in Africa. First there would be massive bloodshed as Ukrainians will fight the invading forces ferociously, with Kharkiv, Kyiv and Dnipropetrovsk coming under Russian siege. Romania would then be confronted not with two or three Russian brigades with strained supply lines, but with five to six well-supplied Russian brigades, which would definitely cross the Dniester and attempt to occupy Moldova and Budjak.

Romania would be just the first nation to be drawn into this full-scale war. Belarus would be the next, although I find it hard to predict which side Lukashenko would join. Putin could also set his sights on Azerbaijan, a oil and gas rich former colony of Russia, but Turkey would certainly intervene on Azerbaijan’s side. Those NATO members still believing in common defense would then deploy forces to protect the Baltic States and Romania, which would lead to the aforementioned “nuclear de-escalation” by Putin at which point either the West retaliates with all the possible terrible consequences or Europe surrenders and allows Putin to dominate the continent. Such a scenario would mean Europe will sink into corruption, cronyism, despotism, persecution of sexual minorities, institutionalized racism, militarism, persecution of critical minds, poverty, cultural stagnation and murder of opposition exponents… in other words: Europe would follow Russia into its corrupt, criminal, fascist abyss.

While a Russian attack on Mariupol is inevitable, an attack on Kharkiv likely and an attack on Odesa a certainty, I hope Putin will not advance by land to Transnistria or attack the Baltic States this year, because after the next Russian offensive in Ukraine, Europe will finally chase out its corrupt, stupid, cowed political class and replace it with men and women who will “match our enemies in fighting spirit, in daring, in resolution and in thirst for victory.”

Just as Great Britain’s parliament finally turfed out the appeasers after the setbacks of the Norwegian Campaign, come another Russian offensive, heads will roll in Europe and that will be joy to behold. And I have cooled champagne for it already.

Part I: Where and how Romania will fight Russia – Part I

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  • Andrei

    Lovely reading. Really makes your blood run faster.
    Unfortunately some of the scenarios you presented are simply not feasible.
    First of all, RO army taking over Budjak (even at the express request of UA) -> not going to happen. RO is NATO and EU member and it cannot act on its own. If the US tells RO to do it then maybe, but I doubt thats going to happen.
    Also NATO is a defence alliance and having one of its members going on offense against Russian “green men” might offer EU`s Putin friends (Hungary, Greece, Italy, etc) a chance to block article 5 for RO in case Russia does invade us, saying we were the aggressor.
    Second. Moldova is rulled by a bunch of corrupt politicians. Half of the MP are communists and socialists. In case MD is at war with Transnistria/Russia, RO will need permission to bring troops as help. MD communists and socialists will stop any attempt of that happening. There is no such treaty that permits RO troops to defend MD and it doesnt look like people in MD are very much aware of the threat. Russian media propaganda is strong over there.
    Basically, if Odessa falls, MD is lost for good. If they`d manage to maintain a frontline on the Dnister then maybe in time RO and NATO might get off their arses and come help, but its pretty clear that MD will be overcomed in hours, maybe days. After MD falls, UA will follow because it will be exposed from both south and east (maybe north through Belarus as well)
    In the long run Russia will lose, mostly because of the economic issues and its minorities problems (see the Chechens). But its going to get a hell lot worse before it gets better.

    2 days ago there was a meeting between the Leopard tank manufacturer and the RO defense ministry representatives about a joint cooperation, so you might have something there.

    • Ionutz Yountz

      and we aren’t ruled by, “rulled by a bunch of corrupt politicians”, many still communist at heart or beholding to them? As Russian hacker collective Shaltay Boltay revealed a list of individuals occupying important positions in their countries, which allows them certain degree of influence, and have either met Alexandr Dugin himself or his representatives and support the Russian position.Individuals on the list from Romania include: Iliescu, Ponta, Nastase, Titulescu and Dan Zamfirescu along with about 30 others. The hacked document is named “Agents” and suggests that they have already been recruited with the aid of Russia Today news channel.

