Russia has invaded Ukraine

(385 Posts)
ohmymimi Fri 28-Feb-14 18:38:17

Not a shot fired. Putin outwits the West and who/what will stop him getting his way?

PetiteRaleuse Fri 28-Feb-14 19:29:37

Why would the US use force? There's nothing in it for them. They will let Russia and the EU deal with it I think. I don't think there will be war as such but things are going to be strained at best and very unsettled in the area at worst for a long time.

claig Fri 28-Feb-14 19:32:49

It is very worrying. The planners obviously have planned what they will do.
It may be a trap for Putin, which is possibly why he has not acted yet.

If he does take steps to ensure that Crimea remains part of Russia as McCain said he thought he would do, then Putin may well face a sort of Syrian civil war in Ukraine against non-ethnic Russians and Tatars, aided by outside forces. According to McCain, it would not involve US intervening, which is a blessing as that will prevent all out war.

claig Fri 28-Feb-14 19:36:22

Russia is a thorn that is stopping the US get its way in Syria. Weakening Russia is probably the main aim and that does not require the US using force. It depends what Russia does and how it reacts I think.

claig Fri 28-Feb-14 19:37:32

Sorry, Tatars would probably be against ethnic Russians etc.

PetiteRaleuse Fri 28-Feb-14 20:54:29

Don't know enough about it to really comment more. Do you have any links to interesting reads?

claig Fri 28-Feb-14 21:25:59

I haven't got anything that really sums it up. Have tried to patch together what I can from different sources.

mathanxiety Sat 01-Mar-14 03:35:49

This will probably end with Russia establishing some form of protectorate in the east and Crimea, with Yanukovich set up as president of a 'rump Ukraine' and claiming legitimacy as the duly elected President. The East and Crimea are where he won most of his votes anyway, so there is some validity to any such claim in that sort of scenario.

Whether that happens by fairly quiet stationing of troops at key points and presenting the new Ukrainian 'government' with a quick move they will be unable to deal with without testing whether the Ukrainian armed forces are fully behind them, or by dint of the east and Crimea becoming ungovernable over the next few months is the question.

I do not think the US is going to make any sort of military move. Obama has claimed there will be 'consequences' but has not warned of military intervention. Sanctions are not going to hurt Russia and I can't see any gas or oil customers hopping aboard the sanctions wagon. Otoh, Russia could make Ukraine a very cold place to be until summer comes, and then again next autumn and winter.

This particular British government is the biggest bunch of sabre rattlers in the history of sabre rattlers.

NinjaCow Sat 01-Mar-14 04:08:19

Wtf?

meditrina Sat 01-Mar-14 07:30:41

Even quite measured commentators are describing the situation in Crimea as "unstable" this morning.

claig Sat 01-Mar-14 08:43:28

A Russian expert on Radio 4 Today programme just said that the most populous parts of Ukraine are the South and East and that there is not a single representative from these areas in the current Ukrainian government which has come into place after the revolution.

NotDavidTennant Sat 01-Mar-14 11:20:44

The Russians don't want a 'rump' Ukraine, they want Yanukovich (or some other suitably pro-Russian president) in power in Kiev.

This is a game of brinkmanship now: they will use the threat of break-up to try to get what they want, but they won't actually cause a break-up except as a last resort.

ohmymimi Sat 01-Mar-14 11:22:03

I agree with math's summary. C4 news yesterday evening and this morning's BBC news analysis have clarified a lot and provided useful context. I had not realized the degree of autonomy Crimea already had. There has been some clever footwork. Interesting to see how
it develops.

niceguy2 Sat 01-Mar-14 11:26:44

Europe can't do anything. Noone wants a fight with Russia, not even the US and frankly too many EU countries are reliant upon Russia's gas to heat their countries. And the US needs Russian support for Syria & Iran.

Lastly that part of Ukraine wants to retain links with Russia. To be honest Putin's won already.

