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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 Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @10:57AM (#46515773)
    How about we stay the fuck out of things for once and fix some problems back home.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @11:01AM (#46515793)


  • This being a propaganda war more of the first degree, among these guys' objectives was, likely, the staging of violent incidents to give Russian media more video clips of Ukraine's "nazis" persecuting "innocent civilians".

    Russia keeps trying to portray Ukraine's new government as the sort of Serbs persecuting Albanians in Kosovo (or Bosniaks in Bosnia) — so as to give itself the same justification West used for intervention against Milosevic.

    Because Ukraine, despite daily provocations, refuses to engage in ethnic cleansings, "convincing" spetznas operations may be in order...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @11:19AM (#46515953)

    The thing is that even though Russia may not be the old USSR with command of virtually every single continent except for North America (like they had until the late 1980s), they have a very, VERY good propaganda machine. They can tell people to go to hell, and the people told will be gladly packing their suitcases one minute later.

    The problem right now is that Russia has nobody interested in stopping them. Both US parties are hell-bent at attacking each other. Even with that in mind, both the US and Europe have way too many Chamberlains and no Churchills. With the way things stand now, tanks could be rolling through Poland and sitting at Germany's eastern border before people acknowledge the Russian threat.

    I do say their intel is quite good. Six months of Snowden's handler owning the world press and weakening ties between the US and Europe (something the Russians tried for DECADES), an olympics, and now a military action. Russians are playing chess while the rest of the world is playing Pogs.

  • Geneva Convention (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rob Riggs ( 6418 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @11:19AM (#46515963) Homepage Journal
    If true, under the Geneva Convention these soldiers would be considered unlawful combatants and subject to Ukranian law.
  • NEWS FOR NERDS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phorm ( 591458 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @11:24AM (#46516007) Journal

    Strange, I don't see anything specific to technology in Slashdot's header/manifesto. I believe it's "News for Nerds" and "Stuff that Matters". I'm sure there are plenty of history nerds on here to whom this matters

    Heck, this is even under the appropriate category (The Military).

    Perhaps you should restrict the article categories to only include Hardware and a few other sections you like, rather than imposing what you think the site should be about on everyone else.

  • by RogueWarrior65 ( 678876 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @11:24AM (#46516015)

    PM Neville Chamberlain and the League of Nations said "Naughty naughty" to Putin.

  • by cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @11:25AM (#46516025)

    How about we stay the fuck out of things for once and fix some problems back home.

    1. A pity the Russians aren't saying that.

    2. Ignoring problems seldom makes them go away. In fact we seem to be seeing that ignoring the Russians means they come to stay.

    3. What "problems back home" do you think are going to turn out any different if the US and Western Europe turns a blind eye to Russian aggression?

    4. On whose behalf are you speaking?

  • by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @11:26AM (#46516033) Homepage
    We tried that in the late 1930's and early 1940's. We called it isolationism

    It works fine as long as we are talking about tiny countries. But when major world powers start taking over countries just because, we found out what a moronic idea it was.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @11:27AM (#46516045)

    Putin's actions are almost cartoon villianny. Maybe he was bunkmates with Boris Badenov [] when he was in the KGB.

    Putin can call the US hippocrites all he wants, but at least when the US invades someplace we don't plant evidence to justify it.

    And if we do, we don't get caught redhanded over and over again.

    When the US need evidence?. They only need to say that you have weapons of mass destruction. And that's enough.

  • How about we stay the fuck out of things for once and fix some problems back home.

    Oh, and what, may I ask, happened to these fine words?

    Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

    But, if you must have a cold reason for helping this particular liberty, let me remind you, that Ukraine was a nuclear power — until it agreed to give up its nukes in exchange for guarantees given jointly by Russia, US, and UK []... The guarantors promised to ensure Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

    No one ever believed Russia's word, but if US and UK fail to keep theirs too, what sort of message will that send to Iran and others developing their own nuclear weapons? A very clear one: you do need these weapons to be taken seriously, and no foreign guarantees are worth the paper they are soiling...

