Sunday, March 02, 2014

Is This Where Ukraine's Revolution Ends?

Simmering beneath the rise of the pro-E.U. Ukrainian government in Kiev and the pro-Russia faction of the Crimea has been the question of the loyalty of Ukraine's armed forces.  With a large Russian-Ukrainian contingent, it's been unclear whether the Ukrainian forces would really turn on their ethnic Russian-Ukrainian countrymen and Moscow's forces.   Where does their loyalty really lie? 

The government in Kiev got what must be a worrisome omen today when the newly-appointed commander of the Ukrainian navy defected to the pro-Russian government in Crimea. 

The newly appointed head of Ukraine's navy has sworn allegiance to the Crimea region, in the presence of its unrecognised pro-Russian leader.

Rear Admiral Denys Berezovsky was only made head of the navy on Saturday, as the government in Kiev reacted to the threat of Russian invasion.

The government in Kiev has been threatening to unleash the Ukrainian army against Russian forces in the eastern part of the country.   The defection of Berezovsky may give them reason to think twice.


crf said...

Most coups fail.

What's weird is the way the US, and it seems much of the west, has gone whole-hog in support of the populist, yet coup-formed, government in Ukraine. There's been too little circumspection. It's not like our governments have to communicate such firm opinions on what government Ukrainians should have when the situation on the ground is fluid.

I just watched on BBC a reporter walking around Maidan. It seems it is presently organized by various neo-nazi groups. And sympathizers of those groups that are the de-facto power on the ground in Kiev (there being a lack of police), hold some positions in the new Ukrainian government.

This is undoubtedly being propagandized by Russia, for its consumption at home, and in the Eastern parts of Ukraine.

The Mound of Sound said...

Hi, Chris. Yes, this whole business is bizarre although I was hoping Harper would kit out Baird with plate armour and an M-4 rifle to help defend Kiev.

I saw that BBC report. The neo-Nazi group (notice the reference to "Russians and Jews"?) didn't take part in the initial ouster but surfaced afterward. That's quite common in revolts.

The West seems to be off-balance, angry but unsure of itself. I hope we don't back ourselves into something we'll regret.