Apocalypse soon: Ukrainian president reportedly flees Kiev

posted at 6:37 pm on February 21, 2014 by Allahpundit

The comment counts on our Ukraine threads make me think some readers have tuned out this story. Now’s the moment when you’ll want to tune in.

If what The Interpreter’s hearing is true, Yanukovych has left Kiev for the city of Kharkiv. Maybe that’s because he’s lost control of the capital or maybe, as the State Department claims, he’s gone to Kharkiv to, ahem, shore up support. Either way, though, there’s no scenario where the government simply abdicates and the opposition takes over. Russia won’t relinquish the country that easily. So either things are about to get even rougher in Kiev as Putin fills the power vacuum or Yanukovych is planning a new move. What does that mean? Naval War College prof John Schindler fears the worst:

Here’s the latest from a story highlighted by The Interpreter:

Tomorrow President Viktor Yanukovych will take part in a Congress of the “Ukrainian Front” which is being organised by the Kharkiv governor, Mikhail Dobkin.

Sources at Kharkiv airport told Hvilya that the aeroplane carrying Yanukovych will land in Kharkiv within half an hour.

Furthermore, our sources in the Presidential Administration reported that all of the most combat ready of the Berkut and army forces have been transferred to Kharkiv and the southeast.

There is, in theory, a deal between Yanukovych and the opposition to reform the government, but Russia’s apparently not interested and neither are the Euromaidan protesters. They want Yanukovych to resign; meanwhile, the woman he defeated for the presidency four years ago could be out of prison within the next few days and ready to help lead the opposition. All the makings of civil war are present, in other words, from powerful national sponsors to ethnic tensions between Russian descendants living in the country and native Ukrainians. Someone just needs to give the word, whether Yanukovych or his boss. And even if Yanukovych resigns, depriving Putin of his proxy, the word may still come down. That’s what “Little Russia” means to Moscow.

How serious it it? This serious:

Russia is prepared to fight a war over the Ukrainian territory of Crimea to protect the ethnic Russian population and its military base there, a senior government official has told the FT.

“If Ukraine breaks apart, it will trigger a war,” the official said. “They will lose Crimea first [because] we will go in and protect [it], just as we did in Georgia.” In August 2008, Russian troops invaded Georgia after the Georgian military launched a surprise attack on the separatist region of South Ossetia in an effort to establish its dominance over the republic…

However, many government officials say in private that Ukraine falls inside Russia’s sphere of influence. “We will not allow Europe and the US to take Ukraine from us. The states of the former Soviet Union, we are one family,” said a foreign policy official. “They think Russia is still as weak as in the early 1990s but we are not.”

The speaker of the Crimean parliament has already said it’s possible the region would turn to Russia for “protection” if the country fractures. That’s likely to be one of the first flashpoints. What better way to celebrate a successful Olympics than with a big irredentist blowout on the peninsula?

If Russian tanks roll, how does the EU answer? While you mull that over, follow The Interpreter’s liveblog for updates.

Update: I’m sure it went well.

Update: The Lenin statues are coming down in Ukraine.

Update: I missed this earlier but Noah Rothman didn’t.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

If only this would happen in another country…

Lanceman on February 21, 2014 at 6:40 PM

So this is where Colonel Green gets his start, huh?

ajacksonian on February 21, 2014 at 6:41 PM

So this is where Colonel Green gets his start, huh?

ajacksonian on February 21, 2014 at 6:41 PM

Star Trek reference?

Lanceman on February 21, 2014 at 6:41 PM

Well, he had to have time to relocate his gold stash.

platypus on February 21, 2014 at 6:42 PM

uh oh…

workingclass artist on February 21, 2014 at 6:44 PM

If only this would happen in another country…

Lanceman on February 21, 2014 at 6:40 PM

Beat me to it — that was my first thought …

ShainS on February 21, 2014 at 6:45 PM

Make no mistake: if Yanukovych announces the succession of a Moscow-backed “Eastern Ukraine” – Europe has a war on its hands. A major one.

— John Schindler (@20committee) February 21, 2014

Did this guy write “succession” just to get his tweet past the Hotair censors? He should have used a “3″, instead. It looks better.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 21, 2014 at 6:46 PM

Russia is prepared to fight a war over the Ukrainian territory of Crimea to protect the ethnic Russian population and its military base there, a senior government official has told the FT.

