By Nat South for the Saker Blog There are several evolving issues that are being watched regarding plans and developments made by the West to open Ukrainian Black Sea commercial ports. A medley of articles has recently popped up on grain shipments from Russia and the grain shortage caused by the conflict. As always, these articles from the corporate Western MSM are part of a propaganda effort to portray Russia
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By Nat South for the Saker Blog In this article I want to highlight something that will be taking behind the scenes so to speak, following the recent sinking of the Black Sea Fleet Flagship, ‘Moskva’. That is, closure of the ‘Moskva’s untimely demise. This final activity consists of locating, securing, assessing the wreck and salvage of classified equipment and weapons. Moreover, the possibility of recovering bodies isn’t discounted either.
By Nat South for the Saker Blog This article provides an overview into a deeply disturbing trend in Ukraine, one that started in 2014, that has accelerated and intensified since 24 February 2022. Extrajudicial killings, harassment, arbitrary detentions by men in camouflaged uniforms, beatings and disappearances continue to take place on a regular basis in Ukraine. Most of the detentions and disappearances are often carried out by the Ukrainian Security
If you don’t want or can’t see what’s going on, you won’t even see it. By Nat South for the Saker Blog This article covers three aspects related to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, namely an overview of how a noxious brand of Ukrainian fascism has shaped an all-pervading attitude at top levels. Some instances of malfeasance shown at the top levels of the Ukrainian government are also highlighted. The
By Nat South for the Saker Blog There are some comments made on social media, to whitewash and downplay the serious issue regarding a far-right/ ultranationalist movement in Ukraine. Such simplistic takes are seen as a sound reason for denying a Russian military intervention* in Ukraine. This article provides some responses to these, by using a combination of corporate MSM and Ukrainian information to address the points made about a
The Tip of the Iceberg By Nat South for the Saker Blog
By Nat South for the Saker Blog “The hype that some dastardly Russian special operation could sever a number of critical underwater telecommunications cables in one go, is plain scaremongering”. I wrote this back in 2017  and it is still valid now. The article was written following a series of sensational articles in the MSM and reports by think tanks, warning of a Russian threat to subsea cables. This
By Nat South for the Saker Blog Part 1 This article focusses on the new build programming and commissioning of ships and boats in 2021 and 2020. It provides an insight into the significantly less visible part of the Russian Navy and its ongoing modernisation programme. Russian support vessels are the backbone of any of the Fleets and the Caspian Flotilla, since they underpin the combat ships and submarine operations
by Nat South for the Saker Blog HMS Defender’s highly visible transit past the Crimea coastline, off Cape Fiolent, is the latest bout of heated tensions in the Black Sea and in this article, I’d like to present some aspects relating to UNCLOS and consider some interesting issues that have been revealed following the incident. The UK sailed a warship, HMS Defender, inside 12nm territorial waters near to the main
A snapshot of the Russian Navy escorting Iranian shipping from the Suez Canal to Syria. By Nat South for the Saker Blog Back in April there was uncorroborated information circulated on social media, announcing that Russia was to protect the Iranian ships — in particular the tankers carrying vital oil supplies to Syria. Yet, it wasn’t readily known whether this would be a regular mission for the Russian Navy. For
By Nat South for the Saker Blog From time to time, I gather and compile basic statistics on US / NATO/ Swedish flights principally near to Russia, (articles posted on my blog). The idea is to get a rough snapshot of the activity, location and types of aircraft that carry out intelligence-gathering missions, broadly known as Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance, (ISR), as well as those in direct support of those missions.
By Nat South for the Saker Blog The WSJ published an exclusive article on covert Israeli targeting of Iranian ships and shipments going to Syria, going back several years. Here is the headline: “WSJ News Exclusive | Israeli Strikes Target Iranian Oil Bound for Syria” To shed some light on the matter and give some broader context to the WSJ exclusive, I produced a draft visual timeline of notable events,
By Nat South for the Saker Blog This short analysis outlines a recent small but subtle “sea change” in Russian naval deployments that took place recently. Firstly, the list below outlines an abridged overview of the current elements underpinning Russian naval policies to date: The backbone of the Russian Navy lies in its multipronged capacity to field a range of ships, to support its littoral defence and also deploy primarily
By Nat South for the Saker Blog This is part of a series on air missions carried in proximity to Russian borders, (NATO members and Sweden), principally intelligence-gathering missions, supported by air tankers. Flights tracked were mostly either over the waters of the Baltic, Black Seas and more rarely, Barents Seas. The latest briefing follows on an article written back in May 2020,  on my blog with several visuals
By Nat South for the Saker Blog A new tiny twist in U.S. naval activities, albeit one that raises some eyebrows happened last week due to its location. The latest in “freedom of navigation operation”, aka ‘FONOP’ carried out by the U.S. Navy took place in Peter the Great Bay (Zaliv Petra Velikogo), near to Vladivostok in the Far East of Russia. The fact that Washington cherrypicked the location might
by Nat South for the Saker Blog Not the trendiest of breaking news, swamped by the turmoil of the U.S. Elections, but the Russian government announced (1) work under progress on a draft agreement (2) for setting up of a naval logistics hub (in Russian – see map) in Port Sudan. This announcement is bound to make Western Russia ‘watchers’ twitch, others laugh at the location, (not exactly Havana’s bustle
By Nat South for the Saker Blog Photo op of US State Department delegation putting a foot into Idlib. Kelly Craft & James Jeffrey met with the White Helmets at the Turkish /Syrian border. 2. France News 24 (02/03) 3. U.S. Intel sources indicate… (06/03) Rumour control: the ‘unconfirmed’, ‘unverifiable’ type as usual from journalists & media sources who diligently and blindly act as stenographers. Rather telling that a time
By Nat South for The Saker Blog I am interested in the way that narratives that shape individual events are crafted, curated and disseminated, because ultimately there is a tendency to focus mostly on specific events and ignore the wider context. Ultimately, we end up with being presented with a series of disjointed events, not really understanding the history or the detailed framing of these events. One such example would