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Thread: Dateline: Ukraine

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    In Memoriam Military Professional Minskaya's Avatar
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    Dateline: Ukraine - A new thread covering the 2014 crisis in Ukraine.

    The major threads listed below are the predecessors to this new thread:

    20 September 2013 - 16 December 2013
    http://www.worldaffairsboard.com/eur...e-vilnius.html

    27 November 2013 - 4 March 2014
    http://www.worldaffairsboard.com/eur...-e-u-deal.html

    18 January2014 - 27 February 2014
    http://www.worldaffairsboard.com/int...y-ukraine.html

    18 February 2014 - 26 March 2014
    http://www.worldaffairsboard.com/int...19-2014-a.html

    9 March 2014 - 26 March 2014
    http://www.worldaffairsboard.com/eur...ng-crimea.html






    More journalists abducted...

    VIENNA 25 April 2014

    OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today expressed concern about the disappearance in Donetsk of Julia Shustraya and Mikhail Pudovkin, a journalist and a cameraman with LifeNews. According to media reports Shustraya and Pudovkin were apprehended by an armed group. Their current whereabouts are unknown.
    Source: Organization for Security and Coopertion in Europe
    Last edited by Minskaya; 26 Apr 14, at 20:15. Reason: continuity

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    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minskaya View Post
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    Yet another outrage by these thugs and their sponsor. The 'spies' include nationals from Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Czech Republic, and Ukraine. A number of journalists have also been seized.
    Sweden is in NATO?We're fvcked.

    Since an OSCE mission starts with informing members states,and Russia is a member,they knew well enough who,where and why.But since military men can recognize other military men,that would have been better avoided.So the razvedchiks received an order to snatch them.There is of course the useful idiot to take the blame in the end.
    Of course,our mayor did not read old Soviet spy novels,such as ''Alone among foes''.He would have known otherwise that spies don't travel in uniform,with ID's.

    I'm all in favor of talking with the Russians.I'm also fully aware you can talk to them only from a position of relative strength.Everything else is a waste of time.They don't give a crap about treaties.The Americans can be suckered from time to time.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

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    In Memoriam Military Professional Minskaya's Avatar
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    Photo and information courtesy of the Kyiv Post

    Denis Pushilin (right) the self-styled Chairman of the "People's Republic of Donbass". Next to him on the left in military fatigue's is a man the Ukrainian SBU (Security Service) identifies as Colonel Igor Strelkov of the Russian GRU who characterizes himself as the Commander of the “Donbass People’s Militia.” Strelkov has accused the seized OSCE observers (Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Czech Republic, Ukraine) of being NATO spies.

    Strelkov is wanted by authorities for numerous crimes, including terrorism. He is believed to be the chief commander of pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine in charge of Russian Military Intelligence personnel, subversives, militants, and a network of Russian and Ukrainian agents working on behalf of Russia. The SBU has implicated Strelkov in the ambush of a Ukrainian anti-terrorist team on April 13 that left one SBU captain dead. He also is suspected of being involved in the kidnapping of politicians, civic activists and journalists, including the murder of Horlivka City Councilman Volodymyr Rybak.

    Note: The journalists who taped the interview above have since been abducted.

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    It Is Time For The West To Move Ahead Without Russia-WaPo Opinion April 26, 2014

    Certain there'll be some ad hominem rejection because of McCain's association but the message is accurate. The Russian leadership has profoundly rejected alignment with western values as it attempts to exploit all that's accessible through our global commerce networks. Have their cake and eat it too.

    "Western countries had high hopes for our relationships with Russia after the Cold War and acted on that basis. We provided billions of dollars to help Russia’s transition from communism. We created new mechanisms for consultation. We expanded trade. NATO committed not to deploy significant military capabilities onto the territory of new alliance allies, even as it expanded. In short, the West sought to include Russia in the promise of a Europe whole, free and at peace — a vision we still believe would benefit all participants.

    Unfortunately, hope of a constructive relationship with Russia under Putin has vanished. A friendly rival has become, at best, an unfriendly adversary. Putin will not compromise his quest to dominate Russia’s sovereign neighbors (not least as a cynical way to build support at home for his corrupt and autocratic rule)."