Seriously? Another Crimean War…?

JohnGalt23 on February 21, 2014 at 6:46 PM

Yanukovych VS Tymoshenko

The war of the mafiosa?

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 6:46 PM

Launch the Juan McCain missile!

Jeddite on February 21, 2014 at 6:47 PM

Apocalypse soon: Ukrainian president reportedly flees Kiev

Chicken Kiev.

Sorry. An ugly job, but somebody had to do it.

Bruno Strozek on February 21, 2014 at 6:50 PM

EU won’t do squat, they don’t have the capability anymore. NATO won’t risk a war either. If the Ukraine splits the Russians will roll tanks and then the real mess will start. Civil war and don’t think for a second that the Chenchens won’t act. IED technology is widespread now, it’ll be bloody.

major dad on February 21, 2014 at 6:51 PM

EU won’t can’t do squat, they don’t have the capability real men anymore.

major dad on February 21, 2014 at 6:51 PM

Lanceman on February 21, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Red line coming up!
Obama searching YouTube to look for a video to blame.

albill on February 21, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Russia will win this one easily, that’s why people are tuning this out. It’s none of our business or Europeans for that matter.

jephthah on February 21, 2014 at 6:57 PM

Chicken Kiev.

Sorry. An ugly job, but somebody had to do it.

Bruno Strozek on February 21, 2014 at 6:50 PM

Not at all. You handled it well…

JohnGalt23 on February 21, 2014 at 6:57 PM

Red line coming up!
Obama searching YouTube to look for a video to blame.

albill on February 21, 2014 at 6:55 PM

It was her!

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 6:58 PM

The speaker of the Crimean parliament has already said it’s possible the region would turn to Russia for “protection” if the country fractures.

That “Overcharged” (as in ‘about to blow’) button really worked wonders.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 21, 2014 at 6:59 PM

I fear this map might become even more highly relevant soon:

http://s3.amazonaws.com/dk-production/images/61453/large/Ethnolingusitic_map_of_ukraine.png?1386888061

Nessuno on February 21, 2014 at 6:59 PM

Russia will get involved after the Olympics.

#lessons0f1980

danking70 on February 21, 2014 at 7:01 PM

What is the Ukrainian Front?

Mark1971 on February 21, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Red line coming up!
Obama searching YouTube to look for a video to blame.

albill on February 21, 2014 at 6:55 PM

This one really ticked some people off.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 21, 2014 at 7:05 PM

If Russian tanks roll, how does the EU answer?

It’ll whine.

This situation makes me sick. There is great courage being shown in Kiev, but I cannot see how it does not end badly.

The ‘criminals’ have the guns, and the ‘police’ will not intervene.

So much for the blathering about the End of History.

fadetogray on February 21, 2014 at 7:05 PM

Exit question: Where is Hillary! and her ‘reset’ button?

Or is she too busy dodging snipers?

Maybe Lil’ Johnny Kerry can put on his Vietnam hat and wade in. Might be able to put himself in for another medal.

GarandFan on February 21, 2014 at 7:06 PM

this is going to get ugly.
start of WW III ?
don’t know but the tensions are there for sure.

dmacleo on February 21, 2014 at 7:07 PM

Star Trek reference?

Lanceman on February 21, 2014 at 6:41 PM

Yes, WWIII in the Trek Universe. The one with over a billion dead and a eugenocidal maniac looking to cleanse the Earth of much of its population. The one that drags on for nearly 70 years.

A sort of Commie-Environmentalist-Genocidal nutcase that arises out of a minor civil war within Russia and then has a nuke happy time of it laying waste to most of the planet in his effort to cleanse it of those he disapproves of… which is just about everyone else.

ajacksonian on February 21, 2014 at 7:10 PM

Obama isn’t going to do a thing. Watch the Germans for the remote possibility of outside interference. Given the dependence on Russian oil and gas however I suspect no one will lift a finger.

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 7:13 PM

I fear this map might become even more highly relevant soon:

http://s3.amazonaws.com/dk-production/images/61453/large/Ethnolingusitic_map_of_ukraine.png?1386888061

Nessuno on February 21, 2014 at 6:59 PM

That is ugly on so many levels…

JohnGalt23 on February 21, 2014 at 7:14 PM

Obama isn’t going to do a thing.

