Sweden's recent obsessive search for a Russian submarine is an amusing story indeed. The Swedes could not see where the signal was coming from: it could be a Russian, a Dutch submarine or even divers. The performance has its director, though - NATO. Pravda.Ru interviewed the head of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems Konstantin Sivkov about the situation in the Stockholm Archipelago.
"As long as they have been looking for a strange object so persistently, it appears that there are serious reasons for that. Could it be our submarine indeed?"
"Technically, it could be anything. Technically, a Russian submarine may find itself both in the fjords of Sweden, and elsewhere in the world ocean. But practically, this is impossible. It goes about "Triton" submarine. This is a midget submarine designed for solving tasks in the vicinity of bases. To be used in remote areas, it should be transported on board a surface ship, as a rule, because its range and the time of autonomous work is not large.
"The duration of a typical anti-submarine search operation that NATO forces conduct makes up from three to five days. If they have not found anything there during this time, they are not likely to find anything then. The area of the possible location of the alleged submarine was small. Some reports said that it was discovered visually, other sources said that it was detected by radio-electronic equipment. The primary location of the submarine was indicated with high accuracy. If the sub was there indeed, it would be found within hours after the detection of an electronic signal.
Sweden has anti-submarine aircraft equipped with powerful sonar equipment and radio-acoustic buoys that can detect such a submarine. Therefore, if it was not found then it means that it was not there. Compare it with the recent detection of a state-of-the-art American submarine, Virginia tyoe, that was found in Russian territorial waters near Novaya Zemlya. Everything was very quickly established, proven and appropriate measures were taken.
All the talk about the Russian submarine in Swedish waters is based on NATO's intention to feverishly sculpt an enemy from Russia, to justify its existence. The attempt to create an enemy in the form of international terrorism has led to nothing.
No one believes that. Therefore, one should model a more real and more visible image of an enemy. The myth of existence of a Russian submarine in the area was intended to create an idea of Russia's highly aggressive behavior. This will allow the military to require additional funding, whereas political hawks will seek Sweden's entry into NATO."
"Are reconnaissance missions of submarines to territorial waters of other countries a common occurrence?"
"Of course, they are. The Americans do that regularly. Soviet and Russian submarines do that too, certainly. Yet, why would Russian submarines get into the territorial waters of neutral Sweden? There are more dangerous opponents."
"The Voice of Sweden said one could install special sensors in those fjords to record information and then use the fjords to shelter Russian submarines in an event of emergency. Could it be possible?"
"This version makes absolutely no sense for two reasons. Firstly, what would be the point in those sensors - to arrange a resting place for submarines? Secondly, it will be hard to obtain information from those sensors. It is impossible to install cable networks in those fjords. One requires special cable ships for that. If these sensors were used in a radio broadcast mode, even through a satellite channel, electronic intelligence systems would intercept signals easily. To crown it all, using Swedish fjords to hide Russian submarines - this is beyond common sense. We have enough our own bases and protected areas for that.
"The Swedes have not provided any reliable information to prove anything. All they can do is assume. This is another attempt to portray Russia as an aggressor. What do they expect?"
"They do not expect anything really. This is a normal method of information warfare - to start a hoax without evidence, to accuse without any proof. They stir up the general public, and people swallow the bait. Yet, there is nothing there, nothing was found, but they are not going to make a public statement about it. They already have what they wanted - they portray Russia as a threat. This case is a small act of information warfare against Russia. This is how the image of enemy is created."
"They have been demonizing Russia and the Russian president for quite a while already. The crises in Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya were beginning like that. Yanukovych was demonized too. Is NATO planning a military operation against Russia?"
"Russia is a nuclear power. Modern wars are different. There are no tanks, no groups of forces, no massive air strikes. They will wage war against Russia with the use of different technology that has been tested before. At first, they use soft power to organize a revolution. In today's Russia, they are orchestrating a social upheaval.
"The Russian Central Bank has been withdrawing licenses from many banks recently. This activity generates aversion of the Russian government. Many people lost all they had in those banks. They only received the ensured amounts of 700,000 rubles from millions that they had invested in those banks. The Central Bank also pursues the policy of the weak ruble. Inflation is inevitable. The growing inflation rate will ruin the living standards of the population.
"When the social explosion is ready, when the command of nuclear forces is undermined, NATO troops will go on the offensive against Russia, albeit as peacekeepers under the banner of the UN. This is quite possible.
"To prevent this from happening, one needs to make two very serious and decisive moves that will solve everything. First - to liquidate oligarchs as a class through the nationalization of strategic resources of our country. The state should control everything. Secondly, one should expel liberal marketeers and their supporters, at least, from the ranks of top authorities. That is, the government should be replaced almost entirely, except for certain figures, such as Rogozin."
"Can Russia create an adequate threat in response at the borders of the United States? Can we build our base near Cuba?"
"We can not do it near USA's borders. To build something near Cuba, one needs to deploy a group of forces first. The Americans will put an end to that quickly. Any kind of talking about Russia's ability to build something near the borders of the United States is a conversation of incompetent people. Today, the only factor to deter the US is Russian strategic ground-based and sea-based nuclear forces with a range from 9 to 12 thousand kilometers.
"In the future, we can create a group of non-nuclear strategic forces. One needs to do a lot for that, for example, to increase the number of long-range aircraft two or three times. One needs to put into service non-nuclear strategic cruise missiles - Oskol. This is a unique missile system, which the Americans do not have yet. The range of this missile is about 50,000 kilometers."
Twenty years later, the cause of death of 118 Kursk submariners remains a mystery. the Russian navy was unable to save the dying men.