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Author Topic: Ukraine  (Read 13761 times)

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Offline BlytheTopic starter

Ukraine
« on: February 28, 2014, 05:52:20 PM »
I didn't see a thread for this, and I thought it was worthy of one here in the PROC.

Source, Another Source

Considering the significant problems in Ukraine with uprisings and their president, what are people's opinions about Russia stepping in like this? I was surprised by this, but I feel like I really shouldn't be.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2014, 09:49:25 AM by Blythe »

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2014, 06:13:00 PM »
Czech media cite the new president to have said that the situation is remarkably similar to the uprising and brief war in Georgia in 2008 with Russian invasion following an uprising and provoking a war.

I think it's a demonstration of power - a signal to the West that Putin will not let anyone "have" Ukraine, regardless of the fact they are turning towards EU, and a test whether the West is willing to take up arms for Ukraine.

Offline Neysha

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2014, 06:15:18 PM »
Russia wants to cleave off the Crimea and maybe some bits of Eastern Ukraine, much like how it stripped Ossetia and Abkhazia from Georgia 15-20 years prior and finished the job in 2008.

Too bad they weren't part of NATO or the EU. Then maybe something could've been done. :(
« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 06:30:46 PM by Neysha »

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2014, 07:55:09 PM »
Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide

I would be lying if I said I wasn't scared at this development. Not since the Cuban Missile Crisis has war been so close, well whatever happens...I guess it was all bound to happen.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 07:56:49 PM by SGTDan »

Offline Neysha

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2014, 10:23:23 PM »
http://inagist.com/all/439559981118287874/

Ultimatum given for Ukrainian troops to leave their bases in the Crimea by 2AM local time.

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2014, 11:18:58 PM »
I really hope this is just saber rattling...this is a slippery slope now

Offline Petronius

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2014, 11:47:40 PM »
It's not sabre rattling, it's a proper invasion. Putin is expanding his empire, which has been his goal all along.

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2014, 01:35:36 AM »
          Have to at least say Putin's government is quite adept at dissembling.  Of course, partly it's a sensible strategy when you may not have absolutely the most powerful military in the world but time, proximity and will are on your side.  If you can make people wonder wtf is really going on -- or even, whatever to do -- just long enough to change the facts on the ground.  Though yes perhaps after Georgia and given many of the statements the Russian nationalists make (both in Ukraine and in Russia, when they aren't the same ones crossing the border), people should not be all too surprised. 

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2014, 04:57:07 AM »
Yep, I think Russia will go to quite some length to keep reliable control of Crimea. And since the Ukraine is economically next to broke at this point, the EU has kind of limited resources to offer loans, and Russia has the option of talking to their ex-president, who will be able to fill them in on the military installations and plans of his old country - well, Moscow is sitting with a strong hand.

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2014, 04:00:44 PM »
Good outline of the possible strategic consequences of a full-blown invasion of Ukraine, not just Crimea, here.

I don't think the Ukrainian armed forces by themselves are going to be in anything like top shape (how do you fight a war against a superior enemy who can pull the plug on some of your main fuel and energy flow? and when the country is deep in debt?) and fighting against Russia most likely wasn't their primary case of war planning, though they will be eager to defend their home country of course. If it grows to a bigger conflict it's going to be about NATO support and that's going to crank up the heat on several countries in the region.

Also, nobody is prepared to deal with the streams of refugees that might happen due to a longer war; a big part of those would turn towards Poland or the Baltic area and...Scandinavia.

Offline lovelylilT

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2014, 06:14:54 PM »
No rattling of sabers. It's invasion and war.

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2014, 06:33:22 PM »
No rattling of sabers. It's invasion and war.

Right. I think the next question is how far Putin is prepared to go - just taking over Crimea, or trying to force the creation of a separate republic there which would become a de facto Russian fiefdom, doesn't sound like a very stable setup in the long run. And many Russians see Ukraine as historically part of Russia anyway. Kiev is where some of the first Russian princedoms emerged, and where christianity entered Russia. Not to mention the economic wealth of the country in metals, coal and agricultural produce. Trying to push the western border of Russia a couple hundred kilometers would sound, um, appetizing...

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2014, 07:00:37 PM »
*imagines Putin talking to Obama on the hot line in a junkie-like, irritated wheeze: "Hey man, I ain't talkin' to you no more tonight, an' besides I need some sleep, you know. Tomorrow is gonna be well, anotha' busy day... "*

Offline lovelylilT

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2014, 07:04:44 PM »
Putin doesn't think or care for long term. He wants Ukraine under Russia control, he takes it. Many in Ukraine want this, many don't. I'm scared this tears my beautiful country to nothing.

