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  #361  
Old 29.04.2014, 09:39
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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There have been more outbreaks of violence in east Ukraine as protesters who were holding a unity march in Donetsk soon experienced at first hand.
About 1000 people took part in the rally but despite their numbers they were soon confronted by pro-Russian militants.


It appears that calling for a united Ukraine is becoming increasingly dangerous. At least 15 of the marchers were hospitalised and four others were reportedly abducted. Organisers of the march accused the Donetsk police of doing little to keep the two sides apart.



In Kharkiv, the mayor is said to be fighting for his life in hospital after being shot in the back on the outskirts of the city.
Officials have yet to comment on who might be responsible.
Hennady Kernes was a staunch opponent of the pro-West demonstrations that toppled President Yanukovych but he has since softened his stance towards Kyiv.


Meanwhile a team of negotiators sent by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe to gain the release of seven captive military observers have left the town of Slovyansk empty handed.
Hostage taking is on the increase as pro-Russian militias see it as a way to cement control in eastern Ukraine.
The Russians have made good short-term progress, in the sense that they took key positions (government building, airports, etc.) with little or no police/military resistance. But I think Putin's plan to repeat Crimea in Eastern Ukraine is failing, in the sense that there is NOT the majority of the population there supporting it. As a result, small armed groups supported locally by "little men in green" (and 40,000 Russian troops on the other side of the border) are forced to revert to "Plan B": tactics of fear and intimidation against the local population making them afraid to speak out and oppose them (kidnappings, political assassinations, etc.). That clearly shows that "Plan A" has failed; Plan A would be a massive popular support among locals, or at least a partial one like Crimea.


In the current situation, I don't see any possible way that they can pull off even a fraudulent "referendum" by their self-imposed deadline of May 11. In Crimea the locals were maybe split 50/50 about going to Russia, so they could pull something like that off and give it a thin veneer of legitimacy. But with the massive size of East Ukraine, and with hardly any local support, I don't see how they can even pretend to do something like that.

With Plan A already failed (massive local support), and Plan B struggling (control by fear and violence), I wonder what Putin's "Plan C" is? I would guess to march Russian troops in and have an occupation to "secure" the area that they have already destabilized. But I don't think Putin really wants to go on that road, as it will be costly (and maybe bloody) to have a prolonged Russian military stay in Ukraine. As well as EU and US applying further pressure/sanctions that would destabilize and isolate the Russian economy further.

I don't see any exit strategy. I really think Putin has overplayed his hand, and needs to stop pushing for the take-over of East Ukraine and start to negotiate some kind of deal instead, otherwise it will turn into a worse mess for the people in East Ukraine, and a Cold War Part 2 for Europe.
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  #362  
Old 30.04.2014, 01:43
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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...so Crimea was only a warm-up for Putin. I wonder what's next after Eastern Ukraine.....
Look at the map. Putin wants to consolidate the full access to the Crimea and for this needs parts of the East Ukraine.

As soon as he has consolidated his position, he can look further. To say it again, one of his target may be Bulgaria and he may try to get Bulgaria out of NATO and EU.

The second target is Turkey. He is NOT to invade Turkey but to get Turkey as an ally. The idea is not new as already Vladimir Ilyitch Ulyanov worked in a close alliance with Mustafa Kemal Pasha. Again, as a first he may try to get better passage rights on the Bosporus and the Dardanelles but as that passage route is spies-infested, he rather will try to get a scheme underway about transit-highways and transit-railways between NE Turkey and Iskenderun (Sandschak of Alexandrette). You now may ask with what he may lure Turkey into such a scheme ? Simple. He will offer a full and unlimited recognition and support of Northern Cyprus. Not new again. When Archbishop Makrious III in the 1960ies moved Cyprus to become a neutral county close to Tito and Nasser, the USSR fully supported him.

Next on line is the Tartous-Latakia region of present-day Syria, the home region of the Allawites. With the Sandschak and Northern Cyprus in his portfolio he may convince the Assad to forget about Syria-mainland in favour of retreating to the Levant. Next step there would be to try to unite the Tartous-Latakia Levant with Lebanon (dropping the Assad clan).

