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The Newsroom => International Defence and Security => Topic started by: S.M.A. on August 24, 2013, 20:24:36

Title: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on August 24, 2013, 20:24:36
Hopefully, this won't lead to another dispute similar to the 2009 one (http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,82744.msg796595.html#msg796595) between Ukraine and Russia which left Western European nations without gas.

Quote
Ukraine leader ignores Putin warning on EU path
Reuters
By Richard Balmforth

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich on Saturday re-affirmed his commitment to signing key agreements with the European Union, including on trade, despite a threat by Russia's Vladimir Putin of possible retaliatory measures.

Russia, the ex-Soviet republic's biggest trading partner, last week signaled growing alarm at Kiev's policy of European integration by conducting laborious extra customs checks on imports from Ukraine, causing delays at the border.


Though Russia ended the customs checks after a few days, Putin last Thursday added to fears in Kiev of a possible trade war by saying that a free trade deal between Ukraine and the EU might "squeeze out" Russian goods.

He warned that members of the Eurasian Customs Union linking Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan might have to take "protective measures" to defend their markets.

In an Independence Day speech on Saturday, Yanukovich, once regarded as being more Russia-friendly than his nationalist predecessor Viktor Yushchenko, pointedly ignored Putin's comments.


While pledging to deepen relations with Russia and other customs union members, he indicated that Kiev was committed to signing agreements on political association and free trade with the EU at a summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, in November.

"For Ukraine, association with the European Union must become an important stimulus for forming a modern European state," he declared.

"At the same time, we must preserve and continue deepening our relations (and) processes of integration with Russia, countries of the Eurasian community, other world leaders and new centers of economic development," he said.

Ukraine's economy relies heavily on exports of steel, coal, fuel and petroleum products, chemicals and grain. More than 60 percent of its exports go to other former Soviet republics, with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan the most important.

Ukrainian commentators see last week's customs checks as a warning shot by Moscow providing a foretaste of what can be expected if Ukraine opts for turning towards Europe and away from its former Soviet ally.


Yanukovich, backed by powerful and wealthy business figures who see greater prosperity in European markets, has resisted entreaties by Moscow to join the Customs Union - a move which would be incompatible with a free trade agreement with the EU.

But with Kiev still hopeful of securing a lower price for deliveries of costly Russian gas for the Ukrainian economy, Yanukovich needs to maintain good relations with Moscow.

He is sending his prime minister, Mykola Azarov, there on Monday to try to calm Russia's fears over Ukraine's moves towards Europe
.

In an Independence Day message of congratulations to Yanukovich, Putin on Saturday avoided any discord, expressing Russia's readiness to increase cooperation with Ukraine across the board.

It is far from a foregone conclusion that a political association agreement, including a free trade deal, will be signed in Vilnius in November even though Yanukovich wants it.

Many EU member states are disappointed at the pace of democratic reform in Ukraine since Yanukovich was elected in February 2010 and are pressing particularly for the release from jail of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, his fiercest political adversary.

Tymoshenko was jailed in late 2011 for seven years for abuse of office after what the EU says was a politically-motivated trial.


(Editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on September 02, 2013, 20:53:32
The Ukraine is in a difficult position, straddling the border between the Christian Civilization of Europe and the Orthadox Civiliation of Russia to use Samuel Huntington's terms. Perhaps the long term result might be the actual dismemberment of the Ukraine along the Dneiper River, with the western half becoming part of Europe while the eastern half becomes part of Russia.

Unless and until something like that happens, there will always be tension in the Ukraine as one half of the country is upset at the direction the other half wants to take (and the regional powers weigh in as well).
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on December 08, 2013, 15:12:47
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25292909

I don't think we've being paying enough attention to this situation.  I certainly haven't been hearing much about it. 

It seems that Ukraine is in the midst of a civil war in slow motion between the Moscow oriented horsemen-turned-coalminers on the east bank of the Dnieper, led by Yanukovych and the Western oriented farmers-turned-capitalists on the west bank.  The Orange Revolution / Civil War continues. (Or is it the Kulak War continues?)

Moscow has an emotional stake in this game.  Moscow's origins are as a Rus trading post among the Eastern Tribes at the edges of the Rus trading empire (kind of like York Factory).  The Rus are tightly connected to Sweden, Finland and Estonia - which share a common predilection with Ukraine for Blue and Gold as national colours. Moscow's ruling elements always considered themselves Rus, and have come to dominate the territory they call Russia.

But like many rulers in an effort to survive amongst their subjects they have essentially gone native.  They no longer share the same culture or value system as the people they claim to be.

The Dniepr represents the dividing line between the Rus heartland on the West Bank and the Steppes on the east bank.   For the Moscovites to lose the West Bank would leave them isolated from their "family" and adrift amongst people they don't really see as equals.

Short form, Moscow will fight for Kiev.  They may not be willing to put tanks on the street yet but they might if invited in after things turn violent.

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on December 08, 2013, 16:40:34
There's another option ...

The EU offered Ukraine a bad deal, a half deal and the Ukrainians are calling their bluff by pursuing ties with Moscow.

Like it or not, Ukraine is a very Eastern European country with close and deep economic ties with Russia ... it really doesn't want to break many of those links.

This could just be another round in a process ...
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on December 08, 2013, 17:52:59
Indeed it just could be a ploy....

But there is a demonstrated cultural divide across the Dniepr that defines Ukraine (u = beside, krai = edge, border - Link (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/Ukraine)) and an equally well demonstrated division in polities and personalities.

Yes the border region demonstrates a degree of schizophrenia but does that extend to towns or individuals?  Are the individuals on the west bank more eastern or western in their outlook?  Are the towns?

I know that a Ukrainian politician has to walk a tight-rope between east and west to maintain a peaceful society that can prosper.  But equally that divide can be exploited by those that might not wish to see the Ukraine prosper, at least not independently.

Either way I think it bears watching as another flashpoint - both for what it may mean for Russia (very little I believe) and what it may mean for Europe in general and the EU in particular (quite a lot due to the tottering economics and politics of that structure).
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on December 08, 2013, 18:19:57
Actually it means a great deal for Russia. The Ukraine is an area rich in natural resources, which Russia can pillage to keep the tottering Russian economy afloat for a while longer. It is also the pathway to markets in Europe, which is the main source of Russia's income to date.

As well, it provides domestic and international legitimacy to Russia's claims to be a Regional and Great Power. If the Ukraine were to go to the EU, this would be a massive psychological blow to the Russian people.

So the Russians have a huge vested interest in keeping the Ukraine in the Russian orbit, while the West should be looking very carefully into how to extract the Ukraine from the Russian orbit into the Western one. Because of the historical and social history of the Ukraine on the borderland between two of Huntinton's "Civilizations", the ultimate answer may not be to have the Ukraine go from one to the other at all, but have "two" Ukraines, split along the Dnieper river (although this sort of solution would be very long term and not without severe difficulties of its own).
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on December 08, 2013, 20:39:57
Fair comment Thuc - the Ukraine is a nice to have "hold" for the Muscovites but I don't know if I consider it critical at anything beyond the emotional level.

Is there anything that Russia can't do if it doesn't hold Ukraine?  It can communicate with Europe by going north around through Byelorussia and Poland, or through the Baltic.  It can't get out of the Baltic without permission. But equally it can't get out of the Black Sea without permission either.  There is nothing that Ukraine produces (to my knowledge) that Russia doesn't have or can't produce on its own. Conversely Ukraine, like the EU, appears to need Russian hydrocarbons.

If Russia fails to hold onto Ukraine's Crimea then that would be a problem for the Black Sea fleet - a source of immense national pride but limited strategic value - due to that permission thing.

If the Ukraine were to split along the Lower Dniepr that would leave Odessa in Ukrainian hands but the Crimea and the Sea of Azov to the Russians.

The Black Sea Nations would then be Russia, Georgia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine with Turkey holding the lion's share of the coast - as well as the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles - and back to that permission thing.

I don't see Ukraine as anything other than an emotional issue - and as a result all the more dangerous a flashpoint.

Fighters motivated by the heart will hang in a lot longer than those motivated by the head..... as we are seeing in Syria with the rising dominance of the "fanatic" Islamists.

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: pbi on December 12, 2013, 15:05:30
Actually it means a great deal for Russia. The Ukraine is an area rich in natural resources, which Russia can pillage to keep the tottering Russian economy afloat for a while longer...As well, it provides domestic and international legitimacy to Russia's claims to be a Regional and Great Power. If the Ukraine were to go to the EU, this would be a massive psychological blow to the Russian people....

Which is why we probably want to step carefully here. I look at Russia as a mortally sick but still formidable monster, one which becomes much more dangerous as it becomes more desperate. IMHO, Russians do not react well to "massive psychologicial blows", particularly when these are perceived as having been engineered by hostile, scheming foreigners--the same villains who wrecked the Good Old Days (or was that the "Gulag Days"..oh, well..) and brought in a "phony" democracy and bandit capitalism.

I doubt that it would be very hard for Putin to convince the average ignorant, nationalistic, xenophobic Russian man in the street that it was necessary to intervene in the Ukraine just as it was in Georgia and Chechniya.

The last two or three days in Ukraine have been interesting, and maybe even encouraging, but I am waiting for the backlash of the "Russian Ukraine" and its patons in Moscow.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on December 13, 2013, 09:22:26
It looks like the protesters may have forced a decision for the EU after all:

http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/12/world/europe/ukraine-protests/

Quote
Ukraine leader intends to sign EU deal, diplomat says
By Marie-Louise Gumuchian and Diana Magnay, CNN
updated 11:12 AM EST, Thu December 12, 2013

Ukraine battle over barricades
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
EU diplomat: Yanukovych "assured me ... he does intend to sign" deal on closer ties
Vladimir Putin hopes "all political forces ... will manage to come to an agreement"
Opposition dismisses Yanukovych's call for negotiations
Protesters remain in Kiev square, paralyze center of capital

(CNN) -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych intends to sign a deal on closer European Union ties, the bloc's top diplomat has said, after weeks of mass protests that have rattled the Eastern European country.

Ukrainian protesters, angry about the government's decision last month to spurn a free-trade agreement with the EU in favor of closer economic ties with Moscow, have stood their ground in Kiev's Independence Square, or Maidan, paralyzing the center of the capital.

They have remained there, undeterred by authorities' overnight crackdown early Wednesday in which police tore down barricades they had set up.
After meeting Yanukovych this week, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said he had assured her of his intent.

 Ukraine: 'How did things get so bad?' Russia gas reliance key in Ukraine The economics of Ukraine protests

"He indicated he still wishes to sign the Association Agreement with the European Union," she told CNN in Kiev on Wednesday.

"From our perspective, we think that's good for this country. But the present crisis that's happening right now needs to be resolved."
A statement from the EU in Brussels, Belgium, on Thursday quoting Ashton echoed this: "The President has assured me when I've met him that he does intend to sign the Association Agreement."

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Arbuzov traveled to Brussels on Thursday, where he met Stefan Fule, European commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, an EU spokesman in Kiev said.

In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin briefly touched on the situation in the Ukraine in his State of the Nation address to the Federal Assembly on Thursday.

"I very much hope that all political forces of the country will manage to come to an agreement in the interest of the Ukrainian people and solve all the piles of problems," he said.

Opposition dismisses talks

Pressed by Europe and the United States, Yanukovych on Wednesday offered to meet opposition leaders to find a way out of a crisis that blew up last month when thousands poured into the streets of the capital, demanding his resignation.

"I invite representatives of all political forces, priests, public figures to hold the nationwide dialogue," he said in a statement on the official presidency website.

The statement also called on the opposition not to "choose the path of confrontation and ultimatums."

However, opposition leaders have dismissed the offer of talks, insisting that Yanukovych must quit for favoring ties with Russia over the EU.
In a statement on her website, Yanukovych's jailed chief political opponent, Yulia Tymoshenko, urged Ukrainians to "stand up," and she repeated previous opposition calls for early elections.

U.S. 'disgust' at crackdown

Kiev's handling of the pro-EU protests has been met with stern responses from the European Union and United States.

Police moved into the main protest camp early Wednesday, using chainsaws to tear down the barriers, which had been manned by pro-Western demonstrators. Clashes led to reports of injuries on both sides.

"The United States expresses its disgust with the decision of Ukrainian authorities to meet the peaceful protest in ... Maidan Square with riot police, bulldozers, and batons, rather than with respect for democratic rights and human dignity," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a prepared statement.

"This response is neither acceptable, nor does it befit a democracy."

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters Wednesday that "all options" were under consideration in Ukraine, including sanctions.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said he was "deeply concerned" about the Ukraine government's decision to send in riot police against peaceful protesters.

Thousands of demonstrators have been camped out for days in Independence Square. They also continue to occupy Kiev's City Hall.

The scenes of protest are reminiscent of the uprising that swept Yanukovych from office as prime minister nine years ago during the Orange Revolution.

East vs. West

Ukraine is split between pro-European regions in the west of the country and a more Russia-oriented east.

Protesters say an EU agreement would open borders to trade and set the stage for modernization and inclusion. They accuse Yanukovych of preparing to take the country into a Moscow-led customs union.

Moscow has leverage that may have affected Yanukovych's decision last month to backpedal on the EU talks because Russia supplies Ukraine with natural gas.

The EU is also pressuring Yanukovych to free Tymoshenko, who has languished in jail for two years after being convicted of abuse of power in 2011. The EU and other critics decried the verdict as a sham.

The Orange Revolution that swept Yanukovych from office in 2004 also brought the pro-Western Tymoshenko to power.

At the rallies in Independence Square, protesters have carried her picture.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on January 02, 2014, 20:00:03
The situation is getting worse in the Ukraine. The Russians have essentially bribed the Ukrainian leadership to turn away from the West, how the West reacts will be critical in how the Ukrainian people proceed (the shameful actions of the then new Obama administration ignoring the "Green revolution" in Iran and allowing the hard liners to win when at little cost they could have derailed a serious foreign policy threat should be something to keep in mind):

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/367372/how-we-can-help-ukraine-robert-zubrin

Quote
How We Can Help Ukraine
The brave men and women at the barricades in Kiev are fighting for freedom and rule of law.
By Robert Zubrin
 
As the new year begins, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are manning barricades in the central square of Kiev, continuing their month-long demonstrations demanding a path towards freedom from the corrupt Yanukovych dictatorship. Imprisoned opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko has called upon the West to support the Ukrainian people by freezing the out-of-country bank accounts that Viktor Yanukovych and his cronies use to sock away their loot.

It’s a good idea. Sanctions of that sort won’t harm the Ukrainian people at all, but will hit the regime’s ruling criminals right where it will hurt them the most. Vladimir Putin might be interested in pursuing his adviser Alexander Dugin’s dream of constructing a fascist “Eurasian Union” stretching from the Rhine to Vladivostok and from the Arctic to the Persian Gulf, but Yanukovych and his pals are in it for the money. They just scored $15 billion filched from the Russian people’s National Welfare Fund, courtesy of Mr. Putin’s Duginite geopolitical delusions, but it will do them little good if there is no place where they can safely stash the cash.

A number of European leaders have voiced support for the sanctions plan. The question is, will the Obama administration join them in striking a forceful blow for human dignity and liberty?
This is a time when America should shine. But there is cause to doubt that it will. The reason is that in the midst of this crisis, the president has chosen to appoint as White House counsel Mr. John Podesta, a man whose brother, Anthony Podesta, is a high-level paid agent of the Yanukovych regime.

I know it sounds incredible, but there is no doubt about it whatsoever. According to Reuters, Anthony Podesta’s lobbying firm, the Podesta Group, has received over $900,000 in payments from the regime, using its European Center for a Modern Ukraine front organization as an intermediary. Other top Washington lobbyists are also serving the regime, including, to be nonpartisan about the matter, former Romney adviser Vin Weber. But Weber’s lack of principle is a private matter. Podesta has a direct connection to the president of the United States.

Americans need to wake up. The events unfolding in Ukraine right now are of global historic importance. The stakes are not just whether Ukraine will have a free-trade agreement with the European Union or the proposed Eurasian Union.  That is a substantial matter — Ukraine would do well to have free trade with Europe (as would Russia!) — but, as was the case with tea taxes in our own revolution, it is mainly a trigger. The real issue is whether a people has a government that reports to them, that rules in accordance with laws enacted with their consent, and that thus dignifies them with the rights and honors of citizenship, or whether human beings are to be subject to governments owned by oligarchical cliques, who use their misappropriated power to degrade and prey upon the ruled.

The Yanukovych regime is a mafia, which regularly threatens, imprisons, murders, or disappears political opponents as well as those whose possessions it covets. Dugin’s project is even worse: He envisions the creation of a Eurasian bloc, including not only the republics of the former Soviet Union, but also Germany, Central and Eastern Europe, Turkey, and Iran, united under the iron heel of a new totalitarian “fourth political theory” to oppose the West. According to Dugin, who bases most of his allegedly novel synthesis of Communism and Fascism on the geopolitical, legal, philosophical, and occult ideas of Nazi theorists Karl Haushofer, Rudolf Hess, Carl Schmitt, and Arthur Moeller van der Bruck, such a “Eurasist” continental block is needed to defeat the nefarious influence of the secret “Atlantic Order,” or “Atlantis” — the global mercantile maritime/cosmopolitan conspiracy whose liberal ideas have supposedly subverted traditional hierarchy-based landed societies since ancient times. “Liberalism,” says Dugin — meaning the whole Western consensus — “is an absolute evil. . . . Only a global crusade against the U.S., the West, globalization, and their political-ideological expression, liberalism, is capable of becoming an adequate response. . . . The American empire should be destroyed.”

It is to this dark program, which threatens not only the prospects for freedom in Ukraine and Russia, but the peace of the world, that Yanukovych has sold “his” country. It is against this program that the brave demonstrators in the Maidan are taking their stand.

They deserve America’s support. And, in such a crisis, America deserves a political leadership that does not include people who are taking silver from the other side.

— Robert Zubrin is president of Pioneer Energy and the author of Energy Victory. The paperback edition of his latest book, Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism, has just been published by Encounter Books.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on January 21, 2014, 21:41:12
More on the situation ion the Ukraine. As the Pro Russian side seems to have effectively won this round, their attempts to suppress the pro Western half of the Ukraine suggests that a prolonged period of instability is going to begin on Europe's borderlands:

http://www.the-american-interest.com/articles/2014/01/19/yanukovych-is-courting-disaster-in-ukraine/

Quote
Yanukovych is Courting Disaster in Ukraine
HANNAH THOBURN

Ukraine’s Victor Yanukovich is stuck between a rock and a hard place. How he responds to the latest violence could fatally deepen rifts in an already divided country.

Published on January 19, 2014
Pitched battles continue to rage in central Kiev after clashes erupted today between police and protestors. Gutted police vehicles burn and dozens have been injured after a huge protest against new government abuses and overreach turned violent.

The spark for this new wave of popular anger against the government was the Ukrainian parliament’s unceremonious adoption of a set of laws whose goal is to smother the anti-government protests that first emerged in November. Their effect may be the complete disintegration of the last 23 years worth of hard-fought democratic progress. As the Kyiv Post’s Katya Gorshchinskaya put it, “Welcome to the new police state. We call it Little Russia.”

And it is growing Russian influence—and the Ukrainian government’s attendant turn away from Western values—that triggered the start of protests in late November. When President Viktor Yanukovych declined to sign a long-planned Association Agreement with the European Union and opted instead for Russian money and suzerainty, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians took to streets around the country and pleaded for him to reconsider.  Instead of engaging in a dialogue with the protesters, Mr. Yanukovych has entrenched himself and chosen Putin’s methods for dispersing pesky disturbances.

The list of new crimes enumerated in the documents that some Ukrainians are calling “The Law on Dictatorship” is long and targets all segments of Ukraine’s protesting population. For example, participants in the collective driving protest movement “AutoMaidan” now face a two-year suspension of their licenses and confiscation of their vehicles for driving a car that “moves in a column of more than five.”

The new laws also take a page from recent Putin initiatives and target civil society organizations. Now NGOs that receive foreign funding must register as “foreign agents” within three months or be dissolved. They will also have to pay an 18% income tax and submit to a strict reporting regime. Those that are branded as “extremist” will be closed.

Defamation has been re-criminalized and “extremist activity”—which is poorly and broadly defined—can be punished by large fines and up to three years in prison. Online media outlets that have flourished throughout the protests will now have to contend with requirements to register themselves as “information agencies” and a very real possibility that the state will order internet providers to block their websites.

Those who have stood on Kiev’s central Independence Square for the last two months are threatened with 15 days in prison for wearing masks or helmets that are similar to those worn by law enforcement. Bullhorns are also banned. Additional prison sentences have been established for erecting tents or stages without permission from the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

By their nature, protests are an attention-seeking instrument and the Ukrainian protests have been the focus of much media interest. But Mr. Yanukovych is counting on the silent portion of the country to support him in quelling dissent, quieting the bothersome protests and returning Ukraine to some semblance of stability (95 percent of Ukrainians have called the country’s political situation “unstable” or “explosive”). His gamble is well-founded. Polling from late December shows that while 43% of Ukrainians do want to join the European Union now (13 points higher than any other option), fully 50% of Ukrainians do not support the Kiev protests. That latter statistic marks a turnaround in Ukraine’s tolerance for the protest—only weeks prior a majority had supported them. More significantly, only 31% of Ukrainians believe that the outcome of the protests will be positive for Ukraine.

Today’s violent protests may only strengthen ordinary Ukrainians’ desire to see an end to the bedlam. Many are only too happy to trade freedoms that they rarely use for peace and quiet. Cognizant that, in a nation where stability sells, events like today’s do not acquit the opposition forces well, the movement’s leaders have called on protestors to refrain from violence. They warn that many of the angry young men in the street are provocateurs paid by Yanukovych’s party to create chaos and turn the tide of public opinion fully against the protest movement.

But Mr. Yanukovych must also be careful in determining his next steps. Were he to aggressively enforce the new legislations or authorize brutality towards the protestors, he is courting the danger of swinging public opinion against him and seeing larger, angrier and more energized crowds emerge. As was demonstrated twice over the past weeks, the use of violence towards the protestors in Kiev has had a maximizing effect on the size and scope of the protesting crowds. Further violence or police crackdowns on protest activities will only exacerbate the situation.

Internal politics also complicate Yanukovych’s options. A large percentage of Ukrainians hold Mr. Yanukovych personally responsible for solving the current political crisis, but his choosing one side over the other will polarize this already divided country more than it has been before. Yanukovych’s political base is in eastern Ukraine, where the majority speak Russian and identify strongly with Russia. Only 17 percent of eastern Ukrainians approve of the protest movement and would be only too happy to see their president quash it in whatever manner he deems necessary. Meanwhile, 80 percent of citizens in the western and more European-leaning part of the country approve of the protest movement and disapprove of the president’s recent decisions. They did not vote for him and will not support him.

Viktor Yanukovych is thus stuck between a rock and a hard place. He needs Russian money and low gas prices—and the political influence that comes along with it—to keep Ukraine’s struggling economy afloat and his supporters in eastern Ukraine satisfied. But the visceral anger shown by many other of Ukraine’s citizens at his original decision to reject the European Union, last week’s move against basic civil liberties, and ever-rising levels of corruption may create an irreparable rift in the fabric of an already divided country.

Hannah Thoburn is a Eurasia analyst based in Washington, DC whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Atlantic and The National Interest.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on January 24, 2014, 22:06:13
Assuming things do go south in the Ukraine, there is little doubt that the Russians will become embroiled in it, and a civil war raging on the doorstep of Europe isn't likely to make for economic stability in the EUZone either...

http://www.businessweek.com/printer/articles/666589?type=bloomberg

Quote
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-01-24/ukraine-warned-of-civil-war-by-eu-as-unrest-spreads-to-regions
Ukrainian Policeman Shot Dead as Foreign Mediation Urged

By Daryna Krasnolutska, Ott Ummelas and Volodymyr Verbyany January 24, 2014
A Ukrainian policeman was shot dead in the capital as violence resumed after the premier and the opposition called for foreign mediation to stem the unrest.

A 27-year-old police officer was found shortly before midnight in Kiev with a gunshot would to the head, the Interior Ministry said on its website. Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said yesterday that he’s speaking to Swiss President Didier Burkhalter, while opposition leader Vitali Klitschko urged an international presence at talks that have so far failed to quell the anti-government protests.

President Viktor Yanukovych is struggling to stem rallies against his November snub of a European Union cooperation deal, with police crackdowns fanning people’s anger. Four days of clashes left as many as six dead and 1,250 injured as laws to stem the protests took effect and police got special powers to quell the demonstrations. Opposition politicians have been frustrated in their demands for snap elections.

“The situation in Ukraine is very explosive,” billionaire ex-Economy Minister Petro Poroshenko, who backs the protest movement, said yesterday from Davos, Switzerland. “If the government behaves as if nothing is happening in the country, it will considerably complicate the search for a way out.”

The yield on government bonds due 2023 rose 19 basis points yesterday to 9.559 percent, advancing for a fifth straight day. The hryvnia was 0.1 percent higher at 8.435 per dollar, having declined by 0.7 percent in the previous session.

New Clashes

Clashes resumed shortly after 10 p.m. near parliament as protesters threw Molotov cocktails and rocks and police responded with rubber bullets and stun grenades. The Interior Ministry said witnesses heard shots and saw two people running away before the policeman’s body was discovered.

Azarov said Switzerland’s tradition of neutrality makes it a candidate to assist in negotiations with the opposition, who want snap elections and the repeal of the anti-protest laws. Klitschko said in a statement that Yanukovych wasn’t using “common sense” during their talks.

“Top Swiss officials haven’t made any comments that could be considered biased,” Azarov said yesterday in Davos. “Switzerland is a neutral country that currently chairs the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. OSCE help is very important in resolving of the conflict.”

The Swiss Foreign Ministry said by e-mail that Burkhalter offered Azarov the OSCE’s “support and expertise” to search for ways out of the crisis.

Building Seizures

While this week’s escalation in the protest movement occurred in Kiev, the focus has now switched to the regions as buildings of governors picked by Yanukovych were taken over by activists in the western cities of Lviv, Ternopil, Rivne, Lutsk, Ivano-Frankivsk and Khmelnytskyi.

Activists also targeted administrative offices in at least five more of the nation’s 24 regions, smashing their way in when police offered resistance, Ukrainian 5 TV reported. Police detained 58 protesters in the Cherkasy region for attempting a takeover, the Interior Ministry said.

European Union justice chief Viviane Reding warned of the risk of civil war, CNBC reported.

As the unrest spread, Yanukovych made personnel changes. He named Andriy Klyuyev as head of his administration, promoting the Security Council chief protesters have called on to resign after demonstrators were injured in 2012 clashes with police.

Yanukovych Exit

Even so, the president ceded some ground, promising a cabinet shuffle and changes to the anti-rally bill at an emergency parliament session called for Jan. 28. Klitschko told reporters later that protesters won’t be satisfied until the president resigns.

Parliament will also consider a no-confidence motion against the government next week, Svoboda party head Oleh Tyahnybok said Jan. 23 after hours of talks with Yanukovych. Crowds on Independence Square raged at the lack of concessions won by opposition politicians, whistling as Tyahnybok spoke.

As part of a deal struck two days ago, three of the 103 activists who’ve been detained were freed yesterday morning. It’s unclear when crisis negotiations will resume, Natalia Lysova, spokeswoman for jailed ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko’s party, said yesterday by phone.

“I don’t see talks leading to anything -- it’s been tried so many times,” said Ivan, a 20-year-old in an army helmet who’s been at Independence Square for a month and who declined to give his last name. “We’ll achieve something once the president resigns.”

Ministry Occupied

Demonstrators seized the Agriculture Ministry building near their tent camp yesterday to shelter from temperatures of minus 18 degrees Celsius (zero Fahrenheit) and set up a first-aid point, Interfax reported.

The protests that have gripped Kiev since last year escalated this week with the first deaths. Police are investigating the discovery Jan. 22 of two bodies with gunshot wounds. Live ammunition caused the deaths, the Interior Ministry said Jan. 23, denying its officers fired the bullets.

The opposition says five people have died, including one who fell off a colonnade after being beaten and another who was identified by his relatives after police found a body outside Kiev with signs of torture. A thousand people have been injured, while an instigator of car protests that targeted officials’ homes is missing, activists say. About 250 policemen have sought medical help, the Interior Ministry said.

EU officials, who’ve said they may reassess their relations with Ukraine after the violence, are seeking to broker a peace deal in Kiev. Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule met Yanukovych and opposition yesterday, while Catherine Ashton, the bloc’s foreign-policy chief, is due. Jan. 30-31.

Sitting at Independence Square next to an old metal barrel with burning firewood, Oleksandr, a 54-year-old electrician from Kamyanets-Podilsky in western Ukraine who declined to give his last name, urged a negotiated end to the crisis.

“I don’t think opposition leaders should change what they’re doing -- it’s better to reach our goals through peaceful talks,” he said. “We’re all humans, we’re all Ukrainians, even though there are good and bad people on both sides.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Daryna Krasnolutska in Kiev at dkrasnolutsk@bloomberg.net; Ott Ummelas in Kiev at oummelas@bloomberg.net; Volodymyr Verbyany in Kiev at vverbyany1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

The Russians occupying the Ukraine to the East bank of the Dneiper River formalizes the existing "civilizational" divisions, crossing the Dneiper is really an invasion of Europe, using force to apply "Slavic" or Orthadox" civilizational values on a "European" population.

Edit to add this interesting piece, which compares the situation in the Ukraine with the "Social Wars" fought by the Res Publica Roma against its allied states in Italy:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/01/24/ukraine-and-the-social-war/

Quote
Ukraine and the “Social War”
BY DAVID POST
January 24 at 11:27 am

For three years, beginning in 91 B.C., the Roman Republic was convulsed by the “Social War” – the war between Rome and its “Socii” (allies).   These Allies were semi-independent states on the Italian peninsula which had treaty relationships with Rome, under which Rome granted them a large degree of  (indeed, almost total) autonomy in their local affairs, in return for their promise to provide Rome with soldiers when needed.  Many of these treaties had been in place for hundreds of years.

Two things make this war of particular interest.  The first is how brutal and bloody it was.  The Allies knew how to fight just like, and as well as, the Romans; they had formed the bulk of the Roman army for many, many years, and they understood all too well the many secrets of the mighty Roman military machine.  So the war matched two armies that were basically carbon copies of one another, and the slaughter was prodigious because no one could gain the upper hand.

But even more astonishing, the Allies’ demand was simple — they were not fighting to throw off Roman domination and the yoke of the foreign power, they were fighting to get into, and under the umbrella of, Rome.  They wanted full Roman citizenship – to which they believed they were entitled, given the services they had performed for Rome in helping it to conquer the entire Mediterranean basin.  Fighting to get in, rather than to get out; maybe I’m just not that well-informed, but I can’t think of another war like it in history.

[And after three years of more-or-less stalemated military action, the allies largely prevailed and they became part of Rome, eligible for electing Rome's officers and legislators, and for the land and other benefits distributed to Roman citizens]

I have long thought that it is the crowning achievement, in a way, of the Roman Republic – that people wanted so much to become Roman citizens that they would die in the cause.

I thought of this when reading about the terrible events in Ukraine, which have too many earmarks of a catastrophe waiting to happen.  The “rebels” in the streets of Kiev want in, also – to “Europe,” and all that entails.  And though there are many things about the way Europe governs itself and manages its affairs that one can be critical of, it is something of a tribute to its current incarnation that it means as much as it does to the demonstrators.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Robert0288 on January 25, 2014, 02:02:31
I have a bad feeling that Ukraine is going to get much worse before it gets better.  Oh and add another dimension to this.  While the article mentioned that Ukraine needed Russian gas and oil, nowhere did it say that at any time Russia can cut off petroleum exports like they did in 2006. 
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on January 25, 2014, 12:32:28
When you reach the stage where 43% of the population is adamant about a position (must join the EU) and are apparently willing to act in support of that position, or at least not oppose those so acting, the fact that 50% of the population would prefer it all just went away is irrelevant.

Northern Ireland, the American Revolution, even Quebec separatism, were all sustained with much lower levels of support.

Ukraine is back to its unfortunate historic geopolitical situation - the wildlands between competing tribes.  (Poland and Lithuania have shared much of that same dynamic).
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on January 25, 2014, 14:21:23
There is no easy solution here.  Russia has for years been flooding the Eastern parts of the Ukraine with Russian émigrés to further protect and justify its strategic hold on the Ukrainian Black Sea coast.  Don't forget that the Russian Black Sea Fleet home ports are in the Ukraine.  Russia has some very serious Strategic interests here.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on January 25, 2014, 19:49:30
I have a bad feeling that Ukraine is going to get much worse before it gets better.  Oh and add another dimension to this.  While the article mentioned that Ukraine needed Russian gas and oil, nowhere did it say that at any time Russia can cut off petroleum exports like they did in 2006.

Things are a bit different now. Fracking is a demonstrated and mature technology. While the Greens may have a large influence on European politics, even they are not going to coonvince Europeans to freeze in the dark if an alternative exists (and Europe has "frackable" reserves of natural gas). Giant new gas fields off the coasts of Cyprus and Israel are being developed even now, and the United States can export NG as well. I rather doubt the Europeans would say "no" to a pipeline that delivered Albertan oil to the East Coast for export either. 

Some of these developments were actually in response to the last round of Russian thuggishness, but as most people know, oil and gas are fungable commodities, and people will go to where they can get their energy fix. Breaking the monopoly has the secondary effect of reducing one of the largest sources of cash flow to the Russian State, and hampers any number of initiatives that Putin and co. would like to take.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on February 03, 2014, 20:26:35
Seems the Ukrainian military is just as divided as the country. The Ukraine seems to be divided (http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/divided-ukraine-roiled-by-protest-love-hate-with-mother-russia-1.2457433) between those in the western part of the country (as in west of the Dnepr river which cuts the country in half) who support moving closer to the EU, while those in the industrial east have traditionally been closer to Russia. 

The article's writer below seems to say that the Ukrainian enlisted soldiers seem to support the west, while the officers seem to support the east/Russia/Yanukovych.

Defense News (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140203/DEFREG01/302030027/Analysts-Army-Loyalties-Divided-Ukraine-Protests)

Quote

Analysts: Army Loyalties Divided On Ukraine Protests
Feb. 3, 2014 - 03:24PM   |   By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESS

KIEV — Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych is unlikely to move the army against protesters despite opposition warnings about an imminent intervention — mainly because the loyalty of rank-and-file soldiers could be in doubt, analysts said.

“The core of the army is made up of young people who grew up in an independent Ukraine,” said Valentyn Badrak, director of the Research Centre for the Army, Demilitarisation and Disarmament in Kiev.

“They are members of a younger generation that feels very close to the aspirations of the Maidan,” or Independence Square in the center of Kiev, the epicenter of Ukraine’s protest movement, Badrak told AFP.


“The high command is made up mostly of officers and generals who grew up in Soviet times and they have a certain discipline, they are ready to obey any order,” he said.

But lower ranks “feel the financial and social difficulties” in Ukraine, he said.

The opposition has been warning for weeks that Yanukovych could be preparing to impose emergency rule by calling the army into the streets, prompting international concern.

The prospect appeared to become more concrete last Friday when the army asked Yanukovych to take “urgent measures” to end a two-month crisis that has claimed at least four lives and left parts of central Kiev looking like a war zone.


The 63-year-old president has battled protests sparked by his decision to ditch key economic and political agreements with the European Union.

The pro-EU protest movement has turned into an all-out drive to oust Yanukovych.

'In a pitiful state'

Since the country’s 1991 independence from the Soviet Union, the army has always remained neutral.

The military remained above the fray during the pro-democracy 2004 “Orange Revolution” which brought pro-Western opposition leaders to power in a confrontation over an election that was fraudulently won by Yanukovych.

Badrak said imposing emergency rule “will be virtually impossible” because of low morale in a country in which military spending has been a low priority.

“The army is in a pitiful state. An officer with the rank of lieutenant colonel earns as much as a cashier at a supermarket” — or around €300 ($405) a month, he said.

“And spending keeps going down,” he said.

Sergiy Zgurets, another military expert, said the army’s call on Yanukovych was only “a show of loyalty” to the president.

In fact “the military is divided,” he said.

The Ukrainian military’s chief-of-staff, General Volodymyr Zamana, struck a more conciliatory tone on Saturday saying that “no one has the right to use the armed forces to limit the rights of citizens.”


Defence Minister Pavlo Lebedev also said that “a crushing majority of 87 percent” of the army supported Yanukovych — a statement that points to at least some dissent.

“That means 13 percent of the army do not support hardline methods and military action to end the protests,” former Defence Minister Anatoliy Grytsenko, who is now an opposition politician, told AFP.

“Even taking into account the pressure from the ‘tsar,’ this is a good result,” he said.

Grytsenko also said that a telegram has been going round army units asking them to pledge loyalty to Yanukovych.

“I know that despite the difficulty of the situation there are honest officers in the armed forces who are not signing it.

“I also know of some cases in which the high command is sacking them.”



Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on February 05, 2014, 11:19:53
Somehow I just can't imagine the Ukraine being an EU member despite the amount of support for it in the western part of the country and among Ukrainian youth. Unless the country splits.

Reuters (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/39-time-side-39-says-eu-showdown-over-113852090.html)

Quote

'Time is on our side', says EU in showdown over Ukraine

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - If there is a consistent message the European Union has tried to send since Ukraine rejected a trade deal last November in favor of stronger ties with Moscow, it is that it does not want to end up in a tug-of-war with Russia.

But whether the EU likes it or not, that is precisely what has come to pass and the future of Ukraine - its 46 million people and its faltering economy - hangs in the balance.

In a speech to a security conference in Munich last weekend, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy laid out the nature of the struggle in simple terms.

The EU, he said, had offered Ukraine a free trade and association agreement to help it build bridges with its neighbors to the west. That offer still stood, as long as the conditions agreed between Kiev and Brussels were met.

"Some people think Europeans are naive, that we prefer carrots to sticks," Van Rompuy told the conference, whose delegates included Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and a leader of Ukraine's opposition movement.

"Now I am not saying that we cannot sometimes play our hand more strongly. But surely it is a bad idea to let foul play undercut the very values that constitute our power of attraction in the first place - a power of attraction that brought down the Berlin Wall," he said.

"Our biggest carrot is our way of life; our biggest stick: a closed door."


ARM WRESTLE

The targets of Van Rompuy's words, without being named, were Russia's Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, who sparked the crisis by abruptly turning his back on an EU free trade deal and throwing his lot in with Moscow.

Yanukovich's security forces have cracked down on pro-EU demonstrators - at least five protesters have been killed - while Russia has enticed Kiev away from the EU with the promise of $15 billion in cheap loans and cut-price gas.

Some diplomats expected the EU to wash its hands and walk away. It cannot match Russia's inducements on either the financial or energy-security front. Instead, it appears to be playing a long game.

After EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton was quoted as saying Brussels and Washington were working on assistance for Kiev, EU officials were quick to say there was no new plan apart from the promise of financial help that Brussels had held out if it signed the trade agreement.

Even without the impact of the last four years of financial crisis, EU leaders are not about to open their coffers and disburse huge sums to Ukraine. It was hard enough to do so for Greece, Portugal and Ireland.

And, dependent on Russian energy themselves, EU member states cannot hope to provide Kiev with the gas it needs, especially as much of it flows to them via Ukraine.

What Europe has to offer is more conceptual: rule of law, democratic accountability, civil liberties and long-term trade and investment, as long as certain objectives are met.

Next to the sugar rush of money and cheap gas, it may not seem particularly attractive, especially given the costs Ukraine faces if it is ever to meet EU standards on judicial, industrial and environmental reform.

But as Van Rompuy pointed out, the course of history is not decided in a matter of weeks or months. The Berlin Wall may have collapsed almost overnight and the Soviet Union crumbled quickly, but those moments were years in the making.

"Sometimes in the heat of events, in the stream of declarations and tweets, we lose sight of the time factor," he told the Munich conference.

"We frantically look at hours and days, forgetting the years and decades. We lose sight of slow evolutions, of subtle trends. Subtler than the 'decline of the West' or the 'rise of the Rest'."

Moscow views Ukraine as a heartland of Russian culture and identity, a country that should never have left the Soviet Union. Russia remains Ukraine's biggest trading partner.

Putin wants Ukraine to join his Eurasian Union, a new economic and trade bloc he hopes will some day rival the EU. In that regard, he sees Brussels' overtures to Kiev as a threat.

In an arm-wrestle with the EU, Russia has the muscle. But in a long-run contest involving a way of life and integration with the global economy, the EU hopes it has a persuasive case - and one it says is not to the detriment of Russia.


"The offer is still there," Van Rompuy said of the agreement Yanukovich rejected last year. "We know time is on our side. The future of Ukraine belongs with the European Union."

(Editing by Mike Peacock)



Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on February 07, 2014, 09:30:10
Sigh. So much for her being a diplomat if she can't contain herself... 

Agence-France Presse via the Times of India (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Washington-red-faced-after-top-US-diplomat-caught-on-tape-saying-f-the-EU/articleshow/30001169.cms)

Quote

'F*** THE EU' | Americans red-faced over top diplomat's leaked phone call

By:  Agence France-Presse
 February 7, 2014 7:22 PM

KIEV - The United States tried to contain fallout Friday from a leaked phone conversation in which a top diplomat uses the "f-word" regarding the European Union's handling of the crisis in Ukraine.

The embarrassing diplomatic incident comes as Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych was due to hold crisis talks with Russian counterpart and ally Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Washington and Brussels have engaged in a diplomatic standoff with Kiev and Moscow over mass protests that erupted in Ukraine in November when Yanukovych rejected a pact with the EU in favour of closer ties with former Soviet master Russia.

But the leaked phone call appears to reveal US frustration with the EU over the handling of the long-running crisis.

Washington's new top diplomat for Europe, Victoria Nuland, apologized Thursday for her comments.

"F*** the EU," Nuland says in what appeared to be a recent phone call with US ambassador to Kiev, Geoff Pyatt, which was somehow intercepted and uploaded onto YouTube accompanied by Russian captions.

'New low in Russian tradecraft'

The US State Department was left fuming after the leak, pointing the finger at Russia for allegedly bugging the diplomats' phones.

"Certainly we think this is a new low in Russian tradecraft," said spokeswoman Jen Psaki, who did not dispute the authenticity of the call.


In the recording, which went viral after being re-posted by an aide to Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, Nuland and Pyatt discuss frankly which opposition figures should go into the new Ukrainian government.

"That would be great I think to help glue this thing and have the UN glue it and you know, frig the EU," Nuland says, in apparent frustration at policy differences.

The conversation appeared to have been held shortly after Yanukovych accepted his pro-Russian government's resignation on January 28.

Nuland, currently in Kiev, is expected to speak with the media later Friday.

State Department spokeswoman Psaki said Nuland had already apologised to her counterparts in Brussels, who refused to be drawn into the controversy on Friday.

"The EU is engaged in helping the people of Ukraine through the current political crisis. We don't comment on leaked alleged telephone conversations," said a spokeswoman for EU foreign affairs head Catherine Ashton, refusing further comment.

Russia also had no official reaction to the call while the aide who posted it, Dmitry Loskutov, said that he was browsing the Internet when he saw it on his "friend's feed in a social network."

The leak came as diplomatic tensions over Ukraine flared between the two former Cold War foes, with Putin's economic adviser Sergei Glazyev accusing Washington of funding the protesters and even supplying them with ammunition.

"According to our information, American sources spend $20 million a week on financing the opposition and rebels, including on weapons," Glazyev, a hawkish advisor viewed as the Kremlin pointman on Ukraine told the Ukrainian edition of Kommersant newspaper shortly before the leak went viral.

Time ticking for Ukraine's economy

In Russia's Black Sea city of Sochi, Yanukovych was expected to discuss a critical bailout deal for his crisis-hit country.

In December, Putin promised Yanukovych the $15 billion bailout but said last week the financing would not be released in full until the formation of a new government in Kiev.

Only $3 billion has so far been transferred to Ukraine.

Yanukovych flew to Sochi shortly after naming his close ally Sergiy Arbuzov as acting prime minister and is likely to try to convince Moscow that the government is still committed to the terms of the bailout.

Meanwhile a prominent Ukrainian activist who was kidnapped, tortured and left for dead last month said he believed Russian special forces were behind the ordeal.

Dmytro Bulatov, who was dumped in a forest outside Kiev in late January, said his captors were most interested in his alleged connections to the United States.

"I told them that the American ambassador had given me $50,000," said Bulatov, the organiser of protest group Automaidan. "It was so scary, it was so painful that I asked them to kill me. I lied because I could not stand the pain."

"I had a thought that they were Russian special forces" because of the way they spoke and "professionally" inflicted wounds, he said in a press-conference in Vilnius.



Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: pbi on February 07, 2014, 18:28:55
Seems the Ukrainian military is just as divided as the country. The Ukraine seems to be divided (http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/divided-ukraine-roiled-by-protest-love-hate-with-mother-russia-1.2457433) between those in the western part of the country (as in west of the Dnepr river which cuts the country in half) who support moving closer to the EU, while those in the industrial east have traditionally been closer to Russia. 

The article's writer below seems to say that the Ukrainian enlisted soldiers seem to support the west, while the officers seem to support the east/Russia/Yanukovych.

Defense News (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140203/DEFREG01/302030027/Analysts-Army-Loyalties-Divided-Ukraine-Protests)

I think this is an inherent danger in the armies of authoritarian states (as distinct from the police and security services, which are usually more politically reliable). It gets worse in conscripted armies (although the Ukrainian Army recently moved to an all volunteer force). The officer class are probably politically indoctrinated and reliable, but the lower NCOs and privates are probably less so., and may actively identify with the protestors.

This probably explains why most authoritarian states have some kind of intermediate or heavy gendarmerie force that can counterbalance the Army if needed. (Think of the SS, or the KGB ground forces)

IIRC , during the Solidarity crisis in Poland, the Communist govt relied wholly on the police because the conscript Army was unreliable.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on February 07, 2014, 19:33:56
(Think of the SS, or the KGB ground forces)

Or even China's 1.5 million strong People's Armed Police (PAP) (http://forums.navy.ca/forums/index.php/topic,2941.msg1239095.html#msg1239095), who have their Mi8 helos and APCs as well. Their main mission is to crush all dissent or internal threats to the Chinese Communist Party, such as the unrest in Xinjiang and Tibet. (even if the regular Chinese military- the PLA- also does these missions as well as respond to external threats)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: 57Chevy on February 18, 2014, 18:12:38
                                            Articles and videos are shared with provisions of The Copyright Act

(video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hvds2AIiWLA&feature=youtu.be

(video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFUYcKo2g_k



http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2561895/Protesters-clash-police-Ukraines-capital.html

Ukraine's political crisis took a deadly turn today, as at least 14 people, including six police officers, were reported to have been killed with dozens more injured in violent clashes between protesters and police outside Ukraine's parliament.

In the worst day since the demonstrations erupted 12 weeks ago, protesters on Independence Square responded to riot police with petrol bombs, fireworks and stones.

As darkness fell, opposition leaders warned that security forces may be preparing to clear a sprawling protest tent camp on Kiev's Independence Square. Law enforcement agencies vowed to bring order to the streets and shut down subway stations in the capital.

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT




Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on February 18, 2014, 18:38:34
Note to self:

Testudo ineffective against Molotovs.

I can't help feel sorry for the poor buggers with the shields.  The other side seems to equipped by the same Quartermaster.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on February 19, 2014, 11:22:15
Image of a priest standing between police and protestors.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BgNxW67IEAAZ0K7.jpg)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: 57Chevy on February 19, 2014, 19:14:48
An important and interesting short history

Ukraine:
 The Most important Soviet  Republic
 Nasser Qaedi   February, 1998

Ukraine:
'The Bread Basket of Europe'
Jessica Dean, February, 1998

http://econc10.bu.edu/economic_systems/NatIdentity/FSU/Ukraine/bread_basket.htm

                                         Combined articles at link are shared with provisions of The Copyright Act
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on February 20, 2014, 18:30:10
67 dead and 562 wounded (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304275304579394301247815432)

Video Link (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10652821/Ukraine-crisis-Deadly-sniper-extinguishes-lives-of-Kievs-protesters.html)

Edit:  Crowd Control - Soviet Style (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tcTnqDiuG7w)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Hisoyaki on February 22, 2014, 07:50:47
The economic future of Ukraine is very bleak. Standard and Poors have just downgraded its credit rating yesterday.

http://www.businessinsider.com/standard-and-poors-on-ukraine-2014-2
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on February 22, 2014, 08:44:24
A bankrupt Ukraine with no chance of economic recovery has apparently decided to join the ranks of Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, etc.   

Enjoy the cold winters ahead.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on February 22, 2014, 11:26:48
A major change in Ukraine as Yanukovich flees to the pro-Russian eastern half of the country: let's hope this doesn't lead to civil war.

National Post (http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/02/22/president-flees-east-fears-that-ukraine-could-split-in-two-as-pro-russia-half-of-country-questions-authority-of-parliament/)

Quote
Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych flees east as protestors cement control of Kyiv

KYIV, Ukraine — Protesters took control of Ukraine’s capital Saturday, seizing the president’s office as parliament sought to oust him and form a new government.

President Viktor Yanukovych left Kyiv for his support base in the country’s Russian-speaking east, where lawmakers questioned the legitimacy of central authorities and called for volunteer militias to uphold order.

After a tumultuous week that left scores dead and Ukraine’s political destiny in flux, fears mounted that the country could split in two.

(...)- EDITED



Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on February 22, 2014, 13:10:58
(http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/files/2014/01/ukraine-protests-map-k.jpg)

Correlation isn't causation necessarily, but...
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Cdn Blackshirt on February 22, 2014, 13:50:12
I'm very worried what Putin will do here....

Very scary situation.


M.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on February 22, 2014, 15:02:40
Putin's real interest is the naval base it leases from Ukraine.Maybe he makes a move to incorporate that area into Russia ?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: devil39 on February 22, 2014, 16:16:09
Interesting STRATFOR geopolitical analysis that further highlights Russia's interest in the Ukraine... Russia's  indefensibility.  If nothing else the Ukraine offers tactical depth.

http://www.isn.ethz.ch/Digital-Library/Articles/Detail/?lng=en&id=171826 (http://www.isn.ethz.ch/Digital-Library/Articles/Detail/?lng=en&id=171826)

Part 1

Quote
The Geopolitics of Russia: Permanent Struggle
Border guard outpost near Khushet, North Caucasus, courtesy of RIA Novosti/Wikimedia Commons
Creative Commons - Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons - Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Border Guard Outpost near Khushet, North Caucasus

Stratfor thinks that Russia is locked into a permanent regional security dilemma. Instability along its borders has led to policies that aim to protect the center from ‘local’ security problems. These policies, however, are now a problem in their own right – they threaten to undermine the very fabric of the Russian state.

Russia's defining characteristic is its indefensibility. Unlike the core of most states that are relatively defensible, core Russia is limited to the region of the medieval Grand Principality of Muscovy. It counts no rivers, oceans, swamps or mountains marking its borders -- it relies solely on the relatively inhospitable climate and its forests for defense. Russian history is a chronicle of the agony of surviving invasion after invasion.
STRATFOR Geopolitics of Russia Image 1   
Copyright

Muscovy's geographic challenges.

Traditionally these invasions have come from two directions. The first is from the steppes -- wide open grasslands that connect Russia to Central Asia and beyond -- the path that the Mongols used. The second is from the North European Plain, which brought to Russia everything from the Teutonic Knights to the Nazi war machine.

To deal with these vulnerabilities, Russia expanded in three phases. In the first, Russia expanded not toward the invasion corridors to establish buffers but away from them to establish a redoubt. In the late 15th century, under Ivan III, Russia did creep westward somewhat, anchoring itself at the Pripet Marshes, which separated Russia from the Kiev region. But the bulk of Russia's expansion during that period was north to the Arctic and northeast to the Urals. Very little of this territory can be categorized as useful -- most was taiga or actual tundra and only lightly populated -- but for Russia it was the only land easily up for grabs. It also marked a natural organic outgrowth of the original Muscovy -- all cloaked in forest. It was as defensible a territory as Russia had access to and their only hope against the Mongols.

STRATFOR Geopolitics of Russia Image 2   
Copyright

Russian expansion phases.

The Mongols were horsemen who dominated the grasslands with their fast-moving cavalry forces. Their power, although substantial, diminished when they entered the forests and the value of their horses, their force multipliers, declined. The Mongols had to fight infantry forces in the forests, where the advantage was on the defender's side.

The second phase of expansion was far more aggressive -- and risky. In the mid-16th century, Under Ivan IV, Russia finally moved to seal off the Mongol invasion route. Russia pushed south and east, deep into the steppes, and did not stop until it hit the Urals in the east and the Caspian Sea and Caucasus Mountains in the south. As part of this expansion, Russia captured several strategically critical locations, including Astrakhan on the Caspian, the land of the Tatars -- a longtime horse-mounted foe -- and Grozny, which was soon transformed into a military outpost at the foot of the Caucasus.

Also with this expansion, Ivan IV was transformed from Grand Prince of Moscow to Tsar of All Russia, suggesting the empire to come. Russia had finally achieved a measure of conventional security. Holding the northern slopes of the Caucasus would provide a reasonable defense from Asia Minor and Persia, while the millions of square kilometers of steppes gave birth to another defensive strategy: buffers.

Russia -- modern, medieval or otherwise -- cannot count on natural features to protect it. The Pripet Marshes were small and could in many cases simply be avoided. There is no one who might wish to attack from the Arctic. Forests slowed the Mongol horsemen, but as Muscovy's predecessor -- Kievan Rus -- aptly demonstrated, the operative word was “slowed,” not “stopped.” The Mongols conquered and destroyed Kievan Rus in the 13th century.

That leaves buffers. So long as a country controls territory separating itself from its foes -- even if it is territory that is easy for a hostile military to transit -- it can bleed out any invasion via attrition and attacks on supply lines. Such buffers, however, contain a poison pill. They have populations not necessarily willing to serve as buffers. Maintaining control of such buffers requires not only a sizable standing military for defense but also a huge internal security and intelligence network to enforce central control. And any institution so key to the state's survival must be very tightly controlled as well. Establishing and maintaining buffers not only makes Russia seem aggressive to its neighbors but also forces it to conduct purges and terrors against its own institutions in order to maintain the empire.

The third expansion phase dealt with the final invasion route: from the west. In the 18th century, under Peter and Catherine the Great, Russian power pushed westward, conquering Ukraine to the southwest and pushing on to the Carpathian Mountains. It also moved the Russian border to the west, incorporating the Baltic territories and securing a Russian flank on the Baltic Sea. Muscovy and the Tsardom of Russia were now known as the Russian Empire.

Yet aside from the anchor in the Carpathians, Russia did not achieve any truly defensible borders. Expansions to the Baltic and Black Seas did end the external threat from the Cossacks and Balts of ages past, but at the price of turning those external threats into internal ones. Russia also expanded so far and fast that holding the empire together socially and militarily became a monumental and ongoing challenge (today Russia is dealing with the fact that Russians are barely a majority in their own country). All this to achieve some semblance of security by establishing buffer regions.

But that is an issue of empire management. Ultimately the multi-directional threat defined Muscovy's geopolitical problem. There was a constant threat from the steppes, but there was also a constant threat from the west, where the North European Plain allowed for few natural defenses and larger populations could deploy substantial infantry (and could, as the Swedes did, use naval power to land forces against the Muscovites). The forests provided a degree of protection, as did the sheer size of Russia's holdings and its climate, but in the end the Russians faced threats from at least two directions. In managing these threats by establishing buffers, they were caught in a perpetual juggling act: east vs. west, internal vs. external.

The geography of the Russian Empire bequeathed it certain characteristics. Most important, the empire was (and remains) lightly settled. Even today, vast areas of Russia are unpopulated while in the rest of the country the population is widely distributed in small towns and cities and far less concentrated in large urban areas. Russia's European part is the most densely populated, but in its expansion Russia both resettled Russian ethnics and assimilated large minorities along the way. So while Moscow and its surroundings are certainly critical, the predominance of the old Muscovy is not decisively ironclad.

STRATFOR Geopolitics of Russia Image 3   
Copyright

Russian population densitiy.

The result is a constant, ingrained clash within the Russian Empire no matter the time frame, driven primarily by its size and the challenges of transport. The Russian empire, even excluding Siberia, is an enormous landmass located far to the north. Moscow is at the same latitude as Newfoundland while the Russian and Ukrainian breadbaskets are at the latitude of Maine, resulting in an extremely short growing season. Apart from limiting the size of the crop, the climate limits the efficiency of transport -- getting the crop from farm to distant markets is a difficult matter and so is supporting large urban populations far from the farms. This is the root problem of the Russian economy. Russia can grow enough to feed itself, but it cannot efficiently transport what it grows from the farms to the cities and to the barren reaches of the empire before the food spoils. And even when it can transport it, the costs of transport make the foodstuffs unaffordable.

Population distribution also creates a political problem. One natural result of the transport problem is that the population tends to distribute itself nearer growing areas and in smaller towns so as not to tax the transport system. Yet these populations in Russia's west and south tend to be conquered peoples. So the conquered peoples tend to distribute themselves to reflect economic rationalities, while need for food to be transported to the Russian core goes against such rationalities.

Faced with a choice of accepting urban starvation or the forcing of economic destitution upon the food-producing regions (by ordering the sale of food in urban centers at prices well below market prices), Russian leaders tend to select the latter option. Joseph Stalin certainly did in his efforts to forge and support an urban, industrialized population. Force- feeding such economic hardship to conquered minorities only doubled the need for a tightly controlled security apparatus.

The Russian geography meant that Russia either would have a centralized government -- and economic system -- or it would fly apart, torn by nationalist movements, peasant uprisings and urban starvation. Urbanization, much less industrialization, would have been impossible without a strong center. Indeed, the Russian Empire or Soviet Union would have been impossible. The natural tendency of the empire and Russia itself is to disintegrate. Therefore, to remain united it had to have a centralized bureaucracy responsive to autocratic rule in the capital and a vast security apparatus that compelled the country and empire to remain united. Russia's history is one of controlling the inherently powerful centrifugal forces tearing at the country's fabric.

Russia, then, has two core geopolitical problems. The first is holding the empire together. But the creation of that empire poses the second problem, maintaining internal security. It must hold together the empire and defend it at the same time, and the achievement of one goal tends to undermine efforts to achieve the other.

Geopolitical Imperatives

To secure the Russian core of Muscovy, Russia must:

· Expand north and east to secure a redoubt in climatically hostile territory that is protected in part by the Urals. This way, even in the worst-case scenario (i.e., Moscow falls), there is still a “Russia” from which to potentially resurge.

· Expand south to the Caucasus and southeast into the steppes in order to hamper invasions of Asian origin. As circumstances allow, push as deeply into Central Asia and Siberia as possible to deepen this bulwark.

· Expand as far west as possible. Do not stop in the southwest until the Carpathians are reached. On the North European Plain do not stop ever. Deeper penetration increases security not just in terms of buffers; the North European Plain narrows the further west one travels making its defense easier.

· Manage the empire with terror. Since the vast majority of Russian territory is not actually Russian, a very firm hand is required to prevent myriad minorities from asserting regional control or aligning with hostile forces.

· Expand to warm water ports that have open-ocean access so that the empire can begin to counter the economic problems that a purely land empire suffers.

Given the geography of the Russian heartland, we can see why the Russians would attempt to expand as they did. Vulnerable to attack on the North European Plain and from the Central Asian and European steppes simultaneously, Russia could not withstand an attack from one direction -- much less two. Apart from the military problem, the ability of the state to retain control of the country under such pressure was dubious, as was the ability to feed the country under normal circumstances -- much less during war. Securing the Caucasus, Central Asia and Siberia was the first -- and easiest -- part of dealing with this geographic imbroglio.

The western expansion was not nearly so "simple." No matter how far west the Russians moved on the European plain, there was no point at which they could effectively anchor themselves. Ultimately, the last effective line of defense is the 400 mile gap (aka Poland) between the Baltic Sea and Carpathian Mountains. Beyond that the plains widen to such a degree that a conventional defense is impossible as there is simply too much open territory to defend. So the Soviet Union pressed on all the way to the Elbe.

At its height, the Soviet Union achieved all but its final imperative of securing ocean access. The USSR was anchored on the Carpathians, the Black Sea, the Caucasus and the Urals, all of which protected its southern and southwestern flanks. Siberia protected its eastern frontier with vast emptiness. Further to the south, Russia was anchored deeply in Central Asia. The Russians had defensible frontiers everywhere except the North European Plain, ergo the need to occupy Germany and Poland.

Strategy of the Russian Empire

The modern Russian empire faces three separate border regions: Asian Siberia, Central Asia and the Caucasus (now mostly independent states), and Western Europe.

First, Siberia. There is only one rail line connecting Siberia to the rest of the empire, and positioning a military force there is difficult if not impossible. In fact, risk in Russia's far east is illusory. The Trans-Siberian Railroad (TSR) runs east-west, with the Baikal Amur Mainline forming a loop. The TSR is Russia's main lifeline to Siberia and is, to some extent, vulnerable. But an attack against Siberia is difficult -- there is not much to attack but the weather, while the terrain and sheer size of the region make holding it not only difficult but of questionable relevance. Besides, an attack beyond it is impossible because of the Urals.

East of Kazakhstan, the Russian frontier is mountainous to hilly, and there are almost no north-south roads running deep into Russia; those that do exist can be easily defended, and even then they dead-end in lightly populated regions. The period without mud or snow lasts less than three months out of the year. After that time, overland resupply of an army is impossible. It is impossible for an Asian power to attack Siberia. That is the prime reason the Japanese chose to attack the United States rather than the Soviet Union in 1941. The only way to attack Russia in this region is by sea, as the Japanese did in 1905. It might then be possible to achieve a lodgment in the maritime provinces (such as Primorsky Krai or Vladivostok). But exploiting the resources of deep Siberia, given the requisite infrastructure costs, is prohibitive to the point of being virtually impossible.

We begin with Siberia in order to dispose of it as a major strategic concern. The defense of the Russian Empire involves a different set of issues.

STRATFOR Geopolitics of Russia Image 3   
Copyright

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: devil39 on February 22, 2014, 16:17:15
part 2

Quote

Russian population densitiy.

Second, Central Asia. The mature Russian Empire and the Soviet Union were anchored on a series of linked mountain ranges, deserts and bodies of water in this region that gave it a superb defensive position. Beginning on the northwestern Mongolian border and moving southwest on a line through Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, the empire was guarded by a north extension of the Himalayas, the Tien Shan Mountains. Swinging west along the Afghan and Iranian borders to the Caspian Sea, the empire occupied the lowlands along a mountainous border. But the lowlands, except for a small region on the frontier with Afghanistan, were harsh desert, impassable for large military forces. A section along the Afghan border was more permeable, leading to a long-term Russian unease with the threat in Afghanistan -- foreign or indigenous. The Caspian Sea protected the border with Iran, and on its western shore the Caucasus Mountains began, which the empire shared with Iran and Turkey but which were hard to pass through in either direction. The Caucasus terminated on the Black Sea, totally protecting the empire's southern border. These regions were of far greater utility to Russia than Siberia and so may have been worth taking, but for once geography actually helped Russia instead of working against it.

Finally, there is the western frontier that ran from west of Odessa north to the Baltic. This European frontier was the vulnerable point. Geographically, the southern portion of the border varied from time to time, and where the border was drawn was critical. The Carpathians form an arc from Romania through western Ukraine into Slovakia. Russia controlled the center of the arc in Ukraine. However, its frontier did not extend as far as the Carpathians in Romania, where a plain separated Russia from the mountains. This region is called Moldova or Bessarabia, and when the region belongs to Romania, it represents a threat to Russian national security. When it is in Russian hands, it allows the Russians to anchor on the Carpathians. And when it is independent, as it is today in the form of the state of Moldova, then it can serve either as a buffer or a flash point. During the alliance with the Germans in 1939-1941, the Russians seized this region as they did again after World War II. But there is always a danger of an attack out of Romania.

This is not Russia's greatest danger point. That occurs further north, between the northern edge of the Carpathians and the Baltic Sea. This gap, at its narrowest point, is just under 300 miles, running west of Warsaw from the city of Elblag in northern Poland to Cracow in the south. This is the narrowest point in the North European Plain and roughly the location of the Russian imperial border prior to World War I. Behind this point, the Russians controlled eastern Poland and the three Baltic countries.

The danger to Russia is that the north German plain expands like a triangle east of this point. As the triangle widens, Russian forces get stretched thinner and thinner. So a force attacking from the west through the plain faces an expanding geography that thins out Russian forces. If invaders concentrate their forces, the attackers can break through to Moscow. That is the traditional Russian fear: Lacking natural barriers, the farther east the Russians move the broader the front and the greater the advantage for the attacker. The Russians faced three attackers along this axis following the formation of empire -- Napoleon, Wilhelm II and Hitler. Wilhelm was focused on France so he did not drive hard into Russia, but Napoleon and Hitler did, both almost toppling Moscow in the process.

Along the North European Plain, Russia has three strategic options:

1. Use Russia's geographical depth and climate to suck in an enemy force and then defeat it, as it did with Napoleon and Hitler. After the fact this appears the solution, except it is always a close run and the attackers devastate the countryside. It is interesting to speculate what would have happened in 1942 if Hitler had resumed his drive on the North European Plain toward Moscow, rather than shift to a southern attack toward Stalingrad.

2. Face an attacking force with large, immobile infantry forces at the frontier and bleed them to death, as they tried to do in 1914. On the surface this appears to be an attractive choice because of Russia's greater manpower reserves than those of its European enemies. In practice, however, it is a dangerous choice because of the volatile social conditions of the empire, where the weakening of the security apparatus could cause the collapse of the regime in a soldiers' revolt as happened in 1917.

3. Push the Russian/Soviet border as far west as possible to create yet another buffer against attack, as the Soviets did during the Cold War. This is obviously an attractive choice, since it creates strategic depth and increases economic opportunities. But it also diffuses Russian resources by extending security states into Central Europe and massively increasing defense costs, which ultimately broke the Soviet Union in 1992.

Contemporary Russia

The greatest extension of the Russian Empire occurred under the Soviets from 1945 to 1989. Paradoxically, this expansion preceded the collapse of the Soviet Union and the contraction of Russia to its current borders. When we look at the Russian Federation today, it is important to understand that it has essentially retreated to the borders the Russian Empire had in the 17th century. It holds old Muscovy plus the Tatar lands to the southeast as well as Siberia. It has lost its western buffers in Ukraine and the Baltics and its strong foothold in the Caucasus and in Central Asia.

To understand this spectacular expansion and contraction, we need to focus on Soviet strategy. The Soviet Union was a landlocked entity dominating the Eurasian heartland but without free access to the sea. Neither the Baltic nor Black seas allow Russia free oceangoing transport because they are blocked by the Skagerrak and the Turkish straits, respectively. So long as Denmark and Turkey remain in NATO, Russia's positions in St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Sevastopol and Novorossiysk are militarily dubious.

There were many causes of the Soviet collapse. Some were:

· Overextending forces into Central Europe, which taxed the ability of the Soviet Union to control the region while economically exploiting it. It became a net loss. This overextension created costly logistical problems on top of the cost of the military establishment. Extension of the traditional Russian administrative structure both diffused Russia's own administrative structure and turned a profitable empire into a massive economic burden.

· Creating an apparent threat to the rest of Europe that compelled the United States to deploy major forces and arm Germany. This in turn forced the Russians into a massive military buildup that undermined its economy, which was less productive than the American economy because of its inherent agricultural problem and because the cost of internal transport combined with the lack of ocean access made Soviet (and Russian) maritime trade impossible. Since maritime trade both is cheaper than land trade and allows access to global markets, the Soviet Union always operated at an extreme economic disadvantage to its Western and Asian competitors.

· Entering an arms race with much richer countries it could compete against only by diverting resources from the civilian economy -- material and intellectual. The best minds went into the military-industrial complex, causing the administrative and economic structure of Russia to crumble.

STRATFOR Geopolitics of Russia Image 4   
Copyright

Russian perspective.

In 1989 the Soviet Union lost control of Eastern Europe and in 1992 the Soviet Union itself collapsed. Russia then retreated essentially to its 17th century borders -- except that it retained control of Siberia, which is either geopolitically irrelevant or a liability. Russia has lost all of Central Asia, and its position in the Caucasus has become tenuous. Had Russia lost Chechnya, its eastern flank would have been driven out of the Caucasus completely, leaving it without a geopolitical anchor.

The gap between Kazakhstan in the east and Ukraine in the west, like the narrowest point in the North European Plain, is only 300 miles wide. It also contains Russia's industrial heartland. Russia has lost Ukraine, of course, and Moldova. But Russia's most grievous geopolitical contraction has been on the North European Plain, where it has retreated from the Elbe in Germany to a point less than 100 miles from St. Petersburg. The distance from the border of an independent Belarus to Moscow is about 250 miles.

To understand the Russian situation, it is essential to understand that Russia has in many ways returned to the strategic position of late Muscovy. Its flank to the southeast is relatively secure, since China shows no inclination for adventures into the steppes, and no other power is in a position to challenge Russia from that direction. But in the west, in Ukraine and in the Caucasus, the Russian retreat has been stunning.

We need to remember why Muscovy expanded in the first place. Having dealt with the Mongols, the Russians had two strategic interests. Their most immediate was to secure their western borders by absorbing Lithuania and anchoring Russia as far west on the North European Plain as possible. Their second strategic interest was to secure Russia's southeastern frontier against potential threats from the steppes by absorbing Central Asia as well as Ukraine. Without that, Muscovy could not withstand a thrust from either direction, let alone from both directions at once.

It can be said that no one intends to invade Russia. From the Russian point of view, history is filled with dramatic changes of intention, particularly in the West. The unthinkable occurs to Russia once or twice a century. In its current configuration, Russia cannot hope to survive whatever surprises are coming in the 21st century. Muscovy was offensive because it did not have a good defensive option. The same is true of Russia. Given the fact that a Western alliance, NATO, is speaking seriously of establishing a dominant presence in Ukraine and in the Caucasus -- and has already established a presence in the Baltics, forcing Russia far back into the widening triangle, with its southern flank potentially exposed to Ukraine as a NATO member -- the Russians must view their position as dire. As with Napoleon, Wilhelm and Hitler, the initiative is in the hands of others. For the Russians, the strategic imperative is to eliminate that initiative or, if that is impossible, anchor Russia as firmly as possible on geographical barriers, concentrating all available force on the North European Plain without overextension.

Unlike countries such as China, Iran and the United States, Russia has not achieved its strategic geopolitical imperatives. On the contrary, it has retreated from them:

· Russia does hold the northern Caucasus, but it no longer boasts a deep penetration of the mountains, including Georgia and Armenia. Without those territories Russia cannot consider this flank secure.

· Russia has lost its anchor in the mountains and deserts of Central Asia and so cannot actively block or disrupt -- or even well monitor -- any developments to its deep south that could threaten its security.

· Russia retains Siberia, but because of the climatic and geographic hostility of the region it is almost a wash in terms of security (it certainly is economically).

· Russia's loss of Ukraine and Moldova allows both the intrusion of other powers and the potential rise of a Ukrainian rival on its very doorstep. Powers behind the Carpathians are especially positioned to take advantage of this political geography.

· The Baltic states have re-established their independence, and all three are east and north of the Baltic-Carpathian line (the final defensive line on the North European Plain). Their presence in a hostile alliance is unacceptable. Neither is an independent or even neutral Belarus (also on the wrong side of that line).

Broader goals, such as having a port not blocked by straits controlled by other countries, could have been pursued by the Soviets. Today such goals are far out of Russian reach. From the Russian point of view, creating a sphere of influence that would return Russia to its relatively defensible imperial boundaries is imperative.

Obviously, forces in the peripheral countries as well as great powers outside the region will resist. For them, a weak and vulnerable Russia is preferable, since a strong and secure one develops other appetites that could see Russia pushing along vectors such as through the Skagerrak toward the North Sea, through the Turkish Straits toward the Mediterranean and through La Perouse Strait toward Japan and beyond.

Russia's essential strategic problem is this: It is geopolitically unstable. The Russian Empire and Soviet Union were never genuinely secure. One problem was the North European Plain. But another problem, very real and hard to solve, was access to the global trading system via oceans. And behind this was Russia's essential economic weakness due to its size and lack of ability to transport agricultural produce throughout the country. No matter how much national will it has, Russia's inherently insufficient infrastructure constantly weakens its internal cohesion.

Russia must dominate the Eurasian heartland. When it does, it must want more. The more it wants the more it must face its internal economic weakness and social instability, which cannot support its ambitions. Then the Russian Federation must contract. This cycle has nothing to do with Russian ideology or character. It has everything to do with geography, which in turn generates ideologies and shapes character. Russia is Russia and must face its permanent struggle.

Editor's note:

This article was originally published by STRATFOR on 15 April 2012. Republished with permission.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on February 22, 2014, 17:00:19
(http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/files/2014/01/ukraine-protests-map-k.jpg)

Correlation isn't causation necessarily, but...

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4e/Archaeological_sites_Trypillian_culture_in_Ukraine.jpg/800px-Archaeological_sites_Trypillian_culture_in_Ukraine.jpg)

See ya and raise ya  - Trypillian sites - 4800 to 3000 BC  (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/de/CucuteniOmega.jpg/800px-CucuteniOmega.jpg)

The divide is a very long time in the making.



Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on February 22, 2014, 17:16:05
Quote
The period without mud or snow lasts less than three months out of the year. After that time, overland resupply of an army is impossible. It is impossible for an Asian power to attack Siberia.

Stop me if you've heard this one...... courtesy of Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasian_nomads) ( a great place for lists)
.
Quote
Iron Age / Classical Antiquity
Cimmerians Issedones Wusun Parthians Parni Saka Issedones Massagetae Scythians Sarmatians Sigynnae Yuezhi Hephthalites
Migration period
Alans Avars Gepids Goths Huns Rugians Xiongnu
Middle Ages
Bashkirs Burtas Bulgarsa Jurchen Kalmuks (Mongols) Khazars Kimaks Kipchaks Magyars Mongols Nogais Petchenegs Seljuks Slavs Tartars
Modern
Kalmuks (Mongols) Kazakhs Kyrgyz Qaraqalpaqs

How many of those chaps have hove up at the gates of Vienna?

Russia is very vulnerable from the east and that has always kept the Slavs hiding away in the Muskeg and Forests of the Taiga and the Pripet Marshes.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on February 22, 2014, 17:56:09
This is a bit of a dilemma for the Europeans.

Some folks here will remember that we got involved in the Balkans after the original allied decision was that it, the Balkans, was an internal European problem and the EU, and "greater Europe," in general should use its political acumen and wealth to sort it all out ... we all remember how well that worked.

Well, this is another European problem. Let's see how well they manage this time.

(http://spitfirelist.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Hollande_Merkal_2550957b.jpg)
French President Hollande and German Chancellor Merkel ...
... examining their common EU foreign policy?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on February 22, 2014, 18:11:18

(http://spitfirelist.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Hollande_Merkal_2550957b.jpg)
French President Hollande and German Chancellor Merkel ...
... examining their common EU foreign policy?

I've seen that picture before....


(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/38/Wien_Wappen_1461-1925.png/220px-Wien_Wappen_1461-1925.png)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on February 22, 2014, 19:16:57
Side note: it's Ukraine,  not the Ukraine.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: devil39 on February 22, 2014, 19:54:47
Side note: it's Ukraine,  not the Ukraine.


Side side note:

Both have been used in the past, correctly or incorrectly.

My relatives referred to it as The Ukraine and they were from the Lvov area, before the Soviet times.  So that is how I (mostly unconsciously) refer to it.





Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on February 22, 2014, 21:27:06
(http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/files/2014/01/ukraine-protests-map-k.jpg)

Correlation isn't causation necessarily, but...


Maybe the problem is starting to solve itself:

    The Euroish North West separates and tries to join Europe; and

    The South and East, which Putin really wants for its Black Sea ports, allies itself with Russia.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on February 22, 2014, 22:14:07
I'm very worried what Putin will do here....

Very scary situation.


M.

You saying that Putin might conduct a "Georgia 2008-style" invasion of Ukraine? (probably after the Olympics?)

Could Eastern Ukraine be a future parallel to Georgia's former regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on February 22, 2014, 23:02:55
You saying that Putin might conduct "Georgia 2008-style" invasion of Ukraine? (probably after the Olympics?)

Could Eastern Ukraine be a future parallel to Georgia's former regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia?

Perhaps Eastern Ukraine or perhaps limited support for the Crimea.

Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/02/22/the-battle-for-kiev-may-well-be-over-but-is-the-battle-for-crimea-about-to-begin/)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on February 22, 2014, 23:19:11
The Russian Army isn't in very good shape.They had a hard time with Georgia and would fail if they tried to invade Ukraine.Putin would be smart to just sit on the sidelines.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on February 22, 2014, 23:23:03
I don't know where to put this.  It applies to the situation in Ukraine but in my view it speaks volumes about the speakers.

