49 Ukrainian service personnel dead after pro-Russian separatists down military plane

posted at 5:31 pm on June 14, 2014 by Noah Rothman

While the tenuous gains made in Iraq over the course of seven years of war are undone in a matter of days, and the American political press readies arguments for why a new development surrounding the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative political groups is not that much of a development at all, it’s easy to forget the unfolding crisis in Eastern Europe. In fact, it would take an egregious escalation of the situation in Ukraine to refocus the nation’s attention on the former Soviet Republicans.

Unfortunately, Moscow has facilitated just such an escalation.

“Pro-Russian separatists shot down an army transport plane in east Ukraine on Saturday,” Reuters reported on Saturday, “killing 49 servicemen and dealing a blow to a military campaign to defeat the rebels and hold the country together.”

President Petro Poroshenko promised an “adequate” response after the plane was hit by an anti-aircraft missile as it came in to land at the airport outside the city of Luhansk, a centre of the rebellion against central rule that began in April.

This development comes just hours after the State Department claimed that Russia moved three T-64 tanks, a variety of other military vehicles, and heavy weaponry including surface-to-air missile launchers across the Ukrainian border to bolster pro-Russian separatist forces.

The downing of a Ukrainian Ilyushin-76 military-transport aircraft marks the most serious escalation of the low-intensity Russian-Ukrainian war since the start of open conflict in February. At least 115 Ukrainian service personnel have died in the conflict so far.

This attack was followed up with an ambush by pro-Russian gunman on a Ukrainian military convoy in the port city of Mariupol. In addition Ukrainian State Guard revealed on Saturday that an explosive device was discovered overnight near the Presidential Administration in downtown Kiev. Some are calling this discovery the foiling of an assassination plot on the newly elected Ukrainian president.

“It was a container with five grenades and a kilogram of metal nuts,” an anonymous source told Reuters reporters. “It was a really powerful device.”

It may be merely coincidence that this rapid escalation of tensions in Europe comes at the same time as the implosion of the fragile post-war Iraqi state. Given the proficiency Russia has demonstrated in manipulating the news cycle since the start of the Ukrainian conflict, however, that seems unlikely.


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Where’s the prez? Back nine? Hey Sec Lurch, what do you have to say about this? Anybody still questioning Putin’s intentions here?

major dad on June 14, 2014 at 5:36 PM

Meanwhile Preznit Do-Nothing is out raising money and playing mulligans.

fogw on June 14, 2014 at 5:36 PM

Is WWIII about here?

OmahaConservative on June 14, 2014 at 5:37 PM

Thousands of Americans in Iraq are in danger of capture, beheading, and torture, as Al Qaeda advances to Baghdad this weekend.

#RescueOurPeople

Please pray for their rescue.

faraway on June 14, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Let me just finish my dog at the turn

CBWV99 on June 14, 2014 at 5:50 PM

Putin is using the distracting events in Iraq to escalate his intervention, now with tanks, anti-air craft weapons in eastern Ukraine. He does this assured in his belief that Obama will continue to do nothing.

J.B. Say on June 14, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Why doesn`t Putin just go in heavy? NATO won`t do anything, Obama won`t do anything. It`s his, take it!

ThePrez on June 14, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Shhhhhh. Obama is resting.

Key West Reader on June 14, 2014 at 5:57 PM

Anybody remember how Japan went to war with China?

Germany with Poland?

formwiz on June 14, 2014 at 5:57 PM

Those reset buttons are …. so brilliant!

Smegley on June 14, 2014 at 5:59 PM

faraway on June 14, 2014 at 5:39 PM

This is utterly unconscionable !!!
Do you have anything new concerning the embassy/staff ??
Have seen NYET reported about them, but I’m just now peeking around.
Contractors still stuck ?????
ARRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH

pambi on June 14, 2014 at 6:00 PM

Why doesn`t Putin just go in heavy? NATO won`t do anything, Obama won`t do anything. It`s his, take it!

ThePrez on June 14, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Because he isn’t dumb.

Marching to Baghdad wasn’t victory in Iraq and marching to Kiev, or Kharkov wouldn’t be victory in the Ukraine.

The Kiev government is alienating the Eastern Ukraine which works to Putin’s advantage and prepares the population for what is coming. The cycle of violence will radicalize those who were sitting on the fence. The gas will be cut when the Ukraine can’t pay their bills and the cold and dark will undercut the Kiev government as well. When food and welfare payments cannot be met in Kiev unrest will follow.