And then back to Bulgaria. To support Bulgaria to regain a full access to the Med through areas now Greek might help. So that Putin in the end would reach the historical status of Katharina II

Last edited by Wollishofener; 30.04.2014 at 02:12.
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  #363  
Old 30.04.2014, 02:25
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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The Russians have made good short-term progress, in the sense that they took key positions (government building, airports, etc.) with little or no police/military resistance. But I think Putin's plan to repeat Crimea in Eastern Ukraine is failing, in the sense that there is NOT the majority of the population there supporting it. As a result, small armed groups supported locally by "little men in green" (and 40,000 Russian troops on the other side of the border) are forced to revert to "Plan B": tactics of fear and intimidation against the local population making them afraid to speak out and oppose them (kidnappings, political assassinations, etc.). That clearly shows that "Plan A" has failed; Plan A would be a massive popular support among locals, or at least a partial one like Crimea.


In the current situation, I don't see any possible way that they can pull off even a fraudulent "referendum" by their self-imposed deadline of May 11. In Crimea the locals were maybe split 50/50 about going to Russia, so they could pull something like that off and give it a thin veneer of legitimacy. But with the massive size of East Ukraine, and with hardly any local support, I don't see how they can even pretend to do something like that.

With Plan A already failed (massive local support), and Plan B struggling (control by fear and violence), I wonder what Putin's "Plan C" is? I would guess to march Russian troops in and have an occupation to "secure" the area that they have already destabilized. But I don't think Putin really wants to go on that road, as it will be costly (and maybe bloody) to have a prolonged Russian military stay in Ukraine. As well as EU and US applying further pressure/sanctions that would destabilize and isolate the Russian economy further.

I don't see any exit strategy. I really think Putin has overplayed his hand, and needs to stop pushing for the take-over of East Ukraine and start to negotiate some kind of deal instead, otherwise it will turn into a worse mess for the people in East Ukraine, and a Cold War Part 2 for Europe.
I hope you are correct about the referendum but I fear more important than "who votes" will be "who counts the votes".

Whatever it will be a poor situation for East Ukraine people; initially for the anti-Russian people and later if it becomes violent then also for the pro-Russian - look at Syria as a worst case...
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  #364  
Old 30.04.2014, 02:31
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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Look at the map. Putin wants to consolidate the full access to the Crimea and for this needs parts of the East Ukraine.

As soon as he has consolidated his position, he can look further. To say it again, one of his target may be Bulgaria and he may try to get Bulgaria out of NATO and EU.

The second target is Turkey. He is NOT to invade Turkey but to get Turkey as an ally. The idea is not new as already Vladimir Ilyitch Ulyanov worked in a close alliance with Mustafa Kemal Pasha. Again, as a first he may try to get better passage rights on the Bosporus and the Dardanelles but as that passage route is spies-infested, he rather will try to get a scheme underway about transit-highways and transit-railways between NE Turkey and Iskenderun (Sandschak of Alexandrette). You now may ask with what he may lure Turkey into such a scheme ? Simple. He will offer a full and unlimited recognition and support of Northern Cyprus. Not new again. When Archbishop Makrious III in the 1960ies moved Cyprus to become a neutral county close to Tito and Nasser, the USSR fully supported him.

Next on line is the Tartous-Latakia region of present-day Syria, the home region of the Allawites. With the Sandschak and Northern Cyprus in his portfolio he may convince the Assad to forget about Syria-mainland in favour of retreating to the Levant. Next step there would be to try to unite the Tartous-Latakia Levant with Lebanon (dropping the Assad clan).

And then back to Bulgaria. To support Bulgaria to regain a full access to the Med through areas now Greek might help. So that Putin in the end would reach the historical status of Katharina II
Transit highways and railways? Good strategy but who will pay for them? Nobody will lend Russia money so long as people fear new and more effective sanctions.
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  #365  
Old 30.04.2014, 07:38
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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Look at the map. Putin wants to consolidate the full access to the Crimea and for this needs parts of the East Ukraine.

As soon as he has consolidated his position, he can look further. To say it again, one of his target may be Bulgaria and he may try to get Bulgaria out of NATO and EU.

The second target is Turkey. He is NOT to invade Turkey but to get Turkey as an ally. The idea is not new as already Vladimir Ilyitch Ulyanov worked in a close alliance with Mustafa Kemal Pasha. Again, as a first he may try to get better passage rights on the Bosporus and the Dardanelles but as that passage route is spies-infested, he rather will try to get a scheme underway about transit-highways and transit-railways between NE Turkey and Iskenderun (Sandschak of Alexandrette). You now may ask with what he may lure Turkey into such a scheme ? Simple. He will offer a full and unlimited recognition and support of Northern Cyprus. Not new again. When Archbishop Makrious III in the 1960ies moved Cyprus to become a neutral county close to Tito and Nasser, the USSR fully supported him.

