Supplement to Geostrategic Pulse no. 223 - Features of the “Caucasus-2016” SCPE or Rehearsal of Russia's War against the USA, NATO and Ukraine

Features of the “Caucasus-2016” SCPE or Rehearsal of Russia's War against the USA, NATO and Ukraine
Yuriy Radkovets

The Russian Federation's main military-political event of 2016 was the “Caucasus-2016” strategic command-post exercise (SCPE) of the RF Armed Forces conducted by Moscow from September 5 to September 10 in order to demonstrate Russia's military power to the United States, NATO and Ukraine. This exercise was the final stage of the complex of activities of operational and combat trainings of the Russian Armed Forces, which had been taking place since the beginning of 2016 and ended in the so-called unannounced inspection of the RF Armed Forces in August 28-31 this year. Directly on the stage of preparations for the “Caucasus-2016” SCPE, in August this year, were conducted 12 special exercises by kinds of comprehensive support, including for the first time — by types of supporting Russia's Navy.

The active phase of the complex large-scale military actions grouped under the “Caucasus-2016” SCPE, which was conducted in the Southern Military District (MD) of the Russian Federation's Armed Forces, with the participation of units and formations of the Western and Central MDs, as well as of the Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN), Airborne Troops (VDV), Air-Space Forces (VKS) and the forces of the Black Sea, Northern and Baltic Fleets, were completed 10th September, 2016.

The political background for the “Caucasus-2016” SCPE was the actual resumption of the “Cold War” between Russia and the West after Russia's (V. Putin's regime's) armed aggression against Ukraine in February-April 2014. Recently, the most resonant manifestations of this war was the decision of the summits of the European Union and NATO in late June — early July 2016 on the extension of the political and economic sanctions imposed on Russia after its aggression against Ukraine, as well as building up the Alliance's military presence in Central and Eastern Europe.

Analysis of military and special events within the framework of the “Caucasus-2016” SCPE allows to draw a conclusion about Russia's mastering a scenario of a full-scale war against the USA/NATO and Ukraine on the Southwestern strategic direction of the Russian Federation, including with the use of nuclear weapons.

Within the framework of this scenario, we considered two possible reasons for the sides' possible turning from the “cold” to the “hot” (armed) confrontation, i.e., the beginning of a war, namely:

The first reason — creation of a land corridor to the Crimea and Trans-Dniester, and under favorable conditions — capturing the entire South-Eastern Ukraine (which, consequently, would cause the USA and NATO's interference with the situation on Ukraine's side) through Russia's large-scale operation on the Azov–Black Sea operational direction.

The second reason — Russia's response to “...actions of Ukraine, supported by the USA and NATO for the use of force to regain control over the Crimea and in response to Ukraine's subversive-terrorist activities in the Crimea.”


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