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USA: "Russia will not take back Alaska". Medvedev, Russia: "Now war is inevitable [laughing]"

G e N Iuvinale

Comprehensively, RIA Novosti, Gazeta and many other Russian media reported that Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Russian Federal Security Council, posted a message on the social media platform X on the 22nd of local time, responding to the remarks made by the U.S. Department of State officials about Alaska. He quipped, "We've been waiting for it to return at any moment. Now war is inevitable."

Photo: On Oct. 18, 2023, President Xi Jinping held talks in the Great Hall of the People with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was in China for the Third BRI Forum.

Alaska was sold to the U.S. in 1867, according to a combination of media outlets, including Russia's Business Consulting Daily. According to a new report in the newspaper Gazeta, Medvedev first mentioned on X on the 22nd of this month that "a representative of the US State Department said that Russia will not take back Alaska, which was sold to the United States."

The report says Medvedev went on to say, "We have been waiting for it to return at any time. Now war is inevitable." The Russian news agency RIA Novosti said Medvedev also ended the sentence with a "crying with laughter" emoticon. Russia's Gazeta newspaper said Medvedev was joking when he said "war is inevitable."

Medvedev's message on X


Former U.S. colonel: Chinese and Russian fleet approaching Alaska for the first time in history, extremely "provocative".

The Wall Street Journal reported on August 5, 2023, that U.S. officials said a joint Russian-Chinese naval fleet was cruising off Alaska, and that 11 Russian and Chinese warships sailed near the Aleutian Islands without entering U.S. territorial waters and then left. In response, the U.S. military sent four destroyers and P-8 "Poseidon" patrol aircraft to track the movements of the Russian and Chinese fleet.

According to the report, some American experts pointed out that this was the "largest" cruising fleet to have approached the United States coast so far.

"This is the first time in history." Brent Sadler, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation and a retired U.S. Navy captain, also declared that given the current international situation, "this move is extremely provocative."

On July 26, 2023, China's Ministry of Defense announced that according to the annual cooperation plan between the Chinese and Russian armies, the naval fleets of the two countries will hold a joint maritime cruise in the western and northern waters of the Pacific Ocean in the near future.

For its part, the Russian Defense Ministry announced on July 28 that the Russian and Chinese naval ship formations began their third joint maritime cruise in the Pacific waters.

The Sea of Japan, Western Pacific, and North Pacific connect China to Arctic sea lanes, which are gaining strategic significance with global warming, so it is important for Russia and China to safeguard the security of these waters.

The US Northern Command itself also issued a statement, sending maritime and air forces in response.

A Pentagon official said the U.S. not only deployed the USS John McCain, USS Benford, USS Zhong Yun and USS John Finn, but also sent P-8 Poseidon patrol aircraft to track the movements of Chinese and Russian warships. Finn" four guided-missile destroyers, but also sent P-8 "Poseidon" patrol aircraft to track the movements of Chinese and Russian warships.

Chinese military expert Fu Qianshao told the Global Times that recent military interactions between China and Russia show the high level of military cooperation and mutual trust between the two countries.

Senator Dan Sullivan, Republican of Alaska, argued that the U.S. military'sresponse has been "robust," and encouraged the U.S. to send "more robust" messages in the future.

The Bering Sea has become a regularized area of joint cruises between China and Russia, why did the United States react strongly at this time, the "Chinese and Russian threat" in the Arctic region?

There are at least two main reasons behind this.

First, the United States has intensified its Arctic strategy, due to the increasingly invasive "China-Russia threat".

The Wall Street Journal pointed out that the joint cruise by the Chinese and Russian navies is part of the "great power competition" in the Arctic region, which is increasingly becoming a disputed territory.

In September 2022, the US Department of Defense announced the establishment of the Office of Arctic Strategy and Global Resilience. In October of that year, the US government released a new version of the Arctic National Strategy Report, which provides a strategic plan for “US entry into the Arctic” over the next 10 years.

The report describes growing strategic competition in the Arctic and says it is linked to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and China's increased efforts to gain influence in the region, as the United States seeks to be well positioned to compete effectively and manage tensions.