Putin isn’t going to spend a lot of blood and treasure when he doesn’t have to. There may come a time when the tanks roll in, but it will be more of a formality than anything else.

sharrukin on June 14, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Now seems like a good time for China to grab Taiwan. Obama won’t do anything about it.

Charlemagne on June 14, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Washington (AFP) – The United States condemned an attack on Russia’s embassy in Kiev on Saturday and called on Ukraine to provide adequate security for the diplomatic mission.

The US reaction came after a crowd, inflamed by the downing of a Ukrainian military transport plane, tore down the embassy’s flag and overturned vehicles as a dozen police looked on.

“The United States condemns the attack on the Russian Embassy in Kiev, and calls on Ukrainian authorities to meet their Vienna convention obligations to provide adequate security,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

Jon0815 on June 14, 2014 at 6:09 PM

Is WWIII about here?

OmahaConservative on June 14, 2014 at 5:37 PM

I think it started about 1400 years ago.

BallisticBob on June 14, 2014 at 6:22 PM

While the tenuous gains made in Iraq over the course of seven years of war are undone in a matter of days

Although they may grow some for a short while, even the best seeds, if planted in poison soil, will whither and die before long. You must never have been in 4H.

VorDaj on June 14, 2014 at 6:23 PM

If I were a general in Ukraine, I’d plan a line toward the Russian interior, including one city held by rebels and start along that line with everything I could muster. I’d destroy, maim, kill, burn anything in my way and go as far as I could, doing as much damage as possible before humping it back home, maybe taking out a missile silo or two along the way.

Just to sent Putin a little love message.

Diluculo on June 14, 2014 at 6:27 PM

But wait …. normal people cannot take on the government./

CW on June 14, 2014 at 6:28 PM

Boy Obama has done a heck of a job making the world a safer place huh? The world is burning and he’s watching and laughing

sadsushi on June 14, 2014 at 6:33 PM

The world is on the brink… again…. the country is ripped apart by scandals in the IRS, the VA, Benghazi, and obozo is playing golf and going to fundraisers. This is ALL your fault you loser liberals! C’mon, argue with me.

ultracon on June 14, 2014 at 6:36 PM

Boy Obama has done a heck of a job making the world a safer place huh? The world is burning and he’s watching and laughing

sadsushi on June 14, 2014 at 6:33 PM

Smart power

307wolverine on June 14, 2014 at 6:43 PM

We need to stop pretending the russians are capable of being something other than garbage. They brought us Putin, the Soviets, communism, they raped their way through eastern and central Europe. They have all but given Iran a nuclear bomb to destroy Israel in keeping with their long history of anti semitism, they have kept Assad in power in Syria, annexed the Crimea and treated the Ukraine like a satellite county, again in keeping with their history. They still have enough ICBM’s pointed at us to wipe the lower 48 off the map.
They are adversaries and need to be treated as such instead of appeasing them. Putin is nothing but a gangster.

V7_Sport on June 14, 2014 at 6:43 PM

instead of the Debt Clock we should have a Condemnations vs Action Scoreboard…. is it, like, 497 to 2?

profits101 on June 14, 2014 at 6:45 PM

I think No. Korea is looking at taking CA. Why? Do not know, but if BO is Fund Raising, playing Golf and focused on his next visit on the View, then why not.

Goodie on June 14, 2014 at 6:54 PM

Is WWIII about here?

OmahaConservative on June 14, 2014 at 5:37 PM

That is why I have been corn feeding the doves,squirrels,rabbits,and deer at my place for the last few years.I suggest you go on YouTube and learn how to make charcoal.

docflash on June 14, 2014 at 7:04 PM

http://www.breakingnews.com/topic/ukraine-protests-over-eu-agreement-delay/

Ukraine, Russia political crisis
Russia

3h
Russia and Ukraine fail to find solution to gas pricing dispute; will hold another meeting on Sunday, Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuri Prodan says – @Reuters
End of alert
=============

Kyiv, Kyiv City Municipality, UA
5h
Photo: Ukrainian special forces waiting around the corner from Russian embassy in Kiev – @olliecarroll
see original on twitter.com
===========================

Kyiv, Kyiv City Municipality, UA
5h
US condemns attack on Russia’s embassy in Kiev, calls on Ukrainian authorities to provide adequate security – @StateDept
see original on twitter.com

https://twitter.com/StateDept

canopfor on June 14, 2014 at 7:31 PM

Man, obama kicked putin’s ass.