    This appears accurate. I recall a great eagerness to help integrate Russia's new institutions with the west. I sense, though, Russia expected entitlement in the new world for attempting to foist upon the old world in an utterly brutal manner a completely defrocked political manifesto.

    No mea culpa I recall from the Russian government for their association with the past. No regrets for enslaving their citizens and a good portion of their neighbors. And none demanded either. Amazingly, though, the wails and gnashing of teeth within Russia immediately crescendoed upon the wholesale desertion of their Warsaw Pact subjects to NATO. Russia was "threatened" by NATO encroachment.

    MESSAGE NOT RECEIVED.

    Russia was the universally perceived threat by the closest blood relations and immediate neighbors. Russia's reaction? Instead of acknowledging Estonia's entry to NATO likely wasn't to act as a springboard from which to INVADE Russia we're presented this feigned nonsense regarding encirclement.

    Finally, we've Putin. Caustic, strutting, arrogant, and more than a little embittered. Clearly doesn't like rolling up his sleeves and competing and, instead, wants another set of rules.

    I'm cool with that. He should become a very big fish in a small pond that's drying up. Think he will too at this rate. That's too bad for the Russian people. They should do something about that before it's too late.
    Last edited by S2; 26 Apr 14, at 19:06.
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

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    In Memoriam Military Professional Minskaya's Avatar
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    The strategic viewpoint of Yuriko Koike - who served as Japan's defense minister and national security adviser.

    US must demonstrate that word is its bond

    I believe his analysis is correct. Every region of the world with current or potential strife is closely watching how Obama responds to Putin's direct challenge vis-a-vis Ukraine.

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    Article struck me as a self-serving topical POS. Last guy to be complaining ought to be a former Japanese defense minister. Had to wonder when the Senkakus would rear their irrelevant head in his argument. Nevermind, though, our commitment just across the sea of Japan on the Korean peninsula for sixty-four years, day after day after day, to the S.Korean people and, indirectly, Japan.

    Or NATO. Last I checked Poland's prime minister was evoking America's leadership within NATO during this crisis. My father spent ten years of his life in W. Germany defending western Europe.

    Spells commitment to me. Too often it's also spelled "commitment" amongst and for those who wouldn't commit to their own defense.

    Guy doesn't trust us then Japan should cut their best deal with China and call it a day. Screw him.
    Last edited by S2; 27 Apr 14, at 11:38.
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

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    Senior Contributor DonBelt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minskaya View Post
    The strategic viewpoint of Yuriko Koike - who served as Japan's defense minister and national security adviser.

    US must demonstrate that word is its bond

    I believe his analysis is correct. Every region of the world with current or potential strife is closely watching how Obama responds to Putin's direct challenge vis-a-vis Ukraine.
    I think he's fairly close to the money with a few exceptions- One, just because America took the lead in establishing a somewhat civil world order and opposed the spread of communism doesn't mean we are obligated to maintain it forever. Consider it a gift to a world devastated by WW2 that now others must take a turn in preserving. While I do believe in the Spiderman school of international relations somewhat (you know, great power, responsibility, yada yada) the American people have a contract with our govt that doesn't include a requirement that we maintain or bankroll the world order for the foreseeable future.
    Two, he can't really be equating the relationship we have with Ukraine to the relationship we have with Japan. He does have a point that if we make promises or guarantees or threats that we don't follow thru on that it harms our reputation in the world, but we just don't have that kind of relationship with Ukraine. The Budapest Memorandum only states that we will respect their sovereignty and borders and that we won't attack them- it doesn't obligate us to defend them even if it was a binding treaty. We have a long standing treaty and commitment to the defense of Japan with a longer history and with American forces already there. It's a little bit of an insult to state that our not jumping in on Ukraine means we won't stand by Japan.
    As far as Saudi Arabia questioning our support for them, maybe that's a bit of a guilty conscience speaking. We came to their defense when Iraq invaded Kuwait and massed on their border. Perhaps after years of monetary support for Al-Qaeda and their allied schools that spread their twisted message they think we may not be as willing to defend them in the future. I don't think we have anything to prove to Saudi Arabia as far as trustworthiness goes.
    Last edited by DonBelt; 27 Apr 14, at 04:55.

