Thursday, March 27, 2014

Ukraine - The next move may be up to Yanukovych

The EuroMaidan Revolution has spawned an entire cottage industry of pundits trying to second guess Putin's next move.  According to latest US intelligence troops are massed along the full length of Ukraine's eastern border and that it is only a matter of time.

1. We know Putin does not consider Ukraine a real country and has contempt for Ukrainian people.
2. We know he wants to rebuild the Russian Empire, having exchanged economic development (of which there is none) for nationalistic glory to keep the masses on his side, promoting himself as the savior of "Russian values" against "Western decadence" (read totalitarianism and Orthodox religion vs freedom and democracy).
3. We know he is really really choked at the West for ignoring him, at NATO for promising to protect former Russian colonies and at EU for offering economic development, political freedom and a future, which Russia does not.
4. We know that Russian military depends on imports of hardware from (mainly eastern) Ukraine.
5. We know that the mafia in (Crimea,) Odessa and Donetsk with strong connections to the Russian mob, cannot afford to allow any light to shine on their activities which are much better hidden under Russian overlord-ship than a democratic government in Ukraine and have been organizing and bankrolling much of the chaos in SE Ukraine which people had blamed on the FSB (the CIA are not the only organization to crawl in bed with the mob when it suits them).
6. We know that Russian speaking, though not ethnically Russian, Transdnistria has been agitating to join Russia.  It is another gangster run enclave, like Abkhazia, protected by Russian troops.

What is Putin waiting for? He doesn't have an excuse to invade, since no one seems to need his protection, no matter how hard folks try to stir up trouble.  Crimea was relatively easy.  So what will provide the "plausible" reason?

Ran into the best version on a Kazakhstan website the other day. It is most Machiavellian.  I loved it.

Putin is waiting for Yanukovych to recover from triple-bypass surgery.  He had a heart attack in Rostov-on-Don where he is hiding.  (There were rumours he had died but no such luck, I guess). When he is well, he will return to Ukraine, with the assistance of ex-Defense Minister Lebedev, to restore order with 30,000 people from "regional self-defense groups" armed with automatic weapons and equipped with the latest military technology, "financed by "oligarchs from the south-east" of the country.

(These "regional self-defense groups" will no doubt be similar to, if not containing many of the same people, as the ones that "liberated" Crimea).

The article notes that last weekend in a number of cities in Ukraine were rallies in support of Yanukovych with protesters in Luhansk, Donetsk and Kharkov were carrying placards calling for the head of state to return.  Right, uh-huh.

Here is how I see it playing out.  Yanukovych shows up with his "self-defense" team of Russian troops in unmarked uniforms and "civil" war breaks out between the Ukrainian military and the invaders who are ostensibly "Ukrainians".  Some of them may well be.  Civil wars are rarely civil.  Putin suggested March 4th that invading Russian troops would use women and children as shields to make it difficult for the Ukrainian military to shoot. (The Germans tried that but it didn't bother Stalin; I expect that it would bother the Ukrainian military).

Regardless, civilians will die, atrocities will be committed.  Regardless of against whom, they will be presented on Russian TV as Russian civilians.  Putin will have "no choice" but to go in and stop the civil war to protect the Russian citizens.  He can roll the tanks to the Polish border, reinstate Yanukovych as president who will win the next presidential election likely be the same margins as the Crimean vote to reunite with Russia, complete with 123% turnouts as in Sevastopol. "Order" will be maintained by those same self-defense groups supported by Russian troops at the request of Yanukovych.

Welcome to the new Ukraine.  You can take articles like THIS and multiply it by 1000 to begin to have an idea what it will be like to live here.



4 comments:

  1. I'm no hero. If I was in the Ukraine right now, I'd say three simple words: I'm. Outta. Here.

    Have you considered leaving?

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    Replies
    1. Not without our family here. One thing sure, moving to Russia is not in the cards anymore.

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  2. Well the end of history theory can be put to rest. Its still the law of the jungle out there. The "brave new world" has turned back to the "scary old world". I remember a time when most believed it was only a matter of time until the world was democratized. The rise of Chinese and to some degree Russian economic and military power along with the decline of US and European economic and military power shows that the world's path is not always forward. Only time will tell if this is a blip or the start of a dark age.

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    Replies
    1. It is the 19th century all over again, with nuclear weapons.

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