If there is any shooting to be done, it is not likely to happen before Monday, after the Crimean “Referendum”. The Baltic states having been through this kind of referendum under Stalin in 1940 are watching with increased nervousness as they know that eventually they too will be “next in line” for the re-expanded Russian empire.
In Crimea, journalists are beaten, their equipment confiscated and at least one reported as disappeared. Leaders of pro-Ukraine groups are also reported as disappeared. One phoned his secretary to say “Goodbye. They have come for me”. He has not since answered his mobile.
This from the NY Times:
In Chornomorskoye, the situation was tenser. A mix of about 20 local pro-Russian police officials and unidentified men in camouflage and ski masks abruptly intervened in an interview between two reporters and a local man.
The men demanded to know if the reporters were pro-Russian, then confiscated their notebooks and tore out any pages with writing on them. “We will translate these,” one of them said, pocketing the pages and handing back the now-blank notebooks. They also examined the photographs in digital cards in a photographer’s cameras.
They clustered menacingly around the local man and said, “You keep giving interviews and you will end up in prison in Sevastopol,” the city on the peninsula’s southern shore that part of Russia’s Black Sea fleet uses as a home port.
The only messages allowed are those which are pro reunification with Russia. I saw an example of this in Moscow during a “Pro-Crimean Unification” march which was being covered by Ukrainian television. Someone on the edge of the march unfurled a “No War In Ukraine” sign and was immediately jumped by police officers.
When I was at Andrei’s the other day I watched a video of the Ukrainian military moving into position in Kherson Oblast which is the only land connection to Crimea via a narrow isthmus. We also watched a video of a long train of Russian tanks headed through Rostov on Don for the Ukrainian border. Remember that practice troop maneuver a few weeks ago followed by Putin declaring that it was over and they could go home? Well, they didn’t.
Parubiy estimates that more than 80,000 Russian troops have amassed along the Ukrainian border, along with as many as 270 tanks, 180 armored combat vehicles, 380 pieces of artillery, 18 rocket launchers, 140 combat aircraft, 90 military helicopters and 19 combat boats and ships. (Kyiv Post)
Ukraine has only 6,000 combat ready troops and no plans to deal with a Russian invasion. A New 20,000 National Guard is being formed to patrol the border in the SE.
Russia likes to claim the country is in anarchy and chaos, though the truth is that there is no anarchy or chaos except in the SE cause by Russian “tourists” bussed in to create havoc. Yesterday Ukrainian border guards refused entry to 3700 Russians they deemed were part of this. Security agents have arrested Russian saboteurs preparing to plant explosives in Donetsk region. Odessa and Kherson are also vulnerable, sharing borders with Moldovia’s Transnistria which is “protected by the Russian army”.
This commenter on a story from the Kyiv Post was interesting
So why has Putin Invaded Ukraine if he is lying to the Russians and Crimeans about doing so? Newly Discovered Oil Deposits under the Black sea! Newly discovered natural gas along the Easter Rivers of Ukraine! Yes we must fight his propaganda, but, we must also show his greedy underbelly, and the truth of why he is violently invading Ukraine. To liberate Russian speakers from an unstable Government?! HA!! He strikes for Oil. Crimea is surrounded by a HUGE Oil reserve under the black sea, which was Ukraine Sovereign Waters, now Russia controls that Area if Crimea goes Russian. Billions of cubic meters of Oil, waiting to be extracted. Development had only just started, when Ukraine Granted a consortium of Oil companies the go ahead to start Developing the Region. Romania already has their oil rig working, and its pulling Thousands of Metric meters of Oil per day. Experts say that Ukraine would be independent in oil from Russia in 3 years. Debt gone by 5. This not only threatens Putin and Russia with their monopoly on Ukraine Oil, as Ukraine gets most of their oil from Russia, but it would mean and end to them needing Russia’s oil, and Ukraine would be selling in competition. The move to take Crimea and make it Russian, not only ends the potential competition, but gives Russia the Oil reserves under the Black Sea, and the 50 years or more of billions of meters of Oil. Danger is, that they may want the Natural Gas being discovered in Eastern Ukraine now, along the Dnepr river systems. That’s 1/2 of Ukraine gone.
|From Kyiv Post. The truth is somewhat different, of course.|