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 7:13 PM

Nor should he. A democratically elected government voluntarily bailed on NATO. At one point this might have been our problem.

Not anymore…

JohnGalt23 on February 21, 2014 at 7:14 PM

ajacksonian on February 21, 2014 at 7:10 PM

I believe kirk said something like “You were notorious, Colonel Green, for striking your enemies while negotiating with them.”

And Greens said something to the effect of history being somewhat melodramatic.

Lanceman on February 21, 2014 at 7:18 PM

Greens. I mean Green.

Lanceman on February 21, 2014 at 7:18 PM

Barack Obama is going to be very upset when he reads about his failure to lead in the newspapers tomorrow.

When America is without leadership, so is the world at large. I don’t think we can hang with this huckster for 3 more years.

/just sayin

Key West Reader on February 21, 2014 at 7:19 PM

Nor should he.

JohnGalt23 on February 21, 2014 at 7:14 PM

I agree.

What annoys me is the western leaders making cheap empty promises they never had any intention of honoring, knowing full well that if push comes to shove they will leave the protesters to swing…literally.

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 7:20 PM

Here’s a couple of links with great pics and video of the protests http://zyalt.livejournal.com/ https://www.facebook.com/varlamov?ref=stream You will need google translate.

makaput on February 21, 2014 at 7:22 PM

Can’t wait for “smart power.”

dgarone on February 21, 2014 at 7:24 PM

Russia is gonna steamroll them sooner or later. Europe and the US won’t do anything (not that we should, mind you), though I do feel sorry for the pro-liberty folks there.

Othniel on February 21, 2014 at 7:25 PM

Greens. I mean Green.

Lanceman on February 21, 2014 at 7:18 PM

Actually not too far off with the depiction of a semi-religion revolving around environmentalism… easy mistake to make and probably just a good reference for those trying to get the series bible in order.

Col. Green did as Kirk said and used the peace talks as a way to find out who in his ranks was a turncoat… didn’t help much, but it got the war to drag on for awhile longer. While the series bible is charlie-foxtrotted beyond all get-out, a few themes seem to be eerily prescient. A global environmentalist religion that goes toxic is not that far out of the cards. I expect that our Col. Green equivalent is running People for a Human Free Earth…

ajacksonian on February 21, 2014 at 7:26 PM

progressive in charge when ww2 broke out in europe.
progressive in charge now.
gonna be real ugly.
and the next admin will get the blame if it all breaks down over there and we have to step into it.
yay.

dmacleo on February 21, 2014 at 7:25 PM

dmacleo on February 21, 2014 at 7:26 PM

The question no one is asking (but should) is what will the Eastern European nations do?

I just cannot fathom Poland, Romania, Hungary, Latvia, et al. sitting back while Russia re-invades former Soviet republics to reunite their empire. The wounds are too fresh.

Nessuno on February 21, 2014 at 7:29 PM

I expect that our Col. Green equivalent is running People for a Human Free Earth…

ajacksonian on February 21, 2014 at 7:26 PM

We already have those in groups like ALF, ELF, Sierra Club and God knows what else around the globe. I see a malevolent Soros-type funding behind the scenes.

Lanceman on February 21, 2014 at 7:30 PM

It will be short and sharp and Europe and the US will be bystanders. The Western leaning Ukrainians will get crushed by Russian backed Eastern leaning Ukrainians. Obama and the media will quickly lose interest as they realize how impotent it makes them look. Score another one for reset buttons and Smart Power! The world moves yet another step towards darkness.

jnelchef on February 21, 2014 at 7:33 PM

Hoping for peace but if there’s major trouble Maria Sharapova can stay with me.

GreenBlade on February 21, 2014 at 7:35 PM

if there’s major trouble Maria Sharapova can stay with me.

GreenBlade on February 21, 2014 at 7:35 PM

Dude, she prolly doesn’t shave her pits!

Lanceman on February 21, 2014 at 7:37 PM

Lady of Peace and Mercy, be with those who need You now. It’s about to get real.

Sekhmet on February 21, 2014 at 7:37 PM

Dude, who cares.

GreenBlade on February 21, 2014 at 7:38 PM

I just cannot fathom Poland, Romania, Hungary, Latvia, et al. sitting back while Russia re-invades former Soviet republics to reunite their empire. The wounds are too fresh.