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2014, 10:17:32 PM »
Quote from: Louise
Right. I think the next question is how far Putin is prepared to go - just taking over Crimea, or trying to force the creation of a separate republic there which would become a de facto Russian fiefdom, doesn't sound like a very stable setup in the long run. And many Russians see Ukraine as historically part of Russia anyway. Kiev is where some of the first Russian princedoms emerged, and where christianity entered Russia.

          I don't know, they've been playing the de facto Russian fiefdoms along the Georgian border for a good five years now.  Putin seems rather happy to let 'ugly' differences drag on where it suits him.  Such as Syria, too, though it's a different level of ugly.

          Though Crimea is getting a little more in Europe's face perhaps.  And there just might be some worry that if it becomes a pattern, what else might Putin want?  After all, the guy has kind of been saying bring back the Soviet Union, yes??  (More influence in the Baltics, perhaps??)  Actually I have no idea, really.  I doubt many of the other states bordering Russia can become this embattled right away.  But then, it's hard to keep anywhere completely stable forever in today's highly manipulated and generally messed up global economy too!

          I'm no expert, but am gathering Ukraine really has a lot of division going on already.  There are lots of Russians in the east, there are Tartars mixed into the Crimea, there are people with ethnic ties to I think, Eastern Europe in the west now at least...  It's kind of hard for me to imagine how this is all going to hold together under pressure. 

           Everyone keeps fussing about the economics in the papers.  Seems to me that whenever there really is political will, debt is not all that huge of an issue.  When there isn't, it suddenly becomes everything.  I'm not quite as sure about the EU, but if the US really, and I mean really wanted to draw a "line" somewhere, it would deploy first (or loan money first, as the case may be) and pay later like most everything else it does.  Supposedly there are long-term limits to all that, but it hardly stops the military from sending fleets around the world or Washington discussing debt relief for Egypt (whether yes or no, they did wave that around as if it might be possible, and that is one big sum).     

               A couple points I've passed that I wonder about...  Europe may want Russian gas but could it find alternative sources?  (As I recall, the Russian providers have not always been exactly smooth in keeping prices predictable anyway.  Maybe more smooth in changing them every time they didn't like some European policy.  And I believe there have been some times of threatened shutoff or delays before.) 

             Also:  If Ukraine is not going to just give in and lose territory, one thing it might do is shut off the Russian pipelines west itself?  Moscow might see that as a provocation, but a lot of this is still psychological brinkmanship and taking on Kiev would also mean a larger set of unknowns. 

              Or they might be just as happy to try to strike deals with China and let the west pay for sorting out the economic costs of replacing Russian supplies after all.  Though I'm not sure how nice a deal Moscow could get.  When it came to contracts for oilfield exploitation at least, some Kazakhs for instance feel China has pretty much robbed them of the lion's share of profit.     
     
               I also passed some mumbling that Poland might feel threatened if the Russian military moves into western Ukraine.  Not sure if the West is up to actually seeing Poland as something more substantial than a friendly buffer zone yet?  Hmm.  Now if only the place had more highlands...


Offline BlytheTopic starter

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2014, 10:48:42 PM »
This seems to be a good source for reading information as it's available (and contains the full White House statement to Russia, apparently), although I wouldn't mind finding some more sources to read. Anyone have any particular news outlets they'd recommend for me to read to keep up with the situation in Ukraine?

I have to admit, Ukraine was already in a serious upset regarding tensions between them and the EU, and they do have a large Russian-speaking population. There's a serious cultural divide that seems prevalent there that is intensifying and worsening things. I'm not entirely sure how the region is going to be able to stabilize without some sort of outside influence...although I do think it would have been better if it hadn't been Russia moving in to the region.

I also notice that their ousted president, Yanukovych, is currently in Russia in Rostov-on-Don. He insists he wasn't overthrown or ousted and was just fleeing for his life.

....I feel like Yanukovych hasn't quite grasped what being overthrown means. Ukraine already has another acting president and Yanukovych fled the country. That seems like he's been overthrown to me.  :P

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2014, 02:11:22 AM »
This seems to be a good source for reading information as it's available (and contains the full White House statement to Russia, apparently), although I wouldn't mind finding some more sources to read. Anyone have any particular news outlets they'd recommend for me to read to keep up with the situation in Ukraine?