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    In Memoriam Military Professional Minskaya's Avatar
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    Mr. Koike is neither denying nor diminishing the huge role of the United States in the world since World War II. What he is saying is that the perception of US strength/resolve is diminishing in many regions of the world during Obama's tenure. Whether this perception is valid or invalid is of secondary importance to the existence of the perception itself.

    I'll leave it at that since I don't want to derail this thread. My bad. I should have posted the Koike article in the International Forum.

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    In Memoriam Military Professional Minskaya's Avatar
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    RIA Novosti released images of what it says constitutes a Ukrainian military buildup on the border with Russia in the Slavyansk area.

    The Russian Defense Ministry said there are 15,000 soldiers, 160 tanks, and 230 APCs massed "in order to to wipe out the city and its residents"

    The pics are probably the work of Russian jet sorties the Pentagon has said violated Ukrainian airspace.

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    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S2 View Post
    No mea culpa I recall from the Russian government for their association with the past. No regrets for enslaving their citizens and a good portion of their neighbors. And none demanded either. Amazingly, though, the wails and gnashing of teeth within Russia immediately crescendoed upon the wholesale desertion of their Warsaw Pact subjects to NATO. Russia was "threatened" by NATO encroachment.

    MESSAGE NOT RECEIVED.
    It's easy to blame the one party in this, if it was so simple.

    The messenger didn't send a clear message it seems. First, someone makes a promise none of these former WP countries will be into NATO, then a decade later you get them all in and even invite former Soviet republics into it.

    No matter how much NATO struggled to find new topics of interest it was, is and will be a military alliance.

    Russia was the universally perceived threat by the closest blood relations and immediate neighbors. Russia's reaction? Instead of acknowledging Estonia's entry to NATO likely wasn't to act as a springboard from which to INVADE Russia we're presented this feigned nonsense regarding encirclement.
    Wonder what happens if Russia replays Cuba missile placements again and also stations in Venezuela and couple of other countries. Meanwhile placing troops on the North pole. If USA is fine with that, imagine the drug cartels make Columbia 2.0 in Mexico, place the Government there which signs a treaty that grants Russian troops and missiles on their turf.

    Finally, we've Putin. Caustic, strutting, arrogant, and more than a little embittered. Clearly doesn't like rolling up his sleeves and competing and, instead, wants another set of rules.
    Putin is a reaction of all these moves.

    I'm cool with that. He should become a very big fish in a small pond that's drying up. Think he will too at this rate. That's too bad for the Russian people. They should do something about that before it's too late.
    The Russian people are not in a position to do anything at the moment. Blaming Russians for this is correct, but it only took Putin to escalate this far to be considered a thread and measures to be taken to contain him. I didn't see much of a hoopla when he ran for the third mandate. Think he even have had meetings with all the leaders who scream wolf now after he snatched the third one, therefor making it legit.

    Heck, it's late, but not too late to contain him. This isolation that's brewing now will only lead to make his grip harder on Russians and I doubt the grey-haired heads called strategists don't know that. So much for caring for the Russian people.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

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    In Memoriam Military Professional Minskaya's Avatar
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    If Putin decides to invade mainland Ukraine, he may as well go for all of his objectives. An invasion is an invasion and the international condemnation/retribution will be the same whether he invades one oblast or many. According to this rationale then, his objectives will be the industrial eastern oblasts that are critical to the Russian military and the southern oblasts with their Black Sea coastlines and warm water ports. The territory he would seek to grab is comparable to the area labeled 'Novorossiya' in map above. This is a very large area and unlike the bloodless coup Crimea, there would be conventional and then partisan warfare. The Black Sea Fleet could easily bottle up the ports and Russian forces could probably enter the oblast capital cities. What I don't quite understand is how he plans to occupy all of this territory with only 40-60,000 troops. And what about the tens of thousands of refugees that will cross the border to escape hostilities? How could he afford occupation? Crippling sector sanctions would be imposed. Russia would now be responsible for the well-being of tens of millions of Ukrainians in addition to the new load of 2 million Crimeans it can barely afford. Russia is already on the verge of recession/inflation and the central bank is artificially propping up the ruble. Foreign investment is fleeing faster than a speeding bullet. Russian citizens and corporations are already exchanging rubles for dollars and euros because they understand the ruble will be worthless if Putin follows through with his threats.