Nessuno on February 21, 2014 at 7:29 PM

The Hungarian Air Force has 14 combat aircraft. Even if they were willing, what could they possibly do?

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 7:38 PM

We already have those in groups like ALF, ELF, Sierra Club and God knows what else around the globe. I see a malevolent Soros-type funding behind the scenes.

Lanceman on February 21, 2014 at 7:30 PM

I didn’t keep up with the follow-on series one of which featured a Col Green storyline. By then the future history was pretty much toasty and I didn’t care.

Looking at it today I can see a moneybags pushing someone who does an Enviro-Islamist fusion deal and uses the cash to fund a private army to then seize the nukes in Russia, and then uses them to start depopulating the Earth.

The scary part is the old Aum death-cult actually turned KGB agents that went missing at the end of the old USSR – no one ever found what happened to them. Aum already had the entire deal going: a computer business in Japan to finance an arms factory, and then expanding into Russia and subverting agents. Aum did the Tokyo sarin gas attack in the subway, and it is not a reach to see a dedicated splinter group trying to extend their ‘help’ to the rest of humanity. Aum had a working antrhax device, just the wrong strain of the disease, too… so with just a bit of backing they could have the entire WMD suite if they pulled some levers for a Col. Green type. Sex, drugs, rock’n’roll, and easing humanity to the next life and getting rewarded for doing it. Wouldn’t that be a shocker to roll out of Steppes?

ajacksonian on February 21, 2014 at 7:48 PM

Do we still have eight divisions worth of armor in Germany?

goatweed on February 21, 2014 at 7:53 PM

goatweed on February 21, 2014 at 7:53 PM

If we do, they`re not going anywhere.

ThePrez on February 21, 2014 at 7:55 PM

Do we still have eight divisions worth of armor in Germany?

goatweed on February 21, 2014 at 7:53 PM

I think we ought to sit one of these out for once.

Nessuno on February 21, 2014 at 7:57 PM

Do we still have eight divisions worth of armor in Germany?

goatweed on February 21, 2014 at 7:53 PM

To get to Ukraine you have to go through Poland.

Bad visual, that.

ajacksonian on February 21, 2014 at 7:59 PM

Do we still have eight divisions worth of armor in Germany?

goatweed on February 21, 2014 at 7:53 PM

No.

One Stryker (armored car) Bde and one Aircav Combat Bde.

There is one Airborne Bde in Italy.

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 7:59 PM

Do we still have eight divisions worth of armor in Germany?

goatweed on February 21, 2014 at 7:53 PM

iirc only 2 brigade combat teams in USAREUR, approx 30k troops as a lot of drawdowns started and continued after I left in 89.
V Corps was deactivated in late 2013 iirc.

dmacleo on February 21, 2014 at 8:01 PM

EU won’t do squat, they don’t have the capability anymore. NATO won’t risk a war either. If the Ukraine splits the Russians will roll tanks and then the real mess will start. Civil war and don’t think for a second that the Chenchens won’t act. IED technology is widespread now, it’ll be bloody.

major dad on February 21, 2014 at 6:51 PM

Yesterday Will said that the only person left that is afraid of American power is Barack Obama.

slickwillie2001 on February 21, 2014 at 8:04 PM

if there’s major trouble Maria Sharapova can stay with me.

GreenBlade on February 21, 2014 at 7:35 PM

Dude, she prolly doesn’t shave her pits!

Lanceman on February 21, 2014 at 7:37 PM

…I’ll shave them!…for her!

KOOLAID2 on February 21, 2014 at 8:05 PM

I agree.

What annoys me is the western leaders making cheap empty promises they never had any intention of honoring, knowing full well that if push comes to shove they will leave the protesters to swing…literally.

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 7:20 PM

Hungary and Czechoslovakia were the same.

slickwillie2001 on February 21, 2014 at 8:08 PM

I am so worried now for Ukraine. Putin will bring in the tanks under the pretext of annexing ‘protecting’ the Russian-linked populace of eastern Ukraine. And Obama will still be in the WH with his thumbs up his arse. Putin is laughing at him, and Obama is too obtuse to know it.

Conservchik on February 21, 2014 at 8:12 PM

Russia is prepared to fight a war over the Ukrainian territory of Crimea to protect the ethnic Russian population and its military base there, a senior government official has told the FT.

