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The Military Politics

Russian Army Spetsnaz Units Arrested Operating In Ukraine 623

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from The Examiner: "The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) confirmed March 16 the arrest of a group of Russians in the Zaporizhzhia (Zaporozhye) region of Ukraine. The men were armed with firearms, explosives and unspecified 'special technical means'. This follows the March 14 arrest ... of several Russians dressed black uniforms with no insignia, armed with AKS-74 assault rifles and in possession of numerous ID cards under various names. One of which was an ID card of Military Intelligence Directorate of the Russian armed forces; commonly known as 'Spetsnaz'. ... Spetsnaz commandos operating in eastern Ukraine would have the missions encompassing general ground reconnaissance of Ukrainian army units ... missions they may perform preparatory to a Russian invasion would be planting explosives at key communications choke points to hinder movement of Ukrainian forces; seizing control of roads, rail heads, bridges and ports for use by arriving Russian combat troops; and possibly capturing or assassinating Ukrainian generals or politicians in key positions ... Spetsnaz also infiltrate themselves into local populations ... Once in place they begin 'stirring the pot' of ethnic and political strife with the goal of creating violent clashes usually involving firearms and destabilizing local authority." The submitter adds links to more at Forbes, The Daily Beast, and The New Republic.
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Russian Army Spetsnaz Units Arrested Operating In Ukraine

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  • by superwiz ( 655733 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @11:04AM (#46515821) Journal
    Sorry, what? Are you comparing defending of a sovereign state to staging of an election within an all-of-a-sudden-separatist region in order to justify an invasion? Russia set up a puppet government in Crimea. The "president" who requested Russian troops' presence never got more than 4% of the vote in the local elections. And setting up a base is not the same as taking over a region.. unless you think that Russia was always in charge of Crimea... because it always had a base there.
  • Over-hyped (Score:5, Informative)

    by FlaSheridn ( 414319 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @11:08AM (#46515851) Homepage

    The summary is over-hyping this story, which is a day or two old, and not given anything like this much play in the mainstream media. The link to Forbes is actually just to a third-party renting space on the Forbes site, and the New Republic piece is opinion, not news coverage. Not that I am in any way denying or condoning Putin’s invasion, but overreacting doesn’t help.

  • by sinij ( 911942 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @11:19AM (#46515957)
    This set of international events has a small potential to turn our civilization into post-apocalyptic nuclear survival exercise. As such, it is appropriate /. topic of discussion.
  • by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) <richardprice@gm a i l . com> on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @11:27AM (#46516047)

    You do realise Crimea has been autonomous within the Ukraine precisely because it is more ethnically Russian than Ukrainian, and that in the post-USSR history of the region the Ukranian government has gone back on agreements with the region whenever they display behaviour that is too pro-Russian (for example, Crimea appointing a pro-Russian local leader, which had the result of Crimea having their privileges to do so revoked).

    Theres a fuck load of history surrounding the region which is being glossed over by the international media - that doesn't mean I support what Putin is doing, but it annoys me no end when all you see are details which definitely slant it one way in the publics eyes.

  • by Archtech ( 159117 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @11:43AM (#46516227)

    For the hundredth time, please recall that the USA did not enter WW2 until the Axis powers declared war on it (or attacked it in the case of Japan). Hitler personally declared war on the USA while the latter was STILL mulling its options several days after Pearl Harbor.

    The obvious moral of that particular period of history is that the USA is always willing to beat up weaker nations, but maintains a prudent neutrality in the face of anyone of its own size.

  • by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @11:47AM (#46516279)

    You're talking about the post-Cold War agreement to recognize their sovereignty and to not encroach on it, right? That agreement, which included the UK as well as the US and Russia, never stipulated that the other signatories had to defend Ukraine if one of them became an aggressor. It merely required that they not become aggressors themselves. If Russia is breaking that agreement, the US and UK are under no obligation to assist Ukraine, though it may be in their best interests, given that Ukraine has threatened to restart their nuclear weapons development, the abandonment of which was tied to that agreement.

    Now, I'm not suggesting one way or the other about what the US or the rest of the world should do. I'm merely pointing out that the agreement you're talking about in no way obligates the US to defend Ukraine. It merely required that they leave it alone, and that in exchange Ukraine would give up their nukes.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @12:12PM (#46516563)

    Aaaand what "treaty" would that be? (hint: there isn't one).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B... [wikipedia.org]
    which is a memorandum contingent upon Ukraine signing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T... [wikipedia.org]

    Although the memorandum is not a treaty, but a mere political agreement, "The memorandum bundled together a set of assurances that Ukraine already held from the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE) Final Act, United Nations Charter and Non-Proliferation Treaty." So there are treaties in place that should prevent what Russia is doing. Russia just doesn't care.