  • Re:Over-hyped (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @11:33AM (#46516105)

    ...which is a day or two old, and not given anything like this much play in the mainstream media.

    That isn't the same as not being true. You might notice that Linux kernel releases don't get much play in the mainstream media either.

    You may also notice that Russian units started moving into Crimea weeks ago and that is still in the news.

    .. The link to Forbes is actually just to a third-party renting space on the Forbes site..

    We come back to the question, "Is what it reports true?"

    New Republic piece is opinion, not news coverage

    Sometimes called "analysis."

    Not that I am in any way denying or condoning Putin’s invasion, but overreacting doesn’t help.

    Minimalizing or ignoring Russia's actions got us to where we are now. And hey, what's a little covert action with Russian troops massing on your border while Russian airborne divisions conduct mass tactical airborne drop exercises (rehearsals)?

  • A simple request. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by EvilSS ( 557649 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @11:35AM (#46516135)
    I don't care who's right, who started what, which goverment is a puppet for which superpower. Really, I don't. I just have one simple request of everyone involved:

    Can we please not stumble into World War III over the goddamned Ukraine!?
  • by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @11:38AM (#46516171)

    so we need to step up.

    And by "we" you mean everyone else but you, right? Until YOU are ready to pick up a rifle and go fight in WWIII and pay high taxes to pay for the massive war you're proposing, then STFU. The rest of us "we" have no interest in starting a World War over some pissy little region in the Ukraine whose citizens clearly want to be part of Russia more than Ukraine anyway.

    But please, don't let us stop you. A plane ticket and a Ukrainian Army recruitment office await you anytime, brave comrade!

  • by chaim79 ( 898507 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @11:47AM (#46516277) Homepage

    I think right now this situation is so complex and muddied that no-one is in the right, and no-one has all the information.

    Accusations have gone back and forth like crazy but I still haven't seen any of them from either side backed up by evidence beyond "it's obvious", which, in this situation, I highly doubt.

    As for these supposed Russian commandos... I really doubt they are what the report says they are. Whenever you send agents (either Spies or Commandos) into the field you strip them of anything that would identify them as spies/commandos, having ID cards for "Spetsnaz" sounds like a plant to me.

    "We found the enemy's agents doing bad things so we have reason to attack!" when they are nothing more than your own agents planted to make them look like the enemy.

    I also find it interesting that this bit of 'news' hasn't shown up on any even remotely neutral news sources. I frequent the BBC and have been watching their coverage of this Cluster F*** closely, and while they have agreed with USA in many of their stances and statements concerning this, they have no mention of this bit of news... makes me very suspicious of it's authenticity.

    All that being said, I really think Russia is going to far and should back off, let things settle, allow the "newly independent Crimea" to exist for a while to prove it's not a Russian puppet but actually something it's people want.

  • by TheCarp ( 96830 ) <> on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @11:49AM (#46516295) Homepage

    You want to know what happened to these fine words:

    Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

    They were lies spoken by a politician. What is new? They were lies then, they are lies now. The people in charge of the American regieme do not actually approve of liberty for anyone but themselves and seldom ever have.

    How does alliance with Saudi Arabia assure the survival and the success of liberty? Is it in the way they stone women to death for being seen in public with men who are not their husbands that does it?

    How does the drug war, which has justified raids on private homes, the militarization of police, and the erosion of fair trial rights through the use of "Parallell construction" assure the survival of liberty? (and what liberty? The liberty to do as you are told? The liberty to choose not to use drugs?)

    Lies is all they ever were, why do you cling to such crap?

  • by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @11:52AM (#46516329)

    It's "stuff that matters", which is expressly the sort of thing that Slashdot covers. 99% of the time, I don't care about international politics (nor national politics, for that matter), but when they get this big and this tense, it matters. I'm glad that Slashdot has the sense to break in with stuff like this when it gets this important, since otherwise it's particularly easy for nerds to keep their heads down and not notice what's going on in the world.