“If Ukraine breaks apart, it will trigger a war,” the official said. “They will lose Crimea first [because] we will go in and protect [it], just as we did in Georgia.” In August 2008, Russian troops invaded Georgia after the Georgian military launched a surprise attack on the separatist region of South Ossetia in an effort to establish its dominance over the republic…

Back in 2008, during a debate on foreign policy, John McCain talked about the importance of the Russian military base at Sebastopol, the Ukrainian port on the Black Sea. Barack Obama blithely ignored him and went off campaigning about how horrible the economy was under President Bush. Will there now be a war for Sebastopol?

If Russia takes over the coastal region of southern Ukraine, Ukraine will no longer have access to the Black Sea. However, all seagoing trade between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean must pass through the straits of Istanbul, controlled by Turkey. If the EU and the US were smart, possibly we could persuade Turkey (part of NATO) to block the straits of Istanbul, so that Russian ships cannot access the Mediterranean.

Steve Z on February 21, 2014 at 8:13 PM

Readout of President Obama’s Call with President Putin

Obama called Putin, well that makes me feel a lot better…

s’cuse me, may I have another…

right2bright on February 21, 2014 at 8:16 PM

If the EU and the US were smart, possibly we could persuade Turkey (part of NATO) to block the straits of Istanbul, so that Russian ships cannot access the Mediterranean.

Steve Z on February 21, 2014 at 8:13 PM

That would mean war.

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 8:16 PM

Hungary and Czechoslovakia were the same.

slickwillie2001 on February 21, 2014 at 8:08 PM

It seems to be almost constant these days with wild promises that mean nothing.

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 8:17 PM

turkey closing bosporus would be war for sure.

dmacleo on February 21, 2014 at 8:18 PM

Putin is cautious, he may make a move for Crimea (and the Crimean Tatars will fight it tooth and nail), but it’s hard for me to see him moving for the rest of Eastern Ukraine just yet. He did not make this play in 2004, and he will not make it now.

Btw, in 1994 USA guaranteed the territorial integrity of Ukraine (when Ukraine gave up the nuclear weapons). UK and Russia (ahem) were the other signatories, but never mind… in any case USA has a treaty obligation to respond to the aggression against Ukraine.

But, as I said – it is unlikely at the moment.

buridan on February 21, 2014 at 8:19 PM

Wouldn’t that be a shocker to roll out of Steppes?

ajacksonian on February 21, 2014 at 7:48 PM

Nothing truly shocks me anymore. But I suspect we were doomed when the first man became self-aware.

Lanceman on February 21, 2014 at 8:19 PM

How many times do we have to see this play out?

On the one side, we have a president who seems to care only about inequality and “social justice”.

On the other side, you have a leader who is concerned with advancing his nation’s interests on the international stage.

Who would you bet on?

blue13326 on February 21, 2014 at 8:21 PM

It doesn’t matter if the phone rings at 3 a.m. or 3 p.m., if all we have is a weak and feckless President to answer, it is dangerous for us and for the world.

Putin is emboldened and none of Obama’s threats mean anything, he’s a known joke now who bends over on Putin’s command.

Partition of Ukraine is NOT an option. Unfortunately, with Obama proven a paper tiger, and Europe all talk and no military of significance, there is not much we can do.

1063 days and counting . . .

Adjoran on February 21, 2014 at 8:22 PM

The Soviets always wanted these former Republics to be poor and dysfunctional, but not dangerous to them.

Glasnost, Perestroika, and the end of the Berlin Wall were carefully orchestrated scams. But of course according to the LSM and the conventional wisdom of our oh-so-smart American sheeple public, Communism is dead and McCarthy was a meanie.

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 21, 2014 at 8:23 PM

Map of oil/gas pipelines flowing from Russia across Ukraine to the Western European countries.

Turn off the gas to Europe. Activate the Russian Navy which is already in Sevastopol and march your men and tanks from Sochi to Kerch pass Feodosiya and the Crimea is wide open to Russian troops.

Kaffa on February 21, 2014 at 8:25 PM

Turn off the gas to Europe. Activate the Russian Navy which is already in Sevastopol and march your men and tanks from Sochi to Kerch pass Feodosiya and the Crimea is wide open to Russian troops.

