If I was in London, I go and take a shit on Neville Chamberlain's grave for laying down a precedent of speaking with such enlightened bullshit instead of standing up to a bully. Go and negotiate how far he is going to stick it up your ass.. and yes ,,it is just that simple!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Don't hold back RodanTsunami -- tell us how you really feel!
In the interest of balance, comparing the present situation to Chamberlain (the Munich Agreement of 1938) reveals more differences than parallels.
At Munich, Britain and France explicitly assented to the occupation of part of Czechoslovakia's territory. They said, "OK, you have our permission." My personal expectation, is that the countries of the West will neither agree to the occupation, nor recognize Crimea as either an independent state, nor as a subject of the Russian Federation. Certainly, none of them has assented to the occupation as of today.
The similarity to Munich, is that no state has threatened (much less declared) war against Russia. To my knowledge, no state has any treaty obligation to do so. In the normal way of things, the UN would at least discuss what to do about such a situation, but with Russia's veto power on the Security Council, how much can be done?
Another important difference, is that the Munich agreement discouraged Czechoslovakia from fighting the German invaders. I don't think that any state wants Ukraine to go to war against the Russians, but on the other hand I don't hear anybody (apart from lickspittles for Russia) saying that Ukraine doesn't have the right to use force to defend its territory, if it chooses to do so.
Given the lack of treaty obligations, which countries have a consensus that they want their sons to die in order for Ukraine can hang on to Crimea? (Serious question, not meant as snark.) In 2008 when Russia murderously siezed South Ossetia from Georgia -- with hundreds of military and hundreds of civilians killed, and about two thousand wounded -- who volunteered to spill their blood to defend Georgia's boundaries?
Part of what makes this so difficult, is that both Georgia and Ukraine have been so badly governed since their separation from the Soviet Union. Both of these states came into being with problems of disunity and conflicting notions of allegiance among certain groups and territories -- and their wretched governance didn't help to build a strong sense of national unity. This in no way excuses Russia's piratical land grabs (a la Saddam Hussein) -- but it does make it harder for outsiders to decide that they want to sacrifice their lives and limbs for highly corrupt states.
I predicted above that no Western country will recognize Crimea's split from Ukraine, should that be declared (it hasn't yet happened officially!)
Consider Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Russian-occupied territories that by international law belong to Georgia: in other words, stolen land. Russia has declared them to be independent republics. Who else recognizes them as legal states?
Well, they recognize each other (big surprise!) Likewise, they are recognized by Transnistria, another illegal Russian land grab (in Moldova).
So, which actual UN member states recognize these "new republics?"
Venezuela and Nicaragua: solid citizens of the world community, no doubt.
Naura, Vanuata and Tuvalu (tiny island states in the Pacific Ocean).
And NOBODY ELSE.
It's fascinating to consider who's NOT on the list.
Rebels against international orthodoxy, like Iran or North Korea? Nope.
Russia's old friend, protege, and trading partner Cuba? Not interested.
Russia's Customs Union partners, Belarus and Kazakhstan? No -- they are painfully aware that their turn could come for carving up.
Compared to Georgia, the West has more understanding and awareness of Ukraine, and more emotional sympathy. For Europeans, Ukraine is after all a near neighbor. Ukraine IS the buffer between Russia and the EU.
I don't see anybody Western states agreeing to Russian aggression against Ukraine.
If Russia annexes Crimea, and nobody else recognizes the annexation, the lack of recognition won't be anything like a declaration of war, but it could turn aout to be very awkward and costly, especially for Crimeans themselves. They have seven days to ponder this, before their vote.
My statements have nothing to do with feelings. It is not words that have crossed the border. The feelings are of those that fear or have jubilance in this act of force and aggression. They will wake to find that the fruits of their labor are sent to Moscow. Russia needs an independent Ukraine to be a liaison and soften the hard border that is cultural and historic. In the height of the Cold War, to much lesser degree it was Yugoslavia that had this effect. Ukraine because of the multi ethnic population and what has shown to be able to function peacefully with these differences, without violence. It can host this function,,,, if it keeps outside influences from dictating policy. That is what I mean by Ukraine's future is in Kiev, not Moscow, Berlin, London or Washington as I have stated here several times in these last years. Ukraine needs a strong patriot that will lead and not be a puppet to any foreign party. One that will not be put in jail or retire in exile.
"Ukraine's future is in Kiev, not Moscow, Berlin, London or Washington"
I don't see that Ukraine can survive, certainly not prosper, by itself.