Next on line is the Tartous-Latakia region of present-day Syria, the home region of the Allawites. With the Sandschak and Northern Cyprus in his portfolio he may convince the Assad to forget about Syria-mainland in favour of retreating to the Levant. Next step there would be to try to unite the Tartous-Latakia Levant with Lebanon (dropping the Assad clan).

And then back to Bulgaria. To support Bulgaria to regain a full access to the Med through areas now Greek might help. So that Putin in the end would reach the historical status of Katharina II
You don't sound reassuring, Wolli....

Couldn't they just let us all alone? People want freedom,, even when economically they're not that better off...
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  #366  
Old 30.04.2014, 09:22
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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About "Russia needs to link up Rostov-on-the-Don and the Krasnodar region with the Crimea VERY SWIFTLY and to revive tourism to the region"

Getting more of the Ukraine will support Putin's strategic aims but will not help the economy. As you say reviving tourism will be a big challenge especially if the pro-Ukrainian people get their hands on the same kind of weaponry as the pro-Russian people and start making mischief.
Also the way the pro-Russian people in Ukraine are taking people and locking them up for little reason is not a good way to encourage tourists.
According to the State Statistics Agency of Ukraine around 6 million of the foreign tourists per year are from the West; many visiting Crimea/Black Sea. I do not see those returning any time soon?
THIS is the reason why Putin is relatively careful. He knows that the Ukrainians have the same weaponry and the same technology as the Russians. Numerically inferior, they are on the same level as Russia.

Intourist, the Russian tourism agency, is well established in Western Europe and as soon as matters settle down, will be very active again. Many ex USSR people in Germany lived in Russia and may enjoy a return to old patterns. As the USSR in between 1956 and 1991 failed to invest into the Crimea, Intourist may have to modernize tourism structures very swiftly and very thoroughly. Tourists no longer accept gravel beaches and seats out of the 1950ies
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  #367  
Old 30.04.2014, 09:44
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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You don't sound reassuring, Wolli....

Couldn't they just let us all alone? People want freedom,, even when economically they're not that better off...
Freedom is not free, you have to fight for it sometimes. Unfortunately Ukraine does not have the means to do that, and the EU is just blowing hot air

In any case, reminds me of a joke: A dog crosses over the border to Russia, and when the border guard asks him why, he says "There is no food in Ukraine". A few days later the dog crosses back, and the border guard asks him why he is returning, and the dog says "There is no food in Russia either, but at least I can bark in Ukraine".
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  #368  
Old 30.04.2014, 13:04
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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Freedom is not free, you have to fight for it sometimes. Unfortunately Ukraine does not have the means to do that, and the EU is just blowing hot air

In any case, reminds me of a joke: A dog crosses over the border to Russia, and when the border guard asks him why, he says "There is no food in Ukraine". A few days later the dog crosses back, and the border guard asks him why he is returning, and the dog says "There is no food in Russia either, but at least I can bark in Ukraine".
Ouch! You're so right, Esto. The idea of living in a place where you can get arrested because you're in opposition or you're just not "desirable"...gives me cripples. My parents, heck, even my grandparents, generations.. wasted their youth in this kind of world so I think we had enough.
I always wonder how my country would have been today if we weren't in that place for 50 years. And always feel frustrated with the present! Even though it's getting slowly better, with many sacrifices, renunciations and disappointments, mainly at the cost of "simpletons".
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  #369  
Old 30.04.2014, 14:05
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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THIS is the reason why Putin is relatively careful. He knows that the Ukrainians have the same weaponry and the same technology as the Russians. Numerically inferior, they are on the same level as Russia.