Can someone kindly explain to me what is going on please ?
I have had a self imposed news black out for the last few weeks and I have missed this completely

claig Sat 01-Mar-14 12:41:06

I don't think Putin has won. He has had a severe setback. The Russians have described this as a coup. An elected President has been toppled by the real force of protestors who were a small group of Neo-Nazi ultra right wing groups who fought and killed government police forces. The EU has rushed to accept the new government, which apparently has no representatives from the more populous South and East of Ukraine, and Russia has said that the coup is illegal.

I think that Russia does not want to act illegally now because that will lead them to fall into a trap and be condemned by the West. So they will probably take de facto control from within certain areas without acting illegally openly.

I think the reason that Neo-Nazis were used is because they are virulently anti Russian and they will probably be aided and used in any subsequent internal conflict in Ukraine alongside the Muslim Tatars against Russia. Russia may then face conflict with other Muslim areas surrounding it, all at the same time.

Either way it is lose-lose for Russia.

That is why it is so dangerous. Russia may do something unexpected and that may have all sorts of terrible repercussions.

All of this must have already been foreseen and planned for and therefore the fact that it has occurred at all indicates that it is very dangerous.

Lord Ashdown, Paddy Ashdown, is well-connected and probably knows what powerful people are thinking. His view of what is going on is pretty gloomy. Of course, he does get lots of things wrong. He is anti populist European parties like UKIP and was against UKIP's stance against a strike on Syria, so he is not always in tune with what is happening or what may happen.

Here is his BBC Radio 4 World At One interview. Paddy starts speaking at about 21.00 into the stream, and teh actual reporting on the whole issue starts at about 07.50 into the stream.

www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03vsj4t

claig Sat 01-Mar-14 13:28:44

Some analysts think that this may have all occurred to Russia now as a sort of revenge for Russia not letting the West get its way in Syria.

Putin now has all of this on his doorstep and it may get worse and so he may have to do a deal over Syria in order to solve what could happen in Ukraine.

"The Crises in Ukraine and Syria: Putin Caught in the Jaws of a Vise"

"The Saudis, Jihadis, Al Qaeda etc may be allowed to get their way in Syria, but that is against Russian interests due to the huge gas and oil finds in that region. However, a deal may be found so that Russia's interests in that region can be safeguarded. Russia could not help Serbia when the chips were down, and Syria may go the same way, if Putin does not want lots of trouble in Ukraine.

"Russia did not yet lose all its cards in Ukraine, and will not be on the retreat just yet in Syria, as a result of the setback it suffered in the aftermath of the Ukrainian revolution. Russian President Vladimir Putin's revenge for what happened in Kiev's answer to Tahrir Square -- while he was preoccupied with the Winter Olympics in Sochi -- may yet come.

The United States and the European Union are aware of the painful instruments of revenge that Putin has at his disposal, as they are aware of the limits of European economic power and U.S. political power under President Barack Obama. For this reason, Western powers are walking a tightrope in dealing with the developments in Ukraine, all while stressing that this is neither a strategic confrontation nor a return to the Cold War.

For its part, Moscow interprets the events in Ukraine differently, and is suspicious of Western intentions there. However, Moscow also recognizes that resorting to revenge would be a double-edged sword in its backyard in Ukraine as in Syria, which has become an arena for Moscow's regional and international resurgence and also in the context of the relationship with the U.S."

www.huffingtonpost.com/raghida-dergham/the-crises-in-ukraine-and_b_4876488.html

claig Sat 01-Mar-14 13:30:40

Sorry,

The Saudis, Jihadis, Al Qaeda etc may be allowed to get their way in Syria, but that is against Russian interests due to the huge gas and oil finds in that region. However, a deal may be found so that Russia's interests in that region can be safeguarded. Russia could not help Serbia when the chips were down, and Syria may go the same way, if Putin does not want lots of trouble in Ukraine.

is my analysis, not the Huffington Post author's words

AllMimsyWereTheBorogroves Sat 01-Mar-14 14:12:55

^Russia's President Vladimir Putin has asked his upper house of parliament to approve the use of Russian troops in Ukraine, the Kremlin says.