Quote
Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, who helped negotiate the deal agreement signed by Yanukovych and the opposition, said there was “no coup in Kiev,” and that parliament is acting legally. Yanukovych said in a statement published on his presidential website that he wouldn’t resign and deemed all of the new acts illegal.

The U.S. White House urged “the prompt formation of a broad, technocratic government of national unity” in Ukraine.

“The unshakeable principle guiding events must be that the people of Ukraine determine their own future,” the White House press secretary’s office said in an e-mailed statement.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov expressed his “gravest concern.” The opposition “was following the lead of ‘‘armed extremists and thugs whose actions pose a direct threat to the sovereignty and constitutional order in Ukraine,’’ Lavrov said, according to a statement.

The Russian can't understand that power doesn't reside in Leader and so doesn't recognize that the Executive serves only with the permission of the electorate.

The Whitehouse recognizes the "will of the people" but calls for a government of technocrats..... ???

The only position that I can recognize as "democratic" is that of the Poles which recognizes the supremacy of one body: Parliament.

Perhaps we should get the Poles to send missionaries to Canada to teach us the merits of the British system we have been gifted.

Stuff yer constitutions  >:D

PS - T6:  I hope you're right.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on February 23, 2014, 00:32:12
Perhaps the idea that the Ukraine will be split down the Dneiper river isn't as far fetched or long term as I had thought:

http://hotair.com/archives/2014/02/21/apocalypse-soon-ukrainian-president-reportedly-flees-kiev/

Quote
Apocalypse soon: Ukrainian president reportedly flees Kiev
POSTED AT 6:37 PM ON FEBRUARY 21, 2014 BY ALLAHPUNDIT
   
The comment counts on our Ukraine threads make me think some readers have tuned out this story. Now’s the moment when you’ll want to tune in.

If what The Interpreter’s hearing is true, Yanukovych has left Kiev for the city of Kharkiv. Maybe that’s because he’s lost control of the capital or maybe, as the State Department claims, he’s gone to Kharkiv to, ahem, shore up support. Either way, though, there’s no scenario where the government simply abdicates and the opposition takes over. Russia won’t relinquish the country that easily. So either things are about to get even rougher in Kiev as Putin fills the power vacuum or Yanukovych is planning a new move. What does that mean? Naval War College prof John Schindler fears the worst:

Here’s the latest from a story highlighted by The Interpreter:

Tomorrow President Viktor Yanukovych will take part in a Congress of the “Ukrainian Front” which is being organised by the Kharkiv governor, Mikhail Dobkin.

Sources at Kharkiv airport told Hvilya that the aeroplane carrying Yanukovych will land in Kharkiv within half an hour.

Furthermore, our sources in the Presidential Administration reported that all of the most combat ready of the Berkut and army forces have been transferred to Kharkiv and the southeast.

There is, in theory, a deal between Yanukovych and the opposition to reform the government, but Russia’s apparently not interested and neither are the Euromaidan protesters. They want Yanukovych to resign; meanwhile, the woman he defeated for the presidency four years ago could be out of prison within the next few days and ready to help lead the opposition. All the makings of civil war are present, in other words, from powerful national sponsors to ethnic tensions between Russian descendants living in the country and native Ukrainians. Someone just needs to give the word, whether Yanukovych or his boss. And even if Yanukovych resigns, depriving Putin of his proxy, the word may still come down. That’s what “Little Russia” means to Moscow.

How serious it it? This serious:

Russia is prepared to fight a war over the Ukrainian territory of Crimea to protect the ethnic Russian population and its military base there, a senior government official has told the FT.

“If Ukraine breaks apart, it will trigger a war,” the official said. “They will lose Crimea first [because] we will go in and protect [it], just as we did in Georgia.” In August 2008, Russian troops invaded Georgia after the Georgian military launched a surprise attack on the separatist region of South Ossetia in an effort to establish its dominance over the republic…

However, many government officials say in private that Ukraine falls inside Russia’s sphere of influence. “We will not allow Europe and the US to take Ukraine from us. The states of the former Soviet Union, we are one family,” said a foreign policy official. “They think Russia is still as weak as in the early 1990s but we are not.”

The speaker of the Crimean parliament has already said it’s possible the region would turn to Russia for “protection” if the country fractures. That’s likely to be one of the first flashpoints. What better way to celebrate a successful Olympics than with a big irredentist blowout on the peninsula?

If Russian tanks roll, how does the EU answer? While you mull that over, follow The Interpreter’s liveblog for updates.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on February 23, 2014, 00:44:36
Quote
If Russian tanks roll, how does the EU answer?

It was Stingers for the Afghans.

Javelins for the Ukrainians?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on February 23, 2014, 01:55:38
The potential for civil war is quite good as well as continued Russian meddling.Hopefully the nationalists will prevail.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on February 23, 2014, 08:50:39
I don't know where to put this.  It applies to the situation in Ukraine but in my view it speaks volumes about the speakers.

The Russian can't understand that power doesn't reside in Leader and so doesn't recognize that the Executive serves only with the permission of the electorate.

The Whitehouse recognizes the "will of the people" but calls for a government of technocrats..... ???

The only position that I can recognize as "democratic" is that of the Poles which recognizes the supremacy of one body: Parliament.

Perhaps we should get the Poles to send missionaries to Canada to teach us the merits of the British system we have been gifted.

Stuff yer constitutions  >:D

PS - T6:  I hope you're right.


Slightly  :off topic: but ...

It is the rise of the "technocrats" that worries me, and others (see e.g Philip Coggan, The Last Vote, The Threats to Western Democracy, London 2013). The most obvious, and most powerful technocratic institution that intrudes, sometimes massively, into the machinery of government is the central bank. But it's not the only one. Consider, for example, sundry human rights commissions and tribunals and so on ~ many, and "one is too many" in this case, with judicial powers. Too many democratic government are willing, even eager to delegate powers ~ most of which in my opinion ought not to be delegated or even delegatable (if that's a word) ~ to (as they are called in the UK) quasi autonomous non-governmental organizations. Many (most?) people, being ill informed, believe that some non-governmental agency is, inherently, more trustworthy than a team of elected politicians: what errant nonsense! What puerile rubbish! Most of these quasi autonomous bodies are staffed by failed politicians or ex political back-room boys ~ the "hacks, flacks and bagmen" ~ and quasi is the operative word, many of these bodies are nothing more than thinly disguised special (often partisan political) interest groups.

By the way: I have no better answer to making monetary policy than an independent, apolitical central bank.

Other independent bodies with considerable powers include law societies or bar associations and the like which regulate the legal profession, which is fair enough, but which, also, vet and, in many cases, have considerable power over judicial appointments.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on February 23, 2014, 09:36:15
The potential for civil war is quite good as well as continued Russian meddling.Hopefully the nationalists will prevail.
And the Russians are already setting up interesting messaging via their Foreign Ministry Twitter account (https://twitter.com/mfa_russia/status/437579798953463808) ....
Quote
Nazis comeback? MT @Yaro_RT Not only Lenin toppled in Ukraine. Red army soldiers died combating Nazis are targets too
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BhJMrteCMAAsMJe.jpg)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on February 23, 2014, 10:11:16
Here, reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from The Economist is an article which guesses that Putin's Russia may, for the moment, sit on the sidelines:

http://www.economist.com/blogs/easternapproaches/2014/02/ukraines-new-dawn
Quote
(https://21bcc8c0e0bcc84dc6df-ee4309621dbb9977cee37847af91896a.ssl.cf3.rackcdn.com/uploads/syndicate/logo/73/thumb_the-economist-salary-increase-ranking.png)
Ukraine's new dawn
Shots called, now what?

Feb 22nd 2014

AT FIRST sight it seems utterly confusing. Even as the outside world was digesting the deal between the Ukrainian regime and the protesters, and the unexpectedly helpful role of Russia in the European Union’s mediation efforts, everything changed.

President Viktor Yanukovych fled the capital, Kiev, for an unknown destination. The riot police and other security guards vanished from the streets. Protesters who only hours earlier had been dodging sniper bullets found themselves guarding the presidential palace and other government buildings.

Now big questions are burning holes on policymakers’ desks.

First, what happened to Mr Yanukovych? The most likely explanation is that he simply lost his nerve. He had promised Vladimir Putin that he would deal with the protesters, as part-price of the deal to salvage the Ukrainian economy with loans and cheap gas, rather than accepting the EU’s reform-for-cash deal. He was willing to dip his hands in blood. But not deep enough. Faced with the protesters’ resistance, and the splintering of his own camp, he broke and fled.

One reason is that the deal brokered by the EU involved early presidential elections. That would be a fatal blow to his presidential authority. Whatever Ukrainians think about the EU, history, language and economic reform, the detestation of Mr Yanukovych’s authoritarian, corrupt and incompetent rule is all but universal. He was able to win the last presidential election only as a result of the spectacular failure of the country’s previous “Orange” rulers. As the likely loser in December (or earlier) he would be a lame-duck president.

Already, on the day of the talks, Mr Yanukovych had lost his parliamentary majority. His grip on the country was slipping. His Russian allies had signalled their desire for a deal, not a showdown. Even a substantial and resilient figure would have quailed in such a situation. For a man of notoriously limited mental and emotional resources, it must have seemed overwhelming.

The second question is why the security forces stood down with such remarkable speed and comprehensiveness, within 45 minutes of the deal being signed. Was that a gesture of goodwill by the regime? Was it because the power ministries scented Mr Yanukovych’s exit and feared retribution from the protesters? Or is it part of a “Plan B” from the Yanukovych camp? Their top man may be gone, but their huge financial interests remain. Their ties with Russia are deep. They may have decided that the best thing for now is to retreat in the hope that the opposition will be unable to control its radical fringe. For now, Ukrainians and the West want change more than stability. But looting and mayhem in Kiev and elsewhere might change that, making it possible for elements of the old regime (and their Russian friends) to stage a comeback.

The third question is: Who runs the country now? A BBC correspondent said on Saturday morning that “power is lying on the street in Kiev—the question is who will pick it up”. That is a bit of an exaggeration. Parliament is in charge. That is better than nothing, though Ukraine’s Rada is a motley crew: many legislators have struggled to dispel the suspicion that their political careers have been an extension of their business interests. 

An interim government will be formed imminently, with some “babysitting” from the EU (a special envoy is likely to be nominated soon, and more foreign ministers and other bigwigs will be packing their bags for Kiev). America has signalled that it will support emergency IMF intervention.

But keeping Ukraine afloat will be a major task. Will the Russian bail-out package, which had been drip-feeding cash to the Yanukovych regime, now be withdrawn? What will the gas price be? The West will find that supporting a large, heavily indebted country in the throes of a chaotic political transformation is a costly business (though far less costly, it should be noted, than dealing with that country’s disintegration and civil war). Will the EU now have the guts to say clearly that when Ukraine reaches the right standards, it has a real chance and choice of membership?

And what of the oligarchs? People such as Rinat Akhmetov and Viktor Pinchuk have made clear their distaste for Mr Yanukovych’s sticky-fingered approach and for his failed crackdown, and for Russia’s asset grabs. But what do they want now? Presumably they and the old regime’s cronies will now be haggling over who gets what in the new order. And what about Yulia Timoshenko, a politician whose erratic and idiosyncratic rule is responsible for much of the mess that Ukraine is now in? In struggles over billions of dollars, clean outcomes are unlikely.

Equally uncertain is how the protesters will cope with the messy tedium of normal democratic politics. Once you have gained a taste for adrenaline-flavoured simplicity, it can become addictive. Ukraine needs a decade of hard work on reform to recover the chances squandered in the past 25 years, building the institutions, habits and attitudes needed for honest, lawful government. That will require patience and expertise, not courage and barricades.

A further question is Russia’s role. Many have blamed Russia for escalating the crisis, forcing Mr Yanukovych into a corner, and insisting on seeing Ukraine’s future as a zero-sum game, in which any integration with the EU means a defeat for Russia’s geopolitical interests.

So why did Russia back off? The swaggering bombast of recent days has vanished. It sent to the talks one of the few figures in Russian public life likely to be acceptable to the protesters and the West—the human-rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin. He came as a witness, not as a participant to the deal reached on Friday; Russia says through diplomatic channels that though it is not a party to that agreement, it will not sabotage it. The Kremlin seems to have stood down its separatists in Crimea, a stronghold of Russian interests (and home to a large Russian naval base). Does it prize Ukrainian territorial integrity more than the chance to meddle?

One explanation is that Mr Putin, not for the first time, misread the situation. The Orange Revolution of 2004-5 was sparked by Mr Yanukovych’s election-rigging—enthusiastically supported and advised by Russia. Perhaps the Kremlin had been fooled by its own propaganda, in which the protesters were merely a unrepresentative bunch of Western-financed anarchists and fascists. Perhaps it was worried by the prospect of chaos in its largest European neighbour. In the event of collapse or upheaval, refugees would be heading north as well as west.

Perhaps too it was impressed by the West’s belated but impressive intervention. As the crisis deepened, America stepped up its engagement notably, with lengthy phone calls from Vice-President Joe Biden to Mr Yanukovch, and from President Barack Obama to Mr Putin. The three EU foreign ministers, Radek Sikorski of Poland, Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany and Laurent Fabius of France, were Europe's diplomatic equivalent to a carrier battle group of the US Navy. Mr Putin may have realised that the outside world was blaming him, not the West, for meddling in Ukraine. At the very least it was time for a tactical retreat.

But what will Russia do now? Most likely it will sit on the sidelines for a while. It can leave the West to try to manage the deal it has brokered. It will take years before Ukraine’s economy and public administration are strong enough to withstand Kremlin mischief. That gives plenty of time. Some would say that even the presence of the sensible and sympathetic Mr Lukin as a witness to the deal has established something of a precedent for formal Russian involvement in Ukrainian domestic affairs.

These are troubling questions and it would be naïve to say that the future looks sunny. Yet it is worth noting that the outlook this weekend is hugely brighter than at any time for months. Mr Yanukovych, one of the worst European leaders in decades, is down. Russia, at least for now, is out. We don't know who is in. But it might even be possible to argue that the high tide of the Putinist revanche was reached in Kiev last week, and that it is now in retreat.


Those are all good questions. I share The Economist's view that the situation is hopeful.

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on February 23, 2014, 10:31:49
And the Financial Times is reporting that the EU is preparing to loan "billions" of euros to Ukraine.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Retired AF Guy on February 23, 2014, 17:36:26
The revolution captured on camera:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2565995/In-pictures-week-shook-Ukraine-Dramatic-photographs-chronicle-days-violent-clashes-ousting-president.html
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on February 23, 2014, 17:50:20
The German Foreign Ministry is Tweeting that "Chllr #Merkel spoke to Pres. #Putin today. Both leaders agree, that the territorial integrity of #Ukraine must be preserved."

That may be the right aim, but I'm guessing that it could provoke a civil war. An early partition, on the line separating the pro Euro-Yellow from pro Russian-Blue on the map the Technoviking posted, might be the better course of action.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Cdn Blackshirt on February 23, 2014, 17:54:31
You saying that Putin might conduct a "Georgia 2008-style" invasion of Ukraine? (probably after the Olympics?)

Could Eastern Ukraine be a future parallel to Georgia's former regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia?

I think it's probable Putin is formulating a plan to stage a situation in Southeastern Ukraine in which a new Russian-aligned entity attempts to declare its own autonomy and immediately requests Russian assistance.  For all intents and purposes I think if he can establish any kind of justification and backing for this new Russian-aligned state, he would not hesitate to do it.


M.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on February 23, 2014, 21:25:44
Despite divisions seething within the Ukrainian military (http://forums.navy.ca/forums/index.php?topic=111881.msg1287270#msg1287270), it has largely kept out of the current political crisis gripping the country.

Defense News (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140223/DEFREG01/302230018/NATO-Praises-Ukraine-Army-Staying-Out-Crisis)

Quote

NATO Praises Ukraine Army for Staying Out of Crisis
Feb. 23, 2014 - 04:27PM   |   By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

(...)- EDITED

Ukraine’s army on Saturday ruled out any involvement in the country’s unfolding crisis, after the police pledged support to the people following deadly violence in anti-government protests.

“Ukraine is a close partner to NATO and NATO is a friend of the Ukrainian people,” Rasmussen said. “We look forward to continue cooperation with Ukraine based on the NATO-Ukraine Charter,” established after the end of the Cold War.

(...)

-END EXCERPT-

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on February 23, 2014, 22:54:07
A look at some of the tactics used to defeat the riot police and allow the protestors to achieve a win (for now) Several embedded videos as well.

https://medium.com/war-is-boring/a292fc7a40c2

Quote
The Medieval—and Highly Effective—Tactics of the Ukrainian Protests
Military-style methods help Euromaidan overwhelm state forces
Robert Beckhusen in War is Boring

Ukraine’s Euromaidan movement is in control of the capital. The autocratic and ostrich-raising Pres. Viktor Yanukovych has fled Kiev, and the Ukrainian parliament has voted him out of power.

For now, it’s a dramatic victory for the protesters, who have sought closer ties with the European Union and an end to the corruption represented by Yanukovych. It’s especially stunning considering the protesters had—on several occasions—seemed close to defeat.

But to understand why the protests succeeded in toppling Yanukovych, it’s worth taking a glance at its strategies and military-style tactics. The protesters not only built a broad and inclusive coalition, but innovated where it mattered most: on the streets.

Really, it turned medieval.

Protesters shot fireworks with makeshift launchers. In combination with throwing stones and using slingshots, they overwhelmed disoriented Berkut special forces units, who were pelted with flying objects as fireworks exploded around them.

Protesters wore military helmets and carried makeshift—or captured—shields. Wooden boards were used to protect their lower legs from shrapnel the police taped to exploding stun grenades.

Among the array of homemade weapons, some were perhaps a little too ambitious. A crude trebuchet—a type of medieval catapult which uses a counterweight to fling objects—was overrun and dismantled.

To shield themselves from the onslaught, the police special forces units known as Berkut adopted distinct tetsudo formations. This packed shield formation was used by the Roman Empire, developed to shield infantry units from arrows. The first line holds its shields forward, with each preceding line holding their shields towards the sky.

The problem with this tactic? It makes you much slower.


Euromaidan kitchen on Dec. 15, 2013. Joe Luis Orihuela/Flickr photo
Euromaidan’s long tail
But behind the barricades, there were thousands of people working together to support the front lines. It’s an important lesson that logistics is what ultimately wins battles.

While the demonstrators at the barricades skewed younger, older Maidan activists ferried supplies and filled sandbags.

Others staffed portable kitchens set up at the main encampment at Kiev’s Independence Square. When there was ample snow on the ground, they shoveled it into bags to bolster the barricades up to 10 feet high.

These jobs were not only necessary, they also provided a sense of purpose for demonstrators, who through age, health or disability couldn’t risk the fast and brutal nature of street fighting.

The protesters helped recruit women into street-fighting groups through a female-led women’s brigade. The brigade also schooled hundreds of female volunteers in self-defense and riot tactics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwf9EjesvtM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3Q9SbBxbRo
All of this added up to enable the demonstrators to resist stronger, better trained and better equipped riot police.

In one of the more stunning scenes on Feb. 18, a 15-ton BTR-80 armored vehicle drove directly towards the Maidan barricades when it was set ablaze by dozens of Molotov cocktails.

Workshops could quickly produce large numbers of Molotovs around the clock. Activists tore stones and bricks from the pavement and passed them to the barricades.

A triage centers—and a morgue—set up in the Hotel Ukraine treated the wounded and housed the dead.

Protesters armed with clubs were able to surround and capture isolated police units, stealing their shields and equipment. When the police resorted to killing demonstrators with sniper fire, the protesters used walls of burning tires to block out the snipers’ scopes.


Barricades in Kiev on Dec. 15, 2013. Jose Luis Orihuela/Flickr photo
And they have a broad coalition
There are important lessons here for democratic movements facing down authoritarian regimes.

For one, get people involved. Make sure participants have a purpose. Use several tactics at once, and combine them for an overwhelming advantage. Force the authorities to respond to your tactics, rather than the reverse.

The protesters were also inclusive, which helped bolster their numbers. But this remains controversial.

In addition to the two main—and moderate—opposition parties and thousands of unaffiliated activists, the protests included far-right nationalists associated with the extreme right-wing Svoboda party and the fighting units known as the Right Sector.

The result was an awkward non-aggression pact between left and right.

According to Anton Shekhovtsov, a researcher at University College London who specializes in Eastern European far right movements, one reason for the truce is necessity. The main target was Yanukovych. The other reason? Once Yanukovych is gone, the far right parties will have a harder time finding new recruits.

The protests are “among other things, a national revolution against the Kremlin’s imperialism and a nationalist uprising against Russia’s destructive influence on Ukraine,” he blogged.

That’s helping fuel the far right.

“Those who separate these two issues or crack down on the Ukrainian far right without recognizing the urgent need for national independence will never be successful in their attempts to neutralize the far right,” he added. “Moreover, they can make the situation worse.”

But if there’s anything that tipped the balance, at least for now, it’s the protesters’ willingness to fight. “I’m ready to fight for my human rights and my country, and the better life of my country,” a women’s brigade fighter told Al Jazeera. “Even to death.”

Sign up for a daily War is Boring email update here. Subscribe to WIB’s RSS feed here and follow the main page here.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Journeyman on February 23, 2014, 23:06:06
There are important lessons here for democratic movements facing down authoritarian regimes.
But don't forget that non-democratic movements are likely also taking notes.  As a personal PD session, give some thought to how you would counter these same tactics (notwithstanding the real situation unfolding in "Independence Square.")

.....and/or, how you would improve upon the rioters' TT&Ps
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on February 24, 2014, 00:23:04
People are touring the Yanukovych estate and are shocked by what they see.

http://news.yahoo.com/documents-ukraine-leader-39-home-detail-spending-193927272.html?vp=1
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on February 24, 2014, 15:10:38
Those shields, etc did bugger all against 5.45 mm bullets.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on February 24, 2014, 15:58:53
The Economist suggests (http://www.economist.com/blogs/easternapproaches/2014/02/ukraines-crisis) that the "huge question is whether the revolution presages Ukraine’s disintegration." The article suggests that disintegration is likely, and that Putin's Russia is equally likely to have decided that "since Ukraine’s shift towards Europe now looks all but inevitable, grabbing Crimea quickly is the best Russia can do." My guess is that it will grab more than just the Crimean peninsula, itself ~ it is likely to grab a few of the South-East provinces, too and North-West Ukraine may be well rid of them.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Remius on February 24, 2014, 16:47:11
But don't forget that non-democratic movements are likely also taking notes.  As a personal PD session, give some thought to how you would counter these same tactics (notwithstanding the real situation unfolding in "Independence Square.")

.....and/or, how you would improve upon the rioters' TT&Ps

Fight fire with fire.  Get medieval on them.  Or rather go ancient Rome.   Protesters barricaded themselves in.  They set up defensive works.  Surround them and barricade them in.  Like the Romans did to the Gauls.  Build barricades around their barricades, cut off their supply routes.   Nothing in, nothing out.  Wait them out.  It seems they were successful at holding off riot police who tried to break them up.  Wait them out until they try a sortie or to rush the government buildings.

Not sure how effective this would be, but, fire hoses/trucks.  In winter.  Hose them down, hose the barricades and hose the protesters.  Constantly.  Heck if they had a water bomber even lol.

And war pigs  ;D     
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on February 24, 2014, 17:56:28
"Generals gathered in their masses
Just like witches at black masses..."
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: 57Chevy on February 24, 2014, 18:09:58
"Generals gathered in their masses
Just like witches at black masses..."

NATO's supreme allied commander in Europe, Gen. Philip Breedlove, discussed events in Ukraine
with Gen. Valery Gerasimov, chief of the general staff of Russia's armed forces, and they agreed
to keep each other informed about developments in the country.

 The Associated Press  (http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Russias+Prime+Minister+Medvedev+questions+legitimacy/9543404/story.html) Vladimir Isachenkov 24 Feb

                                          Shared with provisions of The Copyright Act
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on February 24, 2014, 22:44:33
I think the big differences between the protesters in the Ukraine and the ones *we* are familiar with like "Black Bloc" anarchists, the "Occupy" movement and various native protestors is the protesters in the Ukraine have a very clear cause that is easy to articulate, is highly motivational and inspires people to fight and even die for. The cause is so compelling that the crowds in the central square in Kiev numbered in the thousands, if not tens of thousands, and equally large and motivated crowds are active in major cities in the western Ukraine.

As for Putin "grabbing" the Eastern half of the Ukraine, in the long run it is better for everyone. The cultural divide across the Dneiper is very bitter and deep, Europe (especially Eastern Europe, which I class as a separate subunit inside Europe) gets the more productive part and cuts away the less productive part to Russia. The prosperous Western Ukraine (or whatever name they come up with. Any Eastern European/Russian history buffs out there?) will help anchor and stabilize Eastern Europe and shield the Balkans and "Latin" Europe from Russia as well.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on February 25, 2014, 00:09:28
The "magic moment" when the regime lost legitimacy and the protestors won:

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/371778/ukraine-changed-forever-live-tv-john-fund

Quote
Ukraine, Changed Forever on Live TV
A journalist exposes the complicity of the media in covering up the regime’s crimes.
By John Fund

Every revolution has moments where the hinge of history seems to swing wide and everything is different and the old regime is delegitimized. In Ukraine’s revolution, the moment that’s likely to be immortalized is when protestors charged police barricades in Kiev’s Independence Square (“Maidan”) last Thursday, reportedly capturing a number of police troops, only to have dozens of protesters then gunned down by snipers. Even a face-saving compromise brokered the next day by Western diplomats couldn’t save President Viktor Yanukovych. His security forces withdrew their support, leaving him unguarded. At 2 a.m. last Saturday, helicopters ferried him and his stooges away from his Michael Jackson–style presidential palace to the Russophone eastern sector of Ukraine. He remains in hiding.

But for many Ukrainians, there was another moment when they realized the ground was shifting beneath them. It came last Friday evening, during one of the most popular talk shows on Inter, the most-watched Ukrainian network. Lidia Pankiv, a 24-year-old television journalist, was invited on by host Andriy Danylevych to discuss the need for reconciliation following the agreement signed by Yanukovych and dissidents earlier that day. While reporting on the Maidan protests, Pankiv had helped persuade the Berkut riot police not to use further violence against the activists, and she had disclosed that one of the Berkut officers was now her fiancé. But reconciliation was not what Pankiv wished to discuss. As relayed by journalist Halya Coynash, Pankiv had a different message:

"You probably want to hear a story from me about how with my bare hands I restrained a whole Berkut unit, and how one of the Berkut officers fell in love with me and I fell in love with him. But I’m going to tell you another story. About how with my bare hands I dragged the bodies of those killed the day before yesterday. And about how two of my friends died yesterday. . . . I hate Zakharchenko, Klyuev, Lukash, Medvedchuk, Azarov. I hate Yanukovych and all those who carry out their criminal orders. I came here today only because I found out that this is a live broadcast. I want to say that I also despise Inter because for three months it deceived viewers and spread enmity among citizens of this country. And now you are calling for peace and unity. Yes, you have the right to try to clear your conscience, but I think you should run this program on your knees. I’ve brought these photos here for you, so that you see my dead friends in your dreams and understand that you also took part in that. And now, I’m sorry, I don’t have time. I’m going to Maidan. Glory to Ukraine."

Danylevych immediately tried to return to the night’s topic of reconciliation. But he was stopped by guest Konstantin Reutsky, a human-rights activist from Luhansk. Reutsky agreed with Pankiv, saying that Inter journalists had “lied and distorted information about Maidan over the last three months.” Danylevych tried to interrupt Reutsky, who went on to say that the protestors had tried for months to avoid bloodshed. “But what happened yesterday is a point of no return,” Reutsky continued. “After that you can no longer say, ‘Sorry, we got carried away, let’s turn the page and start afresh without offense.’ What happened yesterday is impossible to forget.” Danylevych, after shouting down Reutsky’s further attempt to discuss the crimes committed by the government, changed the topic. But a chief media mouthpiece of the regime, owned by the president’s oligarch backers, had been exposed. Hours later, the president fled his palace.

After the broadcast, several Inter journalists approached Reutsky and thanked him for speaking out. Earlier that day, 16 journalists at the network had issued an open letter disagreeing with Inter’s coverage of the protests.

Reporter Halya Coynash points to the Yanukovych regime’s record of media control and censorship: “It proved unnervingly easy within a matter of months of Yanukovych’s [2010] election to remove most critical analysis, negative reports about those in power, and inconvenient information from television.” Whatever new government is formed, that sorry record must not be repeated in a new Ukraine.

As someone who reported from Eastern Europe during the fall of Communist regimes there, I recognized a recurring pattern in the collapse a quarter century later of the regime in Kiev. Regimes can stay in power in an age of mass media only if they have enough murderers willing to gun down people in the street. Snipers were willing to kill their fellow countrymen in the streets around the Maidan last Thursday, but their superiors reached a breaking point when the shots didn’t achieve the desired level of fear. “The shooting stopped when the security chiefs realized the game was over — not because they didn’t have enough Kalashnikovs, but because they proved ineffective: For one person killed, many more came out on the Maidan,” Maria Semykoz, a Ukrainian economist from Lvov, told me by e-mail.

Now that the regime is gone, Ukraine will face wrenching change. Even if Russia doesn’t attempt to stir up separatist sentiment in Ukraine’s Russophone regions, it has in the past shown it can play economic hardball. In recent years, it has limited imports from Ukraine, creating huge lines at customs posts on the border. At times during winter, Russia has cut off critical natural-gas shipments to Ukraine. The sway Russia holds is probably the main reason Yanukovych abandoned a trade treaty with the European Union last November in favor of a deal signed in December with Vladimir Putin. The financial assistance Putin promised in that deal would no doubt be withheld if the government in Kiev turned decidedly toward Europe and the West.

Ukraine’s immediate problem is that it is on the edge of economic collapse. To become a normal nation anchored in the global trading system, Ukraine will have to endure decisive and deep economic reforms, including state spending cuts, privatization, and the implementation of a tax system that is simpler and less loophole-ridden.

“The problem is, the people will likely hate the politicians brave and honest enough to implement those reforms,” Semykoz tells me. “We need now a generation of political kamikazes, who, like the protestors on the Maidan are ready to risk their future by doing the right thing today.” It’s not clear whether any such leaders are ready to step forward in Ukraine.

But, for now, there is cause to celebrate. The ghosts of Ukraine’s Soviet past have not been banished, but they are fading. It’s not a coincidence that Ukrainians are now tearing down dozens of Lenin monuments, though the statues remained standing at the time of Ukrainian independence in 1991 and even during the Orange Revolution of 2004. For the first time since independence, Ukrainians seem to be getting serious about putting individual rights and freedoms at the center of their political system. Here’s hoping that the U.S. and Europe, both of which have largely avoided engagement with Ukraine in recent months, will now step forward to help the Ukrainian people succeed in their aspirations.

— John Fund is national-affairs columnist for NRO
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on February 25, 2014, 13:20:16
Assuming, as I am, that this (http://www.mid.ru/brp_4.nsf/main_eng) is the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation then this statement is pretty bold:

http://mid.ru/brp_4.nsf/0/86DDB7AF9CD146C844257C8A003C57D2
Quote
(http://www.library.illinois.edu/cms/spx/webct/govpubs/images/MID.jpeg)
Statement by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the events in Ukraine


361-24-02-2014

Russia is extremely concerned about the development of the situation in Ukraine.

There have been armed confrontations between violent youths, extreme right nationalist organisations and units of law enforcement agencies, who defended peaceful civilians and interests of the state, in the capital and several other cities recently.

The agreement on settlement of the crisis in Ukraine of the 21 February is not observed despite the fact that its signature was certified by Foreign Ministers of Germany, Poland and France, as well as the United States, the European Union and other international bodies welcomed this document.

Militants have not been unarmed, they refuse to leave the streets of cities, which are actually under their control, refuse to free administrative buildings, continue acts of violence.

We are surprised that several European politicians have already sprung to support the announcement of presidential elections in Ukraine this May, although the agreement of the 21 February envisages that these elections should take place only after the completion of the constitutional reform. It is clear that for this reform to succeed all the Ukrainian political forces and all regions of the country must become its part, but its results should be approved by a nationwide referendum. We are convinced that it is necessary to fully take into account concerns of deputies of eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, the Crimea and Sevastopol, which were expressed at the conference in Kharkov on the 22 February.

We are deeply concerned about the actions in the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada in terms of their legitimacy. Actually referring to the “revolutionary appropriateness” only, they are stamping “decisions” and “laws”, including those aimed at deprivation of humanitarian rights of Russians and other national minorities living in Ukraine.

There are calls to prohibition the Russian language almost fully, lustration, liquidation of parties and organisations, closing of undesirable mass media, removal of restrictions for propaganda of Nao-Nazi ideology.

The course is to suppress those, who do not agree to this, in different Ukrainian regions by dictatorship and even terrorist methods.

There are threats to Orthodox sanctities.

National radicals continue to scoff at monuments in different Ukrainian cities, while like-minded persons in some European countries besmear memorials to Soviet warriors.

Such development of events disrupts the Agreement of the 21 February, discredits its initiators and guarantors, and creates a threat to civil peace, stability in the community and safety of nationals.

We are forced to note that some of our western partners are not concerned about the fate of Ukraine, but rather their own unilateral geopolitical considerations. There are no principled assessments of criminal actions of extremists, including their Neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic manifestations. All the more so, such actions are intentionally or unintentionally promoted. We cannot but get a sustainable impression that the Agreement of the 21 February with silent consent of all its external sponsors is used as a cover only to promote the scenario of change of Ukrainian power by force through the creation of “facts on the ground”, without any wish to search for a Ukraine-wide consensus in the interests of national peace. We are especially worried about the attempts to involve international structures, including the UN Secretariat, into the approval of this position.

We insistently appeal to all those who are part of this crisis in Ukraine to demonstrate maximum responsibility and to prevent further degradation of the situation, to return it to the ambit of the law, and to decisively stop those extremists, who are seeking power.

24 February 2014

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: semper on February 25, 2014, 13:43:54
Is anyone else greatly disturbed by J. Trudeau's "joke" re: the current situation in Ukraine and Russia's reaction?

While I understand some things may have been lost in translation, I worry that it reflects a trend in Western (and especially North American) society of the general citizenry displaying ostrich-like behaviour; if we are not immediately faced with a situation that impacts our daily lives, it's not worth our attention.

Which is especially troubling coming from our politicians.

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on February 25, 2014, 13:54:42
Is anyone else greatly disturbed by J. Trudeau's "joke" re: the current situation in Ukraine and Russia's reaction?

While I understand some things may have been lost in translation, I worry that it reflects a trend in Western (and especially North American) society of the general citizenry displaying ostrich-like behaviour; if we are not immediately faced with a situation that impacts our daily lives, it's not worth our attention.
This is news?

Assuming, as I am, that this (http://www.mid.ru/brp_4.nsf/main_eng) is the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation then this statement is pretty bold:

http://mid.ru/brp_4.nsf/0/86DDB7AF9CD146C844257C8A003C57D2

Threats to minority Russian language rights?  Check.

Threats to Orthodox churches?  Check.

Reminder of some neo-Nazis getting in on the act (bringing back a bit of historical angst (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/01/ukraine-wwii-legacy_n_3688865.html))?  Check.

Lookit what they're doing to our glorious history of "liberation" during WW2?  Check.

Standby for warning order (http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/russia-deploys-ships-troops-ukraines-crimea-raising-tensions-1437762)?
Quote
Russia is believed to be deploying military ships carrying troops in the disputed autonomous Crimea region of Ukraine, as Moscow continues to refuse to recognise the interim administration which has taken control of Kiev.

Reports suggest the movement of Russia's large landing ship Nikolai Filchenkov, with at least 200 soldiers onboard, at the Russian Black Sea Fleet's base at Sevastopol.

The ship is said to be accompanied by at least four other vessels with an unknown number of Special Forces Troops onboard, sailing from the Russian port of Anapa to the Crimean/Ukrainian Sevastopol.

Oleh Tyahnybok, leader of the nationalist Ukrainian Svoboda, said he has proof of the movement in the form of a text message.

Citing security sources in Crimea, Tyahnybok said: "I can show sms. Today at 12:00 foreseen arrival of Temryuk port in the Russian Federation in the city of Sevastopol large landing ship 'Nikolai Fil'chenkov' from the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation ....
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: semper on February 25, 2014, 14:07:17
This is news?
What's worse, it's dominating social media and mainstream media channels since reports of Trudeau's comments surfaced yesterday. When people SHOULD (imnosho) be paying attention to what's actually happening in the Ukraine, they're busy playing partisan politics instead. Sure, there's lots of information about the current situation in the Ukraine available to those who know to look for it (to the Googles!).  But prior to Trudeau's statement it appeared that many were more engrossed in the minutia of the Olympics than in the situation in Ukraine.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on February 25, 2014, 14:10:45
I'm guessing that if Russia does decide on a coup de main in Crimea/South East Ukraine, resulting in a de facto partition, they will have done "good work" for Europe. Supreme Leader President Putin will have managed to get what Russia needs (a Black Sea naval base) and, simultaneously, he will have spared the EU the agony of dithering, yet again, about events in the peripheral regions.

I'm also guessing that Russia wants marches between it and the West: Kaliningrad Oblast, Belarus and now Eastern Ukraine ~ not a perfect armed buffer zone but pretty good for the 21st century.

 
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: CombatMacgyver on February 25, 2014, 14:17:55
What's worse, it's dominating social media and mainstream media channels since reports of Trudeau's comments surfaced yesterday. When people SHOULD (imnosho) be paying attention to what's actually happening in the Ukraine, they're busy playing partisan politics instead. Sure, there's lots of information about the current situation in the Ukraine available to those who know to look for it (to the Googles!).  But prior to Trudeau's statement it appeared that many were more engrossed in the minutia of the Olympics than in the situation in Ukraine.

Maybe people simply realize there's not a whole-hell-of-a-lot Canada can do about the instability in Ukraine?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Old Sweat on February 25, 2014, 14:35:46
I'm also guessing that Russia wants marches between it and the West: Kaliningrad Oblast, Belarus and now Eastern Ukraine ~ not a perfect armed buffer zone but pretty good for the 21st century.

Somewhat on a tangent, in December 1991 I was in J3 Plans and was tasked to examine the provision of aid to the former Soviet Union which was going through a very bad spell then. Some of the wild ideas included deploying the Field Hospital and using 4 CMBG to transport food, POL, etc to Russia.

This is where it gets interesting re the traditional Russian mistrust of Europe, I recalled a briefing I had attended several years ago and confirmed the info with J2. There is no real direct, high quality road network from the Polish frontier to Moscow and ditto for fuel stockpiles/depots. This is by design to impose delay on any invading army. A bit of math demonstrated that most of the 4 CMBG vehicles would be devoted to carrying fuel for Canadian consumption en route.

By the way, most of the proposed course of action were equally impractical. At 0700 I recommended to the DCDS that we should only offer assistance if needed and allow the Soviets to decide if they could unbend enough to ask for aid from NATO. He saw the logic of it and at the morning daily executive meeting on the 13th Floor had the satisfaction of being ahead of the CDS and DM when they raised the issue with him.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on February 25, 2014, 14:42:53
I'm guessing that if Russia does decide on a coup de main in Crimea/South East Ukraine, resulting in a de facto partition, they will have done "good work" for Europe. Supreme Leader President Putin will have managed to get what Russia needs (a Black Sea naval base) and, simultaneously, he will have spared the EU the agony of dithering, yet again, about events in the peripheral regions.

I'm also guessing that Russia wants marches between it and the West: Kaliningrad Oblast, Belarus and now Eastern Ukraine ~ not a perfect armed buffer zone but pretty good for the 21st century.

Then again, he can pump more money into Sochi and guarantee its continued prosperity after the Olympics with a large Naval presence and facilities to train his Army hockey team..... >:D
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on February 25, 2014, 15:10:47
....
The cultural divide across the Dneiper is very bitter and deep, Europe (especially Eastern Europe, which I class as a separate subunit inside Europe) gets the more productive part and cuts away the less productive part to Russia. The prosperous Western Ukraine (or whatever name they come up with. Any Eastern European/Russian history buffs out there?) will help anchor and stabilize Eastern Europe and shield the Balkans and "Latin" Europe from Russia as well.

No buff me but interested amateur....

IMO the key elements of interest are two separate peoples: The Rus and the Khazars.

The Khazars are/were descendants of Attila's Huns, the Avars and the Gokturks.  They dominated the Silk Road from the Dniepr to the Altai (and apparently had a Jewish connection - as well as just about every other religion).

The Rus are usually considered by Westerners to be Vikings and by the Russians to be indigenous Slavs.  IMO - probably a bit of both.

The Timeline:

630 AD - Constantinople starts treating the Khazars as a fellow state with Anti-Arab interests.

750 AD - Vikings settling on Lake Ladoga

775 AD - Khazars marry into the Byzantine royal family and Leo the Khazar is emperor of Byzantium - causes a ruckus with Rome because he doesn't like graven images.

859 AD - Rus or Vikings at a York Factory type trading post at Novgorod

882 AD - Rus seize the Kiev trading post from the Khazars

969 AD - Rus seize the Khazar capital of Atil on the Volga delta draining into the Caspian sea - Khazars lose control of the Silk Road

1147 AD - Rus have established a trading post among the Slavs at Moscow

1223 to 1240 AD - Mongol conquest of the Rus

Mongols' Golden Horde holds the Silk Road until bypassed by Vasco da Gama and later the Dutch East India Company.

I leave it others to figure out who holds title to which lands under what names.   (I haven't touched the Bulgar claims to the lands).
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on February 25, 2014, 15:34:12
Somewhat on a tangent, in December 1991 I was in J3 Plans and was tasked to examine the provision of aid to the former Soviet Union which was going through a very bad spell then. Some of the wild ideas included deploying the Field Hospital and using 4 CMBG to transport food, POL, etc to Russia.

This is where it gets interesting re the traditional Russian mistrust of Europe, I recalled a briefing I had attended several years ago and confirmed the info with J2. There is no real direct, high quality road network from the Polish frontier to Moscow and ditto for fuel stockpiles/depots. This is by design to impose delay on any invading army. A bit of math demonstrated that most of the 4 CMBG vehicles would be devoted to carrying fuel for Canadian consumption en route.

By the way, most of the proposed course of action were equally impractical. At 0700 I recommended to the DCDS that we should only offer assistance if needed and allow the Soviets to decide if they could unbend enough to ask for aid from NATO. He saw the logic of it and at the morning daily executive meeting on the 13th Floor had the satisfaction of being ahead of the CDS and DM when they raised the issue with him.

Which probably explains why the Russians have spent so much money on beasts like these:

(http://www.symscape.com/files/images/km-ekranoplan.jpg)

They exploit the rivers which are the traditional trade routes, run north and south parallel to the borders and disrupt the east west movement of the Mongols and their heirs and successors.

That is why I think the Russians would (unwillingly) accept a saw-off along the Dniepr that allowed them to hold the Donbass, Volgograd and the Crimea.  It would mean sacrificing the "Russians" in the South of the Ukraine but Ukraine needs Odessa as a seaport.  If Ukraine needs support on anything it is in securing Odessa.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on February 25, 2014, 16:10:43
The threat of Russian intervention to seize the areas sympathetic to Yanukovich looms again...perhaps we might see the Russians come in with an invasion similar to their 2008 campaign in Georgia?

While Ukraine's future remains uncertain since a new government has not been formed as of this posting, it seems they've found the hiding place of deposed President Yanukovich...

National Post (http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/02/25/russia-threatens-to-intervene-as-ukraines-fugitive-president-holes-up-near-soviet-era-submarine-base/)

Quote

Russia threatens to intervene as Ukraine’s fugitive president holes up near Soviet-era submarine base


A senior Russian lawmaker said Tuesday that Russia will protect its compatriots in Ukraine if their lives are in danger.

Tuesday’s statement by Leonid Slutsky, who heads a parliamentary committee in charge of relations with other ex-Soviet republics, reflected tensions in Ukraine’s Crimea, a mostly Russian-speaking Black Sea peninsula that hosts a major Russian naval base.

“If lives and health of our compatriots are in danger, we won’t stay aside,” Slutsky said at a meeting with activists in Simferopol, the regional capital of the Crimea. He refused to elaborate.

(...)- END EXCERPT


Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on February 25, 2014, 16:28:04
For a bit of reference, two maps attached - top map shows the breakdown of the last election (generally speaking, blue = pro-Russians, red/other = anti-Russian), and bottom maps show concentration of Russian speakers (darker/redder = mo' Russian speakers).
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on February 25, 2014, 16:36:43
Divisions in the Crimea

Quote
Hunt for fugitive president in the Light Brigade's Valley of Death
A century and a half after the charge of the Light Brigade, tensions are again building on the Crimean peninsular


By Roland Oliphant, Balaclava 9:48PM GMT 24 Feb 2014

Amongst the wild apricot blossom just off the road on the rolling hills above Balaclava, a black cannon ball perches on a granite slab.
In October, it will be 160 years since 600 British cavalry charged Russian guns across the fields below in one of the most infamous military disasters of the Franco-British campaign to capture Russia’s naval base and strong hold at Sebastopol.

Today, there is little to see, the Valley of Death is a tranquil patchwork of meadows and vineyards - some of the few that survived Mikhail Gorbachev’s ill-fated war on alcohol.

But a century and a half after the charge of the Light Brigade, tensions are again building on the Crimean peninsular that has been a bloody flashpoint throughout history.

In 1854, Balaclava was one stop on the road to the Russian stronghold in Sebastopol. Locals recall that so many British soldiers passed through the small harbour here during the 1850s that the place was called “little London”.

Built around a tiny cove between cliffs riddled with tunnels and home to a top-secret Soviet-era submarine base, the port at Balaclava today could have been purpose built as a bolt hole for a villain on the run.

Whether or not that is what Viktor Yanukovych’s son had in mind when he built a luxury yacht club here in the late 2000s, locals here say it played just that role last weekend.

Mr Yanukovych, the fugitive former president of Ukraine who is now wanted on accusations of mass murder, apparently took refuge in one of the green-roofed mansions looking out at the submarine tunnels bored into the cliffs opposite, some time on Sunday.
“First, he turned up at the military airport at Belbek [10 kilometres north of Sebastopol]. They turned him away, so he drove down here. Then he was seen leaving sometime on Sunday evening,” said Roman Reitz, a local fisherman.

Locals described how a 95ft, cherry coloured yacht called the Centurion that was moored at the yacht club while Mr Yanukovych was there put out to sea and headed southeast along the coast shortly before he left by car - perhaps to rendezvous with the vessel somewhere less visible to the local coast guard.

Viktor Yanukovych has been missing since he fled Kiev on Friday night in the face of a popular uprising that has now become a revolution.

He has since been sighted in various places in his former electoral strongholds in Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine, including Kharkov, where he gave a television interview on Saturday night denouncing the Kiev protesters who overthrew him as Nazis, and later in his home town of Donetsk, where border guards say they denied a plane he boarded permission to take off.

Although several Balaclava locals gave consistent confirmation of the story, none claimed to have actually seen the ex-president with their own eyes.

“Everyone’s heard, no one has seen!” joked a yachtsman coiling rope on the yacht-club’s quayside.

It is a struggle to find anyone with a good word to say about the deposed president in this sleepy port town, however. “All he did was steal, steal, steal,” said Mr Reitz. “Fishermen have been working here for a thousand years. And then he comes and puts fences around half the land. You see up there? That’s a new road they built for former prime minister Mykola Azarov’s new house. It’s disgusting.”

But the overthrow of Viktor Yanukovych by a pro-European uprising in Kiev has sent many people in this historically Russian district of Ukraine into a panic - and even talk about turning to Russia for salvation.

About 60 percent of Crimeans are ethnic Russia, and 25 percent Ukrainain.

And to make things even more complicated, about 13 percent are Crimean Tatars, the descendants of the Mongol armies that rampaged through Eurasia in the 13th century.


The peninsular was indeed part of Russia until Nikita Krushchev transferred it to the Ukrainian SSR as a “gift” in 1954 - a move which at the time was only significant on paper.

But when the Soviet Union collapsed 37 years later, the strategic peninsular that Russians spilt so much blood to defend in both the Crimean and Second World Wars found itself in another country.

It is an indication of the deep divide between these parts of Ukraine that Sevastopol-based police units retuning from battling protesters in Kiev received a hero’s welcome.

In nearby Sevastopol - the site of a Russian naval base and home to a large ethnic Russian population - fears are growing of a crack down on Russian national identity and language.

The post-revolution parliament has already passed a bill making Ukrainian the only official language - a move that for many betrays the true nature of the protesters.

“We are here because we don’t want to live under fascists,” said Igor Klimenchenko, a 58 year old retired navy officer among over 1000 people who rallied outside Sebastopol City Hall on Monday night.

“We want our councillors to elect a new mayor who will appoint an executive committee to run the city independently of the illegitimate government installed in Kiev by bandits and Nazis.”

“The police defended the elected president against bandits. For months they were showered with sticks, with rocks, with molotov cocktails. They are heroes,” said Mr Klimenchenko.

“Those stories about snipers were fabricated. The footage they showed on television was three years old from Kazakhstan. It was a falsification,” he added.

The Russians defended Sevastopol tooth and claw in the Crimean war, in a heroic but ultimately doomed feat of arms that went down in national myth.

Nearly a century later, they repeated the feat in the face of a Nazi onslaught in 1941, holding out for a remarkable eight months in second siege.

Now, many feel like they are up against it again.

“We did not go through 1941 to be ruled by fascists again,” said Nina Antonova, a 43-year-old teacher. “Putin will come to save us.”

Yanukovych deserted by the Police and Military (and his own guards) in Kiev.
Turned back from airports at Kharkiv, Donetsk and Balaclava (his "friendly" turf).
Crimea split.
No friends in Balaclava.
Sevastopol can only turn out 1000 angry ex-Navy protesters.
Russia sending an LST with 200 troops to Sevastopol....

If I were the Russians in Sevastopol I would be concerned about the 200 Russians in the LST..... Putin may want to pull a page from Schickelgruber's play book for the Sudetenland and Poland.   But maybe they relish the idea of being martyrs for the Fatherland...

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on February 25, 2014, 16:43:24
...........There is no real direct, high quality road network from the Polish frontier to Moscow and ditto for fuel stockpiles/depots. [/u]This is by design to impose delay on any invading army. ...

Although I was not that serious in my remarks about Sochi, and moving the Black Sea Fleet to the East, Sochi is not in the Ukraine, but in Russia.  Putin built a super highway and rail link to Sochi for the Olympics.  Having his Fleet on his own soil would seem a logical thing to do.  One can only wonder how long it will be before the Ukraine does follow the other former Warsaw Pact nations to join in their aspirations to join the EU.  A decade.  Two decades.  Maybe more.  Maybe less.  Having a large chunk of your military on foreign soil is expensive, as Canada and other NATO nations have already learned.  Eventually the Black Sea Fleet will leave the Ukraine.  It is only a matter of time. 
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on February 25, 2014, 16:53:53
Whats more likely is Ukraine gives up the Crimea in a deal with Putin.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on February 25, 2014, 17:00:40
Whats more likely is Ukraine gives up the Crimea in a deal with Putin.

That may be a logical and appeasing move by the new government of the Ukraine.  Return to Russia the lands of the Crimea that were gifted to them in 1954.  They would then rid themselves of a large Russian speaking population who want nothing of the desires to join the EU.  The Ukraine could then be free to make up their own mind to join the 'WEST' and prosper, and the Crimean peninsula would be free to live as Russians in a relative less than prosperous manner.  Russia would once again have the Black Sea Fleet on home soil.  Win/Win scenario.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on February 25, 2014, 17:01:51
Although I was not that serious in my remarks about Sochi, and moving the Black Sea Fleet to the East, Sochi is not in the Ukraine, but in Russia.  Putin built a super highway and rail link to Sochi for the Olympics.  Having his Fleet on his own soil would seem a logical thing to do.  One can only wonder how long it will be before the Ukraine does follow the other former Warsaw Pact nations to join in their aspirations to join the EU.  A decade.  Two decades.  Maybe more.  Maybe less.  Having a large chunk of your military on foreign soil is expensive, as Canada and other NATO nations have already learned.  Eventually the Black Sea Fleet will leave the Ukraine.  It is only a matter of time.


Unless he makes the Crimea Russian.

I can imagine that the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov might suggest: "Go for it, now! Take Crimea and the surrounding provinces quickly and cleanly ~ minimum violence but absolute, 100% control. Do not explain, do not apologize, especially not to the EU or the USA. Just say: "effective today these territories are an integral part of the Russian Federation. Those people who do not wish to remain in Russia may sell their homes and businesses and leave; those in Ukraine who wish to become Russian are welcome to immigrate."

A Russian coup de main can work. Neither America nor Europe nor the two combined and supported by the UN is in any position to do anything about it.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on February 25, 2014, 17:06:51
At this juncture it may appeal to the revolutionaries in Kiev to give up the Crimea in exchange for Putin's endorsement of Ukraine joining the EU.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on February 25, 2014, 17:07:47

Unless he makes the Crimea Russian.

I can imagine that the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov might suggest: "Go for it, now! Take Crimea and the surrounding provinces quickly and cleanly ~ minimum violence but absolute, 100% control. Do not explain, do not apologize, especially not to the EU or the USA. Just say: "effective today these territories are an integral part of the Russian Federation. Those people who do not wish to remain in Russia may sell their homes and businesses and leave; those in Ukraine who wish to become Russian are welcome to immigrate."

A Russian coup de main can work. Neither America nor Europe nor the two combined and supported by the UN is in any position to do anything about it.

The Russian army is designed for quick action such as these, as seen in 1956,1968, 1979 and again in 2008. Obama can draw all the imaginary red lines he wants, and the EU can make all the hissy fits it wants, but neither has the means nor the will to back up their words.
I fear that Ukraine will be split up and Europe will face a cold winter or two as Gazprom shuts off the taps.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on February 25, 2014, 17:10:17
At this juncture it may appeal to the revolutionaries in Kiev to give up the Crimea in exchange for Putin's endorsement of Ukraine joining the EU.
I dont think Putin is concerned one iota about the revolutionaries.  He'll just take it.

And I wonder if Tymoschenko is related to Timoschenko...

Also, will Putin borrow a page from von Manstein in taking Sebastopol?  ;)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on February 25, 2014, 17:11:17
At this juncture it may appeal to the revolutionaries in Kiev to give up the Crimea in exchange for Putin's endorsement of Ukraine joining the EU.
I'm guessing too much Soviet colonial history to drive short-term decisions in that direction on the UKR side, especially in these heady, early "we kicked the Russians out" days.
I dont think Putin is concerned one iota about the revolutionaries.  He'll just take it.
:nod:

Meanwhile ....
Quote
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is going to Ukraine to get a first-hand look at the situation in the troubled country.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says Baird and a delegation of Ukrainian-Canadian leaders and parliamentarians will travel to Kyiv, the capital and the epicentre of the political unrest that has rocked Ukraine for months.

Harper says Baird will offer Canada's support for efforts to restore democracy in Ukraine.

News of the trip comes as Russia's ambassador to Canada says talk about the possibility of Russian troops invading Ukraine is nonsense.

Georgiy Mamedov says it's an insult to the intelligence of Canadians even to suggest that might happen in light of recent events in Kyiv ....
CP, via CTV, 25 Feb 14 (http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/foreign-affairs-minister-john-baird-heading-to-ukraine-for-first-hand-look-1.1703456)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on February 25, 2014, 17:13:08
FFS....he'll only see what they want him to see...
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on February 25, 2014, 17:14:46
FFS....he'll only see what they want him to see...
True, but there's a lot of Ukrainian voters here (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/20/us-ukraine-crisis-diaspora-idUSBREA1J28H20140220) to keep happy - can't be seen to be doing nothing, can we?  ;D

Also, it must be important if the PM is sending him (http://www.pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2014/02/25/pm-send-canadian-delegation-ukraine).
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on February 25, 2014, 17:18:25
Putin has about 100,000[Marines,Airborne,Spetznaz] reliable troops for any invasion of Ukraine.The Marshall's are probably cautioning against an invasion.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on February 25, 2014, 17:19:01
FFS....he'll only see what they want him to see...

I thought Potemkin was Russian... not Ukrainian.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: 57Chevy on February 25, 2014, 19:55:32
                                                   Shared with provisions of The Copyright Act

 A Pyrrhic victory is a victory with such a devastating cost that it is tantamount to defeat. Someone who wins a Pyrrhic victory has been victorious in some way; however, the heavy toll negates any sense of achievement or profit.



 TIME (opinion)  (http://ideas.time.com/2014/01/06/putin-is-basking-in-an-astonishing-leadership-vacuum/)
 Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg and Garry Kasparov  (06 Jan 14)
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---
---
A somewhat overlooked aspect of the contest over Ukraine is the role Berlin has played in it. Germany is the country that has often emphasized the importance of building bridges to Russia, and has come up with policies like “change through rapprochement.” But by now, Putin’s zero-sum game mentality and hard power push have provoked even the otherwise not-so-confrontational German Chancellor to take action. Germany has embraced the cause of Ukraine’s association with the E.U., it has offered to provide medical treatment for the imprisoned politician Yulia Tymoshenko, and its Foreign Minister traveled to Kiev to meet with demonstrators. While scoring a probably Pyrrhic victory, Putin has alienated an important partner. Ironically, he also achieved what no pleas from the U.S. President or fellow European leaders could do: Germany finally assumed leadership on a difficult foreign policy issue.


Moreover, Putin also made the E.U. look much better than it otherwise does these days. On first sight, the E.U. Association Agreement is a remarkably boring document, whose benefits only become evident in the long term. Yet its adoption has become synonymous with signing up for democracy, the rule of law and economic progress. We have gotten all too used to popular protest against the E.U.’s undemocratic power grabs, to politicians likening Brussels to the Moscow of the Soviet era and to discussions about different countries’ potential exits from the grand European project. Ukrainians have now reminded us of the transformative influence that the always too slow and never too effective E.U. can still have on young democracies.


Whether they are real successes or not for Putin, recent events should serve as a wake-up call for leaders on both sides of the Atlantic. The U.S. should return to long-term and extensive foreign policy planning. The primary reason for Putin’s self-aggrandizing behavior is the astonishing leadership vacuum in the world. Washington’s recent preference to let other nations, including Russia, lead on international affairs has eroded the U.S.’s authority. However, the U.S. seems to slowly realize now that to influence Putin it must speak his language, that of power. Still, it has to use the right tools. The Magnitsky Act, designed to punish Russian officials for human-rights abuses, is one of the available tools, but so far Washington seems to lack the will to use it.


As for Europe, it finally seems to recognize that it needs to be capable of taking care of its own neighborhood. The frozen conflicts in the post-Soviet space have been ignored for far too long. Why did it take a war in Georgia to realize that Tbilisi required more assistance from Europe? Why did it come as a surprise that Armenia, a country on the brink of an open confrontation with Azerbaijan, could be ruthlessly pressured into anything by Russia as long as Moscow is the one providing for its security? Will it now be spurred by another country retreating from the Eastern Partnership program, or will the E.U. face the problem of how vulnerable the Transnistria conflict makes Moldova?


Russia’s behavior toward Ukraine might hand Europe an opportunity to become more united and effective in its foreign policy. This would not be the first time Putin’s aggressive policies backfired. One of the most remarkable achievements of the E.U. recently is how it has learned to stand up against Gazprom’s monopolistic practices. A few years ago, the E.U.-Russia energy relations were all about the former’s defenselessness. Today, the news is about raids in Gazprom’s European offices, the European Commission’s plans to try the energy giant in an antitrust case and most recently, Brussels’ calls for the renegotiation of Gazprom’s bilateral agreements. As a result, it is now Gazprom that has started working toward a settlement with the E.U.


Full Article at link
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on February 25, 2014, 20:23:33
Russia holds a trump card with regard to the EU.They are the supplier of natural gas.They can shut it off or raise prices and its winter in Europe.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Larry Strong on February 25, 2014, 20:37:21
Russia holds a trump card with regard to the EU.They are the supplier of natural gas.They can shut it off or raise prices and its winter in Europe.

Well if the EU ends up freezing in the dark, they might consider re-looking their own domestic shale gas. There is more than enough to replace the Russians



Larry
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on February 25, 2014, 20:46:06
Russia holds a trump card with regard to the EU.They are the supplier of natural gas.They can shut it off or raise prices and its winter in Europe.
And not just natural gas, either ....
(http://burycoal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/russian-oil-gas-pipeline.png)
And this little reminder from what things looked like in 2009
(http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/images/files/u65/PipelineMap.jpg)
Well if the EU ends up freezing in the dark, they might consider re-looking their own domestic shale gas. There is more than enough to replace the Russians
That's not an overnight solution, though ....
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Larry Strong on February 25, 2014, 21:06:12
No you are correct. However necessity might force the Western EU to put practicality ahead of ideology. Besides with KXL dead in the water, and the Northern Gateway in a similar position we are going to need to send our Dilbit somewhere. And though there is resistance to the reversal of line 9 at least the pipeline is already in the ground so there is no construction required - said somewhat tongue in cheek ;D



Larry
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on February 26, 2014, 00:37:41
An article from The American Interest. The fight by the people of the Western Ukraine to prevent the imposition of an authoritarian government reflects the cultural heritage of that part of the Ukraine. It was part of the "European" sphere for a very long time (as part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) and Poland fought for it as recently as 1922. The Ukrainian "Greens" fought both the Bolshevik "Reds" and the Imperial Russian "Whites" during the civil war, and campaigned against the USSR even as late as the 1950's (having fought both the Communists and the Nazis as partisans during the Second World War). Putim may "grab" pieces of the Ukraine that are ethically and culturally Slavic east of the Dneiper river, and I suspect the remainder of the Ukraine will be better off after the severance.

http://www.the-american-interest.com/articles/2014/02/24/the-lessons-of-kiev/

http://www.the-american-interest.com/articles/2014/02/24/the-lessons-of-kiev/

Quote
The Lessons of Kiev
ANDREW WOOD
The seismic shift in Ukraine was achieved by its people—not by outside forces, and not by its politicians.

Published on February 24, 2014
The seismic shift in Ukraine was achieved by its people, not outside forces, and not its politicians. There was no conspiracy, no mob violence let alone “pogroms”, and no march of eastern Ukraine against the west and center of the country in defense of Yanukovych. Of course there were fears and divisions, and the future is uncertain, but the central, momentous fact was this: the refusal of the Ukrainians to accept that their rulers have the right to compel them to obedience, and the lesson that, on the contrary, Ukraine’s rulers must govern in the interests of the people, as their servants not their masters.

It will be some considerable time before the implications of this decisive change sink in. The notion that the war Yanukovych waged on his own people was the product of a geopolitical struggle between Russia and the West, with Ukraine as the victim, had, and probably still has, deep roots. It fitted a major plank of those arguing in the United States for a strategic reset in relations between Washington and Moscow. This is an argument that took—sometimes explicitly—the Russian claim to a particular national interest in Ukraine as having a higher value than the hopes and wishes of the people of Ukraine themselves. It fitted with those in EU countries who continued to believe that disputing Russian ambitions to restore its hegemony in the former Soviet space, and Ukraine above all, would scupper the superior objective of gradually persuading the Kremlin that Russia’s true interests lay in realizing shared European destiny and values. The strongly articulated Russian assertions that Ukraine was the object of Western subversion, a geopolitical prize to be seized by fair means or foul at the expense of a disinterested Russia and at the risk of chaos in Europe, played into a Cold War set of attitudes.

It was telling that, while there was anger within the European Union at the way that Russian pressure and inducements achieved Yanukovych’s volte-face on the Association Agreement this past November, the general assumption was that Ukraine’s European option had been shut down. That assumption failed to account for two factors within Ukraine itself: first, that Ukrainians themselves understood that Yanukovych’s November choice implied that he was moving towards the Russian model of centralized authoritarian governance and accepting the dominance of Moscow; and second, Yanukovych’s brutal incompetence in an increasingly desperate attempt to shore up his rule. From the time snipers began picking off victims on the Maidan it was obvious that this was not so much about Ukraine’s relationship with the EU as its future chances of becoming Poland rather than Belarus.

Neither the United States nor the European Union was driving events in Ukraine. The Americans were ahead of the Europeans in working for sanctions. One can sympathize with the all too human outburst of Assistant Secretary Nuland about what she saw as EU inaction. But Washington did not give much of a lead either. It took time for the West as a whole to comprehend the direction and gravity of what was happening in Ukraine, and to realize that Russia, too, was being carried forward by events. None of that altered, however, the fact that those forces in Ukraine, West, Central or East, that wished to avoid an eventual Yanukovych dictatorship saw a viable relationship with the European Union as a necessary guarantee of their future, and a closer relationship with Russia as a threat to it. There were hesitations, divisions, and reservations within the European Union, as one would expect of a group of 28 countries facing a possible common commitment to a Ukraine with an uncertain future. The last minute deal negotiated with Yanukovych by the Polish, German, and French Foreign Ministers was an admirable product of diplomatic reasoning, and one that played its part in Yanukovych’s surrender to the inevitable. But that deal was already overtaken by events when it was signed, and Yanukovych knew it as he prepared to flee Kiev.

But if the West fumbled the pass, the Kremlin was the victim of its own illusions. The Moscow establishment consistently misread Ukrainian reality, just as it did in 2004. Misled by understandable if patronizing assumptions as to the power of cultural and historical associations between the Russian and Ukrainian peoples, and the economic benefits as Moscow saw them of closer integration between the two countries, the Russian authorities put their faith in compulsion as the means to force through a permanent alliance and lasting friendship between Russia and Ukraine (with Belarus and Kazakhstan as partners in it). The further and highly questionable assumption that Ukraine’s future would be decided either by the West or by Russia fed into the deep-seated belief that it was in Russia’s “national interest” to ensure that Moscow won, a belief encouraged by the fear that a different system of governance in Ukraine, and a closer adherence by that country to wider European norms, would threaten Russia’s present ruling paradigm.

Putin and his Russia now face an agonizing choice. It would be easier to retreat further into aggrieved isolation and to blame the West for Moscow’s troubles than to acknowledge to themselves, however tacitly, that strategic as well as tactical mistakes should be addressed, and their consequences corrected. It would be wrong for the rest of us either to despair of the possibility of reflection, even though such a rethink would have to cover a far wider field than the issue of why Moscow failed to impose its will on Kiev, or to expect that it will soon take place. “The weak get beaten” is a fundamental article of Putin’s faith. He and his close associates may find it impossible to see the destruction now of the hopes they thought were assured four months ago in any other way. There is on the other hand at present no clear way ahead of them of reviving the possibility of Ukraine returning to the ex-Soviet fold. Russia’s best bet is to swallow as much pride as it can, and to wait upon events. Ukraine may want more independence from Russia than Moscow might wish, but both countries still need each other.

The West, the European Union not least, will also need to absorb the lessons of the past several months. No one, I take it, supposes that Ukraine will soon turn into a settled country with a defined future. That would be optimistic even if there were no outside forces and internal factions to cloud the possibility. It will still be the duty of the European Union, the United States, and even Russia, if it can bring itself to do so constructively, to support Ukraine in its recovery from the violence and misrule that it has endured. The West has been brought by events to recognize that duty. The outside world ought to be encouraged by the way that Ukraine has begun to recover from its trauma. The outside world should, lastly, fully accept that Ukraine has earned the right to defend and determine its own future. It is a state, not a piece of meat for jackals to dispute.

Andrew Wood is associate fellow with the Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House, and served in the British Embassy in Moscow from 1964–66, 1979–82 and 1995–2000, the last as Ambassador.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on February 26, 2014, 03:40:09
Everyone, please stop using the definite article when referring to Ukraine.  Not only is it irritating, it's wrong.
Quote
Граудина, Л. К.; Ицкович, В. А.; Катлинская, Л. П (2001). Грамматическая правильность русской речи [Grammatically Correct Russian Speech] (in Russian). Москва. p. 69. "В 1993 году по требованию Правительства Украины нормативными следовало признать варианты в Украину (и соответственно из Украины). Тем самым, по мнению Правительства Украины, разрывалась не устраивающая его этимологическая связь конструкций на Украину и на окраину. Украина как бы получала лингвистическое подтверждение своего статуса суверенного государства, поскольку названия государств, а не регионов оформляются в русской традиции с помощью предлогов в (во) и из.

Anyway, when referring to "the Ukraine", the implication js that it is part of a larger region, such as in this case the USSR.  In Canada, we may refer to regions such as "the Mirimachi", as an example. Others include "the Prairies" or "the Sudeten land" or, more appropriately,  the Crimea,  since it is part of a larger region, in this case, Ukraine.


/rant
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on February 26, 2014, 08:21:25
The latest (http://metronews.ca/news/canada/953057/russian-troops-wont-invade-ukraine-ambassador-to-canada/) from Russia's ambassador to Canada:
Quote
.... Georgiy Mamedov said categorically that a Russian invasion was not in the cards, despite recent events in Kyiv that have pushed Ukraine away from renewed ties with Moscow.

“It’s very simple. We are no NATO, it’s not Libya, you won’t see any Russian troops in Ukraine,” he said.

“Whoever discusses rumours about Russian military intervention in Ukraine is committing an insult to the intellect of the Canadian public, full stop.” ....
Does that mean:
1)  If troops go, we won't see them?
2)  If troops go, we get the "hey, this isn't Ukraine - lookit all these Russian speakers giving the lads flowers as we roll in - so it might as well be Russia, right?" messaging?
>:D
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Old Sweat on February 26, 2014, 08:44:46
The old Soviet Union had a reputation for toughness, see Hungary 1955 and Czechoslovakia 1968, but this was not uniform as it also allowed Poland to fester on its own in the early 80s. Recent past history indicates that Putin's Russia is not loath to act to trouble on its frontiers. I would not give too much credence to the Ambassador's statement as he is acting as a conduit and may or may not have real inside knowledge, or he may just be making reassuring noises.

A possible scenario is if the old government can make a convincing argument that it is the victim of a coup. It does not have to be telling all the truth or even very much of it. All it needs to do is to convince enough useful idiots that it has a case, and then perhaps the Russians can accept an invitation to deliver their Ukrainian brothers and sisters from oppression.

I am not sure what the response from Washington would be. The Obama administration has demonstrated it talks loudly and carries a little stick. The EU can be relied upon for noise, but not much else. My conclusion is that Russia is in the driver's seat and has more or less a free hand.

Perhaps the Baird delegation that is travelling to the Ukraine today is intended as a deterrent, or perhaps internal Canadian political imperatives has trumped common sense once again. If the government thinks the presence of a Canadian official delegation could sway Putin away from taking action later or sooner, they are hopelessly optimistic.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Journeyman on February 26, 2014, 09:38:43
If the government thinks the presence of a Canadian official delegation could sway Putin away from taking action later or sooner, they are hopelessly optimistic.
It's merely the diplomatic equivalent of an NDHQ Staff Annoyance Assistance Visit.  They'll show up without knowing the actual situation on the ground, have not the slightest intention of getting their hands dirty but not hesitating to tell everyone how they'd be doing things better, take pictures and go souvenir shopping at the local market for bragging rights back home, then disappear having contributed nothing.


Baird et al are simply adding to the storyline that "while the Liberals shamelessly ~tsk tsk~ make hockey jokes at the expense of these poor people, we're here doing.......something!"  [ie - Ukrainian voters in Western Canada take note]
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on February 26, 2014, 11:03:18
Putin has ordered military drills across western Russia.Odd time for a readiness drill,but then again maybe not. :nod:
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on February 26, 2014, 12:47:22
It's to keep all those troops in Sochi from getting bored now that the Olympics are over :) .
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on February 26, 2014, 13:27:56
Putin preparing to move troops to annex Eastern Ukraine and Crimea?

Yahoo News (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/putin-orders-massive-military-exercises-amid-tensions-over-130532742.html)

Quote


Putin orders massive military exercises amid tensions over Ukraine

The Canadian Press
By The Associated Press

MOSCOW - President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered massive exercises involving most military units in western Russia amid tensions in Ukraine.

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a televised statement made at a meeting of top military brass in Moscow that the exercise is intended to "checks the troops' readiness for action in crisis situations that threaten the nation's military security."

In remarks carried by Russian news agencies, Shoigu said that the manoeuvrs involve some 150,000 troops, 880 tanks, 90 aircraft and 80 navy ships.

He said the exercise is unrelated to the developments in Ukraine, where tensions remain high following the toppling of Russia-backed President Viktor Yanukovych.

But Shoigu added that the exercise will be held near Russian borders, including the border with Ukraine. He also said, according to Russian news reports, that his ministry will take steps to strengthen security of the facilities of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, without elaborating.

(...)- EDITED

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on February 26, 2014, 15:01:06
880 ish tanks is a combined arms army of four motor rifle divisions and a tank division...


That's a huge force, especially in this post cold war era...
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on February 26, 2014, 16:15:58
Putin has ordered military drills across western Russia.Odd time for a readiness drill,but then again maybe not. :nod:
Hey, the narrative has been set ....
Assuming, as I am, that this (http://www.mid.ru/brp_4.nsf/main_eng) is the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation then this statement is pretty bold:

http://mid.ru/brp_4.nsf/0/86DDB7AF9CD146C844257C8A003C57D2
Threats to minority Russian language rights?  Check.

Threats to Orthodox churches?  Check.

Reminder of some neo-Nazis getting in on the act (bringing back a bit of historical angst (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/01/ukraine-wwii-legacy_n_3688865.html))?  Check.

Lookit what they're doing to our glorious history of "liberation" during WW2?  Check.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on February 26, 2014, 16:25:55
Quote
KYIV — A former presidential aide despised by protesters has been shot and wounded, his spokesman said Tuesday, raising fears of retaliation as Ukraine charts a new tumultuous political course.

Andriy Klyuyev, who was President Viktor Yanukovych’s chief of staff until Sunday, was wounded by gunfire on Monday and hospitalized, his spokesman, Artem Petrenko, told The Associated Press.

You can add this to the narrative from yesterday's National Post (http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/02/25/ukraine-teeters-on-collapse-as-billions-in-bills-come-due-and-russian-loyalists-push-for-separation/)

By the way I detest the hyped headline.  Not useful at any time but especially not now.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on February 26, 2014, 17:03:35
By the way I detest the hyped headline.  Not useful at any time but especially not now.
Like they say, if it bleeds, it leads ....
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on February 26, 2014, 17:12:19
880 ish tanks is a combined arms army of four motor rifle divisions and a tank division...


That's a huge force, especially in this post cold war era...

How many runners?

How many after running 100 km and the Vodka has been drained from the Hydraulics?  (Pace Viktor Suvorov - The Liberators).

How many after the RPGs get done with them?

How many can you concentrate at a given place in a useful number?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on February 26, 2014, 17:35:27


How many after the RPGs get done with them?



In the case of a Russian annexation/incursion...

Wouldn't the Russian armoured columns not face much resistance in Southeastern Ukraine/Crimea though? At least until affer the Dnepr River?

Wouldn't the ethnic Russians living in those areas welcome and assist their compatriots?

Furthermore, as said in this earlier article (http://forums.navy.ca/forums/index.php?topic=111881.0), the Ukrainian Army's officer corps overwhelmingly support deposed President Yanukovich (who supports Russia), while the enlisted personnel seem to mostly support western Ukraine/the EU.

So far most of the Ukrainian military has stayed out of the political crisis gripping the country, but that may change..
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: MilEME09 on February 26, 2014, 17:45:38
Most of the Ukrainian army is in the west as well, If i recall correctly only a handful of units would actually be close enough to slow down the Russian Army until the bulk including Ukraine's armoured units arrive.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on February 26, 2014, 18:05:14
I'd wager that most are runners.  And with reactive armour, RPG warheads would be virtually useless.

And backing all this up one can assume battalions of SP Artillery. 18 tubes per regiment.  That's 360 2S1s (122mm). Plus the 2S3s. And an unknown number of 9A52-2 Smerch-M...and on it goes.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: 57Chevy on February 26, 2014, 19:43:11
                                                    Shared with provisions of The Copyright Act

Russian military move on Ukraine would echo HITLER annexing the Sudetenland, expert warns

 Express  (http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/461770/Expert-likens-possible-Putin-action-on-Ukraine-to-Hitler-s-1938-move-on-Czechoslovakia) Owen Bennett  25Feb

A DECISION to send Russian tanks into Ukraine would have echoes of the catastrophic invasion of Czechoslovakia by Adolf Hitler 76 years ago, according to a leading international security expert.

Dr Jonathan Eyal, International Director of the security think-tank Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) said a such Russian move would be President Vladimir Putin’s “Sudetenland option”.

He was referring to the annexation of the German-speaking part of Czechoslovakia in 1938 when Hitler claimed he was merely trying to protect the ethnic German population in the area, a move that led eventually to the Second World War.
 
It is now feared President Putin could seek to take over the eastern part of Ukraine to protect the ethnic-Russians in the region, following the ousting of pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovych last weekend.

Dr Eyal warned that state-owned Russian media outlets are already focusing on the suffering of ethnic-Russians in the region, just as Nazi Germany did with its propaganda in 1938.

