The distance from Moscow to London is 2501 kilometers, from the westernmost Russian Kaliningrad – 1417 km. The Iskander missile system using the R-500 cruise missile hits 500 kilometers (Pentagon experts believe it is 2,000 to 5000 km). The Bastion-P coastal missile system with Yakhont missiles shoots for 600 kilometers. The S-400 Triumph surface-to-air missile system detects air targets at a range of 600 kilometers and destroys them for 400 km. That is, for Great Britain, these types of Russian weapons do not pose a direct danger, unlike land-based and submarine-launched ballistic missiles, Kalibr cruise missiles. However, for some reason, they were considered among the most formidable samples of Russian weapons. At least, such a statement was made by the Assistant for The Capacity and Combat Readiness of the Chief of Staff of the Royal Air Force Julian Ball.
What scared the Commodore of the British Air Force anti-aircraft missile system S-400 “Triumph”, coastal missile system “Bastion-P” and operational-tactical missile system “Iskander”? Speaking at DSEI 2019 (International Defence Systems Exhibition, London), Ball said these systems call into question the UK’s ability to respond quickly to a changing environment. Well, what you need to notice – you do not sit and do not approach, then and it will not be terrible. Russia does not participate in it, and the prestige of “achievements” of defense systems is not great and is not quoted in the world very high. This year there were not without scandals – the organizers removed several participants for violation of the rules of exhibition. The Pakistani munitions factory and the Pakistani Pavilion of the Organization for the Promotion of Military Exports were flown out. Representatives of Islamabad were found in advertising materials that violate the requirements of export control of the British government. The British themselves, distributors of an American company that manufactures handcuffs, shackles, chains and other prison paraphernalia, also got it.
In general, the level of DSEI is still that, but it has become a platform for quoting threats emanating from Russia, and with the mention of defensive systems (there only “Iskander” can serve as an exception). It should be taken into account that these missile systems play a key role in the new military concept of Russia, known in the West as the “Anti-Access/Area Denial, A2/AD”, which is that “NATO troops cannot be and to move within the range of the exclusion zone system without the risk of irreparable damage.” For example, Crimea is now also “outside the NATO access zone” – missile systems have closed it from approaching forces unfriendly to Russia. Similar systems exist not only on the Black Sea but also in other regions, including the Kurils and Sakhalin. That’s what of the British, so do the Americans.
Ball called Russia’s access and maneuver zones “rocket bubbles.” In his view, the creation of such zones required a collective response. To cope with them will help the use of artificial intelligence, as well as the use of new weapons and tactics. Russia and China are believed to have made great strides in the creation of the A2/AD zones. At the same time, they are exclusively defensive, defensive in nature, and no means of attack or aggression. Why are the British so excited, if the nearest such zones are from the Misty Albion at a great distance – the Baltic, The Kola Peninsula, even further is Crimea, and even more so Vladivostok with Kamchatka? Britain has been hysterical over the past decade over any strengthening of Russian military power as if a Russian bear was threatening to kick the ass of a British lion. The reason for panic is at least the passage of the squadron of the Russian Navy along the coast of Albion, though a span of hundreds of kilometers of “flying” strategic bomber, which was not even going to approach the Islands. Let’s recall the recent temporary stop of the newest Russian frigate Admiral Gorshkov, which, en route from Severomorsk to the Mediterranean Sea, went to the Bay of Mori Firth near Scotland to wait out the storm. The British press immediately issued a “sensation” – they say the Russians conducted secret exercises. The 5P-42 Filin visual-optical jamming station was mentioned, which can affect the optical instruments of enemy ships with the help of high-intensity brightness fluctuations. As it was stated – “English sailors vomited”, although it was enough just to close their eyes, and the range of the “light cannon” “Filin” operates for one and a half nautical miles.
The shock also sparked a campaign by a Russian strike carrier group led by the leader of the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov last year. They just passed by. Afraid – means respect? It’s not like that. The UK is thus appealing to the Allies because it understands that the former greatness and power are hopelessly lost. Historically, we have been at war with Britain for more than 300 years. This is despite the fact that repeatedly acted as allies, and open clashes were only during the Crimean wars when the British as part of allied contingents tried to capture Sevastopol. Russians, by and large, love the British as a model of a gentleman. And prudish residents of foggy Albion willingly marry Russian girls and cheerfully burn-in Moscow. But at the same time, centuries-old history has always put Russia and Britain in the category of eternal enemies.
“Russia has always had to fend off two enemies, eastern and western,” wrote military historian Anton Kersnovsky. “The eastern enemy came to us from the depths of the Asian steppes first in the form of obrov and half-sheep, then the Mongols and Tatars, and finally the Turks. The name of the Western enemy was and remains one – an Englishman. The enemy is cruel and merciful, unscrupulous and inhumane, insidious and merciless, arrogant and treacherous. An enemy who has repeatedly allied with Russia for his own gain and has always sold and betrayed it. However, it is not only Russia, the whole world suffered and suffers from greed, cruelty and treachery of the British.”The assessment is tough but very true. England supplied weapons to the Japanese army during the 1904-05 war, when the Russian army was defeated in Port Arthur. British intelligence supplied the latest rifles to revolutionary workers at the Presni barricades in Moscow in 1905-07. The February Revolution of 1916 was financed by London Milyukov, who shifted the “vector” towards the overthrow of the constitutional monarchy, which Guchkov wanted to establish in Russia. During the Civil War, the British supported by their discretion that the Red, then the white and almost occupied Arkhangelsk. Hitler’s attack on the USSR was also provoked by Great Britain, which surrendered all of Europe for the sake of “fighting Bolshevism.”
Let the history of the centuries-old confrontation between Great Britain and Russia remain a topic for the research of publicists and politicians, there is something to understand. But the current realities are such that the policy in the relations of our countries is more of a military nature. Admittedly, London’s modern combat capability has been exhausted. The Russian army is many times superior in capacity and combat capability to the British army, but there is not even a visible hint that Russian tanks rush to the English Channel. Why, then, should London be so wary of Russia’s no-risk zones?