    • Veceslav

      Andrei you’re right about the russian propaganda in MD, there is still a minority that think critically but the majority is brain-washed. But, as it was in 1918, under extreme circumstances things change, and for RO & MD time will be our biggest enemy. And another advantage is that Ukraine has changed its views about Romania and Moldova, in 1918 Ukraine wasn’t so friendly to Romania (actually until last year, moreover the munition supply to Transnistria for a long time was made via the Ukrainian territory with the approval of Ukrainian politicians!!!). I hope that Romania, Moldova and Ukraine will use this historical opportunity to reconcile, make a strong alliance and resist !

  • Dean Venture

    NATO will not tolerate ‘green men’ showing up in a member country. The Americans won’t, the Canadians won’t, the British won’t, the Baltic countries won’t, the Poles won’t, and Germany and France would act, perhaps with some reluctance.

    If countries like Greece and Italy want to stymie the defence of everyone else, they will be brushed aside, treaty or not. A mutual defence treaty is garbage if members won’t participate when push comes to shove. NATO knows this, and most of its members know this. If NATO refuses to act in a ‘green men’ scenario, it dies.

    Besides, a green men problem would be easier to deal with than an open assault by Russia. NATO has enough strength to seal off borders and mop up any vacationing Russian soldiers. If Russia wants to disavow them, all the better. The worst they can do is openly attack, in which case any reluctance in Europe will quickly dissolve.

    • puttypants

      Dean Venture…Europe will do nothing! They have shown themselves. NATO will fall apart.

      • commieslayer

        @puttypants: Dream on, vatnik ! BTW, what are you doing in Putin’s pants ?!?

    • Calibra

      If Romania acts first then NATO art 5. does not apply, NATO art. 5 ONLY applies if a nato member is attacked first, not the other way around, so if Romania acts first there will be no NATO help.

      • Murf

        You are correct. If Romania attacked TD they would not be able to appeal for Art 5 protection, unless it had been arranged ahead of time or a suitable provocation occurs(Russia is not the only one with little green men.) That does not mean NATO can not help, just that the members are not obligate to support Romania WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE ALLIANCE.
        Nor can NATO prevent Romanian action. Turkey and Greece have actually fought a war over Cyprus.
        Nor does this prevent member states from acting on their own. The US Poland, Canada, Britain, and others have shown a willingness to confront Russia. The legal status Romania is far less ambiguous than in Ukraine.
        Remember TD is not a recognized state. Only the Russian garrison is under any protection in the eyes of international law.

    • Michaelinlondon1234

      That is why Russia should just launch an all out nuclear war. Targeting Washington, Newyork and Jerusalem.

      • W8post

        There are some really SICK brains on this forum…do you know/remember the ‘fall-out’ of Pripyat?? Can you imagine what would happen to Mother Russia himself? (I know, it’s a gender issue…)

        • Michaelinlondon1234

          Do they still monitor the ground water for radiation from that time in the 60’s when the US tried fracking for gas with nukes?

  • Roger Mikael Klang

    Very well written. But do you really Think that russian planes would fly on to Odesa at your convenient 5000 meters? They would fly at maybe 5-100 meters, not all the way but sliding down to the Point where your radars inevitably must pick them up. Then they will climb, far enough from the coast, before the seabirds can get sucked into their motors. If they fly at a hundred meters your radars will pick them up about 65 kilometers from the coastline if that is where your radars are. Large boats will get picked up by your radars about 45 kilometers from the coast. A joint sea- and air attack on Odessa is still possible if you dont find a way to detect the airplanes early. Say that an airplane at a hundred meter over the sea level flyes at 800 km per hour. How long will your response time be?

  • Calibra

    Buying Patriots and actually be able to use them are 2 completely different things, it takes more then a year to train personnel for a patriot system to operate efficient.

    • Murf

      Time well spent.

  • Andrei

    Maybe in your (Russian) dreams. RO army might not be as well equipped as the RU one, but the manpower exists and has been baptised in blood on the fronts of Iraq and Afganistan. In a one on one fight with RU they will surely encounter numerous casualties and draw backs without the help of NATO but there is no chance of seeing RU tanks marching throughout Romania. The only real danger is for RU to use nuclear weapons.
    I doubt RU would even want to take over the whole of Romania. They can barely take care of their minorities and their own territory, let alone acquiring others, especially of a people who hate their guts.