The report puts forward the "four pillars" of the United States strategy for the Arctic, with security at the top of the list and other "pillars" including climate change and environmental protection, sustainable economic development, and international cooperation and governance.

Since then, the U.S. military has accelerated its military deployment in the Arctic. Earlier this year, the U.S. Air Force deployed four F-35A stealth fighters to Thule Air Base in Greenland, a territory of Denmark, the first time the U.S. military deployed F-35 fighters to its northernmost base, and then participated in a series of joint military exercises.

In June of this year, the "Arctic Challenge-2023" exercise took place in Finland, Sweden and Norway. In order to participate in this military exercise, the United States aircraft carrier "Ford" arrived in the port of Oslo, the capital of Norway, which is the first time in 65 years that a United States aircraft carrier visited Norway.

On May 24, the aircraft carrier USS Ford appeared in the port of Oslo.

In addition to military expansion, the U.S. has also frequently "brushed the sense of presence" at the diplomatic level.

In February this year, President Joe Biden appointed Michael Sfraga (Michael Sfraga) as the first U.S. ambassador to the Arctic. Sfraga is considered an expert in Arctic geography and policy, and was the chairman of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission.

U.S. Secretary of State John Blinken announced in June, while in Norway for the NATO Foreign Ministers' meeting, that the U.S. will open a diplomatic post in the Norwegian Arctic city of Tromsø. Located 350 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, Tromsø is the largest port city in northern Norway, and the station will be the northernmost U.S. diplomatic presence in the world.

Second, the United States increasingly views the development of Sino-Russian relations as a threat to its hegemonic position.

The Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. officials believe that the Chinese and Russian navies are strengthening cooperation to "counter U.S. alliances with Japan, South Korea and other regional partners."

From July 5 to 21, the U.S. Air Force's Air Mobility Command organized the largest full-spectrum combat readiness exercise in history - "Mobility Guardian 23" - with the participation of the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and France, and more than 3,000 personnel. With more than 3,000 participants, the exercise area stretched from northern Australia to Hawaii, USA.

During the exercise, a senior U.S. Air Force official publicly stated that the existing air transportation capability is far from enough to carry out missions in the vast Indo-Pacific region. "To fight China, the U.S. Air Force needs a whole new transportation fleet consisting of a variety of unmanned aircraft, stealth aircraft and so on."

As soon as "Mobile Guardian 23" ended, from July 22 to August 4, the "Saber Saber-2023" joint military exercise led by the United States and Australia, known as the largest in history, was held in northern Australia.

China and Russia are expected to continue joint military exercises and patrols and to strengthen pragmatic cooperation, experts said.

China will deploy "dual-use listening devices" in the Arctic Ocean.

China has unequivocally declared its intention to become a "major polar power" by 2030.

Despite being 900 miles from the Arctic Circle, Beijing has always insisted on declaring itself an "Arctic neighboring state" (legally nonexistent and irrelevant as a classification) and is now preparing to deploy a network of listening devices in the Arctic Ocean beginning the militarization of the roof of the world.

The Arctic could see its first ice-free summer by 2030 if current projections were realistic

This has caused countries interested in the region, especially China and Russia also through partnerships, to increase the pace of their commercial, scientific and military efforts.

The South China Morning Post organization, reported on China seeking to install acoustic devices in the Arctic, after successfully testing and evaluating underwater listening ones.

The report cites a study published in the Chinese Journal of Polar Research that states, "Acoustic information collected by the planned large-scale listening network could be used in a wide range of applications, including "subglacial communication, navigation and positioning, target detection, and reconstruction of marine environmental parameters."

They are officially for scientific purposes, but all of these have dual purposes: civilian and military.

However, observers in the Arctic region believe that acoustic devices play an important role in understanding climate change in the Arctic because oceanographic data from the marine area, particularly from the deep ocean, are scarce.

But the data can also be used to track the movement of submarines and understand the marine ecosystem to chart new routes, both below and above the surface.

The Polar Research Institute of China is conducting the research.

"They carry several instruments, but the most important is a vector hydrophone with multiple sensors arranged in different orientations to measure both pressure and particle movement of sound waves."

