While several Oblast governments have declared for Ukraine, there are still pro-Russian demonstrations working hard to create incidents in Odessa, Kharkiv and Donetsk. The new government has appointed some of the oligarchs as governors of these Oblasts, e.g. the new governor of Dnipropetrovs’k is the owner of the biggest commercial bank in Ukraine, Privatbank. These guys have the most to lose and the most power to bring people around.
Crimea’s new Russian-backed government is working to block all TV channels from Ukraine so Russia will have full control of the information that Crimeans receive. Russia is claiming hundreds of thousands of refugees from Ukraine, though “no one has seen them cross the border” and there are only a few cars at the Kharkiv border crossing.
Crimea seems to be a tourist attraction with people out strolling and taking pictures of the Russian and Ukrainian military staring at each other. We're going to hang out the washing on the Siegfried Line…then the Battle of France started and it wasn't fun anymore.
Russia has taken full military control of Crimea, with the exception of the Ukrainian navy and military bases. They have been given to 5:00 am tomorrow to surrender or face full scale attack. It is quite likely that there will be an incident in which several Russian soldiers will be killed by people in Ukrainian military uniforms to give the Russians an excuse. The Gleiwitz incident, anyone?
Lavrov states that Ukraine must go back to the agreement that kept Yanukovych in power; this time with Russian army to makes sure he stays there. That agreement was signed by the politicians doing the negotiating and some of it by Yanukovych but not the part about reverting to the 2004 constitution. It was flatly rejected by Euromaidan protesters. It is not going to happen that Ukraine will ever go back under Yanukovych. It is a condition the Russians expect will be rejected. The Austrian ultimatum to Serbia was expected to be rejected but was accepted all but a couple of minor details. Austria declared war a few days later. This summer is the 100th anniversary of that particular war.
There have been many suggestions that Ukraine should be split and the highly Russified south east put under Russian control etc to protect its citizens. First off a majority even in those areas do NOT want to end up under Putin’s iron fist and secondly can you say “Peace in our time”?
|From Financial Times, I think|
|From Financial Times|