    • Andrei

      So your facts on whether Romanian soldiers are capable or not is: bs, gypsies, clowns and farts. And here I thought you were capable of an intelligent discussion. Right. I guess I`ll just move on.

      • https://ltcll.wordpress.com/ Catalin Traian Petrescu

        this is you, sir! it shows what you’ve done here so far.

        • Murf

          I am sure she has one. You should try it some time.

          • Jayce

            Gypsies are not Romanian people. Some may be Romanian citizens though, just as they are a minority in every European country, Russia included.

        • https://ltcll.wordpress.com/ Catalin Traian Petrescu

          You too!

        • commieslayer

          Cool. You forgot to include the MANY bottles of Vodka those Russian Vatniks need to drink before mustering some courage to badmouth the West.

          • https://ltcll.wordpress.com/ Catalin Traian Petrescu

            Most of them are too poor to afford one so they go straight for the source.

      • Murf

        Ignore him Andrei he is a flaming bigot who thinks that everybody runs in fear of the mighty Soviet..err Russian army.
        He seems to forget that they haven’t done particularly well against Chechen guerrillas the minuscule Georgian army and that it took six months to take two VERY exposed positions in Ukraine.
        Zhukov would not be impressed.

        • commieslayer

          What “Soviet Army” ? You mean that heap of corrugated metal fabricated in the ’70’s ? We saw how much that was worth during the two Gulf Wars, Saddam spent a huge sum on that junk and it did him no good.

      • Murf

        You haven’t shown any smarts so far. Just the usual Russian Arrogance but that doesn’t brains. Just an inferiority complex.

        • Murf

          You an’t even in the neighborhood so that puts me one up on you.

          • Murf

            The smart and he rich.? And you have nothing better to do on a Saturday night?
            Where the heck do you live, Somalia?

          • Murf

            Play with them for Christ sake!
            Those days will never come again.
            Give my left nut to have them back.

          • https://ltcll.wordpress.com/ Catalin Traian Petrescu

            Hristooo! ^_^ my good old friend, how’s it going buddy? still serving the same BS for dinner or Putler gave you smth else? come on, dude, I know they raised you your sallary for every succesful shit on the internet. gg

          • https://ltcll.wordpress.com/ Catalin Traian Petrescu

            And more important… Hristo, why did you change your username? Hristo sounded so badass! Gaspikae sounds so weird… it’s like Gayspike!

          • https://ltcll.wordpress.com/ Catalin Traian Petrescu

            You like your girls? aren’t they too young for you to like them? or is it that an usual practice in Russia under Putin? great example of morality Russia gives to the rest of the world, Hristo!

          • https://ltcll.wordpress.com/ Catalin Traian Petrescu

            I knew your girls were younger than that. And I knew you only find them on internet websites with 3 ,,x” and with minors. I know your guilty pleasures Hristo! You don’t fool me!

          • commieslayer

            Not too long ago there were all those stories about Putin’s paedophilia and such. It seems that he likes young boys …

          • https://ltcll.wordpress.com/ Catalin Traian Petrescu

            To be a good troll on the internet you have to know Putin’s ”ideology” really well. And Hristo/Gayspike is very good at it, I have to admit!

        • commieslayer

          Oh, and what a HUGE inferiority complex those Putin lovers have ! You hit the nail on its head !

      • commieslayer

        He’s a typical russian with a BIG sense of inferiority. In WW2, romanians had a kill ratio of about 4:1 against russians, so that says it all regarding whose soldiers were better.

  • https://ltcll.wordpress.com/ Catalin Traian Petrescu

    Two very well written articles indeed! I like the point you presented here and these scenarios might be plausible. Consider also the fact that Romania is currently developing its own armoured personell carriers, the Saur 2 and Saur 3. Of them, Saur 2 is almost ready for serial production since last year, but the factory where they are currently in development has no money to produce them. And this is the main problem: Are the politicians eager enough to do that and to thighten relationships with Moldova? Until now the cooperation was highly limited and some suggested that this aproach torwards Moldova was mostly to get more votes from romanians across the Prut river. And even though a majority of romanians is in favour of a reunition, in Moldova things are still very disputed.