The world above 66 degrees latitude has remained intractable for most of human existence, preventing large-scale trade. Explorers, speculators and scientists have long believed that rich resources and shipping lanes lurked beneath the Arctic ice and snow. But deadly cold, debilitating darkness and vast distances have hindered any exploitation of resources.

However, the unknown depths of the Arctic will soon be charted, making their navigation a possibility sooner rather than later.

The institute says that because the region is sensitive to climate change, sound pressure data can be used to track whales, seals and other sound-emitting sources. The horizontal and vertical vibration of water particles can help scientists understand marine conditions such as currents, waves and the seafloor.

The Shanghai-based institute is a central government agency that plans and coordinates China's polar activities.

On August 9, 2021, Chinese scientists and engineers installed the "polar subglacial surface acoustic monitoring buoy system" on a piece of floating ice in a remote area of the Arctic Ocean.

During the test, the institute used an American communications satellite service. Today, China's polar listening network would likely switch to Chinese BeiDou satellites for communication.

The militarization of the top of the world.

Countries around the world are scrambling to consolidate their foothold in the polar region as global warming is rapidly melting the polar ice caps, dramatically transforming the environment. Mutual distrust is pushing major world powers to strengthen their civil and military commitments in the Arctic.

“It's a complex situation. Militarization has increased on both sides: by the West and by Russia.”

The 10-year Arctic strategy released by the White House in 2022 calls for discouraging increased Russian and Chinese activity in the region.

Russia makes no secret of its interest in the region.

Since 2013, Moscow has renovated and activated hundreds of Soviet-era bases in the region.

The US National Strategy for the Arctic notes that Moscow is "deploying new upgraded coastal and air defense and submarine missile systems and increasing military exercises and training operations with a new equivalent combat command for the Arctic."

Russian military adventurism in Ukraine has also strained cooperation between the countries and Russia in the region. Moscow is far ahead in its goals to make shipping Arctic. It currently has 51 icebreakers compared to the United States' two functioning icebreakers.

China has also expressed interest in building a "polar silk road" in the region. It has doubled its investments in the area ostensibly to focus on extracting critical minerals and expanding its scientific activities.

But the strategic value of being able to traverse the region year-round has not escaped either China or Russia.

China's latest plan for underwater acoustic modeling can also be used for military navigation, oceanography, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and underwater stealth, anti-submarine warfare, targeting and delivery of weapons. The data from the devices is transmitted directly to the command center in China via satellites.

This will bring more tension to the region, which is fast becoming a contested location for global power plays due to its strategic location, natural resources and potential for new shipping routes.

The United States maintains more than 22,000 active duty troops in Alaska and also has a base in Greenland.

China invented the “near-Arctic country” designation to seek a greater role in Arctic governance. It is also possible that an ever-isolated Russia could become so indebted and desperate for an Arctic ally that it gives China a small piece of Arctic territory, thus facilitating admission to the Arctic Council.

The two nations that pose the greatest threat to the rules-based international order will be inseparable in that maritime theater as well.

Without direct access to the Arctic and with the West concerned about its presence in the region, China has been pushed closer to Russia to secure a seat at the table when Arctic policy is decided.

In December 2022, a U.S. Coast Guard cutter spotted the vessels during a routine patrol of the Bering Sea, north of Alaska: a guided missile cruiser and two smaller vessels from China, traveling in formation with four vessels from Russia.

The ships broke no rules or violated borders. But their appearance so close to the Arctic last fall still raised concerns in Washington.

Alaska has also become a hot spot for Chinese espionage.

In recent years, the US military and intelligence services have seen an increase in the number of cases of Chinese "tourists" claiming to be wandering around Alaska, a strategically important territory.

Alaska is critical to U.S. defense given its proximity to Russia, the threat of ballistic missiles from North Korea and, increasingly, China. Alaska is home to three large military bases — Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage and Fort Wainwright and Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks — along with several smaller installations. Once considered a military backwater, Alaska has seen the Pentagon funnel more resources and troops there in recent years as competition in the Arctic heats up.

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