What a whuppin’.

Putin’s talk was cheap, obama’s sanctions were expensive.

everdiso on June 13, 2014 at 1:11 PM

Smart power.

mankai on June 14, 2014 at 7:58 PM


https://twitter.com/APDiploWriter

Matt Lee @APDiploWriter · 6h

Once again, two versions of same phone call. “@mfa_russia: US must urge #Ukraine to end military campaign – Lavrov http://goo.gl/0P4nMq
View summary

Replied to 0 times

Matt Lee @APDiploWriter · 6h

Was Elvis Costello prescient or merely naive? “Where are the strong? And who are the trusted? And what’s so funny ’bout…?” #Ukraine #Iraq

Replied to 0 times

Matt Lee @APDiploWriter · 7h

In call with #Ukraine PM, #SecKerry expresses condolences for deaths from plane downing “by #Russia-supported separatists,” per US official.

Replied to 0 times

Matt Lee @APDiploWriter · 7h

In call w/#Russia FM Lavrov, #SecKerry expresses “strong concern” re “transport of heavy weaponry” to #Ukraine & plane downing: US official.

Replied to 0 times

Matt Lee @APDiploWriter · 7h

US condemns attack on #Russia embassy in Kiev, urges #Ukraine to meet Vienna convention obligations on security, per @statedeptspox

Replied to 0 times

Matt Lee @APDiploWriter · 14h

“Take It To The Limit” appears to be everybody’s theme song today. The Eagles have better tunes.

Replied to 0 times

Matt Lee @APDiploWriter · Jun 13

US official: can’t confirm #Ukraine mil vehicles crossed imto #Russia. “But we call on Russia 2 remove fighters, arms & forces frm Ukraine.”

Replied to 0 times

Matt Lee @APDiploWriter · Jun 13

“#Russia has accumulated tanks … no longer used by Russian forces at a site in SW Russia, & some of (them) recently departed,” @marieharf

Replied to 0 times

Matt Lee @APDiploWriter · Jun 13

“We are confident that these tanks came from #Russia,” @marieharf

canopfor on June 14, 2014 at 8:28 PM

I’m torn between what the leader of the free world should do about it: a strong condemnation or an unambiguous expression of concern.

PBH on June 14, 2014 at 9:20 PM

…so?…when we going to have a picture of Mooch holding up a hash tag?

KOOLAID2 on June 14, 2014 at 9:34 PM

I’m torn between what the leader of the free world should do about it: a strong condemnation or an unambiguous expression of concern.

PBH on June 14, 2014 at 9:20 PM

Sanctions and a strongly worded letter should do the trick.

‘Course getting to the ISS may mean just the letter . . . . . . . . . .

Bubba Redneck on June 14, 2014 at 9:46 PM

Give peace a chance? Sorry, John, that’s not the way the world works.

And some places are a dam sight nastier than others.

Sherman1864 on June 14, 2014 at 11:27 PM

Give peace a chance? Sorry, John, that’s not the way the world works.

And some places are a dam sight nastier than others.

Sherman1864 on June 14, 2014 at 11:27 PM

The first chance peace had in times of antiquity was when the Roman legions rolled through the ‘homeland’ of various unwashed barbarians and planted a hobnailed sandal up their collective loincloth-clad behinds so hard they farted leather.

Later, the various European empires did the exact same thing and with the exact same result. England’s lasted the longest and when they promptly fell apart (right after withstanding the Nazi machine face-on, no less!) their former colonies took the express elevator straight down to poverty.

LawfulGood on June 15, 2014 at 12:26 PM

My heart goes out to the Ukranians. They’re David against Goliath. But David won, and I hope the Ukranians do too.

Conservchik on June 15, 2014 at 12:31 PM

My heart goes out to the Ukranians. They’re David against Goliath. But David won, and I hope the Ukranians do too.

Conservchik on June 15, 2014 at 12:31 PM

I agree. Their biggest advantage right now is that the Philistines are running on the remaining flickers of glory of a collapsed empire, and they just have to hold off what is basically a Hail Mary attempt by Putin. If the USSR was at their prime things would be extremely grim for them.

LawfulGood on June 15, 2014 at 12:43 PM