  • Murf

    Excellent article as always.
    A couple of points;
    1) SBU has become very proficient at routing out saboteurs. They recently bag 49 of them.
    The little green men scenario is more problematic than a year ago.
    2) Due to “revenue short falls” Russia has cut off funding for TD. We may see a change in attitude from the TD leadership and population in the next year. Gold only buys obedience.

    • Michaelinlondon1234

      My favourite story was of a group of special force personnel driving of a bridge with a group of 3 local girls and drowning.

      • Murf

        You should try it.

        • Michaelinlondon1234

          I outlined to the Russians a way of creating a nuclear winter. Nice thing about theories like that is they get passed around and turn up in unusual places.

  • Kruton

    Murican Devil Army will annihilate the communist sub-humanoids!Surrender now and we will give you beer and dried fish. Glory to Right Sector!!

  • Stefan Wegner

    Interesting, thank you. Unfortunately, many european politicans still close their eyes and appease. Europe should be prepared !

    • Michaelinlondon1234

      Time for Russia to nuke Washington.

  • Ястреб Великолепнии

    Why should Romania fight against Russia and risk it’s own destruction? They are not that stupid.

    • commieslayer

      How much do they pay you to post this crap from 131 Lakhtinsky Prospect ?

      Putin huilo !

      • Ястреб Великолепнии

        I am a Turk i don’t give a damn about Putin, but keep it real, how can Romania fight Russia it is ridiculous :)

        • commieslayer

          Romania fought Russia on a few occasions before, last in the second world war. You forget that they wouldn’t be fighting alone. Do not forget that Romanians hold a huge grudge against Russia for the recent 50 years of robbery, mass murder and oppression, not to mention what Russia did to Moldova for the past 200 years. There is no doubt that Romania will not allow Russia to mess with Moldova, nor will the US/Nato. Ukraine can count on Romania’s help, in one form or another.

          • Ястреб Великолепнии

            Romania didn’t fight Russia alone, but as part of Hitler coalition.
            Then they had chances to win.
            No state should go to war they cannot win. That is stupid.

          • commieslayer

            Of course. We are talking about actions planned and taken together with NATO and the US. Did you notice that Romania just got two new NATO command posts ?
            That’s the whole point, they wouldn’t be fighting alone.

          • Michaelinlondon1234

            commieslayer represents the evil thieves from the USA. They are trying to build a world empire with them in control. That is why they have spent a fortune building mil bases in all the ex soviet states. It is solely for there economic gain.

          • commieslayer

            Unlike the white angels from the Russian Empire. How many “autonomous republics” and oblasts did you guys gobble up ? All those people ended up inside your fubar country by peaceful means, no doubt. Look who’s talking.

            By the way, why do you think that russia has no friends besides North Korea ? There must be some reason…

          • W8post

            BRIC??

          • commieslayer

            Hah ! India is far from being a friend of Russia, same for Brasil. China is playing both ends but has unresolved territorial issues with Russia in the Russian Far East (much of which used to be Chinese). None of them would be willing to help Russia in case of war.

            Do not confuse fleeting commercial or political interests with trust or friendship.

          • W8post

            That being the reason India joined WEIBO instead of YANDEX?? BY THE WAY, I forgot the new ‘S’ in ‘BRICS’…

          • commieslayer

            The European Union has also joined Chinese initiatives such as their “alternative” to the Wolrd Bank and is keenly interested in lifting sanctions on Iran in order to export and invest there. Once again, do not confuse commercial interests with trust or friendship. As for South Africa, I sincerely doubt that you’ll find many people who would consider it a “friend” of Russia.

    • misusan

      cause we dont like russians. if u follow history… we never did. and we are still here

      • Ястреб Великолепнии

        We Turks don’t like Russia very much, but we are not thinking to attack them 😀

        • misusan

          personally I don’t hate russian folk. its their leaders that always caused trouble.

  • commieslayer

    Obviously Gaspikae is an unemployed looser paid by Putin’s “oligarchs” to post pro-Putin crap, see for example http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/10/russias-online-comment-propaganda-army/280432/.

    She probably already appears on the lists released by Shaltai Boltai to all those who matter and is no doubt well on her way to become a celebrity with the NSA over the pond.

    Engaging in discussion with her is a waste of time, you just have to wait until she gets the special treatment reserved for “persons of interest”. She’ll get that in due time and boy, does that hurt.