The expert warned any military move by Russia could usher in a new Cold War with the West.

He said: "Putin understands Ukraine will never be part of Russia again, but he wants Ukraine to look on Russia as a big brother.

"The Sudetenland option is not his first priority, but it is his fail safe priority.

"He has no chance of engaging with the west of Ukraine, and at the end of the day the Sudetenland option remains in the back of most Russian leaders minds.

"The West's failure has been trying to persuade him that the Sudetenland option is a mistake for Russia, but he is not getting the message."

Dr Eyal added if the the annex did happen, it could set diplomatic relations between Russia and the West back to the days of the Cold War.

Since Mr Yanukovych was deposed last weekend, President Putin has been tight-lipped on events in Ukraine.

President Putin was a strong supporter of the former President, backing him for power twice - first in 2004 and again in 2010.

Civil unrest began to mount in Ukraine last November, when Mr Yanukovych abandoned an agreement with the European Union in favour of closer ties with Russia.

Within weeks, the protest expanded to include outrage about corruption and human rights abuses and calls for Mr Yanukovych's resignation.

Dr Eyal believes the silence emanating from Moscow is merely "the calm before the storm" and President Putin will not take being embarrassed so publicly lightly.

He said: "Putin's main strength at the moment is his ambiguity, as it keeps us all guessing.

"Ambiguity is the strongest card Moscow has - but he will encourage local Russian-speaking activists in the east of Ukraine to rise up."

Hitler's claims for the Sudetenland was one of the direct precursors to the Second World War.

The territory was officially annexed to Germany as part of the infamous Munich Agreement in September 1938 - the height of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's policy of appeasement.

The agreement was signed by Chamberlain, Hitler, Italian leader Benito Mussolini and French Prime Minister Édouard Daladier.

No Czechoslovakian representative was presents, and the Czechs were told to either accept the deal or face the Nazi's alone.

In exchange for the land, Hitler signed a peace deal between Germany and the UK, which Chamberlain famously described as guaranteeing "peace for our time" upon his return to London.

Other ways Russia could exert pressure on the new Ukrainian government include limiting the country's energy supply and demanding repayment of loans.

Dr Eyal believes the UK and Nato will only become involved in a military capacity to strengthen the Ukrainian border with Poland and Romania in order stop any disquiet spreading, and would not send any troops into Ukraine itself.

In a vist to Ukraine's Crimea region today, a senior Russian lawmaker vowed Moscow will protect its compatriots there if their lives are in danger. 
 
Leonid Slutsky, who heads a committee in charge of relations with other ex-Soviet republics in the Russian parliament, reflected tensions in the Crimea, a mostly Russian-speaking Black Sea peninsula that hosts a major Russian naval base. 

Mr Slutsky, speaking at a meeting with local activists, didn't spell out what action Russia might take. 

His statement followed comments by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who said that Moscow has no intention of interfering in Ukraine's domestic affairs and warned the West against trying to turn the situation there to its advantage.

Dr Eyal believes the UK and Nato will only become involved in a military capacity to strengthen the Ukrainian border with Poland and Romania, in order stop any disquiet spreading.

photos at link.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: pbi on February 26, 2014, 20:16:32
I find the echoes from pre-breakup FRY pretty frightening. This isn't going anywhere good.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on February 26, 2014, 20:39:43
Ukraine, Crimea, Donbass, Chechenya, South Ossetia, Georgia, Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan, Kurds, Syria, Iraq, Iran.

Greece and Turkey not looking particularly strong.

What does it say when the strongest regional countries are Romania and Bulgaria?


Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Inky on February 26, 2014, 21:49:51
Ukraine, Crimea, Donbass, Chechenya, South Ossetia, Georgia, Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan, Kurds, Syria, Iraq, Iran.

Greece and Turkey not looking particularly strong.

What does it say when the strongest regional countries are Romania and Bulgaria?

Surely you speak of stability when you use the term strength. Am I wrong?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on February 26, 2014, 22:26:34
You're right Inky.

Stability is a better word.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on February 26, 2014, 22:51:32
More (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/tension-in-crimea-as-pro-russia-and-pro-ukraine-groups-stage-competing-rallies/article17110382/?click=tglobe) on the "you won't see Russian troops" front ....
Quote
Ukraine’s sovereignty over the southern region of Crimea appeared to be under threat Wednesday, as Russian-backed fighters moved dozens of kilometres outside their base in this Black Sea port, establishing a checkpoint on the main road connecting Sevastopol to the regional capital.

The Globe and Mail saw least a dozen men wearing fatigues – supported by an armoured personnel carrier – standing under a Russian flag at a checkpoint erected roughly halfway along the 80-kilometre road from Sevastopol to Simferopol, putting it close to the administrative border that separates the Sevastopol municipality from the rest of Crimea and Ukraine.

The men, some wearing balaclavas, used flashlights to look inside each vehicle approaching Sevastopol. They reportedly later told journalists they were local “volunteers.”

Earlier in the day, at least two armoured personnel carriers were seen maneuvering in the centre of this port city, which has historic ties to Russia and hosts Russia’s Black Sea Fleet under an agreement between Moscow and Kiev. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the Kremlin was “carefully watching what is happening in Crimea” and would take “measures to guarantee the safety of facilities, infrastructure and arsenals of the Black Sea Fleet.” ....
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on February 26, 2014, 23:31:42
The combat readiness of Russian armored units is thought to be iffy.Ukraine has the advantage of interior lines if it comes to that.But I actually think all of this talk of invasion sets the table for a deal to be worked out.The bottom line is that the Crimea will become part of Russia.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on February 27, 2014, 00:36:07
Don't most of the warships of the Ukrainian Navy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_naval_ships_of_Ukraine) actually share port at Sevastopol with the Russian Black Sea Fleet (https://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/russia/agency/mf-black.htm)?

Wouldn't it be awkward if Russia moved into Eastern Ukraine to try to link up with their forces in Crimea, leading to the Ukrainians and Russian warships in port to start trading shots?

Would it be a foregone conclusion that the Russian Black Sea Fleet comes out victorious mainly because of superior firepower?

*another uncertain factor is how many ships will remain loyal to the new regime in Kiev, or loyal to the deposed President Yanukovich, who is pro-Russia and reportedly hiding in an abandoned sub base in the Crimea (http://forums.navy.ca/forums/index.php?topic=111881.75).
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on February 27, 2014, 01:08:46
Ready for another Wild Card (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10662530/Ukraine-revolution-pro-Russia-and-pro-Ukraine-groups-clash-at-Crimea-rallies.html)?

Quote
In the regional capital of Simferopol, 10,000 Muslim Crimean Tatars rallied in support of Ukraine's interim leaders, waving Ukrainian flags and chanting "Ukraine is not Russia" and "Allahu Akbar," while a smaller pro-Russian rally nearby called for stronger ties with Russia and waved Russian flags.
Protesters shouted and punched each other in ongoing scuffles outside the regional assembly, as police and leaders from both sides struggled to keep the two groups apart.

Outstanding: Slavs of Muscovy facing a coalition of Varangians and Muslim Mongols.

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on February 27, 2014, 03:11:16
Speaking of the Tartars mentioned above:

Quote

Yahoo News (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/canadian-press-newsalert-putin-reported-ordering-test-combat-120912688.html)

MOSCOW - A local leader of the Tatar community in Ukraine's Crimea region says armed men have seized two government buildings in the regional capital, Simferopol.

Refat Chubarov wrote on his Facebook page early Thursday that the buildings of the local government and legislature were seized overnight by uniformed men.

Phone calls to the Crimean legislature are ringing unanswered, and its website is down.

But the Interfax news agency reports that the legislature's press office has confirmed the building has been seized.

(Edited)



While Moscow tries to ensure the security of its Black Sea Fleet:


Defense News (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140226/DEFREG01/302260034/Minister-Russian-Navy-Taking-Security-Measures-Crimea?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|p)

Quote
Minister: Russian Navy Taking 'Security Measures' in Crimea


Feb. 26, 2014 - 04:27PM   |   
By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 
MOSCOW — Russia is taking measures to ensure the security of its Black Sea naval fleet based on Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, Russia’s defense minister said Wednesday as President Vladimir Putin ordered snap checks of the armed forces.

“We are watching carefully what is happening in the Crimea, what is happening around the Black Sea fleet. We are taking measures to ensure security of sites, infrastructure and arsenals of the Black Sea fleet,” minister Sergei Shoigu said, Russian news agencies reported.

(...)-EDITED
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Robert0288 on February 27, 2014, 04:11:33
Quote
UPDATE 3-Armed men seize government HQ in Ukraine's Crimea, raise Russian flag
27 Feb 2014 03:01 EST
Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/27/ukraine-crisis-crimea-idUSL6N0LW0AY20140227

* Armed men seize regional government, parliament buildings
 
* Police outside, Russian flag flying

* Door barricaded with chairs, tables

* Russia says it will defend compatriots' right

By Alessandra Prentice

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Armed men seized the regional government headquarters and parliament on Ukraine's Crimea peninsula on Thursday and raised the Russian flag in a challenge to the country's new rulers.

It was not immediately known who was occupying the buildings in the regional capital Simferopol and they issued no demands, but witnesses said they spoke Russian and appeared to be ethnic Russian separatists.

Interfax news agency quoted a witness as saying there were about 60 people inside and they had many weapons. It said no one had been hurt when the buildings were seized in the early hours by Russian speakers in uniforms without designating marks.

"We were building barricades in the night to protect parliament. Then this young Russian guy came up with a pistol ... we all lay down, some more ran up, there was some shooting and around 50 went in through the window," Leonid Khazanov, an ethnic Russian, told Reuters.

"They're still there ... Then the police came, they seemed scared. I asked them (the armed men) what they wanted and they said 'To make our own decisions, not to have Kiev telling us what to do'," said Khazanov.

Crimea, the only Ukrainian region with an ethnic Russian majority, is the last big bastion of opposition to the new political leadership in Kiev following the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovich on Saturday.

Part of Russia's Black Sea fleet is based in Crimea, in the port of Sevastopol

Ukraine's new leaders have been voicing alarm over signs of separatism there. The seizure of the building was confirmed by acting interior minister Arsen Avakov, who said the attackers had automatic weapons and machine guns.

"Provocateurs are on the march. It is the time for cool heads," he said on Facebook.

About 100 police were gathered in front of the parliament building. The streets around the parliament were mostly empty apart from people going to work.

The regional prime minister said he had spoken to the people inside the building by telephone but they had not made any demands or said why they were inside. They had promised to call him back but had not done so, he said.

RUSSIAN WARNINGS

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ignored calls by some ethnic Russians in Crimea to reclaim the territory handed to then Soviet Ukraine by Soviet Communist leader Nikita Khrushchev in 1954.

The United States says any Russian military action would be a grave mistake.

But Russia's foreign ministry said in a statement that Moscow would defend the rights of its compatriots and react without compromise to any violation of those rights.

It expressed concern about "large-scale human rights violations", attacks and vandalism in the former Soviet republic.

Ethnic Tatars who support Ukraine's new leaders and pro-Russia separatists had confronted each other outside the regional parliament on Wednesday.

Yanukovich was toppled after three months of unrest led by protesters in Kiev. He is now on the run being sought by the new authorities for murder in connection with the deaths of around 100 people during the conflict.

Crimea is the only region of Ukraine where ethnic Russians dominate in numbers, although many ethnic Ukrainians in other eastern areas speak Russian as their first language.

The Tatars, a Turkic ethnic group, were victimised by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin in World War Two and deported en masse to Soviet Central Asia in 1944 on suspicion of collaborating with Nazi Germany.

Tens of thousands of them returned to their homeland after Ukraine gained independence with the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Robert0288 on February 27, 2014, 04:51:21
Quote
Ukraine's acting president calls on Russian forces in Crimea not to leave naval base27 Feb 2014
Highlight:
SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine — Ukraine's acting president has warned Russian forces not to leave their naval base in the Crimea region after gunmen seized government buildings in the regional capital.
President Oleksandr Turchynov said: "Any movements of troops, especially with troops outside that territory will be considered military aggression."……


Source: http://www.startribune.com/world/247435411.html
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on February 27, 2014, 06:31:11
Yes, indeed, the strategic view (big hand, small map) is fairly simple: South & East to Russia, North & West to Europe. The local (tactical) view is, as always, more detailed, more nuanced and much more complex.

I'm guessing the Presidents Putin and Obama and Chancellor Merkel are all strategic folks ... only too happy to sweep the details aside and leave the cleanup to others.


Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on February 27, 2014, 08:45:35
Found him (http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_02_27/Yanukovych-says-he-is-still-legitimate-president-of-Ukraine-urges-to-restore-constitutional-order-6422/)!
Quote
Viktor Yanukovych has made an address to the people of Ukraine to declare that he still considers himself the legitimately elected President of Ukraine. "I, Viktor Fyodorovych Yanukovych, am addressing the people of Ukraine. I still believe myself to be the legitimate head of the Ukrainian state elected in a free vote by Ukrainian citizens," he said in the statement.

(....)

"I have to ask the Russian authorities to provide personal security from extremists for me," the statement continues.

(....)

The Russian authorities have met Viktor Yanukovych's request on ensuring his personal security.

"Considering that President Yanukovych has appealed to the Russian authorities to ensure his personal security, I am informing you that this request has been granted on the territory of the Russian Federation," a Russian government source said.

Earlier it was reported that ousted Ukrainian President Victor YAnukovych is in Russia, in Moscow region ....

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: pbi on February 27, 2014, 13:23:42
...The bottom line is that the Crimea will become part of Russia...

Agree completely. They are busily creating the "Danzig" or "Sudetenland" type situations that they need to justify what they are doing. Although, I'm not clear to whom they are going to "justify" anything. The average Ivan/Ivanka on the street probably doesn't like foreigners anyway, bitterly mistrusts Muslims and Asiatics, and instinctively worships the "strong Russia" that Putin and his gang have retailed since they took power. I don't think the Russian public wants much justification.
And the rest of the world won't believe it anyway.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Old Sweat on February 27, 2014, 13:59:53
The following story from the electronic edition of The Globe and Mail is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act.

Canada’s foreign minister lands in Ukraine as tensions mount

KATHRYN BLAZE CARLSON
Ottawa — The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Feb. 27 2014, 12:30 PM EST
Last updated Thursday, Feb. 27 2014, 12:36 PM EST

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has landed in Kiev, just as tensions in Ukraine are reaching fever pitch with Russian troops on alert at the border and NATO urging Moscow not to escalate the already volatile situation.

Mr. Baird is in the Ukrainian capital to lead a Canadian delegation that is expected to meet Friday with members of the new government, opposition parties, civil society and religious groups. Despite the apparent threat to Ukraine’s sovereignty over the southern region of Crimea and with international anxiety brewing over Russia’s next move, the scheduled meetings have not been cancelled or postponed.
 
As it stands, the one-day program will continue as planned and no changes have been made as a result of the events evolving in Ukraine, a government source said. Mr. Baird is expected to launch the program with a visit to Kiev’s Independence Square, where he will pay respect to those who lost their lives in the uprising that ousted President Viktor Yanukovych.

Russian media have reported that Mr. Yanukovych, a Moscow ally who last fall accepted a $15-billion Russian bailout in favour of signing a popular association agreement with the European Union, had been seen in a Moscow hotel and is now staying in a Kremlin sanatorium just outside the city.

“Canada fully supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine,” said Rick Roth, a spokesman for Mr. Baird who is travelling with the minister. “Any outside involvement in Ukraine’s democratic aspirations would be a dangerous development. All countries should be working together in the pursuit of unity, freedom and democracy.”

When asked about safety concerns regarding the delegation, Mr. Roth said he could not comment on security matters.

The tumult in Ukraine has set up a diplomatic tug-of-war between the West, which has expressed support for the demonstrators, and Moscow, which has questioned the legitimacy of the interim government, saying it will find it difficult to work with “Kalashnikov-toting people in black masks.” But now that Russia has assumed control of the main access to a Ukrainian port city that is home to a major naval base, and now that more than 150,000 Russian troops and hundreds of tanks and helicopter gunships are on alert for war games in the areas bordering the former Soviet state, western leaders fear more than a war of words.

Russia says the military exercise is meant to check combat readiness. Still, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel warned Russia to stay out the crisis, and the secretary-general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, of which Canada is a member, told reporters the events in Crimea are “dangerous and irresponsible,” the New York Times reported. The newspaper also noted it was uncertain how far NATO could go in its admonishments of Russia, since Ukraine is not part of the western alliance.

Canada’s delegation includes three Conservative caucus members and four Ukrainian-Canadian community leaders – a composition that drew criticism Wednesday from opposition leaders who said they’d liked to have sent representatives, too. Paul Grod, the head of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and a delegate member, is also now in Kiev.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: pbi on February 27, 2014, 20:51:55
Quote
....Still, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel warned Russia to stay out the crisis...

Stay out or what?

Really now, are we going to war over Russia being nasty in its own back yard? Did we go to war over Georgia, or Chechnya, or Czechoslovakia, or the Hungarian Uprising? What if Russia made a similar threat to the US over US military involvement in hypothetical situations in Mexico or South America? The Americans would react about the same as the Russians will to this. "Manifest Destiny" has its Russian equivalent, I'm sure.

Hopefully the US thinks this through before: a) making more threats that it won't back up (like Syria), thus looking stupid and weak again; or b) trying to bully Russia in its own arena, miscalculating it, and causing a conflict we don't need or want, for dubious reasons.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on February 27, 2014, 21:13:21
As always, Monty  has the answer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9V7zbWNznbs
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Robert0288 on February 28, 2014, 03:58:54
Here's some more goodies from tonight so far.

Quote
Pro-Russian group seizes airport in Ukraine's Crimea region: reports27 Feb 2014 20:35 EST
Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/ousted-ukrainian-president-resurfaces-russia-lawful-ruler-article-1.1703569

About 50 men stormed the Simferopol Airport and took it over peacefully early Friday. The report came hours after mysterious heavily armed pro-Russia gunmen seized control of a government building in Crimea and hoisted the Russian flag.
Armed men sympathetic to the Russians seized an airport in Ukraine's strategic Crimea early Friday as tensions in the region escalated.
The 50 or so men who stormed the Simferopol Airport wore "Russian Navy ensigns" insignia and may have been associated with the dozens of pro-Russia gunmen who seized control of government buildings in the region's capital on Thursday and raised the Russian flag.
The airport was reportedly operating normally after the peaceful takeover, according to reports……….


Quote
Crimea airport in Ukraine blocked by Russian army, Ukraine says
28 Feb 2014, 2:09 EST
Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/crimea-airport-in-ukraine-blocked-by-russian-army-ukraine-says-1.2554798

The Russian military are blocking an airport in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol in Crimea near the Russian naval base, Ukraine's interior minister says. 
Arsen Avakov
(Interim Interior Minister) said in a Facebook post that the Belbek international airport in Sevastopol is blocked by military units of the Russian navy. Avakov called the blockade "military invasion and occupation."
Separately, dozens of armed men in military uniforms without markings were patrolling the airport on Friday as tensions in the country's Russian-speaking southeast escalated.
Russian state television quoted eyewitnesses saying the men arrived at the Simferopol airport in the early hours on Friday.


Here is one of the pictures I've found over twitter rebroadcasted over the news.  Those to me don't look like civilian "volunteers".  Especially since they all have the same boot.  Hell thats something that we can't even do.
(http://news.images.itv.com/image/file/350266/image_update_img.jpg)
(http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/BN-BS496_1ukrai_G_20140228022524.jpg)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Robert0288 on February 28, 2014, 04:28:37
2nd Airport taken

Quote
Armed Men Take Over Two Airports in Crimea
28 Feb 2014, 3:20 EST
Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/01/world/europe/ukraine.html?_r=0

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine — Amid the specter of a possible showdown between Ukraine’s fledgling government and the Kremlin, news agencies quoted the Ukrainian interior minister on Friday as saying armed men were in control of two airports in the region.

“I consider what has happened to be an armed invasion and occupation in violation of all international agreements and norms,” Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said on his Facebook page, according to Reuters.

At Simferopol, the regional capital, a large number of masked armed men were patrolling the international airport Friday morning. They were dressed in camouflage uniforms and carrying assault rifles but their uniforms bore no insignia and it was not clear who they were. The men took up positions around the main administrative building but did not appear to be attempting to enter the terminals and the airport appeared to be operating normally.

One local resident who was at the airport said he didn’t know who the armed men were. “They’re not talking,” he said.

Mr. Avakov said Russian naval forces also took over a military airport near at Belbek near Sevastopol where the Russian Black Sea fleet is based, Reuters said.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on February 28, 2014, 06:03:33
And here's what the dudes at Simferopol airport apparently look like ....
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BhjWpO_CIAAvRfh.png)

Meanwhile, Russia's foreign ministry continues to feed the narrative via Twitter ....
* - Meaning WW2, with the monuments in question marking "70 years of liberation of Ukraine" - from the Nazis, not the Communists  ;)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on February 28, 2014, 06:19:13
The Sergeants Major for these "Crimean Self-Defence" forces (http://bit.ly/1kfHTlL) must be beaming - pretty damned uniform, with almost zero non-issue kit to be seen on the mystery men walking around Crimea's airports .....
(http://pbs.twimg.com/media/BhivZRJCQAAxspr.jpg)
(http://pbs.twimg.com/media/BhiaXvWCEAEoTv1.jpg)
(http://s3-ec.buzzfed.com/static/2014-02/enhanced/webdr02/28/2/enhanced-buzz-21504-1393571917-14.jpg)
More here (http://www.buzzfeed.com/catesevilla/armed-men-in-russian-uniforms-occupy-airport-in-crimea).

Not to worry, though - Russian media (http://rt.com/news/crimea-airport-terminal-capture-095/) say it's not a "takeover" ....
Quote
A group of unidentified armed men in military uniforms raided Simferopol International Airport in the capital of the Crimean Autonomous Region, Ukraine. They have since left the airport terminal, but are still patrolling it from outside.

According to eyewitnesses, in the middle of the night at least three KamAZ trucks without license plates drove to the airport with about 50 men.

At first the group cordoned off the airport’s domestic flights terminal, but then pushed forward.

An airport spokesman, however, rejected reports of a takeover. He said that about 50 armed men arrived at the airport to search for Ukrainian airborne troops. However, after finding out that there were no military personnel present on the tarmac, they apologized and left the territory, Igor Stratilati told Echo of Moscow radio.

Speaking later to the Dozhd (Rain) TV channel, Stratilati said those people weren’t from the Russian military. He added about 30 of them were still outside the airport ....

Edited to add:  They could be "military tourists", too, according to one Ukrainian media account (http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2014/02/28/7016603/) (in Ukrainian - Google English here (http://bit.ly/1oaxDZl)):
Quote
The Russian social networks gather troops "tourists" in Ukraine, which asked men to go from 18 to 45 years of experience serving in the army.

In social networks call for Russian men to go to the Crimea, Donetsk and Kharkiv as the most important "points of resistance".

"The more we have," Russian tourists "will be out in the territory of a neighboring state, the more formal studies in leadership of our country to apply the necessary steps to protect its citizens abroad," - said in one of the calls.

"Now in the Crimea the fate of all the Russian people and the fate of our entire Great", - explained the organizers of "tourism".
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Robert0288 on February 28, 2014, 07:05:56
Here's a video of a road block.  Seems like they have a bunch of Mil pattern trucks as well.  For a random bunch of 'volunteers'  They sure are equipped well.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26380646
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on February 28, 2014, 07:19:22
Ukraine:  this certainly isn't a policing issue (http://bit.ly/1euepgq), shared here in accordance with the Fair Dealing provisions (http://bit.ly/16Crb8d) (§29) of the Copyright Act (http://bit.ly/176uirp) ....
Quote
Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has said that he sees the situation with the blocking of airports in Crimea as an "armed invasion and occupation," he has written on his Facebook page.

"I assess what is happening as an armed invasion and occupation, in violation of all international treaties and norms. This is a direct provocation of armed bloodshed on the territory of a sovereign state," Avakov said.

"This is no longer the competence of the Interior Ministry. This is the competence of the National Security and Defense Council. While there is no direct armed conflict, diplomats have to speak," he said.

He noted that the Interior Troops and the Interior Ministry of Ukraine had intensified patrols near the airports, but the tension is rising.

"The law enforcement agencies will not be able to resist regular military units," he said.
Minister's statement in Ukrainian on Facebook (http://on.fb.me/Nb4RMA)

Ukrainian media version (http://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/193305.html) of "those guys with guns" at Simferopol Airport in Crimea:
Quote
A group of armed men in military uniform without signs of identification seized Simferopol Airport in Crimea in the early hours of Friday.

About 50 people were armed and in the same gear as those who seized the buildings of the Crimean parliament and government on Thursday morning, eyewitnesses told an Interfax-Ukraine correspondent.

The men arrived at the airport in three KAMAZ vehicles without license plates and signs of identification.

A group of people with Russian Navy ensigns gathered at the airport's building.

At the beginning, the armed men surrounded the airport's domestic flights terminal, then moved farther.

The goal of the seizure isn't known at the moment.

Thanks to Twitter, (https://twitter.com/DarthPutinKGB/status/439355698854367232) this didn't take long ....
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BhjnrijCEAATm3q.jpg)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on February 28, 2014, 09:46:26
Here's some more goodies from tonight so far.

Here is one of the pictures I've found over twitter rebroadcasted over the news.  Those to me don't look like civilian "volunteers".  Especially since they all have the same boot.  Hell thats something that we can't even do.


...And Ukrainian Tire only stocks one type of assault rifle in their sporting goods section.   >:D
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Journeyman on February 28, 2014, 10:08:51
They also seem to have uniformly-applied ROE, given that in none of the pics posted here do the troops have mags on; they seem to understand the escalation process.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Inky on February 28, 2014, 10:22:49
They're wearing the new Russian digital pattern and I think I recognize their helmet.  6B7-1M kevlar helmet to be more precize (although I could be wrong because the camo cover hides the shape a bit)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on February 28, 2014, 12:58:54
Here we go...

Quote

Ukraine crisis live: Russia admits its troops are moving in Crimea

The Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10666893/Ukraine-crisis-live-Russia-admits-its-troops-are-moving-in-Crimea.html)
By Roland Oliphant, in Crimea and Harriet Alexander

4:14PM GMT 28 Feb 2014

Russian troops have moved into Crimea in what Moscow is calling a mission to “protect Black Sea Fleet’s positions” but which the Ukrainian government has denounced as an “armed intervention.”

The Russian foreign ministry said Friday that it had informed the Ukrainian government that armoured units from the Black Sea Fleet base near Sevastopol had entered Crimea in order to protect fleet positions.


“The Ukrainian side was also passed a note regarding the movement of armoured vehicles of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, which is happening in full accordance with the foundation Russian-Ukrainian agreement on the Black Sea Fleet,” the ministry said in a statement posted on its website on Friday afternoon.

In the same note the Russian foreign ministry said it had declined a Ukrainian request for “bilateral consultations” on events in Crimea because they are “the result of recent internal political processes in Ukraine.”

Unconfirmed reports were emerging late on Friday that a convoy of armoured vehicles were moving up the Sevastopol highway toward Simferopol, the regional capital.


Earlier armed men in unmarked uniforms occupied key transportation hubs in the Crimea on Friday, in what the Ukrainian government denounced as an “armed intervention” by Russian troops.

Men in unmarked camouflage uniforms occupied two airports and blocked the road between Simferopol and Sevastopol before dawn, while a Russian warship was reported to have blockaded the entrance to the bay at Balaklava, the home of the Ukrainian coast guard.

Several dozen men in camouflage uniforms and carrying AK-74 assault rifles and PK 7.62 mm machine guns occupied a restaurant and patrolled the car park and forecourt of Simferopol international airport early on Friday morning.

The soldiers, who wore no identifying insignia, refused to answer questions from journalists as they strolled up and down outside the airport.

The troops made no apparent attempt to interfere with the running of the airport or take over key infrastructure, contenting themselves with strolling up and down the car park at a leisurely place, apparently deliberately for the benefit of television cameras.

While those patrolling the car park carried assault rifles without magazines attached, belt ammunition could be seen loaded into two medium machine guns carried by sentries outside the occupied restaurant building. Some rifles carried telescopic sights and under-barrel grenade launchers.

They were backed by civilian volunteers wearing the orange and black St George’s ribbon, a symbol of Russian military prowess that has been adopted by pro-Russian activists in Crimea as an identifying mark.


“We are here for your safety,” said one man, who described himself as a member of the “people’s militia and ordered journalists away from the restaurant the troops had occupied. “If you don’t move away from this building maybe someone will throw a grenade at you,” he said. He denied he was threatening journalists, citing an incident yesterday when armed men in the regional parliament building reportedly answered shouted questions with a stun grenade.

“It is an unpredictable situation and we want to make sure everything remains calm. We are just people from this city who want to protect their families,” he said.

The man refused to give his name, but said he and his group arrived at the airport at 6 AM. He refused to say who controlled his "militia" or whether they accompanied or knew the identity of the mysterious soldiers.

Meanwhile, at least 20 men wearing the uniform of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet carrying automatic riffles were reported to have surrounded a Ukrainian border guard post in the port city of Sevastopol on Friday.

A serviceman who identified himself as a Black Sea Fleet officer said “we are here…so as not to have a repeat of the Maidan,” Reuters reported.


A Russian warship is reported to have blocked the bay at Balaklava, where the Ukrainian coast guard is based.


Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on February 28, 2014, 13:35:49
Here's another thought.  KGB Propagandist VV Putin rides onto the Maidan on a Harley backed by his Russian brothers.

I think Putin might have the brass ones necessary to try it.  He understands the importance of symbolism and also seems keen to not be seen as firing the first shot.

Quote
Night Wolves, Putin's 'Biker Brothers,' To Ride To Ukraine To Support Pro-Russia Cause
Agence France Presse  | by
Posted: 02/28/2014 1:06 pm EST Updated: 02/28/2014 10:59 am EST

A group of Russian bikers called the Night Wolves that regularly rides with President Vladimir Putin is heading to Ukraine to back pro-Russian protests, its leader said Friday.

Putin has ridden a Harley-Davidson with the bikers and called them his "brothers". He is said to be close to its long-haired leader, Alexander Zaldostanov, nicknamed "the Surgeon".

The patriotic group opposes Ukraine's European integration and the protest movement that has taken power in Kiev. Its website says its members are "ready to die like warriors".

"Tomorrow people are organising an action called Russian Spring," Zaldostanov told the RIA Novosti news agency, saying the event would start from the town of Popasnaya in eastern Ukraine.

"The column will start at 8:00 am (0600 GMT) and ride across the whole eastern part of Ukraine," he said, adding that he himself was going to the Crimean port of Sevastopol, where Russia's Black Sea fleet is based.

The overwhelmingly Russian-speaking peninsula of Crimea has emerged as a flashpoint in Ukraine after the ousting of president Viktor Yanukovych, with many residents openly hostile to the new authorities in Kiev.

The bikers' leader said members also planned to deliver "humanitarian aid" to Sevastopol on four-wheeler bikes.

Putin has several times appeared at bike rallies with Zaldostanov, a towering figure who wears studded leather and ties his long hair back in a pony tail.

Last year, Putin personally decorated Zaldostanov with a state honour after the group helped restore a monument symbolic of Soviet war heroism in the southern city of Volgograd.

In 2011, Putin, riding a Harley-Davidson, led a column of the bikers at a rally held on a former Soviet warship in the Russian Black Sea port city of Novorossiisk.

The club has its own Kiev branch, which says its aim is to "spread Russian influence around the world".

Link (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/28/night-wolves-ukraine-putin-biker-brothers_n_4873315.html)

Somewhat reminiscent of that OTHER 1745 battle, Fontenoy.

(http://media.vam.ac.uk/media/thira/collection_images/2007BN/2007BN1676_jpg_l.jpg)

The French and Hanoverian troops advanced to within musket shot of each other then offered the other side the "privilege" of the first shot.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: pbi on February 28, 2014, 13:52:14
"Hello: I am a tourist not a Captain of Naval Infantry, and these men are members of a local biathlon society not Fleet Marines. That is not a Naval Infantry IFV it is a bus. OK- a bus with armour plate. Shut up with saying things like that or some people I don't know anything about and have no control over will throw a grenade at you.

Those vessels ar not blockading the fascist provocateurs of the Ukrainian Coast Guard: they are conducting harbour sight-seeing tours.

What? No, those are not attack helicopters. They just aren't, that's all. Remember what I said about the grenade?

Yes, our outfits do match quite amazingly well, don't they? No, we are not in the military. We are not even Russian. Turn off that cell phone camera."
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on February 28, 2014, 14:12:24
"Hello: I am a tourist not a Captain of Naval Infantry, and these men are members of a local biathlon society not Fleet Marines. That is not a Naval Infantry IFV it is a bus. OK- a bus with armour plate. Shut up with saying things like that or some people I don't know anything about and have no control over will throw a grenade at you.

Those vessels ar not blockading the fascist provocateurs of the Ukrainian Coast Guard: they are conducting harbour sight-seeing tours.

What? No, those are not attack helicopters. They just aren't, that's all. Remember what I said about the grenade?

Yes, our outfits do match quite amazingly well, don't they? No, we are not in the military. We are not even Russian. Turn off that cell phone camera."

:rofl: - milpoints inbound
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Inky on February 28, 2014, 15:14:04
Here's another thought.  KGB Propagandist VV Putin rides onto the Maidan on a Harley backed by his Russian brothers.

I think Putin might have the brass ones necessary to try it.  He understands the importance of symbolism and also seems keen to not be seen as firing the first shot.

Link (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/28/night-wolves-ukraine-putin-biker-brothers_n_4873315.html)

Somewhat reminiscent of that OTHER 1745 battle, Fontenoy.

(http://media.vam.ac.uk/media/thira/collection_images/2007BN/2007BN1676_jpg_l.jpg)

The French and Hanoverian troops advanced to within musket shot of each other then offered the other side the "privilege" of the first shot.

Kirkhill, as an avid student of 18th century warfare, I must admit I do not understand your analogy. Care to enlighten this young man bit?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: dapaterson on February 28, 2014, 15:55:37
So, how long does it take to drive half a league (2.778km) on a Harley?



Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Journeyman on February 28, 2014, 16:18:58
...and why are they riding Harleys instead of Urals?


Typical social climbers   ::)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on February 28, 2014, 16:24:02
And what's the Ukrainian military up to?
1)  Waiting for a state of emergency to be declared (http://ukrainianpolicy.com/sevastopol-airport-under-military-occupation/).
Quote
.... Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine Andriy Parubiy stated during a televised briefing that the two airports were occupied by separate groups commanded by Moscow, and that Ukraine could not deploy military forces in Crimea without introducing a state of emergency. He then made clear that in the event of direct aggression, the Ukrainian army and border guards would make an appropriately measured response. At the moment, no military facilities in Crimea are occupied by Russian forces ....
2)  Welcoming a new military boss (http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/mykhailo-kutsyn-appointed-commander-in-chief-of-ukrainian-army-337965.html).
Quote
Acting President of Ukraine, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Oleksandr Turchynov has signed a decree appointing Mykhailo Kutsyn to the post of chief of general staff – commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Corresponding decree No. 172/2014 was published on the Web site of the head of state on February 28.

Kutsyn was born in 1957 in the village of Svoboda, Berehove district, Zakarpattia region, according to the web site of the Defense Ministry of Ukraine.

Prior to this appointment, he served as deputy minister of defense of Ukraine from March 2010.
3)  Helping load (Czech) planes with seriously injured folks (http://praguemonitor.com/2014/02/28/czech-army-planes-airlift-ukrainian-injured-prague-hospitals).
Quote
Twenty-seven Ukrainians who were wounded in the recent clashes between protesters and the government forces will be flown from Kiev to Prague for medical treatment by two Czech air force planes tonight, the transfer's coordinator Rene Kocik told CTK.

Penetration wounds and fractures prevail among the Ukrainian patients' injuries, Kocik, from the People in Need Czech humanitarian organisation, said.

The youngest patient, aged 17, is threatened with a leg amputation due to a bad gunshot wound. The transfer is a chance for his leg to be saved, Kocik said.

The wounded Ukrainians will be treated in three Prague hospital, Health Minister Svatopluk Nemecek (Social Democrats, CSSD) told journalists.

The patients suitable for treatment in Prague were selected in Kiev by People in Need's six-member team in the past days.

Kocik said the list of patients has been closed, no more people will be added to it ....
4)  Listening to complaints about Russia violating Ukrainian airspace (http://www.thestar.com.my/News/World/2014/03/01/Ukraine-protests-to-Russia-over-airspace-violation/).
Quote
Ukraine protested on Friday to Russia that it had violated its airspace and broken the terms of an agreement under which Moscow leases a base for its Black Sea fleet in Crimea.

The Foreign Ministry gave no details but the Ukrainian border guard service said more than 10 Russian military helicopters had flown from Russia into Ukrainian airspace over the Crimea region.

Russian servicemen also blocked off a unit of Ukrainian border guards near the port city of Sevastopol, where part of Russia's Black Sea fleet is based, a Reuters correspondent said ....

Meanwhile ....

And the U.N.?  Holding an emergency Security Council meeting (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/28/un-security-council-ukraine-emergency-meeting_n_4875400.html?&ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000017).

How about Canada (http://www.therecord.com/news-story/4390770-canada-supports-ukraine-territorial-integrity/)?
Quote
Canada warned Russia on Friday not to breach the sovereignty of its Ukraine neighbour, joining other countries in sending a strong message to Moscow.

"As Canadians we emphasize our very strong support — and we emphasize this to all the countries in the region — our very strong support for the territorial integrity and the respect of the territorial integrity of Ukraine," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said at an event in Toronto.

"We remain very supportive of the Ukrainian people in their desire for democracy and a better future."

While not specifically naming Russia in his comments, Harper called the reports out of Ukraine "worrying."

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, speaking from Kyiv, went further, singling out Russia directly.

Baird said he was calling on Ukraine's neighbours to respect its sovereignty "and avoid any actions that could prove and appear provocative."

"With this in mind I am concerned that Russian military exercises so close to the Ukrainian border are not helpful at this time when emotions and when tensions are running high."  ....

Finally, a bit of AFV pRon .....
(http://news.liga.net/upload/resize_cache/iblock/496/380_230_2/4960093ad40e40335ddd19793ad9f80d.jpg)
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BhlYUT8IgAAvAPs.jpg)
.... and at least one dude with at least the belt in:
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bhjm55qCAAEKwAv.jpg)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on February 28, 2014, 16:29:43
Kirkhill, as an avid student of 18th century warfare, I must admit I do not understand your analogy. Care to enlighten this young man bit?

At Fontenoy the British Hanoverians marched towards the French lines.  At the point where the British expected the French to open fire they held their fire so the British continued to advance.  By regimental lore the advance only stopped when the officers were at swords points of each other.
The French continued to hold their fire.  The British did likewise.  It was a stalemate.

The reason for holding fire was that convention held that the first side to fire lost because the "target" side was seldom badly damaged by the first volley but they could then charge into the mass of the "firing" side while the firing side was blinded by their own powder smoke and struggling to reload.

I see the current situation having echoes of that standoff.  I think Putin would prefer that the Ukrainians or NATO were seen as the aggressor so he will do everything provocative that he can, short of firing the first shot.

By the way, at Fontenoy, the British broke the French lines but the French won the battle.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on February 28, 2014, 16:32:41
So, how long does it take to drive half a league (2.778km) on a Harley?

And where is Capt Nolan when you need him?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Old Sweat on February 28, 2014, 17:04:43
And where is Capt Nolan when you need him?

Don't forget Captain Dunn.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on February 28, 2014, 18:59:41
Finally, a bit of AFV pRon .....

BTR 80's
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on February 28, 2014, 19:24:02
150 troops per plane...is this typical Russian infantry company strength?

National Post (http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/02/28/acting-ukrainian-president-urges-putin-to-stop-provocations-in-crimea-pull-back-military-forces/)


Quote
Obama warns Putin of 'costs' of Ukraine military action as Russian planes land

(...)- EDITED

A day after gunmen seized the Ukrainian parliament in Crimea and raised the Russian flag, a representative of Oleksandr Turchinov said 13 Russian aircraft had landed on the Black Sea peninsula with 150 personnel on board each one.

Separately, a spokesman for the Ukrainian border service said eight Russian transport planes have landed in Crimea with unknown cargo.


Serhiy Astakhov told The Associated Press that the Il-76 planes arrived unexpectedly Friday and were given permission to land, one after the other, at Gvardeiskoye air base, north of the regional capital, Simferopol.

Astakhov said the people in the planes refused to identify themselves and waved off customs officials, saying they didn’t require their services.

Earlier Friday, Ukraine’s UN ambassador said he had told the UN Security Council that Russian military helicopters and transport planes are entering his country and that Russian armed forces seized Crimea’s main airport.

Russia’s Interfax agency cited Serhyi Kunitsyn, a Ukraine presidential envoy to Crimea, telling ATR television that 13 Russian planes carrying 150 Russian troops each landed at Gvardeiskoye air base.
That report could not be confirmed.

Turchynov, who stepped in as president after Viktor Yanukovych fled Kyiv last weekend, said Friday that the Ukrainian military will fulfill its duty but will not be drawn into provocations.

Heavily armed men in military uniform arrived at strategic facilities in Crimea, prompting Ukraine to accuse Russia of “military invasion and occupation” — a claim that brought an alarming new dimension to the crisis.

(...)- EDITED

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on February 28, 2014, 19:33:41
About the question of how many runners in the CAAG:

How about a 50 km road move from Sevastopol to Simferopol in the wheeled BTR 80 and not being able to complete it?

Quote
16.40

Journalists in Crimea have spotted a convoy of nine Russian armored personnel carriers and a truck on a road between the port city of Sevastopol and the regional capital, Sinferopol.

The Russian tricolor flags were painted on the vehicles, which were parked on the side of the road near the town of Bakhchisarai, apparently because one of them had mechanical problems.




Russia is supposed to notify Ukraine of any troop movements outside the naval base it maintains in Sevastopol under a lease agreement with Ukraine.


— Robert Caruso (@robertcaruso) February 28, 2014

Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10666893/Ukraine-crisis-live-UN-Security-Council-to-hold-emergency-meeting-on-Ukraine-crisis.html)

Also there is this interesting piece:

Quote
10.10

Our foreign correspondent Harriet Alexander says worried politicians inside Ukraine’s parliament have pleaded with Britain and the US to come to their rescue.

The two Western powers signed a memorandum with Ukraine in 1994, which Kiev’s parliament now wants enforcing. The Budapest Memorandum, signed by Bill Clinton, John Major, Boris Yeltsin and Leonid Kuchma – the then-rulers of the USA, UK, Russia and Ukraine – promises to uphold the territorial integrity of Ukraine, in return for Ukraine giving up its nuclear weapons.

Article One reads: “The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine ... to respect the Independence and Sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine.”

And Kiev is now claiming that their country’s borders are not being respected.

David Cameron: Churchill or Chamberlain?

Perhaps David could arrange for his Paras to conduct an expedient training exercise with the Poles.  Purely coincidental in timing with the Russian exercises.

The Uhlan Eagle exercises between Britain and Poland called for the Brits to send 16 AAB and one of the resident Armour Brigades in Germany into Poland to exercise alongside a Polish Armoured Division.

1998 Uhlan Eagle Exercise Video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZXkRM4RTuc)

Is Putin bluffing and can it be called?

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: MilEME09 on February 28, 2014, 19:45:53
This has been making the rounds the past few hours, somehow it doesn't look too friendly

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=287_1393605865
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on February 28, 2014, 19:52:10
Quote
22.13 US President Barack Obama "deeply concerned" about reports of Russian military activity in Ukraine and warned of "costs" to any infringement of its sovereignty.

QuoteThe United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine/ We are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside of Ukraine.

I think the Ukrainians would prefer that Obama offered to stand with them rather than the "International Community"

Nor do I think they will be thrilled with this:

Quote
Obama recognized that Russia had interests and cultural and economic ties with Ukraine...

A bit early to be playing "honest broker".
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Inky on February 28, 2014, 20:51:31
I'm sure a lot of people (me included) are seriously questioning the fact that Ukraine would be so valuable as to lead us into a diplomatic stand-off with the Russians. IS it really worth it? I feel like Russia has a lot more to gain from changing the situation than we have in maintaining the status Quo.

I also feel that we might have shot ourselves in the foot when we contributed to upsetting the status Quo by giving moral and diplomatic support to the Maidan Protesters and by not taking further steps to insure the agreement between the Yanukovych and the opposition was respected.

I feel that given Obama's track record and the EU's abysmal track record, we're likely to end up with another big win for Putin.

Right now the Russians are putting boots on the ground and clearly indicating that they're willing to expend their relatively resources on defending their sphere of influence. I don't see any situation in which we will even come close to sending forces in Western Ukraine let alone in the east.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: MilEME09 on February 28, 2014, 20:54:23
I'm sure a lot of people (me included) are seriously questioning the fact that Ukraine would be so valuable as to lead us into a diplomatic stand-off with the Russians. IS it really worth it? I feel like Russia has a lot more to gain from changing the situation than we have in maintaining the status Quo.

I also feel that we might have shot ourselves in the foot when we contributed to upsetting the status Quo by giving moral and diplomatic support to the Maidan Protesters and by not taking further steps to insure the agreement between the Yanukovych and the opposition was respected.

I feel that given Obama's track record and the EU's abysmal track record, we're likely to end up with another big win for Putin.

Right now the Russians are putting boots on the ground and clearly indicating that they're willing to expend their relatively resources on defending their sphere of influence. I don't see any situation in which we will even come close to sending forces in Western Ukraine let alone in the east.

The similarities between Ukraine and Georgia in 2008 at the moment are rather strong, just after the Olympics, action threatened by west but nothing done, Russia wins in the end.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on February 28, 2014, 21:07:30
I'm having a little trouble with the "win/lose" narrative. Russia/Putin is acting to preserve the status quo during a disturbance.

That status quo centres on the Russians have a major naval base in Crimea.

Are we suggesting that the West/USA/Obama-Merkel should do something to upset that?

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on February 28, 2014, 21:34:07
About the question of how many runners in the CAAG:

How about a 50 km road move from Sevastopol to Simferopol in the wheeled BTR 80 and not being able to complete it?

Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10666893/Ukraine-crisis-live-UN-Security-Council-to-hold-emergency-meeting-on-Ukraine-crisis.html)

Also there is this interesting piece:

David Cameron: Churchill or Chamberlain?

Perhaps David could arrange for his Paras to conduct an expedient training exercise with the Poles.  Purely coincidental in timing with the Russian exercises.

The Uhlan Eagle exercises between Britain and Poland called for the Brits to send 16 AAB and one of the resident Armour Brigades in Germany into Poland to exercise alongside a Polish Armoured Division.

1998 Uhlan Eagle Exercise Video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZXkRM4RTuc)

Is Putin bluffing and can it be called?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on February 28, 2014, 21:36:34
I'm having a little trouble with the "win/lose" narrative. Russia/Putin is acting to preserve the status quo during a disturbance.

That status quo centres on the Russians have a major naval base in Crimea.

Are we suggesting that the West/USA/Obama-Merkel should do something to upset that?

I'm certainly not doing that.  I AM suggesting that we demonstrate a more forceful posture by demonstrating a practical willingness to uphold the guarantees of sovereignty that were given to Ukraine.  That could be accomplished by having the Poles and the Hungarians "invite" foreign troops in on exercises.

The intent of the overarching exercise is just to demonstrate willingness and to be better placed to march forward to the sword-point. 

I don't propose going into the Crimea.  I do propose being in position to discourage the Russians from going into Ukraine proper. 

I would point out that the Crimea is a peninsula connected to the Eastern Ukraine by an isthmus.  If Russia doesn't hold the Donbass the only access it would have to the Crimea would be by sea across the Sea of Azov.   Russia has a strong imperative to hold both East Ukraine AND the Crimea.

Additionally, I think we are missing something in this discussion, and that is about the Russian mentality.  I believe the problem is not that the Russians see the Ukrainians as Russians but that they see themselves as Ukrainians.

The Rus originated west of the Dniepr with their capital in Kiev.  500 years later the Kievan Rus established Moscow.  Now the Kievan Rus are telling the Muscovite Rus that they are not the same.  They, the Muscovite Rus, or Muskalis, are not Rus - they have too much of the Mongol and the Khazar about them to be "proper" Rus.

World War 1 started for Britain over a Belgian guarantee of sovereignty.

World War 2 started for Britain despite ignoring Czech sovereignty.

Neither play prevented war.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on February 28, 2014, 21:40:49
I'm having a little trouble with the "win/lose" narrative. Russia/Putin is acting to preserve the status quo during a disturbance.

That status quo centres on the Russians have a major naval base in Crimea.

Are we suggesting that the West/USA/Obama-Merkel should do something to upset that?
If I were king, I would make some noise and harumph.  But wouldn't do a bloody thing.

And kirkhill: one side tracked afv isn't abnormal for any army.

Previous question on company size: Russian companies are smaller than ours, with no integral echelon and a small HQ. They number around 100 soldiers in three platoons.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on February 28, 2014, 21:48:40
If I were king, I would make some noise and harumph.  But wouldn't do a bloody thing.

And kirkhill: one side tracked afv isn't abnormal for any army.

Previous question on company size: Russian companies are smaller than ours, with no integral echelon and a small HQ. They number around 100 soldiers in three platoons.

True on the AFV TV  but I am just having difficulty with pace at which this situation is developing.  And the numbers.  In all honesty I am a bit underwhelmed.

The supporting "crowds" in the Crimea have been thin and seemingly limited to Sevastopol.  The largest crowd size I have seen reported is 1000.
The crowd seems to be largely middle aged Russians, possibly ex-service personnel?

The "Invaders" originally were 200 light infantry (possibly Naval Infantry or even Spetsnaz.  They may have been reinforced by an additional 2000 light infantry delivered by Fixed Wing and Rotary assets.

This doesn't feel like Czechoslovakia '68 or even Afghanistan '80.   And this is happening right on Russia's borders.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Retired AF Guy on March 01, 2014, 00:03:50
They also seem to have uniformly-applied ROE, given that in none of the pics posted here do the troops have mags on; they seem to understand the escalation process.

Spetznaz???
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 01, 2014, 07:48:27
According to a BBC report (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26397323) the Rusians are preparing to answer a "call" from Crimea for "help." I'm guessing the Rusians can/will use the Budapest memorandum (http://opiniojuris.org/2014/02/28/russians-coming-russians-coming/) as a cover fig leaf ...

(http://prints.encore-editions.com/0/500/eugen-sandow-full-length-portrait-standing-facing-left-wearing-fig-leaf.jpg)
We had to do it ... we were asked!
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 01, 2014, 07:55:00
Who reads Russian?

Does this, reported as being graffiti on a wall in Simferopol, next to Crimean interior ministry, really say "The Russians Are Coming!"?

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bho3m8mIQAAWDJ3.jpg)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 01, 2014, 09:16:29
Does this, reported as being graffiti on a wall in Simferopol, next to Crimean interior ministry, really say "The Russians Are Coming!"?

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bho3m8mIQAAWDJ3.jpg)
According to Google Translate (http://translate.google.com/#en/ru/Russians%20are%20coming), yup.

This Tweet (https://twitter.com/Ukrainolution/status/439740977470001152) seems to sum up a whole lot here ....
Quote
Russia can pass laws legalizing their actions faster than the west can consult a thesaurus for new synonyms for “Concern.”

Meanwhile, a quick update (http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_03_01/Moscow-gravely-concerned-about-developments-in-Crimea-Russian-FM-0477/), from the Russian foreign ministry:
Quote
.... "Unidentified armed men sent from Kiev attempted to seize the building of the Interior Ministry of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in the early hours of March 1. The treacherous provocation resulted in casualties. Self-defense units' resolute actions helped avert the attempt to seize the Interior Ministry building. These events confirm the desire of well-known political circles in Kiev to destabilize the situation on the peninsula," says the statement available on the Russian Foreign Ministry website.

"We are calling on those who issue such orders from Kiev to exercise restraint. We view the attempts to further escalate the already tense situation in Crimea as extremely irresponsible," it said ....
Gleiwitz (http://bit.ly/NG3BkI) 2014?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: AirDet on March 01, 2014, 09:24:19
Who reads Russian?

Does this, reported as being graffiti on a wall in Simferopol, next to Crimean interior ministry, really say "The Russians Are Coming!"?

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bho3m8mIQAAWDJ3.jpg)

That's exactly what it says. Русские идут! The Russians are coming! Maybe I shouldn't admit to speaking Russian. It's friggin cold there this time of year.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on March 01, 2014, 09:34:32
Crimea now has a pro-Russia "Prime Minister"?

All eyes are now on how Ukraine's new regime in Kiev and how the West/US will respond...

Does anyone think that the Ukrainian military will try to retake Crimea?

Seems there are also unconfirmed reports of a skirmish between Russian and Ukrainian warships...

Quote
From the Associated Press via Yahoo News (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/ukraine-says-30-russian-marines-positions-outside-coast-130032244.html)


Pro-Russian leader of Ukraine's Crimea claims control of military, police; asks Putin for help


The Canadian Press

By Dalton Bennett And David McHugh

SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine - The pro-Russian leader of Ukraine's Crimea region claimed control of the military and police there Saturday and appealed to Russia's President Vladimir Putin for help in keeping peace, sharpening the discord between the two Slavic neighbour countries.

It was the latest escalation following the ouster of Ukraine's pro-Russian president last week by a protest movement aimed at turning Ukraine toward the European Union and away from Russia.

Armed men described as Russian troops took control of key airports and a communications centre in Crimea on Friday. Ukraine has accused Russia of a "military invasion and occupation" — a claim that brought an alarming new dimension to the crisis, and raised fears that Moscow is moving to intervene on the strategic peninsula where Russia's Black Sea fleet is based.

Ukraine's population is divided in loyalties between Russia and Europe, with much of western Ukraine advocating closer ties with the European Union while eastern and southern regions look to Russia for support. Crimea is mainly Russian-speaking.

Crimean's prime minister, Sergei Aksyonov, declared that the armed forces, the police, the national security service and border guards in the region will answer only to his orders.


Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk opened a cabinet meeting in the capital, Kyiv, by calling on Russia not to provoke discord in Crimea, a peninsula on the Black Sea.

(...)-EDITED



Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 01, 2014, 09:47:25
Spetznaz???
According to some (http://euromaidanpr.wordpress.com/2014/02/05/russian-special-forces-are-operating-in-ukraine/), maybe, or, according to a security analyst, "Russian Blackwater" (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/28/exclusive-russian-blackwater-takes-over-ukraine-airport.html)?
Another bit of vehicle pRon ....
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BhpE6yTCQAA4JaM.png)
.... alleged to be "Russian army blocked Ukrainian Sea Guard Unit in Balaklava, near Sevastopol."

Does anyone think that the Ukrainian military will try to retake Crimea?
Good question - the latest from the UKR MoD (http://www.mil.gov.ua/index.php?lang=ua&part=news&sub=read&id=32759), in Ukrainian (GoogEng here (http://bit.ly/1dMfZ96)):
Quote
Leadership of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine learned that from 2 nd to 5 o'clock in the morning the night from February 28 to March 1, 2014 radical forces plan to carry out illegal activities, namely, to enter the military units stationed in the Crimea and disarm personnel.

Ministry of Defence of Ukraine warns against committing criminal intent, and officially reported: in the case of these actions unknowns, the Armed Forces of Ukraine will act in accordance with the laws of Ukraine and Regulations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, UKR announces a new navy boss (http://bit.ly/OMPQ4J), too, after naming a new chief of staff yesterday (http://bit.ly/1htv9EV) (all Google English) - thrown into the deep end, eh?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on March 01, 2014, 10:38:40
Oh, how "thoughtful" of Putin...asking his parliament to rubber stamp an action...which he's already done even before asking.  ::)

Also, it seems the US, UK (and other allies?) did sign a 1994 treaty, called the Budapest Memorandum (http://weaselzippers.us/177483-budapest-memorandum-treaty-signed-in-1994-may-commit-u-s-britain-to-defend-ukraine/) giving Ukraine a security guarantee. Will the West hold up its end of the agreement? We'll see.

National Post (http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/03/01/putin-asks-russian-parliament-for-permission-to-use-military-inside-ukraine/)

Quote

Putin asks Russian parliament for permission to use military inside Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine — Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked parliament for permission to use the country’s military in Ukraine, the Kremlin said Saturday.

Putin said the move is needed to protect ethnic Russians and the personnel of a Russian military base in Ukraine’s strategic region of Crimea.


“I’m submitting a request for using the armed forces of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine pending the normalization of the socio-political situation in that country,” Putin said in a statement released by the Kremlin.

He sent the request to the Russian legislature’s upper house, which has to approve the motion, according to the constitution.

In Crimea, the pro-Russian regional prime minister, Sergei Aksyonov, had earlier claimed control of the military and police there and asked Putin for help in keeping peace, sharpening the discord between the two Slavic neighbour countries.

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 01, 2014, 10:43:15
It's part of that 'fig leaf' that uses things like 'requests' and the Budapest Memorandum and rubber stamp parliaments to put lipstick on a pig.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on March 01, 2014, 11:26:04
Here's more on the treaty called The Budapest Memorandum, signed in 1994 by the US and UK, etc., which effectively gives Ukraine a security guarantee in return for Kiev giving up its nuclear weapons during the 1990s disarmament of former Soviet nuke arsenals across all the then newly independent former satellite republics.

So, as said, will the US/West respond to this violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and uphold its end of the treaty? We'll see.

More about the treaty from this UK Daily Mail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2570335/Former-British-Ambassador-Moscow-warns-Russia-invaded-Ukraine-difficult-avoid-going-war.html) excerpt, with the article's highlights;


Quote

Revealed: The forgotten treaty which could drag the US and UK into WAR with Russia if Putin's troops intervene in Ukraine

The agreement sees signatories promise to protect Ukraine's borders

It was signed by Bill Clinton, John Major, Boris Yeltsin and Leonid Kuchma in 1994

Ukrainian parliament has now reached out directly to all the countries who signed the treaty


Putin currently has 150,000 troops on Ukraine's borders and it is reported some have crossed into the country

President Obama says he is 'deeply concerned' by the news

The US and Britain have both made 'crisis calls' to President Putin to warn him to respect territorial boundaries


(SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on March 01, 2014, 11:47:05
And now for the Big Guns:

http://www.interpretermag.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/140301-RUS-SPG-UKR.png
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Journeyman on March 01, 2014, 11:49:59
Russia can pass laws legalizing their actions faster than the west can consult a thesaurus for new synonyms for “Concern.”
President Obama says he is 'deeply concerned'  by the news
...or add adjectives   ;)


And now for the Big Guns:
http://www.interpretermag.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/140301-RUS-SPG-UKR.png
"Russian 'tanks' in Ukraine"     :facepalm:
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Old Sweat on March 01, 2014, 12:15:07
At the risk of demonstrating my blinding flash of the obvious, the occupation was clearly well planned and probably had been on the books for quite a while.

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on March 01, 2014, 12:50:44
...or add adjectives   ;)

"Russian 'tanks' in Ukraine"     :facepalm:

Actually Artillery.  What level though, are being seen?  Bn? Regt? Div? Corps?  Identifiers as to what else is/will be showing up.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 01, 2014, 13:01:20
At the risk of demonstrating my blinding flash of the obvious, the occupation was clearly well planned and probably had been on the books for quite a while.
At least on the part of the Russians.  Oh .....
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 01, 2014, 16:34:25
...or add adjectives   ;)
Like with us now (http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2014/02/28/canada_tremendously_concerned_with_russian_military_action.html)....
Quote
.... Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, speaking from Kyiv Friday, said he was “tremendously concerned” with Russian troop movements inside Crimea, a predominantly ethnic-Russian region on the Black Sea coast ....
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 01, 2014, 17:25:38
In this article, which is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Coppyright Act from The New Republic, Julia Ioffe, senior editor at The New Republic and  previously, Moscow-based correspondent for Foreign Policy and The New Yorker offers some insights into the whys of Russia's/Putin's actions:

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116810/putin-declares-war-ukraine-why-and-what-next
Quote
(http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/twn_up_fls/tnr%20new%20logo.jpg)
Putin's War in Crimea Could Soon Spread to Eastern Ukraine
And nobody—not the U.S., not NATO—can stop him


Julia Ioffe

March 1, 2014

Vladimir Putin has asked the Federation Council—the upper chamber of Russia's dummy parliament—to authorize the use of force not just in Crimea, but "on Ukraine's territory until the socio-political situation is normalized." And though American spies and the Washington Post categorically ruled this out just days ago, this was not entirely unexpected. The situation is changing rapidly, but here are some initial thoughts.

Why is Putin doing this? Because he can. That's it, that's all you need to know. The situation in Kiev—in which people representing one half of the country (the Ukrainian-speaking west) took power to some extent at the expense of the Russian-speaking east—created the perfect opportunity for Moscow to divide and conquer. As soon as the revolution in Kiev happened, there was an unhappy rumbling in the Crimea, which has a large Russian population and is home to the Russian Black Sea Fleet. It was a small rumbling, but just big enough for Russia to exploit. And when such an opportunity presents itself, one would be foolish not to take it, especially if one's name is Vladimir Putin.

We didn't think Putin would do this. Why, exactly? This has often puzzled me about Western analysis of Russia. It is often predicated on wholly Western logic: surely, Russia won't invade [Georgia, Ukraine, whoever's next] because war is costly and the Russian economy isn't doing well and surely Putin doesn't want another hit to an already weak ruble; because Russia doesn't need to conquer Crimea if Crimea is going to secede on its own; Russia will not want to risk the geopolitical isolation, and "what's really in it for Russia?"—stop. Russia, or, more accurately, Putin, sees the world according to his own logic, and the logic goes like this: it is better to be feared than loved, it is better to be overly strong than to risk appearing weak, and Russia was, is, and will be an empire with an eternal appetite for expansion. And it will gather whatever spurious reasons it needs to insulate itself territorially from what it still perceives to be a large and growing NATO threat. Trying to harness Russia with our own logic just makes us miss Putin's next steps.

Pessimism always wins. One of the reasons I left my correspondent's post in Moscow was because Russia, despite all the foam on the water, is ultimately a very boring place. Unfortunately, all you really need to do to seem clairvoyant about the place is to be an utter pessimist. Will Vladimir Putin allow the ostensibly liberal Dmitry Medvedev to have a second term? Not a chance. There are protests in the streets of Moscow. Will Putin crackdown? Yup. There's rumbling in the Crimea, will Putin take advantage and take the Crimean peninsula? You betcha. And you know why being a pessimist is the best way to predict outcomes in Russia? Because Putin and those around him are, fundamentally, terminal pessimists. They truly believe that there is an American conspiracy afoot to topple Putin, that Russian liberals are traitors corrupted by and loyal to the West, they truly believe that, should free and fair elections be held in Russia, their countrymen would elect bloodthirsty fascists, rather than democratic liberals. To a large extent, Putin really believes that he is the one man standing between Russia and the yawning void. Putin's Kremlin is dark and scary, and, ultimately, very boring.

Remember the U.N.? Russia loves the U.N. Anytime the U.S. or Europe want to do anything on the world stage, Russia pipes up, demanding the issue be taken to the U.N. for the inevitable Russian veto. As Steven Lee Meyers, Moscow correspondent for the New York Times, pointed out, Russia does not seem to even remember that the institution exists today. Ditto for all that talk of "political solutions" and "diplomatic solutions" and "dialogue" we heard about in Syria. In other words, what we are seeing today—Russia's unilateral declaration of war—is the clearest statement yet of Russia's actual position: Putin empathizes with Bashar al-Assad as a fellow leader holding his country back from the brink and doing the dirty work that needs to be done to accomplish that, and the U.N. is just a convenient mechanism for keeping nay-sayers with large armies at bay.

As I wrote earlier this month, Russia, like the U.S., projects its own mindset onto the rest of the world. So when you hear Putin and his foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and the talking heads on Russia Today crowing about American cynicism and machinations, well, keep in mind whom they're really talking about.

Speaking of America. Today's meeting of the Federation Council was an incredible sight to behold. Man after Soviet-looking man mounted the podium to deliver a short diatribe against...you name it. Against Ukrainian fascism, against Swedes, and, most of all, against America. One would think that it wasn't the illegitimate government in Kiev occupying Russian Crimea—which, lordy lord, if we're going to get ethnic, let's recall who originally lived there—but the 82nd Airborne. The vice speaker of the Council even demanded recalling the Russian ambassador to Washington. America was amazingly, fantastically behind events in Kiev and proved utterly inept at influencing them, and yet none of that seemed to matter. America, the old foe, was everywhere, its fat capitalist fingers in every Slavic pie. Watching the Federation Council, where few of the speakers seemed to be under the age of 60, I couldn't escape the feeling that this was an opportunity for Russia not just to take back some land it's long considered its rightful own, but to settle all scores and to tie up all loose ends. You know, while they're at it.

Double standards. This is another howl you often hear rending the skies over Moscow: Western double standards. But let's get real for a second. We've spoken already about the U.N., but what about the holy Russian mantra of non-interference in a nation's internal affairs? When it comes to Syria, to take a most recent example, the fight between Assad and the rebels is something only the Syrians can sort out. Ditto every other country in the world—unless it's in Russia's backyard, where Russia still experiences phantom limb syndrome. The internal issues of former Soviet republics, you see, are not truly internal issues of sovereign nations. This is because, by Stalin's very conscious design and very deliberate border drawing and population movement, most former Soviet republics are ethnic hodgepodges. So Ukraine has a sizable Russian population. Ditto Estonia, ditto Georgia, ditto Kazakhstan. And, according to Putin's unspoken doctrine, anywhere Russian citizens are determined to be at risk, Mother Moscow can intercede with force on their behalf.

In other, blunter words, Russian ethnicity and citizenship trump national sovereignty. At the very least, they provide a convenient pretext for territorial expansion, as they did in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, where Russia was also ostensibly protecting Russian citizens—also newly minted for the occasion. Just this week, for instance, Russia introduced a law to make it easier for Ukrainians to get Russian citizenship—you know, to give Russia someone to protect.

Russia manufactured this crisis to create a pretext for a land-grab. There are now protests swinging Russian flags and hailing Russia's glory not just in Crimea but all over the Russian-speaking east of Ukraine. I was just in Donetsk, Yanukovich's hometown, on Monday. It was calm, calmer than calm. There were a couple dozen people guarding the Lenin statue in the center of the city from vandals, but that was it. A muckety-muck in the city's administration told me, "If they send new people in to replace us, we'll leave peacefully, we won't try to hang on." The same was the case in Simferopol, in Crimea. And then, out of nowhere, men with unmarked uniforms were taking over government buildings and airports, and huge demonstrations were pumping on town squares all over the regions. The Kremlin often refers to "a well-organized informational war" when their enemies broadcast something they don't like on repeat. And now, looking at the alarmist, blanket coverage on Russian television—now all loyal to the Kremlin—about fascists and radicals staging a coup in Kiev, it's hard to think of a better term. This was indeed a well-organized informational war.

Neither America nor NATO can stop this. They've shown they won't in Georgia, because nobody wants to start a war with nuclear-armed Russia, and rightly so. So while Washington and Brussels huff and puff about lines and sovereignty and diplomacy, Russia will do what it needs to do and there's not a thing we can do about it.

Russia's next target is eastern Ukraine. Because pessimism conquers all, don't bet that Putin is going to stop once he wrests Crimea from Kiev's orbit. Eastern, Russian-speaking Ukraine—and all its heavy industry—is looking pretty good right now. And if you're thinking "Why would Putin take eastern Ukraine?," well, you haven't been reading very carefully.


I see nothing, at all, with which I would take issue. Ms Ioffe is, I think, spot on.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on March 01, 2014, 18:17:08
Its a fait acompli,the Russians now control the Crimea.I have stated from the beginning that I thought this was Putin's goal.If correct this should end the crisis.If he wants eastern Ukraine then things could get bad,very bad.There isn't much the US can do its could be Ukraine vs Russia using the Georgia model,where they took South Ossetia and called it good.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 01, 2014, 18:27:10
Its a fait acompli,the Russians now control the Crimea.I have stated from the beginning that I thought this was Putin's goal.If correct this should end the crisis.If he wants eastern Ukraine then things could get bad,very bad.There isn't much the US can do nor can/will Germanyits could be Ukraine vs Russia using the Georgia model,where they took South Ossetia and called it good.


Things will not go "bad." Russia will maintain its strategic position in the Black Sea region. Ukraine will be the loser. But Ukraine matters ... why?   :dunno:
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on March 01, 2014, 18:34:44
It matters to the Ukrainians I suspect.They forced out Putin's sock puppet and now Putin gets the Crimea.Putin is probably liking the situation.

http://www.armytimes.com/article/20140301/NEWS08/303010010/Russia-executes-de-facto-takeover-Crimea-region

Since no one in the White House has read the book Anticipating Surprise: Analysis of Strategic Warning by Cynthia Grabo,I highly suggest the book.Be more informed than Washington.
http://ni-u.edu/ni_press/pdf/Anticipating_Surprise_Analysis.pdf
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Hamish Seggie on March 01, 2014, 18:51:39
That's exactly what it says. Русские идут! The Russians are coming! Maybe I shouldn't admit to speaking Russian. It's friggin cold there this time of year.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 01, 2014, 20:25:31

Things will not go "bad." Russia will maintain its strategic position in the Black Sea region. Ukraine will be the loser. But Ukraine matters ... why?   :dunno:


Because......


Because somewhere along the line doesn't somebody have to say you can't do that?  What are you saying to the Bulgarians, Romanians, Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians?

What are you saying to all those poor cynical jaded youngsters in Europe?

What are you saying to the Stans?

Just hang about ..... Uncle Vlad will be along shortly?  Might as well get used to Vlad's rules.  And forget all this talk about democracy, liberal, conservative or otherwise.

It's just not on.

We can't stop the Russians from securing the Crimea.  We can stand with Kiev and face Vlad down west of the Dniepr.  We might even be able to disuade him from intervening  in Kharkiv.

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: MilEME09 on March 01, 2014, 20:30:42

Because......


Because somewhere along the line doesn't somebody have to say you can't do that?  What are you saying to the Bulgarians, Romanians, Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians?

What are you saying to all those poor cynical jaded youngsters in Europe?

What are you saying to the Stans?

Just hang about ..... Uncle Vlad will be along shortly?  Might as well get used to Vlad's rules.  And forget all this talk about democracy, liberal, conservative or otherwise.

It's just not on.

We can't stop the Russians from securing the Crimea.  We can stand with Kiev and face Vlad down west of the Dniepr.  We might even be able to disuade him from intervening  in Kharkiv.

While I dont believe it will happen, I believe NATO are the ones who need to draw that line, Ukraine has apparently asked for NATO support which will be discussed at a NATO emergency summit tomorrow(according to the news story on CTV) I am sure both Poland, and Romania who share borders with Ukraine, more so Romania because of the black sea may push for action less they have the Russians on their border. Poland being traditionally anti-russian historically may lead that charge.


EDIT: in the interest of not double posting, here is CNN, and some one who just may of slipped up and find him self in Gulag soon.

http://edition.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/world/2014/03/01/nr-magnay-russian-soldiers-present.cnn.html
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on March 01, 2014, 22:54:12
Who reads Russian?

Does this, reported as being graffiti on a wall in Simferopol, next to Crimean interior ministry, really say "The Russians Are Coming!"?

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bho3m8mIQAAWDJ3.jpg)
Yes it does.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on March 01, 2014, 22:57:08
Actually Artillery.  What level though, are being seen?  Bn? Regt? Div? Corps?  Identifiers as to what else is/will be showing up.
Those are exclusively regimental artillery, the 2S1.  18 per manoeuvre regiment
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Journeyman on March 01, 2014, 23:10:17
Actually Artillery.  What level though, are being seen?  Bn? Regt? Div? Corps?  Identifiers as to what else is/will be showing up.
Come on George, don't leave people hanging -- you love this stuff.  They're obviously 2S1s, rather than 2S3, 2S5!!, or 2S9!s .......so what does that tell us?   ;D



[Edit: posted before I read Technoviking's post.  The question, other than dismissing it as 'merely Regimental' stands though]
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on March 01, 2014, 23:25:17
Those are exclusively regimental artillery, the 2S1.  18 per manoeuvre regiment

The 2S31's shown in pictures are from the 810 Naval Infantry Brigade's 1613 FA battery.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: upandatom on March 01, 2014, 23:40:08
Videos of some super low flying helos as well.

I have a feeling this is going to get bad. Russia and the US have been on edge since the start of Syria.

Now that the Olympics are over, i wouldn't be surprised if we see major troop movements/shifting around of US assets in the east especially after Russia moves into Ukraine. 
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on March 01, 2014, 23:44:43
The President seems disengaged from this crisis,as he skipped a national security meeting.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: MilEME09 on March 01, 2014, 23:50:40
The President seems disengaged from this crisis,as he skipped a national security meeting.

I would say most leaders outside of eastern Europe are disengaged, unfortunately I dont think any major group of countries will take a serious stand. Russia says its protecting Ethnic Russians, well I'd make the case after watching some video that its the Ethnic Ukrainians that actually need protecting. If no stand is taken, some other former soviet republic will be next, We already had Georgia, now Ukraine, where will the world draw the line? Estonia? Belarus? 
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on March 01, 2014, 23:57:45
Come on George, don't leave people hanging -- you love this stuff.  They're obviously 2S1s, rather than 2S3, 2S5!!, or 2S9!s .......so what does that tell us?   ;D



[Edit: posted before I read Technoviking's post.  The question, other than dismissing it as 'merely Regimental' stands though]

I only meant that in regiments are the only place you find these. Of course I didn't mention the employment,  normally at the battalion level, with the regiment heavily augmented with even more  and bigger artillery.  :)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Journeyman on March 02, 2014, 00:02:17
You know I was only trying to get George pumped.....
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: muskrat89 on March 02, 2014, 00:08:06
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-03-01/invasion-so-far-visual-summary-russian-forces-and-movements?fb_action_ids=10152314358218343&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 02, 2014, 00:39:13
Some tidbits from Russian media ....
Quote
President Vladimir Putin has not yet made any decision on the use of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Vesti v Subbotu television programme on Saturday, March 1.

“Now that the Federation Council [upper house of parliament] adopted the relevant decision, the president has received the full array of means needed for settling the situation both in terms of using troops and in terms of making a decision on the head of our diplomatic mission in the United States,” Peskov said.

But “the president has not yet made either decision. He will make these decisions depending on how the situation evolves. “We would like to hope that the situation will not develop the way it has been developing up to date - escalation and threat to the Russian-speaking population in Crimea,” the spokesperson said.

Earlier in the day, the Federation Council gave the green light to the use of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine pending normalisation of the situation in that neighbouring country.

The MPs voted by show of hands and adopted the decision unanimously.

Putin submitted a letter to the Federation Council “in connection with the extraordinary situation in Ukraine, the threat to the lives of citizens of the Russian Federation, our compatriots, the personnel of the military contingent of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation deployed in the territory of Ukraine (Autonomous Republic of Crimea) in accordance with an international treaty, and pursuant to Article 102-1(d) of the Constitution of the Russian Federation.”

The letter followed the Federation Council’s appeal to Putin to take “exhaustive measures” to protect Russians in Ukraine ....
ITAR-TASS, 1 Mar 14 (http://en.itar-tass.com/russia/721602)

A bit of Putin's letter (http://en.itar-tass.com/russia/721586) ....
Quote
.... “In connection with the extraordinary situation in Ukraine, the threat to the lives of citizens of the Russian Federation, our compatriots, the personnel of the military contingent of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation deployed in the territory of Ukraine (Autonomous Republic of Crimea) in accordance with an international treaty, and pursuant to Article 102-1(d) of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, I hereby submit to the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation a letter on the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in the territory of Ukraine pending normalisation of the public and political situation in that country,” the presidential press service said ....

Russian politician:  it's for their own good (http://en.itar-tass.com/russia/721606)!
Quote
The decision adopted on Saturday, March 1, by the Federation Council, upper house of the Russian parliament, which allows the president to send troops to Crimea, an autonomy within neighbouring Ukraine, aims to protect life and security, Irina Yarovaya, chair of the Security and Anti-Corruption Committee in the State Duma (lower house of parliament), said.

“Terrorism is the most dangerous crime around the world. But it is fascism and terrorism that have proclaimed their power in Ukraine and pose a real threat to the life and security of Russian citizens living in Ukraine and undoubtedly to the brotherly people of Ukraine,” she said ....
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on March 02, 2014, 00:45:05
The Ukrainian Navy's flagship just defected to the Russian side/deposed President Yanukovich's cause...

I wonder how many of the 27 or so of the other active Ukrainian warships have defected as well. They do share a homeport with Russia's Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol.

Quote
Ukraine Navy flagship takes Russia’s side – report

(http://cdn.rt.com/files/news/23/01/d0/00/ukraine-navy-flaghsip-protest.si.jpg)

Ukraine’s Navy flagship, the Hetman Sahaidachny frigate, has reportedly refused to follow orders from Kiev, and come over to Russia’s side and is returning home after taking part in NATO operation in the Gulf of Aden flying the Russian naval flag.

