“A historic sham”: Zelensky’s speech to Greece’s parliament sparks national outrage, opens WWII-era wounds
By inviting an Azov fighter to address Greece’s parliament, Zelensky opened the country’s historic wounds and triggered angry demonstrations that have shaken its pro-US government.
by TJ Coles
Part 6 - “The culmination of efforts” by the US military to turn Greece into a hub of anti-Russian operations
After backing a coup in Ukraine in 2014, the US initiated Operation Atlantic Resolve: an EU-wide rotation of 7,000 personnel and weapons, including Apache, Blackhawk, and Chinook helicopters, Abrams, Bradley, and Paladin tanks, and a host of logistical equipment. Five years later, the US Army and Navy began dredging the Greek seaport in Alexandroupoli, in the east, in preparation for Atlantic Resolve. In 2021, Greece and other nations joined the US Special Operations Command’s International Division.
That year, the port in Alexandroupoli enabled “the movement of hundreds of U.S. Army equipment items for [Atlantic Resolve].” According to Pentagon’s Europe Command (EUCOM), the 598th Transportation Brigade, Surface Deployment and Distribution Command and the 21st Theater Sustainment Command offloaded “nearly 400 vehicles and containers … to include tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles and a variety of support equipment.” Col. Joshua D. Hirsch, Commander of the 598th said: “The current operation represents the culmination of all the efforts that the U.S. Army, along with our interagency partners at the U.S. Embassy, our allies in Greece and our industry partners, have put in place to leverage the capabilities of this tremendous port.”
At year’s end, Larissa Air Base in eastern Greece hosted F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft from the 336th Fighter Squadron, 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina, as part of Operation Castle Forge. The Operation is “designed to provide a dynamic, partnership-focused environment that raises the U.S. commitment to collective defense in the Black Sea region while enhancing interoperability alongside NATO allies.” Gen. Jeff Harrigian, Commander of the US Air Force Europe-AFRICA and NATO Allied Air Commander, described the area as an “absolutely critical region.”
In March, US Special Operations Europe tweeted that the 7th Special Forces Group and Naval Special Warfare Task Unit conducted a Joint Combined Exercise Training “with Greek Special Warfare units in Athens.”