    Regarding the article, it is head on, a good analysis of the possibilities through obviously written by an outsider who lacks deep information.

    As for Russian Empire’s renewed fascist appetite for ancient Romanian and Ukrainian lands, rest assured: ROMANIA AND UKRAINE WILL BE THE GRAVE OF RUSSIA. This time, we won’t take any prisoners.

    To any doubters, I wish them “Good Luck”.

    Putin huilo !

    • Michaelinlondon1234

      You are completely right we should have a full on all singing and dancing nuclear war to satisfy your evil blood lust.

      • commieslayer

        You russkies get all really worked-up when someone reminds you just how small your pee-pee is. You are fools to think that you are scaring anybody with your 70’s era bombers and with all that cheap circus about your inferior army of drunken conscripts. Meanwhile, here’s what will soon come to your neighborhood:

        The Russian empire is SO over, pi–ets.

        • Michaelinlondon1234

          I so like the thought of the dust bowl returning to the US.

  • misusan

    thesis of war… once Putin is gone. People will be at peace

  • Wonfu

    Russia; not since 1917, has once again gotten herself a Czarina… Czarina Vlad the Dwarf. Unfortunately ‘The Dwarf’ has brought russia to the brink of non existence. One nuclear signature and no one will be able to enter most of russia for 10,000+ yrs. This is where Czarina Vlad the Dwarf has brought russia with his megalomaniacal delusional fantasies of ‘restoring’ the ‘former Soviet Union’.
    I say if ‘The Dwarf’ continues in this vein his time is ‘limited’.

    • Michaelinlondon1234

      Agreed we need the full on nuclear war now.

  • Mihai

    Persecution of sexual minorities :)) That was funny!

  • Dave Ralph

    This entire diatribe is sheer fantasy, as there is no chance that Romania will be allowed by NATO and the EU to occupy Ukrainian territory, even if Kyiv were to give approval for this (which is highly doubtful). The local population of Izmail and surrounding towns would view Romanian troops as a foreign invasion force, and a Romanian occupation of that city would be unfeasible in all kinds of ways. Of course, the scenario is possible, but only in case of a total breakdown in the current Western world order and the threat of world war, which would be very bad for everyone, Moscow and Beijing included.

    • commieslayer

      They wouldn’t be viewed as an invasion force if they acted together with the Ukrainian army and at their request.

  • Michaelinlondon1234

    Lets bypass all this bulshit propaganda and just go for an all out Nuclear war.

  • Falx

    This article may be a good “creativity” exercise but from the rational perspective is simply a waste of time.
    Romania never acted in this fashion – taking such reckless decisions or “liberating” territories in Soviet style.

    Why we should ever enter in Budjak ? From decades there is no Romanian majority. If – by a absolutely stupid decision – Romania will annex or “reunite” Budjak we will simply create a huge problem swallowing a poisoned apple. And I m sure that the Romanian core leadership (not the puppets from TV) will be smart enough to not enter in this trap.

    Romania has no interest to fight Russia unless Russia is not attacking. To fight for Ukraine ? Why ? We are ready to help them with a lot of things but not with Romanian lives. It is not too distant in time the moments when Ukraine was flexing muscles in Black Sea or Danube Delta against us and not so far when the ancient Romanian minority got a shit treatment from Kiev.

    Any union with the former Romanian historical land of Moldavia must be a political and popular decision. No guns, no blood. We are brothers. And the most practical and efficient way to be united is the economical development of Romania.

    If hundreds of thousands of Romanians from Rep. Moldova will work in Romania, thousands of students will study in Romania etc … the union will come by itself. This is the most rational decision. Of course Russia will try to compromise and block all this initiatives.

    And coming back to the “war” delusions, as I said, unless Romania is attacked – the Romanian Army will not fight.

    Maybe if Moldova is liberated by popular forces :-) with no flag, no IDs, only advanced Russian style training and weapons – maybe in that case Romania will help Moldavia with some similar special forces and even volunteers. Romanian special forces are battle tested in the Middle East so we can offer some help. But the rest of the Romanian Army could have serious difficulties even to defend the national territory in case of a Russian full scale attack (and I m not talking about nukes).

    So, guys, chill, cool down – I hope there are still rationale people in the governments.