Full Story:  http://rt.com/news/ukraine-navy-flaghsip-protest-389/
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 02, 2014, 00:57:57
Meanwhile, this from Canada's PM (http://www.pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2014/03/01/statement-prime-minister-canada-situation-ukraine) following a meeting with some of his Cabinet members (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/harper-to-meet-with-key-cabinet-ministers-to-discuss-ukraine/article17185684/) (highlights mine) ....
Quote
In response to the very serious developments today, Prime Minister Stephen Harper convened a meeting of Cabinet Ministers this afternoon, and spoke with President Obama, to discuss the situation in Ukraine. After the meeting, Prime Minister Harper issued the following statement:

“We join our allies in condemning in the strongest terms President Putin’s military intervention in Ukraine. These actions are a clear violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. They are also in violation of Russia’s obligations under international law.

“Canada recognizes the legitimacy of the Government of Ukraine. Ukraine’s sovereign territory must be respected and the Ukrainian people must be free to determine their own future.  We call on President Putin to immediately withdraw his forces to their bases and refrain from further provocative and dangerous actions.

Canada has suspended its engagement in preparations for the G-8 Summit, currently planned for Sochi, and the Canadian Ambassador in Moscow is being recalled for consultations. Canada supports the immediate deployment of international monitors from the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to Ukraine.  We are also engaged in discussions aimed at developing a financial aid package for Ukraine.

“We will continue to cooperate closely with our G-7 partners and other allies. Should President Putin continue on this course of action, it will lead to ongoing negative consequences for our bilateral relationship.”
Oooooohhhh ....
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: slayer14 on March 02, 2014, 01:10:21
Above post didn't work out like I wanted it to.

But a reply to Journeyman's post:

behind the BnAG, the BAG and DAG are never too far...
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on March 02, 2014, 01:17:38
Events are moving so fast...now pro-Russia sympathizers in other parts of Eastern Ukraine such as Kharkiv are taking to streets waving Russian flags. Perhaps it's only a matter of time before Russian armoured columns cross the border and begin their race for the Dnepr River?

Video: Russian flag raised over Kharkiv (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/video/russian-flag-raised-over-kharkiv-025354048.html)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 02, 2014, 01:18:22
Above post didn't work out like I wanted it to.

But a reply to Journeyman's post:

behind the BnAG, the BAG and DAG are never too far...
Fixed....
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Hamish Seggie on March 02, 2014, 03:43:50
Videos of some super low flying helos as well.

I have a feeling this is going to get bad. Russia and the US have been on edge since the start of Syria.

Now that the Olympics are over, i wouldn't be surprised if we see major troop movements/shifting around of US assets in the east especially after Russia moves into Ukraine.

I wouldn't be surprised if we all rolled over  and went back to sleep.

This will come to nothing. Russia will do what it wants, NATO, the UN and the USA will send a letter....and if that doesn't work they will send a STRONGLY worded letter.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 02, 2014, 07:44:47
Meanwhile, this from Canada's PM (http://www.pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2014/03/01/statement-prime-minister-canada-situation-ukraine) following a meeting with some of his Cabinet members (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/harper-to-meet-with-key-cabinet-ministers-to-discuss-ukraine/article17185684/) (highlights mine)
Quote
...
“Canada has suspended its engagement in preparations for the G-8 Summit, currently planned for Sochi, and the Canadian Ambassador in Moscow is being recalled for consultations. Canada supports the immediate deployment of international monitors from the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to Ukraine.  We are also engaged in discussions aimed at developing a financial aid package for Ukraine.

“We will continue to cooperate closely with our G-7 partners and other allies. Should President Putin continue on this course of action, it will lead to ongoing negative consequences for our bilateral relationship.”

....Oooooohhhh ....


Actually these are both important diplomatic actions and, in my opinion, both are good policy, too. It is time to bounce Putin/Russia from the G-8 ~ no matter what Washington (both Democrats and the GOP) says.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Bird_Gunner45 on March 02, 2014, 08:53:28
Above post didn't work out like I wanted it to.

But a reply to Journeyman's post:

behind the BnAG, the BAG and DAG are never too far...

Their extensive use of air assets would also seem to align nicely with our decision to divest the Air Defence and subsequent attempts to refocus it on C-RAM.

One sign that has been missing has been a lack of movement forward of key GBAD systems the Russians possess- S-300, S-400, SA-11, etc.  I suspect that if we see these assets pushed into the Crimea it would be an indication that the Russians intend to stay and that they're preparing for the west and not Ukrainian forces. Mobile artillery plays well on TV, but the movement of high level AD would be a key indicator of any Russian intent as well.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 02, 2014, 08:59:48
There is a good report (http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Russian+troops+seize+Crimean+city+welcomed+rapturous+crowds/9568172/story.html) from Matthew Fisher, a journalist I trust, in today's Ottawa Citizen.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 02, 2014, 09:22:11
Some of the latest (http://news.yahoo.com/putin-ready-invade-ukraine-kiev-warns-war-011805827--finance.html) from the UKR side:
Quote
....  Ukraine's security council ordered the general staff to immediately put all armed forces on highest alert, the council's secretary Andriy Parubiy announced.

The Defense Ministry was ordered to conduct a call-up of reserves - theoretically all men up to 40 in a country with universal male conscription, though Ukraine would struggle to find extra guns or uniforms for significant numbers of them.

"If President Putin wants to be the president who started the war between two neighboring and friendly countries, between Ukraine and Russia, so: he has reached this target within a few inches. We are on the brink of disaster," Yatseniuk said in televised remarks in English, appealing for Western support ....

This (http://www.mil.gov.ua/index.php?lang=en&part=news&sub=read&id=32766), from the UKR defence ministry info-machine:
Quote
Some foreign media spread the message about the alleged abandonment of his Ukrainian military units in the Crimea.

Office of Press and Information of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine officially declares that the common information is not true and is a provocation.

There is absolutely untrue extended release information about the mass of the Armed Forces of Ukraine from military service.

The personnel stationed in the Crimea military units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, blocked by armed persons, keep quiet and trying through negotiations to prevent bloodshed, knowing full responsibility for their families and civilians.

Requirements to surrender the Armed Forces of Ukraine refused to comply.

Yes, Sevastopol Alexander Pokryshkin military tactical aviation brigade declared allegiance Military oath and refused to surrender their weapons at the request of armed men who seized the airfield Belbek (Sevastopol).

This morning, March 2, in the brigade was officially hoisted the National Flag of Ukraine, and soldiers said they remain loyal to the oath of allegiance to the Ukrainian people.

Despite the attempts of armed men to take control of the P. Nakhimov Academy of Naval Forces, senior military personnel of the school said they did not surrender weapons and would not allow armed men to the territory of the Academy.

“We’re on OUR land and swore allegiance to the people of Ukraine,” — Ukrainian sailors stressed. —The military units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are controlled by Ukrainian soldiers."

And how things look, on the Russian side ....
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BhuDzmPIUAAlqVs.jpg)
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BhuKGMFIcAAyS90.jpg)
.... and the Ukrainian side:
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BhuE0MYIcAA3vNu.jpg)
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BhuNbJZCIAEMkFY.jpg)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on March 02, 2014, 09:50:16
You know I was only trying to get George pumped.....

Sorry JM.  I was out of the room...  ;D

Not many picked up on the nuances, so it was great that you addressed some of them.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Retired AF Guy on March 02, 2014, 10:16:21
I wouldn't be surprised if we all rolled over  and went back to sleep.

This will come to nothing. Russia will do what it wants, NATO, the UN and the USA will send a letter....and if that doesn't work they will send a STRONGLY worded letter.

The big question is not what the U.S,/EU/NATO do, its what the Ukrainians are going to do? Are they going to roll over and let the Russians trample all over them or do they fight back??
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: AirDet on March 02, 2014, 10:17:06
I wouldn't be surprised if we all rolled over  and went back to sleep.

This will come to nothing. Russia will do what it wants, NATO, the UN and the USA will send a letter....and if that doesn't work they will send a STRONGLY worded letter.

I'm waiting for the ultimate recourse; the issue of a Mk1 bitchslap.  :nod:

Seriously there isn't much that can be done. The UN Security council is out because Russia holds a veto.

It is their backyard so to speak.  Maybe we're coming at this all wrong. Maybe there's another way without escalating things. What does Russia and the Ukraine really want? Peace, security, financial security, etc?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Old Sweat on March 02, 2014, 10:38:45
In my opinion, Putin expected this kind of reaction from the West and doesn't care all that much. Recalled ambassadors, strong letters, cancelled attendance at meetings and the rest count for squat against getting firm control of a warm weather, year round naval base. Our leaders all know this and are taking the SOP obligatory actions in the diplomatic equivalent of controlled road rage.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on March 02, 2014, 10:42:48
The big question is not what the U.S,/EU/NATO do, its what the Ukrainians are going to do? Are they going to roll over and let the Russians trample all over them or do they fight back??

We still have at least two weeks before Putin really makes any move that could seriously create the scenarios that everyone are currently discussing.  The Para Olympics are a week away in Sochi, and any actions on the part of the Russians in the Crimea or Ukraine prior to their successful completion could jeopardize Putin and Russia's position on the world stage.  It is all about saving face.  What we are seeing now is a 'show of force' to intimidate.  I doubt there will be any 'use of force' until after the Para Olympics are over.  By then, with all the discussions on the various diplomatic levels, saner minds may prevail.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: MilEME09 on March 02, 2014, 10:43:00
Latest news being reported by CTV is Ukraine has called up all Reserves, giving them a boost of about 1 million extra man power. That would allow Ukraine to in theory win the numbers game against the western and southern military districts of Russia who I assume would be leading the charge. Problem is much of Ukraine's equipment is in storage, in various states of condition I imagine, including over 1000 T-72's, and dozens of fighter jets. With the Reserves coming up I imagine they may be starting to pull that equipment out and dust it off but can they get it ready in time?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: GAP on March 02, 2014, 10:43:23
If the Crimea really wants to split from the Ukraine, then simply hold a referendum ......if the majority want to go back to Russia, let them.....

Is it any different than Quebec separating.....vote, negotiate, based on the vote result, voila!!

 :2c:
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 02, 2014, 10:46:55
I'm waiting for the ultimate recourse; the issue of a Mk1 bitchslap.  :nod:

Seriously there isn't much that can be done. The UN Security council is out because Russia holds a veto.

It is their backyard so to speak.  Maybe we're coming at this all wrong. Maybe there's another way without escalating things. What does Russia and the Ukraine really want? Peace, security, financial security, etc?


I think you are seeing the "end game."

Russia gets ~ I think because it must have ~ its secure Black Sea port in Crimea. It also gets a "buffer state" in South-Eastern Ukraine, in the form of a new, separate country.

Ukraine (minus) get Europe: aid and money and EU membership, and, and, and ...

Russia gets some slaps, it is booted out of the G-8, for example, but there is nothing that conflicts with Putin's aims (http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=111881.msg1293540#msg1293540).
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Journeyman on March 02, 2014, 10:48:42
From a Russian perspective, their actions are perfectly rational.

The legally-elected President is deposed, your ethnic brethren in the south are threatened, your major warm-water port is at risk....

The question is, how much further do they go?  Hold at Crimea, ensure a land corridor long the Azov coast or further inland, secure to the Dnieper?  Will these options be through direct annexation to Russia or through negotiations with a separated 'Crimean Rus'?

Going back to the 'fig leaf' post by ER Campbell, Putin is going through the internationally-recognized motions, but regardless he is doing what is deemed best for 'the clan' -- the ethnic Russians in Ukraine.



Edit: Good timing.  "The common measure of brilliance lay in how much someone agrees with you"   ;D
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: AirDet on March 02, 2014, 10:51:16
If the Crimea really wants to split from the Ukraine, then simply hold a referendum ......if the majority want to go back to Russia, let them.....

Is it any different than Quebec separating.....vote, negotiate, based on the vote result, voila!!

 :2c:

Like George said, "saner minds may prevail". I think if the Ukraine takes the time to think this thru they will come to the same conclusion. They are already behind the eight ball with the Russians already holding key military positions and support from the people in the Crimea.

This is hard for me to say being an ex-grunt but, it's time for the diplomats to earn their pay.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: AirDet on March 02, 2014, 10:55:00

I think you are seeing the "end game."

Russia gets ~ I think because it must have ~ its secure Black Sea port in Crimea. It also gets a "buffer state" in South-Eastern Ukraine, in the form of a new, separate country.

Ukraine (minus) get Europe: aid and money and EU membership, and, and, and ...

Russia gets some slaps, it is booted out of the G-8, for example, but there is nothing that conflicts with Putin's aims (http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=111881.msg1293540#msg1293540).

Agreed. So long as both sides remain professional and restrained, this will be but a minor post cold war border adjustment.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on March 02, 2014, 11:00:40

Seriously there isn't much that can be done. The UN Security council is out because Russia holds a veto.


Not that obvious a 'conflict of interest' is it.   ;)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Bruce Monkhouse on March 02, 2014, 11:28:35
If the Crimea really wants to split from the Ukraine, then simply hold a referendum ......if the majority want to go back to Russia, let them.....

Is it any different than Quebec separating.....vote, negotiate, based on the vote result, voila!!

 :2c:

Not quite that simple...........like I tell the few true separatists I know, " You can separate all you want, but the land stays with us".
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 02, 2014, 11:33:06
Agreed. So long as both sides remain professional and restrained, this will be but a minor post cold war border adjustment.
You sure you don't work for Public Affairs?  >:D
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 02, 2014, 12:08:40

Sounds like history is repeating itself in many ways and, as George Santayana once said "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it":

The Crimean War

According to Shepard Clough, professor of history at Columbia University, the war:
"was not the result of a calculated plan, nor even of hasty last-minute decisions made under stress. It was the consequence of more than two years of fatal blundering in slow-motion by inept statesmen who had months to reflect upon the actions they took.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimean_War
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on March 02, 2014, 12:21:49
Their extensive use of air assets would also seem to align nicely with our decision to divest the Air Defence and subsequent attempts to refocus it on C-RAM.

One sign that has been missing has been a lack of movement forward of key GBAD systems the Russians possess- S-300, S-400, SA-11, etc.  I suspect that if we see these assets pushed into the Crimea it would be an indication that the Russians intend to stay and that they're preparing for the west and not Ukrainian forces. Mobile artillery plays well on TV, but the movement of high level AD would be a key indicator of any Russian intent as well.

Except that with long range systems they can cover Ukraine's air space from Russia.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Lightguns on March 02, 2014, 13:17:56
The Uks were foolish to get rid of the nucs in exchange for a treaty to protect their borders.  They should have asked the Poles about the West and their border protection treaties!  Crimea is now Russian, although a lot of Ukrainians will have to die for that fact yet.  USA and EU will sit on their hands with every UN resolution voted by the Occupier.  Ahhh, cold war how I have missed you.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on March 02, 2014, 13:45:18
The so called Budapest Memorandum guaranteeing Ukraine's sovereignty has been violated by all sides.

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/03/does_the_1994_budapest_memorandum_obligate_the_us_to_intervene_in_ukraine.html

"According to the agreement, the US, UK and Russia all agreed to protect the sovereignty and “territorial agreement” of Ukraine".

"According to the agreement, the US, UK and Russia all agreed to protect the sovereignty and “territorial agreement” of Ukraine, meaning any Russian support for an attempt to declare Crimean independence would be in violation of their international obligations.

The three powers committed to “respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine” and “refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine”.

Significantly, the wording suggests Russia’s insistence that Ukraine forgo an EU trade deal may have already breached the terms of the agreement."
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Robert0288 on March 02, 2014, 14:21:13
Quote
New head of Ukraine's navy 'defects' in Crimea
2 Mar 2014 12:49 EST
source: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26410431

The newly appointed head of Ukraine's navy has sworn allegiance to the Crimea region, in the presence of its unrecognised pro-Russian leader.
Rear Admiral Denis Berezovsky was only made head of the navy on Saturday, as the government in Kiev reacted to the threat of Russian invasion......


Quote
Ukrainian Navy flagship takes Russia’s side – report
01 March 2014 21:11 EST
source: http://rt.com/news/ukraine-navy-flaghsip-protest-389/

Ukraine’s Navy flagship, the Hetman Sahaidachny frigate, has reportedly refused to follow orders from Kiev, and come over to Russia’s side and is returning home after taking part in NATO operation in the Gulf of Aden flying the Russian naval flag.

There has been conflicting information on where exactly the vessel is, but a Russian senator has confirmed to Izvestia daily that the frigate defected to the Russian side.

“Ukraine’s Navy flagship the Hetman Sahaidachny has come over to our side today. It has hung out the St Andrew’s flag,” Senator Igor Morozov, a member of the committee on the international affairs, told Izvestia daily.


Also the governments of Lithuania, Poland and Latvia have called for a NATO meeting under article 4.

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 02, 2014, 14:52:24
I am still of the belief that we (NATO) should be pushing back.  And one way to push back is to move troops forward into countries neighbouring Ukraine that are willing to host them.

This isn't Georgia.  It certainly isn't Afghanistan. NATO has good lines of communication right up to, and beyond, Ukraine's western border.  Georgia was isolated.  Ukraine isn't.

Escalation is being discussed as a bad thing here.  I believe a little escalation is called for.  And there is room for a considerable amount of escalation before triggering a force-on-force event.

The countries most concerned by the latest turn of events are:

Estonia,
Latvia,
Lithuania,
Poland,
Hungary
Czechs (not sure about the Slovaks)
Romania
Bulgaria.

Why do you suppose those are the same countries that offered troops both in Iraq and Afghanistan?  Perhaps to buy some street-creds?  Define whose side they were on?   Learn a bit about how NATO does business?  Make friends?

If even one or two of those countries were to receive even small contingents of Western troops on training exercises it would match Putin's moves on Russian soil.

Do I want WW3?  H**L no!

But:

Quote
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)

Your Humble Servant, Sirs.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Robert0288 on March 02, 2014, 15:21:27
Everything I've been reading in the Russian news papers and journals suggests that the west will talk big, might pull out of the G8, and the very most some economic sanctions.  I agree with Kirkhill, a little escalation is called for.  There is a good reason why the rest of the eastern european countries are starting to crap bricks.  They all remember being occupied for a couple generations.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 02, 2014, 15:21:53
I am still of the belief that we (NATO) should be pushing back.  And one way to push back is to move troops forward into countries neighbouring Ukraine that are willing to host them.

This isn't Georgia.  It certainly isn't Afghanistan. NATO has good lines of communication right up to, and beyond, Ukraine's western border.  Georgia was isolated.  Ukraine isn't.

Escalation is being discussed as a bad thing here.  I believe a little escalation is called for.  And there is room for a considerable amount of escalation before triggering a force-on-force event.

The countries most concerned by the latest turn of events are:

Estonia,
Latvia,
Lithuania,
Poland,
Hungary
Czechs (not sure about the Slovaks)
Romania
Bulgaria.

Why do you suppose those are the same countries that offered troops both in Iraq and Afghanistan?  Perhaps to buy some street-creds?  Define whose side they were on?   Learn a bit about how NATO does business?  Make friends?

If even one or two of those countries were to receive even small contingents of Western troops on training exercises it would match Putin's moves on Russian soil.

Do I want WW3?  H**L no!

But:

Your Humble Servant, Sirs.

Glass half full?

We have a training focus again and we can dust off the Cold War doctrine.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Bird_Gunner45 on March 02, 2014, 15:24:44
Except that with long range systems they can cover Ukraine's air space from Russia.

True, but the Crimea offers better Long Range positions owing to it's strategic position on the Black Sea.  Now the Russians can, in theory, intercept US/NATO aircraft and Ballistic Missiles from Turkey, the middle east and eastern Europe 200km sooner than they used to be able to.  With positions in Sevastopol Russian AD could identify and engage NATO aircraft as far away as S Turkey, providing far better depth.  Finally, with the positions in the S they can engage threats from the S without notifying their neighbours or violating foreign airspace (whether they would have or not) in defence of their black sea fleet and Southern approaches.

The movement of S-400 particularly could represent the Russian version of the US anti ballistic missile shield.  If they move high level systems in and Flanker/Pak-FA aircraft into the area it is a message to NATO and the US, not the Ukraine.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Bird_Gunner45 on March 02, 2014, 15:28:59
Glass half full?

We have a training focus again and we can dust off the Cold War doctrine.

Without a legitimate GBAD capability any Canadian involvement against a first rate military such as Russia would be risky and potentially come with high casualties (unless the US lend us some Air Defence).

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Old Sweat on March 02, 2014, 15:33:12
We went from 1951 to 1975 without any AD at all and then took Blowpipe into service. ADATS came along in the late 80s. Ignorance on our part is indeed bliss.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 02, 2014, 15:37:23
Without a legitimate GBAD capability any Canadian involvement against a first rate military such as Russia would be risky and potentially come with high casualties (unless the US lend us some Air Defence).

Well, unfortunately, I'd argue that it's been at least 30 years since we even practised with all those assets at the right level i.e., armoured division and higher, so it's a bit of a moot point anyway AFAIC.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Old Sweat on March 02, 2014, 16:06:36
The following report by the CP of a statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act:


Baird rules out military response to Soviet-style intervention in Ukraine


By Joan Bryden — CP — Mar 2 2014

OTTAWA - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is ruling out western military intervention to force Russia to pull its troops out of Ukraine.

But he's not ruling out further sanctions, including expelling Russia's ambassador to Canada.

"I don't think there's anyone talking about western military intervention, none of our friends or allies," Baird said Sunday in an interview with Global's West Block.

"What we are doing is working together to say in no uncertain terms that this is completely unacceptable and to condemn (it) in the strongest language possible."

Baird's own language was harsh. He called the invasion of Russian troops "old Soviet-style" aggression and dismissed Russian arguments that it needs to protect its Black Sea naval fleet, which is based in Sevastopol on Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, and the Russian-speaking population in that region.

"There is absolutely no justification whatsoever," Baird said.

"The claims that President (Vladimir) Putin puts forward are absurd and ridiculous. He has no right to invade another country, a neighbouring country that's struggling for freedom and democracy.

"The excuses and the rhetoric that's coming out of Moscow are unacceptable. No one is buying them in the western world and they make President Putin look ridiculous."

On Saturday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Canada is withdrawing its ambassador from Russia and will boycott preparatory meetings of ministers and officials for the G8 summit, which is supposed to be held in June in Sochi, where the Winter Olympic games just ended.

"Next month there's a G8 foreign ministers' meeting and if (Putin) continues with this provocative action, there's certainly no way I or Canada would want to have anything to do with Russian world leadership," Baird said.

Whether the G8 leaders' summit itself goes ahead will be up to Putin, he added, stressing that Russia must be made to realize that its actions "will have a major effect on Russia's relationship, not just with Canada but the entire free and democratic world."

Baird was returning Saturday from Kyiv, where he led a Canadian government delegation to show support for Ukraine's new pro-western government.

In his absence, he said his deputy minister called in Russia's ambassador to Canada, Georgiy Mamedov, and reamed him out "in the strongest terms certainly in my time at Foreign Affairs."

He did not rule out expelling the ambassador.

"We'll obviously be revisiting this on an hour by hour basis," he said, adding that Canada wants to act "in unison" with its allies.

At a later news conference in Toronto, Baird did not rule out further sanctions, including freezing Russian assets, trade and investment penalties and a ban on visas.

"It's certainly something we'll consider in the next few days."

However, Baird significantly turned down the volume on his own rhetoric, adopting a more diplomatic tone during the news conference. For instance, rather than repeat his assertion that Putin's explanations for the invasion are absurd and ridiculous, he said: "We just disagree in the strongest of terms with the justifications, with the so-called justifications that are being put forward."

He stressed the need "to be careful that we take measured responses that actually will support the Ukrainian people" and insisted "our first goal is to de-escalate the situation."

On Saturday, Harper spoke with U.S. President Barack Obama and the two agreed to "co-ordinate closely" their response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Harper has also spoken to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

As well, Harper spoke Saturday with NDP Leader Tom Mulcair.

Harper said Canada supports the United Nations sending international monitors to Ukraine and is involved in multilateral talks to put together a financial aid package for Ukraine, which is on the brink of defaulting on its sovereign debt.

Employment Minister Jason Kenney told CTV's Question Period on Sunday that Canada has indicated "support in principle" for an International Monetary Fund aid package. He said "basic economic stability for Ukraine at this sensitive moment is critically important."

Despite the sanctions, Canada does not intend to withdraw its athletes from the Paralympics, set for March 7-16 in Sochi.

"We don't want the athletes to pay the price for this," Baird said.

However, he said no government representative will attend the games "to somehow glorify Russia's time in the spotlight."
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Robert0288 on March 02, 2014, 16:12:11
Sounds like the Russian papers called it.  They even toned down some of the harsh language.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: MilEME09 on March 02, 2014, 16:16:44
And as suspected NATO comes out swinging with a strongly worded press release but no action. Mean while Russia continues it's take over. Congrats NATO you are completely useless as a organization
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: devil39 on March 02, 2014, 16:23:48
NATO is the new UN. 

My latest experiences with NATO remind me of my UN experiences in the early '90s.  15 percent of staff officers doing 85 percent of the work....etc.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on March 02, 2014, 16:24:36
True, but the Crimea offers better Long Range positions owing to it's strategic position on the Black Sea.  Now the Russians can, in theory, intercept US/NATO aircraft and Ballistic Missiles from Turkey, the middle east and eastern Europe 200km sooner than they used to be able to.  With positions in Sevastopol Russian AD could identify and engage NATO aircraft as far away as S Turkey, providing far better depth.  Finally, with the positions in the S they can engage threats from the S without notifying their neighbours or violating foreign airspace (whether they would have or not) in defence of their black sea fleet and Southern approaches.

The movement of S-400 particularly could represent the Russian version of the US anti ballistic missile shield.  If they move high level systems in and Flanker/Pak-FA aircraft into the area it is a message to NATO and the US, not the Ukraine.

Let's not forget that the Black Sea Fleet has its own integral AD assets.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: KerryBlue on March 02, 2014, 16:36:03
Here's the cut and paste statement most world governments will make:
"Both myself [insert head of state here] and the government of [insert country here] strongly condemn Russia's military actions against Ukraine, violating both their sovereignty and their right to a peaceful, political resolution to the turmoil that is going on within their country. Russia's aggression towards Ukraine will severely harm [insert country here]'s diplomatic ties with Russia, and further repercussions are being debated by my council/cabinet. We would like to urge Russia to immediately end all military campaigns within Ukraine and withdraw their troops immediately. At this time [insert country here] stands behind the people of Ukraine, because we are all Ukrainians."

Within two weeks a new conflict will occur and everyone will forget about Crimea.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 02, 2014, 16:40:31
Glass half full?

We have a training focus again and we can dust off the Cold War doctrine.

Maybe you can justify advancing the ALAAWS project to the head of the procurement list?  1 or even 2 per 6 man section carried by  LAVs with a 3 man crews to form an Anti-Armour Battle Group - as a show of solidarity with the Poles.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on March 02, 2014, 16:41:17
I am still of the belief that we (NATO) should be pushing back.  And one way to push back is to move troops forward into countries neighbouring Ukraine that are willing to host them.

This isn't Georgia.  It certainly isn't Afghanistan. NATO has good lines of communication right up to, and beyond, Ukraine's western border.  Georgia was isolated.  Ukraine isn't.

Escalation is being discussed as a bad thing here.  I believe a little escalation is called for.  And there is room for a considerable amount of escalation before triggering a force-on-force event.

The countries most concerned by the latest turn of events are:

Estonia,
Latvia,
Lithuania,
Poland,
Hungary
Czechs (not sure about the Slovaks)
Romania
Bulgaria.

Why do you suppose those are the same countries that offered troops both in Iraq and Afghanistan?  Perhaps to buy some street-creds?  Define whose side they were on?   Learn a bit about how NATO does business?  Make friends?

If even one or two of those countries were to receive even small contingents of Western troops on training exercises it would match Putin's moves on Russian soil.

Do I want WW3?  H**L no!

But:

Your Humble Servant, Sirs.

The US but ISAF as well need to withdraw from Afghanistan using Russian bases as well as to sustain the force until withdrawal begins.If Putin closes off our supply line that leaves us with a vulnerable supply route in Pakistan.Putin has us by the short hairs so to speak.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Lightguns on March 02, 2014, 16:46:05
For sure, he has.  He has out flanked the Western World.  Thing is, it was easy, we were all busy watching the Olympics.  The only reason he will not take all the Ukraine is that he can have a lot more fun sucking 2 billion dollars in gas bills out of them by: gas on, gas off; gas on, gas off.  When he is done the Ukraine will beg him to be a Russia SSR again.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 02, 2014, 16:55:34
I am still of the belief that we (NATO) should be pushing back.  And one way to push back is to move troops forward into countries neighbouring Ukraine that are willing to host them.

This isn't Georgia.  It certainly isn't Afghanistan. NATO has good lines of communication right up to, and beyond, Ukraine's western border.  Georgia was isolated.  Ukraine isn't.

Escalation is being discussed as a bad thing here.  I believe a little escalation is called for.  And there is room for a considerable amount of escalation before triggering a force-on-force event.

The countries most concerned by the latest turn of events are:

Estonia,
Latvia,
Lithuania,
Poland,
Hungary
Czechs (not sure about the Slovaks)
Romania
Bulgaria.

Why do you suppose those are the same countries that offered troops both in Iraq and Afghanistan?  Perhaps to buy some street-creds?  Define whose side they were on?   Learn a bit about how NATO does business?  Make friends?

If even one or two of those countries were to receive even small contingents of Western troops on training exercises it would match Putin's moves on Russian soil.

Do I want WW3?  H**L no!

But:

Your Humble Servant, Sirs.


I'm reminded of Robert Bolt's fine play, A man for all seasons. In the scene covering the trial of Sir Thomas More (http://gloria.tv/?media=171456) Sir Richard Rich gives (perjured?) testimony which is sufficient to condemn More. More has only one question:

(More)        "There is one question I would like to ask the witness. That's a chain of office you're wearing. May I see it? (looking) The Red Dragon. What's this?"
(Cromwell) "Sir Richard is appointed the Attorney General for Wales."
(More)        "For Wales. Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world. But for Wales?"

I think there are reasons to risk and, if need be, face WW3, but my question is: "But for Ukraine?"
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on March 02, 2014, 16:58:02
Slight off-topic:

This Russian invasion of Crimea, more 2 decades after the Ukraine first left the USSR in the 1990s, got me thinking what would happen if Premier Marois got her wish and Quebec secedes.

Then a few years later, things are so bad economically under their government that many Quebecers (even the most ardent PQ supporters) want Canada to take them back (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2ICtCO8TCw).

Many Ukrainians of Russian descent in Crimea and the rest of Eastern Ukraine certainly wanted Russia want to take them back, reportedly:

Quote

Many Ukrainians Want Russia To Invade
Pro-Russian citizens genuinely fear the new Ukrainian government is fascistic and will persecute them

To many in Ukraine, a full-scale Russian military invasion would feel like a liberation. On Saturday, across the country’s eastern and southern provinces, hundreds of thousands of people gathered to welcome the Kremlin’s talk of protecting pro-Russian Ukrainians against the revolution that brought a new government to power last week. So far, that protection has come in the form of Russian military control of the southern region of Crimea, but on Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin got parliamentary approval for a broad military intervention in Ukraine. As that news spread, locals in at least four major cities in the east of Ukraine climbed onto the roofs of government buildings and replaced the Ukrainian flag with the Russian tricolor.

Read more: Many Ukrainians Want Russia To Invade | TIME.com http://world.time.com/2014/03/01/many-ukrainians-want-russia-to-invade/#ixzz2uoWJsOlm



Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: pbi on March 02, 2014, 17:01:01
I'm sure a lot of people (me included) are seriously questioning the fact that Ukraine would be so valuable as to lead us into a diplomatic stand-off with the Russians. IS it really worth it? I feel like Russia has a lot more to gain from changing the situation than we have in maintaining the status Quo.

I think there are reasons to risk and, if need be, face WW3, but my question is: "But for Ukraine?"

Agree completely. This is a horrible, sad situation, and reminds us of Russia's real nature (after the recent Sochi distraction) but it isn't worth risking general war over. There are no immediate US or Canadian interests at risk. The Ukraine is Russia's strategic backyard, just as Mexico or Canada is that of the US. Moral and economic support, maybe. Going to war, or making threats about going to war, no.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 02, 2014, 17:01:32
According to today's media reports (http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/warns+Russia+trade+sanctions+expulsion+isolation/9569340/story.html) the US Government is making the right noises:

     "U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Russia Sunday that it is in danger of expulsion from the G8 group of industrialized nations and could be hit with trade sanctions and asset freezes unless it withdraws its military forces to their bases.

     In a series of appearances on U.S. Sunday morning news shows, Kerry said the world’s leading industrialized nations are suspending plans for the upcoming G8 meeting in Sochi, Russia, in retaliation for Russia’s “incredible act of aggression”
     against the Ukraine."
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 02, 2014, 17:03:12
And as suspected NATO comes out swinging with a strongly worded press release but no action. Mean while Russia continues it's take over. Congrats NATO you are completely useless as a organization
Meanwhile, Russia talks with various folks on the phone, sharing some messages (highlights mine) from their Info-machine ....
Quote
Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the United States Barack Obama on the American side’s initiative (http://eng.news.kremlin.ru/news/6752).

The two presidents discussed in detail various aspects of the extraordinary situation in Ukraine.

In reply to Mr Obama’s concern over the possibility of the use of Russian armed forces on the territory of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin drew his attention to the provocative and criminal actions on the part of ultranationalists who are in fact being supported by the current authorities in Kiev.

The Russian President spoke of a real threat to the lives and health of Russian citizens and the many compatriots who are currently on Ukrainian territory. Vladimir Putin stressed that in case of any further spread of violence to Eastern Ukraine and Crimea, Russia retains the right to protect its interests and the Russian-speaking population of those areas
.
Quote
Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to discuss the crisis in Ukraine (http://eng.news.kremlin.ru/news/6754).

Vladimir Putin noted that in case of any escalation of violence against the Russian-speaking population of the eastern regions of Ukraine and Crimea, Russia would not be able to stay away and would resort to whatever measures are necessary in compliance with international law.

Both parties stressed the need to prevent further exacerbation of the crisis in Ukraine
.
Quote
As per prior agreement, Vladimir Putin spoke by telephone with Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel (http://eng.news.kremlin.ru/news/6756).

In response to Ms Merkel's concern regarding the developments in Crimea and Ukraine as a whole, Vladimir Putin drew the Federal Chancellor's attention to the unrelenting threat of violence by ultra-nationalist forces, endangering the lives and legitimate interests of Russian citizens and the entire Russian-speaking population. It was stressed that the measures being taken by Russia correspond fully to the extraordinary current situation.

Mr Putin and Ms Merkel agreed to continue consultations both in the bilateral format (through the two nations' Foreign Ministries) and multilaterally to promote the stabilization of the situation in Ukraine.
Quote
Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of France Francois Hollande on the French side’s initiative (http://eng.news.kremlin.ru/news/6753).

At the request of Francois Hollande, Vladimir Putin shared his assessment of the situation in Ukraine, stressing that there exists a real threat to the lives of Russian citizens and our compatriots.

The two presidents exchanged views on possible ways of resolving the situation in Ukraine and agreed to continue contacts.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Nemo888 on March 02, 2014, 17:13:06
Probably feeling pretty stupid right about now for trading those nukes for a promise of international noninterference. How is that working out for ya Ukraine?

The so called Budapest Memorandum guaranteeing Ukraine's sovereignty has been violated by all sides.

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/03/does_the_1994_budapest_memorandum_obligate_the_us_to_intervene_in_ukraine.html

"According to the agreement, the US, UK and Russia all agreed to protect the sovereignty and “territorial agreement” of Ukraine".

"According to the agreement, the US, UK and Russia all agreed to protect the sovereignty and “territorial agreement” of Ukraine, meaning any Russian support for an attempt to declare Crimean independence would be in violation of their international obligations.

The three powers committed to “respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine” and “refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine”.

Significantly, the wording suggests Russia’s insistence that Ukraine forgo an EU trade deal may have already breached the terms of the agreement."
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 02, 2014, 17:18:21

I'm reminded of Robert Bolt's fine play, A man for all seasons. In the scene covering the trial of Sir Thomas More (http://gloria.tv/?media=171456) Sir Richard Rich gives (perjured?) testimony which is sufficient to condemn More. More has only one question:

(More)        "There is one question I would like to ask the witness. That's a chain of office you're wearing. May I see it? (looking) The Red Dragon. What's this?"
(Cromwell) "Sir Richard is appointed the Attorney General for Wales."
(More)        "For Wales. Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world. But for Wales?"

I think there are reasons to risk and, if need be, face WW3, but my question is: "But for Ukraine?"


But Sir Richard sought personal aggrandizement in Wales.

I would answer your question with another:  If not Ukraine then what?

We have spent a lot of time discussing cultural affinity in the past.  And I have voiced the opinion that the further from the dinner table the harder it is to find that affinity.

Perhaps my personal problem is that this British refugee in Canada, who married a French Canadian girl in Saskatchewan discovered that as a result he had a large number of Ukrainian in-laws and friends.  Both of 1905 and 1935 vintage.  We share dinner tables regularly.

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 02, 2014, 17:24:47
Quote
a quarrel in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 02, 2014, 17:45:41
Meanwhile, Russia talks with various folks on the phone, sharing some messages (highlights mine) from their Info-machine ....
Quote
Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the United States Barack Obama on the American side’s initiative. (http://eng.news.kremlin.ru/news/6752)

The two presidents discussed in detail various aspects of the extraordinary situation in Ukraine.

In reply to Mr Obama’s concern over the possibility of the use of Russian armed forces on the territory of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin drew his attention to the provocative and criminal actions on the part of ultranationalists who are in fact being supported by the current authorities in Kiev.

The Russian President spoke of a real threat to the lives and health of Russian citizens and the many compatriots who are currently on Ukrainian territory. Vladimir Putin stressed that in case of any further spread of violence to Eastern Ukraine and Crimea, Russia retains the right to protect its interests and the Russian-speaking population of those areas.

In comparison, here's the U.S. President's Info-machine's summary of the same call (http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/03/01/readout-president-obama-s-call-president-putin) ....
Quote
President Obama spoke for 90 minutes this afternoon with President Putin of Russia about the situation in Ukraine. President Obama expressed his deep concern over Russia’s clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity, which is a breach of international law, including Russia’s obligations under the UN Charter, and of its 1997 military basing agreement with Ukraine, and which is inconsistent with the 1994 Budapest Memorandum and the Helsinki Final Act. The United States condemns Russia’s military intervention into Ukrainian territory.

The United States calls on Russia to de-escalate tensions by withdrawing its forces back to bases in Crimea and to refrain from any interference elsewhere in Ukraine. We have consistently said that we recognize Russia’s deep historic and cultural ties to Ukraine and the need to protect the rights of ethnic Russian and minority populations within Ukraine.  The Ukrainian government has made clear its commitment to protect the rights of all Ukrainians and to abide by Ukraine’s international commitments, and we will continue to urge them to do so.

President Obama told President Putin that, if Russia has concerns about the treatment of ethnic Russian and minority populations in Ukraine, the appropriate way to address them is peacefully through direct engagement with the government of Ukraine and through the dispatch of international observers under the auspices of the United Nations Security Council or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).  As a member of both organizations, Russia would be able to participate. President Obama urged an immediate effort to initiate a dialogue between Russia and the Ukrainian government, with international facilitation, as appropriate. The United States is prepared to participate.

President Obama made clear that Russia’s continued violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would negatively impact Russia’s standing in the international community. In the coming hours and days, the United States will urgently consult with allies and partners in the UN Security Council, the North Atlantic Council, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and with the signatories of the Budapest Memorandum. The United States will suspend upcoming participation in preparatory meetings for the G-8. Going forward, Russia’s continued violation of international law will lead to greater political and economic isolation.

The people of Ukraine have the right to determine their own future. President Obama has directed his Administration to continue working urgently with international partners to provide support for the Ukrainian government, including urgent technical and financial assistance. Going forward, we will continue consulting closely with allies and partners, the Ukrainian government and the International Monetary Fund, to provide the new government with significant assistance to secure financial stability, to support needed reforms, to allow Ukraine to conduct successful elections, and to support Ukraine as it pursues a democratic future.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Fishbone Jones on March 02, 2014, 17:47:58
Actually these are both important diplomatic actions and, in my opinion, both are good policy, too. It is time to bounce Putin/Russia from the G-8 ~ no matter what Washington (both Democrats and the GOP) says.

Sorry, just catching up today.

Would bouncing them not be taking the chance that they just say, "What the hell, what have we got to lose?"

Would it not also be possible for the UN to suspend them?

As far as what Washington has to say, under Obama, they appear to have become a toothless dog anyway. I don't think Putin takes him serious. It hasn't swayed his opinion anywhere else the Soviets back conflict.

Would sanctions and world rhetoric, like what happened in S Africa during Apartheid work? However, the Soviets supply a lot of natural gas to the rest of Europe. We might have to wait for warmer weather.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 02, 2014, 17:58:30
...
I would answer your question with another:  If not Ukraine then what?
...


I can think of at least a few things that would lead me to a war against Russia; and a few, albeit fewer, that would lead me to war against China.

Issues regarding "freedom of the seas," and seabed "territoriality" (sovereignty) ~ issues that currently divide  Russia from Canada and the USA ~ are amongst them.

In the case of Ukraine:

     1. I sympathize and support the legitimate desire of many, but not all, Ukrainians to have closer economic and political ties with Western Europe.

     2. But I, equally, sympathize with the equally legitimate desire of some, but, again, not all, Ukrainians to have closer ties with Russia.

          There is nothing fundamentally wrong with either position; but they are incompatible in a single state. (Think Lord Durham and all that.)

     3. Russia has a strategically valid claim to Crimea. The fact, and it is a fact, that Putin is a thug, running a thuggishly aggressive state, is neither here not there.

     4. Partition of Ukraine may be the best of a bad lot of 'solutions.' Ukraine loses. There's no question about that. It loses a lot. It ceases to exist, for all practical purposes. But Ukrainians, broadly, get what they want.

I remain unconvinced that the territorial integrity of Ukraine is an acceptable casus belli. It may be that demise of the former Czechoslovakia is the right model. There will be, perhaps needs to be some "voluntary" ethnic cleansing ~ banks and other agencies, public and private, in (and beyond) both new states can, with a wee tiny bit of good will and some enlightened self interest, facilitate the desirable shifting of people.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Infanteer on March 02, 2014, 18:02:52
The whole of the Balkans is not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier

 ???
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Fishbone Jones on March 02, 2014, 18:04:52
Here's the cut and paste statement most world governments will make:
"Both myself [insert head of state here] and the government of [insert country here] strongly condemn Russia's military actions against Ukraine, violating both their sovereignty and their right to a peaceful, political resolution to the turmoil that is going on within their country. Russia's aggression towards Ukraine will severely harm [insert country here]'s diplomatic ties with Russia, and further repercussions are being debated by my council/cabinet. We would like to urge Russia to immediately end all military campaigns within Ukraine and withdraw their troops immediately. At this time [insert country here] stands behind the people of Ukraine, because we are all Ukrainians."

Within two weeks a new conflict will occur and everyone will forget about Crimea.

Please quote your sources and their ability to conject what makes them think this will be the unified message amongst nations.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 02, 2014, 18:06:47
Sorry, just catching up today.

Would bouncing them not be taking the chance that they just say, "What the hell, what have we got to lose?" That is, certainly, a risk. But, despite some, limited improvements in Russia's economic position, it remains a weak state. And anything Russsia does in the West might leave it open to pressures from the East. Russia fears China ... with good reason

Would it not also be possible for the UN to suspend them? I think not. Russia's SC veto makes it hard. We (Dean Acheson, Ernest Bevin and Louis St Laurent) thought up "Uniting for Peace" in 1950, but the Russians are unlikely to have forgotten that ploy ... plus I'm not sure our 21st century statesmen are up to that intellectual standard.
   

As far as what Washington has to say, under Obama, they appear to have become a toothless dog anyway. I don't think Putin takes him serious. It hasn't swayed his opinion anywhere else the Soviets back conflict.

Would sanctions and world rhetoric, like what happened in S Africa during Apartheid work? However, the Soviets supply a lot of natural gas to the rest of Europe. We might have to wait for warmer weather. Yes, I think so ... but I think they are going to be hard to organize for the reason to cite.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on March 02, 2014, 18:21:46
Putin has clearly read Halford Mackinder's "The Geographical Pivot of History"

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9c/Heartland.png)

"Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland;
who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island;
who rules the World-Island controls the world."
(Mackinder, Democratic Ideals and Reality, p. 106)

Maybe America and the EU should pick up a copy.  If they want something a little more up to date perhaps I can recommend the following:

(http://andreasmoser.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/revenge-of-geography.png)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 02, 2014, 18:35:01
I would accept the partition of the Ukraine as a win.  He can have Crimea back - It's kind of like a Russian Gibraltar.  Even Donetsk could be acceptable.  I am not sure about the entire eastern bank of the Dniepr.  There are Ukrainians east of the Northern Dniepr and Russians west of the Southern Dniepr.  Strategically it makes more "sense" to saw off along the line of the Dniepr and have Russia retain Sebastopol and Ukraine Odessa.  However that would leave both Russians and Ukrainians hostages to fate on both sides of the river....Is that necessarily a bad thing?  Especially if, as you cite in the case of the Czech Slovak split a bit of voluntary ethnic cleansing were permitted.

I am not convinced that Putin will accept Crimea if he can have Kiev as well.  I am inclined to believe the only way to convince him that he can't have Kiev is to make it more likely he risks confronting an opposing force.

Even if that risks moving the Berlin Wall east.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 02, 2014, 18:49:19
MacKinder may want to go back and check his archaeology.

Horses have been ridden on the steppes at least since the Botai domesticated them in Kazakhstan 6000 years ago

(http://discovermagazine.com/~/media/import/images/0/8/d/ride4)

Chariots have been part of the network since at least 4000 years ago with the Andronovo.

(http://www.waa.ox.ac.uk/XDB/images/world/tours/europe-Chariot_spread.jpg)

I am not aware of any stable organizations in that area since those eras that could be charitably called an empire.  Instability has been the hallmark of that part of the world - and while there has been a whole lot of raiding and trading going on there has been nothing like a central authority that can impose its will over its own people, much less recalcitrant neighbours.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: pbi on March 02, 2014, 19:17:51
Putin, nasty thug that he may be, presiding over a xenophobic kleptocracy as he may do, is smart. He is deploying arguments and justifications which other nations will find hard to challenge without appearing utterly hypocritical.

Chief among these, IMHO, is the "need" to protect the lives and livelihoods of  Russians (both citizens and ethnic) living in the Ukraine, particularly the East, and specifically in Crimea. It might be worth remembering that, with the possible exception of the current administration, the US has historically rarely hesitated to use military force to protect its nationals if it felt they were in  danger in a foreign crisis. Now, granted that a NEO by a small MEU is not the same as what the Russians are engaging in right now, but the underlying principle is one that, I think both the US and probably the UK (and, certainly, France...) would not want to see undermined.

Pinning any hope on China in this situation is nonsense. The Chinese  are well known to avoid blanket condemnations of the use of force by nations for internal matters, or even "neighborhood" matters, (except possibly for condemnations against the US) lest that same condemnation be used against them at some point. They are likely only too happy to see the West tied up in knots, and Russia engaged in something that has the potential to turn nasty, thereby  keeping them busy.

The sensible (if painful and not very proud) solution is the partition of the Ukraine. Recent events have revealed that the country had "ethnic cancer", anyway, such that a violent separation might only have been a matter of time.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on March 02, 2014, 19:21:24
MacKinder may want to go back and check his archaeology.

Horses have been ridden on the steppes at least since the Botai domesticated them in Kazakhstan 6000 years ago

(http://discovermagazine.com/~/media/import/images/0/8/d/ride4)

Chariots have been part of the network since at least 4000 years ago with the Andronovo.

(http://www.waa.ox.ac.uk/XDB/images/world/tours/europe-Chariot_spread.jpg)

I am not aware of any stable organizations in that area since those eras that could be charitably called an empire.  Instability has been the hallmark of that part of the world - and while there has been a whole lot of raiding and trading going on there has been nothing like a central authority that can impose its will over its own people, much less recalcitrant neighbours.

That's the point though, instability has marked that part of the world because it is the geographical pivot.  He who manages to gain control of it will dominate the world.  Some of Mackinder's ideas have been disproven but I believe this theory holds some merit.  Karl Haushofer (His ideas were what the Nazi's based their expansionist strategies on) certainly thought so as well and whatever we may believe, WWII was won and lost in the Eastern European theatre of war.

Mackinder's theories were also extremely influential on American strategic policy during the Cold War.  If you read Kaplan's book he puts fourth a good case on why Mackinder, Mahan and other prominent geographers theories were cast away at the end of the Cold War but why they still matter.  The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were the smacks in the face to this reality but I am unsure if they woke us up yet, hopefully this will.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on March 02, 2014, 19:27:18
Putin, nasty thug that he may be, presiding over a xenophobic kleptocracy as he may do, is smart. He is deploying arguments and justifications which other nations will find hard to challenge without appearing utterly hypocritical.

Chief among these, IMHO, is the "need" to protect the lives and livelihoods of  Russians (both citizens and ethnic) living in the Ukraine, particularly the East, and specifically in Crimea. It might be worth remembering that, with the possible exception of the current administration, the US has historically rarely hesitated to use military force to protect its nationals if it felt they were in  danger in a foreign crisis. Now, granted that a NEO by a small MEU is not the same as what the Russians are engaging in right now, but the underlying principle is one that, I think both the US and probably the UK (and, certainly, France...) would not want to see undermined.

Pinning any hope on China in this situation is nonsense. The Chinese  are well known to avoid blanket condemnations of the use of force by nations for internal matters, or even "neighborhood" matters, (except possibly for condemnations against the US) lest that same condemnation be used against them at some point. They are likely only too happy to see the West tied up in knots, and Russia engaged in something that has the potential to turn nasty, thereby  keeping them busy.

The sensible (if painful and not very proud) solution is the partition of the Ukraine. Recent events have revealed that the country had "ethnic cancer", anyway, such that a violent separation might only have been a matter of time.

Good point, using the idea of "responsibility to protect" is a smart move by Putin and at the end of the day he may have a point.  I also agree that the Ukraine seems to have "ethnic cancer" and by doing this Putin may actually be preventing another Yugoslavia from occurring.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 02, 2014, 19:45:12
I can see why Putin would want to gain control over the landmass - thus creating Mackinder's Eurasia to Mahan's Oceania - but the reality is that nobody has been able to prevent the teeter tottering while standing at the balance point.  As much as many have tried.

Putin has interests in Ukraine, right enough, and perhaps no bigger interests than those defined in this article (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/vladimir-putin/10669786/Russia-Could-these-protests-topple-Putin.html)

Quote
It was a little over 48 hours since enraged protesters based at Kiev’s Maidan opposition camp had driven Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych from power, but the shockwaves were already being felt on the glitzy streets of central Moscow.

“If there is no freedom in Russia, there will be a Maidan!” ...

“Things can’t go on like this forever,” sighed Olga, a rosy-cheeked young woman sporting ear muffs and the white ribbon that is the symbol of discontent with “national leader” Vladimir Putin’s long rule, as police snatched another activist from the crowd. “The people of Kiev rose up to kick out Yanukovych, and we’ll do the same to Putin one day.” ....

For many in the protest movement, however, the Kremlin’s current crackdown is simply a temporary setback ahead of what they believe is Putin’s inevitable downfall.
“History demonstrates that all authoritarian regimes, be they in Ukraine, Libya, Tunisia or Russia, eventually share the same fate,” insisted Dmitry Gudkov, a snappily dressed thirtysomething who is one of just a handful of MPs openly to side with the anti-Putin movement. “If the people are denied the chance to change their leaders democratically, they will find other means.”....

Russia’s protesters have, however, so far proven largely unwilling to demonstrate the kind of spectacular commitment to change exhibited by their counterparts in Kiev. Brief attempts by more radical members of the opposition to establish a permanent protest camp in Moscow after Putin’s controversial 2012 election victory were met with alarm and bewilderment by mainly middle-class protesters. If a sustained attempt to dislodge Putin is to materialise, then its “muscle”, as in Ukraine, is likely to be supplied by the far-Right. “For Russia to get its own Maidan, we need the participation of at least 7,000 nationalist activists and 150,000 ordinary citizens, hipsters and the like,” said Dmitry Dyomushkin, the ex-head of the outlawed ultra-Right Slavic Union movement.

“In this case, we’d see an escalation, victims and open confrontation, and so on,” Dyomushkin added. “But so far the protests have all been hijacked by liberal protest leaders.”...


Putin can't allow Assad and Yanukovych to fall because then the unthinkable becomes thinkable.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on March 02, 2014, 19:56:22
If we want to make non military counter moves that will help Ukraine and the West while punishing Russia, then Canada holds two high cards:

1. Sign a fee trade agreement with the new government of the Ukraine (stipulating that it covers the territory controlled by said government. Russian controlled areas need not apply), and:

2. Start pumping oil and natural gas as fast as possible to Europe. Build whatever infrastructure it takes, but do it on a crash basis.

Both moves undermine the threat of Russian economic blackmail against Ukraine and Europe, and also cut a nice chunk out of Putin's oil and gas export revenues. Since he has gained a section of land full of Russians (with Russian cultural mores and attitudes), I have some  *doubts* that he has gained a lot economically, and paying through the nose to keep the Crimea propped up and the locals happy (especially when they can look across the Dneiper and see the economy gradually growing and strengthening on the west bank of the Dneiper and start to wonder why the **** things are not looking up on the east bank) will be an interesting conundrum for the Russians to solve.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 02, 2014, 20:03:04
A snippet (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/02/ukraine-crisis-russia-crimea-standoff) from inside a UKR compound ....
Quote
.... The troops may not wear insignia on their uniforms, but they arrived in trucks with Russian military plates and are well armed. Privately, the commanders admitted to Ukrainian troops that they were Russian regular troops. Given that some of them were personally acquainted, there was not much point in hiding it.

As Major Lomtev in Feodosia put it: "We know a lot of them, because we have done a lot of joint exercises together and have close links with them. To be honest, I don't think they are very proud of the orders they are carrying out at the moment."

At Perevalnoye, not far from the regional capital, Simferopol, more than a dozen trucks stood nearby as more than 100 soldiers patrolled the perimeter and nearby hills. The Ukrainian coastguard division inside said they would not give up the base, staring out at the Russians from behind the gate.

After negotiations, the two sides agreed not to point their guns at each other, but the standoff remained tense, with a priest from the nearby Ukrainian orthodox church reciting prayers and brandishing a cross.

(....)

Inside the base at Feodosia, word came that the order had come from Kiev that all marines should give up their weapons voluntarily to the Russians. One of the marines then read on Facebook that the news was apparently fake, and rushed off to inform his superiors who were in negotiations with Russians. Many of the marines were on the phone to friends at other bases, asking whether they had been forced to give up their weapons.

Russian state media reported widespread desertions to the Crimean forces. It was difficult to verify whether this really was happening. Even an official representative of the Ukrainian defence ministry seemed unclear. Ruslan Semenyuk said: "I don't know of any cases where soldiers have voluntarily given up their arms, but there is one base where the Russians seized the weapons, and then moved them to another Ukrainian base. We don't know why they did this, maybe just as a display of force. About other cases, I don't know."

At Feodosia, the Russians came back, led by a lieutenant-general and a retired general, for more talks. After meeting the commanders, a group of three dozen officers assembled to be briefed by the Russians. The Guardian was asked to leave the room during the talks, as the Russians refused to speak in front of journalists. Afterwards, the Ukrainians said they had again been asked, "firmly but politely" to give up their weapons, and had again refused.

One marine, carrying his kalashnikov through the grounds of the base late in the evening, did not want to be identified but was happy to share his allegiances.

Asked what would happen if, next time, the Russians came with orders rather than requests, the men claimed to have no doubt. "I am Russian myself, I was born there," he said. "But we are professional soldiers and we have given an oath of duty. We will not give up this place without a fight."

If we want to make non military counter moves that will help Ukraine ....
At this point, I'm not seeing a whole lot of will to do anything to help Ukraine, much less building pipelines like crazy next to (eventually) Russian-occupied eastern Ukraine - pipelines that'll eventually be cut off at some point, given Russia's proclivities.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Target Up on March 02, 2014, 20:35:36
That groovy graphic is very cool and all, but to my mind the centre of everything has shifted a few thousand kilometres to the East and South.  Russia has influence over Russian and it's immediate neighbours, mostly because they play that ridiculous Slavic card of "Russia is anywhere Russians are", somewhat like their Serbian brethren to the South.  My woefully uneducated opinion of course.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Old Sweat on March 02, 2014, 20:46:15
The following story which provides a platform for two retired senior diplomats to vent - some might say petulantly - is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provision of the Copyright Act.

Ottawa reduced to ‘gestures’ on Ukraine response, say former top envoys

By Mike Blanchfield — CP — Mar 2 2014

OTTAWA - The Harper government's response to the Russia-Ukraine crisis smacked of empty gestures from a country that has become increasingly marginalized on the world stage, two retired Canadian ambassadors charged Sunday.

Those scathing reviews came from two of the county's most distinguished ex-diplomats: Jeremy Kinsman, who has served as Canada's senior envoy to Russia, Britain, Italy and the European Union, and Paul Heinbecker, the former ambassador to the United Nations and an adviser to past Conservative and Liberal prime ministers.

They were highly critical of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's decision Saturday to temporarily withdraw Canada's ambassador to Russia, and of Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird for not ruling out the expulsion of Russia's ambassador to Canada, Georgiy Mamedov, in a later televised interview.

Both dismissed the Canadian response as "gestures" that underscored Canada's lack of clout on the world stage, especially since its historic failure to win a temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council in 2010.

"We are the great practitioners of grand gestures," Kinsman said Sunday in a telephone interview from California.

"Pulling your ambassador out for consultations — I happen to believe always you don't do that. That's strictly a gesture. This is the one time when you want your ambassador there."

Kinsman said that recalling Canada's ambassador and suggesting the Russia's envoy to Ottawa could be next is "silly" and that the government simply wants to be "seem to be doing something."

"That's just childish," he added. "Georgiy Mamedov is the dean of the diplomatic corps. He's being there for 11 years, he's been dealing with Canada for 30. He's a professional."

Heinbecker said at times like these it is essential to maintain high-level diplomatic contact — not cut it off.

"Mamedov is one of the guys you really want to be able to talk to," Heinbecker said in an interview in Ottawa.

"Mamedov was the guy who negotiated the end of the Kosovo war. He knows a little bit about how to cope with these kind of West-versus-Russia situations."

Heinbecker said he hopes Canada's envoy returns to his post in Moscow within days and that the Harper government recognizes the need to keep its embassy there, and Russia's in Ottawa, functioning at full strength.

"It's a government given to gestures. It's foreign-policy by declaration and by gesture, all calculated with an eye on the next election," Heinbecker said of Ottawa's general response to the crisis.

Fen Hampson, director of the global security at Waterloo, Ont.'s Centre for International Governance Innovation, defended the government's decision as "a principled step in the right direction." He also praised Baird for visiting protesters in Kyiv in December.

On Saturday, Harper also announced that Canada planned to boycott preparatory meetings of ministers and officials for the G8 summit, which is supposed to be held in June in Sochi, where the Winter Olympics just ended.

Hampson said Canada should begin discussions with other G8 members about expelling Russia, "which was admitted on our watch at the Halifax summit" in 1995. He also said Canada has an influential role to play in NATO.

"As a NATO member, we should also be pressing to beef up NATO forces in Central Europe and the Balkans while also ensuring in ongoing talks between NATO and Russia that the situation does not escalate or get out of hand," he added.

Roland Paris, director of the University of Ottawa's Centre for International Policy Studies, said Canada needs to do more to reinforce its commitment to NATO.

"These events also underscore the ongoing importance of the NATO alliance. There is a perception among some officials at NATO headquarters that Canada's commitment to the alliance has waned in recent years."

Senior Foreign Affairs Department officials also summoned Mamedov on Saturday, and reamed him out "in the strongest terms certainly in my time at Foreign Affairs," Baird told Global's West Block on Sunday. Baird did not rule out expelling Mamedov, saying "we'll obviously be revisiting this on an hour by hour basis."

Kinsman and Heinbecker said all the bluster underscored the fact that Canada's ability to influence world events has been greatly diminished since loss of the Security Council seat in 2010. Baird has since said Canada won't mount a repeat campaign to win a seat.

This past weekend there was a reminder of Canada's failure to win a temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council in 2010. Had Canada succeeded its two-year term would've expired by now.

However, tiny Luxembourg chaired Saturday's crucial council meeting on the crisis, as part of the rotating duties that the rotating cast of non-permanent countries is allowed to perform at the influential world body.

"Generally speaking, you can see that the big issues do get discussed at the UN Security Council," said Heinbecker.

"When you take yourself out of that game, you lose one of the vehicles you have for having some influence."

Added Kinsman: "If you're not there, you're not involved. It's the same as pulling out your ambassador. You need to be present for any discussion. Outcomes always involve compromise."

Baird is flouting the "evidence" that compromise is a necessary feature of international diplomacy and you need to be at the table to negotiate it, said Kinsman.

The reality, said Kinsman, is that Ukraine is Russia's neighbour and the two have to be encouraged by the West to find a diplomatic solution to the current crisis.

Heinbecker said there is no prospect that NATO countries will ride into Ukraine like the "calvary" based on the lack of military intervention to save Georgia or in Syria.

The only way out of the situation, said Heinbecker, is a diplomatic effort, "a mixture of carrots and sticks."

Instead of simply boycotting the G8 meeting the other member countries should convene a separate G7 at the same time as the Sochi meeting would have taken place, he said.

"That would send some kind of a message to Putin.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Fishbone Jones on March 02, 2014, 20:50:30
It looks like the Diplomatic Corps is still smarting from the ***** slap the PM gave them a while back.

Sour grapes?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 02, 2014, 20:52:06
Jeremy Kinsman and Paul Heinbecker held very senior appointments, at or near the political centre during the period while Canada's international capabilities were being (consciously) reduced to a level where can do nothing more than offer "empty gestures."

I have nothing but contempt for Mr. Kinsman and I think even less of Mr. Heinbecker. They are both Liberal shills.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: jeffb on March 02, 2014, 22:12:35
And yet, withdrawing ambassadors does not seem to be a very wise decision in the face of potential hostilities. This is not some rogue nation the West is dealing with. Russia's nuclear, and even its conventional, arsenals, represent the only significant threat to the West at present (notwithstanding the rise of China). We simply can not afford a return to a "us versus them" mentality and, if now is not the time for dialogue, I'm not sure when it is. We, and I mean the West in general, really only have three options here. We can either risk open conflict by dispatching troops to the region, we can put economic and diplomatic pressure on Russia or we can side with Russia over Ukraine. I think option 1 and 3 are untenable for a variety of reasons found in this thread (not the least of which is financial). This leaves western governments with the remaining option of economic and diplomatic pressure. Pulling out diplomats seems to me to fly in the face of this.

If we were really serious about sending a message to Moscow we'd send a BG on an extended exercise with Poland, ideally in western Poland, as part of a Multinational Division or some other NATO country in the region but I don't foresee that happening. It would require some serious political will in both Europe and the United States which I think, at this point at least, is absent.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: devil39 on March 03, 2014, 01:26:55
Putin, nasty thug that he may be, presiding over a xenophobic kleptocracy as he may do, is smart. He is deploying arguments and justifications which other nations will find hard to challenge without appearing utterly hypocritical.

Chief among these, IMHO, is the "need" to protect the lives and livelihoods of  Russians (both citizens and ethnic) living in the Ukraine, particularly the East, and specifically in Crimea. It might be worth remembering that, with the possible exception of the current administration, the US has historically rarely hesitated to use military force to protect its nationals if it felt they were in  danger in a foreign crisis. Now, granted that a NEO by a small MEU is not the same as what the Russians are engaging in right now, but the underlying principle is one that, I think both the US and probably the UK (and, certainly, France...) would not want to see undermined.

Pinning any hope on China in this situation is nonsense. The Chinese  are well known to avoid blanket condemnations of the use of force by nations for internal matters, or even "neighborhood" matters, (except possibly for condemnations against the US) lest that same condemnation be used against them at some point. They are likely only too happy to see the West tied up in knots, and Russia engaged in something that has the potential to turn nasty, thereby  keeping them busy.

The sensible (if painful and not very proud) solution is the partition of the Ukraine. Recent events have revealed that the country had "ethnic cancer", anyway, such that a violent separation might only have been a matter of time.

Not a lot of good options here....but sounding a lot like "Peace in our time"  Simplistic, yes....but I can only imagine how the Ukrainian state must feel. 

Granted Adolf Hitler wasn't holding nukes....but he was pulling a very similar move.  I guess we have to believe this time that there is not a larger campaign plan....

I go back to the stratfor geopolitical analysis of Russia I posted last week....there are certain imperatives.  Crimea won't be the end of this, there will likely be further partition. 

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Fishbone Jones on March 03, 2014, 04:46:17
And yet, withdrawing ambassadors does not seem to be a very wise decision in the face of potential hostilities. This is not some rogue nation the West is dealing with. Russia's nuclear, and even its conventional, arsenals, represent the only significant threat to the West at present (notwithstanding the rise of China). We simply can not afford a return to a "us versus them" mentality and, if now is not the time for dialogue, I'm not sure when it is. We, and I mean the West in general, really only have three options here. We can either risk open conflict by dispatching troops to the region, we can put economic and diplomatic pressure on Russia or we can side with Russia over Ukraine. I think option 1 and 3 are untenable for a variety of reasons found in this thread (not the least of which is financial). This leaves western governments with the remaining option of economic and diplomatic pressure. Pulling out diplomats seems to me to fly in the face of this.

If we were really serious about sending a message to Moscow we'd send a BG on an extended exercise with Poland, ideally in western Poland, as part of a Multinational Division or some other NATO country in the region but I don't foresee that happening. It would require some serious political will in both Europe and the United States which I think, at this point at least, is absent.

You realize that a Cdn BG is but a small pimple on the enemy ops board, right?

No significant equipment, no significant threat, easily bypassed.........

In the end, we'll stop crap or provide any kind of deterrent, let alone a political one.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on March 03, 2014, 07:10:01
Putin, nasty thug that he may be, presiding over a xenophobic kleptocracy as he may do, is smart. He is deploying arguments and justifications which other nations will find hard to challenge without appearing utterly hypocritical.

Chief among these, IMHO, is the "need" to protect the lives and livelihoods of  Russians (both citizens and ethnic) living in the Ukraine, particularly the East, and specifically in Crimea. It might be worth remembering that, with the possible exception of the current administration, the US has historically rarely hesitated to use military force to protect its nationals if it felt they were in  danger in a foreign crisis. Now, granted that a NEO by a small MEU is not the same as what the Russians are engaging in right now, but the underlying principle is one that, I think both the US and probably the UK (and, certainly, France...) would not want to see undermined.

Pinning any hope on China in this situation is nonsense. The Chinese  are well known to avoid blanket condemnations of the use of force by nations for internal matters, or even "neighborhood" matters, (except possibly for condemnations against the US) lest that same condemnation be used against them at some point. They are likely only too happy to see the West tied up in knots, and Russia engaged in something that has the potential to turn nasty, thereby  keeping them busy.

The sensible (if painful and not very proud) solution is the partition of the Ukraine. Recent events have revealed that the country had "ethnic cancer", anyway, such that a violent separation might only have been a matter of time.
This current administration, less than 24 hours ago as I type this, used lethal force in a sovereign state that was not its own. (Drone strike in Yemen).  You make good points, but this current administration is no less interventionist than any other. 
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Old Sweat on March 03, 2014, 07:35:23
Matthew Fisher, in the electronic version of The National Post, provides an update and summary that is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provision of the Copyright Act:

Little stands in Putin’s way

Postmedia News

The military conquest of the Crimea by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s armed forces continued to be a straightforward, bloodless walkover on Sunday.

With Russian forces operating freely in Crimea, Ukraine’s caretaker prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, put Ukrainian forces on “red alert” on Sunday and warned that if Russia seized more territory this would be considered “a declaration of war against my country.”

With Ukraine on what he termed “the brink of disaster,” Mr. Yatsenyuk appealed to the West for immediate help to counter the Russian forces.

There seemed to be no chance of that. Stunned Western leaders and diplomats blustered and issued feeble threats again Sunday as Mr. Putin’s military juggernaut completed its stranglehold on the Black Sea peninsula.
With Western nations already paralyzed by what has so far happened in Ukraine, Mr. Putin threatened U.S. President Barack Obama that he would broaden the invasion to include mining cities in northeastern Ukraine such as Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv if Russia found it necessary “to protect its own interests and those of Russian speakers,” the official RIA/Novosti news agency reported from Moscow.

Such an action could lead to Ukraine breaking in two. Were that to happen, with lots of Ukrainians all over eastern Ukraine and some Russians in the west of the country, there would certainly be violent recriminations and quite possibly civil war.

Speaking with residents of Kyiv and Sevastopol it already seems as if Ukraine is two countries, not one, with ferocious rhetoric emanating from both sides. “The people of western Ukraine are the grandchildren of those who betrayed us by collaborating with the Nazis,” said Yuri Kovalenko who signed up with the Organization for the Defence of Crimea which sprang up when Ukraine’s pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych fled on Feb. 22 after several days of bloody street battles between his security forces and activists who want Ukraine to cast its lot with western Europe.

Outside the self-defence headquarters in an industrial college on Sevastopol’s Sovietskaya Street, large groups of men gathered to denounce “the fascists” who now ran things in Kyiv.

“Russia has come to defend us and it makes us happy,” said Yuri Stupin, who worked for two years as a truck driver in Toronto.

But it was difficult to see who the Russian forces, or their allies in the ragtag civil defence unit, might have to defend the Crimea from as there has not been a whiff of opposition to them anywhere in Sevastopol.

“We have not seen the enemy here,” spokesman Stanislav Nagoril said with an awkward smile. “But we see them on TV all the time. Our volunteers must be ready to defend ourselves against any provocateurs.”

Nagoril went to great lengths to refute the notion that Crimeans were separatists.

“We are citizens of Ukraine and what we want is the return of our democratically elected government,” he said.
Why then, he was asked, was he standing under a Russian flag which had been raised when the Ukrainian flag had been taken down.

“That isn’t the flag of another country,” he said, referring implausibly to the Russian tricolour. “It is the flag of Russian speaking people everywhere.”

In a new development Sunday, thousands of Ukrainian sailors and soldiers were locked inside their own bases across Crimea by Russian troops or by pro-Russian Crimeans apparently acting in close concert with them.

One of the last Ukrainian military installations that Russian troops surrounded was an army base at Perevalnoye, about two hours drive to the north of Sevastopol, where Ukrainian and Russian troops stared grimly at each other from a distance of only a few metres.

By the terms of a treaty with Ukraine signed after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has the right to moor its Black Sea Fleet and base about 6,000 sailors and marines at or near Sevastopol until 2042. But that lease agreement specifically forbade Russia from deploying forces elsewhere in Crimea or to bring in more troops from Russia without the Ukrainian government’s consent.

The tactics at Perevalnoye were virtually an exact repeat of what happened one day earlier at Balaklava where 300 Russian marines backed by armoured personnel carriers seized the storied port from which survivors of the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade made their way home to England in 1854.

The Russian troops that occupied Balaklava actually wore black balaclavas similar to those worn by British troops during the Crimean War. Where today’s Russian troops at Balaklava were subsequently ordered to move to was not known, but it could not have been far. The Crimea is only half the size of Nova Scotia.

Ukraine’s top sailor, Denis Berezovsky, who had only held the job for two days, defected Sunday. He was shown on local television swearing allegiance to the new Crimean Navy, which he will now lead. It was the first high-level defection from the Ukrainian armed forces. Ukraine’s immediate response was to charge Adm. Berezovsky with treason. Despite reports of mass defections in the Russian media, it does not appear as if many members of Ukraine’s armed forces have yet walked away or switched sides.

In what clearly was a strategic repositioning of forces rather than a retreat, the Russians in Balaklava vanished in the wee hours of Sunday from the doorstep of the Ukrainian Coast Guard and border police headquarters, which backs on to the harbour. But not before residents of the town had greeted them like conquering heroes.

“The Ukrainian navy and coast guard are still under Kyiv’s control and have told us that they will not take orders from Sevastopol,” said Sergei Napran who sits on the city council. “But they have agreed to not put any of their vessels to sea.”

Among the military facilities that local self-defence groups laid siege to on Sunday were the Ukrainian navy’s headquarters in Sevastopol.

Closely watched by about 20 pro-Russia Crimeans, the distraught mother of a Ukrainian officer showed up at the headquarters with bottles of water for her son because there was none available inside.

“They are saying there may be a provocation,” the middle aged woman said before hurrying away. “Local groups are telling him to go home.”
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 03, 2014, 07:49:22
(http://cdn.static-economist.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/full-width/images/print-edition/20140301_EUD000_0.jpg)
Source: http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21597948-ukraine-biggest-test-eus-policy-towards-countries-its-borderlands-how-be-good
Reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Economist

You can, with equal accuracy, substitute, NATO or US or UN for the "EU Neighbourhood Policy."


Edit: capitalization
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on March 03, 2014, 08:01:57
This current administration, less than 24 hours ago as I type this, used lethal force in a sovereign state that was not its own. (Drone strike in Yemen).  You make good points, but this current administration is no less interventionist than any other.

Yemen is such a permissive environment that it is practically a hunting preserve. The point about the Administration isn't that they "won't" intervene, its that they don't want to be placed in a position where there may be hard choices or messy political consequences to their actions. Libya was practically interpretive dance (why were the United States and Canada there again?), but the larger pattern strting with the Green Revolution in 2009 and continuing with schizophrenic responses to provocations in the South China Sea (flying American bombers through the Chinese "Air Defense Zone" while at the same time telling commercial carriers to respect it and register their flights), Syria (meaningless "Red Lines"), the theatrical surge in Afghanistan, toothless responses to Iranian nuclear and conventional adventurism etc. certainly emboldens Putin.

I suspect that he is willing to seize the land to the East bank of the Ukraine by force knowing that the worst e will receive may be a paper cut as he opens the latest strongly worded letter, and perhaps he won't be invited to quite so many international events.

This is why a response like a Canadian pipeline building program to ship oil and gas to the East Coast for export to Europe will actually hurt; it isn't overtly threatening, but it removes a large portion of the economic leverage Russia has over Europe and curtails Russia's export earnings, which power the Russian economy and provide Putin with the cash to bribe or coerce his counterparts in Russia and the Near Beyond. Where else did the $15 billion bribe to the former Presidfent of Ukraine to spurn the EU deal come from?

Grabbing Russia by the economic short and curly's, while providing the Europeans and Ukrainians with a reliable source of energy will serve multiple purposes. We already know the negative effects to Russia, but the economic boost of building new infrastructure in Europe to deal with the imported Canadian energy (plus the additional boost of reliable, low cost energy) will allow our allies to economically pull away, while Russia will have to spend far more of its declining revenues on bribes and subsidies to keep its people satisfied, or at least less aware of their economic disadvantages vs the *West*.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Robert0288 on March 03, 2014, 08:38:44
Quote
11:58: The Ukrainian State Border Service says two Russian assault landing ships arrived illegally in the port of Sevastopol, Crimea, on Sunday. It named the ships as the Olenegorskiy Gornyak from the Northern Fleet and the Georgy Pobedonosets of the Baltic Fleet. Russia's Black Sea Fleet is based in Sevastopol.
Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26413953

I think they might be these guys: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ropucha_class_landing_ship

Capacity from wiki:
10 main battle tanks and 200 troops or 12 BTR and 340 troops or 3 main battle tanks, 3 2S9 «Nona-S», 5 MT-LB, 4 army trucks and 313 troops or 500 tons of cargo
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 03, 2014, 09:00:44
This is unlikely to be a "win-win" for Russia.

While I accept that Russia is, mainly, just trying to maintain the status quo ante, and I understand their strategic imperative to do that, their aggression must not be rewarded.

First: we, the US led West, must tell President Putin that Western Ukraine is off limits. While we can/will accept Russia's claim to Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, the rest of Ukraine must be allowed to decide its own future in its own way, without Russian pressure. That may require that we, the US led West, actually station troops, temporarily, in Ukraine. (One of my young, serving, friends has considerable experience in Ukraine and has told me that we and the Ukrainians can work together in reasonably good order.)

Second: Russia must pay, economically, for this. The ruble is already in trouble, Russia is now selling junk bonds on the world markets (7+% this morning.). We need to keep it that way. They must be expelled from the G8 and the G20, the US led West has enough power to do that, even though one or to G20 members may object. (My guess is that China will not object to punishing Russia for this.)

Third: the EU must fast track Ukraine into the EU.