  • by wienerschnizzel ( 1409447 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @11:59AM (#46516421)
    You mean to the one where the US sent in troops without any insignia with the goal of annexing Iraq as the 51st state?
  • by Baloroth ( 2370816 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @12:01PM (#46516437)

    Sure, we technically don't have to intervene. Unless we want the entire world to know that assurances of protection given in exchange for giving up their nuclear weapons are worth slightly less than the paper they're written on. Which means every country in the world will (and ought, if they intend to remain safe) seek nuclear weapons to prevent this kind of aggression in the future. You sure that humanity won't start using nuclear weapons if 90%+ of countries have them? Because I'm definitely not sure about that.

  • by Old97 ( 1341297 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @12:05PM (#46516467)
    What was illegal about it? The invasion of Iraq in 1991 was sanctioned by the UN. Hostilities were suspended (not ended) on the condition that Saddam complied with a number of conditions. He violated some of those conditions. His violations included firing on UN sponsored forces - aircraft in the no-fly zone, obstructing weapons inspectors among other thing. So the US invaded. In my view the invasion was unnecessary and a waste of US resources and lives, but it wasn't illegal. The final verdict of the legality/illegality of this invasion was decided in what court? Did said court have jurisdiction?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @12:14PM (#46516589)

    You do know that a referendom with a 97% acceptance for one option is highly suspect ? I think it's almost statisticly impossible. I'm quite sure that a lot of people in crimea where not allowed to vote and / or the vote was rigged. Crimea might want to go back to Russia but at the moment where only seeing Russian propaganda at work and we have no proof of that.


  • by dunkelfalke ( 91624 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @12:15PM (#46516599)

    Doesn't look like that to me, to be honest.
    They have voted for Kuchma for two times. Then they have ousted Yanukovich in 2008 and voted for Yushenko, but gave Yushenko only 5% of their votes in 2012, chosing Yanukovich instead (in free and fair elections by the way).
    Then they ousted Yanukovich again without waiting for real elections.

    I personally think, Ukrainians don't really know what they want and they don't really want democracy when they have Maidan. They have inherited the best agriculture and the best industry from the USSR and what have they done with it? Absolutely nothing. For fuck's sake, even Belarus has twice the GDP per capita PPP. Even worse, Kosovo of all countries is better off.

  • by cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @12:18PM (#46516639)

    In short, "You damn Americans! You stay when we want you to come, and go when we want you to stay." I guess it's a question of whose ox is being gored, and something else.

    When the Soviet Union moved SS-20 missiles into Eastern Europe there were few protests in Western Europe. When NATO agreed and the US deployed Pershing and cruise missiles to counter the Soviet missiles there were protests in Western Europe ... largely against the US. (Moscow was paying for the "peace movement." ) It was only after those weapons were deployed that the Soviets agreed to real negotiations to reduce nuclear weapons in Europe.

    When Saddam's Iraq invaded and annexed Kuwait there weren't protests in Europe. When the US, UK, and other nations formed a coalition to remove Saddam's army from Kuwait there were large protests in Western Europe.

  • by cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @12:26PM (#46516747)

    Since Russia has stated that it has an interest in ethnically Russian populations outside Russia, and as demonstrated can invade and annex that territory, we seem to be seeing a respin of this "principle": "Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer" or "One People, One Empire, One Leader".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @12:36PM (#46516863)

    The rest of us "we" have no interest in starting a World War over some pissy little region in the Ukraine

    That's almost exactly the same thought as expressed by most Britons when Germany invaded Poland. Ask any Londoner old enough to remember WWII where it got them.
    I guess the problem is that there aren't too many of those around anymore.

  • by cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @12:45PM (#46516939)

    The rest of us "we" have no interest in starting a World War over some pissy little region in the Ukraine whose citizens clearly want to be part of Russia more than Ukraine anyway.

    So you are an advocate of Peace for our time []? Splendid. I'm sure it will work out just as well now as it did then, just like the pacifist movement in Europe helped .... to keep the various nations from rearmament and at the mercy of the fascist powers.

    Did you know that a number of countries in Europe, some of which are NATO allies of the US, also have ethnically Russian populations? The echo of "Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer" hasn't died out, and now seems to have a Russian accent.