I have to admit, Ukraine was already in a serious upset regarding tensions between them and the EU, and they do have a large Russian-speaking population. There's a serious cultural divide that seems prevalent there that is intensifying and worsening things. I'm not entirely sure how the region is going to be able to stabilize without some sort of outside influence...although I do think it would have been better if it hadn't been Russia moving in to the region.

I also notice that their ousted president, Yanukovych, is currently in Russia in Rostov-on-Don. He insists he wasn't overthrown or ousted and was just fleeing for his life.

....I feel like Yanukovych hasn't quite grasped what being overthrown means. Ukraine already has another acting president and Yanukovych fled the country. That seems like he's been overthrown to me.  :P

It made me giggle when I heard yesterday how Yanukovych was telling the press, "I haven't fled, I just relocated from Kiev to Charkiv, and did so because my family was being threatened."  O:)

But after all, Putin hasn't deigned to see him and there hasn't been much of an official welcome of the unseated president in Russia. He made his speech from Rostov, near the border, not from Moscow. That could be a pointer that Putin now sees him as yesterday's man, a spent force.

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2014, 02:14:08 AM »
Strategic tactical withdrawal.  :D

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2014, 07:04:48 AM »
Members of the infamous (and recently disbanded) elite riot police force, the Berkut, set up checkpoints friday (or the night into saturday) on roads through the isthmus linking Crimea to the rest of the Ukraine. Looks like this was well before the "unidentified" soldiers - most likely Russian troops - made their assault overnight; from the caption to the picture it sounds like the encounter with the road posted native irregulars/elite military police must have happened Friday morning, two days ago (unless it happened just after sunrise on Saturday morning and "February 28", refers to the time when the pic and the despatch were handled in the US, late in the evening on Feb.28, but I don't think that's it)

According to a reporter for a Swedish newspaper who is in Crimea, the Russian and the Ukrainian fleet contingents are lying side by side near the main naval base in Sevastopol; the Russian force is vastly superior, 38 ships to 2. Not a shot has been fired from any of the ships so far.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 07:10:40 AM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Neysha

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2014, 09:13:00 AM »
Well it makes sense, the massive outnumbering, considering the Crimea naval bases were being leased by Russia from the Ukraine for their Black Seas Fleet.

Amongst significant other assets...



Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide
Looks like Euromaiden isn't quite as popular in Kharkov.



Rally for support of the Russian Invasion of Crimea in Moscow... I guess not all protests are banned in Moscow.  ;)



And for status of the Invasion proceedings..



Russian military forces surrounding a Ukrainian Coast Guard Base



But for me, the most important lesson.

Quote from: 1994 Memorandum on Security Assurances


    The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the CSCE Final Act, to respect the Independence and Sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine.
    The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defense or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
    The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the CSCE Final Act, to refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and thus to secure advantages of any kind.
    The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to seek immediate United Nations Security Council action to provide assistance to Ukraine, as a non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, if Ukraine should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used.
    The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm, in the case of the Ukraine, their commitment not to use nuclear weapons against any non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, except in the case of an attack on themselves, their territories or dependent territories, their armed forces, or their allies, by such a state in association or alliance with a nuclear weapon state.
    The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will consult in the event a situation arises which raises a question concerning these commitments.

Never give up your nuclear weapons.

Supposedly masked gunman fired on Russian troops recently... Well I mean that's literally true but... seems... suspicious just by looking at the video and pictures.



The best part is how the mysterious gunman in this bloodless skirmish are armed with GM-94 Grenade Launchers... which isn't something really used by the Ukrainian military... or police... or anybody... But obviously they got some, and just forgot to fire them I suppose.



And the Ukraine has called for full mobilization. But it doesn't seem like Ukraine is likely able to prevent the Russians from fracturing the country.

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2014, 09:43:53 AM »
Thanks for the update, Neysha. The only thing missing now is a formal declaration of war by Russia, but as far as Crimea is concerned, such formalities are pretty much meaningless.

Offline lovelylilT

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2014, 11:07:14 AM »
Russia lays ground work for this, many weeks before. Many Ukraine police and military bases, they're with Russia all ready. If fighting starts, it isn't only invasion, it's civil war.


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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2014, 12:38:49 PM »
I don't think the West can really do much for Ukraine, to deploy troops would invoke war and with the Cold War arsenal of nukes still in play...it would be a stupid move. Besides trade embragos and such Russia would have to cross the Polish border before they reacted with troops. 