Fourth: NATO should invited Ukraine to join. (I remain convinced that an enlarged NATO is a 'weaker' NATO but it is, now, politically important to 'defend' Eastern Europe.)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 03, 2014, 09:31:19
In an article, which is reproduced here under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from Business Insider, respected political scientist Ian Bremmer (http://eurasiagroup.net/about-eurasia-group/who-is/ian-bremmer) says that Ukraine is the "most seismic geopolitcal event since 9/1:"

http://www.businessinsider.com/ian-bremmer-on-ukraine-2014-3
Quote
(http://www.deftnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Business-Insider-Logo.jpg)
We're Witnessing The Most Seismic Geopolitical Events Since 9/11

IAN BREMMER 

MAR. 2, 2014

The following guest column comes courtesy of Eurasia Group President and Founder Ian Bremmer.

As Russia conducts direct military intervention in Ukraine, the US and Europe condemn it, and the Ukrainian army goes on high alert, we're witnessing the most seismic geopolitical events since 9/11.

A big part of the problem is that Russia is a declining power, and it’s in the West's best interest to let that slowly play out over time. But the recent response on Ukraine pushed too hard, prompting President Vladimir Putin to retaliate with a decisive response. To say the US-Russia relationship is presently broken is an understatement. Going forward, there are three central questions that should prove most interesting.

First, what will the West’s direct response be? We won’t see much, although there will certainly be some very significant finger-pointing. President Obama will cancel his trip to Sochi for the upcoming G-8 summit, and it's possible that enough of the other leaders will join him that the meeting will need to be scratched. It's conceivable the G-7 nations would vote to remove Russia from the club.

U.S Secretary of State John Kerry warned: “There’s a unified view by all of the foreign ministers I talked with yesterday — all of the G-8 and more — they’re simply going to isolate Russia; that they’re not going to engage with Russia in a normal business-as-usual manner.”

It's possible we see an emergency United Nations Security Council session to denounce the intervention — which the Russians would no doubt veto — but it would be very interesting to see if the Chinese join them, and to see who abstains in voting. NATO will have to fashion some response, possibly by sending ships into the Black Sea. But given the depth of economic ties, it is very hard to see significant European powers actually breaking relations with Russia at this point.

In fact, it’s hard to envision serious sanctions coming together, given the coordination it would take between the US and the various European powers (Germany in particular). In short, shots won't be fired, but markets will get fired up.

Second, what international complications can Russia stir up? Events in Ukraine will significantly complicate all areas of US-Russia ties. Russia doesn't want an Iranian nuclear weapon, but they'll be somewhat less cooperative with the Americans and Europeans around Iranian negotiations ... possibly making them more likely to offer a "third way" down the road that undermines the American deal.

On Syria, an intransigent Russia will become very intransigent, making it more difficult to implement the chemical weapons agreement; Moscow will provide greater direct financial and military support for Bashar Assad's regime. And if Russia were to invade Eastern Ukraine, a host of other issues would surface, including energy concerns surrounding major pipelines and the maintained flow of natural gas.

Lastly, will events in Ukraine result in a broader geopolitical shift? Russia will see its key opportunity as closing ranks more tightly with China. While we may see symbolic coordination from Beijing, particularly if there's a Security Council vote (where the Chinese are reasonably likely to vote with the Russians), the Chinese are trying hard to maintain a balanced relationship with the United States ... and accordingly won't directly support Russian actions that could undermine that relationship.

Leaving aside China, Russia's ability to get other third party states on board with their Ukrainian engagement is largely limited to the "near abroad" – Armenia, Belarus, and Tajikistan – which is not a group the West is particularly concerned with. But it is, more broadly, a significant hit to American foreign policy credibility.

Coming only days after Secretary of State John Kerry took strong exception to "asinine, "isolationist" views in Congress that were framed as if the United States is a "poor country," a direct admonition from the United States and its key allies was willfully and immediately ignored by the Russian president.

That will send a message of weakness and brings concerns about American commitment to allies around the world. All of this reinforces the prevailing geopolitical dynamic: we are in a world with a distinct and dangerous lack of global, coordinated leadership.


The key point is: "Russia is a declining power."

We should help it decline, gracefully, into geo-strategic irrelevance ... Mr Bremmer thinks "we" may have pushed too hard in Ukraine, by actively encouraging the pro-Europe forces.

I any event, the die is now cast and "we" must do something ... see above for some ideas.


Edit: format
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on March 03, 2014, 09:40:48
It would take years to replace Europe's source of gas. The nightclub visiting youth of Europe dont want to wait. They want it now.  And Putin can deliver...for a price. Which is why the EU isn't so sure about sanctions. Putin has all the cards, and there's nothing we can do about it. Nothing.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Nemo888 on March 03, 2014, 09:49:37
We were blatantly trying to pull Ukraine out of Russia's sphere of influence. They openly warned us when they released Nuland's (unencrypted WTF) cell phone intercept.
“Yats is the guy. He’s got the economic experience, the governing experience. He’s the guy you know. … Yats will need all the help he can get to stave off collapse in the ex-Soviet state. He has warned there is an urgent need for unpopular cutting of subsidies and social payments before Ukraine can improve.”
Arseniy Yatsenyuk was made PM after the coup. We pushed too far and Nuland's, "F*%k the EU," attitude got us more blowback than the State Department expected.

I think pulling Ukraine into NATO this year would be a terrible risk. In 5 years maybe, but currently even seriously talking about it is going to make trouble. Imagine if Russia fermented separatism in Quebec then suggested they to join the Wolf Pack and put in missile defenses. I would send in the troops immediately. Russia may be in decline, but they have not declined sufficiently to make that a wise option.

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 03, 2014, 09:49:45
It would take years to replace Europe's source of gas. The nightclub visiting youth of Europe dont want to wait. They want it now.  And Putin can deliver...for a price. Which is why the EU isn't so sure about sanctions. Putin has all the cards, and there's nothing we can do about it. Nothing.


 :goodpost:

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on March 03, 2014, 11:02:05
Here are several actions that the US and NATO might take to get Putin's attention.

1.Cancel the G8 meeting
2.Expel Russia from the G8
3.Move NATO troops into Poland and other Eastern European nations and the Baltic states
4.Move ABM missiles into Poland and the Czech Republic
5.Cut off Russian banks access to the EU and Japanese banking facilities
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on March 03, 2014, 11:05:52
Other than the first one, they would only make it worse.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on March 03, 2014, 11:16:50
Actually it would make people in eastern Europe feel a bit safer.Russia's economy isnt really G8 material anyway.Poland and other former communist countries have been very helpful in the GWOT.Its time to man up.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 03, 2014, 11:17:10
Other than the first one, they would only make it worse.


I agree that expelling Russia from the G8 would "only make it worse" but I suspect it, making things worse, might be worth the effort: short term pain for long term gain, etc.

If Russia stops then: fine. If it continues to act aggressively then expel it from the G20, too.

Repeat as necessary with stiffer sanctions.

It's a bit like training a dog, no?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 03, 2014, 11:18:20
Actually it would make people in eastern Europe feel a bit safer.Russia's economy isnt really G8 material anyway.Poland and other former communist countries have been very helpful in the GWOT.Its time to man up.


But, remember the Technoviking's excellent post, just above, about Europe's oil and gas.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on March 03, 2014, 11:25:45

But, remember the Technoviking's excellent post, just above, about Europe's oil and gas.

Europe is Russia's customer and cutting of gas hurts Russia's pocket book at a time where their economy is rather weak.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Journeyman on March 03, 2014, 11:29:35
Europe is Russia's customer and cutting of gas hurts Russia's pocket book at a time where their economy is rather weak.
Russia appears more than willing to 'cut off its nose to spite its face.'  I suspect that it will take the economic hit should it apply the sanctions of cutting off gas to Europe; even the threat of such action is probably already influencing European hesitancy to act in this case.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 03, 2014, 11:40:39
Europe is Russia's customer and cutting of gas hurts Russia's pocket book at a time where their economy is rather weak.

What he said.

Yes Russia can gamble that the Europeans will keep buying because it is cold they lack real choice (save for re-opening the coalmines, fracking, re-commissioning and building nuclear plants - all of which take time).

But if Russia cuts off the Gas they cut off their welfare payments and their military reconstruction.

Equally, it is not just the Euro-Kids that are out Clubbing.  It is also the Russian Kids.   The Pro-Russian mobs in Crimea, Ukraine and Russia are all middle-aged ex-Soviets.  You don't see much evidence of youth on parade.

Russia is not the Soviets of 1982, much less 1967.

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Robert0288 on March 03, 2014, 11:48:22
Quote
Russia gives Ukrainian forces deadline to surrender

Russia's Black Sea Fleet has given forces in Crimea until 5 a.m. Tuesday local time (7 p.m. Monday PST) to surrender or face an all-out assault.
Source: https://twitter.com/News1130radio
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 03, 2014, 11:50:07
You realize that a Cdn BG is but a small pimple on the enemy ops board, right?

No significant equipment, no significant threat, easily bypassed.........

In the end, we'll stop crap or provide any kind of deterrent, let alone a political one.

The same could have been said about 4CMBG.... if that were the only force in place.  The same could equally be said about those independent companies of Estonians and Romanians in the "sandbox".

But...

Symbolism matters at times like these, and a Canadian BG doesn't look so bad when all the US has got on the ground in Europe is a Stryker Regiment, an Airborne Brigade Group and a Combat Aviation Brigade.

In addition you have to look at what the Ukrainians, Poles, Romanians etc are willing to do for themselves.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on March 03, 2014, 11:54:50
......when all the US has got on the ground in Europe is a Stryker Regiment, an Airborne Brigade Group and a Combat Aviation Brigade.


The US has returned M1s to Germany.  They do have the capability still to reinforce troops in Europe. 
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Robert0288 on March 03, 2014, 11:55:09
Further information:
Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10672417/Ukraine-live.html
Quote
15.25: More on that ultimatum: This from Reuters:

Russia's Black Sea Fleet has told Ukrainian forces in Crimea to surrender by 5 a.m. (0300 GMT) on Tuesday or face a military assault, Interfax news agency quoted a source in the Ukrainian Defence Ministry as saying.

The ultimatum, Interfax said, was issued by Alexander Vitko, the fleet's commander.

The ministry did not immediately confirm the report and there was no immediate comment by the Black Sea Fleet, which has a base in Crimea, where Russian forces are in control.

"If they do not surrender before 5 a.m. tomorrow, a real assault will be started against units and divisions of the armed forces across Crimea," the agency quoted the ministry source as saying.
 
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Old Sweat on March 03, 2014, 11:58:40
The same could have been said about 4CMBG.... if that were the only force in place.  The same could equally be said about those independent companies of Estonians and Romanians in the "sandbox".

But...

Symbolism matters at times like these, and a Canadian BG doesn't look so bad when all the US has got on the ground in Europe is a Stryker Regiment, an Airborne Brigade Group and a Combat Aviation Brigade.

In addition you have to look at what the Ukrainians, Poles, Romanians etc are willing to do for themselves.

The mere threat of the ASIC should have them quaking in their boots.  >:D
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on March 03, 2014, 12:01:26
The Russian stock market is down as is the Ruble vs the dollar.

http://news.yahoo.com/russia-hikes-rates-amid-market-carnage-over-ukraine-100455087.html
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 03, 2014, 12:05:55
The mere threat of the ASIC should have them quaking in their boots.  >:D

Ouch... That hurt.

OK - some symbols are less than others.  ASIC probably doesn't qualify as a symbol.  It may qualify as a cymbal - the musical equivalent of one hand clapping.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 03, 2014, 12:20:03
Some of the latest ....
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bhz1G10CMAAIPFW.jpg)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: uncle-midget-Oddball on March 03, 2014, 12:36:13
On the breaking news bar at CNN there's reports stating that Russia has given an 11 hour ultimatum for Ukranian forces to leave Crimea, or face a "Military Storm."  The clock is really ticking now.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Robert0288 on March 03, 2014, 12:45:57
The clock just sped up a little.

Quote

KIEV, Ukraine — Ukraine says Russian forces controlling the strategic region of Crimea are demanding that the crew of two Ukrainian warships must surrender.Source: http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/ea0b8cefc63c4753af6c356108b51377/EU--Ukraine

Russian solders walk as a local resident waves with Russian flag outside of a Ukrainian military base in the village of Perevalne, outside of Simferopol, Ukraine, on Sunday, March 2, 2014. Hundreds of armed men in trucks and armored vehicles surrounded the Ukrainian military base Sunday in Crimea, blocking its soldiers from leaving. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman Maksim Prauta said four Russian navy ships were blocking Ukraine's anti-submarine warship Ternopil and the command ship Slavutych in Sevastopol's harbor.

He said the Russians ordered the crew to surrender within the hour or face Russians storming and seizing the ships and crew.

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Lightguns on March 03, 2014, 12:46:22
The report I got from the Jerusalem Post.  Stated that Ukrainian Police and Military Forces were to surrender their arms and equipment before leaving and to take their families with them.  Sorta voluntary ethnic cleansing.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Lightguns on March 03, 2014, 12:48:21
Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26413953

I think they might be these guys: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ropucha_class_landing_ship

Capacity from wiki:
10 main battle tanks and 200 troops or 12 BTR and 340 troops or 3 main battle tanks, 3 2S9 «Nona-S», 5 MT-LB, 4 army trucks and 313 troops or 500 tons of cargo

OK RCN types, what the average sailing time from the North Sea Fleet home port to Crimea.  With that you have the Russian planning window.  While we watched the Olympics!

Edit:  Someone must have seen that ship leave!  Was the Russian navl incrusion into UK a cover?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Target Up on March 03, 2014, 13:02:50
The report I got from the Jerusalem Post.  Stated that Ukrainian Police and Military Forces were to surrender their arms and equipment before leaving and to take their families with them.  Sorta voluntary ethnic cleansing.

What's voluntary about this?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 03, 2014, 13:43:48
Russia gives Ukrainian forces deadline to surrender

Russia's Black Sea Fleet has given forces in Crimea until 5 a.m. Tuesday local time (7 p.m. Monday PST) to surrender or face an all-out assault.
Source: https://twitter.com/News1130radio
Black Fleet spox (http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_03_03/Ukraine-ultimatum-reports-total-nonsense-Russian-Defense-Ministry-2160/):  Lies!  All lies!
Quote
Russia denies reports that it issued an ultimatum to Ukrainian armed forces in Crimea, the Interfax news agency reports citing the an official of Russia's Black Sea Fleet. The official representative of the Russian Defense Ministry called the information about the ultimatum 'total nonsense'.

The Russian Black Sea fleet based in Crimea denied Monday there were plans to storm Ukrainian military positions on the peninsula, calling reports of an ultimatum "nonsense," Interfax said.

"That is complete nonsense," a representative of the fleet was quoted as saying after Ukraine's regional military said it had received an ultimatum to surrender early Tuesday or face attack.

"We are used to daily accusations about using force against our Ukrainian colleagues," he said. "Efforts to make us clash won't work."

For now there is no need to deploy the Armed Forces of Russia in Ukraine, State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin has said on Monday, following the Russian Foreign Ministry's statement made earlier in the day that Russia's Black Sea Fleet units currently stationed in Crimea aren’t interfering into the internal events of the Ukrainian politics ....
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Robert0288 on March 03, 2014, 14:00:39
Or an ingenious ploy to make them cry wolf. 
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: pbi on March 03, 2014, 14:01:24
Not a lot of good options here....but sounding a lot like "Peace in our time"  Simplistic, yes....but I can only imagine how the Ukrainian state must feel. 

Granted Adolf Hitler wasn't holding nukes....but he was pulling a very similar move.  I guess we have to believe this time that there is not a larger campaign plan....

I go back to the stratfor geopolitical analysis of Russia I posted last week....there are certain imperatives.  Crimea won't be the end of this, there will likely be further partition.

I was thinking about Old Neville and his scrap of paper when I wrote this: I was expecting that "Peace in Our Time" would be raised at some point. (Let's not forget though, who declared war on Germany: it wasn't Churchill...)

However, I am a severe skeptic of the old saw that "history always repeats itself". This is an easy thing to say, and sometimes saves us from doing much analysis, just because some particular event seems to resemble an earlier one, and leads us to think that we should always have exactly the same response.

If we follow that logic, why didn't we go to war over the Russian invasion of Hungary, or the invasion of Czechoslovakia? Or Georgia?

I guess Neville C. and I share one thing in common: we want to know exactly what it is in this situation that will be worth the lives of our fellow citizens.

We must be careful about making military threats if we don't mean to back them up. The Russians may call the bluff (Putin, who has created this "Peter The Great/Stalin/movie hero" persona for Russian popular consumption, may feel he has no choice if he is to stay in power)

And, if we do mean to back these threats up, where is the line to be drawn, and just where does that lead us? Isn't an analysis of risk versus gain a basic part of military planning, as opposed to "Draw Sabres!"?

If Canadians are going to die, (which is where the threat of military force ultimately leads) what will that be for, and what will it change?

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: JesseWZ on March 03, 2014, 14:02:07
What happens when the "mob" mentality of Pro-Soviet or Pro-Ukranian civilians begin to control the message and anger bubbles to the surface...

Not to sound tin-foil hat like, but it wouldn't surprise me if one side or the other has persons who want to fight.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: pbi on March 03, 2014, 14:17:11
What happens when the "mob" mentality of Pro-Soviet or Pro-Ukranian civilians begin to control the message and anger bubbles to the surface...

Not to sound tin-foil hat like, but it wouldn't surprise me if one side or the other has persons who want to fight.

In that world of disinformation and factions upon factions, it might just suit somebody's interests to provoke the Ukrainian forces into a violent pre-emptive reaction, even if it was only a single local commander who acted. Once triggers start getting pulled, things can go right out of control. That single isolated local reaction might be all the "justification" that somebody wants.

The question is who, and justification for what?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on March 03, 2014, 14:21:12
The Ukranian Navy Admiral who defected came back to his base to convince the rest of the Navy defect as well.

In response, the rest of the Navy sailors stood side by side and sang the Ukranian National Anthem in his face.

Those are some brave men... and NATO better get it's damn act together or those men are going to spill their blood.

quote from the Associated Press via Canada's National Post: (http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/03/03/crimea-now-under-de-facto-russian-control-as-west-scrambles-to-ramp-up-diplomatic-pressure/)

 
Quote
Surrender or ‘face storm,’ Russia tells Ukraine as Duma prepares a bill to annex Crimea


David McHugh And Dalton Bennet, Associated Press | March 3, 2014 8:30 AM ET
More from Associated Press

(-SNIPPED)

The head of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet Aleksander Vitko set the deadline and threatened an attack “across Crimea,” reported Russian Interfax, quoting the Ukrainian Interior Ministry. The Ukrainian navy was given until 7 p.m. local time Monday to surrender and Ukrainian troops stationed on Crimea’s mainland until 5 a.m. Tuesday.

Interim president Oleksandr Turchynov said Russia gave Ukraine a similar ultimatum two days earlier, with the deadline of 5 a.m. on March 2. “They didn’t start storming the bases on 5 a.m., but the situation is still tense there,” he said.

In Sevastolpol, two senior Ukrainian naval commanders — one who only hours earlier had defected to the pro-Russian government in Crimea — competed for the loyalties of their sailors in an extraordinary standoff Monday.

The sailors erupted into a rendition of the national anthem Monday after rejecting a plea from Rear Admiral Denis Berezovsky to defect with him to the Pro-Russian Crimean government.

(...END EXCERPT)

 
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 03, 2014, 14:24:52
I was thinking about Old Neville and his scrap of paper when I wrote this: I was expecting that "Peace in Our Time" would be raised at some point. (Let's not forget though, who declared war on Germany: it wasn't Churchill...)

However, I am a severe skeptic of the old saw that "history always repeats itself". This is an easy thing to say, and sometimes saves us from doing much analysis, just because some particular event seems to resemble an earlier one, and leads us to think that we should always have exactly the same response.

If we follow that logic, why didn't we go to war over the Russian invasion of Hungary, or the invasion of Czechoslovakia? Or Georgia?

I guess Neville C. and I share one thing in common: we want to know exactly what it is in this situation that will be worth the lives of our fellow citizens.

We must be careful about making military threats if we don't mean to back them up. The Russians may call the bluff (Putin, who has created this "Peter The Great/Stalin/movie hero" persona for Russian popular consumption, may feel he has no choice if he is to stay in power)

And, if we do mean to back these threats up, where is the line to be drawn, and just where does that lead us? Isn't an analysis of risk versus gain a basic part of military planning, as opposed to "Draw Sabres!"?

If Canadians are going to die, (which is where the threat of military force ultimately leads) what will that be for, and what will it change?


Exactly! There are good, solid, valid reasons to send my son and our friends and colleagues into battle, again ... but this time against a near peer foe. As things stand, I don't believe Ukraine provides such a reason. I'm not sure that a full scale Russian attack on and conquest of Ukraine would be enough. Hungary, in 1956 and Czechoslovakia, in 1968, weren't enough, nor was Poland in 1988.

My guess, maybe just hope, is that Russia will be satisfied with a fully Russian Crimea and a separate, dependent puppet state in what is now South-Eastern Ukraine. I'm not sure Russia really wants all of Ukraine: why beg for a strong, militant, separatist problem where none needs to exist.

If that's the case, if Ukraine can be, peacefully, albeit unwillingly dismembered, then I think scolding from the sidelines and economic retaliation are sufficient. 

I am willing to restart the cold war.

I think another cold war will be enough to expose Russia for the backward, shambling, rattletrap of a nation-state it really is. It can and probably will collapse into a bloody, agonizing civil war and eventual partition into a handful of European, Eurasian and Asian states ~ and we should stand aside while that happens.

President Putin is a thug. There is no point in being nice, even polite to him. Russia is a farce. It is a big and well armed farce (even if I doubt that all (not even much) of  its equipment actually works) but we can defeat it economically. If Russia tries to compete with the capitalist West its people will either eat grass or, far more likely, rebel and murder their rulers.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Journeyman on March 03, 2014, 14:27:05
... and NATO better get it's damn act together or those men are going to spill their blood.
You do know that Ukraine isn't a NATO member, right?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: MilEME09 on March 03, 2014, 14:27:51
The Ukranian Navy Admiral who defected came back to his base to convince the rest of the Navy defect as well.

In response, the rest of the Navy sailors stood side by side and sang the Ukranian National Anthem in his face.

Those are some brave men... and NATO better get it's damn act together or those men are going to spill their blood.

quote from the Associated Press via Canada's National Post: (http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/03/03/crimea-now-under-de-facto-russian-control-as-west-scrambles-to-ramp-up-diplomatic-pressure/)

Brave is definitely a word i would use, I am sure they are all aware of the situation they face if Russia attacks, that said even if NATO as a whole does nothing maybe countries like Poland might take action on their own to supply equipment and ammo to the Ukrainian Military
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on March 03, 2014, 14:30:42
You do know that Ukraine isn't a NATO member, right?

Well aware they are not.  Still, didn't the US and the UK sign the Budapest Memorandum that gives a security guarantee to Ukraine in return for Kiev giving up its nuclear weapons back in the late 1990s?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Journeyman on March 03, 2014, 14:32:57
Well aware they are not.  Still, didn't the US and the UK sign the Budapest Memorandum that gives a security guarantee to Ukraine in return for Kiev giving up its nuclear weapons back in the late 1990s?
Yep....and there are 26 other countries in NATO who signed no such agreement, and I'd just as soon you not commit us to a war that's not our problem, thanks.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: MilEME09 on March 03, 2014, 15:26:33
Source Via NATO's facebook page

Quote
The North Atlantic Council, which includes the ambassadors of all 28 NATO Allies, will meet on Tuesday 4 March, following a request by Poland under article 4 of NATO's founding Washington Treaty.

Under article 4 of the Treaty, any Ally can request consultations whenever, in the opinion of any of them, their territorial integrity, political independence or security is threatened.

The developments in and around Ukraine are seen to constitute a threat to neighboring Allied countries and having direct and serious implications for the security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic area.

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/news_107711.htm
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Journeyman on March 03, 2014, 15:35:24
Yes, and Article 4 only commits us to "consultations." Given that the Russians would have to get through about 1500 km of Ukrainian real estate to even reach the Polish border, I suspect this may be a bit of a flinch on their part, and still not sufficient justification for NATO to "get it's damn act together."
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Bird_Gunner45 on March 03, 2014, 17:21:49
Well, unfortunately, I'd argue that it's been at least 30 years since we even practised with all those assets at the right level i.e., armoured division and higher, so it's a bit of a moot point anyway AFAIC.

It's a moot point up until 1 Mi-24 destroys the combat team.  Just because it's happened for 30 years doesn't make it right, or any less foolish today than it was 30 years ago.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: MilEME09 on March 03, 2014, 17:37:42
It's a moot point up until 1 Mi-24 destroys the combat team.  Just because it's happened for 30 years doesn't make it right, or any less foolish today than it was 30 years ago.

Dont worry we have those C-7 anti-aircraft drills! that will save said combat team
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on March 03, 2014, 18:04:01
The economic fallout of this is already starting to affect Russia, but of course everyone else is being pulled by the undertow. One can only hope that the Russians do receive their well deserved just desserts as capital flows from the country and the economy becomes ever more pinched (and adding a greater or lesser number of Ethnic Russians with all their cultural attitudes and traits is not exactly what I would call an economic gain for Russia either).

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-03-03/russian-stocks-crash-central-bank-scrambles-hikes-rates-most-1998-default

Quote
Russian Stocks Crash As Central Bank Scrambles, Hikes Rates Most Since 1998 Default
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/03/2014 08:25 -0500

Following a 150bps rate hike by the central bank - the largest since the 1998 default -desperate to halt capital outflows and a collapsing currency, Russian stocks have crashed 11% led by some of the country's largest banks. USDRUB rose to just shy of 37 - the weakest RUB rate on record - but rallied back a little on the rate hike but the MICEX stock index tumbled 11% to almost 2-year lows with Sberbank (Russia's largest bank) down 17% and VTB (2nd largest bank) down 20%. Between the threat of economic sanctions from the West and simple risk-aversion-based capital flight, as one analyst noted, "uncertainty risks a further escalation in domestic capital outflow."
 
MICEX is down 11% today alone...

Ruble at record lows against the USD...

It was the biggest increase in a Russian benchmark rate since June 1998, less than two months before Russia defaulted on domestic sovereign bonds and devalued the currency. The refinancing rate used to be the central bank’s main reference.

The Banks have been battered...

•Sberbank, Russia’s biggest bank, drops 17%, loses most since 2008
•VTB, Russia’s second-bigest lender, tumbles 20%
•Bank St. Petersburg falls 16%
•Bank Vozrozhdenie declines 10%
•Nomos Bank slides 12%
 
European and U.S. leaders have threatened sanctions against Russia, creating risks that economic growth will stall, demand for the country’s assets will dry up and a selloff in the currency will deepen. "There is a risk of international backlash against Russia at a time when the economy faces an increasing need for foreign capital inflows... This uncertainty risks a further escalation in domestic capital outflow."

Around the world, stock markets are tumbling with Europe down around 2% - almost its largest drop in 7 months; and Japan down 600 from Friday's highs.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: X_para76 on March 03, 2014, 18:10:55
A friend of mine is working over in the Ukraine at the moment and just sent a message saying that the timings have been moved from 0500L to 0300L for the Russian assault, and that local civil defence (pro russian) have just attacked a ukrainain naval base in svestopol.

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: MedTech32 on March 03, 2014, 18:12:00
Interesting photos, I bet they wished they had kept them now.  Hindsight is always 20/20.

Shared with the usual provisions,

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2572149/Stunning-images-huge-abandoned-tank-graveyard-Ukraine-machines-come-retirement-tensions-Russia-continue-escalate.html


Quote
These incredible photographs show a huge tank graveyard in the Ukraine - home to hundreds of the abandoned vehicles which the country may desperately need if tensions with Russia continue to escalate.
Filled with rows upon rows of slowly rusting relics, the once deadly war machines now lie dormant in a secret depot in the city of Kharkiv in the Slobozhanshchyna region of eastern Ukraine - just 20 miles from the border with Russia.
Despite it being heavily guarded, photographer Pavel Itkin, 18, was able to sneak into the plant and spent several hours taking photographs.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2572149/Stunning-images-huge-abandoned-tank-graveyard-Ukraine-machines-come-retirement-tensions-Russia-continue-escalate.html#ixzz2uwLiX1ej
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook




Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on March 03, 2014, 18:14:54
This whole thing is a mess, and it's none of our business.

The first mistake was to side with protesters who were opposing a guy who wanted to make Ukraine a bit friendlier with Russia than with the EU.  Why did we side with them?  Because in spite of what many may think, Russia is and always was a geopolitical adversary.  Not enemy, but competition, if you will.  Yanukovich may be corrupt or whatever, but that doesn't matter: he was elected in fair elections. 
Consider the alternate, in a different land.  Say in the US for example.  "Obamacare" is highly unpopular.  Its roll out was a disaster, and even Democrat lawmakers were hesitant to approve it.  Imagine, if you will, protests against it, and Obama himself, went violent in Washington.  Would that give anyone anywhere the right to say that he was no longer the legitimate president of the United States, just because he was unpopular, or instituted an unpopular program?

I really am worried by the trend that "Mob Rule = Democratic Action".  That's not democracy.  That's Anarchy rules.  He with the loudest mouth wins?  I'm sorry, but if I were Russia, I'd be rather worried about places such as e.g. Crimea, the Don Basin, Kharkiv, etc.  Let's not forget that even in the recent "Euromaidan" protests, those parts of Ukraine were all too happy to remain closer to Russia than to the EU.  And the worst part is that Tymoschenko has been released from prison after the laws were changed to make her embezzlement actions legal.  And who changed the laws?  The self-appointed "president" of Ukraine.

So, all this to say: stay out of Ukraine.  Poland, et al have nothing to worry about, because Russia has no desires to be stuck in the eastern half of Central Europe again. And if it did come to blows, I'm afraid that in spite of the well-deserved shabby reputation of the Russian military, there could be ~1000 tanks in Paris by the end of next week.

Meanwhile, Canada would be working out plans to deploy the Theatre Activation Team, and setting up an HLTA plan...

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 03, 2014, 19:44:08
This is unlikely to be a "win-win" for Russia.

While I accept that Russia is, mainly, just trying to maintain the status quo ante, and I understand their strategic imperative to do that, their aggression must not be rewarded.

First: we, the US led West, must tell President Putin that Western Ukraine is off limits. While we can/will accept Russia's claim to Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, the rest of Ukraine must be allowed to decide its own future in its own way, without Russian pressure. That may require that we, the US led West, actually station troops, temporarily, in Ukraine. (One of my young, serving, friends has considerable experience in Ukraine and has told me that we and the Ukrainians can work together in reasonably good order.)

Second: Russia must pay, economically, for this. The ruble is already in trouble, Russia is now selling junk bonds on the world markets (7+% this morning.). We need to keep it that way. They must be expelled from the G8 and the G20, the US led West has enough power to do that, even though one or to G20 members may object. (My guess is that China will not object to punishing Russia for this.)

Third: the EU must fast track Ukraine into the EU.

Fourth: NATO should invited Ukraine to join. (I remain convinced that an enlarged NATO is a 'weaker' NATO but it is, now, politically important to 'defend' Eastern Europe.)


But, according to a report in today's Globe and Mail (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/russia-could-be-expelled-from-g8-if-aggression-continues-harper-says/article17213658/#dashboard/follows/) consunsus on this measure may be difficult, even impossible, because Germany ~ which has many complex political and economic dealings and ties with Russia ~ objects. Part of the reason, is, almost certainly, provided by the Technoviking:

It would take years to replace Europe's source of gas. The nightclub visiting youth of Europe dont want to wait. They want it now.  And Putin can deliver...for a price. Which is why the EU isn't so sure about sanctions. Putin has all the cards, and there's nothing we can do about it. Nothing.

But Germany's concerns are, I think, deeper than that. Germany remains attracted to its own vision: Mitteleuropa.

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/65/Central_Europe_(ethnic).JPG)

Now Ukraine is not part of Mitteleuropa but it is one of the marches that separates Germanic Mitteleuropa from Slavic Eastern Europe (or Western Eurasia if you prefer). Germany needs Russia to anchor Eastern Europe while it, Germany, recreates Europe by shifting the main axis of power from London-Paris-Berlin to Berlin.

I don't suggest this is a conscious German policy, but I do think it underlies much of Germany's world view.


Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: reverse_engineer on March 03, 2014, 19:51:56
And if it did come to blows, I'm afraid that in spite of the well-deserved shabby reputation of the Russian military, there could be ~1000 tanks in Paris by the end of next week.

Meanwhile, Canada would be working out plans to deploy the Theatre Activation Team, and setting up an HLTA plan...

Come on! We got this! Small arms AA drills and HLTA, what could possibly go wrong? We will be back for summer block leave!
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Nemo888 on March 03, 2014, 20:04:50
This whole thing is a mess, and it's none of our business.

The first mistake was to side with protesters who were opposing a guy who wanted to make Ukraine a bit friendlier with Russia than with the EU.  Why did we side with them?  Because in spite of what many may think, Russia is and always was a geopolitical adversary.  Not enemy, but competition, if you will.  Yanukovich may be corrupt or whatever, but that doesn't matter: he was elected in fair elections. 
Consider the alternate, in a different land.  Say in the US for example.  "Obamacare" is highly unpopular.  Its roll out was a disaster, and even Democrat lawmakers were hesitant to approve it.  Imagine, if you will, protests against it, and Obama himself, went violent in Washington.  Would that give anyone anywhere the right to say that he was no longer the legitimate president of the United States, just because he was unpopular, or instituted an unpopular program?

I really am worried by the trend that "Mob Rule = Democratic Action".  That's not democracy.  That's Anarchy rules.  He with the loudest mouth wins?  I'm sorry, but if I were Russia, I'd be rather worried about places such as e.g. Crimea, the Don Basin, Kharkiv, etc.  Let's not forget that even in the recent "Euromaidan" protests, those parts of Ukraine were all too happy to remain closer to Russia than to the EU.  And the worst part is that Tymoschenko has been released from prison after the laws were changed to make her embezzlement actions legal.  And who changed the laws?  The self-appointed "president" of Ukraine.

From the Maidan on the ousting of Yanukovich prior to snipers murdering 84 protesters. It is perhaps a bit more nuanced and by their own admission other than getting rid of Yanukovitch they did not have many shared goals;
Quote
So, there is always a large part of population which hates the current president and they only need a trigger to start protesting against him (especially since Kyiv, the capital, is in the “opposition” part). This time there was a trigger: an EU hysteria provoked by the government itself! For the whole year 2013 they were constantly talking about how Ukraine is going to sign that agreement with the EU. They’ve roused the expectations of the “pro-European” part of the population, and then, when suddenly they made a U-turn, people were extremely frustrated and angry. That was the initial impulse.

But, obviously, there are very real reasons for people to hate the government, too. When Yanukovych became president in 2010, he started pushing for unpopular neo-liberal steps. The natural gas tariffs were growing; the government launched medical reform which will eventually lead to closure of many medical institutions and to introducing the universal medical insurance instead of the unconditional coverage; they pushed through extremely unpopular pension reform (raising pension age for women) against the will of more than 90% of population; there was an attempt at passing the new Labour Code which would seriously affect workers’ rights; the railway is being corporatized; finally, they passed a new Tax Code which hit small business. But eventually this assault wasn’t very successful, and the government had to back off. The tariffs of natural gas, electricity, heating, water are frozen at a level which is one of the lowest in Europe and ex-USSR; the Labour Code is buried in the parliament; the next stage of the pension reform (introducing compulsory pension saving plans instead of the solidarity system) is halted. They saw they can’t move on with such low levels of support. But still, the welfare of the working classes, as well as the general state of the economy leaves much to be desired, and people have all legitimate reasons to demand better living standards. Sadly, these grievances are dressed in the false consciousness of nationalism.

Finally, there’s one more important detail. Since 2010, Viktor Yanukovych, who had initially been just a puppet of powerful oligarchs, has become an ambitious businessman himself. His elder son has accumulated vast powers; “The Family” occupied important positions in the government, monopolized control over capital flows, and started fighting with Rinat Akhmetov, Dmitry Firtash and other oligarchs who had been their sponsors previously. Naturally, the traditional oligarchic clans didn’t like this, so the current protest has also an elite dimension.
http://avtonomia.net/2014/02/20/maidan-contradictions-interview-ukrainian-revolutionary-syndicalist/
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Bird_Gunner45 on March 03, 2014, 20:11:02
This whole thing is a mess, and it's none of our business.

The first mistake was to side with protesters who were opposing a guy who wanted to make Ukraine a bit friendlier with Russia than with the EU.  Why did we side with them?  Because in spite of what many may think, Russia is and always was a geopolitical adversary.  Not enemy, but competition, if you will.  Yanukovich may be corrupt or whatever, but that doesn't matter: he was elected in fair elections. 
Consider the alternate, in a different land.  Say in the US for example.  "Obamacare" is highly unpopular.  Its roll out was a disaster, and even Democrat lawmakers were hesitant to approve it.  Imagine, if you will, protests against it, and Obama himself, went violent in Washington.  Would that give anyone anywhere the right to say that he was no longer the legitimate president of the United States, just because he was unpopular, or instituted an unpopular program?

I really am worried by the trend that "Mob Rule = Democratic Action".  That's not democracy.  That's Anarchy rules.  He with the loudest mouth wins?  I'm sorry, but if I were Russia, I'd be rather worried about places such as e.g. Crimea, the Don Basin, Kharkiv, etc.  Let's not forget that even in the recent "Euromaidan" protests, those parts of Ukraine were all too happy to remain closer to Russia than to the EU.  And the worst part is that Tymoschenko has been released from prison after the laws were changed to make her embezzlement actions legal.  And who changed the laws?  The self-appointed "president" of Ukraine.

So, all this to say: stay out of Ukraine.  Poland, et al have nothing to worry about, because Russia has no desires to be stuck in the eastern half of Central Europe again. And if it did come to blows, I'm afraid that in spite of the well-deserved shabby reputation of the Russian military, there could be ~1000 tanks in Paris by the end of next week.

Meanwhile, Canada would be working out plans to deploy the Theatre Activation Team, and setting up an HLTA plan...

I agree with your statements on the apparent "righteousness" of protestors... Another example would be the Russians seeing native protests in Canada and deciding to intervene on behalf of the natives.  Canadians understanding of politics in CANADA is weak at best.  our understanding of a situation like that in Ukraine is beyond a level in which we can make a real educated decision on the matter outside of "Russians are bad, so they must be doing something bad!".  The Ukrainian people have no historical love loss for the Russians, and vice versa.  Also, no one knows that the AIM of the Russians intervention is.  Is it the start of a larger endgame, or are they simply just really trying to protect Russians and Russian political interests? We dont know.

As for the HLTA plan... someone should let the Russians know that we decided in the FSE that we'd never again fight an opponent that could put more than a Coy in opposition so that they fight the war that we want them to fight.  Doing otherwise would be unsporting!
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on March 03, 2014, 20:33:24
Poland has invoked Article 4  of the NATO charter for fear of threats to its security and border.

Other countries that lie close to Ukraine are also in consultation.

Poland Invokes Article 4 (http://www.kspr.com/news/nationworld/URGENT-NATO-Poland-Article-4-Ukraine/21051646_24779188)

Plus, an update on those surrounded Ukrainian sailors who have been offered an ultimatum by Russia:

Military.com (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/03/03/russian-admiral-orders-ukraine-ships-to-surrender.html?comp=1198882887570&rank=1)

Quote

Russian Admiral Orders Ukraine Ships to Surrender

Russian forces backed up an ultimatum issued Monday to Ukrainian sailors in the Crimea to surrender and give up their ships or face attack, Ukrainian military spokesmen said.

The ultimatum with a deadline of early Tuesday morning followed a dramatic confrontation in which Ukrainian sailors at a Crimean base surrounded by Russian troops pledged their allegiance to Ukraine and rejected pleas to defect from renegade Ukrainian Rear Adm. Denis Berezovsky.

Four ships from Russia's Black Sea fleet were blocking the Ukrainian anti-submarine warship Ternopil and the command ship Slavutych from leaving dock in Crimea's Sevastopol harbor following the demand to defect from Crimean Regional Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov, a Moscow ally, the Associated Press reported.

There were no immediate reports of clashes between Ukrainians loyal to the new government in Kiev and Russian forces in Crimea. However, Aksyonov declared the creation of "Crimea's Naval Forces" and said that Berezovsky was the naval chief.

"The Republic will have its own Navy, which will be commanded by Rear Adm. Berezovsky," Aksyonov told reporters.

(...EDITED/END EXCERPT)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on March 03, 2014, 22:18:16
The Ukrainians should just scuttle their boats at least keep them out of Russian hands.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Journeyman on March 03, 2014, 22:19:12
Poland has invoked Article 4  of the NATO charter for fear of threats to its security and border.

If only some people would read more, mindlessly cut & paste less.  Yep, more than 5 hours ago:
The North Atlantic Council, which includes the ambassadors of all 28 NATO Allies, will meet on Tuesday 4 March, following a request by Poland under article 4 of NATO's founding Washington Treaty.
http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/news_107711.htm


And in other breaking 'news' (http://www.theonion.com/articles/ukrainianrussian-tensions-dividing-us-citizens-alo,35428/).....
Quote
Ukrainian-Russian Tensions Dividing U.S. Citizens Along Ignorant, Apathetic Lines

WASHINGTON—According to a poll released Monday by the Pew Research Center, the escalating conflict between Russia and Ukraine has left Americans sharply and bitterly divided along ignorant and apathetic lines, with the nation’s citizenry evenly split between grossly misinformed and wholly indifferent factions.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Journeyman on March 04, 2014, 01:18:03
And the reality of a 'unified' League of Nations United Nations NATO response is summed up in this recent StratforTM post

Quote
.....Washington will need to take into account the concerns of its European allies, who are not interested in opening themselves up to a backlash from the Russians while the Americans sit comfortably an ocean away. While the United States spent Monday vowing sanctions against Russia, the French government said it has no intention of canceling its military agreements with Moscow.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister David Cameron, who has been one of the strongest European critics against Russia, said that the United Kingdom would not support trade sanctions or close London's financial center to Russians.

Germany is avoiding sanctions talk altogether and prioritizing direct negotiations with the Russians over Ukraine. Any meaningful sanctions effort by the United States would likely be a lonely one
.
Yep.  Done deal.  Well played Putin.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 04, 2014, 08:11:42
Much chatter in the media this morning, including from Julia Ioffe, whose take on Russia's/Putin's motive I share (http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=111881.msg1293540#msg1293540), about Putin "tap dancing" around several issues ~ trying, Ms Ioffe says, to keep all his options open even as he ditches (former? deposed? absentee?) President Viktor Yanukovych as a political liability.

One wonders if Russian business interests have gotten through to him ...
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Old Sweat on March 04, 2014, 08:56:10
CNN just reported "Warning shots fired in the [sic] Ukraine."
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Old Sweat on March 04, 2014, 09:58:09
CNN just reported "Warning shots fired in the [sic] Ukraine."

No follow up 60 minutes later. False alarm?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: SARgirl on March 04, 2014, 10:15:34
Ukraine: Russian troops fire 'warning shots' at Crimea airbase
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10675146/Ukraine-Russian-troops-fire-warning-shots-at-Crimea-airbase.html
and
http://news.sky.com/story/1220477/ukraine-russian-troops-fire-warning-shots
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Baden Guy on March 04, 2014, 12:09:59
PBS NEWSHOUR interview with an academia cold war expert and my idol at the time "Stephen Cohen."
Very illuminating on the reality of how we got to this state of affairs.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/debating-moscows-military-moves-crimea/


Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Bruce Monkhouse on March 04, 2014, 14:19:26
If only some people would read more, mindlessly cut & paste less.  Yep, more than 5 hours ago:

And in other breaking 'news' (http://www.theonion.com/articles/ukrainianrussian-tensions-dividing-us-citizens-alo,35428/).....

Easy there JM............we're all on the same side here.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 04, 2014, 14:29:07
PBS NEWSHOUR interview with an academia cold war expert and my idol at the time "Stephen Cohen."
Very illuminating on the reality of how we got to this state of affairs.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/debating-moscows-military-moves-crimea/

Problem for Mr. Cohen:

The discussion is not just between the Kremlin and the Whitehouse as it was in his day.

Today the Ukrainians in the street also get a say.  As do the Poles, Hungarians, Czechs, Balts, Romanians, and yes, even the Scandinavians.  All of whom have a much better sense of Russian realities than any of us over here.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on March 04, 2014, 14:48:59
As reported by the UK's TELEGRAPH (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/10674812/Vladimir-Putin-orders-troops-near-Ukraine-border-to-return-to-bases.html), Russian troops at the rest of Eastern Ukraine's borders return to base after their exercises.

Furthermore,  here's a TIME article on why Putin is already starting to lose more than his gains in Crimea, aside from the economic fallout (http://forums.navy.ca/forums/index.php?topic=111881.msg1294253#msg1294253) already reported by Thucydides on the previous page:

Time.com (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/4-reasons-putin-already-losing-ukraine-211452971.html?vp=1)

Quote
4 Reasons Putin Is Already Losing in Ukraine
Time.com

By Simon Shuster / Simferopol

(...)- SNIPPED/EDITED

At home, this intervention looks to be one of the most unpopular decisions Putin has ever made. The Kremlin’s own pollster released a survey on Monday that showed 73% of Russians reject it. In phrasing its question posed in early February to 1,600 respondents across the country, the state-funded sociologists at WCIOM were clearly trying to get as much support for the intervention as possible: “Should Russia react to the overthrow of the legally elected authorities in Ukraine?” they asked. Only 15% said yes — hardly a national consensus.

That seems astounding in light of all the brainwashing Russians have faced on the issue of Ukraine. For weeks, the Kremlin’s effective monopoly on television news has been sounding the alarm over Ukraine. Its revolution, they claimed, is the result of an American alliance with Nazis intended to weaken Russia. And still, nearly three-quarters of the population oppose a Russian “reaction” of any kind, let alone a Russian military occupation like they are now watching unfold in Crimea. The 2008 invasion of Georgia had much broader support, because Georgia is not Ukraine. Ukraine is a nation of Slavs with deep cultural and historical ties to Russia. Most Russians have at least some family or friends living in Ukraine, and the idea of a fratricidal war between the two largest Slavic nations in the world evokes a kind of horror that no Kremlin whitewash can calm.

Indeed, Monday’s survey suggests that the influence of Putin’s television channels is breaking down. The blatant misinformation and demagoguery on Russian television coverage of Ukraine seems to have pushed Russians to go online for their information. And as for those who still have no Internet connection, they could simply have picked up the phone and called their panicked friends and relatives in Ukraine.

So what about Russia’s nationalists? The war-drum thumping Liberal Democratic party, a right-wing puppet of the Kremlin, has been screaming for Russia to send in the tanks. On Feb. 28, as troops began appearing on the streets of Crimea, the leader of that party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, was on the scene handing out wads of cash to a cheering crowd of locals in the city of Sevastopol, home of Russia’s Black Sea fleet. “Give it to the women, the old maids, the pregnant, the lonely, the divorced,” he told the crowd from atop a chair. “Russia is rich. We’ll give everybody everything.” But in Monday’s survey, 82% of his party’s loyalists rejected any such generosity. Even the adherents of the Communist Party, who tend to feel entitled to all of Russia’s former Soviet domains, said with a broad majority – 62% – that Russia should not jump into Ukraine’s internal crisis.

That does not necessarily mean Putin will face an uprising at home. So far, the anti-war protests in Moscow have looked almost pathetically temperate. But sociologists have been saying for years that Putin’s core electorate is dwindling. What underpins his popularity – roughly 60% approved of his rule before this crisis started – is a total lack of viable alternatives to Putin’s rule. But this decision is sure to eat away at the passive mass of his supporters, especially in Russia’s biggest cities.

In Monday’s survey, 30% of respondents from Moscow and St. Petersburg said that Russia could see massive political protests of the kind that overthrew the Ukrainian government last month. Putin’s only means of forestalling that kind of unrest is to crack down hard and early. So on Feb. 28, Russia’s most prominent opposition activist Alexei Navalny was put under house arrest less than six months after he won 30% of the vote in the Moscow mayoral race. Expect more of the same if the opposition to Putin’s intervention starts to find its voice.


The economic impact on Russia is already staggering.
When markets opened on Monday morning, investors got their first chance to react to the Russian intervention in Ukraine over the weekend, and as a result, the key Russian stock indexes tanked by more than 10%. That amounts to almost $60 billion in stock value wiped out in the course of a day, more than Russia spent preparing for last month’s Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. The state-controlled natural gas monopoly Gazprom, which accounts for roughly a quarter of Russian tax revenues, lost $15 billion in market value in one day – incidentally the same amount of money Russia promised to the teetering regime in Ukraine in December and then revoked in January as the revolution took hold.

The value of the Russian currency meanwhile dropped against the dollar to its lowest point on record, and the Russian central bank spent $10 billion on the foreign exchange markets trying to prop it up. “This has to fundamentally change the way investors and ratings agencies view Russia,” said Timothy Ash, head of emerging market research at Standard Bank. At a time when Russia’s economic growth was already stagnating, “This latest military adventure will increase capital flight, weaken Russian asset prices, slow investment and economic activity and growth. Western financial sanctions on Russia will hurt further,” Ash told the Wall Street Journal.

Even Russia’s closest allies want no part of this. The oil-rich state of Kazakhstan, the most important member of every regional alliance Russia has going in the former Soviet space, put out a damning statement on Monday, marking the first time its leaders have ever turned against Russia on such a major strategic issue: “Kazakhstan expresses deep concern over the developments in Ukraine,” the Foreign Ministry said. “Kazakhstan calls on all sides to stop the use of force in the resolution of this situation.”

(...)

Russia’s isolation from the West will deepen dramatically. In June, Putin was planning to welcome the leaders of the G8, a club of western powers (plus Japan), in the Russian resort city of Sochi. But on Sunday, all of them announced they had halted their preparations for attending the summit in protest at Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. So much for Putin’s hard-fought seat at the table with the leaders of the western world.

(EDITED)

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Robert0288 on March 04, 2014, 15:21:58
Well just as things where starting to calm down a little bit.
Quote
Russia test-fires ICBM amid tension over Ukraine
Source: http://www.trust.org/item/20140304184241-xtvm6

MOSCOW, March 4 (Reuters) - Russia said it had successfully test-fired an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) on Tuesday, with tensions high over its seizure of control in the Crimea and its threat to send more forces to its neighbour Ukraine.

The Strategic Rocket Forces launched an RS-12M Topol missile from the southerly Astrakhan region near the Caspian Sea and the dummy warhead hit its target at a proving ground in Kazakhstan, the state-run news agency RIA cited Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Yegorov as saying.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Old Sweat on March 04, 2014, 15:43:29
Well just as things where starting to calm down a little bit.

Not a real big deal as the Americans had been alerted previously as per treaty. If it had been cancelled, that might have been cause for concern and speculation.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: KerryBlue on March 04, 2014, 15:58:56
http://www.thetrumpet.com/article/11421.18.0.0/world/military/russia-deploys-troops-near-polish-and-lithuanian-borders
Quote
Russia Deploys Troops Near Polish and Lithuanian Borders


More than 3,500 Russian soldiers have started tactical maneuvers on the Baltic coast of the Kaliningrad region near the borders of Poland and Lithuania, Polish Radio reported on March 3.

The unexpected, large-scale military drills began after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a snap inspection of the forces stationed there. In addition to the troops, the exercises involve more than 450 units of military hardware, including BMP-2 armored carriers, T-72 tanks and self-propelled artillery installations. Troops are training for both offensive and defensive operations.

Russia really seems to be flexing its military muscle near any ex-soviet states that have made their intentions to protect Ukrainian Sovereignty. NATO really does need to start flexing their muscles or Russia will just keep steam rolling through Ukraine.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Eye In The Sky on March 04, 2014, 16:26:24
And just what exactly should NATO do?  Please explain/elaborate.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: MilEME09 on March 04, 2014, 16:30:29
And just what exactly should NATO do?  Please explain/elaborate.

While Dangerous NATO could do some posturing of it's own, for example if Patriots were set up along the polish-Romanian-Ukrainian Border Area's It would position NATO to no fly zone Ukraine. They could move ships into the Black Sea. Exercises in Poland or Romania. Issue is these would also be a escalation on NATO's part and Russia would more then happily go tit for tat with NATO.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Privateer on March 04, 2014, 16:44:31
NATO ... could move ships into the Black Sea...

... and then ground them (USS Taylor).  :not-again:
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: MilEME09 on March 04, 2014, 16:45:25
... and then ground them (USS Taylor).  :not-again:

I never said they had to move back out after  ;)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: KerryBlue on March 04, 2014, 16:51:35
And just what exactly should NATO do?  Please explain/elaborate.

To be completely honest with you I have no idea, but as a Ukrainian Canadian with the family farm and members still in the mother country this is very near and dear to my heart. My experience with military/world politics is limited to 4 university courses, so anything I say will more then likely be shot down by you more senior and experienced members here. But I will try to add something constructive.

http://www.stripes.com/news/american-tanks-return-to-europe-after-brief-leave-1.264910

The article above outlines that American armour has been returned to Germany after a brief hiatus. Perhaps using the newly positioned stocks they could begin running large scale exercises coupled with the Stryker BDE there, to flex their own military muscle. As Ukraine and Poland have both called upon NATO to help them in their situation, perhaps a joint exercise could be run with Poland, the USA, and Ukraine in the western regions of Ukraine to flex their own military muscle. Could that escalate the situation? Yes. But by keeping the troops in the pro-EU side of the Ukraine and far away from the Russian military it may be enough of a show of force by NATO to run a exercise like that, that Russia may back down. Or perhaps NATO sends in military advisors a la MACV-SOG style to the regions and Ukrainian military bases in the south which are being hotly contested to ensure no shooting breaks out between the Ukraine forces and the occupying Russian forces.

My  :2c: I'm sure you senior members will poke my theory full of holes.


Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 04, 2014, 16:57:40
Much chatter in the media this morning, including from Julia Ioffe, whose take on Russia's/Putin's motive I share (http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=111881.msg1293540#msg1293540), about Putin "tap dancing" around several issues ~ trying, Ms Ioffe says, to keep all his options open even as he ditches (former? deposed? absentee?) President Viktor Yanukovych as a political liability.

One wonders if Russian business interests have gotten through to him ...


Markets have closed in Europe, and will close here in a few minutes, having regained pretty much all the ground lost yesterday. The Wall Street Journal says that "the benchmark Micex stock index in Moscow closed 5.3% higher Tuesday, recovering almost half the losses it suffered Monday."

The Russian Ruble is up 1.2% from its record low against the dollar yesterday. That slide prompted the central bank to raise interest rates and sell dollars to try and ease the pressure.

One guesses that even President Putin is not immune to the will of the bond market* ...

_____
* President Bill Clinton's campaign strategist James Carville, the Rajin' Cajun, famously quipped that if there is reincarnation he wanted to come back as the bond market because everyone, including the US president, lives in fear of the bond market.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Old Sweat on March 04, 2014, 17:00:44
KerryBlue

Ask yourself what could go wrong with the course of action you proposed?

Hopefully in the area of confrontation people will keep their macho in the closet and, I hasten to add, their vodka in the cupboard. We should be careful not to do anything to raise tensions there.

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: KerryBlue on March 04, 2014, 17:16:51
KerryBlue

Ask yourself what could go wrong with the course of action you proposed?

Hopefully in the area of confrontation people will keep their macho in the closet and, I hasten to add, their vodka in the cupboard. We should be careful not to do anything to raise tensions there.

I believe there are plenty of things that could go wrong, I simply posted a starting position as to POTENTIAL courses of action that could be taken. I stated that I am no expert and that my opinion should not be taken without a grain of salt due to my inexperience in world affairs
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Eye In The Sky on March 04, 2014, 17:33:01
Don't sweat it;  I have been in the CAF for a few years and I have no real idea on the 'right thing to do' myself.  I'm just an operator down at the tactical level.

So at times like these on threads like these, I tend to read lots and try to gain some perspective and education from those who can speak intelligently about stuff like this. 
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: AirDet on March 04, 2014, 17:40:28
 :goodpost: :ditto:

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: KerryBlue on March 04, 2014, 17:42:05
Don't sweat it;  I have been in the CAF for a few years and I have no real idea on the 'right thing to do' myself.  I'm just an operator down at the tactical level.

So at times like these on threads like these, I tend to read lots and try to gain some perspective and education from those who can speak intelligently about stuff like this.

This whole situation is very near and dear to my heart simply because of my Ukrainian heritage. That coupled with the fact that family, and the family farm is till there leaves me worried about what the future of Ukraine holds.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: KerryBlue on March 04, 2014, 17:52:26
Quote
Russia reports ballistic missile test amid Crimea tension

The Russian military says it has test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile, as tension continues over Ukraine's Crimea region.

A Topol RS-12M missile was launched from Russia's Kapustin Yar test range near the Caspian Sea to the Sary Shagan range in Kazakhstan, it said.

It comes after the US accused Russia of an "act of aggression" in Crimea.

More at link----
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26442381
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Nemo888 on March 04, 2014, 17:53:58
I think before things went south only 9% of Uk's wanted partition. The great majority wanted to play both sides and get as many freebies as possible. It is a very nationalistic country. Russia getting mired  in an expensive and unwinnable occupation may be in our long term interest. We cab bankrupt them both financially and diplomatically for the price of throwing Ukraine under the bus. I wonder what we would have to do to push Putin over the edge? This tactic worked incredibly well in Afghanistan and during the Iraq/Iran war.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Eye In The Sky on March 04, 2014, 18:02:05
So all we have to do on the international stage is throw a country under the bus.  And see what will push someone over the edge who is obviously willing to throw some weight around.

Yup.  Sounds like a great COA.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: AirDet on March 04, 2014, 18:04:52
I think before things went south only 9% of Uk's wanted partition. The great majority wanted to play both sides and get as many freebies as possible. It is a very nationalistic country. Russia getting mired  in an expensive and unwinnable occupation may be in our long term interest. We cab bankrupt them both financially and diplomatically for the price of throwing Ukraine under the bus. I wonder what we would have to do to push Putin over the edge? This tactic worked incredibly well in Afghanistan and during the Iraq/Iran war.

Perhaps that would work but why would we want to do that? Things are pretty stable comparatively.  I still maintain this was an oversight following the break-up of the USSR in 1992. The Crimean Peninsula really should've stayed with Russia.

So long as the Ukraine Army doesn't do anything stupid this will find a natural and bloodless solution.

I say, let the people in Crimea vote on their own future.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 04, 2014, 18:11:14
Here, reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Financial Post is an article that describes President Putin as clever, tough, sardonic and deeply cynical:

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/ce064c7c-a3ac-11e3-88b0-00144feab7de.html?siteedition=intl
Quote
(http://www.orchardplatform.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Financial-Times-Logo.jpg)
Classic performance as Russia’s Vladimir Putin breaks his silence

By Neil Buckley

March 4, 2014

Vladimir Putin came out on Tuesday with a classic performance: clever, tough, sardonic and deeply cynical.

In an hour-long press conference at his Novo-Ogaryovo residence, Russia’s president took at least one step back from confrontation. Possibly he blinked in the face of threatened western sanctions over Russia’s creeping occupation of the Black Sea peninsula, or Monday’s 11 per cent fall in the Moscow stock market. More likely, after the slickly executed Crimea operation, and the far more serious threat to send Russia’s army into eastern Ukraine, he felt he had made his point – for now.

There was, he said, “no need” for Russian military force in Ukraine, which would happen only in an “extreme case” – though Russia still had the option. Crucially, he said, the need for actual use of force in Crimea had “dissipated”. And, he added: “I believe that it will not be necessary for us to do anything like that in eastern Ukraine.”

Mr Putin also said Russia did not plan to annex Crimea. Many in the west will be reluctant to take such claims at face value, when Mr Putin also claimed, straining credibility, that armed men surrounding Ukrainian military sites in Crimea were “not Russian soldiers”, but members of a local volunteer force.

There were potentially worrying signals, too. Mr Putin warned Russia might not recognise the results of Ukraine’s presidential election, called for May 25, as the polls were unlikely to be fair.

What about the Budapest Memorandum, signed in 1994 when Kiev gave up its nuclear arsenal, which bound Russia, the US and the UK to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity? Mr Putin suggested, slightly ominously, that after Ukraine’s latest revolution, a “new state” might arise within its borders – and Russia had not signed the Budapest agreement with that state.

Self-assured as ever, and showing less sign of strain over recent events than some western counterparts, Mr Putin had his own narrative.

Ukraine, he said, had witnessed an “unconstitutional seizure of power” by western-backed extremists, some of them wearing “armbands with swastikas”.

What had happened in Kiev was another dangerous US attempt at social engineering, he jabbed. “They sit there across the pond . . . sometimes it seems they feel like they’re in a lab and they’re running all sorts of experiments on the rats without understanding the consequences of what they’re doing.”

Yet perhaps the clearest message from Mr Putin’s press conference was his contempt for Viktor Yanukovich – hours after Russia’s ambassador to the UN cited a letter from the ousted president requesting Moscow to use force in Ukraine as a justification for its actions in Crimea.

Mr Putin had told his Ukrainian counterpart he had “no chance of being re-elected”. Mr Yanukovich had no political future, Mr Putin added. Did he sympathise with him?

“A person who is head of state has certain rights and certain duties. The first duty is to implement the will of the people who elected him . . . You have to analyse if he did that.”

One mooted scenario in recent days had been that Russia might invade eastern Ukraine and install a puppet government in Kharkiv, the east’s biggest city, under Mr Yanukovich. While plenty of other scenarios remain possible, that one, at least, seems dead.


I have some trouble imaging how Russia cannot annex Crimea thus, de facto, creating the new state that it might not recognize.  ::)

The future of the region would, actually, be easier had President Putin taken bolder, quicker action ~ which he may have avoided because his military is logistically unable to take bold, quick actions.  :dunno:

There appear to be clear ethnic, linguistic and socio-political splits between North-West Ukraine and South-East Ukraine, but it now appears likely that we will have a united rump of Ukraine, bereft of Crimea.

So, as in so many Slavic folk-tales: someone (Ukraine in this case) loses but nobody wins.


Edit: changed logo to a smaller, clearer one
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on March 04, 2014, 18:32:54
Perhaps that would work but why would we want to do that? Things are pretty stable comparatively.  I still maintain this was an oversight following the break-up of the USSR in 1992. The Crimean Peninsula really should've stayed with Russia.

So long as the Ukraine Army doesn't do anything stupid this will find a natural and bloodless solution.

I say, let the people in Crimea vote on their own future.

I think this will eventually happen.  As Crimea was "gifted" to Ukraine in the 1950's, and Russia has ensured that they migrated ethnic Russians to the region over all these decades, it would seem a wise choice to cede it back to Russia.  The Quebec style "Language Laws" to force all schools in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine to teach only Ukrainian can only flame separatist sentiments in the regions majority ethnic Russian population. 

If both sides, Russia and the West, can negotiate an amiable partition and allow Ukraine to join the EU, but not entry into NATO, the problem may be resolved.  Allow Ukraine to be that 'neutral' link between Western Europe and Russia.  Convince the Ukrainians they have the chance to have the best/choice of two worlds. 

What I find interesting is that no one seems to be making any mention of Russia's more serious security concerns to the East with Chechnya and the Stans.  For them to come to the brink of war with the West, would place them in a position of fighting on multiple fronts, fighting both a "religious" war and a conventional war.  I think it would be a grave mistake for Putin to further alienate the West, particularly Europe, in a 'war on terror'.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Jarnhamar on March 04, 2014, 18:47:56
Any truth to John Kerry telling Putin that he can't just make crap up and go to war over it? heard that somewhere, thought it was great.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 04, 2014, 19:09:03
Russia and Ukraine are now in direct contact.  I don't think the "West" needs to be negotiating chunks of Ukraine.  If Ukraine wants to do that they are quite capable.

I have been more than a little impressed by the ability of the Ukrainian troops to hold their ground - especially when unarmed. 

"Contact" apparently doesn't have to mean "Fire".

Birkenhead.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Nemo888 on March 04, 2014, 19:14:36
Any truth to John Kerry telling Putin that he can't just make crap up and go to war over it? heard that somewhere, thought it was great.
Kerry 2002: “Saddam Hussein is sitting in Baghdad with an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction”
Kerry this Sunday: “You just don’t in the 21st Century behave in 19th Century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped-up pretext.”
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Jarnhamar on March 04, 2014, 19:15:33
Kerry 2002: “Saddam Hussein is sitting in Baghdad with an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction”
Kerry this Sunday: “You just don’t in the 21st Century behave in 19th Century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped-up pretext.”

That's epic.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: AirDet on March 04, 2014, 19:20:23
Russia and Ukraine are now in direct contact.  I don't think the "West" needs to be negotiating chunks of Ukraine.  If Ukraine wants to do that they are quite capable.

I have been more than a little impressed by the ability of the Ukrainian troops to hold their ground - especially when unarmed. 

"Contact" apparently doesn't have to mean "Fire".

Birkenhead.

You're right. They are proving to be remarkably professional and restrained. I think there is every reason to believe this will have a universally equitable resolution
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: ArmyDoc on March 04, 2014, 19:27:05
"Game, Set and Match". A novel of the Crimean, by Vladimir Putin (with apologies to Len Deighton).
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Retired AF Guy on March 04, 2014, 19:50:32
"Game, Set and Match". A novel of the Crimean, by Vladimir Putin (with apologies to Len Deighton).

Which was followed by "Hook, Line and Sinker" and "Hope, Faith, Charity."
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 04, 2014, 19:55:44
So all we have to do on the international stage is throw a country under the bus.  And see what will push someone over the edge who is obviously willing to throw some weight around.

Yup.  Sounds like a great COA.


“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile - hoping it will eat him last”


 Winston Churchill
 
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on March 05, 2014, 00:19:49
I suspect that some of the analysis in the article is wishful thinking on the part of Time. OTOH, it is indisputable that the negative fallout in the Russian stock market and currency has sent a very strong signal to Putin and Co. that this is a very risky play and could quite easily backfire in unpredictable ways. My long term guess is that the Russians keep the Crimea for its naval base, but end up with a never ending drain on the treasury in order to appease the Russians living there and subsidize their standard of living. Given the shaky economic foundations of Russia, this may be more of a win-lose scenario for Putin:

http://world.time.com/2014/03/03/putin-ukraine-crimea-russia/

Quote
4 Reasons Putin Is Already Losing in Ukraine

As Russia's Ukraine power play reaches boiling point in Crimea, there are clear signs a Russian invasion may be a disaster for its architect, President Vladimir Putin

By Simon Shuster / Simferopol @shustryMarch 03, 2014253 Comments
     
Russia's President Vladimir Putin and head of the Russian army's main department of combat preparation Ivan Buvaltsev watch military exercises at the Kirillovsky firing ground in the Leningrad region on March 3, 2014

Even a week ago, the idea of a Russian military intervention in Ukraine seemed far-fetched if not totally alarmist. The risks involved were just too enormous for President Vladimir Putin and for the country he has ruled for 14 years. But the arrival of Russian troops in Crimea over the weekend has shown that he is not averse to reckless adventures, even ones that offer little gain. In the coming days and weeks, Putin will have to decide how far he is prepared to take this intervention and how much he is prepared to suffer for it. It is already clear, however, that he cannot emerge as the winner of this conflict, at least not when the damage is weighed against the gains. It will at best be a Pyrrhic victory, and at worst an utter catastrophe. Here’s why:

At home, this intervention looks to be one of the most unpopular decisions Putin has ever made. The Kremlin’s own pollster released a survey on Monday that showed 73% of Russians reject it. In phrasing its question posed in early February to 1,600 respondents across the country, the state-funded sociologists at WCIOM were clearly trying to get as much support for the intervention as possible: “Should Russia react to the overthrow of the legally elected authorities in Ukraine?” they asked. Only 15% said yes — hardly a national consensus.

That seems astounding in light of all the brainwashing Russians have faced on the issue of Ukraine. For weeks, the Kremlin’s effective monopoly on television news has been sounding the alarm over Ukraine. Its revolution, they claimed, is the result of an American alliance with Nazis intended to weaken Russia. And still, nearly three-quarters of the population oppose a Russian “reaction” of any kind, let alone a Russian military occupation like they are now watching unfold in Crimea. The 2008 invasion of Georgia had much broader support, because Georgia is not Ukraine. Ukraine is a nation of Slavs with deep cultural and historical ties to Russia. Most Russians have at least some family or friends living in Ukraine, and the idea of a fratricidal war between the two largest Slavic nations in the world evokes a kind of horror that no Kremlin whitewash can calm.

(MORE: Russia Says Ousted Ukrainian Leader Requested Invasion)

Indeed, Monday’s survey suggests that the influence of Putin’s television channels is breaking down. The blatant misinformation and demagoguery on Russian television coverage of Ukraine seems to have pushed Russians to go online for their information. And as for those who still have no Internet connection, they could simply have picked up the phone and called their panicked friends and relatives in Ukraine.

So what about Russia’s nationalists? The war-drum-thumping Liberal Democratic Party, a right-wing puppet of the Kremlin, has been screaming for Russia to send in the tanks. On Feb. 28, as troops began appearing on the streets of Crimea, the leader of that party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, was on the scene handing out wads of cash to a cheering crowd of locals in the city of Sevastopol, home of Russia’s Black Sea fleet. “Give it to the women, the old maids, the pregnant, the lonely, the divorced,” he told the crowd from atop a chair. “Russia is rich. We’ll give everybody everything.” But in Monday’s survey, 82% of his party’s loyalists rejected any such generosity. Even the adherents of the Communist Party, who tend to feel entitled to all of Russia’s former Soviet domains, said with a broad majority — 62% — that Russia should not jump into Ukraine’s internal crisis.

That does not necessarily mean Putin will face an uprising at home. So far, the antiwar protests in Moscow have looked almost pathetically temperate. But sociologists have been saying for years that Putin’s core electorate is dwindling. What underpins his popularity — roughly 60% approved of his rule before this crisis started — is a total lack of viable alternatives to Putin’s rule. But this decision is sure to eat away at the passive mass of his supporters, especially in Russia’s biggest cities.

In Monday’s survey, 30% of respondents from Moscow and St. Petersburg said Russia could see massive political protests of the kind that overthrew the Ukrainian government last month. Putin’s only means of forestalling that kind of unrest is to crack down hard and early. So on Feb. 28, Russia’s most prominent opposition activist Alexei Navalny was put under house arrest less than six months after he won 30% of the vote in the Moscow mayoral race. Expect more of the same if the opposition to Putin’s intervention starts to find its voice.

The economic impact on Russia is already staggering. When markets opened on Monday morning, investors got their first chance to react to the Russian intervention in Ukraine over the weekend, and as a result, the key Russian stock indexes tanked by more than 10%. That amounts to almost $60 billion in stock value wiped out in the course of a day, more than Russia spent preparing for last month’s Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. The state-controlled natural-gas monopoly Gazprom, which accounts for roughly a quarter of Russian tax revenue, lost $15 billion in market value in one day — incidentally the same amount of money Russia promised to the teetering regime in Ukraine in December and then revoked in January as the revolution took hold.

The value of the Russian currency meanwhile dropped against the dollar to its lowest point on record, and the Russian central bank spent $10 billion on the foreign-exchange markets trying to prop it up. “This has to fundamentally change the way investors and ratings agencies view Russia,” said Timothy Ash, head of emerging-market research at Standard Bank. At a time when Russia’s economic growth was already stagnating, “this latest military adventure will increase capital flight, weaken Russian asset prices, slow investment and economic activity and growth. Western financial sanctions on Russia will hurt further,” Ash told the Wall Street Journal.

Even Russia’s closest allies want no part of this. The oil-rich state of Kazakhstan, the most important member of every regional alliance Russia has going in the former Soviet space, put out a damning statement on Monday, marking the first time its leaders have ever turned against Russia on such a major strategic issue: “Kazakhstan expresses deep concern over the developments in Ukraine,” the Foreign Ministry said. “Kazakhstan calls on all sides to stop the use of force in the resolution of this situation.”

What likely worries Russia’s neighbors most is the statement the Kremlin made on March 2, after Putin spoke on the phone with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “Vladimir Putin noted that in case of any escalation of violence against the Russian-speaking population of the eastern regions of Ukraine and Crimea, Russia would not be able to stay away and would resort to whatever measures are necessary in compliance with international law.” This sets a horrifying precedent for all of Russia’s neighbors.

(PHOTOS: Russian Troops Infiltrate Crimea)

Every single state in the former Soviet Union, from Central Asia to the Baltics, has a large Russian-speaking population, and this statement means that Russia reserves the right to invade when it feels that population is threatened. The natural reaction of any Russian ally in the region would be to seek security guarantees against becoming the next Ukraine. For countries in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, including Armenia, a staunch Russian ally, that would likely stir desires for a closer alliance with NATO and the E.U. For the countries of Central Asia, Russia’s traditional stomping ground on the geopolitical map of the world, that would mean strengthening ties with nearby China, including military ones.

China, which has long been Russia’s silent partner on all issues of global security from Syria to Iran, has also issued cautious statements regarding Russia’s actions in Ukraine. “It is China’s long-standing position not to interfere in others’ internal affairs,” the Foreign Ministry reportedly said in a statement on Sunday. “We respect the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

So in the course of one weekend, Putin has spooked all the countries he wanted to include in his grand Eurasian Union, the bloc of nations he hoped would make Russia a regional power again. The only gung-ho participants in that alliance so far have been Kazakhstan (see above) and Belarus, which is known as Europe’s last dictatorship. Its leader, Alexander Lukashenko, has so far remained silent on the Russian intervention in Ukraine. But last week, Belarus recognized the legitimacy of the new revolutionary government in Kiev, marking a major break from Russia, which has condemned Ukraine’s new leaders as extremists and radicals. The Belarusian ambassador in Kiev even congratulated Ukraine’s new Foreign Minister on taking office and said he looks forward to working with him.

As for the impoverished nation of Armenia, a latecomer to Russia’s fledgling Eurasian alliance, it has also recognized the new government in Kiev while stopping short of any official condemnation of Putin’s intervention in Ukraine so far. But on Saturday, prominent politicians led an anti-Putin demonstration in the Armenian capital. “We are not against Russia,” said the country’s former Minister of National Security David Shakhnazaryan. “We are against the imperial policies of Putin and the Kremlin.”

Russia’s isolation from the West will deepen dramatically. In June, Putin was planning to welcome the leaders of the G-8, a club of Western powers (plus Japan), in the Russian resort city of Sochi. But on Sunday, all of them announced they had halted their preparations for attending the summit in protest at Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. So much for Putin’s hard-fought seat at the table with the leaders of the Western world.

In recent years, one of Russia’s greatest points of contention with the West has been over NATO’s plans to build a missile shield in Europe. Russia has seen this as a major threat to its security, as the shield could wipe out Russia’s ability to launch nuclear missiles at the West. The long-standing nuclear deterrent that has protected Russia from Western attacks for generations — the Cold War doctrine of mutually assured destruction — could thus be negated, Russia’s generals have warned. But after Russia decided to unilaterally invade its neighbor to the west this weekend, any remaining resistance to the missile-shield project would be pushed aside by the renewed security concerns of various NATO members, primarily those in Eastern Europe and the Baltics. Whatever hopes Russia had of forestalling the construction of the missile shield through diplomacy are now most likely lost.

No less worrying for Putin would be the economic sanctions the West is preparing in answer to Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. Depending on their intensity, those could cut off the ability of Russian companies and businessmen in getting Western loans and trading with most of the world’s largest economies. Putin’s allies could also find it a lot more difficult to send their children to study in the West or to keep their assets in Western banks, as they now almost universally do. All of that raises the risk for Putin of a split in his inner circle and, potentially, even of a palace coup. There is hardly anything more important to Russia’s political elite than the security of their foreign assets, certainly not their loyalty to a leader who seems willing to put all of that at risk.

And what about the upside for Putin? There doesn’t seem to be much of it, at least not compared with the damage he stands to inflict on Russia and himself. But he does look set to accomplish a few things. For one, he demonstrates to the world that his redlines, unlike those of the White House, cannot be crossed.

(MORE: A Tense Standoff at a Crimean Village)

If Ukraine’s revolutionary government moves ahead with their planned integration into the E.U. and possibly NATO, the military alliance that Russia sees as its main strategic threat would move right up to Russia’s western borders and, in Crimea, it would surround the Russian Black Sea fleet. That is a major redline for Putin and his generals.

By sending troops into Crimea and, potentially, into eastern Ukraine, Russia could secure a buffer around Russia’s strategic naval fleet and at its western border. For the military brass in Moscow, those are vital priorities, and their achievement is worth a great deal of sacrifice. Over the weekend, Putin’s actions showed that he is listening carefully to his generals. At the same time, he seems to be ignoring the outrage coming from pretty much everyone else.

Read more: How Putin's Ukraine Invasion Is a Disaster for Russia | TIME.com http://world.time.com/2014/03/03/putin-ukraine-crimea-russia/#ixzz2v3ejvewW
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on March 05, 2014, 02:58:02
And info and cyber warfare are also playing a pert in the current situation:

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/525336/watching-for-a-crimean-cyberwar-crisis/

Quote
Watching for a Crimean Cyberwar Crisis
An info-war is under way as websites are blocked and telecom cables to Crimea are mysteriously cut.

