Status Quo Hotting-up? (Updated January 24)

Note: This post was initially published on 2 April 2021. Please scroll down for updates made after this date. (Latest update: 24 January 2022)


Regarding the activities in and around Ukraine, lamestream media is finally vaguely reporting something along the lines of “fighting escalates” and “Russian troop buildup”. As even Opinyuns has mentioned, some Ukrainian media has been reporting the deteriorating situation as it happens, and Hal Turner has been reporting on Ukrainian, Russian and Belarusian troop and armor deployments in the past few weeks.


More publications have surfaced in the past 48 hours that support the earlier, difficult-to-verify reports.

  • March 31: Ukraine proposes a ceasefire from April 1. Russia rejects the proposal. (With both sides building up for weeks now—and very little point asking “Who started it?”—why even pretend?)

  • April 1: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reportedly said, “Those who will try to start a new war in Donbas will destroy Ukraine.” (It would be merely rhetoric if weren’t for the evidence of actual deployments.)

  • April 1: Ukraine wants to hold joint exercises with NATO. (Well, NATO forces are already conducting exercises in the area, so why not?!)

  • April 1: Meanwhile, Defence Blog has posted links to some videos which may be Belarusian armor on the move. (Even if the videos are real, I cannot verify specifically when and where. No doubt there is some circular reporting which I am trying to avoid. Images and videos appear to be independent of Turner’s initial report days ago.)

  • April 2: Russia establishes a checkpoint at the Crimean Bridge (a.k.a. Kerch Strait Bridge), claiming the coronavirus to be the reason. (I am not sure if this is veiled language for a full closure but I doubt the coronavirus is the reason. One may as well say that the troops from all sides are deployed to hand out Bibles.)


Of no less importance is a report from Interfax claiming that unidentified and at times Polish military and civilian vessels have been harassing, including ramming, vessels working on Nord Stream 2 construction. The dates for these reported activities are February 22, March 28, March 29 and March 30. No other dates are mentioned but it is implied that these occurrences are regular.


This is hardly a surprise. The pipeline will transport gas from Russia to Germany. No doubt this will benefit Russia economically as well as potentially allow Russia to grab parts of Europe by their freezing balls in winter. Obviously, certain parts of Europe and the US do not like this. Regardless of the reason, this kind of action is provocative. The occasional harassment may be dismissed, but if regular, executed by military assets and given recent military activity, it can be considered as “aggression”.


I must add a comment regarding prophecy: even though some authentic prophecies can benefit those who pay attention before the predicted events occur, others exist to prove God is in charge after the fact. This is one of the reasons why even with prophecies, events aren’t always predictable. As such, I wouldn’t say this situation will definitely lead to WWIII, just that it is a highly realistic possibility in my opinion.


Updates:

  • April 2: Ukraine claims Russian helicopters near the border. (Not surprising. And not surprising that Ukraine and the West are reporting only Russian activity.)

  • April 2: Turner reports that there is artillery fire from the Ukrainian Army into the cities of Luhansk and Horlivka. There are at least a few videos and images circulated on social media but I cannot verify any of them, including those in Turner’s report. Generally, there are plenty of videos of troop and armor on the move.

  • April 2: Consistent to the earlier report that Ukraine wants to conduct joint exercises with NATO, they now also want to have joint air patrols in Ukrainian airspace. This is consistent to an earlier suggestion made in February to allow NATO to operate in Ukrainian airspace in the Black Sea near Crimea. It is unclear if this has been officially executed.

  • April 5: It seems more USAF C-17s are landing in Ukraine and bringing in hardware. This has been reported by independent outlets for several weeks, but it seems like it can’t be ignored any longer.

  • April 5: Chinese PLAN aircraft carrier Liaoning (Type 001) conducts exercises in the Pacific. Meanwhile, according to the Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense, 10 Chinese military aircraft enter Taiwanese ADIZ, which is more than the usual one or two aircraft. A similar group did the same on March 29.

  • April 6: A few military flights in eastern Europe which are possibly routine but are nonetheless noteworthy. Figure 1 is a screenshot taken at approximately UTC 08:48. A US UAV callsign FORTE10, presumably an MQ-4, loiters near eastern Ukraine.