Intourist, the Russian tourism agency, is well established in Western Europe and as soon as matters settle down, will be very active again. Many ex USSR people in Germany lived in Russia and may enjoy a return to old patterns. As the USSR in between 1956 and 1991 failed to invest into the Crimea, Intourist may have to modernize tourism structures very swiftly and very thoroughly. Tourists no longer accept gravel beaches and seats out of the 1950ies
Hope you are correct Wolli and they can rebuild tourism. But people are very nervous about such unsetlled areas - look at tourism today in Egypt although most tourist locations are a long way from the areas that had the "troubles".
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  #370  
Old 30.04.2014, 23:30
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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Hope you are correct Wolli and they can rebuild tourism. But people are very nervous about such unsetlled areas - look at tourism today in Egypt although most tourist locations are a long way from the areas that had the "troubles".
A return to tourism, once it is down, takes two years. So that I expect inbound tourism in Egypt to get up again by spring 2015. And in case of the Crimea by autumn 2015
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  #371  
Old 03.05.2014, 01:23
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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A return to tourism, once it is down, takes two years. So that I expect inbound tourism in Egypt to get up again by spring 2015. And in case of the Crimea by autumn 2015
From today's Guardian "More than 30 people were reported to have been killed in violent and chaotic clashes in the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa on Friday as pro-Ukrainian activists stormed a building defended by protesters opposed to the current government in Kiev and in favour of closer ties with Russia.

Odessa's large Soviet-era trade union building was set alight as pro-Ukrainian activists mounted an assault as dusk fell. Police said at least 31 people choked to death on smoke or were killed when jumping out of windows after the trade union building was set on fire
"

You really think they will get tourism back in two years? Burning the buildings occupied by the pro-Russians is on the extreme side of extreme but does end the occupation it seems.

Interesting to see what Putin will do? Odessa is a long way from the Russian border if he plans to send in troops. He also has the problem that if he had charged into East Ukraine some time ago he would probably have had an easy ride but the longer he delays the longer Ukraine has to prepare and consequently better able to inflict more damage on any invading force.
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  #372  
Old 03.05.2014, 15:25
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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From today's Guardian "More than 30 people were reported to have been killed in violent and chaotic clashes in the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa on Friday as pro-Ukrainian activists stormed a building defended by protesters opposed to the current government in Kiev and in favour of closer ties with Russia.

Odessa's large Soviet-era trade union building was set alight as pro-Ukrainian activists mounted an assault as dusk fell. Police said at least 31 people choked to death on smoke or were killed when jumping out of windows after the trade union building was set on fire
"

You really think they will get tourism back in two years? Burning the buildings occupied by the pro-Russians is on the extreme side of extreme but does end the occupation it seems.

Interesting to see what Putin will do? Odessa is a long way from the Russian border if he plans to send in troops. He also has the problem that if he had charged into East Ukraine some time ago he would probably have had an easy ride but the longer he delays the longer Ukraine has to prepare and consequently better able to inflict more damage on any invading force.

Tragic and sad, sure, but the Ukrainians in Odessa were not to accept to become another city slowly being taken over by Russians.

Back to Putin. He is not to invade Ukraine as a whole as his tactics reveal. He in the end will take over an area along the border.

To "charge into East Ukraine" exactly was what he did NOT want to do. He wants to get areas and people who will vote for him but not additional opponents.

Mr Putin and his adversaries in Kiev perfectly well know that to take over people not in favour of them is rubbish. BOTH right now are testing grounds, and will proceed accordingly.

---

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  #373  
Old 05.05.2014, 11:22
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

Seems the Tatars in Crimea are not too happy with their new Russian masters. That's strange, I thought Crimea voted 99% in favor to join Russia?

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Thousands of Crimean Tatars on Saturday responded to news that their spiritual leader had been banned from the peninsula by blocking several highways in a tense standoff with riot police — the first sign that the Muslim ethnic group's discontent with Russian authorities may lead to turmoil.



On Saturday, Crimean authorities promised to dish out criminal charges to the group, which numbered about five thousand, according to the BBC Russian service. The group broke through border posts near the city of Armyansk and crossed the border into the buffer zone between Ukraine and the Crimean peninsula to meet Mustafa Dzhemilev, former head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, the ethnic group's representative body.


The group blocked several highways near Simferopol, Bakhchysarai, Stary Krym, Yevpatoriya and Oktyabrskoye, Interfax-Ukraine reported.
The incident seems to vindicate analysts' earlier warnings that the Muslim ethnic group's disaffection with Russian authorities may lead to instability in the region. Many Crimean Tatars, who account for more than 10 percent of the Crimean peninsula's population, opposed the territory's annexation by Russia in March.


"Before the annexation many predicted that Crimean Tatars would become a headache for Russians, and now the head is already aching," said Alexei Malashenko, an Islamic studies expert at the Carnegie Moscow Center.
Malashenko warned that such protests could eventually destabilize Crimea, adding that some Crimean Tatars had already joined the Hizb-ut-Tahrir Islamist organization and even fought in Syria.


http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/a...st/499385.html
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Old 05.05.2014, 11:59
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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Seems the Tatars in Crimea are not too happy with their new Russian masters. That's strange, I thought Crimea voted 99% in favor to join Russia?