By David Talbot on March 4, 2014

WHY IT MATTERS

More serious cyberattacks could be considered acts of war.

Russia’s takeover of the Crimean peninsula has been accompanied by a elements of an information-control campaign:  telecom cables connecting that region to the rest of Ukraine have been severed, and the Russian government has moved to block Internet pages devoted to the Ukrainian protest movement.

But so far there is no public evidence of more serious cyberattacks against military or government institutions. Indeed, Russia may need to tread a fine line with such tactics, since they could be seen as acts of war under evolving military doctrine. A report from a NATO group chaired by Madeleine Albright has said that if NATO infrastructure were the victim of a cyberattack, it could lead to a physical response such as a bombing.


So far, anyway, “Russia has limited themselves to the things they usually do in the onset of a conflict to try to shape opinion, stifle critics, and advance their own viewpoint,” says James Lewis, director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank in Washington, D.C. “They are doing the informational side, which is the opening move in the playbook.” Over the weekend, though, Ukraine’s national telephone company, Ukrtelecom, said that unknown vandals had seized telecommunications nodes and cut cables, severing much of the data and voice links between Crimea and the rest of Ukraine.

Info-war tactics have been seen on the Ulrainian side too. Also over the weekend, someone sympathetic to the Ukrainian cause managed to hack the Russian government’s English-language news organ, Russia Today, and substitute the word “Nazi” for “military” in some headlines, with results such as “Russian Senators Vote to Use Stabilizing Nazi Forces on Ukrainian Territory.”

The region has a colorful history of cyberattacks against smaller states and organizations seen as opposing the Kremlin. In Estonia in 2007, the local government antagonized Russia by relocating a bronze statue commemorating Russian soldiers. A flood of attacks against government, media, and telecom websites in Estonia followed, paralyzing them for weeks. (The attacks were “denial-of-service” events, flooding servers with page requests to overload them.) The Russian government denied responsibility, saying “patriotic hackers” were to blame.

In 2008, similar events played out when Russia invaded South Ossetia, part of the neighboring republic of Georgia. Again, the attacks—on sites associated with government offices and the embassies of the United States and United Kingdom, among others—could not be provably linked to Russia’s government (see “Georgian Cyberattacks Traced to Russian Civilians”).

Ukraine may be something of a different case. Both Ukraine and Russia are well-known centers of international cybercrime, and both are home to talented computer engineers. But for whatever reason, this sort of mass cyberattack is not happening. “In Georgia you had cyber incidents coördinated with military operations. But the Russians haven’t done that here,” Lewis says. “If violence breaks out in the Crimea, I think they will bump it up a notch.”

The events provide a way for the United States to see what Russia’s cyberwar capabilities are, says Stewart Baker, a former policy chief at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and now a lawyer in private practice. “From the U.S. point of view, it is an opportunity to watch one country that has integrated cyber [tactics] into their military–Russia–and see what their current doctrines suggest they do,” he said. “But it may be they have decided they don’t need to show what they’ve got, and won’t do it.”

Four years ago, Vladimir Sherstyuk, a member of Russia’s National Security Council and director of the Institute for Information Security Issues at Moscow State University, boasted of significant capacities. “Cyberweapons can affect a huge amount of people, as well as nuclear,” he said in an interview with MIT Technology Review (see “Russia’s Cyber Security Plans”). “But there is one big difference between them. Cyberweapons are very cheap—almost free of charge.”
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on March 05, 2014, 04:22:43
Too long; didn't read.
Mr. Putin et al don't behave as westerners, because they're not. He got what he wanted, and his economy isn't about to tank. Markets are fickle, and he knows that. He has plenty of raw materials, a small debt, a trade surplus, a friend (for now) in China.
He also has, in Europe, a natural gas addicted client, that is hesitant to do anything to upset him.

He has his port safe and sound, Ukraine is still politically and economically bankrupt, and Ukraine will be of no threat to ethnic Russians in the lower Don River basin.  Soon enough they'll be back, hat in hand, as Ukraine does nothing but drain the EU.

Putin won.

Side note: the U.S. is no moral authority on anything relating to international diplomacy.  They flaunt the rules when it comes to their use of lethal military force in sovereign lands, are financially bankrupt and the writing is on the wall for them, I fear.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: MCG on March 05, 2014, 05:52:11
Discounting Soviet era invasions to deny popular reform or political change (Hungary 1956 and Czechoslovakia 1968), the modern Russian motivation seems to be ethnic-nationally motivated where military force is used to suppress minority succession from Russia (Chechnya) or to enable succession of Russian  or “desirable” ethnic minorities from former Russian or Soviet nations(Georgia x 2).  Arguably, another example of ethnic relationship driven use of military force is the Russian abandonment of Bosnian Peacekeeping positions to seize key Yugoslavian infrastructure ahead of NATO in 1999.

Some lite media analysis of “when Russia attacks” here:  http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/crisis-in-ukraine-what-happened-last-time-russian-troops-got-involved-1.1711733
... and a contrast of Russian and Ukrainian military power here: http://globalnews.ca/news/1184789/a-look-at-russian-ukrainian-militaries/

I wonder if this crisis is not an ideal candidate for the classic blue beret mission.  Not the mythic, altruistic run to save the unfortunate people stuck at the flash-point, but rather the face-saving insertion of UN forces (composed of “middle powers”) to displace belligerent forces and prevent small conflicts escalating to where they bring great powers into war with each other … the UNEF model of the Sanai.
... not that I am suggesting we (Canada) should do this.

In other related news, the CAF has suspended all military cooperation with Russia as a result of the current crisis:  http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/canada-suspends-military-activity-with-russia-effective-immediately-1.1713273
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Journeyman on March 05, 2014, 08:27:13
In other related news, the CAF has suspended all military cooperation with Russia as a result of the current crisis:  http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/canada-suspends-military-activity-with-russia-effective-immediately-1.1713273
.....and then I read the comments.....   :facepalm:

There has to be some "Godwin-like" rule wherein 'the least informed are the most shrill'  [no, it doesn't just apply to news comments]


......with a possible subset of 'everything is Harper/Obama's fault'
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on March 05, 2014, 10:31:29
Wow. Even Russia's own state-funded news anchors can't stand what Putin did...

Abby Martin, an American working for RT, stood up during an RT program to slam the Russian government for what it did...

Perhaps she'll be looking for a new job after this.

CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/04/world/europe/russia-news-anchor-ukraine/)

Youtube video: Abby Martin speaking out (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZolXrjGIBJs)

Quote

State-funded network's news anchor: 'What Russia did is wrong'
 
By Greg Botelho, CNN

(...SNIPPED/EDITED)


Yet that is exactly what one of RT's anchors, Abby Martin, said Monday night at the end of her "Breaking the Set" program. Moscow was not her lone target -- she also expressed disappointment over coverage and "disinformation" emanating "from all sides of the media spectrum" -- but it was clearly the most noticeable.

   

Apparently, her bosses took notice.


While RT didn't immediately respond to a CNN request for comment, the Telegraph reported -- and Martin herself acknowledged -- that the network told her to go to Crimea, the peninsula on the Black Sea where Russian troops reportedly played a part in besieging Ukrainian military bases in the days after that country's Russian-leaning president was ousted.

"But I am not going to Crimea despite the statement RT has made," Martin tweeted.



The next move for Martin, whose show is based out of Washington, or the network remains to be seen. Still, what's transpired already did offer an interesting glimpse into the volatile situation in Ukraine, Russian state media and RT, in particular.

The Ukrainian crisis has been brewing since last November, when protesters angry about then President Viktor Yanukovych's move away from a European Union trade pact and toward an apparently closer relationship with Moscow.

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on March 05, 2014, 12:35:14
There are suggestions (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEgJ0oo3OA8#t=10) that the sniping in Maidan was started by....the Maidan group itself.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: AliG on March 05, 2014, 12:41:18
Of which the doctor at the source of this report did not say anything like this.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10677370/Ukraine-Russia-crisis-live.html

At the 15:17 entry.

Lots of claims and counter claims. I just can't bring myself into believing anything coming out of RT as being anything even close to the whole picture.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Jarnhamar on March 05, 2014, 17:25:18
(http://d24w6bsrhbeh9d.cloudfront.net/photo/apqAnq9_700b.jpg)


Quote
YEEEEEEAAAAAAAAHHHHHH
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Privateer on March 05, 2014, 17:44:14
per CBC:  [Canadian] Government to send military observers to Ukraine

Quote
...

Canada plans to send a couple of military observers to Crimea, Ukraine, to assist in the safeguarding of human rights.

In the House of Commons during question period, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said, "Canada will contribute observers to an important military observer mission in a co-ordinated effort to better monitor the Russian military mission in Crimea."

Two Canadians will be part of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe mission.

The pair are already in Europe and are on their way to Ukraine. On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called on Russia to allow observers and said the U.S. wants to see large numbers of them in Crimea.

...

More at link:  http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/government-to-send-military-observers-to-ukraine-1.2561288 (http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/government-to-send-military-observers-to-ukraine-1.2561288)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Hamish Seggie on March 05, 2014, 18:34:01
Human rights.....yes of course.


I think Putin et al view what we call "human rights" they may term "Western rights" - and not applicable here.

By the way....great picture - Crimea river.....

  >:D
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: pbi on March 05, 2014, 18:35:36
Too long; didn't read.
Mr. Putin et al don't behave as westerners, because they're not. He got what he wanted, and his economy isn't about to tank. Markets are fickle, and he knows that. He has plenty of raw materials, a small debt, a trade surplus, a friend (for now) in China.
He also has, in Europe, a natural gas addicted client, that is hesitant to do anything to upset him.

He has his port safe and sound, Ukraine is still politically and economically bankrupt, and Ukraine will be of no threat to ethnic Russians in the lower Don River basin.  Soon enough they'll be back, hat in hand, as Ukraine does nothing but drain the EU.

Putin won.

Side note: the U.S. is no moral authority on anything relating to international diplomacy.  They flaunt the rules when it comes to their use of lethal military force in sovereign lands, are financially bankrupt and the writing is on the wall for them, I fear.

 I am with Technoviking on this one. The US has, over the last few decades, under both Democrat and Republican leadership, progressively whittled down its ability to take a moral stance on much of anything: use of military force, torture, support of nasty foreign governments, etc. This is very sad, and needs to be reversed so that the US can once again be a beacon for the world to look up to. We really need a beacon right about now. The statement by Kerry about "19th Century behaviour" could, in the wrong hands, easily be turned against the US. It's hard to imagine that, confronted with the same situation on their own border with, say, Mexico, the US would not act exactly as it saw fit, deploying many of the same arguments that Putin has."Manifest Destiny" and all that, right?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Baden Guy on March 05, 2014, 20:16:05
Russia and Ukraine are now in direct contact.  I don't think the "West" needs to be negotiating chunks of Ukraine.  If Ukraine wants to do that they are quite capable

Birkenhead.

'Tough' Ukraine talks to continue after Paris summit
"Russia's Sergei Lavrov refused to meet his Ukrainian counterpart, whose government Moscow does not recognise."

And further in this news  item:
"Robert Serry, the secretary-general's envoy to Crimea, was forced to leave Ukraine after being besieged by an angry mob chanting pro-Russia slogans."

And back to Paris:
"The talks ended with no firm deal, and without a direct meeting between Mr Lavrov and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia."

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26461029

Sounds like Putin hasn't given Mr.Lavrov much manoeuvring room.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on March 05, 2014, 21:43:01
"Russia's Sergei Lavrov refused to meet his Ukrainian counterpart, whose government Moscow does not recognise."
He has a point. Yanukovich was elected in what were deemed to be fair elections.  The method to change governments in a democracy is not by mob rules, even if he makes an unpopular trade deal. If that were the case, then the mob could very well have taken down Mulroney over Free Trade, or heck even Obama over the Affordable Care Act.  But that's not how it works. 

And there are some reasons to suggest that there may have been some radicals involved in the demonstrations turned riots. 
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Old EO Tech on March 05, 2014, 22:54:05
He has a point. Yanukovich was elected in what were deemed to be fair elections.  The method to change governments in a democracy is not by mob rules, even if he makes an unpopular trade deal. If that were the case, then the mob could very well have taken down Mulroney over Free Trade, or heck even Obama over the Affordable Care Act.  But that's not how it works. 

And there are some reasons to suggest that there may have been some radicals involved in the demonstrations turned riots.

While I admit I'm certainly no Ukrainian constitutional expert, but from media reports, Yanukovich was removed by parliament, who are elected officials via what ever legal constitutional process in the Ukrainian constitution.  Much like a US President can be impeached.  So while I'm sure the will of the "mobs" might have motivated the elected MP's it was still a legal process, and they have promised to hold presidential elections as soon as practical.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 06, 2014, 02:00:30
 :ditto: :goodpost: :goodpost: :goodpost:
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 06, 2014, 07:20:37
There are (unconfirmed) reports (http://inagist.com/all/441530780477829120/) (rumours?) that the Russians have sunk a ship in the narrows at the Crimean town of Yevpatoria that, effectively, bottles up the Ukrainian Navy.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BiCh58MIgAEq7GT.jpg)
Source: https://twitter.com/elizapalmer/status/441530780477829120/photo/1

Edit: to add ~

Maybe it's more than a rumour ... I don't know how authoritative Navaltoday might be but it, too, is reporting (http://navaltoday.com/2014/03/06/russia-sinks-ship-to-block-ukrainian-navy-ships/) the same thing with a new photo.

(http://navaltoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Russia-Sinks-Ship-to-Block-Ukrainian-Navy-Ships.jpg)

The Navaltoday report says, "The information was confirmed by the Ukrainian military of the South Naval Base who were observing the operation."
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on March 06, 2014, 09:45:52
There are (unconfirmed) reports (http://inagist.com/all/441530780477829120/) (rumours?) that the Russians have sunk a ship in the narrows at the Crimean town of Yevpatoria that, effectively, bottles up the Ukrainian Navy.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BiCh58MIgAEq7GT.jpg)
Source: https://twitter.com/elizapalmer/status/441530780477829120/photo/1

Edit: to add ~

Maybe it's more than a rumour ... I don't know how authoritative Navaltoday might be but it, too, is reporting (http://navaltoday.com/2014/03/06/russia-sinks-ship-to-block-ukrainian-navy-ships/) the same thing with a new photo.

(http://navaltoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Russia-Sinks-Ship-to-Block-Ukrainian-Navy-Ships.jpg)

The Navaltoday report says, "The information was confirmed by the Ukrainian military of the South Naval Base who were observing the operation."

Dirty move!  In other news, Barack Obama is trying to negotiate a settlement with Vlad the Impaler, here is a snapshot of their discussion:

(https://scontent-a-sjc.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/t1/1653363_598457530240969_735688992_n.jpg)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on March 06, 2014, 11:13:27
The Russians pulled a junked vessel out into the waterway and sank it.The vessel was the Ochakov an anti-submarine vessel.
Nice catch ER !! :salute:
The MSM has yet to pick up on this event.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: muskrat89 on March 06, 2014, 11:28:22
Crimea's parliament has voted to join Russia.

Reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act   http://news.yahoo.com/big-power-talks-ukraine-crisis-little-progress-003521587--business.html

Quote
SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) - Crimea's parliament voted to join Russia on Thursday and its Moscow-backed government set a referendum within 10 days on the decision in a dramatic escalation of the crisis over the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula.

The sudden acceleration of moves to bring Crimea, which has an ethnic Russian majority and has effectively been seized by Russian forces, formally under Moscow's rule came as European Union leaders gathered for an emergency summit to find ways to pressure Russia to back down.

U.S. President Barack Obama took steps to punish those involved in threatening the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, ordering the freezing of their U.S. assets and a ban on travel into the United States.

The U.S. Navy announced a guided-missile destroyer, the USS Truxton, was heading to the Black Sea in what it said was a long-planned training exercise and not a show of force.

The Crimean parliament voted unanimously "to enter into the Russian Federation with the rights of a subject of the Russian Federation".
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on March 06, 2014, 11:35:12
A slowly gathering Western response:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/us-talks-to-russia-but-moves-more-warplanes-to-region/2014/03/05/97dc7e4c-a4af-11e3-b865-38b254d92063_story.html

Quote
U.S., allies slowly put squeeze on Russia

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters -  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meet at the Russian ambassador's residence in Paris on March 5, 2014.

By Anne Gearan and Karen DeYoung, Published: March 5 E-mail the writers

PARIS — The United States and its European allies incrementally tightened the noose of their disapproval around Russia on Wednesday, agreeing to send more money to Ukraine, dispatching international observers and more U.S. aircraft to the region, and edging closer to direct sanctions against Moscow.

With little movement reported on the ground in Crimea, the autonomous Ukrainian region where Russian troops have taken control, attention focused on a chaotic day of diplomatic meetings in Europe.

Secretary of State John F. Kerry held his first direct meeting with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, since street protests in the Ukrainian capital turned deadly last month and led to the ouster of Kiev’s pro-Russia government. No progress was reported after the session, held at the home of Russia’s ambassador to France, but Kerry and Lavrov agreed to keep talking.

Kerry cautioned against assuming “that we did not . . . have serious conversations. We have a number of ideas on the table,” he told reporters, even as he reiterated the U.S. position that Russia’s military movement into Crimea is unacceptable.

Lavrov did not show up at a separate meeting with Kerry, British Foreign Secretary William Hague and Ukraine’s acting foreign minister, Andrii Deshchytsia, who flew here on Kerry’s plane from Kiev.

Kerry later told reporters that he had had “zero expectation” that Lavrov would accept an invitation to come to that meeting but that it would have been “inappropriate” for world powers to discuss Ukraine’s fate without that country’s representative.

Asked at a news conference about the Ukrainian minister — part of a government that Russia claims is illegitimate — Lavrov replied: “Who is it?”

A photo of Kerry and Lavrov tweeted by Russia’s Foreign Ministry showed the two looking in opposite directions, with a caption noting that although they didn’t always see eye to eye, communication was important.

No similar quips emerged from a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council in Brussels. A NATO diplomat, describing the session as “tense,” said alliance members one by one confronted Alexander V. Grushko, Russia’s representative to NATO, with charges that Moscow was violating international law in Crimea and concocting threats against ethnic Russians there to justify its actions.

“It was quite an uncomfortable meeting,” said the diplomat, speaking on the condition of anonymity about the closed-door session. When it was over, NATO announced that it was suspending collaboration with Russian armed forces on several fronts, including planning for Russia to provide a maritime escort for the U.S. ship that is to destroy Syrian chemical weapons at sea in the spring.

Before meeting with the Russians, alliance ambassadors traveled from NATO headquarters across town in Brussels for a rare meeting with representatives of the European Union’s policy and security committee.

E.U. representatives gave preliminary approval to a $15 billion aid package of loans and grants to Ukraine over the next several years, on top of a U.S. announcement Tuesday of $1 billion in energy loan guarantees.

The European package, to be approved at an E.U. summit Thursday, would be partially conditioned on reforms to Ukraine’s tanking economy. Kiev estimates that it needs $35 billion in international rescue loans over the next two years.

The European Union announced Thursday morning that it was imposing sanctions on 18 Ukrainians, including former officials, accused of looting the national treasury.

In Washington, a senior official said there were ongoing discussions within the administration about whether the United States should unilaterally impose sanctions on Ukrainian and Russian individuals tied to corruption and the recent violence in Ukraine. Although the administration is prepared to move forward within days, “we want to coordinate with the Europeans to be most effective,” said the senior official, who was not authorized to speak on the record about the discussions.

Some European governments with significant financial equities in Russia are reluctant to move toward major sanctions against that nation’s economy and have urged the sequential approach that the administration and its partners are now taking.

The Pentagon also announced, in response to what officials said were requests from Eastern European NATO members over the past week, that it would more than double the number of aircraft it has based in Lithuania as part of a regular alliance air-defense patrol.

The patrols over the Baltic nations were initiated a decade ago and are rotated quarterly among NATO members that have the appropriate aircraft. The United States, by coincidence, is in charge of the patrols this quarter and is sending six F-15 fighter jets and a KC-135 tanker to add to the four F-15s already deployed at Lithuania’s Siauliai Air Base.

In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, Gen. Martin Dempsey, said his Russian counterpart told him Wednesday that the troops in Crimea “were not regular forces. They were well-trained militia forces responding to threats to ethnic Russians in the Crimea.”

Dempsey said he could not “at this time” tell Congress “where the military forces inside the Crimea came from.” But “I did suggest” to Gen. Valery Gerasimov “that a soldier looks like a soldier looks like a soldier, and that the — that distinction had been lost on the international community.”

To emphasize that point, the State Department issued what it said was a “fact sheet” titled “President Putin’s Fiction,” disputing point by point the Russian leader’s claims that the troops in Crimea did not include newly deployed Russian forces, that in any case Russia’s actions were legal under international agreements, and that ethnic Russians and Russian bases in Crimea were under threat from Ukrainian “extremists.”


In a separate meeting Wednesday in Vienna, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said 18 of its participating states were sending 35 observers to Ukraine “to dispel concerns about unusual military activities.”

The United States and its allies have warned Russia not to extend its military deployments into eastern Ukraine, where ethnic Russians dominate. More immediately, they have called on Russia to return its troops to Crimean bases, where they are stationed under a long-standing agreement with Ukraine; to accept international monitors to verify the situation in Crimea; and to open talks with the interim Ukrainian government.

As of Wednesday, the senior administration official said, the Russians “are not backing down from their ridiculous claims, but also have not taken further steps. So it’s status quo.”

DeYoung reported from Washington.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on March 06, 2014, 11:46:09
Six more F-15's for Baltic Air Policing rotation.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/03/05/hagel-says-us-stepping-up-support-to-nato-allies-in-europe-amid-ukraine-crisis/
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Bird_Gunner45 on March 06, 2014, 12:01:24
Six more F-15's for Baltic Air Policing rotation.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/03/05/hagel-says-us-stepping-up-support-to-nato-allies-in-europe-amid-ukraine-crisis/

6 F-15s? That's about as token as token gets....
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Journeyman on March 06, 2014, 12:07:09
Six more F-15's for Baltic Air Policing rotation.
I'll take "Meaningless Gestures Effecting Nothing in the Ukraine for 500" Alex.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on March 06, 2014, 12:07:57
Its an increase to 10 which is a gesture of support. :camo:
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on March 06, 2014, 12:09:30
Maybe deploy the Euro Brigade to Poland ?  ;D
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on March 06, 2014, 12:13:25
A bit of editorial cartoon humour: how Putin is outplaying Obama
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: tomahawk6 on March 06, 2014, 14:16:07
The USS Truxtun is headed for the Black Sea. ::)

http://www.stripes.com/news/destroyer-uss-truxtun-heads-for-black-sea-amid-heightened-tensions-over-crimea-1.271401
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Hatchet Man on March 06, 2014, 14:18:41
Some people around here need to heed this http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,114290.new.html#new  let try to keep jab's at others jobs out of this (and other discussions).  This is fair warning for everyone, don't heed it and you get to go up the warning system. 

Now back on track.

Staff.   
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: MCG on March 07, 2014, 04:43:31
Only a few days after declaring the CAF has ceased military cooperation with the Russians, nine Russian soldiers are given 24 hours to get out of this country.  http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/russian-soldiers-training-in-canada-given-24-hours-to-leave-country-1.1717172 (http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/russian-soldiers-training-in-canada-given-24-hours-to-leave-country-1.1717172)


… And surprise of surprises, propaganda may already be employed by the opposing sides of this conflict:  http://knlive.ctvnews.ca/propaganda-has-people-viewing-ukraine-conflict-very-differently-1.1718095 (http://knlive.ctvnews.ca/propaganda-has-people-viewing-ukraine-conflict-very-differently-1.1718095) 

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Gooba97531 on March 07, 2014, 10:34:27
I found this on Reddit. Not sure it's 100% true, but it seems about right.

http://www.reddit.com/live/3rgnbke2rai6hen7ciytwcxadi
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on March 07, 2014, 11:39:38
Two pieces of fallout from this.

1. The Iranians now seem set to walk away from whatever agreement they have made WRT their nuclear ambitions (perhaps they may not publicly announce this, but if they are emboldened to place the editorial cartoon shown in the English section of their news site for everyone to see the implication is clear:

http://nypost.com/2014/03/07/how-irans-rulers-see-obama/

Quote
How Iran’s rulers see Obama
By Mark CunninghamMarch 7, 2014 | 12:30am
Modal Trigger

In the wake of the Russian putsch in Crimea, defenders of President Obama have been falling all over themselves insisting that our commander-in-chief is not seen as weak by other nations’ leaders.

This cartoon is damning evidence to the contrary — since it speaks to Obama’s image on three key fronts.

The image itself links our president’s famous “red line” on use of chemical weapons by the rulers of Syria (which he said would be a “game changer”) with his veiled threats over the weekend against Russian action in the Ukraine crisis.

In the event, the only change in the Syrian game was that the nation’s dictator, Bashar al-Assad, has been steadily strengthened since he was caught massacring innocents with his chem weapons. (And, of course, Obama, with his red-line threat, had tacitly walked away from his earlier “Assad must go” tough talk.)

By the way, Syria’s still “working” on handing over its chems.

On Ukraine, the cartoon suggests, Obama can’t credibly threaten to do much of anything, because he never made good on his last threat. The fact that he bought into Vladimir Putin’s offer of a face-saving way out of enforcing his threat just adds to the sting.

The third front? The cartoon comes to us from the English portion of the website of the Fars News Agency — which is the de facto official news agency of the Iranian regime.

In other words, Iran’s rulers are watching Obama lurch from crisis to crisis, and they’re not impressed.
Indeed, if this cartoon is a window into their thinking, it’s a safe bet that Tehran is already planning to walk away from the “interim” deal now that it has loosened the global sanctions that had been crimping Iran’s economy.

Iran’s rulers certainly aren’t going to worry about Obama’s vague talk of “all options” being “on the table.” When it comes to getting tough on the world stage, they see him as all talk and no stick — and they’re not even hiding their contempt.

2. A longer pice in The American Interest which shows how Russia has essentially ignored any and all diplomatic responses, secure in the knowledge they have nothing to fear and everything to gain:

http://www.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2014/03/06/russia-blows-past-obamas-off-ramp/

Quote
Russia Blows Past Obama’s “Off Ramp”
Yet another western plan for Ukraine ended in failure today. Will this hurt Obama’s standing in the Middle East?

Yet another western plan for Ukraine went down in flames today as the Russians blew past the ‘off-ramp’ Washington and its allies had prepared as a way to defuse the crisis. It’s the third western plan to flame out since November.

First came plan A: Get Yanukovych, a leader based in the east, to sign an EU trade agreement that would set a united Ukraine on a westward path. Putin disrupted that plan by getting Yanukovych to switch and go east.

Then came Plan B: When unrest swept Kiev and Yanukovych’s government reacted with blind and brutal thuggishness, western diplomats decided to help the protestors replace the Yanukovych regime with a new government that could unite the country and bring it toward the West. That plan failed when Russia took advantage of the chaos in Ukraine to occupy Crimea and demonstrate its ability to threaten the east.

Plan C, which Putin shot down in the last 24 hours, was apparently based on the hope among some policy makers that a confused and misguided President Putin had made a dreadful blunder in Crimea. The plan was to offer the poor, trapped Russians a graceful way out of their predicament that would ultimately restore Ukrainian unity as the country moved West. The plan collapsed when Lavrov blew off the West and refused to even meet with Ukraine’s foreign minister and now the Russians are kicking the fragments to bits as the Crimean regional authorities announce plans for a referendum on annexation by Russia.


Far from thinking that its incursion was a foolish blunder, Russia appears to be acting in the belief that it has inflicted a humiliation on the West and made solid gains on the ground in Ukraine. It is doubling down on the policy, and as far as one can read the mixed signals from the Kremlin, appears to be saying that the West must swallow the annexation of Crimea or watch as Russia further destabilizes eastern Ukraine.

Putin cares much less than many westerners seem to think about any sanctions that the West is likely to impose. Russia isn’t part of the West and things work differently there. Western commentators pointed breathlessly to large declines in Russian stock markets after the invasion, for example, to show how Putin must be feeling the errors of his ways.

Not really; Putin does not worry nearly as much about the Russian stock market as western leaders worry about financial markets in their own countries. Putin broke the oligarchs as a political force years ago; in Russia, corporations exist to serve the state and not the other way round. He is not worried that business leaders will lose confidence in him; in Putin’s Russia, it is business leaders who worry about losing the trust of the country’s political master.

As for banking crackdowns and visa limits, it will help Putin, not hurt him, if powerful Russians are unable to leave the country or move their money around in the West. One of his worries is that various oligarchs and power brokers can put enough money in the west to be able to get out from under his thumb. He would like all of his backers to be dependent on him for continued enjoyment of wealth and property. If the West wants to fence his backers in, so be it. (If the west goes after Putin’s own golden horde of ill-gotten simoleons, estimated by many to be north of $50 billion, the calculation might change.)

As for the value of the ruble, Putin probably thinks of this as a problem for the technocrats to solve. In any case, global political instability, in which there is a bull market these days, tends to drive up the price of Russia’s gas and oil exports, and this is the bottom line the Russian president probably watches most closely. Trouble in Europe and trouble in the Middle East brings more money into Russia’s coffers, not less.

Putin cares about the economy, and Russia’s economic weakness is one of the permanent disadvantages that hobbles Russia at every turn—but the effect of any of the likely western sanctions on Russia is probably less serious than many of his opponents would wish.

As for other trade sanctions, the disunity and economic selfishness of the western response has made the West look ridiculous. France will deliver warships, Germany will buy gas, and Britain’s banks are open for Russian business. Putin must be quaking in his boots at this awesome display of resolve.

Far from agreeing with the line that he’s fallen into a clever western trap, Putin probably thinks that he’s still got a shaky US administration pretty much where he wants it. Wrecking three western plans for Ukraine in a row has left him with what he probably sees as a stronger position than he had three months ago. He’s blocked his worst case outcome—a united Ukraine moving to the West with the eastern political leadership backing the move. The West is largely stuck with the financial support for Ukraine (meaning that US and EU taxpayers will be paying Ukraine’s back bills to Gazprom and other Russian entities), and now that he has Crimea in hand, the divisions between east and west can be exploited by Russia down the road.

Looking at the bigger picture, Putin probably also thinks the United States needs him more than he needs us at the moment. The Obama administration, he likely believes, is desperate to avoid further trouble in the Middle East. In Syria, in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, and in the Iranian negotiations, it is out on a limb, engaged in very high stakes diplomacy where the odds don’t favor it. Russia can’t do a lot about the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, but it can probably spoil the Iran negotiations and make Syria an even more horrible diplomatic and political problem for the Obama administration than it already is. Indeed, Samantha Power is now stating that Syria is dragging its feet in negotiations over the destruction of chemical weapons facilities. The U.S. should not expect any help from Russia as it searches for progress in Syria.

Putin can therefore inflict a great deal of pain on President Obama and American diplomacy if he chooses, and one suspects that he likes that. It’s possible that in happier times there were people in the Obama administration who believed that Putin would help them out diplomatically either because Russia and the US have common interests win Syria or over the Iranian issue or because he would prefer to help liberal, presumably more dovish Democrats consolidate power in Washington rather than making them look bad and easing the path for Republicans back into the White House.

Putin, however, doesn’t look at things that way. He appears to believe that under its dovish rhetoric the Obama administration was trying to detach Ukraine from Russia—a mortal threat to Russia’s vital interests as the Kremlin sees them. The Obama administration’s human rights rhetoric and its habit of making irritating though not genuinely wounding gestures (like sending gay delegates to the Sochi Olympics) angered the Russians without weakening them, and we can be sure that Putin believes in his gut that if some kind of Kiev style protest movement rose up in Moscow to drive him from office, that the United States would give it as much help as we dared.

From a Russian point of view, there already was a cold war between Moscow and Washington, and the West’s effort to snatch Ukraine last fall was a unilateral escalation of that conflict and an existential threat to the foundations of both the Putin government and the Russian national project. Putin believes he is fighting back and it looks as if his interest in punishing Obama over Ukraine is greater than his (limited and conditional) desire to keep working with Obama on issues like arms control.

From Putin’s point of view, there is much less difference between liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans than narcissistic westerners might think. He sees the whole United States as his geopolitical arch-rival and sees differences between liberals and conservatives as arguments about the best sauce to cook Russia with. Reagan brought the Soviets down and George H. W. Bush reunified Germany and anchored it in NATO, but the Clinton administration rammed NATO expansion down a weak Yeltsin’s throat and Obama was ready to scoop Ukraine into the western swag bag if Russia hadn’t stopped him.

Just as Jimmy Carter did not understand that his human rights advocacy ruined his hopes for a new era of detente and arms negotiations with the Soviet Union, the Obama administration’s policy makers don’t seem seem to understand that their Ukraine policy (which they don’t ever seem to have thought much about one way or the other) contradicted their reset policy in a way that would alienate and enrage the Russians. Now, from the Kremlin’s point of view, it may be the Obama administration that has fallen into a trap. Domestic political pressures are meshing with the President’s own sense of legality and morality in international affairs to push the United States towards trying to make it look as if our sanctions and other responses are imposing. In fact, they will and must be fairly ineffective, and Russia can use its influence over events in Syria and Iran to cause more pain to Obama and more damage to America’s international standing.

Russian diplomats expect to be getting urgent calls for help from desperate American diplomats trying to get Iran to an acceptable agreement and perhaps also to keep the Syrians within some kind of bounds. They are probably also expecting some interesting calls from Saudis, and from Egyptian generals with Saudi money in their bank accounts, looking to punish the Obama administration by creating the appearance of a new Russian role in Egyptian military affairs. It’s quite possible that the value of some Saudi backed arms deals with Egyptians and maybe Pakistanis could more than offset the cost of western sanctions to the Russian economy. In any case, Russia thinks it has some running room in foreign policy now, and we should expect it to take advantage where it can.

There may still be some people in Washington who think Putin has blundered into a weak position, but from Tokyo and Beijing to Teheran and Damascus, Putin is probably looking like a stronger horse today, and Uncle Sam like a weaker one.

We shall see, but the most important question now probably isn’t what happens next in Ukraine. The question is how does the breakdown of the Obama administration’s Russia policy affect America’s position in the Middle East. Will Iran now assume that it can have more backing from Russia and will that harden its stance in the nuclear talks? Will Assad now conclude that he has less to fear from the Americans than ever before? Will that be reflected in a continual hardening of his stance on chemical weapons?

If those things happen, how will the Obama administration reshape its stance in the Middle East? If Iran and Syria negotiations deteriorate, and Russia is being the reverse of helpful, what is America’s next move?

Meanwhile, let’s see what the West comes up with for Plan D in Ukraine.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on March 07, 2014, 12:23:41
Seems there are a large number of residents of Crimea who also still want to be part of Ukraine, in spite of the reported ethnic Russian majority there:

Video: Rally in Simferopol for Ukrainian unity/territorial integrity (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/video/peace-rally-simferopol-ukrainian-unity-151844533.html)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Old Sweat on March 07, 2014, 13:32:39
This oped piece from the Ottawa Citizen which discusses the Canadian response to the Ukraine crisis vis a vis the response of certain critics is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act.

Column: Courage and conviction in foreign policy
 
 
BY TERRY GLAVIN, OTTAWA CITIZEN MARCH 5, 2014

Whenever a foreign-policy hullabaloo starts taking up the bigger headlines of the national newspapers’ front pages, it’s dead certain that sooner or later some windbags will be given space to drone on about Canada having been lately reduced to a marginal and much-diminished presence “on the world stage.” This has been so ever since at least the days of Jean Chrétien, when to say such things was to actually tell the truth.

Cavilling of this kind often accompanies the assertion that Ottawa is guilty of pursuing foreign policy only as a cheap means of pandering to domestic audiences. This is a crudely elitist grievance, owing to its foundation in the unspoken understanding that some usually “ethnic” section of the electorate should be disregarded so that preference might be given to the wiser counsel of some reliably disgruntled former ambassadors, also usually and not coincidentally from the Chrétien era.

These weird civic rituals have been repeating themselves in the usual way around the approach Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Foreign Minister John Baird have been taking towards the crisis in Ukraine. All the more remarkable, then, that the Liberal party’s formidable Chrystia Freeland, whose talents include an expertise in Russian and Ukrainian politics and economics, is bravely breaking with the idiocy of these partisan and boring customs.

Freeland’s win in last November’s byelection in Toronto-Centre happened to coincide almost exactly with the first convulsions of revolutionary protest in Kyiv’s Independence Square. She’s an authority on Russia’s tragic descent from a buccaneering post-communist euphoria to the dismal gangster state now run by former secret police boss Vladimir Putin (it’s the subject of her book, Sale of the Century). She’s fluent in Ukrainian, she’s lived and worked in Kyiv, and in recent weeks, her analyses have been showing up in extended essays for the New York Times and Britain’s Prospect magazine.

In Kyiv this week, Freeland was offered a wide-open shot at Harper and Baird. She didn’t take it. “It’s really important for me right now as a Canadian MP outside Canada in a country which is in grave jeopardy to present a united front with the government,” Freeland told the CBC on Tuesday. “I will say that people here in Ukraine are grateful for Minister Baird’s visit. They are delighted that the Ukrainian flag flew in Ottawa today. I’ve heard people say that they are pleased about the recall of the ambassador … there’s no dissent between me and the Liberal party and the prime minister and the foreign minister on Ukraine right now.”

It is instructive to contrast Freeland’s commentaries with the widely reported and predictably dreary gripings of Paul Heinbecker, a congenitally disaffected career diplomat whose last big assignment was at the UN in New York, ending a decade ago.

Canada has lost influence on the world stage, Heinbecker complained. Canada is engaging in empty gestures in Ukraine, Canada should not be recalling its ambassador from Moscow, Canada could have had that seat at the UN Security Council, and so on.

A clue: The lofty heights to which Heinbecker admonishes Canada to aspire are the secretarial functions currently being performed at the UN Security Council by plucky little Luxembourg. Another clue: Heinbecker was a supporter of Paul Dewar’s calamitous bid for the NDP leadership — which is fair enough, but it is also a fact that rarely warrants mention, for some reason.

It also says rather a lot that Heinbecker was especially distressed last weekend about the dressing-down Baird’s deputy minister had just administered to Russian ambassador Georgiy Mamedov. “Mamedov is one of the guys you really want to be able to talk to,” Heinbecker told The Canadian Press, crediting Mamedov with (among other things) having almost single-handedly ended the war in Kosovo in the late 1990s.

But then Vladimir Putin embarked upon an ugly imperialist belligerence in Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and Mamedov’s Svengali-like powers were seeming maybe not so astonishing, because only the week before he’d been telling reporters: “Whoever discusses rumours about Russian military intervention in Ukraine is committing an insult to the intellect of the Canadian public, full stop … you won’t see any Russian troops in Ukraine. It’s the last thing you should be worried about.”

Baird could do a lot more to reach out to the brighter lights in the opposition, so as to build cross-partisan consensus in crises like these. Freeland’s call to prepare punishing sanctions on the belligerents in Russia’s criminal oligarchy should be heeded right quickly. But all in all, events have vindicated Canada’s refreshingly militant support for Ukraine’s embattled democrats.

Ottawa’s approach has enjoyed the counsel and the backing of the Ukrainian-Canadian Congress — one of those dreaded “domestic audiences” to which Ottawa is routinely told it must not “pander.” Also, by Tuesday, the House of Commons had given its unanimous consent to a motion that (among other things) condemned Putin’s military provocations in Crimea, affirmed Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, backed Baird’s decision to temporarily recall Canada’s ambassador to the Kremlin and also supported Harper’s commitment to suspend G8 summiteering with Moscow.

Whatever the objections of yesterday’s men, this is how foreign policy should be done.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Journeyman on March 07, 2014, 14:44:53
Column: Courage and conviction in foreign policy
Excellent post.  Thanks for sharing.



And yes, I had to look up "cavilling"    ;D
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on March 07, 2014, 17:34:50
Seems there are still Ukrainian troops still holding out in some places in the Crimean peninsula., aside from the two aforementioned trapped Ukrainian warships and the other Ukrainian airbase featured in this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRvdmmwoeQE)...

National Post (http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/03/07/ukrainian-base-in-crimea-under-siege-by-russian-soldiers-no-shots-have-been-fired-so-far-reports/)

Quote
Ukrainian base in Crimea under siege by Russian soldiers; no shots have been fired so far: reports

KYIV, Ukraine — A Russian military truck broke down the gates of a Ukrainian base in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol and the installation is under siege by Russians on Friday, the Interfax news agency reported. No shots have been fired.

About 100 Ukrainian troops are stationed at the base in Sevastopol, Interfax reported, citing a duty officer and Ukraine’s defense ministry. About 20 “attackers” threw stun grenades, the report said.


The Ukrainians barricaded themselves inside one of their barracks, and their commander began negotiations, Interfax said.

Russia has been swept up in patriotic fervor for bringing Crimea, its old imperial jewel, back into its territory – as tens of thousands of people thronged Red Square in Moscow on Friday waving flags and chanting “Crimea is Russia!” while a parliamentary leader promised the peninsula would be welcomed as an “equal subject” of Russia.

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 07, 2014, 19:20:31
I'm not sure what president Obama is supposed to have done.

For Russia/Putin this is a vital strategic matter: the enduringly important warm water port. For the US led West it is just another regional crisis.

Russia has, according to various reports, moved somewhere between 5,000 and 30,000 troops into Crimea. That's not enough, and it wasn't fast enough, for the coup de main that I think Putin and Lavarov wanted ... but it is much, much more than Europe/NATO and the US could have managed in the same time frame.

But NATO troops are, never were, in the cards. For a whole host of social, economic, partisan political and historical reasons Europe is hugely divided on this issue.

(http://www.mediumsimonetta.com/files/140-universa-finger-wag.gif)

There is lots of finger wagging but there is no consensus that anything should be done.

I also think that Prime Minister Harper has been amongst the most consistent and sensible of Western leaders. He has identified this for what it is, wanton aggression, but he has ruled out the use of force. He's a realist.

Sending a few warships and some money is about the best that I think any leader could manage.


Edit: format
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Retired AF Guy on March 07, 2014, 20:08:57
Two Femen protesters were arrested in Crimea’s capital Simferopol on Thursday after staging a topless demonstration against Russia’s intervention in Ukraine in front of the regional parliament.

Photos  here (http://cryptome.org/2014-info/femen-putins-war/femen-putins-war.htm). Note nudity and violence involved.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 07, 2014, 20:28:17
I like the New Yorker... they're so un-American.

Oh, and they're one of the few top drawer publications that you can read online for free... that's good too   ;D

Crimea and the Hysteria of History

Well, that was fast. At the beginning of the year, it seemed apt to meditate on the catastrophes of a century past, and on the chance that we might, once again, be passengers on some Titanic of history, with a small flaw in the hull opened by some unforeseen iceberg. And it seemed worth stressing that what had brought the ship down—in short, what made 1914 happen—was, above all, the vulnerability of open societies to the panicked appeal to honor and the fear of humiliation. “The relentless emphasis on shame and face, on position and credibility, on the dread of being perceived as weak sounds an icy note through the rhetoric of 1914—from the moment Franz Ferdinand is shot to the moment the troops are sent to the Western Front,” I wrote in the magazine. “When someone says, ‘Ram the iceberg! We can’t afford to let it make us look weak,’ it’s time to run for the deck.”


And here we are, chilly breezes blowing indeed. With Ukraine and Crimea suddenly looming as potential Sarajevos, the usual rhetoric of credibility and the horrors of appeasement comes blaring from the usual quarters. People who, a week ago, could not have told you if Crimea belonged to Ukraine—who maybe thought, based on a vague memory of reading Chekhov, that it was Russian all along—are now acting as though the integrity of a Ukrainian Crimea is an old and obvious American interest. What they find worse than our credibility actually being at stake is that we might not act as though it always is. The ins and outs, the explication of Ukrainian specificities—the expulsion of the Crimean Tatars, Khrushchev’s gift of Crimea to Ukraine in 1954—must be left to those who know them. But certain historical continuities appear at once to anyone with a memory of history’s grosser follies.

Russia, as ugly, provocative, and deserving of condemnation as its acts may be, seems to be behaving as Russia has always behaved, even long before the Bolsheviks arrived. Indeed, Russia is behaving as every regional power in the history of human regions has always behaved, maximizing its influence over its neighbors—in this case, a neighbor with a large chunk of its ethnic countrymen.

In response, we should be doing what sane states should always be doing: searching for the most plausible war-avoiding, nonviolent arrangement, even at the cost of looking wishy-washy. If we transfer the complexities of Ukraine to somewhere we know better—imagine French-speaking Quebec nationalists insisting on ousting a government with a large Anglophone-Canadian contingent—we may see that the simple view is likely to sink a ship with a lot of passengers. The parallel with the failure of appeasement in the thirties is false, because that circumstance was so particular to its moment. The underlying truth then was that there was no point in appeasing Hitler because there was no possibility of appeasing him. The German Army was the most powerful force in Europe, indeed, in the world, and Hitler had long before decided on a general European war. He wanted one, and for him it was only a question, at best, of delaying it until his odds were marginally better. If Putin wants a general European war, we will know it when he invades a NATO nation. There is no shortage of real trip wires in the region, and no need to discover new ones.

One should be similarly skeptical about the eager talk of a renewed Cold War. The point of the Cold War, at least as it was explained by the Cold Warriors, was that it wasn’t a confrontation of great global powers but, rather, something more significant and essential: a struggle of values, waged on a global scale, between totalitarians and liberals. Russia as a nation was incidental—if the Soviets had given up Marxism and on the utopian (or dystopian) remaking of the world, and had been content to act as a regular power, we would have had no war, cold or hot. That, anyway, was what the Cold Warriors claimed—indeed, those who saw Soviet ideology as mere Russian behavior were regarded as historically naïve. And here we are, with a restored Russia, paranoid about encirclement, increasing their leverage in the neighborhood. It may be ugly and it may be wrong, and Ukraine deserves the moral support that small nations always deserve when they are bullied—but it is also historically normal. If we become hysterical every time historical forces assert themselves, there will be no end to the hysteria.

For a great many people, in the past and in the present, it is hard to resist the thrill of war fever, the excitement of “seriousness,” and the call of history—the romance of the iceberg even as it sinks the boat. The most shocking thing about the onset of the First World War, a century later, is how many intellectuals and ideologues—people we would now call pundits—were delighted by its arrival. As I’ve written, the intellectuals of 1914 didn’t want the moral equivalent of war; they wanted war as a way of driving out moral equivalence, of ending relativism and decadence and materialism. They exulted in the moral clarity of the coming confrontation after the debasing decades of bourgeois pleasures, and they welcomed the end of their long holiday from history.

We know the price they paid. The worst pretense of empire is that every rattle on the edges is a death knell to the center. This is absurd, and it is dangerous because it creates the kind of melodramatic hysteria that leads to self-slaughter. The pressures of modern life have led fourteen-year-old kids to no longer say to each other anything as extended as “calm down.” Now, in moments of potential panic, they just say, “Calm.” It’s sound advice. Calm.

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2014/03/crimea-and-the-hysteria-of-history.html

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: devil39 on March 07, 2014, 21:22:44
Two Femen protesters were arrested in Crimea’s capital Simferopol on Thursday after staging a topless demonstration against Russia’s intervention in Ukraine in front of the regional parliament.

Photos  here (http://cryptome.org/2014-info/femen-putins-war/femen-putins-war.htm). Note nudity and violence involved.

The sequence of three photos of the crazy old man coming up the stairs and choking out the protester is unreal... a little bit emotional?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: devil39 on March 07, 2014, 21:34:10
And further would indicate that there is enough "human tinder" potential to start something even more serious than we are currently seeing.....
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on March 07, 2014, 21:40:17
For Russia/Putin this is a vital strategic matter: the enduringly important warm water port. For the US led West it is just another regional crisis.
And Putin doesn't give one fraction of a **** what anyone else thinks.  And we (the West) bought the Ukrainian Protest propaganda as fact.


As this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hvds2AIiWLA) goes to show, it's high quality, there's the sombre music, and all the key words are hit ("freedom"..."dictatorship"...)

When in fact the president chose a trade deal with Russia.

"I am the Ukrainian.  The native of Kyiv" 
(http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/Hvds2AIiWLA/maxresdefault.jpg)
Gimme a break.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: devil39 on March 07, 2014, 21:58:37
For Russia/Putin this is a vital strategic matter: the enduringly important warm water port. For the US led West it is just another regional crisis.

Russia has, according to various reports, moved somewhere between 5,000 and 30,000 troops into Crimea. That's not enough, and it wasn't fast enough, for the coup de main that I think Putin and Lavarov wanted ... but it is much, much more than Europe/NATO and the US could have managed in the same time frame.

But NATO troops are, never were, in the cards. For a whole host of social, economic, partisan political and historical reasons Europe is hugely divided on this issue.

I think that the Russians have pulled off the closest example of a "coup de main"  in the Crimea they could have hoped for.  The impediments that they are dealing with right now do not appear to be much more than speed bumps.   If all that was desired by Russia was the Crimea....then as others have stated, quite well played. 

Agree on NATO....non starter. 
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Baden Guy on March 08, 2014, 10:50:31
Deleted, out of date comment.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 08, 2014, 12:37:17
"The commons who sat in the chapter house (of Westminster Abbey).....was in a restive mood....merchants, knights, county gentry....put forward a remarkable series of reforms and legal processes against royal government and those they felt were corrupting it......The commons began by giving one another oaths mutual support in the chapter house, before compiling all of their grievances about corruption and misgovernment in a single lenthy petition.           Then they elected as their speaker Sir Peter de la Mare....
All those accused by the commons were brought to trial before parliament in June 1376.  When de la Mare was asked who brought charges against the accused, he replied that they did so 'in common'.  Thus the process of impeachment before parliament was born."

Dan Hodges Jones, "The Plantagenets: The Kings Who Made England", William Collins 2012, pp 517-523 ff.

Edit to offer apologies to the author: Dan Jones.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on March 08, 2014, 13:23:31
Posted without further comment.  This is a photo from Twitter, and is allegedly on the road between Kerch and Simferopol, Crimea


(https://scontent-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/t1/1800274_10151988887476232_1344530632_n.jpg)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 08, 2014, 13:42:25
Quote
The Pope! How many divisions has he got?
  Stalin to Pierre Laval 1935.

Stalin's answer to his own question.

Quote
Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas?
As quoted in Quotations for Public Speakers : A Historical, Literary, and Political Anthology (2001) by Robert G. Torricelli, p. 121

Stalin's weapon of choice.

Quote
The press must grow day in and day out — it is our Party's sharpest and most powerful weapon.
Speech at The Twelfth Congress of the R.C.P.(B.) (19 April 1923)





Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 08, 2014, 13:50:14
Quote
16.10 Russia's foreign ministry has just said the following:

And a great response from Vitaly Churkin, the Russian ambassador to the UN. I thought a canard was the French word for a duck; it also means "an unfounded rumour or story". So now you know.
QuoteRussian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin says the statements, ascribed to him, that Moscow and Kiev have severed diplomatic relations between them are a canard.
I've never discussed diplomatic relations either in public, or during Security Council meetings, so the canard in question is totally unfounded.

Daily Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10682341/Ukraine-Russia-crisis-live.html)

So, apparently Russia and Ukraine never severed diplomatic communications.....

But there again all those troops coming down the highway from Kerch in unmarked trucks and uniforms are not Russian soldiers but self-defence volunteers.

It might appear that the Russians are having major discipline problems in that event. A lot of their gear and people seem to have gone off reservation.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 08, 2014, 16:07:09
Posted without further comment.  This is a photo from Twitter, and is allegedly on the road between Kerch and Simferopol, Crimea

(https://scontent-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/t1/1800274_10151988887476232_1344530632_n.jpg)
With some videos (http://www.interpretermag.com/ukraine-liveblog-day-19-nerves-of-steel-tested/#1855) claimed to be Ukrainian troops moving from one place to another (and what looks like a police car escort for one of the convoys leaving a base leaves me scratching my head).
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on March 08, 2014, 17:46:08
The Pope! How many divisions has he got?

Pope Pius XII said,
Quote
"You may tell my son Joseph he will meet my divisions in heaven. ..."

And Pope John Paul !! did not need any divisions of soldiers to free Poland.

in the end, ideas are the power behind everything. Let's hope the people of Ukraine can hang onto the winning ideas of freedom from oppression, individual and property rights and the Rule of Law.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Old EO Tech on March 08, 2014, 17:56:50
Well if I was the Ukrainian PM, and those are truly renegade Russian soldiers or armed civilians, that makes them nothing more than terrorist/criminals, and Mr. Putin would have no issues with us arresting terrorists just like he battles terrorism on his home soil :-/ 
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 08, 2014, 19:30:08
This is distressing.  I find myself in agreement with a Liberal.  Ah well. Tant pis.

Chrystia Freeland - New York Times Sunday Review (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/09/opinion/sunday/how-russia-has-already-lost-the-war.html).

Quote
KIEV, Ukraine — OVER the past two weeks, residents of Kiev have lived through its bloodiest conflict since the Second World War, watched their reviled president flee and a new, provisional team take charge, seen Russian troops take control of part of the country, and heard Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, assert his right to take further military action. Yet the Ukrainian capital is calm.

Revolutions often falter on Day 2, as Ukraine has already bitterly learned twice — once after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union and then again in 2005 after the Orange Revolution. That could happen again, but the new revolution is enjoying a prolonged honeymoon, thanks to Mr. Putin, whose intervention in Ukrainian foreign and trade policy provoked the uprising in the first place, and whose invasion has, paradoxically, increased its chance of long-term success.

Kiev smells like a smoky summer camp, from the bonfires burning to keep the demonstrators still out on Independence Square warm, but every day it is tidier. Sidewalks in the city center are checkerboarded with neat piles of bricks that had been dug up to serve as missiles and are now being put back.

The police, despised for their corruption and repression, are returning to work. Their squad cars often sport Ukrainian flags and many have a “self-defense” activist from the protests with them. A Western ambassador told me that the activists were there to protect the cops from angry citizens. My uncle, who lives here, said they were also there to stop the police from slipping back into their old ways and demanding bribes.

This revolution may yet be eaten by its own incompetence or by infighting. A presidential election is scheduled for May, and the race, negative campaigning and all, has quietly begun. The oligarchs, some of whom have cannily been appointed governors of the potentially restive eastern regions, are jockeying for power. But for now, Ukrainians, who were brought together by shared hatred of the former president, Viktor F. Yanukovych, are being brought closer still by the Kremlin-backed invasion.

“Yanukovych freed Ukraine and Putin is uniting it,” said Iegor Soboliev, a 37-year-old ethnic Russian who heads a government commission to vet officials of the former regime. “Ukraine is functioning not through its government but through the self-organization of its people and their sense of human decency.”

Mr. Soboliev is a former investigative journalist who grew frustrated that carefully documented revelations of government misbehavior — which he says “wasn’t merely corruption, it was marauding” — were having no impact. He and a few friends formed Volya, a movement dedicated to creating a country of “responsible citizens” and a “state worthy of their trust.”

“People in Odessa, Mykolaiv, Donetsk and Dnipropetrovsk are coming out to defend their country,” Mr. Soboliev said. “They have never liked the western Ukrainian, Galician point of view. But they are showing themselves to be equally patriotic. They are defending their country from foreign aggression. Fantastical things are happening.”

This conflict could flare into Europe’s first major war of the 21st century, and Crimea may never again be part of Ukraine. But no matter what happens over the next few months, or even years, Mr. Putin and his vision of an authoritarian, Russian-dominated former Soviet space have already lost. Democratic, independent Ukraine, and the messy, querulous (but also free and law-abiding) European idea have won.

So far, the only certain victory is the ideological one. Many outsiders have interpreted the past three months as a Yugoslav-style ethno-cultural fight. It is nothing of the kind. This is a political struggle. Notwithstanding the bloodshed, the best parallel is with Prague’s Velvet Revolution of 1989. The emphasis there on changing society’s moral tone, and each person’s behavior, was likewise central to the protests that overthrew Mr. Yanukovych.

For Ukraine, as well as for Russia and much of the former U.S.S.R., the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 was only a partial revolution. The U.S.S.R. vanished, but the old nomenklatura, and its venal, authoritarian style of governance remained. Mr. Putin is explicitly drawing on that heritage and fitfully trying to reshape it into a new state capitalist system that can compete and flourish globally. An alliance with Mr. Yanukovych’s Ukraine was an essential part of that plan.

That effort has now failed. Whatever Mr. Putin achieves in Ukraine, it will not be partnership with a Slavic younger brother enthusiastically joining in his neo-imperialist, neo-Soviet project.

The unanswered question is whether Ukraine can be a practical success. The economy needs a total structural overhaul — and that huge shift needs to be accomplished while either radically transforming, or creating from scratch, effective government institutions.

This is the work Central Europe and the Baltic states did in the 1990s. Their example shows that it can be done, but it takes a long time, requires a patient and united populace, and probably also the promise of European partnership.

The good news is that Ukraine may finally have achieved the necessary social unity. The bad news is that it isn’t clear if Europe, struggling with its economic malaise and ambivalence toward its newish eastern members, has the stomach to tutor and support Ukraine as it did the Visegrad countries — Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland — and the Baltic states.

THIS should be Ukraine’s biggest problem. But with Russian forces in Crimea, the more urgent question Kiev faces is whether it will find itself at war.

The answer depends in large part on Russia. Sergei Kovalev, a former dissident who became a member of the Russian Parliament in the 1990s, once told me that a good rule for understanding Russian strongmen was that “eating increases the appetite.” Mr. Putin has thus far lived up to that aphorism.

Thanks to his agility in Syria, his successful hosting of the Sochi Olympics and even, at first, his masterful manipulation of Mr. Yanukovych, Mr. Putin has won himself something of a reputation as a master strategist. But he has made a grave miscalculation in Ukraine.

For one thing, Mr. Putin misunderstands the complexities of language and ethnicity in Ukraine. Certainly, Ukraine is diverse, and language, history and culture play a role in some of its internal differences — just as they do in blue- and red-state America, in northern and southern Italy, or in the north and the south of England.

The error is to believe there is a fratricidal separation between Russian and Ukrainian speakers and to assume that everyone who speaks Russian at home or voted for Mr. Yanukovych would prefer to be a citizen of Mr. Putin’s Russia. The reality of Ukraine is that everyone in the country speaks and understands Russian and everyone at least understands Ukrainian. On television, in Parliament, and in the streets, bilingual discussions are commonplace.

Mr. Putin seems to have genuinely believed that Ukraine was Yugoslavia, and that his forces would be warmly welcomed by at least half of the country. As Leonid D. Kuchma, a former president of Ukraine and once a senior member of the Soviet military-industrial complex, told me: “His advisers must have thought they would be met in eastern Ukraine with flowers as liberators. The reality is 180 degrees opposite.”

Many foreign policy realists wish the Ukrainian revolution hadn’t happened. They would rather Ukraine had more fully entered the corrupt, authoritarian zone the Kremlin is seeking to consolidate. But we don’t get to choose for Ukraine — Ukrainians do, and they have. Now we have to choose for ourselves.

Chrystia Freeland is the author of “Sale of the Century: Russia’s Wild Ride From Communism to Capitalism” and a Liberal member of the Canadian Parliament.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on March 08, 2014, 19:45:04
The only thing Yanukovich did was to ink a better trade deal. With Russia. Ukraine is piss broke and Russia, rightly or wrongly, offered a better deal than the EU.  The part of Ukraine that voted against Yanukovich in the election protested. And things went south. Did the government start shooting? Or was it a bloc within the protest?  I don't know and I don't care.
I'm not sure where property rights fits into this. But I do know that the so called Maidan group had (has?) a slick propaganda machine.
It's a regional conflict.  An insurrection from one part of the country led Russia move into Crimea to protect its fleet. And, fortuitously for them, many in Crimea welcome them. But they probably dont really care about them, because if they did, Russia would have also moved into the lower Don River valley, Kharkov,  etc.
Leave them be, and once next winter hits, we'll see how successful this insurrection will have been.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: KerryBlue on March 08, 2014, 20:23:16
The only thing Yanukovich did was to ink a better trade deal. With Russia. Ukraine is piss broke and Russia, rightly or wrongly, offered a better deal than the EU.  The part of Ukraine that voted against Yanukovich in the election protested. And things went south. Did the government start shooting? Or was it a bloc within the protest?  I don't know and I don't care.
I'm not sure where property rights fits into this. But I do know that the so called Maidan group had (has?) a slick propaganda machine.


I'm sorry but I'm going to interject on the side of the Maidan protestors, why? Because many of my friends went over to join them, and spent 2-3 months there, most staying even after the shooting started. The Protestors of Maidan understand that the trade deal with Russia was a better economic move for them, I have no doubt about that. BUT by taking that trade deal and continuing to align themselves with Russia Yanukovich and his boys, would continue to run the Ukrainian Economy into the ground to better themselves financially. Successful independent business owners would find themselves being removed from the business that they had started by corrupted friends of the government or they'd find themselves paying protection the mafia, which would in turn kick back money to corrupted members of government. Students in Ukraine cannot afford university, or to pay of their debts because the jobs in Ukraine were going to family and friends of corrupted politicians. But at the same time those students weren't being given visa's or permission to leave the country and to find jobs somewhere else around the world.

When maidan started it was a peaceful protest, where Ukrainians of all ages came together to speak up against a corrupted Soviet Style Government. The maidan propaganda machine is so effective because it is being run by people who care, who are sick and tired of the old system and want change to make their lives better. While no doubt existed that the Russian Trade deal would be better economically, for Ukrainians it would result in no change in the quality of their lives. They would still be oppressed, and stuck in a system that has been eradicated in other ex-soviet bloc countries (i.e. Poland, Lithuania). Yanukovich was elected to power because of his promise to align with the EU and the west, and for a while he was going through all the steps to make it look like it was legitimately going to happen he pulled the plug at the last second because of Russia.

Russia has been pulling his strings, and as a matter of fact are primarily the reason he was installed as the President of Ukraine. Look back to the Orange revolution of 2004-2005. Where massive corruption and tampering were found during the "democratic elections" most of it being perpetrated by the Russian backed  Yanukovich. When he ran again in 2009, his campaign again was again accused by many people of being rigged in the ballot run off, financially corrupted and backed by Russia, and when it came down to him vs. Yulia Tymoshenko in the final run off vote for president he refused to debate with her. His whole rise to power in Ukraine is shrouded in corruption and fraud and the people of the west finally had enough and stepped up to protest and bring an end to Russian interference in Ukraine.

People keep looking at this as a government v. government, or ideology v ideology where we should be looking at this on a more personnel level. We should be looking at the quality of life of the Ukrainian people, a people who have for almost the entire history of the country been oppressed by one country or another. Be it the Poles, Belarus, Soviets, the people of Ukraine have always been oppressed and have finally taken a decisive stand those who oppress them, and as a result one of the historic oppressor's is back at their usual game of trying to control something that is no longer theirs and that they gave away.
 :2c:


Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Inky on March 08, 2014, 20:38:54
The only thing Yanukovich did was to ink a better trade deal. With Russia. Ukraine is piss broke and Russia, rightly or wrongly, offered a better deal than the EU.  The part of Ukraine that voted against Yanukovich in the election protested. And things went south. Did the government start shooting? Or was it a bloc within the protest?  I don't know and I don't care.
I'm not sure where property rights fits into this. But I do know that the so called Maidan group had (has?) a slick propaganda machine.
It's a regional conflict.  An insurrection from one part of the country led Russia move into Crimea to protect its fleet. And, fortuitously for them, many in Crimea welcome them. But they probably dont really care about them, because if they did, Russia would have also moved into the lower Don River valley, Kharkov,  etc.
Leave them be, and once next winter hits, we'll see how successful this insurrection will have been.

+1

I used to be a regular reader of the National Post but this whole conflict turned me off mainstream western media in a big way. Everywhere I look I'm seeing propaganda by people who support the western protesters on a purely ideological basis. Everywhere the same creepy sounding prophecies about Russia having lost even though they're the clear winners, about some sort of monolithic democratic bloc having triumphed in the battle of ideas. The level of delusions exhibited by our media has been worrying. Seriously, it all feels surreal how much supposedly educated journalists can so quickly suspend critical judgment and just jump on the bandwagon.

You're right Technoviking, the strength of the Euromaidan movement has been their ability to spin events the right way from the start and, doing so, to acquire the support of influential backers on our side.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: MCG on March 09, 2014, 01:39:20
Building on the new/second cold war speculation, Russia is contemplating a halt to US military inspections conducted under a treaty. (http://globalnews.ca/news/1195955/russia-may-halt-u-s-military-inspections-in-response-to-sanctions/)  There is also some speculation that Russia needs European oil money more than Europe needs Russian oil (http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/03/07/natural-gas-is-new-weapon-in-a-new-cold-war-how-economic-sanctions-could-bring-russias-putin-to-his-knees/) and that the tendency for Russia to turn-off the pipe is more likely to accelerate permanent substitution through North American natural gas.

More signs of rising tensions as warning shots are fired against OSCE observers, a Ukraine border patrol plane comes under small-arms fire, and the “not Russian” soldiers are becoming more restrictive of media. (http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/ukraine-crisis-tension-escalates-on-ground-in-crimea-1.2565033)  The same article raises specific questions about deliberate exclusion of dissenting opinions from political representation in the Crimean government, and notes the population already rejected union with Russia in a previous referendum.
Quote
Crimean opposition parliamentarians say most lawmakers were barred from the besieged building, both for the vote that installed Aksyonov and the one a week later that declared Crimea part of Russia, and the results were falsified. Both votes took place behind closed doors.

Crimea has a narrow ethnic Russian majority, but it is far from clear that most residents want to be ruled from Moscow. When they were last asked in 1991, they voted for independence along with the rest of Ukraine. Western countries have dismissed the upcoming referendum as illegal and likely to be falsified.

Reports are also indicating Russian build-up has included the amphibious landing of reinforcement in the Crimean peninsula (http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/03/08/russia-reinforcing-its-troops-in-crimea-as-moscow-rules-out-dialogue-with-ukraines-new-government/).  The article concludes with some off-topic speculation from the NATO Secretary-General as to what this might mean for alliance members who had all been planning military capability reductions to manage cost.
Quote
Speaking on BBC on Saturday, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that while there is no military response to the recent events of Crimea, the crisis was a reminder of threats to European security and stability.
 
“I do believe that politicians all over NATO will now rethink the whole thing about investment in security and defense,” he told the BBC. “Obviously, defense comes at a cost but insecurity is much more expensive.”


Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on March 09, 2014, 04:41:46
LOL @ "not Russian" soldiers. :) +300 inbound! :)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on March 09, 2014, 04:44:33
KerryBlue: you only confirm for me that Maidan was les than honest. Foreigners going over to protest? And here I thouht it was Vox Populi....
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: MCG on March 09, 2014, 08:58:50
Putin just needs a better spokesman to deliver his message.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Bird_Gunner45 on March 09, 2014, 09:12:05
On the lighter side, the "Oromocto Spouses" facebook page featured wives who were stressed out because their husbands had told them they were going to be going on "tour" to Ukraine soon... Would have been an ideal time to stir the pot!

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 09, 2014, 10:17:15
I think that the Russians have pulled off the closest example of a "coup de main"  in the Crimea they could have hoped for.  The impediments that they are dealing with right now do not appear to be much more than speed bumps.   If all that was desired by Russia was the Crimea....then as others have stated, quite well played. 

Agree on NATO....non starter.


I agree, it was as close as anyone was going to get. I'm not sure what Russia's/Putin's wish list was (still is), but it certainly included, as a bare minimum, absolute Russian control over Crimea.

I guess Russia/Putin will be happy enough with a weak, dismembered Ukraine which is not in the EU or NATO.

Ukraine is, as others have noted, an economic disaster zone: no one really wants it ~ that's why the EU offer was so poor. The Germans and Finns feel they are supporting enough have nots, they really don't need another, especially not another when Russia/Putin wants them left alone.

The sort of liberal democracy that we, Anglo-Americans, take for granted is not easily transplanted. There are at least as many illiberal democracies (http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/53577/fareed-zakaria/the-rise-of-illiberal-democracy) in Europe as there are liberal ones ~ and even within the liberal democracies there are nuances of meaning of both liberal and democracy. It's not clear to me that Poland, just as an example, has the history to make liberal democracy a nice, neat fit. It seems far more likely, to me, that it will follow France, Italy, Spain and others into the illiberal democracy group, so I'm guessing, will Ukraine, if it remains a democracy at all.

(There are, by the way, a few conservative democracies, too, but they are all in Asia.)


Edit: grammar  :-[
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 09, 2014, 12:13:19
KerryBlue: you only confirm for me that Maidan was les than honest. Foreigners going over to protest? And here I thouht it was Vox Populi....
That saidIf this happening, it's not just one side with "foreign volunteers" reportedly coming to "offer a hand" - this, from Serbian media (http://inserbia.info/news/2014/03/crimea-crisis-group-of-serbs-arrived-in-sevastopol-to-support-local-self-defens-units/).
Quote
Several volunteers from Serbia arrived in the city of Sevastopol, to help local self-defense units and Cossacks to ensure order at checkpoints around the city, ITAR-TASS reported.

“We represent ‘Chetnik Movement’ organization, you can compare them with the Cossacks in Russia. Our goal – to provide support on behalf of the Serbian people to the Russian people. Now you have the same thing as it was in Serbia. West and the EU give money to the opposition and tell them how people live well in Europe, but it’s all a lie,” said the leader of Serb volunteers Milutin Malishich.

“We came at the invitation of the Cossacks. During the civil war in Yugoslavia, many Russian volunteers came to support the Serbian people. We are a small nation and we can not send a large number of people, but we have a great love for the Russian people,” said Malishich ....
Hmmm ....  Chetniks, invited by Cossacks, offering to help maintain law and order in (at its kindest) a contested area with a mixed ethnic makeup (including a not-insignificant Sunni Mulsim population with long-time roots and history of getting jerked around (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/05/tartar-ukraine-sunni-muslims-threat-russian-rule-crimea)) - what could possibly go wrong?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: KerryBlue on March 09, 2014, 12:54:06
KerryBlue: you only confirm for me that Maidan was les than honest. Foreigners going over to protest? And here I thouht it was Vox Populi....

Sorry should have been clearer, the people I know who went over did not go to join into the protest rather they were their as photographers and journalists WITH proper credentials given to them.

This piece was written by an acquaintances, a Ukrainian immigrant, and musician who was there. Give it a read.

http://www.nowtoronto.com/news/story.cfm?content=196955
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Hamish Seggie on March 09, 2014, 13:06:47
The Cetniks eh.

Will the Ustachi join the Ukranians?

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 09, 2014, 15:28:50
The Cetniks eh.

Will the Ustachi join the Ukranians?
Well, that would reinforce the "Catholics on one side of the fracas" bit of the analogy comparing Ukraine (http://www.catholicregister.org/news/international/item/17730-pope-asks-%20christians-to-pray-for-ukraine) to one of the key players during the (latest) Balkan breakup (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Catholicism_in_Croatia).

Meanwhile, a bit of background (http://toinformistoinfluence.com/2014/03/09/russia-the-truth-will-come-out/) on someone claiming to be the commander of the "Crimean Self Defense Volunteers"....
Quote
.... Vladimir Karpushenko was recognized by journalists as the ‘Commander of the Crimean Self Defense Volunteers, while he is also the Deputy Commander of the 810th Brigade, deployed in Crimea.  Vladimir Karpushenko is a “Hero of Russia”, appearing in a Wikipedia listing of Heroes, here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Heroes_of_the_Russian_Federation_%28K%29).  Reason: “… courage and heroism displayed during a counterterrorism operation in the North Caucasus…”[11]  “Герой России Карпушенко Владимир Валерьевич” (http://www.warheroes.ru/hero/hero.asp?Hero_id=8774). Warheroes.ru ....
He could also be on PD leave, too - last mentioned as a LCOL in the Russian Marines as of late 2011 here (http://bit.ly/1kG4Xdo) (original in Russian here (http://bit.ly/1fORmP2)) ....
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on March 09, 2014, 20:52:51
KerryBlue: fair enough.

And to clarify my own view: *all* sides (not both) are pumping out propaganda on this, not just Mr Putin.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 09, 2014, 21:32:47
KerryBlue: fair enough.

And to clarify my own view: *all* sides (not both) are pumping out propaganda on this, not just Mr Putin.

TV - 'Twas ever thus. When did that stop us from choosing up sides in the past?

I fail to see the difference between "Ich bin ein Berliner" and offering to supply similarly empty gestures to those members of Comecon that are now members of NATO.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 09, 2014, 21:53:09
TV - 'Twas ever thus. When did that stop us from choosing up sides in the past?

I fail to see the difference between "Ich bin ein Berliner" and offering to supply similarly empty gestures to those members of Comecon that are now members of NATO.


There was, very briefly, room for useful empty gestures (bluffs) about a week ago. We, the US led West, lacked nerve or failed to appreciate the situation or decided that dithering is a productive activity ... I don't know why we didn't act (bluff) when the bluffs (visits to Kiev by Herman Van Rompuy (President of the European Council) and Anders Fogh Rasmussen (NATO Secretary General) would have required a bit of nerve, would have needed (more than just) a touch of decisiveness and might well have given President Putin pause to wonder a bit ... which may have been enough. The visits would have been empty gestures, but they might have worked. It's too late now.

(http://www.reactiongifs.com/r/npa5yMn.gif)
But, honestly, there wasn't much of
anything he could have done.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on March 09, 2014, 22:07:08
I fail to see the difference between "Ich bin ein Berliner" and offering to supply similarly empty gestures to those members of Comecon that are now members of NATO.

[German Geek mode]
In German, adding the indefinite article to "Berliner" means that you are speaking about a pastry named for Berlin, where if you leave it out, you are speaking of a person from Berlin.  So, instead of saying "Ich bin Berliner", which would have meanr "I am a Berliner", instead Kennedy said "Ich bin ein Berliner", which means "I am a jelly-doughnut".
[/German Geek mode]

You raise a good point, of course, but I just want others to be clear that the woman, The Native of Kyiv, is a product of a slick machine.  But there are a few simple facts:
Yanukovich made a good deal with Russia.
*Any* deal with Russia will be viewed as suspect by western Ukrainians
*All* sides have opportunists ready to exploit the situation for personal gain
Russia cares less than one iota for *any* resident of Ukraine, Russian, Moldovan or otherwise.
Russia cares very dearly about her ports in Crimea

(edited for sloppy spelling)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 09, 2014, 22:47:50
But what happens to Putin's reputation if the Russian Mob (and the Russian mob) wake up to discover that as a result of Putin's machinations he has Sevastopol but the Berlin Wall has moved east to the Dniepr?  Has he won or has he lost?


By the way, I happen to like jelly doughnuts.   :)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on March 09, 2014, 22:50:45
But what happens to Putin's reputation if the Russian Mob (and the Russian mob) wake up to discover that as a result of Putin's machinations he has Sevastopol but the Berlin Wall has moved east to the Dniepr?  Has he won or has he lost?


By the way, I happen to like jelly doughnuts.   :)
As long as Europe wants his gas (and the Mob's gas), it matters not where any walls are, I think...

And, as for Berliners....


(http://www.tarasmulticulturaltable.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Berliners-2-of-3.jpg)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 09, 2014, 23:21:03
(http://www.pghlux.com/links/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/mmm-donuts.jpg)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Inky on March 09, 2014, 23:24:22
But what happens to Putin's reputation if the Russian Mob (and the Russian mob) wake up to discover that as a result of Putin's machinations he has Sevastopol but the Berlin Wall has moved east to the Dniepr?  Has he won or has he lost?


By the way, I happen to like jelly doughnuts.   :)


Is that such a significant change from the staus Quo given everything that happened beforehand?

Consider the following:

The lines were, for the most part, already drawn, Putin, through careful maneuvering, merely managed to affect a small (but strategically significant) modification to the regional situation by safeguarding his Black Sea port for good.

Will this particular incident become more significant in light of future events? Perhaps. But the pundits and media houses who have been peddling the idea that this is a seismic event in world politics are being crassly sensationalistic and those who have tried to categorize the chain of events as being part of some ongoing greater ideological struggles à la Cold War are being blindly ideological themselves.

Putin played his game well, secured a vital strategic asset and, doing so, got a nice boost in personal popularity. That's it, that's all.

Edit for spelling
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 09, 2014, 23:32:05

There was, very briefly, room for useful empty gestures (bluffs) about a week ago. We, the US led West, lacked nerve or failed to appreciate the situation or decided that dithering is a productive activity ... I don't know why we didn't act (bluff) when the bluffs (visits to Kiev by Herman Van Rompuy (President of the European Council) and Anders Fogh Rasmussen (NATO Secretary General) would have required a bit of nerve, would have needed (more than just) a touch of decisiveness and might well have given President Putin pause to wonder a bit ... which may have been enough. The visits would have been empty gestures, but they might have worked. It's too late now.