  • by Archtech ( 159117 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @12:16PM (#46516619)

    I'll see you, and raise you:

    "Of all enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germs of every other. War is the parent of armies: from these proceed debt and taxes. And armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended. Its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds are added to those of subduing the force of the people No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare". - James Madison

    "The most extravagant idea that can be born in the head of a political thinker is to believe that it suffices for people to enter, weapons in hand, among a foreign people and expect to have one's laws and constitution embraced. It is in the nature of things that the progress of Reason is slow and no one loves armed missionaries; the first lesson of nature and prudence is to repulse them as enemies.
    "One can encourage freedom, never create it by an invading force". - Maximilien Robespierre

    "War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses". - Thomas Jefferson

    "Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens,) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove, that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government. But that jealousy, to be useful, must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defence against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation, and excessive dislike of another, cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favorite, are liable to become suspected and odious; while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.
    "The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connexion as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop". - George Washington

    "No one nation has a right to sit in judgment over another". - Thomas Jefferson

    "We wish not to meddle with the internal affairs of any country, nor with the general affairs of Europe". - Thomas Jefferson

  • by bussdriver ( 620565 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @12:18PM (#46516641)

    The USA messed up it's abusive relationship with Europe; it's not Snowden's fault he reported the USA for beating the wife.

  • by cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @01:18PM (#46517385)

    Crimea has been autonomous within the Ukraine precisely because it is more ethnically Russian than Ukrainian,

    How Russians Became Crimea's Largest Ethnic Group, In One Haunting Chart [businessinsider.com]

    Crimea may have a majority Russian population today, but it hasn't always been that way.

    The peninsula's dark history of ethnic cleansing is visible in the following chart from Reuters.

    The chart shows a collapse in the population of native Crimean Tatars from 34.1% in 1897 to zero in 1959, marking brutal harassment leading up to Soviet leader Joseph Stalin's forcible deportation of the entire population in 1944, with nearly half dying in the process. It took decades for the population to climb back to 12% by 2001.

    While the population of Ukrainians and especially Russians rose, the percentage of the population falling into an unlisted category also fell from more than 20% in 1921 to around 5% in 1959. This was a consequence of the deportation of Armenians, Bulgarians, Greeks, and other groups.

    Who are the Crimean Tatars, and why are they important? [washingtonpost.com]

    Whatever the Tatar grievances against the Ukrainian state may be, when faced with the choice of being under either Russian or Ukrainian control, the Crimean Tatar leadership has consistently and unequivocally chosen Ukraine. Since the Soviet period, attempts to split the Crimean Tatar movement and persuade some of the Tatars to support a pro-Soviet, and later pro-Russian, agenda has not borne fruit.

    Crimean Tatars fret over Russian domination again [usatoday.com]

    Crimean Tatars living in Turkey said Monday they worry of a return to the terrible oppression they suffered in the Ukraine province the last time it belonged to Russia and the Soviet Union.

    "We've seen this movie before and we don't want to see it again," said Celal Icten, 59, head of Crimean Tatar Association of Istanbul, whose parents were born in Istanbul and Romania but both draw direct lines to the ancient city of Bakhchisaray, the pre-Tsarist capital of Crimea.

    Once Victims Of Stalin, Ukraine's Tatars Reassert Themselves [npr.org]

  • by Archtech ( 159117 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @01:36PM (#46517585)

    "That's almost exactly the same thought as expressed by most Britons when Germany invaded Poland".

    You have got this exactly the wrong way around. The UK and France declared war on Germany the moment Germany invaded Poland. They did so simply because they had signed a treaty promising to do so. It was much to their disadvantage, and didn't help Poland in the slightest - especially since the USSR joined Germany in conquering Poland.

    Had the UK and France not declared war on Germany, it is unlikely that Germany would have attacked and conquered Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, and France. Instead, the Germans might have focused on the perceived threat from the USSR; or, as Hitler expected, they might just have settled down to enjoy a period of peace. (While, admittedly, arming themselves for later).

  • by SleazyRidr ( 1563649 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @04:27PM (#46519255)

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