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/a...st/499385.html
And there goes Putin's hopes for a pact with Turkey
Erdogan already publicly promised support for the Tatars.
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Old 05.05.2014, 14:46
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

Iran is offering Europe gas if Russia cuts supplies..
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Old 05.05.2014, 23:45
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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Transit highways and railways? Good strategy but who will pay for them? Nobody will lend Russia money so long as people fear new and more effective sanctions.
Turkey in fact has enough money, and Russia has lots of engineering capabilities. And Turkey has a well developed network of highways and railways. Turkey also has a nice number of strong banks. In regard to the railways, a separation of the networks is coming automatically as Turkey has the standard gauge while the Russian railways have a far wider gauge. Both the Trabzon-Iskenderun-Corridor and the Macedonia-Corridor for Russia is interesting as ways to circumvent Western sanctions. Again, the Bosporus-Dardanelles route is a problem as it is spies infested and can be blocked by Britain and the USA very easily.
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Old 05.05.2014, 23:47
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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Turkey in fact has enough money, and Russia has lots of engineering capabilities. And Turkey has a well developed network of highways and railways. Turkey also has a nice number of strong banks. In regard to the railways, a separation of the networks is coming automatically as Turkey has the standard gauge while the Russian railways have a far wider gauge. Both the Trabzon-Iskenderun-Corridor and the Macedonia-Corridor for Russia is interesting as ways to circumvent Western sanctions. Again, the Bosporus-Dardanelles route is a problem as it is spies infested and can be blocked by Britain and the USA very easily.
Absolutely no possibility of Turkey supporting Russia if they continue not treating the Crimea Tatars correctly?
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Old 05.05.2014, 23:57
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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And there goes Putin's hopes for a pact with Turkey
Erdogan already publicly promised support for the Tatars.
Mr Putin has stated that he is to respect the rights of the Tatars. The quadratisation of the circle indeed. Erdogan of course is aware of the fact that the northern shores of the Black Sea were TURKISH until Katharina II conquered the whole area. Erdogan knows of course that Putin NEEDS Turkey, and will use his clout as best as possible. The situation can be compared to the time of the Battle on the Sakarya, when Vladimir Ilyitch Ulayanov provided Mustafa Kemal with urgently needed arms, and enabled Turkey to conquer Greece. Putin will meet the Tatar leader and get things arranged. And here again, the Tatars know that Putin NEEDS them very urgently.
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Old 06.05.2014, 00:09
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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Mr Putin has stated that he is to respect the rights of the Tatars. The quadratisation of the circle indeed. Erdogan of course is aware of the fact that the northern shores of the Black Sea were TURKISH until Katharina II conquered the whole area. Erdogan knows of course that Putin NEEDS Turkey, and will use his clout as best as possible. The situation can be compared to the time of the Battle on the Sakarya, when Vladimir Ilyitch Ulayanov provided Mustafa Kemal with urgently needed arms, and enabled Turkey to conquer Greece. Putin will meet the Tatar leader and get things arranged. And here again, the Tatars know that Putin NEEDS them very urgently.
About "the Tatars know that Putin NEEDS them very urgently"
Very true but as I posted a long time ago - Putin's challenge is to how to manage and keep control of the people he empowered and used to manipulate Crimea and who he is now using to manipulate East and South Ukraine.

For example, I am sure Putin did not approve kidnapping the independent observers in E. Ukraine and I am sure he also did not approve banning the Tatars leader from Crimea and he does not approve making the Tatars into criminals?
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Old 06.05.2014, 01:39
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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About "the Tatars know that Putin NEEDS them very urgently"
Very true but as I posted a long time ago - Putin's challenge is to how to manage and keep control of the people he empowered and used to manipulate Crimea and who he is now using to manipulate East and South Ukraine.

For example, I am sure Putin did not approve kidnapping the independent observers in E. Ukraine and I am sure he also did not approve banning the Tatars leader from Crimea and he does not approve making the Tatars into criminals?
Putin has indeed become the flea circus director par excellence. He may feel like Lenin who when president of the USSR in a letter to a friend in Zürich stated unsere Aufgabe ist unerhört hart
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