Figure 1: April 06 approx. UTC 08:48 (ADS-B Exchange, adsbexchange.com)
Figure 1: April 06 approx. UTC 08:48 (ADS-B Exchange, adsbexchange.com)
  • A UK Boeing RC-135-W callsign RRR7238, an electronic surveillance aircraft, took off from RAF Waddington. It disappears in the Black Sea just west of Crimea for nearly 1.5 hours (obviously deactivated transponder), then reappears and heads home. See Figure 2 below taken at approximately UTC 11:26. Not sure if this is part of the NATO exercises.

Figure 2: April 06 approx. UTC 11:26 (ADS-B Exchange, adsbexchange.com)
Figure 2: April 06 approx. UTC 11:26 (ADS-B Exchange, adsbexchange.com)
  • The most interesting flight is a US Boeing E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) callsign REDEYE9 that took off from Germany and does its thing in Lithuania along the border with Belarus. This seems normal enough since Lithuania is a NATO member. But, assuming it’s not a bug in the platform, this E-8C enters Belarusian airspace near the Polish border. Poland is a NATO member, so it could fly in Polish airspace instead of western Belarus. This may support the earlier report that Belarus has moved troops and armor to the borders of Lithuania and Poland. So, either the US/NATO wants to take a closer look at Belarus in case something is there or they are trolling or both. See Figure 3 below taken at approximately UTC 10:59, after it had exited Belarusian airspace.

Figure 3: April 06 approx. UTC 10:59 (ADS-B Exchange, adsbexchange.com)
Figure 3: April 06 approx. UTC 10:59 (ADS-B Exchange, adsbexchange.com)
  • April 6: Ukraine initiates a meeting but refuses to attend meeting in Belarus.

  • April 7: US Boeing E-8C Joint STARS callsign REDEYE9 again took off from Germany and does its thing in Lithuania along the border with Belarus. And again, it enters western Belarus. See Figure 4 below taken at approximately UTC 11:17.

Figure 4: April 07 approx. UTC 11:17 (ADS-B Exchange, adsbexchange.com)
Figure 4: April 07 approx. UTC 11:17 (ADS-B Exchange, adsbexchange.com)
  • April 7: According to US European Command (USEUCOM), two US B-1s carries out a single-day mission from South Dakota to the Aegean Sea, no doubt proving its capabilities of hitting eastern Europe.

  • April 7: According to the Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense, 15 Chinese military aircraft enter Taiwanese ADIZ (eight J-10s, four J-16s, one Y-8 and two KJ-500s).

  • April 8: Meeting between Ukraine and Russia results with no written and signed agreement.

  • April 8: UK Boeing RC-135-W callsign RRR7239 flies to the Black Sea and disappears for a couple of hours before heading home.

  • April 9: UK Boeing RC-135-W callsign RRR7240 flies to the Black Sea and disappears for over 2.5 hours before heading home.

  • April 9: UK BAe 146 callsign RRR1555 flies from RAF Northolt and presumably lands in or near Kyiv, Ukraine. The BAe 146 is a small four-turbofan aircraft, like a private jet, which can carry 80 passengers or more. It’s certainly curious what the UK is transporting to and/or from Ukraine. See Figure 5 below taken at approximately UTC 15:28.

Figure 5: April 09 approx. UTC 15:28 (ADS-B Exchange, adsbexchange.com)
Figure 5: April 09 approx. UTC 15:28 (ADS-B Exchange, adsbexchange.com)
  • April 9: According to the Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense, 11 Chinese military aircraft enter Taiwanese ADIZ (four J-10s, four J-16s, two Y-8s and one KJ-500).[1]

  • April 9: Turkey permits two US warships to enter the Black Sea.

  • April 10: According to the Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense, 4 Chinese military aircraft enter Taiwanese ADIZ (two Y-8s and two KJ-500s).

  • April 10: Despite the shootdown of a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 in late 2015 and the assassination of Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov in Turkey in late 2016, Turkey had cozied up to Russia with the launching of the TurkStream Pipeline and the deal in getting some S-400s. Despite that, Turkey President Erdogan “reiterated our principles decision not to recognize Crimea’s annexation”. This could be just lip service, of course, but an interesting thing to say for a country that has benefited from a relationship with Russia.