Kaffa on February 21, 2014 at 8:25 PM

I don’t think that it would end with just the Crimea. The entire Black Sea coast and much of the central and eastern Ukraine would also be included. If it comes to a civil war the Russian population won’t stay with the Ukraine.

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 8:28 PM

Father, please protect the Ukrainians in their hour of despair. Please keep the Russian wolves at bay.

Conservchik on February 21, 2014 at 8:28 PM

The entire Black Sea coast and much of the central and eastern Ukraine would also be included. If it comes to a civil war the Russian population won’t stay with the Ukraine.

The population of the Black Sea coast provinces (Nikolaev, Kherson) is half-Russian, half-Ukrainian. It will not be all cheers and roses. This will be way more reckless than anything ever done by Putin, even Crimea is a stretch at this moment, but a little bit more plausible (it used to be Russia, at least).

buridan on February 21, 2014 at 8:35 PM

I don’t think that it would end with just the Crimea. The entire Black Sea coast and much of the central and eastern Ukraine would also be included. If it comes to a civil war the Russian population won’t stay with the Ukraine.

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 8:28 PM

Good points, but I am not personally familiar with areas outside of Crimea. However, I think Russia could pull out the plans they used in WWII against the Nazis and sweep across Crimea first and then up into Ukraine and across Europe. Crimea is almost an island. Please see the map of Crimea here.

Kaffa on February 21, 2014 at 8:36 PM

Ukraine use to have a large number Russian nuclear weapons that we where paying to help them destroy. I wonder if those are all accounted for?

Kaffa on February 21, 2014 at 8:44 PM

As he was leaning toward Medvedev in Seoul, Obama was overheard asking for time – “particularly with missile defense” – until he is in a better position politically to resolve such issues.

“I understand your message about space,” replied Medvedev, who will hand over the presidency to Putin in May.

“This is my last election … After my election I have more flexibility,” Obama said, expressing confidence that he would win a second term.

“I will transmit this information to Vladimir,” said Medvedev, Putin’s protégé and long considered number two in Moscow’s power structure.

.
Red lines and consequences…..Time for more gay squirrel distraction, da, comrades?

FlaMurph on February 21, 2014 at 8:44 PM

As far as combat forces go, the last of the M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks was returned state side, last year. With Russia able to pour T90/80 series tanks, and a short supply line the active combat operations would be very short. Ukrainian asymmetric warfare would go on for years, as there are both USSR combat vets and Ukrainian combat vets from the current War On Terror. It will be interesting to see President Obama dust off Chamberlain’s “Peace in our Time” speech.

Gebirgsjager on February 21, 2014 at 8:44 PM

Ukraine use to have a large number Russian nuclear weapons that we where paying to help them destroy. I wonder if those are all accounted for?

Kaffa on February 21, 2014 at 8:44 PM

I had forgotten about that, good question.

dmacleo on February 21, 2014 at 8:46 PM

The population of the Black Sea coast provinces (Nikolaev, Kherson) is half-Russian, half-Ukrainian.

A majority of the population in Eastern and Southern regions of Ukraine speak Russian at home:

Autonomous Republic of Crimea — 97% of the population
Dnipropetrovsk Oblast — 72%
Donetsk Oblast — 93%
Zaporizhia Oblast — 81%
Luhansk Oblast — 89%
Mykolaiv Oblast — 66%
Odessa Oblast — 85%
Kharkiv Oblast — 74%

It will not be all cheers and roses.

Nothing about this is going to be good if it explodes into war.

This will be way more reckless than anything ever done by Putin, even Crimea is a stretch at this moment, but a little bit more plausible (it used to be Russia, at least).

buridan on February 21, 2014 at 8:35 PM

Putin simply has no choice. I don’t think he can allow the US or Europeans to establish themselves in the Ukraine. He may only supply the Eastern forces by proxy and with volunteers but he won’t let the west Ukrainians win.

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 8:47 PM

from what I can tell the ukraine did ship all its warheads out to russia (who knows if they all made it) and silos were decommissioned.
http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/ukraine/

Ukraine announced in June 1996 that all warheads had been removed from the country.

no idea how valid the data is.

dmacleo on February 21, 2014 at 8:51 PM

Putin simply has no choice. I don’t think he can allow the US or Europeans to establish themselves in the Ukraine. He may only supply the Eastern forces by proxy and with volunteers but he won’t let the west Ukrainians win.

