Friday, August 12, 2016

Serious Additional Measures? Forewarned not Necessarily Forearmed . . . 

"[Russian allegations are] a pretext for more military threats against Ukraine."
"Russian accusations that Ukraine launched terror attacks in the occupied Crimea are equally cynical and insane as its claims there is no Russian troops in eastern Ukraine." 
"It is precisely Russia that’s has been generously financing and actively supporting terrorism on Ukrainian territory."
Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko
"We would never ever use terror to de-occupy Crimea," says Ukraine president (Photo: president.gov.ua)
"[Two Russian servicemen were killed] There is no doubt that we will not let these things pass. But I would like to turn to our American and European partners. I think it is clear now that today’s Kiev government is not looking for ways to solve problems by negotiations, but is resorting to terror. This is a very worrying thing."
"The attempt to provoke violence, to provoke conflict is nothing else but the desire to divert public opinion from the people who captured power in Kiev, continue keeping it, and continue robbing its own people. This is a very dangerous game."
"We will adopt additional security measures, and they will be very serious additional measures."
Russian President Vladimir Putin
While the West has turned its attention on Russian airstrike involvement in Syria in defense of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Moscow has also been attentive to its unfinished engagement in Ukraine. Ukraine's contested east, after all, has not yet fallen to Moscow's proxy warriors, the ethnic Russians with Ukrainian citizenship who have chosen to make abundantly clear where their loyalty lies and it is not with Kyiv.

The gradual ramping up of rebel offensives in tandem with Russian intentions have not gone entirely unnoticed by President Petro Poroshenko who has met with his military and advised them to be on increased alert. while instructing his foreign ministry to invite Mr. Putin to reasonable discourse on the situation, Mr. Poroshenko has ordered security to return military units along the Crimean frontier and "increased combat-readiness" in eastern Ukraine.

'Better safe than sorry' doesn't quite apply in this unequal situation. Ukraine cannot be 'safe' as long as Vladimir Putin aspires to haul it directly back into the Russian orbit, and it will be in a sorry state when and if that occurs, since aside from already-imposed sanctions, what penalty will accrue to a determined Putin, long accustomed to having his way?

Two Ukrainian intelligence officers were detained by Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), accused of planning incursions into Crimea. Their captors describe them as "saboteurs" and "terrorists". The announcement was also made that Russia dismantled a Ukraine military intelligence network in Crimea: "the aim of this subversive activity and terrorist acts was to destabilise the socio-political situation in the region ahead of preparations and the holding of elections".

This all, of course, turns reason on its head rather like a chapter in a Russia-in-Wonderland series and here the Mad Hatter is presenting  his argument in reasonable tones expressing a pathological clasp of lunacy where reality is turned on its head, upside down and inside-out.
 
In consequence of which, it then behooved Russia to air an announcement from the Ministry of Defense to the effect that the nation's Black Sea Fleet would be conducting training exercises in the eastern Mediterranean beginning the following week, just incidentally to including drills testing its capacity to respond to threats "of a terrorist nature."

Russia going about doing what it does best, terrorizing its neighbours. Under the fairly transparent pretext of protecting itself from the relatively feeble military capability of Ukraine tasked to defend itself against the mobilization of the military machinery of a neighbour skilled in intimidation and threats veiled as self-defence.
"You see what path they’ve [Kyiv] now taken—the path of terror."
"The U.S. State Department is looming behind them, because Ukrainian officials wouldn’t have the courage to carry out such an operation."
Sergei Aksyonov, prime minister, Crimea

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