  • by cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @12:46PM (#46516961)

    In Soviet Russia, borders move to include you.

  • by Morpeth ( 577066 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @12:49PM (#46516999)

    And many Americans want to think of the US as the hero of WWII. Really, it was Britain. They were fighting alone for almost 2 years until the US got off its ass an entered the war -- and only after Pearl Harbor.

    Something like only 10% of Americans wanted to get involved and/or help Britain before Pearl Harbor, even though they were getting pounded during The Blitz, civilians killed, cities on fire, etc. (not to mention what was happening in the rest of mainland Europe) The US did nothing, sent some supplies after a while, but that was it until Pearl. And Britain lost 10x as many civilians alone during the blitz as the us lost military personnel in Pearl.

    Sure, US industrial strength and involvement was critical as the war progressed, but the war would have been over before the US entered if it weren't for the pilots who fought in The Battle of Britain, the country enduring The Blitz, along with everything else they did.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @01:07PM (#46517273)

    > This being a propaganda war more of the first degree

    Propaganda wars, like all other wars, work in two directions..

    What tiny coverage of the nuland tape was given in western media, for instance, focuses on the use of an expletive in reference to the EU,
    rather than western political puppeteering of the maidain 'opposition'.

    The constitutionality of the rejection of the EU deal is never covered in full, nor Yanukovich's legal authority to do so, nor the respective actual terms of either deal, for instance..

    I could go on.. but - since you clearly don't have enough of a brain to realize this yourself, there is little point.

  • by Bartles ( 1198017 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @01:09PM (#46517295)
    It has a moral obligation to protect nations that it said it would protect. When you tell a country you'll defend it against aggressors if it gives up it's nuclear weapons, you had better follow through if ever need be. That is if you want to be taken seriously in the world and seen as a driving force for good.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @02:04PM (#46517877)

    Milosevic was mass murders. Entire villages were exterminated under his rule. He wasn't thrown out for legal reasons. He was thrown out by the right of conquest. He deserved to be vanquished as a monster that he was. NATO did engage in a war against him. And that was a great humanitarian accomplishment. The fact that Russia took his side only shows one more time what a monstrous state it has become.

  • Re:Nunya (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fnj ( 64210 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @02:18PM (#46518055)

    Pretty much the entire world is laughing at the absurd bluster of the US and EU in this matter. They certainly are not "picking a fight" in any real sense. They are just making a comical noise.

    So I think it's happening, what you and I want to happen vis-a-vis policeman of the world. I would say it's actually been mostly keystone kops of the world, except characterizing it thus seems insensitive to a lot of dead victims.

  • by nbauman ( 624611 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @02:54PM (#46518423) Homepage Journal

    We don't have a moral obligation to get into a situation that most of us don't understand, and make things worse by escalating the conflict.

  • I'm not joking, it stated: "Jews should be stealthily destroyed, with as little disturbance to the general population as possible" (my translation).

    Your translation and your interpretation. Bandera was not an anti-Semite — his targets were those, who opposed his movement. It was not racial. There were Jews in his organization, and the organization helped some Jews escape German persecution. You gave me the Wiki page — have you read it yourself?

    And you should note, that Bandera was released by Nazis and they supplied him with weapons - he was definitely a collaborator

    As I said already, Stalin was a collaborator too — in 1939. Russians in Crimea today are collaborators — welcoming invaders into their soil. Bandera had good reasons to hate Moscow. Crimeans have nothing to blame Kyiv for.

    he struggled for Ukrainian independence from the USSR (though dependence on Germany was A-OK)

    Of course, it was A-OK. USSR has just starved millions of Ukrainians to death [], and killed Bandera's own father (May 1941). What could possibly be blamed on Germany, when Bandera chose their protectorate over Moscow's? That was before even Babiy Yar (nay, before Kyiv was taken by Germans), and the German death camps did not become known to the world until 1943 — but the Moscow crimes were very well known to Bandera and his, personally known. I don't blame him...

    Anyway, unless you are going to suggest, Russia should be invaded on the basis of their worship of Stalin [], lay off Bandera already.

