I sure called it wrong on Crimea. We are on the brink of a war. People are lined up to get international passports, including Lina and Tania. Masha already has one and Dasha is too young to need one. We will not leave without our family and by the time they get passports it could be all over but the crying.
The Russian army in unmarked uniforms has taken control of the peninsula, including Ukrainian military bases. They are supported by the pro-Russian government of Crimea which has declared it independent and called in the Russians to save them from the right-wing terrorists who have taken control of Ukraine. Russian propaganda has been preparing Crimea for years for something like this and the population of ethnic Russians has bought in to the whole thing.
Fear mongering is rampant; the population is convinced that Western Ukrainian Nazis are on their way to Crimea and that the Crimean Tatars are just “Chechen” terrorists in waiting. Expect to hear of a number of deadly bomb attacks which can be blamed on the Tatars, in the same way that the FSB arranged bombings of apartment buildings in Moscow triggered the second Chechen war and elected Putin to presidency.
The ex-Berkut police, now on the payroll of the Crimean government and backed by Russian soldiers are controlling entry and exit routes. All journalists are banned from entering except Russian approved ones. Russia flew in several thousand troops over the weekend. The Kuban Cossacks are there also in thousands, though I may be double counting, if that was who flew in.
It is hard to say what will happen next. Every attempt is being made to create a civil war between pro-Russian and pro-Western people. Where ever there are clashes, you can be certain whose beaten head will appear on Russian TV.
Whether the intent is to split the country or force a federation, I don’t know. A poorly run federation would certainly keep us out of the EU and a split country, ceding 1/3 to Russia to protect her citizens, smacks of “Peace in our time”.
Intervention is out of the question. Neither EU nor USA have the testicular fortitude to tackle Russia militarily and likely not any other way either. This whole script is way too familiar. We saw it in Georgia in 2008 and we have seen it many times in other countries on the wrong side of other empires: the propaganda, the civil unrest and riots and finally the invasion.
Empires will beat on little countries which cannot defend themselves but they hesitate to take on other empires except as a last resort. Obama is brave when it comes to sending drones to kill people at weddings and funerals. And the quote of the century from the Guardian from US secretary of state John Kerry*: 'You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th-century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext'
The Kyiv Post has links to lots of other papers. www.kyivpost.com/hot/euromaidan
*When I look at the presidents they could have had, Gore and Kerry, the wisdom of the American people in electing Bush simply astounds me.