The Baltic offered to do Russian
The authorities of Baltic States should strengthen cooperation with Russian citizens, guaranteeing them the respect of all political and civil rights, as well as to establish a more effective dissemination of information in the Russian language. Such recommendations are contained in the report of the authoritative American research center RAND Corporation “Hybrid war in the Baltic States. Risk and potential responses.” The paper argues that although Moscow is not easy to provoke in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, large-scale protests or form influential separatist movements, all this can not be excluded. In the state Duma a report called “another sign of anti-Russian hysteria”, while the Russian experts are assured that Moscow is not interested in the attack on the Baltic States.
A report issued by the RAND Corporation was commissioned by the air force of the United States. In the beginning of the document explains the reasons for the concerns Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia: it talks about the “secret actions (in Russia.— “B”) in Crimea and its annexation” and “support for the separatist rebellion in Eastern Ukraine” and about “the possibility of using the Russian minority to obtain leverage in the Baltic States”.
The focus of the report is on the concept of “hybrid warfare”. Qualifies this by adding that a common interpretation of the term, the author of the report Andrew Radin quotes the words of chief of General staff of armed forces Valery Gerasimov that the “rules of war has changed significantly and focus on the methods used to confrontation is shifting towards broad use of political, economic, informational, humanitarian and other non-military measures implemented with the involvement of the protest potential of the population.” This, according to the West, and is taken by Russia adopted the concept of “hybrid wars”.
Speaking about the alleged aggression of the Russian Federation, Andrew Radin stops at three points. First, we are talking about “non-violent subversive activities” — for example, “the use of propaganda and covert activities to undermine the influence of the authorities of the Baltic States” (e.g., beliefs of the Russian population that the leaders of the three countries — “fascists”). The paper argues: Moscow conducts such a policy long ago and supposedly in 2007 provoked the conflict around the transfer in the Tallinn monument to the Soviet soldier-liberator.
According to Andrew Radin, “the greatest threat” Russia is to Estonia and Latvia in comparison with Lithuania, in those two countries the Russian-speaking citizens constitute a much more significant part of the population. Highlighted expert on the Estonian Narva (90% of the population — Russian-speaking) and held there in 1993, the unrecognized referendum on autonomy. “There are fears that Russia could come up with a new separatist movement in Narva or another border town,” writes Mr. Radin, mentioning also in this regard, the Latvian Daugavpils (Russian language is native for 80% of its inhabitants).
Second, the RAND report refers to the possibility of “hidden action violence”. Moreover, the author of the document, citing an unnamed “former Latvian official” says about the possibility of “the start of Russia’s terrorist campaign against the Baltic States” — for example, the attack on the monument to Soviet soldiers who allegedly organized the “Baltic fascists”.
The third area involves the “traditional military actions with the support of clandestine activities”. “The purpose of this attack may be the seizure of territory, change of government or a shift in the military balance in the internal conflict in the East of Ukraine”, — says Andrew Radin.
The success of possible actions of Moscow, according to the RAND Corporation, is not guaranteed the loyalty of Russian-speaking citizens to the authorities of their countries high economic sense to go “under the wing”, and military capabilities of NATO are great. However, experts suggest a number of recipes to boost immunity: the extension of political and civil rights of Russian-speaking population (for example, the recognition of Russian as the official language), strengthening the fight against propaganda (in particular, the creation of Russian TV channels), as well as the strengthening of the military potential of the Baltic States (primarily with the United States and other NATO allies).
Similar concerns experience and a policy of the Baltic States — both active and former. So, first head of independent Lithuania after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Vytautas Landsbergis said yesterday, “Kommersant” that the concerned scheduled for September, Russian military exercises “Zapad-2017”, as well as the accompanying rhetoric.
“Worked through a possible military strike. While public opinion in Russia is prepared for possible aggression against the Baltic countries, — says the interlocutor of Kommersant.— Maybe this aggression and will not be, but now wasted spent a lot of money — intellectual, advocacy, and financial. Possible goal is to in any case can not repeat the events of 1991, when after beating people in Vilnius, hundreds of thousands of Muscovites took to the streets and squares with the slogan “Freedom for Lithuania” and “Lithuania Today — tomorrow Russia”.”
The Russian authorities have repeatedly claimed that no plans for “aggression” they have, and, for example, the strengthening of the Russian military group in Kaliningrad region is a response to the transfer of a NATO additional forces to the Eastern borders of the Alliance.
“Report of the RAND is another sign of anti-Russian hysteria in the West, — said yesterday, “Kommersant”, first Deputy Chairman of the Duma Committee on international Affairs Dmitry Novikov.— Those who are considering such scenarios, confusing the source and origin of various “color revolutions” and other “orange” threats. These are all techniques, which were developed within the framework of the “Arab spring” and the Ukrainian Maidan. And, as you know, these processes involved not Russia. So when the delineation of such scenarios we are talking about trying to dump all the blame on others”.
Thus the interlocutor of “Kommersant” added that Russia will not deny myself the right to further comment on the situation with human rights in the Baltic States. “When obvious violations of human rights that affect our countrymen in the past or those who speak in Russian, we have every right to speak out in support of them,” — said Dmitry Novikov, referring, in particular, the problem of non-citizens in Latvia.
Among others, the RAND report referred to the Director of the Center for analysis of strategies and technologies Ruslan Pukhov in the document are his quotes criticizing the term “hybrid war”. Yesterday in conversation with “Kommersant” expert criticized the report’s accusations in the introduction by Moscow of some hybrid war because “all wars, beginning with the Peloponnesian, by definition hybrid.”
However, Mr. Pukhov said: “there is Not the slightest doubt that Russia is not going to attack the Baltic States”. In addition, as stated by “Kommersant” expert, “to repeat the Crimean history in the region in any case will not work — there is not such a high percentage of the Russian population or the Russian military bases”.