War gaming, scheming and butting heads is all fun until somebody get hurt.
What people in our part of the western world are not aware of is that Eastern Europe and the rest of Russia is full of local clubs – talking civilians and local boys alike, all passionately dedicated to the art of tracking moving objects in space, acquiring it as a target in space and firing missile at it.
It is a tradition for most Russian speakers.
Most notable clubs are in Hungary, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania, Moldovia, Belarus, Lithuania, Georgia and other ex-Soviet Union border countries. Though not exclusive to a certain group, but it should be said that most gamers are Russian speakers. It is there own version of video game. And to them it just like any car racing club in the west.
Denied access to Soviet military grade equipment in those days, they created their own – a copy, based on Soviet tracking consoles. And kept on playing until the dissolution of the Soviet states, when they had access to a massive amount of “real things”
Note: “real thing” in this case does not exclude all types of radars, command and control stations, fixed and portable ordnance, including nukes and miniature nukes.
The truth is Ukraine is littered with all these – weapons and personnels. If in disagreement, then ask yourself, who has sold the most, made the most fortune out of selling, spreading and proliferating Soviet weapons world wide?
The answer is Ukraine. The Chinese carrier Varyag is an example. Pakistan’s main battle tanks is another.
A company of note is Yuzhmash, a defense factory in Eastern Ukraine. It inherited tons of top grade Soviet-era defense industry assets. They have been known to produce space rockets, satellites and missiles (big and small) as well as equipments for civilian use – and still do so today.
With them in Europe, Ukraine will easily become a premier power to reckon with. Without them (the Russian speaking defense industry and infrastructure) Ukraine will almost certainly be a country of vagrants with abundant ex- Soviet Afghan war veterans ( mostly in their late 40′s) off loaded to the care of the EU. – pension, benefit, healthcare and all.
The west have continue training and war gaming against Soviet 1957 era weapons – most of which came from Ukraine, Eastern Europe and North Korea. And for the sake of motherland Russia, the Russian speaking defense industry in eastern Ukraine kept the game going – bought enough time for Putin’s Russia to take the world on a jolly ride of training against old weapons while Russia re-org., develop and sourced out modern alternatives.
Putin’s Russia might have cut ties with old Soviet tech and inventory allowing Russian speaking eastern Ukraine industrialists to sell them off for a huge profit, but price of kinship between them, no. And that is what we are seeing now.
The great game is not supposed to be won, but fascinating, seeing the great gamers taken for a jolly ride.