There will be no “Eastern forces” outside of Crimes, I can vouch for that (I am from Kiev myself, but I know this part of the country well). If Putin wants this part of Ukraine, he will have to go for a direct grab, the proxy will not work.

He has a choice – the same one he took in 2004. Continue to undermine the Ukrainian govt, increase the gas prices, watch the next govt collapse. Then grab more assets, and perhaps Donetsk and Luhansk at that stage (and good riddance to both of these sh*th@les, as far as I am concerned).

buridan on February 21, 2014 at 8:54 PM

Ukrainian asymmetric warfare would go on for years…

Gebirgsjager on February 21, 2014 at 8:44 PM

In order for asymmetric war to be successful the insurgents must have the support of the indigenous population. The insurgents will not have that support. The majority of the population will support the Russians. IMO it won’t be an asymmetric war, it will be a mopping up operation. Nothing like Afghanistan.

Kaffa on February 21, 2014 at 8:56 PM

Do not underestimate the degree to which the Poles are very interested in helping western Ukraine…there is long history of between the Poles and Ukrainians…far longer than the Ukrainian Russian relationship. When the Cossacks rebeled in 1648 they aligned themsleves with the Romanov out of necessity. Once they realized what the Russians had in mind they tried to reestablish a relationship with the Poles but it was too late…the Polish power had been exhausted during the war with Sweden and the Cossacks were divided.

Fast forward to today…you’d better believe the Pole are shpping weapons to the Ukrainian freedom fighters and if civil war breaks out the Poles will have an interest in western Ukraine, which increases the posibility of a Russian/Polish confrontation and as a member of NATO, if they attack the Pole the Poles will request NATO assistance, then things get really interesing…and given the Russian military perfomance in Georgia, which wasn’t stellar the Poles have a good chance at blooding a few Russian noses before they declare a ceasefire.

ironmarshal on February 21, 2014 at 8:56 PM

There will be no “Eastern forces” outside of Crimes, I can vouch for that

buridan on February 21, 2014 at 8:54 PM

There already are.

Furthermore, our sources in the Presidential Administration reported that all of the most combat ready of the Berkut and army forces have been transferred to Kharkiv and the southeast.

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 8:57 PM

Ukraine announced in June 1996 that all warheads had been removed from the country.

no idea how valid the data is.

dmacleo on February 21, 2014 at 8:51 PM

Thanks. I doubt that they kept any. I doubt that they have the personnel who know how to maintain and use them.

Kaffa on February 21, 2014 at 9:00 PM

Thanks. I doubt that they kept any. I doubt that they have the personnel who know how to maintain and use them.

Kaffa on February 21, 2014 at 9:00 PM

theres a LOT of ukraine and china weapons/tech interaction since then so I would be leery. ukraine ahd what, 30% or more of all russian nukes there and support staff? thats a lot of knowledge there.

dmacleo on February 21, 2014 at 9:08 PM

So much tragedy in Eastern Europe for so many years

I must say I did enjoy the video of Lenin being pulled down to the trash heap of history where he belongs.

jazzuscounty on February 21, 2014 at 9:08 PM

there is long history of between the Poles and Ukrainians…far longer than the Ukrainian Russian relationship.

ironmarshal on February 21, 2014 at 8:56 PM

The Rus were first founded near Kiev in present day Ukraine. They were originally ruled by a Viking king who they invited to become their ruler. FTA: “Kievan Rus’ was at its cultural and political height in the 10th and 11th century…”.

I’m sorry, but I don’t have the whole history at my finger tips, but I think you will find that Russia’s roots lie deep into Ukraine and Kiev. As to Crimea, it was part of Russia for 200 years before Khrushchev gave it to the Ukraine during Soviet times.

Kaffa on February 21, 2014 at 9:20 PM

theres a LOT of ukraine and china weapons/tech interaction since then so I would be leery. ukraine ahd what, 30% or more of all russian nukes there and support staff? thats a lot of knowledge there.

dmacleo on February 21, 2014 at 9:08 PM

Good point. I forgot about China’s involvement.

