Previous posts in this discussion:
PostWill Putin Attack Lithuania to "Secure" Kaliningrad? (Francisco Wong-Diaz, USA, 06/22/22 4:47 am)
A friend just sent me a startling message, that Putin is mobilizing against Lithuania to "secure" the corridor to the Kaliningrad enclave. Please confirm with any WAIS sources and pass along any information received.
JE comments: Francisco Wong-Díaz appended an email that announced the shipment of tanks, artillery, and troops to the Lithuanian border. The email (no author mentioned) concluded ominously:
If Lithuania does not repeal its embargo of rail traffic between Russia and the Russian oblast of Kaliningrad, Russia **will** break the blockade by military force. (Emphasis in the original.)
We all know this, but here's a scary reminder: if Putin attacks NATO member Lithuania, it's war. Will a showdown between NATO and the rump alliance of Russia and Belarus be massive enough to count as WWIII? Let us pray we don't have to find out. For starters, Putin should know that he doesn't have the military strength to conduct a two-front war.
WAISer Tom Hashimoto divides his time between Poland and Lithuania. Tom, what's the present mood in Vilnius?
Russian Threats to Lithuania, Estonia
(Eugenio Battaglia, Italy
06/23/22 6:45 AM)
Frankly, I did not expect Lithuania to become a casus belli for Russia. I would have bet on Estonia but this is only due to my deep interest in ethnic problems.
Lithuania is 65,200 square km with 2.8 million inhabitants, of which 79.3% are Lithuanian, 8.5% Polish, 8.5% Russians then Belorussians, Ukrainians, Germans, and Jews. It has a history going back 1000 years, but in 1300 the Grand Duchy of Lithuania extended to present-day Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine including Odessa, and parts of Russia and Poland. Then the Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania was formed, but in the 17th century the Union collapsed and a great part of it was absorbed by the Russian Empire.
Its independence was regained after WWI and the wars against the Bolsheviks and Poland. The Lithuanians acquired the German Memel territory but not Vilnius, which remained in Poland. Oh, by the way, in Eastern Europe between the two world wars, democracy was almost unknown.
Lithuania was occupied by the USSR in spite of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, which assigned Lithuania to the area under German influence (the first Soviet violation of the pact). The US on 23 July 1940 stated that such an occupation would never be recognized. Such a declaration can be very relevant to the present, as according to NATO a country with controversial sovereignty cannot enter the alliance. Some Russians may claim that the sovereignty of Lithuania is controversial.
Germany "liberated" Lithuania in June 1941 and many Lithuanians joined the Wehrmacht and the Waffen SS, together with people from the other Baltic nations, forming several divisions: the 15° Letland, 19° Latvia, and the 20° Estonia. The freedom fighters (mostly ex-SS) continued their fight until 1956, as they also did in Ukraine.
The independence of Lithuania returned with the collapse of the USSR.
Estonia is 45,228 square km with 1.3 million inhabitants, 70% of whom are Estonian, 25% Russian, then Belorussians, Ukrainians, etc.
Among the Russian minority, the town of Nerva is practically entirely Russian. There is a large population of the so-called "ex-Soviet Slavs" who immigrated during the "Russification" of Stalin and are considered "stateless" by the Estonian government. This is a clear violation of their civil rights. Moreover, Estonian is the only official language.
Historically Estonia was generally dominated by the German "Livonian Brothers of the Sword" or by Sweden and then by the Russian Empire.
From all the above I was convinced that Putin would have put pressure on Estonia as a defender of the Russian minority. Rather, the (foolish?) actions of Lithuania have moved the pressure South.
Why are we so concerned about Russian troops entering a foreign country, while the Empire's troops conquered and for 77 years have remained in Japan, South Korea, Germany, and Italy with their nuclear weapons?
The UN Treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons entered force on 22 January 2021, in spite of the opposition of the Empire. The Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1975 already prohibited the positioning of foreign nuclear arms in their territories of non-nuclear nations. Italy, of course, ratified the treaty but cannot enforce it, being a good lackey of the Empire.
By the way, in Spain, there are complaints about the high costs for the Spaniards of having US bases on their territories (theoretically without nuclear weapons). See "La OTAN en España y viceversa 3 bases, 150 millones de euros":
Disclaimer: in 1962 I was chief mate on a tanker of US ownership. I was happy to follow the orders of the US Navy in the possible fight against the Soviet Navy, but after 1991 everything should have changed, first of all, the occupation of Italy.
JE comments: The focus of the La Marea article is on NATO bases and the cost to Spain of NATO operations--not quite the same thing as US bases. Spain's share of the total NATO expenses are 5.99%. Doesn't that sound more or less fair--unless of course you agree with the ubiquitous graffiti I saw in Spain in my college days: OTAN no?
And any updates from/about Lithuania? Tom Hashimoto, are you out there?