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2014, 01:10:53 PM »
         The presence of nukes alone is not clearly decisive.  The Cuban Missile Crisis was arguably a kind of risky move on the US part; it demanded the Russians give up a limited position when the overall US nuclear arsenal was vastly superior (and the Kennedy admin according to McNamara (documentary link) did not know there were nukes already in Cuba) -- but the Soviets did have nukes, and it was quite possible under doctrine of the time, there would be an escalation.   It might prove "stupid" to use nukes, but in Korea and there in the case of Cuba, there were senior US military brass saying we should do so if push came to shove (or when it had, again in Korea).  There is also the argument that nukes could have been used in Germany in the Cold War -- many feared they would -- but troops went there, anyway.

          I think bottom line, it's more a question of whether the West really considers Ukraine worth sending troops.  I'm not sure about Europe.  I don't know that many Americans see Ukraine as close or familiar enough.  Most don't know that much about it (not that they know all that much about many places, if my high school was anything to go by).  There is the matter that the US is rather war-weary and facing economic problems, but more than that I don't quite see the attachment having been built up enough.  The right, as usual, is on Obama's back verbally demanding he act "tough" with the safe knowledge that even if he did, it's a really difficult situation to jump into...  But I don't imagine most people really are invested enough to send the military.
     
« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 01:16:00 PM by kylie »

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2014, 01:45:36 PM »
         The presence of nukes alone is not clearly decisive.  The Cuban Missile Crisis was arguably a kind of risky move on the US part; it demanded the Russians give up a limited position when the overall US nuclear arsenal was vastly superior (and the Kennedy admin according to McNamara (documentary link) did not know there were nukes already in Cuba) -- but the Soviets did have nukes, and it was quite possible under doctrine of the time, there would be an escalation.   It might prove "stupid" to use nukes, but in Korea and there in the case of Cuba, there were senior US military brass saying we should do so if push came to shove (or when it had, again in Korea).  There is also the argument that nukes could have been used in Germany in the Cold War -- many feared they would -- but troops went there, anyway.

          I think bottom line, it's more a question of whether the West really considers Ukraine worth sending troops.  I'm not sure about Europe.  I don't know that many Americans see Ukraine as close or familiar enough.  Most don't know that much about it (not that they know all that much about many places, if my high school was anything to go by).  There is the matter that the US is rather war-weary and facing economic problems, but more than that I don't quite see the attachment having been built up enough.  The right, as usual, is on Obama's back verbally demanding he act "tough" with the safe knowledge that even if he did, it's a really difficult situation to jump into...  But I don't imagine most people really are invested enough to send the military.
     

Yes, at present neither the U.S., nor most Europeans would want to move into a prolonged standoff in eastern Europe with big numbers of ordinary troops, aircraft and supporting units - the Russians are not just superior in manpower in the short term, they will also have a much easier time actually reaching the area than NATO would, plus if the western objective would include winning over Ukraine to our side and sustaining a new, western-friendly Ukraine, that means pumping in some amounts of food and fuel for the country, too, as they are fairly broke at this point. Even if nuclear arms could be kept out of the equation, I don't think any western statesman would be keen on such a war at this point, when we're beginning to pull out of the worst recession since the thirties. But if it turns out Putin is actually set to take over all of Ukraine, then at least the eastern Europeans and likely the U.S. and German leadership are going to feel very concerned about it. If he can take Ukraine, why wouldn't he try to retake the Baltic republics next? Or try to put pressure on Poland? Even an attempt to, let's say, demand Russian air bases in Lithuania and Latvia is going to make everyone remember 1940 and 1991 - plus it's going to spell a rude awakening for the armies, coast guards and air forces of Sweden and Finland... (if the Russians would invade Lithuania, Estonia or Latvia, or try to assert their rights just off the coastlines of these, it's a no-brainer that NATO would ask for access to Swedish airspace and airfields, and any cabinet here would most likely not refuse, but Russia would immediately say that it was a violation of Sweden's non-aligned status; Finland would likely land in the same quandary if there were opening moves towards war in the Baltic region at some point in the future; neither Finland nor Sweden are NATO members though acting as a kind of bumper guard for NATO; end of home excursus)

Already as it is, this is going to affect the managing of the Syrian crisis. Obama avoided a move into limited war in Syria because Putin helped bring about that the Syrians would give up their chemical weapons. That still left the open question what we really trust Assad with, and how that ongoing war is gonna play out. Now if everyone sees the Russians can't be trusted, that sinks any effort to keep up an ongoing diplomatic management of the Syrian crisis, doesn't it?
« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 01:49:39 PM by gaggedLouise »