It follows discussions by both the lower and upper house of the Duma to "stabilise" the situation in Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.

Earlier, the Ukrainian defence minister said Moscow had already deployed some 6,000 extra troops to Crimea.

Kiev has accused Moscow of deliberately trying to provoke a confrontation.^

www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26400035

somewherewest Sat 01-Mar-14 14:51:30

I can't imagine how exactly this helps Russia. My guess is they will annexe the Crimea, but will piss off the West and push the rest of the Ukraine in a decisively pro-European direction. No one is going to want to be associated with a government that has just rolled their tanks into Ukrainian territory.

somewherewest Sat 01-Mar-14 15:07:26

I also have a depressing feeling this will trigger conflict along ethnic lines. I'm guessing life isn't going to be easy for people in the Crimea who identify with the Ukraine, especially the Muslim Tartar minority. Ditto ethnic Russians elsewhere in the Ukraine, who will presumably be viewed as unpatriotic fifth columnists.

ohmymimi Sat 01-Mar-14 16:13:42

I've been watching RT' reports of 'gunmen from Kiev' attempting go storm admin buildings in Crimea, which were successfully rebuffed by 'local self-defence' personnel, with some injuries. No supporting video, which seems odd when everything is so easily documented and transmitted by smart 'phone.

mathanxiety Sat 01-Mar-14 16:49:42

I do not think they want the west of Ukraine. So far, all the action has centered on the east, in Simferopol, Kharkiv and Mariupol, as well as Donetsk, which is both heavily industrial and pro Yanukovich. Western Ukraine has a different culture and little or no heavy industry. Kiev is the Orthodox heartland but there's no Russian money in that. They can't take western Ukraine without a fight, and I do not think Putin is all that bellicose - I think he is more of a realist. I do not think Russia particularly wants Yanukovich, who flirted too much with the EU in the run up to all of this. He is an old fashioned, not too bright wannabe cute hoor as we say in Ireland. He is needed for the moment to give legitimacy to Russian action on his behalf in the east and because he was elected mainly with votes from the east, and s east. If he is kept on he will be closely monitored and given daily instructions.

Claig, I would think all of that sounds like a potential win-win for Russia. It clearly does not bother Russia what anyone accuses her of. As long as the east ends up pro Russian, I do not think they care about dividing Ukraine. The Muslim Tatars and any neo Nazi support they receive will look really bad on TV -- neo Nazi involvement in the Kiev uprising has been very played down in US media reports of all of this but it will be unavoidable if push comes to shove. Europe will stand back and will not encourage right wing activity, and Germany in particular will want to see its money safe in Ukraine. I agree with Niceguy, nobody wants a fight with Russia and that includes the US. As long as the US gets its 'democratic' Ukraine in the west that owes $10 billion to Washington, everybody goes home with face saved. The east will get cheap or free gas and oil, and the west can shift for itself or the US can write cheques for 10x the market rate to Russia to keep western Ukraine from freezing henceforth.

All anyone really wants here is stability and their money safe, as fast as it can be assured. If that means splitting Ukraine then that is what will happen.

mathanxiety Sat 01-Mar-14 16:51:57

It is in nobody's interests to allow jihadists to win in Syria and it was incredibly foolish of the US and Britain, et al, to encourage the ragtag uprising there in full knowledge that jihadists would be involved. The enemy of my enemy is not my friend.

mathanxiety Sat 01-Mar-14 16:52:43

The HuffingtonPost article is a heap of hooey.

furlinedsheepskinjacket Sat 01-Mar-14 16:57:43

dodgy

but not a full scale invasion by any means

we have family there

the ukranians will be up for a fight

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