The Russian and Chinese militaries recently completed the largest combined naval exercise ever conducted between the two nations, building on cooperation that has been expanding over the past decade.
JERUSALEM—Russia has begun to deploy an air force contingent to Syria in order to undertake air attacks against the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS or ISIL) and other Islamic groups battling the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, according to the Israeli news site, Ynet.
U.S. officials are considering sanctions against entities in China and Russia for cyber attacks waged on commercial targets, though Chinese sources are unlikely to see such punishment before President Xi Jinping visits the White House in September.
Russia has been busy in the Arctic in 2015. Its activities, according to a fascinating round-up by the New York Times’ Steven Lee Myers, have included a massive military exercise featuring “45,000 troops, as well as dozens of ships and submarines, including those in its strategic nuclear arsenal, from the Northern Fleet,” the permanent deployment of two new brigades of troops to the country’s northern reaches, and increased air patrols. By contrast, the U.S. army is considering reducing the number of troops it keeps in Alaska. Earlier in August, Russia resubmitted a claim to a huge undersea expanse of the Arctic to the U.N. Russia fields 41 icebreakers, compared to two fielded by the United States, and is building 10 search-and-rescue stations with accompanying communications infrastructure along its northern coast. There is a lot of oil and gas under that ice, and Russia is playing for keeps.
President Obama is traveling to the United States’ Arctic frontier this week in Alaska. Here’s what he will be doing:
The Department of Culture in Moscow will remove Fifty Shades of Grey from its library shelves in order to help readers develop a “normal taste” in literature.
The Estonian Police and Border Guard Board will install a fence between Estonia and Russia to protect against border violations.
In a meeting Monday, Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas and Polish President Andrzej Duda agreed to extend sanctions against Russia, responding to Russian aggression in Eastern Europe.
The White House should immediately provide Congress with a Pentagon report assessing the risks to U.S. security posed by Russia’s violation of an intermediate-range missile treaty, according to Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas).
The Obama administration advised the Ukrainian government not to fight Russian forces when Vladimir Putin invaded Crimea in 2014, the main reason for which was a desire not to anger the Russian president.
Russia is nearing deployment of a new missile capable of targeting all of Europe with nuclear or conventional warheads, according to defense officials.