  • April 11: The Brits are at it again. A Boeing RC-135-W callsign RRR7241 enters the Black Sea as previously done. It outright flies in front of Russia’s coast. Maybe it did before as well, but this time it leaves the transponder on for all to see. See Figure 6 below taken at approximately UTC 11:05.

Figure 6: April 11 approx. UTC 11:05 (ADS-B Exchange, adsbexchange.com)
Figure 6: April 11 approx. UTC 11:05 (ADS-B Exchange, adsbexchange.com)
  • April 12: According to the Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense, 25 Chinese military aircraft enter Taiwanese ADIZ (four J-10s, fourteen J-16s, four H-6Ks, two Y-8s, one KJ-500).

  • April 14: There are plenty of videos and images of armor, particularly Russian, on the move. There are even images of Russian forward bases. It is difficult, if not impossible, for Opinyuns to verify the particulars. However, the pictures of Russian vehicles with white stripes are interesting. These “invasion stripes” are a simple way to identify friendly forces if the adversary uses similar equipment.

  • April 14: Reports of Russian naval vessels moving from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea.

  • April 15: Russia closes Kerch Strait.

  • April 15: Not sure if it really means anything but the Biden administration imposes sanctions on 32 entities/individuals related to Russian interests including—and this is funny—for interfering with the US Presidential Election.

  • April 15: Kyiv city administration updates its map of bomb shelters.

  • April 15: Again, not sure if it really means anything but the Biden administration declares a “national emergency” because of the Russian threat.

  • April 15: Poland in effect boots out three Russian diplomats. (It is uncertain where they fall in the hierarchy.)

  • April 16: · April 16: Ukrainian President Zelensky reportedly said in the context of economics, “Therefore, it [Crimea and Donbas] will be a ‘dead’ territory. It will be worse than Chernobyl, because Chernobyl attracts tourists. Those regions, unfortunately, would be dead.” Thinly veiled threat? Perhaps. Either way, not sure how Ukraine can execute it given Russian firepower. Assuming NATO intervention?

  • April 17: Czech Republic expels 18 Russian diplomats.

  • April 18: Russia expels 20 Czech diplomats.

  • April 19: It is reported in the western media that two have been arrested in Belarus for plotting a coup against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. It is alleged that the arrested have ties to the US. No surprise if true.

  • April 19: UK BAe 146 callsign RRR1527 flies from the UK and presumably lands in or near Kyiv, Ukraine. No idea what it is doing.

  • April 20: US C-130 Hercules callsign HKY797 flies from Germany to Ukraine. Delivering something, are we? (Meanwhile, US and UK surveillance aircraft patrol the area as previously reported.)

Figure 7: April 20 approx. UTC 14:13 (ADS-B Exchange, adsbexchange.com)
Figure 7: April 20 approx. UTC 14:13 (ADS-B Exchange, adsbexchange.com)
  • April 21: Not sure if it means anything but the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) passed a bill increasing military aid for Ukraine to $300M.

  • April 21: Russian diplomat leaves Ukraine after earlier declaration of expulsion.

  • April 22: Syria and Israel exchange a few missiles.

  • April 22–23: Russia announces and begins to withdraw troops. No numbers are mentioned and neither is their distance from the border. So what if they are, for example, a hundred clicks back? Of no less importance, are Ukrainian troops and NATO assets also backing off? No mention of that.

  • April 24: Russia closes three areas of the Black Sea near Crimea from April 24 to October 31.

  • April 26: This was first reported at the start of the month but Poland is deploying troops to the Belarus border.

  • April 28: Ukrainian MP Roman Kostenko reportedly said: “Now we need missiles—missiles with a range of at least a thousand kilometers, which we can have in operation and threaten the Russian Federation preventively. … We need to have such missiles, even without nuclear warheads, and Russia needs to know that they have nuclear power plants like we had Chernobyl and that our missiles will fly there. Then we can conduct our diplomacy with the Russian Federation.” That may just talk but it’s a stupid thing to say whether one already has such missiles or not.