  • by MrBigInThePants ( 624986 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @05:04PM (#46519525)

    I know that many Americans are quite myopic about the US, mostly due to their media, but this is a bit much.

    If you think Bush and his evil cartoon sidekick Cheney (who looked exactly like The Penguin!) are not the same then you are WAAAAYYY off base:

    - The unilateral invading of countries while claiming "support" from small island nations depending on financial aid.
    - The "Mission Accomplished" sign
    - The "fancy dress" outfits Bush would wear with a straight face: e.g. "The Cowboy" & "Air-force Pilot"
    - The corporate rorts (e.g. the company Cheney was a CEO of) and millions in money that went missing in Iraq
    - The tortured prisoners and gulag that is Guantanamo
    - Cheney shooting someone IN THE FACE
    - Palestine and Israel anyone?!

    Bush was a complete joke around the world. And while I know many Americans thought he was a joke too, he was a two term president there.

    If you think that the US's foreign policy is not directly related to why Putin thinks he can get away with this you are simply mistaken. That is why he uses the word hypocrite and that is why he scoffs every time the US tries to tell him off.

    Not to mention the fact that the UN security council is an even bigger joke which he has veto powers at which all the super powers have used around the world constantly to shoot down any attempt at doing anything productive in any major conflict.
    None of the super powers are bastions of goodness and almost all are the complete opposite.

    Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely....
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @07:23PM (#46520481)

    I too have been to Crimea (and Odessa, and Kharkiv, and many other places in Ukraine) and this is absolute bullshit. Crimea used to be in Ukraine, before it was Chrushev's to give away. I spoke Ukrainian(-ish) to them, and they happily replied back. Russian is spoken in many other places in Ukraine, almost everybody is bilingual. The further you go east, the higher the proportion of people who choose to speak Russian. But I know people in L'viv (far west) who speak Russian (and have been doing so for 50 years).

    As for the personal feelings and identity of 3M people, unless you have carried out actual interviews, shut the fuck up! Crimea gets money from the Ukrainian government. They get loads of public money. More than two thirds of their budget. CRIMEA has not invested that money in public transport? Too bad, their problem. They used it to pay corrupt politicians. Nobody is to blame but themselves.

    Stop speading Russian lies. You are making a fool of yourself.

  • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @11:28PM (#46521687)

    Putin can call the US hippocrites all he wants, but at least when the US invades someplace we don't plant evidence to justify it.

    Yes, the US simply pretends the evidence exists, even when there's proof to the contrary (there are still some Americans who think there actually were chemical weapons in Iraq).

    Whilst I agree that something needs to be done in regards to the Crimea, meeting the Russians with force is a huge mistake. From the Russian perspective, a US led invasion (they dont care if it's lead by the UK, Germany or even Belize, as long as the US i involved their propagandists will say it's US led) will be used to rally the people behind Putin against the imperialists. This only servs to solidify Putin's position and silences his dissenters by presenting an external threat.

    Also Russia wont be a pushover like Iraq was, you wont be facing dilapidated T54's, Russia has T90's and on paper, they may not be a match for a Abrams or Challenger 2, they've got a lot more of them. Same with Airpower. Given that the Ukraine is right next door to Russia and they'll be able to mobilise their entire force much faster than the NATO allies could, it is likely to be a route.

    However, if economic pressure was applied, it would affect Putin's popularity. Despite the perceptions of those who have a hard on for sending others off to war, economic sanctions are quite effective especially when there is already dissent. The US and USSR used them to topple quiet a few governments (Yugoslavia in 1968, Chile in 1973), economic sanctions imposed by the Commonwealth of Nations had a huge part in ending Apartheid in South Africa and the US and Canada used economic sanctions to enforce nuclear non-proliferation treaties in the 70's and 80's.

    But we don't need to topple Putin's government, we just have to make it more expensive to stay then to go, Russia is very dependent on exports into the EU for a large portion of their GDP where as the EU doesn't depends exclusively on Russian Imports. By applying economic pressure, instead of galvanising the people behind Putin, we push them to blame Putin. It'll take time, but it wont cost millions of lives.

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