If NATO decides to interfere in the Ukrainian-Russian conflict, the fastest way of stationing its forces would be through aircraft.

In case of Russia’s large-scale invasion into Ukraine, the West will respond through both military means using NATO’s aircraft and, which is more probable, strict sanctions, the U.S. intelligence-analytical company Stratfor says in its report, as reported by Russian media, which has gotten a hold of the report.

U.S. Explains How NATO Could Respond To Russia

Although the U.S. and NATO have enough ground forces, which could be stationed in Eastern Europe and deployed to Ukraine in case of Russia’s large-scale invasion, the transportation of these forces would take too much time. Besides, this kind of operation requires aerial military assistance, according to Stratfor.

The report notes that military aerial forces of the European states are stationed relatively close to Ukraine. However, even their capabilities would be limited due to the required fuel refills.

As for the U.S. air force, they are in a tougher situation as they first have to deploy its forces into Eastern Europe. They would have several aerial squadrons stationed in Europe, but it would be not enough for a large-scale military operation against Russian air defense systems and its fighter aircraft. Therefore, the U.S. would have to wait for a backup from Washington. However, the fastest scenario of deploying 22 fighter squadrons would take at least 11 days.

Russia’s forces to reach its targets by the time U.S. deploys its forces

The U.S. would also get 30 airports in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria at its disposal. Besides, there is a high possibility of deploying the U.S. forces to Italy and Germany. Furthermore, stationing of U.S. fighter aircraft on Ukraine’s territory is also possible, according to the Stratfor’s report.

However, in such a case the U.S. aircraft would become reachable to be targeted by Russian forces. Among many other things, such a scenario does not rule out the involvement of the U.S. aircraft carrier, which would most likely be sent to the Aegean Sea. Therefore, by the time the U.S. deploys its forces, Russia’s offensive operation would have already reached its main targets.

The report also notes that the main advantage of Russia’s air forces would be the fact that it would operate close to its military bases and under the protection of its own anti-aircraft defense systems. NATO, for its part, has more warplanes that are more modern compared to the Russian ones, and some of them are too advanced for Russian radars.

Having gotten an advantage in the air, the Alliance would be able to carry out its ground operation, which would neutralize all Russia’s previous gains.

U.S.-Russia tensions are expected to outlive Putin

Meanwhile, the U.S. and its allies in NATO are preparing for the differences between the West and Russia to outlive Vladimir Putin’s reign.

The United States Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter made such an announcement on Sunday, completing his official mission around Europe.

Pentagon chief also noted that Washington hopes that Moscow would one day get back to a forward-looking course, and pointed out a few areas of diplomatic cooperation with Russia, including the nuclear talks on Iran’s nuclear program.

However, according to Carter, there is a much stronger tension expected in the relations between Russia and the U.S. He also noted that the revisions in the military strategy of NATO are aimed at the deterrence of Russian interference.

Carter also shared his concerns that Russia might not change after Putin. When asked whether Putin would be able to change his political course, Carter said that he hopes so, but he cannot be sure.

Russian-Ukrainian war over the ownership of Vladimir the Great

On the 1,000th anniversary of the death of Vladimir of Kiev, who decided to abandon pagan gods and take Christian Orthodoxy, Russia and Ukraine entered a heavy fight over his legacy.

Vladimir the Great, who later became Saint Vladimir, made the states of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus spiritually closer to the rest of Eastern Europe a millennium ago. Vladimir’s decision united the people of Kievan Rus, which stretched along the waterways between the Baltic and Black seas.

And now that the two of Kievan Rus’ successor nations, Russia and Ukraine, are not that united over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and Russia’s ongoing involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine and the support of local pro-Russia rebels, there is a stinging battle over the ownership of Saint Vladimir the Great.

Ukrainian President Poroshenko called Vladimir the founder of the “European state of Rus-Ukraine,” while announcing a national plan of festivities as part of the 15 July anniversary.

Russia, which also has great plans to celebrate the anniversary, could not leave Poroshenko’s comments unnoticed. “It’s hard to call that an opinion. It’s easy to call it a fantasy,” said Andrei Nazarov, director of the state-backed Russian Military-Historical Society.

Most Russian politicians – and people in general, for that matter – consider Vladimir to be a symbol of Russia. “Thanks to him, Russia became what she is – a mighty state with a strong, Orthodox Christian base,” Mr Nazarov said.

Furthermore, the Russians claim that Moscow is “the mother of Russian cities.” That is something that Kiev has been called for pretty much a millennium. And that is completely understandable given the fact that it was Kiev where Vladimir drove his people into the Dnieper river for a mass baptism.

According to histories, Kievan Rus controlled the territory around Moscow during Vladimir’s times, but the city had not yet appeared.

Although there have always been numerous political differences between the Russians and Ukrainians, the countries were always close in terms of culture and religion. Up until Vladimir Putin decided to play a king and make his own Kievan Rus.

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