  • April 28: US Boeing E-8C Joint STARS, callsign REDEYE9, again took off from Germany and goes to Lithuania and Latvia. That is normal enough but then seems to enter Russia and Belarus. It could be a bug in the system but the coordinates match up and given the distances and airspeed, it is possible. See Figure 8 below taken at approximately UTC 15:11.

Figure 8: April 28 approx. UTC 15:11 (ADS-B Exchange, adsbexchange.com)
Figure 8: April 28 approx. UTC 15:11 (ADS-B Exchange, adsbexchange.com)
  • May 8: Whilst nothing outstanding has happened, at least none that I know of, the militaries of all those involved are still in the area. NATO exercises are still running. US and UK are still making flights similar to the ones described above. Violence and deaths in eastern Ukraine are still reported. (Obviously, the reporting will be slanted depending on the source but it seems the violence and deaths are generally true.) This situation is far from de-escalating.

  • May 10–12: Hamas fires rockets into Israel. Israel launches airstrikes in Gaza. (It is unclear who fired first this time.) This exchange seems to be much more intense than usual.

  • May 14: Israel and Hamas continue their operations. According to IDF on Twitter, “…three rockets were fired from Lebanon…” and IDF ground forces are involved in their action against Gaza. However, BBC reports that IDF ground forces are not in Gaza despite their involvement. It is a matter of concern whether Israel will expand its operations to, for example, Lebanon.

IDF Twitter
IDF Twitter
  • May 21: A ceasefire between Israel and Hamas has been announced. Meanwhile, let’s not forget that NATO is still running exercises in the Black Sea region. Despite the so-called ceasefire, Israeli police and Palestinians clashed at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque. Meanwhile, there is/was a blackout in Jordan, apparently a technical failure but the timing is suspect.

  • June 8: In what seems to be a positive note, Saudi Arabia and Syria engage in some sort of talk of peace.

  • June 8: Israel conducts airstrikes in Syria, reportedly entering from Lebanese airspace.

  • June 10: A small Russian naval exercise involving missile boats and minesweepers in the Sea of Japan. A much bigger one is conducted in the central Pacific, presumably the same one reported in lamestream media as being around 500 miles from Hawaii. Business as usual, perhaps, keeping in mind NATO exercise in Europe is still running.

  • June 14: Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is ousted. Depending on who is pulling the strings, it could be a positive move but something is definitely going on in the background.

  • June 15: Twenty-eight Chinese combat aircraft enter Taiwan’s southwestern ADIZ. That number is high.

  • June 16: Israel bombs Gaza in retaliation for arson balloons that started multiple fires.

  • July 2: Belarus orders border closure with Ukraine.

  • July 20, 22: Israel conducts aerial attacks in Syria.

  • August 6, 7: Hezbollah launches rockets into Israel from Lebanon. Israel retaliates.

  • September 3: Four Chinese military aircraft, 2 H-6Ks and 2 Y-8s, enter Taiwanese southwestern ADIZ, which is more than the usual one or two aircraft.

  • September 4: Four Chinese military aircraft, 2 JH-7s and 2 Y-8s, enter Taiwanese southwestern ADIZ.

  • September 5: Nineteen Chinese military aircraft, 4 H-6s, 10 J-16s, 4 Su-30s and 1 Y-8, enter Taiwanese southwestern ADIZ.

  • September 15: Nine Chinese military aircraft, 6 J-16s, 2 Y-8s, 1 KJ-500, enter Taiwanese southwestern ADIZ.

  • September 16: AUKUS announced. US and/or UK to provide Australia with nuclear-powered submarine technology.

  • September 17: Ten Chinese military aircraft, 6 J-16s, 2 J-11s, 2 Y-8s, enter Taiwanese southwestern ADIZ.

  • September 23: Nineteen Chinese military aircraft, 12 J-16s, 2 J-11s, 2 H-6s, 3 Y-8s, enter Taiwanese southwestern ADIZ.

  • October 1: Iran holds military exercises near the Azerbaijan border.

