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Global News Excerpt (w/c: 16JAN2022)

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SGT N. White:
Amid continued Finnish strife, Russian and American presidents reach agreement behind closed doors
Critics compare meeting to "Soviet-era" negotiations
by AAN World News, 16th of January 2022

On Wednesday, American President James Richardson diverted from a scheduled visit with the King of Jordan and instead made his way to Istanbul overnight at the request of Russian President Svetla Basuda. Richardson's diverture comes in the midst of the tense border conflict that has engaged both the Finnish state and American peacekeepers in a series of small-scale, high-intensity battles that have claimed hundreds of lives. Both President Richardson and Basuda, as well as a considerable number of other dignitaries including the NATO Secretary General and several representatives of other NATO states, are to be hosted and mediated by the Turkish foreign affairs ministry.

According to AAN sources in contact with the Kremlin's press release office, just before noon on Friday evening, an agreement was verbally reached to deescalate the conflict in the Baltics. Shortly after, the Russian Interior Ministry released a statement, authored by President Basuda herself, formally condemning any and all actions associated with so-called "splinter forces" acting in the name of the Russian state in Eastern Finland. This faction, which calls itself the "Nationalist Russian Union," has been widely accused of terrorizing Finnish civilians since June of 2021.

"Extremism and divided thinking will not be permitted in the ranks," the Russian president said. "Either the Russian army are one force, or none."

Promises of swift retaliation against any illegal armed formations not disbanded by Sunday were issued by the Russian government, and private security firms were urged not to partner with the sanctioned forces. These statements, as well as a formal demand for cease and desist, were read aloud on state-operated media broadcasts and disseminated through all available channels. A copy of the notice was also reportedly sent to the UN Security Council along with attached details outlining full justification.

Following public statements, the terms of the Russo-American memorandum were publicized, indicating that Russian interior troops and airmobile forces would be deployed in a series of pre-arranged strikes against splinter formations in Eastern Finland. The Finnish Armed Forces would accompany the Russian troops at all times. Thus, American peacekeepers, according to President Richardson, would be kept out of unnecessary danger and would fully cooperate to bring about rapid conclusion of hostility.

Russian President Basuda has long maintained that the Russian Federation is not responsible for the actions of the so-called "NRU" extremists that have rampaged the Vaalimaa border region over the past year. This change in public stance comes as a turning point in Russian policy towards this faction, which for much of 2021 went either poorly acknowledged or not at all. It also signals a change in momentum for Russo-American cooperation on Eastern European affairs.

Congressman Jack Carmack [I-VA], in an interview with AAN's Kyle Rower, went on record to denounce the action. Carmack claimed to be unconvinced by the memorandum, and stated that he would force the issue to rally support away from political opponents in the coming election.

"I can't wrap my mind around the play, here," Carmack said. "President Richardson knows better than this. They've been shooting our troops. Now we're going to handwave it with a treaty they don't have to follow, like something out of the Soviet days? Unconscionable for someone who's been on the Senate Armed Services Committee and served in Europe."

No official response from the NRU has been indicated as of 5 PM Saturday, though rumors out of Moscow suggest that at least some forces have fled Eastern Finland in response to the Russian Interior's lawful orders.


Return to Oviaukko Island, NATO-Russia Divide and Conquer
Russo-American Agreement to Deescalate Baltic Conflict defers to Russian Forces
by AAN World News, 16th of January 2022

As more details of the impromtu meeting between American President, James Richardson, and Russian President, Svetla Basuda, this past weekend become available, many on both sides of the aisle have taken the implications hard. Attended by delegates from NATO, Finland, and Russia, and moderated by the Turkish foreign ministry, a verbal agreement was reached when Russian President promised to shift her government's response to the armed faction along the Finnish-Russian border from containment to aggression with an intent to deescalate and return to pre-conflict status quo. In good faith, all Russian armed forces would be accompanied and tracked by Finnish and NATO delegates.

On the side of NATO, President Richardson conceded to a timeline of gradual troop level decreases in and around Finland over the next several months. As Finland is not part of NATO, there has been significant unease in Russian political discourse over having such a buildup of Western forces so close to many of their metropolises, such as St Petersburg. US engineers and NATO delegates will stay in theatre for rebuilding efforts and monitoring of Russian-Finnish relations. Additionally, the US will continue to conduct combat operations in and around Helinski and the Baltic archipelago.

Details on the various lines of effort and operational plans remain vague to the public, despite calls from Congress for transparency. No written agreement came from the meeting in order to avoid an automatic review by the American Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Military activity from Russia and the US has restarted within the early hours of Sunday after a brief hiatus during the worst of the northern winter season. Russian armoured battalions quickly moved into central and southern Finland from the Russian border, catching many of the beleagured and wary NRU troops off-guard and retreating to the West. Similarly, American troops have reengaged suspected NRU and SA strongholds on Oviaukko Island. The Island has been notorious since the downing of an American commercial flight last year. The flight held many embassy personnel and their families, and the missile was suspected to have been trafficked from the NRU to the SA.

The new strategy of divide and conquer between the Russian and American governments will likely hasten the end of the conflict that has festered as a result of the NRU's rebellion, but presents a myriad of opportunities for a spiraling escalation should any misunderstanding between the NATO and Russian armed forces get out of hand.


These published news excerpts are the fictional work of the S-2 Intelligence Team of the 506th IRRU.

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