Saturday, March 01, 2014

Putin Flips the Switch - Russian Troops Enter Crimea

Wakin' the Neighbours, Putin Style

The Washington Post reports that U.S. officials have confirmed that Russian forces are across the Ukrainian border. 

The U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity about internal deliberations, declined to provide numbers or specific locations of Russian deployments. Ukraine’s U.N. Ambassador, Yuriy Sergeyev told the Security Council that there had been an “illegal crossing [of] the borders by Russian military transport aircraft IL-76, about 10 of them, and that 11 military attack helicopters had also violated Ukrainian air space.

The administration official said options being considered by the United States and its European partners if the Russians do not pull back included cancelling attendance at the June G8 summit to be held in Sochi, site of the recently-completed winter Olympics, and rejecting Russian overtures for deepening trade and commercial ties. The official also cited an indirect impact on the value of the ruble.


Dana said...

Hey, it's only Sudetanland, what's the big deal? Let him have it.

Purple library guy said...

While this is obviously a military move, I wonder how illegal it actually is. I mean, it's in the Crimea, they have a big military base there. They probably have some kind of treaty that says they're allowed to move military things to and from it, otherwise it would be kind of useless. OK, they just drove some big stuff through that hypothesized loophole, but I bet if they care to they can claim nothing to see here, all in accordance with long-standing treaties (that were never formally revoked after the USSR broke up).

If it were me, I'd have been tempted to play a long game: wait until they did their EU thing, wait until the austerity and stuff killed their employment and wages and social programs, until the pro-EU faction was utterly discredited, and get them to beg the Russians to come and save them. On the other hand, Putin's way could pre-empt the civil war.

Owen Gray said...

This could easily get very nasty. I wonder if John Baird is the best choice to represent Canada at this moment?

The Mound of Sound said...

Ever since we dropped the custom of actually declaring wars, the legal questions have become murky, PLG. When I studied international law I concluded it came down to: "if I park my tank on top of this hill it's my hill until you remove my tank and put yours on it instead."

Sovereignty is no longer sacrosanct, borders are porous, intervention (meddling) now comes in a wide array of flavours - define "legal."

Owen, I doubt that Canada's representation is particularly relevant to any of the players at this juncture. Besides, Harper has convened an "emergency" cabinet meeting to calibrate how harshly we should speak to or of Vlad Putin. The Kremlin quakes.