  • October 1: In two separate reports, 13 Chinese military aircraft 10 J-16s, 2 H-6s, 1 KJ-500 and 25 Chinese military aircraft 18 J-16s, 4 SU-30s, 2 H-6s, 1 Y-8 enter Taiwanese southwestern ADIZ.

  • October 2: In two separate reports, 20 Chinese military aircraft 14 J-16s, 4 SU-30s, 2 Y-8s and 19 Chinese military aircraft 12 J-16s, 6 SU-30s, 1 KJ-500 enter Taiwanese southwestern ADIZ.

  • October 3: Sixteen Chinese military aircraft 8 J-16s, 4 SU-30s, 2 Y-8s, 2 KJ-500s enter Taiwanese southwestern ADIZ.

  • October 4: In two separate reports, 52 Chinese military aircraft 34 J-16s, 2 SU-30s, 12 H-6s, 2 Y-8s, 2 KJ-500s and 4 Chinese military aircraft 4 J-16s enter Taiwanese southwestern ADIZ.

  • October 9: Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu declares “battle readiness” against Greece.

  • October 11: China-India talks regarding the border situation breaks down.

  • October 19: Ten Russian and Chinese naval vessels sail through Tsugaru Strait.

  • November 2: Rumors and denials thereof of Ukrainian military activity and Russian troop buildup, depending on who you read.

  • November 6: Sixteen Chinese military aircraft 10 J-16s, 6 J-10s enter Taiwanese southwestern ADIZ.

  • November 7: Iraqi PM Mustafa al-Kadhimi survives an assassination attempt. According to some commentators such as Simon Parkes, Iraq plays a role in the new financial system, hence the bad guys attempting the assassination.

  • November 12: Although refugees have been approaching Poland from Belarus for months (if not longer), the media presents the situation as “escalating”. Some accuse Belarus and Russia of deliberately using the refugees to foment trouble; that is, “blame the Russians” narrative. To be fair, not much is talked about how these people, including those from Syria and Iraq, got to Belarus in the first place. There is also much talk of increasing Russian troops at the Ukrainian border. The mainstream narrative is “Russians may invade”.

  • November 15: FLOTEX 21, naval exercise involving Norwegian and NATO forces.

  • November 19: Russian and Chinese air forces conduct military exercise in Sea of Japan.

  • November 23: ANNUALEX 2021 naval exercise involving the forces of Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan and the US in the Philippine Sea.

  • November 27:All options are on the table” regarding the situation in Ukraine, according to US official.

  • November 28: Twenty-seven Chinese military aircraft 2 KJ-500s, 1 Y-9, 5 H-6s, 1 Y-20, 6 J-10s, 4 J-11s, 8 J-16s enter Taiwanese southwestern ADIZ.

  • November 29: Trial of Ghislaine Maxwell begins.

  • December 4: Some may consider this as business as usual either way but was the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility sabotaged/attacked?

  • December 11: Russia wants US to provide security guarantees. Meanwhile, Russia is seemingly conducting drills in the Sea of Azov, and NATO is continuing its activity in the area.

  • December 16–20: NATO seems to have rejected Russia’s security guarantees. Russia demands talks, threatening military action. Both NATO and Russia are continuing to operate in the area, including the Black Sea. On December 17, it was announced that two Russian missile regiments with ICBMs will go on duty.

  • December 21: Russia seems to have shut off the gas.

  • December 28: Israel conducts airstrikes on Latakia port, Syria.

  • December 30: Ghislaine Maxwell found guilty on 5 of 6 counts. Judges order unsealing of documents related to a settlement between Jeffrey Epstein and Virginia Giuffre who has a lawsuit against Prince Andrew.

  • January 1: Judges deny his lawyers’ bid to have the case thrown out.

  • January 5–6: Kazakh government resigns. Russian CSTO peacekeeping force arrives in Kazakhstan.

  • January 6: Japan and Australia sign Reciprocal Access Agreement.

  • January 18: Talks between Russia and NATO seem to be going nowhere and Russia is reportedly evacuating some staff and family from their embassy in Ukraine.

  • January 24: There have been reports in the past week of Russia, US, UK, Australia withdrawing at least some diplomatic staff from Ukraine.

 

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