    I just don't see how Putin can pull this off militarily and economically without ruining Russia. Your thoughts?

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    "...First, someone makes a promise none of these former WP countries will be into NATO, then a decade later you get them all in and even invite former Soviet republics into it..."

    Refresh me, please, on "...someone..." and its binding nature? Also, remind me again of the decade-long pursuit to entice away those gullible easterners? Further, what treaty makes illegal the entry to NATO of former Warsaw Pact nations? Finally, for what reason might they seek entry? Care to suggest doing so was unnecessary?

    Our perspectives of a shared past don't seem aligned.

    "Wonder what happens if Russia replays Cuba missile placements again and also stations in Venezuela and couple of other countries. Meanwhile placing troops on the North pole..."

    Why wonder? The Cuban missile crisis makes clear we won't accept the permanent deployment of offensive nuclear weapons or their prime delivery means on Cuban soil and will fight if necessary.

    "...imagine the drug cartels make Columbia 2.0 in Mexico, place the Government there which signs a treaty that grants Russian troops and missiles on their turf."

    Do you consider the requests by sovereign states like Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, as example, to be equivalent to the above scenario? Think carefully because you've attempted comparing criminals from Columbia seizing or usurping the legitimate government of Mexico to these very legitimate but legitimately threatened governments.

    Really?

    NATO has never been an offensive threat to either the Soviet Union or Russia today. You apparently refuse acknowledging the legitimate fears harbored among those aforementioned nations. Rendering them "buffer states" as has always been Russia's desire is tantamount to consigning them to Russia as "vassal states". And so they will be treated as has been demonstrated both in the past and The Ukraine right now. Minskaya mentioned the prescient decision to move her parents from Zaporozhe. How prescient were those Baltic state and Polish governments to seek application to NATO?
    Last edited by S2; 27 Apr 14, at 12:20.
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
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    "...I just don't see how Putin can pull this off militarily and economically without ruining Russia. Your thoughts?"

    Your read parallels most conventional thinking. Nothing can stop a Russian occupation but nothing can make that occupation painless, secure and profitable to Russia. The Ukrainians will resist by every means feasible and the act of invasion will unquestionably trigger key sector sanctions that will be unavoidable even to the Germans.

    So it doesn't add up but for the benefit afforded by facilitating the destabilization of the eastern Ukraine from within. A rump vassal state would serve Russian near-term interests but, again, not an overt invasion. So it is likely that such is a bluff staged to intimidate. If called, however, Russian (Putin's) ego/prestige might be confronted. If personally unstable he may feel compelled to act, transforming bluff to reality...and all you've surmised.

    The only event that might challenge Putin would be a robust response from the Ukrainian army against these separatist militias. Such might compel Putin where he must act upon threats to intervene either as a matter of prestige, bulwark the separatists or both.

    That would be a grave mistake for Russia and would, IMV, irrevocably sunder the world, again, into two camps.
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

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    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S2 View Post
    "...First, someone makes a promise none of these former WP countries will be into NATO, then a decade later you get them all in and even invite former Soviet republics into it..."

    Refresh me, please, on "...someone..." and its binding nature? Also, remind me again of the decade-long pursuit to entice away those gullible easterners? Further, what treaty makes illegal the entry to NATO of former Warsaw Pact nations? Finally, for what reason might they seek entry? Care to suggest doing so was unnecessary?