(http://www.reactiongifs.com/r/npa5yMn.gif)
But, honestly, there wasn't much of
anything he could have done.

I don't think I agree.  I think there is an increasing amount of opportunity for action.  As the situation settles in to a Ukraine vs Ukraine discussion,  and Ukrainians start to vote with their feet,   I think there is ample opportunity to offer material support the ex-Comecon NATO countries and to make gestures such as that proposed by William Hague (increasing NATO defence budgets) or increasing the training exercise or forward position of resources, or Canada offering to take on an additional Baltic Patrol or two.....or......

On the economic front - support for eastern europe....

And Inky,

Sorry, but I grew up in an era where ideology was not a bad thing.  We called it "believing in something".   But that is so 1960's I guess.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 10, 2014, 08:45:02
Starting the day w/an editorial cartoon ....
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BiXKNb2CMAA6UJT.jpg)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 10, 2014, 09:29:36
I don't think I agree.  I think there is an increasing amount of opportunity for action.  As the situation settles in to a Ukraine vs Ukraine discussion,  and Ukrainians start to vote with their feet,   I think there is ample opportunity to offer material support the ex-Comecon NATO countries and to make gestures such as that proposed by William Hague (increasing NATO defence budgets) or increasing the training exercise or forward position of resources, or Canada offering to take on an additional Baltic Patrol or two.....or......

On the economic front - support for eastern europe....

And Inky,

Sorry, but I grew up in an era where ideology was not a bad thing.  We called it "believing in something".   But that is so 1960's I guess.


Oh, of course we can "take action" and "make gestures" but Ukraine is a regional problem, maybe even a crisis, for the US led West while it is a vital strategic issue for Russia. We were always in the gesture business while Putin/Russia was always, of necessity, decisive and focused.

Now, I believe that the strategic cost of depriving Russia of Crimea's ports would not be worth the gains. Russia can, at great expense to be sure, develop a sea port on the Russian Black Sea coast. We had no good strategic reason to force them into that option. Russia is a declining power. It is resource rich but culturally poor in terms of its political and economic culture. It is threatened, in Putin's mind, on three sides: by the US led West, by the Islamic South and by China. We may argue that we are not threatening anyone but I doubt it looks that way from inside the Kremlin. The threats from the Islamic South and China are very, very real. Russia has things China wants needs. China will be happy to pay for them ... but only for so long as Russia obeys the terms of its contracts. China is not Europe; Russia will only cut off China's gas once, after that it will be China's gas ... and oil, and minerals and, above all, water.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Journeyman on March 10, 2014, 10:08:02
The age of Nationalism is a bygone era .....
...... part of some ongoing greater ideological struggles à la Cold War are being blindly ideological themselves.

So you don't believe in nationalism or ideology.  How do you explain the crises and conflicts that have occurred throughout your entire life (assuming your profile age is correct)?

    :pop:
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on March 10, 2014, 10:25:04
So you don't believe in nationalism or ideology.  How do you explain the crises and conflicts that have occurred throughout your entire life (assuming your profile age is correct)?

    :pop:

Interesting perspective on the part of Inky.   I have a feeling that the study of history, or even current events, are not his/her forte.  One doesn't have to look very far to see that nationalism is alive, even right here with our current Canadian predicament. 

I concur:

 :pop:
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 10, 2014, 10:34:52
I'm still trying to wrap my head around all this, but I'm sticking with this analysis:

     1. For Russia/Putin this is a vital strategic interest, worth all the risks he is taking and more; but

     2. For the US led West this is a regional, European, problem that, almost, rises to the level of crisis. Not 'worth' much.

Do you remember when (1990) Gen (Ret'd) John de Chastelain went on TV, back during the Oka crisis to explain to Canadians that, having been called out "in aid of the civil power," the CF could not lose? It wasn't an option. The CF was, is the last resort in that situation. It was/is the same for Putin/Russia. It is not for the US led West. Plus, this is not as black and white as some in the Western media make it appear. There is plenty of wrong to go around, on all sides and not a whole lot of right.


Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: YZT580 on March 10, 2014, 10:51:43
"For Russia/Putin this is a vital strategic interest, worth all the risks he is taking and more;" 

except he already had his Black Sea port.  There was no reason other than paranoia to believe that any change in Ukraine was going to affect that agreement.  Rather it is more likely he needed either a distraction for the Muscovites or with Obama and Cameron and Merkel at their respective helms he wants to see just how far he can go with rebuilding a Russian powerhouse.  So far, he has gotten away with everything he has attempted and at relatively little cost.  I see no reason for him to change tactics.  He will wait a little bit until the dust settles, whilst weathering the few months of token restrictions and then advance his line again in another direction.  He has slapped Obama in the face with Syria, Iran, and now the Crimea.  Why should he stop?   
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 10, 2014, 11:07:47
"For Russia/Putin this is a vital strategic interest, worth all the risks he is taking and more;" 

except he already had his Black Sea port.  There was no reason other than paranoia to believe that any change in Ukraine was going to affect that agreement.  Rather it is more likely he needed either a distraction for the Muscovites or with Obama and Cameron and Merkel at their respective helms he wants to see just how far he can go with rebuilding a Russian powerhouse.  So far, he has gotten away with everything he has attempted and at relatively little cost.  I see no reason for him to change tactics.  He will wait a little bit until the dust settles, whilst weathering the few months of token restrictions and then advance his line again in another direction.  He has slapped Obama in the face with Syria, Iran, and now the Crimea.  Why should he stop?   


That's certainly a fully acceptable analysis; I see nothing wrong with it. But, I think mine is at least as valid.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: GR66 on March 10, 2014, 11:43:21
"For Russia/Putin this is a vital strategic interest, worth all the risks he is taking and more;" 

except he already had his Black Sea port.  There was no reason other than paranoia to believe that any change in Ukraine was going to affect that agreement.  Rather it is more likely he needed either a distraction for the Muscovites or with Obama and Cameron and Merkel at their respective helms he wants to see just how far he can go with rebuilding a Russian powerhouse.  So far, he has gotten away with everything he has attempted and at relatively little cost.  I see no reason for him to change tactics.  He will wait a little bit until the dust settles, whilst weathering the few months of token restrictions and then advance his line again in another direction.  He has slapped Obama in the face with Syria, Iran, and now the Crimea.  Why should he stop?   

No reason other than paranoia?  The Russian lease of the base in Sevastopol expires in 2042.  Public opinion in the Ukraine is deeply split along ethnic lines.  A democratically elected government concluded an economic deal to strengthen economic ties with Russia.  A portion of the population wanted to break that deal and develop closer economic ties with Western Europe instead.  The elected government was toppled by a popular (in the Western part of the country) revolution and a pro-EU government put in its place.  The pro-Western Ukrainians have been very vocal in their anti-Russian feelings.  They certainly have the historical right to have strong anti-Russian feelings.  Who's to say in 28 years that the Ukrainians will renew the Russian lease to Sevastopol?  Especially if that 28 years (a whole generation) is spent strengthening ties with Western Europe and struggling with a restive, pro-Russian minority in the East?  Who's to say that in 28 years of pro-Western economic integration that Ukraine is not by then a member of the EU...or even NATO?  Is that a potential cause for concern for Russia?  Should they feel secure about the fate of their warm-water port at Sevastopol?

I'm with Mr. Campbell that Russia has more direct strategic interest in Crimea than we in the West do.  I'm certainly not pro-Putin and certainly don't think that the previous Ukrainian government met with our Western standards of democracy.  But the fact is that we DID recognize the legitimacy of that government at the time and that they DID have the legal authority to conclude economic deals with Russia. 

It may be easy for us to pick the side we "like" in this unfortunate conflict, but by picking that side we must be aware that we are clearly also siding AGAINST another significant portion of the population that has its own legitimate wishes and desires for the future which may not be the same as what "our" side wants.  There is much more Grey than the Black and White that the media (and participants) would like us to believe in this conflict. 
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 10, 2014, 12:14:47
I'm starting to sense that we are using "The West" too broadly.

I agree that Canada has less direct strategic interest in Crimea than does Russia.  Canada has less direct strategic interest anywhere than does anyone else on the planet.  (Part of The Problem with the CAF).

However the closer you get to Crimea the more of a problem you perceive.   It is certainly a major problem for our friends that border Russia and Belarus.

Those friends, for good or for ill, have been afforded the same mutual defence guarantees that they gave us and that we gave Britain,  West Germany and the rest of Western Europe (minus the Swiss, Swedes, Finns and French).

What is the point of entering into treaties if you are not going to honour them? (Sorry for the use of that old-fashioned word).

Here's an article from Condoleeza Rice (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/condoleezza-rice-will-america-heed-the-wake-up-call-of-ukraine/2014/03/07/cf087f74-a630-11e3-84d4-e59b1709222c_story.html) on the issue.

Push back is required.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: muskrat89 on March 11, 2014, 00:03:18
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/03/10/russians-enter-town-north-crimea-say-ukrainians/

Quote
KHERSON, UKRAINE –  Ukrainians in the Kherson province just north of Crimea say Russian operatives have moved into the territory, an incursion which, if true, could show Vladimir Putin has more than just the Black Sea peninsula in his sights.

Residents of the village of Chonhar, in the Kherson region of Ukraine, say Russian troops showed up last week in armored personnel carriers, prompting the dispatch of Ukrainian troops and a standoff.  The suspected Russian troops pulled back and established a checkpoint on a major road leading north from the Crimean capital of Simferopol.

This is interesting too, but I'm not familiar with Red Flag News - looks like an online version of a tabloid?

http://www.redflagnews.com/headlines/alert-30-russian-nuclear-bombers-amass-unusual-number-of-eams-being-broadcasted-to-us-naval-vessels-worldwide

Quote
(by Susan Duclos, BIN) --  According to Turner Radio Network, Russia has amassed 30 nuclear bombers at an airfield adjacent to Russia’s Borisoglebsk national level nuclear weapons storage facility and US satellites have seen “numerous transfers from the storage facility to the aircraft.”

Is this Russia’s way of visibly showing they will strike out with nuclear weapons if attacked? Are they preparing for a retaliatory attack or their own offensive attacks?

As of March 4, 2014, according to the satellite imagery, there were only two bombers parked at that airport and now there are 30, loaded up and ready to strike, as evidenced by Auxiliary Power Units (APU’s) attached.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Journeyman on March 11, 2014, 00:26:48
According to Turner Radio Network, Russia has amassed 30 nuclear bombers at an airfield adjacent to Russia’s Borisoglebsk national level nuclear weapons storage facility and US satellites have seen “numerous transfers from the storage facility to the aircraft.”
Sorry, but they show one picture of two "bombers" (which look potentially photoshopped), then claim that there's another picture with 30 bombers....with APUs.

Why not show the second photo?  Sorry, I want a bit more than "trust us, it's there" before hauling out the tac vest.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: muskrat89 on March 11, 2014, 00:43:35
Quote
Why not show the second photo?  Sorry, I want a bit more than "trust us, it's there" before hauling out the tac vest.



Thus my caveat:
Quote
looks like an online version of a tabloid?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: MilEME09 on March 11, 2014, 00:45:20
Sorry, but they show one picture of two "bombers" (which look potentially photoshopped), then claim that there's another picture with 30 bombers....with APUs.

Why not show the second photo?  Sorry, I want a bit more than "trust us, it's there" before hauling out the tac vest.

picture they did show is not shopped i verified via google earth. Then again looking at  Turner Radio Network's site it doesnt look that reliable


EDIT:

Ukraine in near state of war, foreign minister says

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2014/03/10/ukraine_in_near_state_of_war_foreign_minister_says.html

Quote
KYIV, UKRAINE—Ukraine’s foreign minister said Monday that his country was practically in a state of war with Russia, as Moscow further ratcheted up pressure on Kyiv, claiming that Russian-leaning eastern regions have plunged into lawlessness.

Russian forces have effectively taken control of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in what has turned into Europe’s greatest geopolitical crisis since the end of the Cold War. On Sunday the region is to hold a referendum on whether to split off and become part of Russia, which the West says it will not recognize.

“We have to admit that our life now is almost like . . . a war,” Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsya said before meeting his counterparts from Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. “We have to cope with an aggression that we do not understand.”

Deshchytsya said Ukraine is counting on help from the West. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington on Wednesday.

On Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said lawlessness “now rules in eastern regions of Ukraine as a result of the actions of fighters of the so-called ‘Right Sector,’ with the full connivance” of Ukraine’s new authorities.

Right Sector is a grouping of several far-right and nationalist factions whose activists were among the most radical and confrontational of the three-month-long demonstrations in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, which eventually ousted President Viktor Yanukovych.

The Kremlin statement also claimed Russian citizens trying to enter Ukraine have been turned back at the border by Ukrainian officials.

Pro-Russia sentiment is high in Ukraine’s east and there are fears Russia could seek to incorporate that area as well.

Obama has warned that the referendum in Crimea would violate international law. But on Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin made it clear that he supports the vote, in phone calls with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Minister David Cameron.

“The steps taken by the legitimate leadership of Crimea are based on the norms of international law and aim to ensure the legal interests of the population of the peninsula,” said Putin, according to the Kremlin.

On Monday, Putin was briefed by Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, on the contents of a document Lavrov received from Secretary of State John Kerry explaining the U.S. view of the situation in Ukraine.

That document contains “a concept which does not quite agree with us because everything was stated in terms of allegedly having a conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and in terms of accepting the fait accompli,” Lavrov said. The Kremlin contends Yanukovych was ousted by a coup.

In Washington, the State Department said it was still waiting to hear from Moscow whether it would accept a U.S. proposal for negotiating an end to Ukraine crisis.

A statement released Monday said Kerry, in weekend discussions with Lavrov, reiterated Washington’s demand that Moscow pull back its troops from Ukraine and end attempts to annex the Crimean peninsula. Kerry also called on Russia to cease what the statement described as “provocative steps” to allow diplomatic talks to continue.

Meanwhile, Obama spoke by telephone with Chinese President Xi Jinping late Sunday, trying to court China’s support for efforts to isolate Russia over its military intervention in Ukraine.

Obama appealed to Beijing’s vehement opposition to outside intervention in other nations’ domestic affairs, according to a White House statement.

China has been studiously neutral since Ukraine crisis began and it remained unclear whether China would side with the U.S. and Europe or with Moscow.

The UN Security Council, meanwhile, met on Ukraine for the fifth time in 10 days to hear closed-door briefings from UN political chief Jeffrey Feltman and Ukraine’s UN ambassador, Yuriy Sergeyev. The council has been unable to take any action because Russia has veto power.

France’s UN ambassador, Gerard Araud, said the goal was to “send a message to the Russians . . . ‘No referendum, you have to respect the Ukrainian constitution and negotiate.’”

Lara Jakes, Matthew Lee and Julie Pace in Washington, and Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations contributed to this report.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 11, 2014, 07:07:49
Quote from: MilEME09 link=topic=111881.msg1295905#msg1295905 date=1394509520[b
Ukraine in near state of war, foreign minister says[/b]

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2014/03/10/ukraine_in_near_state_of_war_foreign_minister_says.html
Meanwhile, the other side says it's close to war, alright, but a civil one - this, via Russian media (http://en.itar-tass.com/russia/722915), from the guy popping up from cover these days ....
Quote
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has accused the new Ukrainian authorities of attempt to unleash civil war. He said this at his news conference in Russia's Rostov-on-Don.

He added that he remained the legitimate president of Ukraine and Supreme Commander-in-Chief. "I would like to remind that I remain the only legitimate president of Ukraine, as well as Supreme Commander-in-Chief. I didn't terminate my authority ahead of time, I'm alive, I wasn't dismissed from office according to a procedure stipulated by Ukraine's Constitution."

"The US and several other countries say that I allegedly lost legitimacy because I fled from the country," Yanukovych recalled. "I repeat: I have not fled anywhere. When the radicals were seizing governmental facilities and the presidential administration, when the anti-constitutional seizure of power took place with the use of arms, I was, as it is known, in Ukraine." ....
Meanwhile, a few hardware pix from an NYT reporter who's written a book about guns (http://www.amazon.ca/Gun-C-J-Chivers/dp/0743271734/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394532408&sr=8-1&keywords=the+gun+chivers) .....

"Russian Tigr-M mobile electronic warfare vehicle roaming western #Crimea today ...." (https://twitter.com/cjchivers/status/443178110213951488)
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BiZ8JJ8IAAAXnFI.jpg)

"Fuller view of weps carried by "self-defense forces"/#Crimea. Suppressed AKM-S, @ L, possible silenced 9mm VSS, @ R" (https://twitter.com/cjchivers/status/442801256609091584)
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BiUlZYtIIAAH7T_.jpg)

"Russian soldier (officially local self-defense patriot w/o state support) happens to have silenced AK ...." (https://twitter.com/cjchivers/status/442786583352475648)
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BiUYDSgIIAAkc2X.jpg)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: George Wallace on March 11, 2014, 10:32:44
picture they did show is not shopped i verified via google earth.

You do realize that Google Earth images are not "taken yesterday", but could be several years old, don't you?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: CombatMacgyver on March 11, 2014, 10:45:32
You do realize that Google Earth images are not "taken yesterday", but could be several years old, don't you?

Agreed, that image is actually timestamped 2006.

There's another picture of the Tu-22M's at the link below.  No way to tell where the image really came from though; it's probably just another google earth pull from another Russian AFB

http://beforeitsnews.com/war-and-conflict/2014/03/30-russian-nuclear-bombers-amass-who-is-russia-preparing-to-bomb-2450908.html (http://beforeitsnews.com/war-and-conflict/2014/03/30-russian-nuclear-bombers-amass-who-is-russia-preparing-to-bomb-2450908.html)

edit:  typo
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 11, 2014, 13:17:13
And the Crimean independence referendum page is up (http://referendum2014.ru/ (http://bit.ly/1cudbmc) (Russian) - Google English translation (http://bit.ly/1lvbdSA)), counting down to 16 March (http://bit.ly/N3OS2d), with some support from a referendum Twitter feed (http://bit.ly/1kf09cj) (in Russian).
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Robert0288 on March 11, 2014, 14:20:46
I see the Crimean self defense force has a pretty large budget already to have a couple of these guys rolling around.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BiZ8JJ8IAAAXnFI.jpg)

https://twitter.com/cjchivers/status/443178110213951488/photo/1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWFteWseDa8#t=64
http://www.armyrecognition.com/russia_russian_army_wheeled_armoured_vehicle_uk/tigr-m_mktk_re_pp_leer-2_vpk-233114_mobile_electronic_warfare_system_ew_vehicle_technical_data_sheet.html
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Bird_Gunner45 on March 11, 2014, 18:58:18

I agree that Canada has less direct strategic interest in Crimea than does Russia.  Canada has less direct strategic interest anywhere than does anyone else on the planet.  (Part of The Problem with the CAF).


why is this a problem for the CAF? The CAF is here to protect Canada not Ukraine.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: MilEME09 on March 11, 2014, 19:01:51
why is this a problem for the CAF? The CAF is here to protect Canada not Ukraine.

implying we have the ability to even do that these days, and really its not about protecting Ukraine it self its more upholding the norm you dont invade a country and annex its territory and get away scot free
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Bird_Gunner45 on March 11, 2014, 19:17:14
implying we have the ability to even do that these days, and really its not about protecting Ukraine it self its more upholding the norm you dont invade a country and annex its territory and get away scot free

Canada is not an international policeman and has no strategic interest in Ukraine.  We also dont know the facts, and at least from the outside the majority of people in Crimea are pro-Russian and want to be annexed. Will the referendum be completely honest? Not likely.

Further, the US has invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention Grenada and Panama. Further, they have bombed targets in neutral nations such as Pakistan and, in the more distant past, Cambodia and Laos, unilaterally. France invaded Mali.  The US and France did these things because they were deemed to be in the national interest. Russia deems its strategic interests to be in the Crimea to, at least outwardly, defend Russians from a Ukrainian government they dont see as legitimate. Western moralism aside, why is Russia any less able to "invade" a country to secure it's national interests than a western nation? I doubt, if this were the US, anyone in Canada would be crying for a military intervention.

T
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Hisoyaki on March 11, 2014, 20:25:15
Western moralism aside, why is Russia any less able to "invade" a country to secure it's national interests than a western nation?

T

Because your country is part of the West and Russia is supporting amongst other things the regimes in Iran and Syria?

There`s quite a difference in motivation behind Western and Russian intervention.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 11, 2014, 21:09:45
Meanwhile, some of those Crimean Tatars are making interesting noises (http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=newssearch&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCwQqQIoADAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ft.com%2Fcms%2Fs%2F0%2F17bd814e-a7ab-11e3-9c7d-00144feab7de.html&ei=UKQfU_KnK6mv2QWBroDYAw&usg=AFQjCNG-kW6feWxrf6CI_ScNX9ceLgH1_Q&bvm=bv.62788935,d.b2I) ....
Quote
"Russia risks a repeat of its bloody entanglements in Chechnya if it annexes Crimea, a senior Crimean Tatar leader has warned, with extremist elements in the community threatening jihadi-style violence against Russian troops occupying the peninsula. 

Mustafa Jemilev, a member of the Ukrainian parliament, said a number of militant Tatars had approached him to say they would fight the Russians. 

“We have Islamists, Wahhabis, Salafis ... groups who have fought [with the opposition] in Syria,” he said in an interview in Simferopol, the Crimean capital. “They say: ‘an enemy has entered our land and we are ready’. 

“We can’t stop people who want to die with honour,” he said, making he clear he did not endorse a jihadist campaign ...."

No worries, though - in spite of the sortid history of the Tatars in the area (http://www.heraldonline.com/2014/03/07/5749723/crimean-tatars-history-of-oppression.html), the "Crimean parliament" and Russian media says they'll be juuuuuust fine (http://rt.com/news/crimea-tatar-rights-guarantee-122/) ....
Quote
A resolution passed by the Crimean parliament guarantees proportional representation in the republic’s legislative and executive bodies for the Crimean Tatar ethnic minority and grants their language official status, among other things.

The resolution provides for constitutional reform that would amend several key provisions of Crimea’s basic law. Under the amended constitution, the Crimean Tatar language would be granted official status, on a par with Russian and Ukrainian in Crimea.

It stipulates proportional representation in future parliaments and provides for at least 20 percent of seats in the republic’s executive for Crimean Tatars. They would have guaranteed representation in the lower levels of government as well.

The parliament also wants to recognize as official the self-governance bodies of the Crimean Tatars, starting with the Kurultai, a general assembly of the Tatars ....

Meanwhile, Russian paras are limbering up via (an alleged) CPX - involving a drop of 3,500 troops (Russian (http://bit.ly/1dO3SvI) - Google English (http://bit.ly/1lTVJKU)):
Quote
Today began a four-day divisional command post exercise with a compound of the Airborne Troops (VDV), stationed in Ivanovo.

Divisions and units alerted and moved to areas of concentration. Staffs started working out the planning activities and organization of command and control during conditional counter-terrorist operation.

The exercise for the first time in more than a 20-year period will be held dropping about 3.5 thousand paratroopers. Venues amphibious operations command compound was obtained during the exercise.

Airborne Troops Commander Colonel General Vladimir Shamanov when setting targets for teaching have "units in the areas of concentration to be ready for operational use in different latitudes and conditions with equal efficiency. Commanders and staffs in the course of clarifying the tasks and giving instructions to use modern automated facilities management and communication. " ....
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: MCG on March 12, 2014, 01:58:50
I see several pictures in the media of new Crimean defence militias being sworn-in while wearing what appear to be old Russian uniforms.  It looks like the "not Russian" soldiers are recruiting, equipping and training the "self-defence force" that they claim to be.  I can see these new militias being pushed to the front whenever it is decided violence will occur, and the Russians will be able to say "see, not us" having effectively armed the civil war.

... or maybe I am reading too much between lines.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: MilEME09 on March 12, 2014, 02:24:11
In Related news, CTV was reporting tonight on its national news that the current Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk will officially ask for Western Military intervention in the coming days. Poland at the same time is asking NATO, more so the United States for more troops to be brought in to beef up its own security
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Robert0288 on March 12, 2014, 08:03:29
Sorry for double posting the EW thing earlier, should have caught that.  So I instead I present you with this.

Quote
Kiev will not use army to stop Crimea seceding, says Ukraine president
12 March 2014 08.29 GMT
Source: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/12/kiev-army-crimea-ukraine-acting-president

Ukraine's acting president has said the country will not use its army to stop Crimea from seceding, in the latest indication that a Russian annexation of the peninsula may be imminent.
The interim leader said intervening on the south-eastern Black Sea peninsula, where Kremlin-backed forces have seized control, would leave Ukraine exposed on its eastern border, where he said Russia has massed "significant tank units".
"We cannot launch a military operation in Crimea, as we would expose the eastern border and Ukraine would not be protected," Oleksandr Turchynov told Agence France-Presse.
"They're provoking us to have a pretext to intervene on the Ukrainian mainland … [but] we cannot follow the scenario written by the Kremlin."............
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: FAL on March 12, 2014, 08:31:02
I am wondering if the Ukraine gets bolstered by a sufficient commitment by the West militarily, will it prevent a war by dint of show of strength?

I also wonder how many "armed men" of "unknown origin" are holding the Ukrainian military in its bases.

I find it hard to imagine that Moscow would start shooting at NATO troops in the Ukraine. Especially if the Ukraine gov't had asked for their assistance. So many questions. Questions many have, I think.

But, the politicos have it as their job to deal with this stuff. But it makes me think of Hitler's orders to the German troops marching (not marching per se, as that could bring the bridge down, but walking) over a bridge to enter the Rhineland pre-WWII. In Rise and Fall of the Third Reich it's pointed out that when the Germans moved into the Rhineland, they had orders to fall back if they met any resistance.

Will we fail to provide ANY resistance again when just SOME resolve would be all that was needed? Again, just something I'm wondering about.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 12, 2014, 08:43:16
Kiev will not use army to stop Crimea seceding, says Ukraine president
12 March 2014 08.29 GMT
Source: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/12/kiev-army-crimea-ukraine-acting-president

Meanwhile, Ukraine proposes forming militia/national guard (http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2014/03/11/Ukrainian-president-announces-creation-of-national-guard-mobilization-of-armed-forces/4641394545650/) ....
Quote
Acting Ukrainian President and Verkhovna Rada Chairman Oleksandr Turchynov announced Tuesday that a national guard is being created to mobilize, along with the armed forces, "to protect the country and citizens."

Turchynov made the declaration during a parliamentary session on Tuesday in Kiev.

"It's necessary to create the National Guard on the basis of the Ukrainian Troops, whose purpose will be to protect the country and citizens against all criminals, external and internal aggression. It's necessary to announce partial mobilization into the National Guard and the Armed Forces of Ukraine." ....

Also, "the usual suspects" line up to share their "the West can ever do any good" takes:
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 12, 2014, 08:46:50
I am wondering if the Ukraine gets bolstered by a sufficient commitment by the West militarily, will it prevent a war by dint of show of strength?

I also wonder how many "armed men" of "unknown origin" are holding the Ukrainian military in its bases.

I find it hard to imagine that Moscow would start shooting at NATO troops in the Ukraine. Especially if the Ukraine gov't had asked for their assistance. So many questions. Questions many have, I think.

But, the politicos have it as their job to deal with this stuff. But it makes me think of Hitler's orders to the German troops marching (not marching per se, as that could bring the bridge down, but walking) over a bridge to enter the Rhineland pre-WWII. In Rise and Fall of the Third Reich it's pointed out that when the Germans moved into the Rhineland, they had orders to fall back if they met any resistance.

Will we fail to provide ANY resistance again when just SOME resolve would be all that was needed? Again, just something I'm wondering about.


"West," etc are loaded terms.

I do not endorse this map but it illustrates the a problem: who is who?

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c9/Eurasia_and_eurasianism.png)

It is often said that we need to see 'Europe' as a fairly small peninsula (plus a few islands) jutting out into the Atlantic from the Eurasian landmass.

(http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/images/globe/snapshot/europeorbit.jpg)

Some political scientists define an "Atlantic Europe" subset consisting of only those nations that have Atlantic (and Baltic) coastlines ~ not Italy, not Greece, not, certainly any of the Balkan, Slavic or 'Near East' states. I'm not advocating that view but nor do I agree that 'Western Europe' includes e.g. Ukraine.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 12, 2014, 10:47:10
Next:  a G7 (via the EU) nasty-gram (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=709458072432157) ....
Quote
We, the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, call on the Russian Federation to cease all efforts to change the status of Crimea contrary to Ukrainian law and in violation of international law. We call on the Russian Federation ...to immediately halt actions supporting a referendum on the territory of Crimea regarding its status, in direct violation of the Constitution of Ukraine.

Any such referendum would have no legal effect. Given the lack of adequate preparation and the intimidating presence of Russian troops, it would also be a deeply flawed process which would have no moral force. For all these reasons, we would not recognize the outcome.

Russian annexation of Crimea would be a clear violation of the United Nations Charter; Russia’s commitments under the Helsinki Final Act; its obligations to Ukraine under its 1997 Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership; the Russia-Ukraine 1997 basing agreement; and its commitments in the Budapest Memorandum of 1994. In addition to its impact on the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, the annexation of Crimea could have grave implications for the legal order that protects the unity and sovereignty of all states. Should the Russian Federation take such a step, we will take further action, individually and collectively.

We call on the Russian Federation to de-escalate the conflict in Crimea and other parts of Ukraine immediately, withdraw its forces back to their pre-crisis numbers and garrisons, begin direct discussions with the Government of Ukraine, and avail itself of international mediation and observation offers to address any legitimate concerns it may have. We, the leaders of the G-7, urge Russia to join us in working together through diplomatic processes to resolve the current crisis and support progress for a sovereign independent, inclusive and united Ukraine. We also remind the Russian Federation of our decision to suspend participation in any activities related to preparation of a G-8 Sochi meeting until it changes course and the environment comes back to where the G-8 is able to have a meaningful discussion.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Journeyman on March 12, 2014, 11:06:20
 ::)   More repeated responses for those who post, but don't/can't read:

In Related news, CTV was reporting tonight on its national news that the current Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk will officially ask for Western Military intervention in the coming days.
The only three countries that are obligated, by treaty, to intervene are Britain, Russia (awkward), and the US.

Poland at the same time is asking NATO, more so the United States for more troops to be brought in to beef up its own security
Poland can ask, under NATO's Article 4, for consultations only.  In the absence of a single Russian soldier crossing the Polish border, Article 5's "common defence" clause is irrelevant.

I am wondering if the Ukraine gets bolstered by a sufficient commitment by the West militarily, will it prevent a war by dint of show of strength?
We have no strategic interest that would cause us to "bolster" them militarily. Sending in troops with any mission other than to close with and destroy is foolish and will most likely lead to a general war. 

Are you personally planning on being there as #2 rifleman?  Didn't think so; but then, strategic glibness is easier that way.



Next:  a G7 (via the EU) nasty-gram ....
Finally, the west has 'acted.'  That should turn things around.
     :pop:
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 12, 2014, 11:40:25
......Ah Skip it.

I was going to chase round the mulberry bush one more time but there isn't any point.

Cheers lads.

Back to your popcorn.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 12, 2014, 11:56:09
Finally, the west has 'acted.'  That should turn things around.
     :pop:
More like  :crickets:
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: MCG on March 12, 2014, 12:34:19
The only three countries that are obligated, by treaty, to intervene are Britain, Russia (awkward), and the US.
What treaty (treaties) oblige UK and US?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on March 12, 2014, 12:38:48
The Budapest Memorandum may be the document in question:


From here (http://www.rferl.org/content/ukraine-explainer-budapest-memorandum/25280502.html):

Quote
It is not a formal treaty, but rather, a diplomatic document under which signatories made promises to each other as part of the denuclearization of former Soviet republics after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Under the memorandum, Ukraine promised to remove all Soviet-era nuclear weapons from its territory, send them to disarmament facilities in Russia, and sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Ukraine kept these promises.

In return, Russia and the Western signatory countries essentially consecrated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine as an independent state. They did so by applying the principles of territorial integrity and nonintervention in 1975 Helsinki Final Act -- a Cold War-era treaty signed by 35 states including the Soviet Union -- to an independent post-Soviet Ukraine.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Infantryman2b on March 12, 2014, 13:17:46
Lets hope Ukraine isn't the next Sarajevo. Funny how its exactly 100 years ago. Let Russia take the Crimea, the people are pro-Russian. America thinks there the only country with the right to intervene in other countries.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Baden Guy on March 12, 2014, 13:24:30
Very informative discussion on "What’s Russia’s ambition in Eastern Europe?"
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/whats-russias-ambition-in-eastern-europe/

The former USSR liked having countries  buffering it from NATO and I can't see Putin giving up on losing influence over Ukraine.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Journeyman on March 12, 2014, 14:00:22
What treaty (treaties) oblige UK and US?
Quote
The Budapest Memorandum
Although "treaty" may not be the correct term.

In exchange for Ukraine joining the Non-Proliferation Treaty and shipping its nuclear arsenal to Russia, the signatories provided several security guarantees, viz.:
1. Respect Ukrainian independence and sovereignty within its existing borders.
2. Refrain from the threat or use of force against Ukraine.
3. Refrain from using economic pressure on Ukraine in order to influence its politics.
4. Seek United Nations Security Council action if nuclear weapons are used against Ukraine.
5. Refrain from the use of nuclear arms against Ukraine.

For those who are adamant that we bring our massive combat power to bear, Canada is NOT a signatory  -- nor is any NATO country except US/UK  


(Not you MCG; you merely asked a question)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 12, 2014, 15:32:00
It is not that we have any massive combat power to contribute....(separate debate).

It is the fact that nobody is willing to contribute - separately or jointly.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 12, 2014, 16:05:12
It is not that we have any massive combat power to contribute....(separate debate).

It is the fact that nobody is willing to contribute - separately or jointly.


And the (good) reason that nobody, except Russia, is willing to 'contribute' any military power is that nobody, except Russia, has a vital strategic interest in the region.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 12, 2014, 16:47:44
More AFV recognition pRon ....

Some (unconfirmed) reports of Russian vehicles (lookin' like BMDs?) on the move around Belgorod (http://bit.ly/1dRwdBo) near the Russian border (YouTube video here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsUmkH_LwiE)) ....
(http://www.interpretermag.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Bih6F00CAAEu7cO.jpg)
(http://www.interpretermag.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/BijCs5FCAAEFXI8.jpg)
.... remembering the Russian airborne forces' "command post" exercise under way (Russian (http://bit.ly/1dO3SvI) - Google English (http://bit.ly/1lTVJKU)) some ways away in/around Ivanovo (http://bit.ly/1lBeeAS).  Linked?  Maybe, maybe not ....
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on March 12, 2014, 20:55:10
Any casual student of WW2 History will recognise Belgorod as being near Kursk, sight of a massive battle in 1943.

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 12, 2014, 21:08:10
More AFV recognition pRon ....

Some (unconfirmed) reports of Russian vehicles (lookin' like BMDs?) on the move around Belgorod (http://bit.ly/1dRwdBo) near the Russian border (YouTube video here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsUmkH_LwiE)) ....
(http://www.interpretermag.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Bih6F00CAAEu7cO.jpg)
(http://www.interpretermag.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/BijCs5FCAAEFXI8.jpg)
.... remembering the Russian airborne forces' "command post" exercise under way (Russian (http://bit.ly/1dO3SvI) - Google English (http://bit.ly/1lTVJKU)) some ways away in/around Ivanovo (http://bit.ly/1lBeeAS).  Linked?  Maybe, maybe not ....

Russia's defence minister:  nothing to see here, folks - this (http://bit.ly/O3LWUy), in Google English (http://bit.ly/1gr6tsI) - highlights mine:
Quote
The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation drew attention to the statement by Mr. I. Tenyukh on March 11, in which he noted that "the Russian Armed Forces conduct exercises near the eastern borders of Ukraine and Crimea." According to him, allegedly established group of Russian troops numbering 220 thousand, 1.8 thousand tanks, more than 400 helicopters.

In this connection we would like to note the following. Today is unlikely to continue to escalate the situation in Russian-Ukrainian relations. Looks like Mr. Tenyukh exactly this does. Solved with the goals and objectives outlined himself he openly calling parliamentary deputies to urgently provide the armed forces of Ukraine "with the necessary resources and means."

We think that as a professional soldier, Mr. Tenyukh well aware that in the Western and Central Military Districts on March 3 completed the active phase of a sudden inspection of troops (forces) and March 7 all military units returned to their places of permanent deployment.

Obviously, and figures describing "the Russian military forces" on the borders of Ukraine, they also announced to "impress" nervous some parliamentarians and "broad international community."

At the same time Ukrainian Defense Ministry is well known that the Russian Southern and Western military districts together account for not named Mr. Tenyukh number of tanks and helicopter gunships. A number of personnel, "stationed in the border zone with Ukraine," in all probability, calculated based on military families.

By the way, March 11 Ukrainian side approached us with a request to hold a so-called emergency observation flight over the territory of the Russian Federation.

Such a mission is requested for the first time in the framework of the Open Skies Treaty since its signing in 1992 and although we have no obligation to receive Ukrainian aircraft no, we took the decision to allow the observation group to carry out such a mission.

We hope that our neighbors will be convinced that there is no military activities that threaten the security of Ukraine, the Russian Armed Forces on its boundary are not.

At the same time would like to note that attempting to conduct large-scale exercises themselves Ukrainian armed forces on the eastern and southern Ukraine, near the areas in which are mass protests against the coup, very risky, could lead to further reinforced the political situation in Ukraine.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 13, 2014, 08:25:44
Russia's defence minister:  nothing to see here, folks - this (http://bit.ly/O3LWUy), in Google English (http://bit.ly/1gr6tsI) - highlights mine:
Meanwhile, more details from Russian media (http://en.itar-tass.com/russia/723278) (also attached if link doesn't work):
Quote
In accordance with the combat training plan, military units and detachments of the Russian army are building up the intensity of field exercise at ranges in Rostov, Belgorod, Kursk and Tambov Regions. The Defense Ministry’s press service said this on Thursday. The main goal of the exercise is to comprehensively check the units’ cohesiveness with further fulfillment of combat training mission on unfamiliar territory and untested ranges.

The field ingresses are carried out in two stages. During the first stage, “commanders and contingent of infantry, artillery and tank detachments gained experience during route marches from permanent dispositions in a combined method: afoot, by train and by air transport to final march objectives with further deployment afield. They followed up issues of cooperation with representatives of Russian Railways (RZD) and of uploading equipment on flat wagons”.

This stage of exercise also features a “set of practical trainings, when servicemen within their units have worked the standards of driving military and special equipment on unfamiliar territory, route reconnaissance, engineer reconnaissance, fortification of positions and special tactical training. In the planned activities, special focus is placed on stealth of movement and camouflage security in staging areas.”

At present, the units’ commanders “are training the methods of staging different types of combat, detachment control and control of fire when fulfilling the combat training missions, learning to act unconventionally, fooling the enemy and achieving unexpectedness. During the training, a complex, combat type tactical environment with imitation of actions of the imaginary enemy is created.”

On the last stage of the combat training, the servicemen “at the ranges will master a set of practical exercises aimed at combat cohesiveness of units, with firearms training and battle firing, and the commanders will also check their ability to control artillery fire”.

The field training will continue until late March.
Note the caption on this photo ....
(http://videocdn.itar-tass.com/tass/m2/en/uploads/i/20140312/963517.jpg)
"Ukraine army placed in maximum operational readiness"
Never knew Russia had a "Ukraine army" ....

Meanwhile, included in the latest U.S. package to help Ukraine (http://1.usa.gov/1qyYLFc) ....
Quote
(....)

Immediate Assistance

(....) Department of Defense (DoD) personnel will organize a Humanitarian Assistance Planning Conference with the Ukrainian Armed Forces. DoD will provide Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) to the Ukrainian Armed Forces ....
Apart from the humanitarian implications of sharing MRE's with the Ukrainians, this Twitter weisenheimer (https://twitter.com/russiannavyblog/status/444058804431253505) seems to have summed it up well:
Quote
We are sending MREs to Ukraine to stave off a Soviet invasion. I hope not the pizza or 4 fingers of death.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: CombatMacgyver on March 13, 2014, 10:26:55
Send them the "Omelette in Mushroom Sauce" IMP.  That'll stop the war right there.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Hamish Seggie on March 13, 2014, 10:35:48
Send them the "Omelette in Mushroom Sauce" IMP.  That'll stop the war right there.

Ham n Egg omelette aka Lung in a Bag.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: MilEME09 on March 13, 2014, 14:55:20
Ham n Egg omelette aka Lung in a Bag.

Maybe they can call for peace by trading enough Tabasco?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on March 14, 2014, 13:05:46
Another exercise or a Georgia-style campaign in the making?

National Post (http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/03/14/prepare-for-war-at-any-moment-ukrainian-president-warns-after-putin-sends-8500-soldiers-270-tanks-to-border/)

Quote

Prepare for war ‘at any moment,’ Ukrainian president warns after Putin sends 8,500 soldiers, 270 tanks to border

Ukraine must be ready for a full-scale Russian invasion “at any moment,” the country’s acting president warned Thursday, as officials announced the emergency call-up of a 60,000-strong national guard force.

Oleksander Turchynov said Moscow was “ready” to go much further than the annexation of the Black Sea territory of Crimea, which is expected to vote to secede from Ukraine in a referendum on Sunday.

Only clear international pressure could halt slow the momentum of the Kremlin, he said. “All of civilized humanity supports our country,” said Mr. Turchynov. “I am sure that this united effort in the international arena, bringing together all democratic countries, can still allow us to halt this aggression.”

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 14, 2014, 13:16:20
This is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Financial Times:

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/ccca2080-ab6e-11e3-8cae-00144feab7de.html?siteedition=intl
Quote
(https://www.clsbe.lisboa.ucp.pt/resources/Images/NOTICIAS/LOGO_FT_extensoPreto.jpg)
Russia sounds alarm over eastern Ukraine

By Neil Buckley in London, Roman Olearchyk in Kiev and Andrew Byrne in Brussels

March 14, 2014

Russia warned on Friday it was prepared to intervene in eastern Ukraine after clashes in which at least one person died, as US secretary of state John Kerry and Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov began crisis talks in London.

The talks and Moscow’s warning came as Russia continued to intensify a military build-up around Ukraine’s eastern borders. Russia’s defence ministry said on Thursday it was conducting training exercises involving thousands of troops in western Russian regions close to Ukraine.

They also came as Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula of Crimea prepares to hold a referendum on Sunday on whether to reunite with Russia, which the EU and the US have described as illegal.
In a strongly worded statement, Russia’s foreign ministry said clashes late on Thursday between pro-Russian and pro-Kiev demonstrators in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk showed the “leadership in Kiev does not control the situation in the country”.

At least one pro-Kiev demonstrator was stabbed to death, with dozens of other people injured.

“Russia is conscious of its responsibility for the lives of compatriots and citizens in Ukraine and reserves the right to take these people under its protection,” it added.

Moscow accused “rightwing radicals” of sparking the violence in Donetsk – a claim contradicted by several witness and internet video accounts. One local witness suggested the violence had been orchestrated by
“Russian tourists” bussed in to Donetsk from Russia.

Donetsk-based Rinat Akhmetov, the richest of Ukraine’s billionaire oligarchs, on Friday called for calm.

“No politics can justify victims, and what happened is unacceptable,” he said. “We must act unemotionally, We must be prudent and tolerant to each other. We must respect different views. We should stop sorting out relationships in the streets and squares as it can take lives and bring suffering.”

Moscow used a similar pretext of the need to protect Russian citizens in Crimea for handing president Vladimir Putin authority on March 1 to deploy the Russian military in Ukraine.

Russia says it has not yet done so – though senior western military officials say they have identified well-armed soldiers who have taken control of Crimea as Russian soldiers.

In London, Mr Kerry was set to call on Russia’s Mr Lavrov to halt Sunday’s planned referendum and return Russian troops to their bases. The US and EU are preparing to impose sanctions on Russia on Monday if the referendum goes ahead.

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany on Thursday warned Russia could face “massive” political and economic harm if it continued with its current policies in Ukraine.

Meeting Mr Kerry in Downing Street ahead of his talks with Mr Lavrov, Britain’s prime minister David Cameron said “we want to see progress as much as you do”.

“We want to see Ukrainians and the Russians talking to each other. And if they don’t then there are going to have to be consequences,” Mr Cameron said.

Mr Kerry responded: “We’re all hoping that we don’t get pushed into a place where we have to do all this. But we’ll see what happens.”

Analysts say the Crimean referendum seems certain to go ahead. But the US secretary of state told a Senate panel on Thursday he would urge Russia to accept “something short of a full annexation” of the peninsula.

In Brussels, EU diplomats on Friday began what were expected to be all-day negotiations over the list of Crimean and Russian officials that EU foreign ministers could target for visa bans and asset freezes when they meet in Brussels on Monday.

Diplomats said divisions remained over whether to focus solely on officials on the ground in Crimea or to include Russian officials in Moscow.

“What you are talking about is a Russian list but I am talking about a list of individuals who are infringing the sovereignty of Ukraine,” said one senior EU official.

At a guess, nothing more, the Russian/Putin appreciation of this situation is that the US led West is unable/unwilling to counter Russia's aggression and it can continue for bit more.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 14, 2014, 14:01:51
Worthwhile read from PBS (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/foreign-affairs-defense/inside-ukraines-propaganda-war/) on how the info-war is unfolding - some excerpts:
Quote
(....)

Ten days ago, Russia’s Channel 1 reported that 140,000 refugees were forced to flee to Russia. They illustrated the story with footage of cars crossing out of Ukraine — but they showed old images of cars crossing into Poland from Ukraine’s western borders. The story has been repeated across Russian media, but no one has produced images of the hordes of refugees.

(....)

I visited a Ukrainian military base in the Crimean town of Bakhchysarai, where commandoes with machine guns patrolled, supplemented by locals who had formed their own paramilitary groups. Across the road, hundreds of women and children from the ethnic Tatar minority were chanting “Crimea is Ukraine”, asking the Russian soldiers to go home and allow the Ukrainian soldiers inside the base to go free.

Realizing the terrible PR impact of armed men in balaclavas facing off with women and children, pro-Russian volunteers got on their walkie-talkies. Within half an hour, a bus full of pro-Russian women arrived to counter the Tatar demonstration. One of these women told me, “There’s a lot of misinformation and a lot of lies being written. We have peace, thanks to the Russians who are protecting us against this fascism. In Ukraine, there is turmoil. We want peace, just like them. It’s a good thing that there IS a Russia. That is our defense, and they are protecting us and maintaining our order and protection against terrorists and radicals in Crimea. We are glad that we are being protected by the Russian soldiers.”

A particularly ebullient man with an enormous Russian flag told me, “Those people across the street, the protesters, they’re simply provocateurs who came here proclaiming glory to Ukraine…. to us, their chants are no better than them saying ‘Heil Hitler.’”

(....)

Meanwhile, a bit on the "damned if you do, damned if you don't" referendum ballot (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/12/crimea-vote-join-russia-ballot-no-option_n_4947557.html)....
Quote
Sunday's vote in Ukraine's Crimea is being officially billed as a chance for the peninsula's peoples to decide fairly and freely their future - but in fact there is no room on the ballot paper for voting "Nyet" to control by Russia.

The Crimean voter will have the right to choose only one of two options in the March 16 referendum which the region's pro-Russian leadership, protected by Russian forces, announced earlier this month.

According to a format of the ballot paper, published on the parliament's website, the first question will ask: "Are you in favour of the reunification of Crimea with Russia as a part of the Russian Federation?"

The second asks: "Are you in favour of restoring the 1992 Constitution and the status of Crimea as a part of Ukraine?"

At first glance, the second option seems to offer the prospects of the peninsula remaining within Ukraine .... This foresees giving Crimea all the qualities of an independent entity within Ukraine - but with the broad right to determine its own path and choose relations with whom it wants - including Russia ....
How do you say "sovereignty association" in Russian?  ;)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 14, 2014, 18:41:13
PM to drop by next weekend while in the neighbourhood (http://www.pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2014/03/14/prime-minister-stephen-harper-travel-ukraine) ....
Quote
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that he will travel to Ukraine to meet with the interim Government of Ukraine to discuss the evolving situation there and how Canada can, along with its allies, continue to provide support. The Prime Minister will be in Kyiv on March 22 to meet with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Prime Minister Harper is the first G-7 leader to announce plans to travel to Ukraine since the beginning of this crisis ....
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Robert0288 on March 14, 2014, 19:00:02
Quote
At Least 2 Dead as Eastern Ukrainian City Explodes in Violence
Source: http://mashable.com/2014/03/14/ukraine-donetsk-two-dead/

KIEV, Ukraine — At least two pro-Ukraine protesters participating in an anti-war demonstration were killed and more than a dozen others injured late on Thursday after their group was violently attacked by men from an opposing pro-Russia demonstration in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk.

The pro-Ukraine participants had been waving blue and yellow Ukrainian flags as part of a "For a United Ukraine" rally on Donetsk's Lenin Square when pro-Russian activists began heaving firecrackers, eggs and stun grenades at them, chanting, “Russ-i-a!” and “On your knees!”, according to eyewitnesses and journalists from local news site Novosti Donbassa who spoke with Mashable.
..........
The entire world has seen footage of this terrible massacre. The utmost cynicism of all this is that the blood of Ukrainian citizens who attended a rally in support of our country's unity was spilled in their own home city," Turchynov said in a statement published on his official website. "This is the true face of the Cossack separatists who were sent there and who triggered the violence. The lives of the people that they supposedly gathered to defend are not important to them and their masters in the Kremlin. Every Ukrainian must realize that."
.........

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 14, 2014, 19:47:07
Oh jeez.....

We're killing Ukrainians too quickly.  We must intervene to stop ourselves.   
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 14, 2014, 19:58:39
Oh jeez.....

We're killing Ukrainians too quickly.  We must intervene to stop ourselves.
Stop being so rabble.ca!  >:D
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: KerryBlue on March 14, 2014, 20:29:00
This one is in Ukrainian but if your using Chrome it translates pretty decently into English. (Although Chrome says its Russian  :facepalm: )

http://www.theinsider.ua/politics/5322d8f4664cf/

Quote
Three peace terms from Putin


Quote
and three days before the referendum in the Crimea mood in Parliament pessimistic. Deputies are waiting for the results of a trip premiere Arseniy Yatsenyuk in the U.S. and information, whether Ukraine will receive military aid from one of the guarantors of its independence.
.........

It seems that Russia is ready to make concessions and abandon military intervention. But their price may be the translation of presidential elections, the failure to sign agreements with the EU and NATO.



Kremlin's 3 conditions to ending occupation of Ukraine:

1) Ukraine cannot join NATO.
2) Ukraine cannot sign EU Association Agreement.
3) Postpone elections in Ukraine.

Basically Putin isn't even trying to hide the fact that he is meddling in the foreign affairs of Ukraine. Wonder where we go from here.



Edited to add:


If anyone else is interested Vice News has been doing a bunch of short news dispatches dealing with the Ukraine Russia issue. Link below

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNKsLlK52ss&list=PLw613M86o5o5zqF6WJR8zuC7Uwyv76h7R
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on March 14, 2014, 20:31:47
It is the fact that nobody is willing to contribute - separately or jointly.

At least one US official wants to use some assets to discourage any further Russian aggression:

I wonder if we will soon see American F22s exercising with Polish F16s and Ukrainian Su27s (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140311/DEFREG01/303110035/Ukraine-Poland-Hold-Joint-Air-Force-Drills) to discourage a Russian invasion?

Defense News (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140314/DEFREG02/303140020/Inhofe-Putting-F-22s-Aegis-Ships-Near-Ukraine-Would-Not-Escalate-Conflict)

Quote
Inhofe: Putting F-22s, Aegis Ships Near Ukraine Would Not Escalate Conflict
Mar. 14, 2014 - 12:23PM   |   By JOHN T. BENNETT

WASHINGTON — A senior Republican senator says his call to surround Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine-occupying forces with America’s most-advanced weapons would not amount to an escalation that could trigger a major conflict.

Western presidents and chancellors, as well as senior secretaries and ministers, are focused on using economic and diplomatic maneuvers to force the Russian president to remove his forces from Ukraine’s Crimea region. No Western leader is talking about using military force to push Putin’s forces from the region.

(...EDITED)


Meanwhile, pro-Russian forces claimed to have shot a US drone over Crimea:

Agence-France-Presse (http://news.yahoo.com/russia-says-intercepted-us-drone-over-crimea-arms-180430584.html)

Quote
Russia says intercepted US drone over Crimea: arms group

Moscow (AFP) - A United States surveillance drone has been intercepted above the Ukranian region of Crimea, a Russian state arms and technology group said Friday.

"The drone was flying at about 4,000 metres (12,000 feet) and was virtually invisible from the ground. It was possible to break the link with US operators with complex radio-electronic" technology, said Rostec in a statement.

The drone fell "almost intact into the hands of self-defence forces" added Rostec, which said it had manufactured the equipment used to down the aircraft, but did not specify who was operating it.

"Judging by its identification number, UAV MQ-5B belonged to the 66th American Reconnaissance Brigade, based in Bavaria," Rostec said on its website, which also carried a picture of what it said was the captured drone.

(...EDITED)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on March 14, 2014, 21:03:16
How do you say "sovereignty association" in Russian?  ;)

Суверенитет ассоциации
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: cupper on March 14, 2014, 21:28:42
Haven't seen any other reports on this, could be Russian Poo Poo Ganda.

Russia says intercepted US drone over Crimea: arms group

http://news.yahoo.com/russia-says-intercepted-us-drone-over-crimea-arms-180430584.html

Quote
Moscow (AFP) - A United States surveillance drone has been intercepted above the Ukranian region of Crimea, a Russian state arms and technology group said Friday.

"The drone was flying at about 4,000 metres (12,000 feet) and was virtually invisible from the ground. It was possible to break the link with US operators with complex radio-electronic" technology, said Rostec in a statement.

The drone fell "almost intact into the hands of self-defence forces" added Rostec, which said it had manufactured the equipment used to down the aircraft, but did not specify who was operating it.

"Judging by its identification number, UAV MQ-5B belonged to the 66th American Reconnaissance Brigade, based in Bavaria," Rostec said on its website, which also carried a picture of what it said was the captured drone.

The photograph appeared to show an apparently armed drone in flight, rather than debris.

The Crimean port of Sevastopol is home to Russia's Black Sea Fleet, which is believed to be equipped with detection equipment.

Crimea, where pro-Kremlin forces have control, is to hold a referendum on Sunday on the peninsula joining Russia, in what Moscow says is a fair expression of self identity but the West views as an illegal annexation of sovereign territory.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Eye In The Sky on March 14, 2014, 21:39:37
Quote
The Crimean port of Sevastopol is home to Russia's Black Sea Fleet, which is believed to be equipped with detection equipment.

OOOOOoooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.  I've heard of this "RAY-DAHR" gadget that is rumoured to be on so ships and planes.

Guess the rumours are true!!!!

Maybe it's just me, but that has the same WOW! factor as saying "it is believed hockey players have sticks".

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: cupper on March 14, 2014, 21:51:17
Could be time to send in Moose and Squirrel. ;D
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: KerryBlue on March 15, 2014, 00:49:23
I apologize for posting a video which is in Ukrainian, even then its the Russian/Ukrainian mix so it's hard for to understand everything but I've gotten the gist of what is being said. (The title helps  ;D )

Russian troopers told about what is gonna happen in Crimea after referendum

http://ukrstream.tv/videos/rosiis_ki_viis_kovi_rozpovili_shcho_budie_z_krimom_pislia_riefieriendumu_russian_troopers_told_about_what_is_gonna_happen_in_crimea_after_referendum

The undercover journalist speaks with Russian troops, who claim there will be a push to take Kharkiv, in addition to storming Ukrainian military bases in Crimea on the 17th of March. The 17th being the day after the referendum in Crimea is to happen. To add to that their are reports that 2.5 millions ballots have been printed for this referendum, but their are only 1.5 register voters so there is talk that we might see some Soviet style mathematics. That said, we can probably assume that the referendum will be a yes and that the Russian military might cut the country in half so to speak by using the E105 highway to go north up to Kharkiv. Which they could justify as the region to the west of the E105 is one that is predominately Pro-Russian.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on March 15, 2014, 03:12:52
Fracking and other technologies will help out in the end, but here are some of the issues that the Europeans need to fix first:

http://www.the-american-interest.com/blog/2014/03/09/uk-shale-struggles-a-reminder-of-why-america-succeeded/

Quote
UK Shale Struggles a Reminder of Why America Succeeded

The mood is downright gloomy at the Shale UK conference this week, where various stakeholders in the country’s fledgling industry are bemoaning a lack of progress in tapping the countries estimated 1.3 quadrillion cubic feet of natural gas trapped in shale. Despite having some of the thicker—and therefore easier to drill—shale in Europe, faulted stratigraphy, stunted support infrastructure, and a byzantine regulatory environment are preventing Britain from imitating America’s shale success. The FT reports:

Exploration is expensive and it is easy to spend more on drilling a well than the value of gas that comes out of the ground. Drilling costs are significantly higher in the UK than the US. The nascent supply chain and long licensing process are largely to blame.

“It’s a lot slower than in the US,” says Francis Egan, Cuadrilla chief executive. “We have to apply for eight or nine permits for each exploration well.”

Geology is another factor. While UK shale gas reserves appear to be thicker than those in the US, the UK’s geological make-up is likely to prove more challenging. “The UK is highly faulted by comparison to a typical North American shale area like Marcellus or Eagle Ford,” says Joe Cartwright, Shell Professor of Earth Sciences at Oxford university. “Our areas are intrinsically more complex.”

America remains the sole state to capitalize on its shale oil and gas resources, and difficulties in countries like the UK and China remind us that the shale revolution was more than just the result of applying the dual techniques of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal well drilling to underground hydrocarbon reservoirs. Rather, the US energy revolution was the product of a mature oil and gas drilling industry, replete with robust supply chains. The boom depended on a unique set of mineral rights that provided landowners with a financial incentive to invite drillers on to their land, on a deep pool of capital, and on a variety of small wildcatting firms willing to take on the risk of drilling exploratory wells. And it couldn’t have happened without a bit of natural providence: US shale is neatly layered, like a “wedding cake,” making it easier to drill the requisite horizontal wells, and drillers weren’t hampered by water scarcity the way their Chinese counterparts have been.

This isn’t to say that shale can’t be tapped elsewhere, just that it’s going to be a more difficult process than many world leaders not named Obama might like. But the race to produce even a pale imitation of America’s experience is more important to European energy security now than ever, given the situation in Ukraine. Europe sources nearly a third of its natural gas from Russia, and that’s a lever Brussels is keen to rid itself of as it maneuvers against Moscow. Lawmakers in Washington have made the case that American LNG could help on that front, but so too could the continent’s significant domestic supply of shale gas. The Crimean crisis may be the strongest incentive yet for Europe to frack.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 15, 2014, 10:23:03
I wonder if we will soon see American F22s exercising with Polish F16s and Ukrainian Su27s (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140311/DEFREG01/303110035/Ukraine-Poland-Hold-Joint-Air-Force-Drills) to discourage a Russian invasion?
In related news, "Russia Sends 6 Fighter Jets to Belarus" (http://en.ria.ru/russia/20140313/188391376/Russia-Sends-6-Fighter-Jets-to-Belarus.html)
Quote
Six Russian Su-27 fighter jets and three military transport planes with ground support personnel arrived Thursday at an airbase in Belarus to boost the airspace defenses of the two countries' Union State, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The ministry said the aircraft from the Western military district have been deployed to the Babruysk airbase in line with a bilateral agreement on the joint protection of the Union State's airspace.

The planes will reinforce the four Russian Su-27 Flanker fighter jets already at the nearby Baranovichi airbase.

The Su-27 Flanker is a highly-maneuverable, all-weather fighter jet that could be used in a variety of combat missions, including reconnaissance and the interception of enemy aircraft.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko had said earlier that Belarus would ask Russia to deploy up to 15 combat aircraft on its territory in response to increased NATO military activity along the country’s borders ....

Meanwhile, pro-Russian forces claimed to have shot a US drone over Crimea:

Agence-France-Presse (http://news.yahoo.com/russia-says-intercepted-us-drone-over-crimea-arms-180430584.html)
A bit of the REST of the story on that.  The original news release on the Russian arms company's web page is no longer there (you can see it in Russian in the Google cache here (http://bit.ly/1gkbxyt), on Dropbox.com here (http://bit.ly/1d3b18b) or in Google Translate here (http://bit.ly/1o38NMN)).

If you go to the company's web page where the original news release used to be (Russian (http://bit.ly/1iL4wia) – Google English (http://bit.ly/OqLYFT)), you get a statement sounding more like "hey, we didn't see the UAV go down - we attributed it to "Military Observer" magazine, so they're responsible for how true the information is, really."
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on March 15, 2014, 12:35:45
Aren't larger warships above a certain tonnage, such as aircraft carriers, technically not allowed into the Black Sea because of the Montreux Convention (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/naval-arms-control-1936.htm)?

If I can recall correctly, the 1936 Montreux Convention, which governs the passage of ships through the Bosporus Straits and Dardanelles, restricts the tonnage, number, and types of ships that non-Black Sea nations can pass through the straits, and the number of days they may remain in the Black Sea.  It also requires that Turkish authorities be notified in advance before ships can pass through the straits.


Quote
Eye on Ukraine, Carrier Stays in the Med

The Virginian-Pilot | Mar 15, 2014 | by Mike Hixenbaugh


The aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush will remain in the Mediterranean Sea longer than planned as part of an effort to reassure U.S. allies worried about the crisis in Ukraine.

The Norfolk-based carrier and its strike group will delay its trip to the Persian Gulf for "few more days" said Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman.

The Pentagon is not saying when the Bush will continue with its original mission, but Warren said the departure would likely happen within the next several days.


One ship in the Bush strike group, the guided missile destroyer Truxtun, broke away last week and steamed to the Black Sea, where defense officials say it has been participating in a previously planned training mission, unrelated to the turmoil in Ukraine.

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: KerryBlue on March 15, 2014, 13:34:11
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/ukraine-crisis-military-repels-russia-incursion-into-area-next-to-crimea-1.2574094
Quote

Ukraine crisis: military repels Russia incursion into area next to Crimea

Ukraine's military scrambled aircraft and paratroops on Saturday to repel an attempt by Russian forces to enter a long spit of land belonging to a region adjacent to Crimea, Ukraine's defence ministry said.

"Units of Ukraine's armed forces today ... repelled an attempt by servicemen of the armed forces of the Russian Federation to enter the territory of Kherson region on Arbatskaya Strelka," a ministry statement said. "This was repelled immediately."

It said the Ukrainian military used aircraft, ground forces and its aeromobile battalion in the operation. The territory in question is a long spit of land running parallel to the east of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula, now controlled by Russian forces.



The area in question is part of the Kherson Oblast and is close to 5 hours north of the Sevastopol, and separated from the Crimean peninsula by the Dnieper river, what Russians are doing in undoubtedly sovereign Ukrainian territory is beyond comprehension at this point.   
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Journeyman on March 15, 2014, 13:52:27
I think what's inflaming most of the tensions is the use of

really big, bold fonts   :panic:


Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 15, 2014, 14:06:56
I think they feel they have to speak up to be heard over the noise of popcorn munching.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on March 15, 2014, 14:26:34
I think they feel they have to speak up to be heard over the noise of popcorn munching.

Why is the mainstream media still referring to Russian Armed Forces soldiers as paramilitary when they are clearly members of the Armed Forces of Russia?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 15, 2014, 16:55:23
Why is the mainstream media still referring to Russian Armed Forces soldiers as paramilitary when they are clearly members of the Armed Forces of Russia?
Has any reporter checked their ID?  ;)

Can't be all bad if the Ukrainian navy has enough free troops to form national symbols (while in riot gear) for their Info-machine:
(http://www.mil.gov.ua/thumbnail.php?pic=images/event/2014-03-15-13194-61915.jpg)

Meanwhile, how about a bit of crowdsource funding for the Ukrainian military (http://www.mil.gov.ua/index.php?lang=en&part=news&sub=read&id=33049)?
Quote
Action on logistic and medical support for Ukrainian Armed Forces. Just call ‘565’ from mobile phone and transfer UAH 5 for needs of the Ukrainian Army.

If you want to transfer other amounts there have been opened accounts:

Beneficiary: Ministry of Defense of Ukraine

Code of Single Register of Enterprises and Companies of Ukraine: 00034022

Bank: State Treasury Service of Ukraine, Kyiv

Sort Code MFO: 820172

Registration accounts:

31254307218611 – logistic support

31257304218611 – medical support
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on March 15, 2014, 16:58:51
Has any reporter checked their ID?  ;)

I'm sure most "paramilitary" groups don't get their hands on what looks to be an HK417

(http://cervens.net/legionbbs123/attachment.php?attachmentid=4291&d=1394822725)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 15, 2014, 17:49:54
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/ukraine-crisis-military-repels-russia-incursion-into-area-next-to-crimea-1.2574094

The area in question is part of the Kherson Oblast and is close to 5 hours north of the Sevastopol, and separated from the Crimean peninsula by the Dnieper river, what Russians are doing in undoubtedly sovereign Ukrainian territory is beyond comprehension at this point.
C'mon, now, the Russians say it's those "self-defence units" just protecting petro-assets (http://en.itar-tass.com/world/723701) ....
Quote
Crimean self-defence units prevented an act of sabotage on a gas pipeline on Saturday, March 15.

Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov said the saboteurs had identified themselves as Ukrainian Border Guard Service officials.

“Crimean self-defence personnel prevented an attempt to block the gas pipeline to Crimea at the Arbatsky Spit. To prevent such attempts [in the future], the gas distribution station was put under protection. The persons who tried to damage the equipment - up to 40 people, according to preliminary information - and who identified themselves as Ukrainian Border Guard Service officials left the station in a hurry,” Aksyonov said.

He asked Russian Black Sea Fleet Commander Alexander Vitko to take the gas transportation system in this area under protection “in order to ensure energy security of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and uninterrupted operation of crucial facilities.”

Crimea has also created a month’s worth of water reserves and is installing diesel generators in case the Ukrainian authorities cut off electricity supplies to the peninsula.

“There are about 900 diesel generators in the autonomy. With the consumption of 300 to 500 tonnes of diesel fuel a day, we can have enough mobile generators to cover the entire peninsula,” Aksyonov said.

He admitted, though, that “there may be some problems with electricity supplies for two or three days [if Ukraine cuts off electricity to Crimea], but we have all the sites ready, equipment is here and is being installed,” the prime minister said ....
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: 57Chevy on March 15, 2014, 21:21:12
From Eastern Mirror article (d/13Mar) and shared with provisions of The Copyright Act
---
[In an unusually robust and emotionally worded speech, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned of “catastrophe” unless Russia changes course.
“We would not only see it, also as neighbors of Russia, as a threat. And it would not only change the European Union’s relationship with Russia,” she said in a speech in parliament. “No, this would also cause massive damage to Russia, economically and politically.”]
---

 Russia holds war games near Ukraine; Merkel warns of catastrophe  (http://www.easternmirrornagaland.com/2014/03/russia-holds-war-games-near-ukraine-merkel-warns-of-catastrophe/)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Journeyman on March 16, 2014, 00:40:03
Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov said the saboteurs had identified themselves as Ukrainian Border Guard Service officials.
Because, if you're going to sabotage something, the first thing you do is pull out your business card or AMEX to ID yourself...   

Their IA people are even worse than ours   ::)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Good2Golf on March 16, 2014, 01:00:05
Because, if you're going to sabotage something, the first thing you do is pull out your business card or AMEX to ID yourself...   

Their IA people are even worse than ours   ::)

Perhaps they were taking cues from Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf?

(http://www.quickmeme.com/img/04/0431cfa4d7822bd2ce06b691bd1c3afe95b7266b72ab1a91c4bd1ecd06c9c793.jpg)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 16, 2014, 10:31:33
Funny how Russia can (reportedly) agree to not do anything in Crimea when they have no troops there ....
Quote
The defense ministries of Ukraine and Russia have agreed on a truce in Crimea until March 21, Ukraine's acting defense minister said on Sunday.

"An agreement has been reached with (Russia's) Black Sea Fleet and the Russian Defense Ministry on a truce in Crimea until March 21," Ihor Tenyukh told journalists on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting.

"No measures will be taken against our military facilities in Crimea during that time. Our military sites are therefore proceeding with a replenishment of reserves." ....
Reuters, 16 Mar 14 (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/16/us-ukraine-crisis-truce-idUSBREA2F0DP20140316)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 16, 2014, 11:51:22
I'm sure most "paramilitary" groups don't get their hands on what looks to be an HK417
(http://cervens.net/legionbbs123/attachment.php?attachmentid=4291&d=1394822725)
I guess the reporters who don't call them "Russian troops" missed the flags at around 2:14 in this Russian media video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5Y_wjT-530) and compared them to the one behind Russian paras at about 1:58 here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rAHrHd2lcw) - or to a flag you can buy for $25 here (http://www.soviet-power.com/detail.php?pid=1091) - screen captures also attached for reference.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 16, 2014, 15:43:45
Meanwhile, checking Left of Arc:

Quote
Russia lays down conditions to Moldova over Transnistria political status
13 march 2014, 13:14 print out copy link Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LiveJournal Share to Delicious
Russia calls on Moldova to abolish the Law “On the Main Provisions of a Special Legal Status of the Populated Areas on the Left Nistru Bank” issued in 2005.

Russian Foreign Ministry said in a press release that only after this move the government is willing to negotiate the political status of the Transnistrian region.

Russia acts as a mediator in the “5+2” talks, which is the official conflict settlement mechanism.

The statements emerged after Moldovan Deputy Minister for Transnistrian conflict Eugen Carpov spoke frankly in a talk show at UNIMEDIA news platform about ways to deal with the conflict, adding that the European Union and the United States should become mediators in this conflict.

EU and the US are currently observers in the “5+2” conflict resolution format. However, Russia does not want the two parties to become direct mediators of this conflict.

Authorities in Moscow seem to be affected by the comments, saying that the “it is not an accepted practice in international relations to disclose the positions of participants in multi-sided talks in such a detail. It is even stranger to hear this from Mr. Carpov, who always calls for restraint in relations with the press,” the Russian statement reads.

The Russian diplomacy claims it has been subject to accusation by the Moldovan official and it feels constrained to reply.

“If one was to put aside diplomatic vocabulary and plain ruses, for Moldova this is simply about extending the jurisdiction of this law to the left bank while completely ignoring the views of Tiraspol [so-called capital of separatist region],” the statement reads.

Kremlin added: “The calls by the Moldovan partners “to imagine that this law does not exist” cannot find the expected response. In circumstances when one of the sides has already solved the problem for itself, all discussions on this subject are too reminiscent of medieval scholastic debates about how many devils may fit upon the point of a needle.”

Link (http://www.allmoldova.com/en/moldova-news/1249057812.html)

To which the EU counters

EU Council votes for liberalizing visa regime for Moldova (http://www.allmoldova.com/en/moldova-news/1249057814.html)

Herman Van Rompuy congratulates Moldova on obtaining visa free regime with EU (http://www.allmoldova.com/en/moldova-news/1249057830.html)

And Moldova responds

Government of Moldova says Crimea referendum is illegal (http://www.allmoldova.com/en/moldova-news/1249057828.html)

Tiraspol is 100 km NW of Odessa.

Given that "Russian" forces have already jumped the choke points out of Crimea (troops at Strilkove and Chonhar on the eastern exits and at Armyansk on the western exit) I'm watching for Novooleksiivka and Antonivka to show up in the news shortly. 

I believe Odessa is the prize.

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 16, 2014, 15:53:20
Bulgaria (http://www.novinite.com/articles/158976/Bulgarian+Nationalists+Seek+Parliament+Sitting+on+Crimea+Referendum)  - the Opposition

Quote
Volen Siderov, leader of nationalist party Ataka, has demanded an extraordinary parliamentary sitting   (not too loud I hope?)  on Monday on the situation in Ukraine and the Crimea secession referendum.

In a Sunday statement, Siderov called on Parliament Speaker Mihail Mikov to summon an extraordinary sitting during which the declarations of the parliamentary groups on the matter would be reviewed.

The nationalist leader demanded maximum transparency of the discussion and live coverage of the debates via the Bulgarian National Television and the Bulgarian National Radio, stressing that the people had to see for themselves the stance of each party.

Siderov yet again noted that Ataka was adamant in its insistence on Bulgaria's neutrality on the conflict in Ukraine, adding that the party would recognize the outcome of the referendum in Crimea as legitimate.

He insisted that the intervention of the US in the domestic affairs of Ukraine had to be condemned.

The leader of nationalist party Ataka argued that it was Bulgaria's Parliament and not the Foreign Minister which had to come up with a stance which reflected the interests of Bulgarians in Ukraine and Bulgaria's national interests.

- See more at: http://www.novinite.com/articles/158976/Bulgarian+Nationalists+Seek+Parliament+Sitting+on+Crimea+Referendum#sthash.U5lDJ1II.dpuf
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 16, 2014, 15:56:57
Serbia - Snap parliamentary elections called by Pro-EU government (http://www.novinite.com/articles/158970/Serbia+Holds+Snap+Parliamentary+Elections%2C+Belgrade+Local+Elections)

Quote
Serbia is holding early parliamentary elections on Sunday and local elections in Belgrade and a number of other towns.

Around 6.7 million Serbian nationals are eligible to vote for a new 250-seat parliament and they will be able to cast ballots by 20:00 CET on Sunday, according to reports of the BBC News.

The first official results are expected Sunday before midnight.

The early parliamentary elections were initiated by Serbia's Deputy Prime Minister and head of the governing center-right Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) Alexander Vucic.

In January, Vucic insisted that his party needed a stronger mandate to implement reforms and bring Serbia closer to EU membership. Polls show that the SNS-lead coalition has a clear lead.

SNS, head of a coalition of several smaller political parties, is expected to win a 45% vote share, according to a survey of the Center for Free Elections and Democracy CeSID.

The Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) of Ivica Dacic, the country's second largest political party, is expected to be backed by 13% of the voters, followed by the opposition Democratic Party of former Belgrade mayor Dragan Djilas with 10% and New Democratic Party of Boris Tadic with 8%.

- See more at: http://www.novinite.com/articles/158970/Serbia+Holds+Snap+Parliamentary+Elections%2C+Belgrade+Local+Elections#sthash.tHmZkvfK.dpuf
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Inky on March 16, 2014, 16:10:16
Meanwhile, checking Left of Arc:

Link (http://www.allmoldova.com/en/moldova-news/1249057812.html)

To which the EU counters

EU Council votes for liberalizing visa regime for Moldova (http://www.allmoldova.com/en/moldova-news/1249057814.html)

Herman Van Rompuy congratulates Moldova on obtaining visa free regime with EU (http://www.allmoldova.com/en/moldova-news/1249057830.html)

And Moldova responds

Government of Moldova says Crimea referendum is illegal (http://www.allmoldova.com/en/moldova-news/1249057828.html)

Tiraspol is 100 km NW of Odessa.

Given that "Russian" forces have already jumped the choke points out of Crimea (troops at Strilkove and Chonhar on the eastern exits and at Armyansk on the western exit) I'm watching for Novooleksiivka and Antonivka to show up in the news shortly. 

I believe Odessa is the prize.

Would there be any major strategic gains to be obtained from capturing Odessa and essentially land locking Ukraine? I mean, that would be a major escalation!
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 16, 2014, 16:14:34
And the Centre (Moscow)

Massive Rallies in Moscow, Conflicting Numbers Reported - See more at: http://www.novinite.com/articles/158966/Massive+Rallies+in+Moscow%2C+Conflicting+Numbers+Reported#sthash.hqfaetWo.dpuf (http://)

Quote
Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Russia’s capital Moscow to attend rallies both in support of and against the referendum in Crimea.

The Russian news agency ITAR-TASS reported 15,000 people marched in support of Crimea’s secession, while the counter-rally had numbered around 3,000.

Meanwhile, the BBC claims that “up to 50,000 people attended the rally in Moscow to oppose the government’s intervention in Crimea”.

There is no information about clashes between the opposing rallies, however RIA Novosti reports of several people detained in the anti-intervention march.

Ukraine’s autonomous region of Crimea will hold a referendum on Sunday to decide whether it will join the Russian Federation. The results will be recognized by Moscow, but not by the West

- See more at: http://www.novinite.com/articles/158966/Massive+Rallies+in+Moscow%2C+Conflicting+Numbers+Reported#sthash.hqfaetWo.dpuf

Followed by

Quote
On Wednesday, the owner of leading independent news website Lenta.ru fired its chief editor, Galina Timchenko, following official complaints over the outlet's coverage of Ukraine.

The communications regulator said Lenta.ru breached a law banning dissemination of extremist material by linking to comments by Dmytro Yarosh, a nationalist Ukrainian leader wanted in Russia on charges of instigating terrorism.

Ominously for online outlets, closure of websites deemed to contain "extremist" material or incitements to join unauthorized rallies can as of this year be closed without a court order.

One day after the Lenta.ru editor was fired, a handful of websites notable for their criticism of the government, and a blog run by prominent opposition leader Alexei Navalny, were summarily banned on a request from prosecutors.