Kaffa on February 21, 2014 at 9:23 PM

Russia’s roots lie deep into Ukraine and Kiev. As to Crimea, it was part of Russia for 200 years before Khrushchev gave it to the Ukraine during Soviet times.

You’re quite right about the Crimea, not really part of the historic Ukraine. As far as the Rus from Kiev go, they were distinct from the Slav’s that settled around Moscow and ended up being the dominant force. The Polish Commonwealth included large portions of what we now call western Ukraine.The Poles governed as far east as Smolensk.

The Cossacks were a motley collection of runaway peasants from Russia and Poland rather than native residents. The registered Cossacks nobles were an integral part of the Polish Commonwealth even though the Ukraine wasn’t a formal partner. The Russians of 1648 had far less a claim to the Ukraine than did the Poles. The major sticking point between the Poles and Cossacks was the suppression of the Russian Orthodox Church, which the Romanov’s championed. The Russian domination of the Ukraine since the mid 17th century allowed them to rewrite history, as they’ve been doing for a long time.

ironmarshal on February 21, 2014 at 9:48 PM

1.) The Ukraine and Crimea devolve into a ‘breakaway territory’

2.) Putin responds backing Yanukovych with tanks, re-takes Ukraine in spectacular fashion. After all, you don’t spend that many rubles on an election to look Democratic, just to have your boy ousted.

3.) Europe, much as in Chamberlain’s day…talks a lot, does nothing.

4.) Putin sits back and laughs; Says to Obama: “Now THAT is REAL ‘Red-Line’, bitch”

5.) Whole World recognizes EU as powerless, and Obama as ridiculously impotent fool, dumps American dollar as currency standard, Chinese yuan takes over world markets. Dollar and euro are now worthless to a Weimar level.

…congratulations, leftist scum. America is now no longer #1.

Happy now?

a5minmajor on February 21, 2014 at 9:50 PM

Is it possible that the crisis in the Ukraine could spread to Russia and undermine Putin?

Pentucket Frog on February 21, 2014 at 9:51 PM

What annoys me is the western leaders making cheap empty promises they never had any intention of honoring, knowing full well that if push comes to shove they will leave the protesters to swing…literally.

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 7:20 PM

In what way would that be different from what we did (or didn’t do) to the Hungarians in 1956 or the Czechs in 1968?

We seem to have a habit of promising aid to people who want to be free of the Russians…and then, delivering nothing.

It’s doubtful that the Ukranians believed any promises made by the US.

Solaratov on February 21, 2014 at 10:08 PM

I must say I did enjoy the video of Lenin being pulled down to the trash heap of history where he belongs.

jazzuscounty on February 21, 2014 at 9:08 PM

He’s big enough for everybody to have a turn peeing on him, but too big to flush down the toilet.

307wolverine on February 21, 2014 at 10:10 PM

Who will be our Tennyson? Will the Light Brigade charge?

thuja on February 21, 2014 at 10:17 PM

As one with a certain affection for the Russian people (and contempt for Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist government), my heart goes out to them and to the Ukrainians. Luck has not been kind to them.

Those who want security and liberty will get neither.

petefrt on February 21, 2014 at 10:53 PM

Give me a break. If Obama didn’t do anything in 2009 in Iran when he had a golden opportunity to overthrow the government there when the people were revolting against the mullahs, why does anybody think that Obama will do anything in the Ukraine, which is a lot harder to get to and where the outcome is really not that important to the United States?

In Iran we had a chance to influence the entire Middle East by getting rid of the mullahs and we did nothing. If Ukraine remains a satellite of Russia, as Hillary Clinton is fond of saying, “What difference does it really make?” When Stalin starved literally millions of people in the Ukraine, the world sat back and did nothing. What really makes you think the world cares any more about the Ukraine now, when there are a lot fewer lives at stake? Please, there will be a mild “protest” at the United Nations and Obama, along with the rest of the world, will simply turn over and go back to sleep. If nobody stopped Stalin, nobody is going to stop Putin. It’s as sad and simple as that.

Libertyship46 on February 21, 2014 at 10:53 PM

If nobody stopped Stalin, nobody is going to stop Putin.

Libertyship46 on February 21, 2014 at 10:53 PM

Least of all, Obama, who doesn’t want the distraction from his domestic agenda of fundamentally transforming America.

petefrt on February 21, 2014 at 11:03 PM

Comment pages: 1 2