    Our perspectives of a shared past don't seem aligned.
    Binding? No. Promise? If you believe Spiegel, then yes.
    After speaking with many of those involved and examining previously classified British and German documents in detail, SPIEGEL has concluded that there was no doubt that the West did everything it could to give the Soviets the impression that NATO membership was out of the question for countries like Poland, Hungary or Czechoslovakia.

    On Feb. 10, 1990, between 4 and 6:30 p.m., Genscher spoke with Shevardnadze. According to the German record of the conversation, which was only recently declassified, Genscher said: "We are aware that NATO membership for a unified Germany raises complicated questions. For us, however, one thing is certain: NATO will not expand to the east." And because the conversion revolved mainly around East Germany, Genscher added explicitly: "As far as the non-expansion of NATO is concerned, this also applies in general."

    Shevardnadze replied that he believed "everything the minister (Genscher) said."
    "Wonder what happens if Russia replays Cuba missile placements again and also stations in Venezuela and couple of other countries. Meanwhile placing troops on the North pole..."

    Why wonder? The Cuban missile crisis makes clear we won't accept the permanent deployment of offensive nuclear weapons or their prime delivery means on Cuban soil and will fight if necessary.
    Then why you don't comprehend Russian fears?

    "...imagine the drug cartels make Columbia 2.0 in Mexico, place the Government there which signs a treaty that grants Russian troops and missiles on their turf."

    Do you consider the requests by sovereign states like Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, as example, to be equivalent to the above scenario? Think carefully because you've attempted comparing criminals from Columbia seizing or usurping the legitimate government of Mexico to these very legitimate but legitimately threatened governments.

    Really?
    I don't see it happening any other way in near future. They don't have to be legitimate to let foreign military presence.

    NATO has never been an offensive threat to either the Soviet Union or Russia today. You apparently refuse acknowledging the legitimate fears harbored among those aforementioned nations. Rendering them "buffer states" as has always been Russia's desire is tantamount to consigning them to Russia as "vassal states". And so they will be treated as has been demonstrated both in the past and The Ukraine right now. Minskaya mentioned the prescient decision to move her parents from Zaporozhe. How prescient were those Baltic state and Polish governments to seek application to NATO?
    How defensive was NATO in Kosovo? Which NATO ally was under threat?

    As for the later comments, IMHO, current events are just an outcome of the series of moves on both sides, like the broken promise.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

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    "Binding? No. Promise? If you believe Spiegel, then yes."

    Clearly you both believe Spiegel and connote Genscher's private remark as policy etched in stone not just for Germany but for all NATO. As though some trust had been violated. With whom, btw, if so? The remaining vestiges of the Soviet Union and spoken to the future president of Georgia?

    "Then why you don't comprehend Russian fears?"

    I guess because I'm not seeing the offensive nuclear weaponry posted within Poland or Estonia aimed at Russia. Can you help me find them?

    "I don't see it happening any other way in near future. They don't have to be legitimate to let foreign military presence."

    Then a Columbian criminal usurpation of the legitimate Mexican government likely would provoke a U.S. military reaction. I suspect there'll even be a considerable coalition of the willing prepared to pile onto that one.

    "How defensive was NATO in Kosovo? Which NATO ally was under threat?"

    Certainly more constrained than when Soviet tanks roamed the streets of Budapest in 1956. I remember that we just sorta showed up in Kosovo, stood around for awhile and left. Oh yeah, and tossed a few bombs on those baddies in Belgrade.

    I'm certain you've many stories from the nineties. How many have you from 2000 onward? The silence emanating from the Balkans these days is deafening. Given the unfettered bloodletting of the nineties that seems justification enough.

    "...current events are just an outcome of the series of moves on both sides, like the broken promise."

    I sense you believe Russia betrayed. Dok, is Russia permitted a special buffer status despite any semblance of an overt threat? If an overt threat, from whom and in what patently aggressive form that we've all missed?

    I need to know this from you because every previous example of a so-called Russian buffer state has meant, in reality, a police state with a suppressed state economy and a hopeless populace. Who do you choose for this burdensome responsibility to the greater good so poor Russia can feel properly "buffered"?
    Last edited by S2; 27 Apr 14, at 13:47.
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

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