Yahoo News (https://news.yahoo.com/russian-propaganda-war-full-swing-over-ukraine-085411498.html)

Meanwhile Ukraine is banning Russian language broadcast stations......

The deafness continues.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 16, 2014, 16:23:20
The latest decent OSINT map in English (https://twitter.com/CIGeography/status/445217983825051648/photo/1) ....
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bi27Zb4CAAMDuP0.jpg)

.... while Eastern Ukraine heats up (thanks to pro-Russia folks) (http://rt.com/news/ukraine-kharkov-rights-donetsk-202/)
Quote
Protesters, on behalf of Kharkov’s assembly, asked Putin to “guarantee their rights and freedoms” and pass to the United Nations their demands regarding a referendum on the federalization, which they plan for April 27, reported Ukrainian National News (UNN) website. Additionally, activists asked to deploy Russian peacekeepers to Kharkov region, adding that they fear for their lives and property.

The demonstrators then marched to the nearby consulate of Poland, protesting against Western interference into Ukrainian affairs.

Kharkov protesters also looted the building housing offices of radical-nationalist organizations, including the Right Sector group, reported Interfax-Ukraine. The activists broke into the building, took out books and nationalist symbols and burnt them ....
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 16, 2014, 16:25:45
Would there be any major strategic gains to be obtained from capturing Odessa and essentially land locking Ukraine? I mean, that would be a major escalation!

I'm not sure it would be a major escalation.  The British expression is "in for a penny, in for a pound" or "hanged for a sheep or a lamb".  I don't think the response to Russia taking Odessa is going to be any different than Russia taking Crimea and Kharkiv.

I think Vlad seas the Black Sea the same way we see the Great Lakes .... and in his lifetime he used to control all of that northern coast from Tbilisi to the Danube.

Now he sees NATO (the Dutch) building warships (JLSS) in his backyard (Galati in Romania).

Concurrently he sees Islamic Instability reaching out from Syria and Iraq, across Kurdistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey to Chechenya, Crimea (Tatars) and Bosnia.

The North Shore of the Black Sea is his line of Defence against Islam.  The Dniepr keeps Europe at bay.

Then he only has to worry about China and the Stans.....

Poor old Vlad.  Everybody is out of step except for him.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 16, 2014, 17:14:47
.... Concurrently he sees Islamic Instability reaching out from Syria and Iraq, across Kurdistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey to Chechenya, Crimea (Tatars) and Bosnia.

The North Shore of the Black Sea is his line of Defence against Islam ....
Best to be careful about them (http://counterjihadreport.com/2014/03/10/jihadis-are-seething-at-russia-over-crimea-will-it-boil-over/).
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 16, 2014, 17:35:56
Best to be careful about them (http://counterjihadreport.com/2014/03/10/jihadis-are-seething-at-russia-over-crimea-will-it-boil-over/).

It is not just the Tatars that are receiving "support" from foreigners.  Outsiders include Cossacks and Chetniks as well as Rus.

(http://s1.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20140303&t=2&i=852232063&w=580&fh=&fw=&ll=&pl=&r=CDEEA22075F00)
Link (http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/03/03/ukraine-crisis-crimea-idINDEEA2201920140303)

(http://d.ibtimes.co.uk/en/full/1367566/ukraine-protests-chetnik-serb-crimea.jpg?w=660&h=440&l=50&t=40)
Link (http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/ukraine-crimea-crisis-serb-chetnik-militia-joins-pro-russian-patrols-1439654)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on March 16, 2014, 17:46:21
Surprise, surprise. The rigged referendum exit poll results are as follows:

So was there even a "No/Nyet" on the ballot?

 ::) ::)

National Post (http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/03/16/together-with-russia-93-of-crimeans-voted-to-join-motherland-exit-polls-show/)

Quote

‘Together with Russia’: 93% of Crimeans voted to join ‘motherland,’ exit polls show

Bloomberg News | March 16, 2014 | Last Updated: Mar 16 4:35 PM ET

A majority of Crimeans chose to join Russia in a disputed referendum, exit polls showed, deepening the worst crisis between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War.

A total of 93% voted today in favour of leaving Ukraine to become part of Russia, the Republican Institute of Social and Political Studies said, citing exit polls from the vote in the Black Sea peninsula. The Ukrainian government, the European Union and the U.S. all consider the referendum illegal. About 1.5 million Crimean voters were eligible to take part, according to the region’s prime minister.

As the West threatens to ratchet up sanctions if Russia doesn’t back down from annexing Crimea, Russia has deployed about 60,000 troops along the Ukrainian border, the government in Kyiv said. Ukraine closed border crossings to Russia and will mobilize as many as 15,000 volunteers in the next 15 days to defend the nation, officials said today.

(...EDITED)


Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 16, 2014, 19:07:21
So was there even a "No/Nyet" on the ballot?
Nope.
Meanwhile, a bit on the "damned if you do, damned if you don't" referendum ballot (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/12/crimea-vote-join-russia-ballot-no-option_n_4947557.html)....
Quote
Sunday's vote in Ukraine's Crimea is being officially billed as a chance for the peninsula's peoples to decide fairly and freely their future - but in fact there is no room on the ballot paper for voting "Nyet" to control by Russia.

The Crimean voter will have the right to choose only one of two options in the March 16 referendum which the region's pro-Russian leadership, protected by Russian forces, announced earlier this month.

According to a format of the ballot paper, published on the parliament's website, the first question will ask: "Are you in favour of the reunification of Crimea with Russia as a part of the Russian Federation?"

The second asks: "Are you in favour of restoring the 1992 Constitution and the status of Crimea as a part of Ukraine?" ....
How do you say "sovereignty association" in Russian?  ;)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Target Up on March 16, 2014, 19:22:53
At least in these days of democracy (coff coff) they haven't lost that ability to make referendums and elections entertaining, if nothing else.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Good2Golf on March 16, 2014, 19:58:11
...at least it wasn't 100% for...   ::)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on March 16, 2014, 20:14:04
Meanwhile, checking Left of Arc:

Link (http://www.allmoldova.com/en/moldova-news/1249057812.html)

To which the EU counters

EU Council votes for liberalizing visa regime for Moldova (http://www.allmoldova.com/en/moldova-news/1249057814.html)

Herman Van Rompuy congratulates Moldova on obtaining visa free regime with EU (http://www.allmoldova.com/en/moldova-news/1249057830.html)

And Moldova responds

Government of Moldova says Crimea referendum is illegal (http://www.allmoldova.com/en/moldova-news/1249057828.html)

Tiraspol is 100 km NW of Odessa.

Given that "Russian" forces have already jumped the choke points out of Crimea (troops at Strilkove and Chonhar on the eastern exits and at Armyansk on the western exit) I'm watching for Novooleksiivka and Antonivka to show up in the news shortly. 

I believe Odessa is the prize.

That is an interesting perspective Kirkhill.  If Odessa REALLY IS the prize then that would allow them to link up with Transnistrian forces which would have a wider impact on regional security.  It would also allow for the potential formation of one unified Pro-Russian Puppet State that would be too large to ignore.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on March 16, 2014, 21:22:48
Utterly ridiculous reaction by The West (tm).  They see a plebiscite by secret ballot to be illegal and un-democratic, but a mob takeover of Kyiv because of a trade deal with Russia is?  I get it that sometimes it's necessary to storm the Bastille, but don't call it "democracy" when it happens.

By the way, Mr. Harper (et al) ought to be happy with this plebiscite.  I mean, when Kosovo (part of the sovereign territory of Serbia) opted to leave that area, and then violence ensued, guess what?  We (NATO) picked a side to help those people self-determine.  And if Quebec were to leave Confederation, and if part of Quebec wanted no part of it, would we ignore such a vote?

And the arrogance of us (The West) to criticize a people for voting, because a foreign power invaded.  The same could be said of Afghanistan that voted when we (The West) were fighting in Afghanistan.  And no, we weren't invited in, we invaded when Mullah Omar ran the joint, *and then* we set up a government, whom we supported (of course).

Let Russia have Crimea.  It doesn't want Ukraine, and the EU can go to Hell over this for all I care.  :2c:
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on March 16, 2014, 21:37:01
  It doesn't want western Ukraine but may want eastern Ukraine which has a lot of ethnic Russians and the EU can go to Hell over this for all I care.  :2c:

TFTFY

(There, Fixed That for You), Herr Oberst!  ;D



Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on March 16, 2014, 21:49:31
False.  Putin doesn't give a rat's behind about eastern Ukraine. His forces haven't gone in there, and they won't (barring some sort of odd-ball provocation), but they *did* go to Crimea.  Why?  The ports.  The Black Sea Fleet.  The means by which Russia can project its power globally.

The Don basin is nice and all, but means very little to Russia. 
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on March 16, 2014, 22:33:27
Utterly ridiculous reaction by The West (tm).  They see a plebiscite by secret ballot to be illegal and un-democratic, but a mob takeover of Kyiv because of a trade deal with Russia is?  I get it that sometimes it's necessary to storm the Bastille, but don't call it "democracy" when it happens.

By the way, Mr. Harper (et al) ought to be happy with this plebiscite.  I mean, when Kosovo (part of the sovereign territory of Serbia) opted to leave that area, and then violence ensued, guess what?  We (NATO) picked a side to help those people self-determine.  And if Quebec were to leave Confederation, and if part of Quebec wanted no part of it, would we ignore such a vote?

And the arrogance of us (The West) to criticize a people for voting, because a foreign power invaded.  The same could be said of Afghanistan that voted when we (The West) were fighting in Afghanistan.  And no, we weren't invited in, we invaded when Mullah Omar ran the joint, *and then* we set up a government, whom we supported (of course).

Let Russia have Crimea.  It doesn't want Ukraine, and the EU can go to Hell over this for all I care.  :2c:

 :goodpost:
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: S.M.A. on March 16, 2014, 22:38:45
False.  Putin doesn't give a rat's behind about eastern Ukraine. His forces haven't gone in there, and they won't (barring some sort of odd-ball provocation), but they *did* go to Crimea.  Why?  The ports.  The Black Sea Fleet.  The means by which Russia can project its power globally.

The Don basin is nice and all, but means very little to Russia.

Then what was the point of the Russian forces' incursion yesterday into the Kherson region of Ukraine (http://forums.navy.ca/forums/index.php?topic=111881.msg1296768#msg1296768)- outside of Crimea- which was turned back after they were confronted by Ukrainian forces?

"A reconnaissance in force" to test Ukrainian resolve to defend their territory as the mainstream media says?

And so you're essentially dismissing the pro-Kremlin sentiment that's turned into unrest in many parts of Eastern Ukraine?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on March 16, 2014, 22:47:19
And so you're essentially dismissing the pro-Kremlin sentiment that's turned into unrest in many parts of Eastern Ukraine?
No not at all. 

Here's some video (http://www.euronews.com/2014/03/16/ukraine-pro-kremlin-protests-hit-donetsk/) from Donetsk.  Remember that no such protests happened in Crimea, yet Russia went in.  For the port, for the fleet. 

As for going into Kherson?  Who knows.  But I do know that if Russia wanted Ukraine, they wouldn't tippy-toe in, they would go in much as they did in Berlin in 1945 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=592ZXOuG7yE)

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on March 16, 2014, 22:50:01
Edit:  Interesting article that lends a little bit of credibility to Kirkhill's argument that Odessa may be the real prize.


Source:  http://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2014/03/03/odessa_putins_next_stop_in_ukraine_107117.html
Quote
March 3, 2014
Odessa: Putin's Next Stop in Ukraine?
By CDR Victor Vescovo, USN (Ret.)


Russia's primary national security interest in Ukraine was and likely always will be the sprawling naval base of Sevastopol in southwest Crimea. Without it, Russia would not have the ability to project military power or even sustain a major naval fleet in the Black Sea and by extension, the Mediterranean. Furthermore, without Sevastopol, Russian air power would be confined to limited air bases in the eastern part of the Black Sea basin, thus ceding airspace dominance in the western portion of the Black Sea to Ukraine and the NATO countries that border it.


For decades, the key to Russian influence over Ukraine has been its supply of natural gas to the country. Ukraine imports approximately 65% of its natural gas from Russia, giving Russia major influence over the country's foreign as well as domestic affairs. Whenever Ukraine has strayed too far from the Russian orbit, Russia has "turned off the tap" to quite literally freeze the Ukrainian people and their industries. Likewise, Russia has extended very lucrative natural gas terms to Ukraine to achieve political objectives, such as a long-term lease on Sevastopol that now extends until 2042, with an option to extend it to 2047.

Ukraine can import crude oil and gasoline via its bulk fuel terminals in Sevastopol and Odessa, the two major ports in Ukraine. Until recently, it hasn't been economical or even technically possible to import large amounts of natural gas into Ukraine via the sea. However, this has changed in the past five years and there are now serious discussions underway to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminals in Odessa in order to break the Russian grip on Ukraine's energy supply. According to energy industry reports, Ukraine has considered building at least one major LNG receiving terminal to be operational by 2018 at five potential sites. All five are at, or within 50 miles of, Odessa.

If Odessa and its environs remain free from Russian interference, Ukraine could significantly diversify its energy supply in the next 10 years and reduce its dependence on Russian energy.

But if Russia pushes beyond the Crimean peninsula to capture the city of Odessa and the nearby coastal areas of southern Ukraine, Russia would eliminate Ukraine's ability to import significant volumes of LNG directly and prolong its ability to influence Ukraine through manipulation of its natural gas supply.

Ukraine has limited alternatives for reducing its dependence on Russia. More natural gas could be obtained from Western sources via pipelines in Poland or Romania, for example. However, major pipelines to carry the required natural gas do not exist and pipeline construction might take even longer to permit and construct than building coastal LNG terminals. Poland and Romania might be better gas pipeline partners than Russia, but the security risk would remain.

Ukraine could also pursue greater natural gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing techniques, which have had major success in the United States. Ukraine has large potential shale gas fields that are now only being tested for their gas-generation ability, however, it is not clear if those fields will be economical to exploit. Early attempts to exploit Polish shale fields have met with failure due primarily to the more difficult geology of the formations compared to those in the U.S. Ukraine could very well be similar given their geographic proximity.

The situation for Ukraine is made worse by the fact that most of the Odessa region's population are Russian-speakers and the region voted primarily for Viktor Yanukovych in the last election. Just as in Crimea, Russia could use the excuse of protecting Russian-speakers from violent Ukrainian nationalists to justify intervention.

(http://www.realcleardefense.com/images/wysiwyg_images/russianspeakers.jpg)

The key to Ukraine’s energy independence from Russia and, therefore, its ability to determine its own political future lies in Odessa – the city, its port area and energy infrastructure, and the access to Black Sea it provides. Crimea is likely lost. But if Ukraine is to survive, all of its current focus should be on Odessa and preventing any Russian movements against this vital region from Crimea, Transnistria, or Russian territory.

The government in Kiev’s control of the Ukrainian military is in question. But if the military is to serve any defense purpose in this hour of need, it must secure control of all airport, communications, and port facilities in and around Odessa.

Further, the military should block major and minor roads Russian forces could use to access Odessa. This should begin with the highways leading out of the Crimean peninsula through the cities of Armyans'k and Chonbar, 200 and 250 miles from Odessa respectively. It should also send forces to block the longer coastal route from Russia on Ukraine’s eastern border.

(http://www.realcleardefense.com/images/wysiwyg_images/UkraineCrimea.jpg)

Russia could potentially secure Odessa via amphibious assault from Sevastopol and other Russian ports along the Black Sea such as Novorossiysk, but amphibious attacks are among the most difficult of all military operations and would likely only be attempted if Odessa was left relatively undefended. Hence, even a limited garrisoning and defense of the Odessa-area coast might succeed in deterring such an action.

Finally, Russia could use its forces in the breakaway state of Transnistria, currently estimated to be at approximately 1,200 heavily armed troops, to move directly to the Odessa area. The Russian-occupied capital, Tiraspol, is only 60 miles from Odessa, putting Russian troops within a few short hours from Odessa on the M-16 highway. If the Ukraine military does not block that road to Odessa, it might be read as an open invitation to take the crucial city. Russia could fly a significant number of airmobile troops directly from Russia to Tiraspol to execute a larger movement of troops over time. Curioiusly, there seems to be little or no general reporting about the disposition or movement of troops in the Transnistria.

(http://www.realcleardefense.com/images/wysiwyg_images/odessaattack.jpg)

So far, Russia’s conquest has been bloodless. Ukraine may succeed in preventing further Russian aggression by raising the military stakes with an affirmative defense of Odessa.

Therefore, while all the world is focused on Crimea and the Russian anschluss of that key province, the Ukrainian government and military should do its very best to prevent another Russian fait accompli by securing its permanent access to the sea. With the Crimea solidly in Russian hands, the future of Ukraine lies in Odessa.

Commander Vescovo served for 20 years as a Navy Reserve intelligence officer with specialties in operational targeting and counter-terrorism. The opinions reflected herein are those of the author and do not represent the views of the United States Navy.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 16, 2014, 23:00:26
I think taking Odessa would be going too far.

While no one, I think, wants to deprive Russia of a Black Sea port, taking the biggest and best would fundamentally alter the balance in the Black Sea and, suddenly, we, the US led West, might have a vital strategic interest, too.

A port too far, so to speak.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 16, 2014, 23:47:50
Edited to add PM's statement (http://www.pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2014/03/16/statement-prime-minister-canada-results-crimean-referendum):
Quote
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement on the results of the Crimean “referendum”:

“The so-called referendum held today was conducted with Crimea under illegal military occupation. Its results are a reflection of nothing more than Russian military control.

“This “referendum” is illegitimate, it has no legal effect, and we do not recognize its outcome. As a result of Russia's refusal to seek a path of de-escalation, we are working with our G-7 partners and other allies to coordinate additional sanctions against those responsible.

“Any solution to this crisis must respect the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine as well as the constitution of Ukraine. Mr. Putin's reckless and unilateral actions will lead only to Russia's further economic and political isolation from the international community.”

Meanwhile, is someone dropping by for "a goodwill visit"**?
Quote
Amid fears of a wider conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the (U.S.) Army still plans to conduct an exercise in Ukraine this July, a spokesman for U.S. European Command told Army Times.

Exercise Rapid Trident 2014 is expected to take place near L’viv, Ukraine and will involve units from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Canada, Georgia, Germany, Moldova, Poland, Romania, the United Kingdom and Ukraine, said Lt. Col. David Westover Jr.

Planning for the exercise is scheduled for May.

Notably, the exercise will focus on training for peacekeeping, not repelling an enemy invader.

“As of today, the plan is to train a U.S.-Ukrainian combined battalion headquarters in a Field Training Exercise with a peace support operations scenario,” Westover said in an email Friday to Army Times. “Exercise planning will continue until we are told otherwise.” ....
Military Times, 16 Mar 14 (http://www.militarytimes.com/article/20140316/NEWS/303160016/U-S-Army-Europe-hold-exercise-July-Ukraine)


** - based on this exchange (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0751831/quotes?item=qt0190677) from this episode (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0751831/?ref_=ttqt_qt_tt) of "Yes, Prime Minister"
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 17, 2014, 02:32:20
One other point about Odessa.

With Odessa in Ukraine hands then two governments separate Russia from Europe.  Poland on the Baltic and its neighbour Ukraine on the Black Sea.

Russia and Europe would be definitively separated.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: MilEME09 on March 17, 2014, 02:56:34
One other point about Odessa.

With Odessa in Ukraine hands then two governments separate Russia from Europe.  Poland on the Baltic and its neighbour Ukraine on the Black Sea.

Russia and Europe would be definitively separated.

agreed, I think Putin wants his buffer states back, any way possible, Georgia is too close to NATO (Turkey), and if Ukraine went west then NATO troops would be on Russias border
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 17, 2014, 16:06:29
Two interesting articles about the future of warfare:

Mind the Gap: Putin’s Actions and the Future of War (http://blogs.cfr.org/davidson/2014/03/11/mind-the-gap-putins-actions-and-the-future-of-war/)

Playing by Putin’s tactics (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/playing-by-putins-tactics/2014/03/09/b5233b90-a558-11e3-a5fa-55f0c77bf39c_story.html)

Short form -

The future is not about tanks, aircraft and rifles.

It is about tv cameras, Potemkin, dezinformatsiya, criminals, irregulars, riots and civil disobedience.  The man with the gun only shows up when he is invited in.

Ukraine has bought its Western support not by killing a thousand Russians but by sacrificing 100 Ukrainians.

Vlad can't be seen to be slaughtering Ukrainians.  He aspires to be seen as preventing Ukrainians from slaughtering Russians.

The non-violent, disciplined tactics of the Ukrainian forces are also an effective response.    Russians killing Ukrainian soldiers who merely hold their ground and do not respond in kind would not make for the type of images Vlad needs and wants.

Gandhi's Soldiers.  Or the anti-thesis of Patton.


Edit:  The New Face of War

(http://www.cpcml.ca/images2010/First%20Nations/900000-OkaCrisis.jpg)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 17, 2014, 17:24:58
Quote
18.36 The Russian media is starting to refer to a broad belt of land in southern Ukraine as Novorossiya, or New Russia, the Tsarist-era name for the region.

Daily Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10702323/Ukraine-Crimea-to-join-Russia-after-referendum-live.html)

(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bfOtkIB0mJE/Ux2VGPHD_vI/AAAAAAAAGX0/qaDToisXJkw/s1600/novoro10.jpg)

Link from an apparently Russian oriented source (http://13571113.blogspot.ca/2014/03/republic-of-novorossiya.html) - (It's the Internet for Gawdsake)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 17, 2014, 18:13:00
Check the Map below (including Novorossiya)

If true then who's next?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Target Up on March 17, 2014, 18:41:41
Now, let me think... where have we seen all this before?  Protecting ethnic (insert name here) from persecution?  What's the Russian word for Lebensraum again?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: YZT580 on March 17, 2014, 18:48:58
The stiff sanctions imposed should have an affect. :-[ :-[As soon as they were announced the Soviet stock market went up.  Refusing Disneyland passes  to 11 diplomats is hardly going to cause anyone to back off.  But it wouldn't surprise me if some movement alert notices were sent out very shortly.  Even if the french and english have forgotten about 1938/39 you can be sure that the Czech republic and Poland haven't and they will be agitating loud and hard for some physical demonstration of solidarity with the Ukraines.  After all, they spent 4 decades under Putin style rule, they don't want it to happen again. 

And truly, I don't believe it would take a lot.  A squadron of F18s and a platoon of infantry from each Nato country lined up on the border would draw a definite line without being overly belligerent.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: GR66 on March 17, 2014, 19:14:58
I think that Western governments made a serious strategic error in not recognizing the fairly unique situation in Crimea.  The Russians have a very specific strategic interest in the Crimean peninsula and their takeover was somewhat of a "perfect storm".  The Russian majority in Crimea seems happy and willing to rejoin the motherland.  Russia has the strategic imperative of keeping hold of its Black Sea Harbour.  The Crimea itself is unique among the Russian speaking regions of Ukraine in that it is an autonomous Oblast with it's own constitution and its own Prime Minister (within the Ukrainian constitution) and was "gifted" to the Ukrainian SSR from Russia only in 1954.

Once the Russian take-over was in effect a "done deal" there was virtually no chance that it would be undone by anything the West or Ukraine could (or would be willing) to do.  NATO was not going to start a war to re-liberate Russian Crimeans that don't want to be re-liberated.  There appears to be no prospect of non-Russian Crimeans rising up against the Russian occupation, and the (new) Ukrainian government is (wisely) unlikely/incapable of trying to retake the region by force. 

Now I certainly don't agree with or like what the Russians have done, but honestly there is not much we can do (or could have done) to stop it.  The rest of Russian-speaking Ukraine is a different story.  However we've wasted our diplomatic firepower fighting a lost cause and demanding that the Russians give up the Crimea and our efforts have failed.  Now the Russians know we are timid and fairly toothless in backing up our righteous indignation and may be emboldened to try and "liberate" even more of their Russian brothers and sisters from other parts Eastern and Southern Ukraine.

If however we had been smarter we might have recognized that Crimea was a lost battle and instead focused our efforts on preventing further Russian expansion.  We could have let the Russians know that we accept that Crimea is was a "special"' situation but let Putin know that further Russian expansion into Ukraine would be unacceptable.  We could have offered the new Ukrainian government economic aid but at the same time pushed them to restore linguistic freedom to the Russian areas in the East so as to take away a Russian pretext for moving in to "protect" their oppressed Russian neighbours.  Russia was willing to defy the world in order to get the Crimea.  The West demanded they stop and did nothing of meaning.  Russia had enough strategic interest there to call our bluff and were proved correct.  Putin may now think that he can call our bluff again in other Russian regions of Ukraine.  If instead we had allowed him his already achieved victory in Crimea (with the expected diplomatic bluster in response) and focused all our efforts on protecting the REST of Ukraine he might have been left wondering if it is worth calling our bluff over regions where he has less strategic interest. 
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 17, 2014, 19:43:48
What are we going to do to ensure that Ukraine (whatever shape it finally ends up with) and the Baltic Countries have at least the same level of freedom the Finns secured for themselves during the Cold War?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: YZT580 on March 17, 2014, 20:22:09
As GR66 stated, the Crimea is theoretically a unique situation.  True, but it wasn't one that required any form of military intervention.  There was little to no pressure on Russia to evacuate: they had an agreement that was good for the foreseeable future (2042).  They had their warm water naval base and the infrastructure to support it.  There was therefore no need to force the issue.  Therefore there are other issues that are more important to them that they feel need to be addressed and the main one is the lose of influence on Eastern Europe to the EU.  This was evidenced in their attitude towards Serbia, Romania to a lesser extent and made obvious by their invasion of Georgia.  Once they lose their energy grip on Europe most of their control is gone and that will happen what with the US and Canada both net energy exporters within a few years and the potential for fracking within Europe itself.  I suspect that they feel that from this point on they can only grow weaker and thus now is the time to cement their sphere of influence.  Without a Maggie Thatcher or Ronald Reagan to provide some form of moral leadership not one of the current leaders in the west has the cojones to stand up, say no more and be believed.  Sadly, the only question left to be answered is "who's next?"
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Target Up on March 17, 2014, 20:51:18
Putin has sat back and watched "The West" throw it's money and it's sons and daughters into a couple of drawn out wars with no clear result when the dust settled.  The people of "The West" are tired of it, the governments are tired of it, and are unwilling to go again over a place that is "way over there", and not really our problem.  He threw the dice and rolled a 7, how many more throws do we think he's going to try?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Bird_Gunner45 on March 17, 2014, 21:26:55
What are we going to do to ensure that Ukraine (whatever shape it finally ends up with) and the Baltic Countries have at least the same level of freedom the Finns secured for themselves during the Cold War?

What are we the US and Germany going to do to ensure that Ukraine (whatever shape it finally ends up with) and the Baltic Countries have at least the same level of freedom the Finns secured for themselves during the Cold War?

FTFY. Canada has the square root of n/5 with n=f**k all to offer to this situation. Frankly, this is a eastern european matter. The comparisons to Germany prior to WW2 are silly and reflect a modicum of historical understanding. One has to remember that France and England declared war on Germany, not vice versa. Any argument that states what Germany may or may not have done had the allies not declared war is counter factual.

Even, suppose for a moment, that Russia DOES in fact intend on taking Odessa. So what? Even if they take back predominantly Russian areas than Russia is still weaker than they were in 1991. They still have zero ability to project real power against the west. And they are still a declining power.

If the future of warfare is indeed changing, as has been suggested, than it would, by default, have a limit on its ability. TV presence and assymetric can achieve limited goals in limited conflict. they cannot obtain unlimited offensive action. If Russia wants to force itself on unwilling neighbours than it is symetric and not assymetric threats that will tell the tale.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: 57Chevy on March 17, 2014, 21:43:53
                                                 Shared with provisions of The Copyright Act


 US, Germany inspectors to fly over Russia amid Ukraine tensions  (http://rt.com/news/usa-inspection-russia-skies-258/)

American and German inspectors will make observation flights over Russia and Belarus within the framework of the international treaty on Open Skies. The mission is set to verify the true position of Russian troops and military equipment.

Starting from March 17, military inspectors from the United States and Germany will perform flights over European Russia and Belarus to check the real whereabouts of Russian troops following accusations from Ukraine that Russia is consolidating military forces close to its borders. The inspection will continue through March 21.

“The flights will be performed on the Swedish observation plane SAAB-340,” head of the National Nuclear Threat Reduction Center, Sergey Ryzhkov, told Itar-Tass.

Ryzhkov specified that the flights will be performed on agreed routes only and that representatives of the Russian and Belarus military will be present onboard to ensure that the observation equipment on board is used strictly in accordance with the treaty’s provisions and that the flight adheres to coordinated parameters.

article continues...

info. (Wikipedia)
 Treaty on Open Skies  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_on_Open_Skies)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on March 18, 2014, 00:30:43
Putin is enjoying putting the boots to the West and this administration in particular. In his and many Russian's minds, this is a very agreeable payback for decades of (what they see as) humiliation and loss of Russia's "Imperial" status in the family of nations. I am pretty sure the Russians will continue to rub our collective noses in this for as long as they think they can get away with it. Based on the response so far, I expect this will be a long time indeed:

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/03/the-1930s-are-calling.php

Quote
THE 1930S ARE CALLING

Commentators with a cruel memory have recalled the moment from one of the 2012 presidential debates when President Obama cited Mitt Romney’s warning about the growing threat from Russia and dismissed it with a superficially sophisticated remark: “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back.”

When I hear President Obama threatening to impose consequences on Vladimir Putin et al., or imposing them, as he did today, I think: “The 1930s are now calling to ask for their piece of paper back.” The piece of paper would be the one Obama carries in his pocket whenever he meets with a tyrant.

Neville Chamberlain waved it upon his return to London from Munich in 1938, declaring that it represented “peace for our time.” “Our time” was roughly ten months.

Having sized up Obama and his Team of Nitwits, Putin won’t even give them a fig leaf. Why bother?

Putin is to Obama what Samuel Johnson was to James Boswell and Bishop Berkeley. He is a walking refutation of Obama’s fantasy world of the “international community” and “smart power.” When you see Vladimir Putin, think Samuel Johnson:

After we came out of the church, we stood talking for some time together of Bishop Berkeley’s ingenious sophistry to prove the nonexistence of matter, and that every thing in the universe is merely ideal. I observed, that though we are satisfied his doctrine is not true, it is impossible to refute it. I never shall forget the alacrity with which Johnson answered, striking his foot with mighty force against a large stone, till he rebounded from it — “I refute it thus.”

Putin refutes Obama “thus.”

Putin is making Marx look good. I mean Marx the pundit, not Marx the economist. The guy who said history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.

For the record, this is what the sanctions announced by Obama wrought today:

The new executive order Obama signed Monday targeted seven Russian government officials — Vladislav Surkov, Sergey Glazyev, Leonid Slutsky, Andrei Klishas, Valentina Matviyenko, Dmitry Rogozin and Yelena Mizulina — and used an existing order to sanction four Ukrainians, including the country’s former president.

Four others are targeted under the executive order Obama issued earlier this month: Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and former chief of staff Viktor Medvedchuk, as well as Crimea separatist leaders Sergey Aksyonov and Vladimir Konstantinov.

Monday’s order authorizes Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to work with Secretary of State John Kerry to impose asset freezes and travel restrictions on “any individual or entity that operates in the Russian arms industry, and any designated individual or entity that acts on behalf of, or that provides material or other support to, any senior Russian government official,” the White House said in a statement.

The sanctions are intended to “impose costs on named individuals who wield influence in the Russian government and those responsible for the deteriorating situation in Ukraine,” the White House said in its statement.

“We expect that these sanctions will be effective,” a senior administration official said. “Going forward, we have the ability to ramp up our pressure.”

I’m guessing there is a good reason the senior administration official required anonymity. He prefers not to out himself as a fool.

When the official announces that the Team of Nitwits expects the sanctions will be effective, do you suppose that they expect them to result in the restoration of Crimea to Ukraine? The stated expectation is ambiguous, but I doubt even they believe that. Rather, they will be “effective” in a Pickwickian sense. They will make those announcing them feel better.

Obama intensely wants to sell out to Putin, but Putin isn’t buying. He prefers to take without the patina of agreement. He views Obama with the utmost contempt, and he is proving himself a rather more perceptive student of character than his Western counterparts, Obama foremost among them.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Journeyman on March 18, 2014, 01:10:00
What are we going to do to ensure that Ukraine (whatever shape it finally ends up with) and the Baltic Countries have at least the same level of freedom the Finns secured for themselves during the Cold War?
Neither Ukraine nor the Finns are NATO members; the three Baltic countries are.

As much as I have little use for NATO, I suspect that any Russian move towards those countries would be a different game.



And until such moves happen, I'm backing away from this thread.  Have at 'er.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on March 18, 2014, 07:46:45
Now, let me think... where have we seen all this before?  Protecting ethnic (insert name here) from persecution?  What's the Russian word for Lebensraum again?
среда обитания
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on March 18, 2014, 07:50:25
Putin is enjoying putting the boots to the West and this administration in particular. In his and many Russian's minds, this is a very agreeable payback for decades of (what they see as) humiliation and loss of Russia's "Imperial" status in the family of nations. I am pretty sure the Russians will continue to rub our collective noses in this for as long as they think they can get away with it. Based on the response so far, I expect this will be a long time indeed

Only Putin can be Putin.  And he's doing rather well at it.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Old Sweat on March 18, 2014, 08:23:40
This piece in the National Post by John Ivison is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act.

John Ivison: Crimea crisis forcing Harper to rethink NATO, Arctic defence


John Ivison | March 17, 2014 | Last Updated: Mar 17 8:01 PM ET


For many Canadians, the events in Crimea constitute a quarrel in a far-away country between people of whom they know nothing, to quote Neville Chamberlain on the 1938 Sudeten crisis.

But Russia is not that far away. It borders our Arctic frontier. It’s a country with which we have conflicting claims over sovereignty of the Arctic sea-bed and, perhaps, its waters. And it’s a country that has shown itself prepared to use military force to satisfy its territorial ambitions.

There is a growing consensus the Harper government’s hard line over events in Ukraine is going to require a radical new defence doctrine, prepared for the contingency of an expansionist Russia.

Stephen Harper has soured on NATO, viewing it through the prism of Afghanistan, where the alliance was deemed to have placed an undue burden on a small number of participating members.

In 2011, senior Canadian bureaucrats worried that participating in a NATO exercise in northern Norway “could be misconstrued to contradict government policy in the Arctic.”

Mr. Harper himself warned NATO’s secretary-general that the alliance had “no role” in the Arctic and that pressure for involvement was coming from nations who wanted to exert their influence in a region “where they don’t belong,” according to a U.S. diplomatic cable released as part of the Wikileaks package.

Canada voted with its wallet in 2012, when it pulled out of NATO’s air surveillance program, AWACS, ostensibly to save money. The U.S. did likewise, cutting its funding contribution by 20%.

But Russia’s adventures in Crimea have breathed new life into NATO and diplomats in Brussels are waiting to see whether Mr. Harper will find renewed enthusiasm for the alliance, and for other collective security measures like ballistic missile defence.

Signs of Russian ambition in the Arctic have been apparent since it sent a mini-submarine to plant a flag on the sea-bed beneath the North Pole. The Putin regime has been steadily increasing its military capability there since 2007 and has been clear that it deems any foreign interests — be they government, commercial or environmental — as hostile.


NATO commanders say they have been increasingly concerned about Russian “muscle-flexing” but, according to a paper by Padrtova Barbora of the Centre for European and North Atlantic Affairs, “NATO’s role in the Arctic is uncertain and unfocused.”

Both Russian and Canadian policy in the Arctic has been cartoonish in its own way, designed for domestic consumption, with rhetoric far outstripping capability.

But while the Russians have been re-arming — building a new generation of nuclear powered icebreakers; new ballistic missile submarines; and, creating two special army brigades to be based in the Arctic — Canada is still talking.

“Everything is still in the planning stages but it is a plan that never comes forward,” said Rob Huebert, associate professor in the department of political science at the University of Calgary, referring to the Arctic patrol vessels, supply ships and replacement fighter jets that remain very much works in progress.

There is no doubt that Mr. Harper is in the vanguard of those who want to reverse Russia’s actions in the Ukraine. I remember talking to him about Vladimir Putin after the invasion of Georgia in 2008. “Showing weakness or hesitation encourages this type of behaviour on the part of the Russians,” he said.

But Mr. Putin knows Canada is a paper tiger. Most of the increased military spending in the last decade went into the army — new fighter jets have not yet been ordered and, according to two officers of parliament, there is unlikely to be enough money in the kitty to replace the warships that are due to be decommissioned.


The Senate defence committee is taking another look at ballistic missile defence, but Mr. Harper has yet to engage with the Obama administration.

The current priority for the Harper government is to balance the budget in time for the 2015 election. But foreign crises seldom respect the parliamentary calendar.

In a defence world that has just been turned upside down, the current budget cuts may need to be re-thought.

The recent Strategic Outlook by the CDA Institute made three specific recommendations in this regard — Canadian participation in a continental ballistic missile defence shield; creation of a maritime NORAD, integrating Canada’s navy and coast guard with that of the U.S.; and, a sufficient number of ships to patrol Canada’s three coastlines.

David Bercuson, director at the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary, talks about the “Finlandization” of Europe — the concept that smaller countries try not to challenge larger neighbours in foreign policy, while attempting to maintain national sovereignty. “We’re back to Finlandization, on a smaller scale. There’s no undoing it, even if the Russians pull out of Crimea,” he said.

The prospect is already causing a radical re-think of policy in countries like Sweden, which is flirting with the idea of NATO membership, after nearly 200 years of “splendid isolation.” Jan Bjorklund, Sweden’s deputy prime minister, floated the idea, warning Russia could seize Gotland, a Swedish island province in the Baltic Sea, if it chose to attack Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

The only concept Mr. Putin does appear to understand is Cold War orthodoxy, the balance of power.

On its own, Canada is as impotent as Finland. But in a re-energized, re-financed NATO, the united military potential dwarfs that of the Russians.

“Canada has to frame its defence policy in this reality,” said Dr. Bercuson.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 18, 2014, 08:52:59
Ukrainian Ministry of Defence:  operators are standing by for your donations for our logistical/medical needs!
Quote
Within the "Support the Ukrainian army" on account of the Ministry has received almost 9.9 million USD

| 18.03.2014 | | 09:42 |

As of March 17 to the accounts of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine within the "Support the Ukrainian army" has received almost 9.9 million USD from businesses and individuals as an aid to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

In particular, legal persons by transfer of about 1.9 million, of which USD 119 thousand - for health, others - on the logistics of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Individuals in the accounts of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine received 5,746,000 USD (5.336 million USD for logistical and 410 thousand - for medical care).

With a single call to a mobile number "565" in support of the Ukrainian army lists 2 million 235 thousand UAH (all - on the logistics of the Armed Forces of Ukraine).
UKR MoD, 18 Mar 14 (Google English) (http://bit.ly/1iYuu1L) - original in Ukrainian (http://www.mil.gov.ua/index.php?lang=ua&part=news&sub=read&id=33085)

Quote
Attention citizens of Ukraine! Cash donations for the logistical and medical support Ukraine's Armed Forces is now possible to make also in foreign currency

| 18.03.2014 | | 09:11 |

Attention! Due to the numerous appeals of individuals and legal entities - non-residents of Ukraine wishing to make monetary donations (in foreign currency) for logistical and medical support to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine established the relevant details for the transfer.

PS UAH equivalent donations (after the implementation of the established order of foreign currency) zarahovuvatymetsya the relevant treasury bills of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and used for its intended purpose ....
UKR MoD, 18 Mar 14 (Google English) (http://bit.ly/Os9zX6) - original in Ukrainian (http://www.mil.gov.ua/index.php?lang=ua&part=news&sub=read&id=33081)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Nemo888 on March 18, 2014, 08:56:13
But didn't we start this by forcing out a democratically elected leader by coup and installing "Yats" who was our chosen puppet? Like any game of Risk you played as a kid when you take Ukraine from someone their is always the possibility of them flipping over the board. Victoria Neuland thought she was winning and getting NATO on Russia's doorstep. She blew it.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on March 18, 2014, 09:02:49
Like any game of Risk you played as a kid when you take Ukraine from someone their is always the possibility of them flipping over the board.

(http://shirtoid.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/ukraine-is-weak.jpg)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Journeyman on March 18, 2014, 11:01:22
But didn't we start this by forcing out a democratically elected leader .....
      :Tin-Foil-Hat:

 I know for a fact it wasn't me.   :not-again:
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 18, 2014, 11:36:33
      :Tin-Foil-Hat:

 I know for a fact it wasn't me.   :not-again:

Nor me.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 18, 2014, 12:02:01
Back to reality, some initial reports of shooting and attempts to seize UKR military facilities (http://www.interpretermag.com/ukraine-liveblog-day-29-russia-annexes-crimea/#1520).

      :Tin-Foil-Hat:

 I know for a fact it wasn't me.   :not-again:
Nor me.
:Tin-Foil-Hat:
(http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/originals/6f/cc/da/6fccda4e92b94538b53cd1ee3c89e401.jpg)
:Tin-Foil-Hat:

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: KerryBlue on March 18, 2014, 12:38:48
I guess its sort of official now, Crimea is now back in the USSR(whoops Russia)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26630062

Quote
Ukraine crisis: Putin signs Russia-Crimea treaty


President Vladimir Putin and the leaders of Crimea have signed a bill to absorb the peninsula into Russia.

Mr Putin told parliament Crimea had "always been part of Russia" and he had corrected a "historical injustice".

Crimea was taken over by pro-Russian forces in late February after Ukraine's president was ousted, and declared independence from Ukraine on Monday.

Kiev said it would never accept the treaty and the US has called a G7-EU crisis meeting next week in The Hague.

US Vice-President Joe Biden, speaking in Poland, said Russia's involvement in Crimea was "a brazen military incursion" and its annexation of the territory was "nothing more than a land grab" by Moscow.



More at link
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 18, 2014, 13:08:30
(http://cache2.artprintimages.com/lrg/17/1751/PBO3D00Z.jpg)

We need to remember the old story* of The Walrus and the Carpenter ...

Putin is the walrus, I guess Merkel represents the carpenter, complaining only about how thickly the butter is spread. Ukraine, whatever's left of it, and Crimea, whatever's made of it, are the Oysters. Crimea was the fattest one, the one "of the largest size," the one the wily walrus ate first!

_____
* Well, it's not all that old, only about twice as old as me, actually.  :nod:

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 18, 2014, 13:15:58
Interesting analysis (http://www.interpretermag.com/moscow-will-use-crimea-vote-to-expand-naval-presence-in-black-sea-and-mediterranean/) - highlights mine ....
Quote
If Russia succeeds with its Anschluss of Crimea, Moscow will be in a position to dramatically expand its naval base a Sevastopol and thus change the military balance in the Black and Mediterranean seas, an outcome that could have geopolitical consequences as severe as Vladimir Putin’s efforts to dismantle and humble Ukraine.

The Sevastopol base has always been a key player in the politics of Crimea – it allowed Moscow to flex its military muscle there with only a relatively small introduction of additional forces – but in the anger and euphoria of the so-called “referendum” and Putin’s indication that Crimea will join Russia, few have considered how Moscow will exploit the base now that it will be on domestic rather than foreign soil.

An exception is an article posted on the Svobodnaya Pressa portal yesterday, in which commentators Sergey Ishchenko and Vasily Vankov suggest that “after the return of the Crimea, there will be an opportunity to sharply strengthen [Russia’s] military presence” there and thus in the region as a whole (http://svpressa.ru/war21/article/83846/ (http://bit.ly/1ooTazc)).

Prior to the Crimean vote, many in the Russian navy and general staff felt that the prospects for the base were anything but positive, given that the Maidan very much opposed its continued presence on Ukrainian soil. But now that Crimea and Sevastopol have become “finally and irreversibly” part of Russia, the two say, everything has been turned upside down.

Instead of being restricted by Ukrainian rules and facing further declines in the size and readiness of its naval and air forces in Sevastopol, Ishchenko and Vankov say, Moscow military planners can now plan for greater freedom of action, the expansion of the fleet, and what may be especially important the reopening of a shipyard for the construction of new vessels.

Just how important this is for Russia was highlighted, the two continue, by the difficulties Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu faced in trying to reanimate Russia’s Mediterranean squadron, difficulties that will be largely overcome first by having Sevastopol as a domestic base and then by filling it with new or overhauled ships.

Some new vessels have already arrived and more are on the way, they say, and “it is not excluded” that a French-built helicopter carrier that was supposed to go to the Pacific will now be based in Sevastopol instead. That could provide a new nucleus for the Black Sea fleet by 2016.

But the shift in physical control from Ukraine to Russia has more immediate consequences. One the one hand, several Russian ships now will be able to leave their ports for exercises and not be “prisoners” of the Ukrainians. And on the other, Russia may be able to absorb some or all of the Ukrainian navy vessels now on the peninsula.

In Kyiv, the two analysts say, defense officials still are operating under “the illusions” that they will be able to get their ships and personnel back. But those who are there already will not have that option, and Russian officials certainly will not allow any new Ukrainian vessels to come to Crimea ....
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 18, 2014, 13:30:21
Things that make you go "Hmmm ..." in this article which is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Financial Times:

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/7dbb5ffc-ae4f-11e3-bc07-00144feab7de.html?siteedition=intl
Quote
(http://www.orchardplatform.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Financial-Times-Logo.jpg)
Global stocks advance after Putin speech

By Jamie Chisholm and Dave Shellock

Tuesday 15:30 GMT.

Global stocks are extending earlier gains as participants take comfort from comments by Vladimir Putin that Moscow is not intending to expand its military presence in Ukraine.

There was a brief wobble in the markets following reports that troops in Simferopol, the Crimean capital, were “storming” a Ukrainian military base – although it remained unclear who was behind the incident. One Ukrainian officer was reported to have been wounded.

Instead, the chief driver of market action has been Mr Putin’s exhortation not to believe “those who say that Russia will take other regions following Crimea.”

“Evidently, frayed investor nerves have been soothed for now by Mr Putin’s statement that there will be no further split up of neighbouring Ukraine after the Crimea referendum, and Russian energy minister Alexander Novak telling reporters that he expects gas transit through Ukraine to continue as normal,” said Samarjit Shankar, global strategist at BNY Mellon.

Though Mr Putin reiterated a call for Crimea to be annexed by Russia, the tone of his comments were possibly less bellicose than some traders had feared. They seem to have bolstered investor hopes that the Ukraine crisis can be contained without further military action or a significant ratcheting up of economic sanctions between Russia and the international community.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 is currently up 0.6 per cent at 1,870 – just 8 points below its recent record closing high. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 has turned initial losses into a 0.9 per cent gain.

Moscow’s Micex index jumped 4.1 per cent and the rouble, which was weaker by 0.5 per cent at one point, is currently softer by just 0.2 per cent – though at Rbs36.21 it remains close to record lows against the dollar.

Similarly, measures of Russia’s credit risk are easing back from recent highs. Moscow’s 10-year implied borrowing costs are down 10 basis points to 9.33 per cent and the cost of insuring the country’s five-year debt is easing 15bp to 255bp, according to Markit.

As tensions ease, so demand for bolt-holes fades. The 10-year US Treasury yield had been down 3 basis points but is now just 1bp lower at 2.68 per cent, with traders again shrugging off a poor house building report as weather-affected. Equivalent maturity Bund yields are flat at 1.57 per cent. Gold is dropping $10 to $1,356 a troy ounce.

Moves in forex have been volatile. Traders’ favourite currency haven, the yen, swiftly lost ground on Mr Putin’s comments, only to strengthen again, an indication perhaps that not all investors are convinced about the broader market’s newfound risk appetite.

The euro has also been wobbly, supported by news that Germany’s constitutional court confirmed the legality of the bloc’s bailout fund but hampered by falling German economic confidence and Kiev’s rejection of Crimea’s accession into Russia.

Currently, the yen is up 0.3 per cent to Y101.46 per dollar and the single currency is down 0.1 per cent at $1.3905.

In turn, the dollar index is 0.1 per cent higher at 79.46, just a dozen or so pips shy of a four-month low as investor attention turns to what new Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen may say about the economy at her press conference following the central bank’s monetary policy decision on Wednesday.

The Fed is widely expected to continue reducing its monthly bond buying programme, trimming purchases by $10bn to $55bn and Ms Yellen may outline changes to forward guidance on policy.

Earlier in Asia, the mood was always more positive as bourses tracked Wall Street’s overnight gains. In Japan the Nikkei 225 rallied 0.9 per cent, but that came when the yen was weak at the start of the session. The yen’s subsequent bounce – given additional momentum by news that Japan’s land prices rose for the first time in six years – has pushed Nikkei futures lower and that suggests a soft open on Wednesday.

Moves in Greater China were more circumspect. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 0.5 per cent and on the mainland the Shanghai Composite inched up just 0.1 per cent after property prices showed signs of cooling.
New home prices in China’s 70 major cities rose 8.7 per cent in February, year-on-year, versus a 9.6 per cent increase the previous month, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

The data came as reports emerged that Chinese property developer Zhejiang Xingrun Real Estate does not have enough cash to repay its debts, exacerbating concerns about a swath of defaults damaging sentiment in the world’s second-biggest economy.

Meanwhile, the onshore renminbi exchange rate is down 0.2 per cent to 6.19 per US dollar, a fresh 11-month low. On Monday, the Chinese currency dropped 0.5 per cent, one of its biggest daily declines since China reformed its currency regime in 2005, after the People’s Bank of China doubled the currency’s trading band to 2 per cent over the weekend.

Additional reporting by Patrick McGee in Hong Kong


So, the markets have spoken ... for whatever that's worth.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 18, 2014, 13:45:06
A bit more detail (http://www.dw.de/ukrainian-soldier-killed-as-troops-storm-simferopol-base/a-17504202) ....
Quote
Troops stormed a Ukrainian base on the outskirts of Simferopol on Tuesday, according to a Ukrainian military spokesman.

One Ukrainian officer was initially reported to have been wounded in the neck. The Interfax and Reuters news agencies reported that a soldier had been killed.

Kyiv has blamed Russia for the attack.

A reporter for the AFP news agency said a burst of gunfire had been heard from a Ukrainian military unit in a suburb northeast of Simferopol. Two ambulances were seen driving into the area.

Immediately after the incident, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk said the conflict had moved from a political to a military stage.

"Today, Russian soldiers began shooting at Ukrainian servicemen," said Yatseniuk. "This is a war crime." ....

And the Russian version, according to an ABC reporter (https://twitter.com/MarquardtA/status/445964387749462016)?
Quote
#Russia version of Simferopol shooting says #Crimea "self-defense fighters were shot by a sniper," 1 killed.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: uncle-midget-Oddball on March 18, 2014, 13:52:41
Quote
"Today, Russian soldiers began shooting at Ukrainian servicemen," said Yatseniuk. "This is a war crime." ....

This just sounds odd...
He's already stated that Russia has essentially declared war, and the conflict is now a military one....

 A war crime for one armed faction to fire on the opposing armed faction is hardly a war crime IMO... regardless of how much I disagree with Russia's blatant aggression and annexation.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 18, 2014, 14:36:11
There is a useful interactive infographic in this article (http://www.bruegel.org/nc/blog/detail/article/1279-the-cost-of-escalating-sanctions-on-russia-over-ukraine-and-crimea/) at Bruegel, a European think tank specializing in economic issues. Click on the Gazprom Imports (% of Gas Consumption) button.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 18, 2014, 14:46:54
It is interesting to compare Poland to Ukraine in the CIA's World Fact Book.

Poland has fewer "natural" advantages than Ukraine but is rapidly moving into Western European standards of living.  Unlike Ukraine.

One of Poland's advantages, and Germany's for that matter, is that they are still mining coal.

While most of Ukraine's coal is mined in the Donbass the Galician fields mined by the Poles used to be mined by the Ukrainians as well.

"Europe" could back foot Putin by putting a moratorium on their Green Policies and reactivating coal fields - both for coal and for gas (or coke and coal gas if you prefer).

Europe has alternate energy supplies, if it wants to use them.  What other sources of quick cash does Putin have?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 18, 2014, 15:16:42
"Europe" could back foot Putin by putting a moratorium on their Green Policies and reactivating coal fields - both for coal and for gas (or coke and coal gas if you prefer).

Europe has alternate energy supplies, if it wants to use them.  What other sources of quick cash does Putin have?
Good lever, actually. 

I get the impression, though, that the European greens/left may be underwhelmed by this - and they wield a fair bit of clout.  They have to be convinced that coal is the best alternative to having no more Russian oil/gas.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Jarnhamar on March 18, 2014, 17:05:02
Is it true the EU backed Ukraine side of the house wanted to ban all minor languages?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 18, 2014, 17:16:08
It doesn't get any dirtier than Brown Coal and no one is Greener than Germany.

Quote
Germany Plans to Raze Towns for Brown Coal and Cheap Energy
Villages face the bulldozer as one of Europe’s renewable energy leaders leans more heavily on an old habit.

National Geographic FEBRUARY 11, 2014 (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2014/02/140211-germany-plans-to-raze-towns-for-brown-coal/)

(http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/764/cache/atterwasch-coal-lignite-1_76469_990x742.jpg)

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 18, 2014, 17:18:46
Its true OZ.  But that has since been withdrawn.

Having said that.  Ukraine isn't Canada.  Most former members of the USSR dealt with language bans.  Nobody ever banned French in Quebec.....

Quote
1911 – Resolution VIIth congress of the nobility in Moscow's only Russian-language education and the inadmissibility of the use of other languages in schools in Russia.
1914 – Prohibition of celebrating the 100th anniversary of Taras Shevchenko, the decree of Nicholas II prohibition of the Ukrainian press.
1914, 1916 – Russification campaign in western Ukraine, the prohibition of the Ukrainian word, education, church.
1922 – Part of the proclamation of the Central Committee of the RCP (b), and the Communist Party (b) the "theory" of the struggle between the two cultures in Ukraine – city (Russian) and peasant (Ukrainian), which should win the first one.
1924 – Law of the Republic of Poland on limiting the use of the Ukrainian language in the administration, judiciary, education subservient to the Polish Ukrainian lands.
1924 – Kingdom of Romania law on the obligations of all the "Romanians" who "lost their mother language," to educate children only in Romanian schools.
1925 – Ukrainian final closure of the "secret" of the university in Lviv
1926 – Stalin's letter to "Comrade. Kaganovich and other members of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CP (B) U with the sanction of the struggle against the "national bias", the beginning harassment of "Ukrainization".
1933 – Stalin's telegram to stop "Ukrainization".
1933 – Abolition in Romania Ministerial Decree of 31 December 1929, which permits a few hours a week of the Ukrainian language in schools with a majority of students with the Ukrainians.
1934 – A special order of the Ministry of Education of Romania's dismissal "for the hostile attitude of the State and the Romanian people" of all Ukrainian teachers who demanded the return to school of Ukrainian.
1938 – SNK and the CPSU (B) "Compulsory study of the Russian language in the schools of the national republics and regions", the corresponding decision SNK USSR and the Central Committee of the CP(b)U.
1947 – "Operation Vistula", resettlement of ethnic Ukrainians from the Ukrainian lands "scattered" among the Poles in western Poland to speed up polonisation.
1958 – Enshrined in Art. 20 Principles of Legislation of the USSR and the Union Republics on Public Education of the situation on the free choice of language learning, the study of all languages except Russian, at the request of students' parents.
1960–1980 – Ukrainian mass closure of schools in Poland and Romania.
1970 – Order of the thesis defense only in Russian.
1972 – Prohibition of party bodies to celebrate the anniversary of the museum Kotlyarevskyi in Poltava.
1973 – Prohibition to celebrate the anniversary of I. Kotlyarevskogo "Aeneid."
1974 – Resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU "On preparing for the 50th anniversary of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics", which first proclaimed the creation of a "new historical community – the Soviet people", the official policy of denationalization.
1978 – The decision of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the USSR Council of Ministers "On measures to further improve the study and exposition of the Russian language in the Soviet republics" ("The Brezhnev Circular").
1983 – The decision of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the USSR Council of Ministers "On additional measures to improve the study of the Russian language in schools and other educational institutions of the Union Republics" ("Andropov decree").
1984 – Resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the USSR Council of Ministers "On further improvement of secondary education for young people and improving the working conditions of secondary school."
1984 – Back to the USSR payments increased by 15% of the salary for teachers of the Russian language in comparison with teachers of Ukrainian language.
1984 – Order of the Ministry of Culture of the USSR on the transfer proceedings in all the museums of the Soviet Union, the Russian language.
1989 – Resolution of the Central Committee of the "Legislating the Russian language as a nation-wide."
1990 – Adopted by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR Law on the Languages of the Peoples of the USSR, where Russian is granted official status.

Courtesy of Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronology_of_Ukrainian_language_bans)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: KerryBlue on March 18, 2014, 17:23:03
Is it true the EU backed Ukraine side of the house wanted to ban all minor languages?

They repealed a law passed in 2012 by Yanukovich's government allowing minority language(Russian, Hungarian etc but primarily Russian)  to be used in in local government. It's main impact was on eastern Ukrainians who are primarily Russian speakers.

http://rt.com/news/ukraine-language-lavrov-asselborn-627/
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Chris Pook on March 18, 2014, 17:39:27
Interesting Link to EuraCoal  (http://www.euracoal.be/pages/layout1sp.php?idpage=269)

Edit:

And an Economist article (http://www.economist.com/news/business/21571171-extracting-europes-shale-gas-and-oil-will-be-slow-and-difficult-business-frack-future) on Shale Gas and Fracking (Which Germany permits and has done for some decades)

(http://cdn.static-economist.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/full-width/images/print-edition/20130202_WBM955.png)
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 18, 2014, 22:12:05
It doesn't get any dirtier than Brown Coal and no one is Greener than Germany.

National Geographic FEBRUARY 11, 2014 (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2014/02/140211-germany-plans-to-raze-towns-for-brown-coal/)
Interesting Link to EuraCoal  (http://www.euracoal.be/pages/layout1sp.php?idpage=269)

Edit:

And an Economist article (http://www.economist.com/news/business/21571171-extracting-europes-shale-gas-and-oil-will-be-slow-and-difficult-business-frack-future) on Shale Gas and Fracking (Which Germany permits and has done for some decades)

(http://cdn.static-economist.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/full-width/images/print-edition/20130202_WBM955.png)
Thanks for those - much appreciated info to ponder.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 19, 2014, 00:19:48
Has anyone transmitted "Rocking Horse" yet?  ;D
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on March 19, 2014, 01:18:40
Things are beginning to escalate

Quote
Shots fired in Crimea; Ukraine soldier killed
Michael Winter, USA TODAY 10:11 p.m. EDT March 18, 2014

(http://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/f369f9faa06ee386df6678ca6284b6288a4a685a/c=122-0-3253-2340&r=x404&c=534x401/local/-/media/USATODAY/USATODAY/2014/03/18//1395191799000-AFP-528167698.jpg)

Ukraine authorities authorized soldiers to shoot in self-defense Tuesday after an officer was killed when gunmen attacked a besieged military base near the capital of Crimea, according to news reports.

The shooting came hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin and Crimean leaders signed a treaty that makes the Black Sea peninsula part of the Russian Federation, a move the White House and European leaders called an illegal annexation. Residents of Crimea voted Sunday to secede from Ukraine.

The soldier's death was the first since Russian troops took control of Crimea in February after pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych fled Ukraine following deadly mass protests over his decision to scrap closer ties with the European Union.

A witness told the BBC that armed men got out of two unmarked vehicles outside Simferopol and stormed the mapping facility, firing automatic weapons. A junior officer manning a tower was killed, along with a Crimean self-defense force member, the Interfax News Agency reported. Another Ukrainian officer was wounded in the neck.

MORE: Putin's move on Crimea bolsters popularity back home

The attackers detained other soldiers, who wore Russian uniforms, the Ukrainian News Agency reported, citing a defense ministry official.

A pro-Russian news outlet created by Crimean authorities gave a different account, claiming snipers fired on the base and on self-defense forces checking a report of armed men at the facility. One self-defense brigade members was also killed, a police spokesman told Interfax.

"The conflict is moving from a political one to a military one because of Russian soldiers," Ukrainian Prime Ministe Arseniy Yatsenyuk said at the defense ministry. "Today, Russian soldiers began shooting at Ukrainian servicemen and this is a war crime without any expiry under a statute of limitations."

Acting President Aleksandr Turchinov authorized Ukrainian troops in Crimea to use firearms to "defend their lives" after the shooting.

Source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/03/18/ukraine-crimea-shooting-soldier-killed/6576697/
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on March 19, 2014, 01:28:55
The French begin to up the ante?  Then again why they were ever selling Russia weapons in the first place goes to show how "reliable" some of our non five eyes NATO partners really are.

Quote
Ukraine: France warns Russia it could cancel warships deal
French foreign minister says £1bn contract for two high-tech Mistral warships could be blocked if situation escalates
Kim Willsher in Paris theguardian.com, Tuesday 18 March 2014 11.58 GMT

(http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2014/3/18/1395143664575/Tonnerre-011.jpg)
The French naval vessel, Tonnerre. The ship is an example of a Mistral warship of the type the French are selling to Russia. Photograph: Arnaud Roine/AP

France might cancel a controversial deal to sell two state-of-the-art warships to Russia but only if Britain also acted against Russian oligarchs in London, according to the French foreign minister.

Speaking after Russian president Vladimir Putin approved a draft bill for the annexation of Crimea before the parliament in Moscow, Laurent Fabius warned he "could envisage" blocking the €1.2bn (£1bn) sale.

France is due to deliver two high-tech Mistral warships to Russia. The first, christened the Vladivostok, has already undergone sea trials from the port of Saint-Nazaire. A second, called the Sevastopol, is due to be completed by the end of next year.

"If Putin continues doing what he is doing we could envisage cancelling the sales," Fabius told TF1 television on Tuesday. "This would be part of a third level of sanctions. For the moment we are at the second level.

"But we will ask others, and I'm thinking namely the British, to do the same with the assets of the Russian oligarchs in London. Sanctions have to be shouldered by everyone."

Fabius admitted cancelling the contracts would be "negative for the French" - and his comments drew swift criticism from Russia's deputy prime minister, Dmitry Rogozin.

"France is starting to undermine confidence in it as a reliable provider in the very sensitive sector of military and technical co-operation," Rogozin, who oversees the military sector, said on Twitter.

Fabius's comments mark an apparent change of tack by Paris, which had previously ruled out blocking the deal. Even as the Crimea crisis erupted, the French president, François Hollande, insisted the contract would be honoured. Asked if the deal would be cancelled last Thursday, Fabius replied: "We'd rather not reach that point."

The deal, the first between Russia and a Nato country, had already raised deep misgivings among France's allies when it was signed by former centre-right president Nicolas Sarkozy in 2011, just three years after the Russian invasion of Georgia in the Caucasus.

The Mistral – a 180-metre, 22,000-ton vessel – is capable of carrying 16 helicopters, four landing craft, 60 armoured vehicles, 13 battle tanks and between 450 and 700 soldiers for up to six months and will give the ageing Russian naval fleet a new lease of life. The vessel is known by the French navy as a military "Swiss army knife" for its multiple attack capabilities and use as a command centre, hospital as well as helicopter and troop carrier. The Russians have taken an option on a further two Mistral warships.

In 2008, Commander Vladimir Vysotsky, head of the Russian navy, said his forces would have been victorious in Georgia "in just 40 minutes" if his ageing Black Sea fleet had been equipped with the French warships.

Shortly afterwards, Putin said during a visit to Paris: "I can assure you that if we purchase this armament, we will use it wherever deemed necessary."

At the time of the deal both Washington and several of Russia's neighbours, including the three Baltic states, criticised Paris's decision to sell the warships to Moscow, which was still referring to Nato as an enemy.

Republican senators wrote to the French ambassador in Washington complaining the sale was inappropriate because it would suggest France approved of Russia's "increasingly aggressive and illegal" conduct. In 2010, former American defence secretary Robert Gates made no secret about the US's disapproval of the Mistral deal.

"Yes, we [the US and the French] did discuss it. We had a good and thorough exchange of views. I will leave it at that," Gates said.

France, however, was jubilant with the Elysée declaring: "France's naval industry has won." Sarkozy also rejected criticism at the time. "The cold war is finished … we have to consider Russia as a friend and have to work with her to build a vast area of security and prosperity together," he said.

France has insisted it is not fitting the ships with weapons technology. However, Moscow has said the deal includes the technology from France to produce the Mistral's command and control system itself.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: FAL on March 19, 2014, 01:45:08
среда обитания

жилой площади
операция Барбароса?
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 19, 2014, 08:42:37
An interesting tidbit:  is this (http://bit.ly/1fYlZR0) a live webcam feed of a (still) Ukrainian base (http://bit.ly/1j2M5FB)?

Also, another domino falls - the Russian media account (http://rt.com/news/sevastopol-ukraine-leave-servicemen-796/) ....
Quote
Over 30 Ukrainian servicemen have left the Ukrainian Navy HQ in the town of Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula after demonstrators stormed the premises early in the morning.  Rear Admiral Sergey Gaiduk of the Ukrainian Navy has walked out of the HQ along with the 30 servicemen without any interference from the Crimean self-defense forces or activists from Sevastopol, according to Interfax.  People began protesting outside the HQ at 08:00 GMT. Several thousand participants cut fences, stormed inside and changed the flags on the flagpoles. Some of the participants of the rally were singing the Russian national anthem.  There were no immediate reports of violence ….
.... versus a mainstream media account (http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/03/19/uk-ukraine-idUKBREA1H0EM20140319):
Quote
Russian troops and unarmed men stormed Ukraine's naval headquarters in the Crimean port of Sevastopol on Wednesday and raised the Russian flag in a tense but peaceful takeover that signals Moscow's intent to neutralise any armed opposition.

Russian soldiers, and so-called "self-defence" units of mainly unarmed volunteers who are supporting them across the Black Sea peninsula, moved in early in the morning and quickly took control.

Shortly after the incident, Ukraine's acting Defence Minister Ihor Tenyukh said in Kiev that the country's forces would not withdraw from Crimea even though Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a treaty to make it part of Russia.

But an hour later, Ukrainian servicemen, unarmed and in civilian clothing, began walking out of the headquarters.

Interfax Ukraine news agency said the commander of the Ukrainian navy, Admiral Serhiy Haiduk, was among those who left and was driven away by officers of Russia's FSB intelligence service. The report could not be independently confirmed ....
(http://s1.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20140319&t=2&i=865888393&w=&fh=&fw=&ll=700&pl=378&r=CBREA2I0VLZ00)
(http://s1.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20140319&t=2&i=865888392&w=&fh=&fw=&ll=700&pl=378&r=CBREA2I0VM000)
(http://s1.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20140319&t=2&i=865867781&w=&fh=&fw=&ll=700&pl=378&r=CBREA2I0U0N00)
(http://cdn.rt.com/files/news/23/d6/c0/00/ukraine-3.si.jpg)

- edited to fix operator format #$%^-up -
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Journeyman on March 19, 2014, 09:09:47
операция Барбароса?
::)  If we're not going to Ukraine, we're certainly not going to Russia
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on March 19, 2014, 10:08:33
I'd be very interested to see where the funding for these people is actually coming from. Judging by how Canadian "environmentalists" carefully launder funding from the Tides Foundation, I imagine the funding for US environmentalists also goes through several layers to disguise the true source. Ask yourself, "Cui bono?":

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/201093-greens-pressure-obama-to-reject-expansion-of-natural-gas-exports

Quote
Greens pressure Obama to reject expansion of natural gas exports
 
By Timothy Cama
 
Environmental groups called on President Obama Tuesday to reject pending applications to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals, citing the negative impacts from natural gas throughout its life cycle.
 
The pressure from green groups comes amid Republican calls for the administration to speed up the application process in response to Russia’s use of its natural gas resources as political leverage over Europe. Russia supplies most of Ukraine’s natural gas and is also a major supplier throughout much of Europe.
 
The GOP argues the U.S. could loosen Russia’s grip over Ukraine and Europe by building more terminals and exporting more natural gas.
 The environmental groups focused their argument on Cove Point, a proposed terminal in Lusby, Md., but also argued that the idea of increasing exports of natural gas to help Ukraine was misguided because most of the exports would likely go to Asia, where prices are higher.
 
The Sierra Club, 350.org and the Chesapeake Coalition, along with other allied groups, specifically asked Obama to have the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to conduct a full environmental review of Dominion Resources Inc.’s proposed Cove Point terminal.
 
“The proposed Cove Point LNG terminal would certainly make gas companies richer, but it would make our own country more poor,” Michael Brune, executive director of Sierra Club, told reporters Tuesday. “Building a new LNG terminal doesn’t strengthen our nation, and it further disrupts our climate.”
 
The groups argue increasing production of natural gas would lead to more hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, a natural-gas extraction process they said causes massive harm to the environment while releasing large amounts of greenhouse gas.
 
Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, warned that supporting natural gas could be politically detrimental to the president.
 
“Everybody’s watching now, this kind of stuff. And Democratic politicians who thought they might get by with a wink and a nod aren’t,” McKibben said. “Fracking’s become a dirty word, for good reason. “
 
In a statement responding to the letter, Dominion said natural gas could cut greenhouse gas emissions in half compared to using coal for electricity.
 
“Slowing or preventing natural gas exports from the United States is a step in exactly the wrong direction for those who are concerned about climate change,” Pamela Faggert, Dominion’s chief environmental officer, said in the statement.
 
FERC did not respond to requests for comment.
 
A bill sponsored by Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) would force the Obama administration to approve all pending LNG export terminal applications.
 
This story was posted at 2:58 p.m. and updated at 7:43 p.m.
.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/201093-greens-pressure-obama-to-reject-expansion-of-natural-gas-exports#ixzz2wPew5ej9
 Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 19, 2014, 10:27:27
операция Барбароса?
::)  If we're not going to Ukraine, we're certainly not going to Russia
Still, someone seems worried (http://rt.com/news/checkpoints-donbas-ukraine-military-458/) ....
Quote
Dozens of volunteers from the Donbas Region in eastern Ukraine have been setting up checkpoints to prevent Ukrainian military personnel from reaching the Russian border, one of the organizers of the movement told RT.

The unarmed activists are being coordinated by a local group called People’s Militia of Donbas and there are currently over 20 posts that have been set up on various roads in the region, the group’s Deputy Director Sergey Tsyplakov told RT.

The purpose of the posts is to prevent the Ukrainian military equipment from reaching the eastern border with Russia, averting further escalation of the conflict.

“There are 10 to 30 people at each post and they continuously switch with one another,” Tsyplakov said.

The majority of the checkpoints have been set up alongside the police posts and “the road police is helping out.” But, in more isolated spots there are more volunteers taking initiative. “People are helping around with tents and firewood,” Tsyplakov added.

People call in to donate or they bring supplies themselves to various posts, while the People’s Militia of Donbas just provides logistical support.

“People are volunteering to help out with delivering food and supplies to keep the posts going … We coordinate and send people out to different posts,” Tsyplakov stated.

“The first one out there were just the general public who saw military equipment coming, so they blocked rivers used to transport military equipment … They blocked railways used to bring in military supplies as well,” he said ....
What helpful, community-spirited (not to mention reasonably well and uniformly equipped) folk those pro-Russians seem to be.

All joking aside, if this is indeed happening, sounds pretty "Yugoslav" to me - and not in a good way.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on March 19, 2014, 12:16:55
China scatters the cards from the Administration's already weak hand:

http://www.the-american-interest.com/blog/2014/03/16/china-to-west-dont-you-dare-sanction-russia/

Quote
China to West: Don’t You Dare Sanction Russia

In an interview with Reuters, China’s ambassador to Germany offered a stark warning to the West as it seeks to sanction top Russian officials over the Ukraine invasion. ”We don’t see any point in sanctions,” said Ambassador Shi Mingde. “Sanctions could lead to retaliatory action, and that would trigger a spiral with unforeseeable consequences. We don’t want this.”
 
No doubt few countries are watching the Ukraine crisis as closely as China. Both Russia and China share an interest in limiting the West’s ability to interfere in certain sensitive areas. As Beijing continues building a formidable navy and coast guard, and flexing its muscles in the South and East China Seas, policy-makers are paying close attention to how much provocation the West is willing to endure. As Gideon Rachman, the FT‘s foreign affairs guru, wrote this week, “If President Vladimir Putin gets away with it then other governments, such as China and Iran, may decide defying America is getting less risky.”
 
The question of how the US, which has defense pacts with Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, will react to increased and ongoing Chinese belligerence in Asia is one of the most important geopolitical questions of the moment, and one of the top reasons to pay attention to what’s happening in Ukraine. In this age of deep economic links between countries that rival each other for political and strategic power—like China and the US—sanctions can inflict pain on the sanctioner almost as much as on the target country. Rachman writes: “In theory, the US could restrict the imports of Chinese goods – or even, in extremis, use the US navy to block China’s energy imports. But, like the Russians, the Chinese would have plenty of economic weapons with which to retaliate, from the disruption of the supply chains of American corporations to a refusal to buy US Treasury bills.”
 
Ultimately, Rachman concludes, “Even if the Ukraine crisis makes the west look temporarily weak, the long-run trends are still much more favourable to the US and the EU than to Russia.” With China however, which is playing this game with a much stronger hand than Russia’s, that conclusion is far from certain.

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 19, 2014, 13:02:26
Someone who reads Russian will, I hope, help us with this, but I'm told that this article (http://newsru.com/russia/19mar2014/railwaybridge.html) announces a $1.5B railway bridge to connect continental Russia to Crimea across the Strait of Kerch.

(http://black.sealevel.ca/gelendzhik/kmap.jpg)

Apparently the notion of this bridge goes back to Albert Speer in 1943.

Based on the costs of the Sochi Olympics we should quesstimate the budget as $15 Billion.

Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on March 19, 2014, 14:00:43
I can read *a bit* of Russian, and yes, it talks of a bridge between the Taman Peninsula and Kerch.  For that very price.  Also, it notes in the article (at the end) that there was a rail bridge built there in 1944 based on a draft plan they captured from the Germans.  It collapsed due to the lack of ice-breaking design factors.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: milnews.ca on March 19, 2014, 14:06:38
Someone who reads Russian will, I hope, help us with this, but I'm told that this article (http://newsru.com/russia/19mar2014/railwaybridge.html) announces a $1.5B railway bridge to connect continental Russia to Crimea across the Strait of Kerch.

(http://black.sealevel.ca/gelendzhik/kmap.jpg)

Apparently the notion of this bridge goes back to Albert Speer in 1943.

Based on the costs of the Sochi Olympics we should quesstimate the budget as $15 Billion.
Good catch, E.R.C. - here's what Agence France-Presse is saying (http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140319/putin-orders-road-and-rail-bridge-crimea), shared with the usual caveats:
Quote
Russia will build a rail and road bridge from Crimea to southern Russia, President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday, confirming the long-planned project would go ahead after Russia seized the peninsula.

"Here we need a bridge to take both cars and trains," Putin said at a meeting with his ministers, cited on the Kremlin website.

The bridge would allow Russia to deliver people and cargoes directly to Crimea without going through mainland Ukraine. Currently there is only a basic car and pedestrian ferry service across the 4.5 kilometre (2.8 mile) wide Kerch strait.

Transport minister Maxim Sokolov earlier this week estimated the project would cost a minimum 50 billion rubles ($1.4 billion) and take at least three-and-a-half years.

Ukrainian officials previously put the cost at $1-3 billion.

Sokolov told Putin that Russia was also studying the option of building a rail tunnel under the seabed, where he said there were "complex geological and hydrological conditions."

"We will carry out all these parallel processes as quickly as possible in order to start the construction of the bridge as soon as possible," the transport minister said.

A spokesman for state monopoly Russian Railways, cited by RIA Novosti news agency, said the company was "ready to take part in developing the project".

Early this month, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev put federal road agency Rosavtodor in charge of the bridge project.

The project had been agreed in December between Russia and the former Ukrainian government of now ousted president Viktor Yanukovych.

A bridge between the Crimean town of Kerch and the long Chushka spit on the Taman peninsula in Russia's Krasnodar region has been envisioned for decades since the Soviet era.

The German army began to construct a link in 1943, when the Crimea was under Nazi occupation.

Soviet authorities later finished the bridge, but it was destroyed by shifting ice even before the end of World War II.

In the 1990s, a new bridge was lobbied for by then-mayor of Moscow Yury Luzhkov, with reports estimating the cost at about $1 billion at the time.
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Technoviking on March 19, 2014, 14:27:00
[tangent]
The film "Cross of Iron" by Sam Pekinpah is set on the Taman Peninsula.  In it, the Germans are pushed back towards Anapa, thence to the Kerch peninsula.

(http://parallax-view.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/cross-of-iron-coburn.jpg)
[/tangent]
Title: Re: Ukraine - Superthread
Post by: Thucydides on March 19, 2014, 14:57:05
Building the bridge is only part of it, electrical infrastructure and natural gas pipelines will also hae to be laid to the Crimea from Russian territory (among other things).
Title: Re: Uk