Never mind the gas it steals from the pipelines under it's territory, it can't even afford to pay for the gas it legitimately uses, what is it owes to Russia, something like $2 billion for gas?
Ukraine needs a partner, a bed fellow, and the two prospective partners waiting in the wings are the Russian Federation and the European Union.
Of course the Ukrainians see themselves as in Europe but outside of the European Union whilst they see their neighbouring countries of the Soviet Block in the EU and doing very nicely thank you with many of the people taking up residence in what they see as the countries of milk & honey.
God forbid that Ukraine would ever be allowed in to the EU but these people want some "milk & honey" and they won't get that in Russia, there is only one way they want to go and this Viktor Yanukovych's mistake was to go with what he wanted and without listening to, or indeed putting it to any public vote, what the majority of the electorate of Ukraine wanted.
One only has to think back to the "Orange Revolution" of those years ago to appreciate that these Ukrainians have a habit of speaking their minds, OK it's easy to speak with the benefit of hindsight but Yanukovych knew what these people wanted, that they wanted the European Union, and this apparent old school communist is responsible for the mess that he has created.
The future of Ukraine cannot solely be in Kiev because Kiev doesn't have any money, Kiev needs to go cap in hand to a party willing to help it that meets with the approval of the majority of the electorate of Ukraine.
Trouble is ... Putin doesn't agree with what the majority of the electorate of Ukraine want but some might say "What the f*ck has it got to do with him anyway?" and they'd be right!
I didn't state that it would survive by itself. It's best option is to have ties with both Russia, Europe and the world. As I have stated before, the U.S. was fundamental in nation building in Germany and Japan after WWII. Because the U.S. was untouched, it was primary in putting them back on the path to recovery while the rest of Europe and the Isles focused on their own countries. The U.S. was the prime in the Cold War and for the same reason has a vested interest and moral obligation to help in nation building of the FSU. In Germany it would be hard pressed to find any grass roots in "East" the going back to Russian dominance. That is because of nation building after the war created a economically stable Germany. The failure of the West to assist the last 22 years is why there is nostalgia for the "Good Old Days" of the FSU existing. Russia is still hobbled in much of the country with central control in Moscow putting most of the country in poverty. It would be the same for Ukraine and Crimea. Look at Cuba,,, abandoned. That is why Ukraine's future is in Kiev. Could be that Cuba should be annexed by Florida.
Since Putin will claim Crimea and no one will stop him China is perfectly happy to keep getting the oil shipped from Crimea. Not only is there a black sea fleet in Crimea there is also a sea port full of ships from china. Russia needs money since the rubble is crap. They have Crimea now there sending Russians to disrupt things in Donetsk to take that city also. Ukraine will never be free of Russian since they let Russians vote. That's how Yanakovitch became president so many times. Russia sent in people to vote and then they get who they want. The snipers in Kiev and some of the berkut police were from the Russian base in Crimea.
Your average serviceman, as I was, would be trained and qualified with firearms but we would never use such firearms in our day to day functions, my day to day function being "Air Traffic Control", and our only practical use of firearms would be an annual refresher where we might fire off 20 rounds or so.
So "sailors" in Crimea wouldn't be that sharp on pinpointing targets from rooftops or wherever in Kiev, every firearm has a different "point of aim" and to get this right takes servicemen that do it for a living, some might call them "special forces".
I wouldn't imagine that Russia has regular "special forces" deployed in a naval dockyard in Crimea and if they did they would be there to protect against any security threat against that dockyard and not available to go "walkabout" to Kiev or anywhere else.
One of the clouds hanging over the situation in Ukraine, is that NOBODY has definitively identified those snipers.
Russia has exploited this for their hysterical propaganda machine (which insists 24/7 that Kyiv is now under control of neo-Nazi ultra-nationalists), claiming that the snipers murdering Maidan protesters were ... Maidan protesters.
About Russian special forces in Ukraine: I would suggest the possibility that some of the vessels visiting Crimea carry nuclear weapons. [This would be a violation of the lease terms between Russia and Ukraine ... and we know how Russia keeps its word!] If Sevastopol DOES host nuclear weapons, then it would make sense for the Black Sea Fleet to station intensively trained special security forces there as well.
I have seen how USAF guards nukes, and the guys doing security patrol don't look like regular airmen to me: they are specially trained and qualified MPs, armed to the teeth wherever they patrol.
Well that would suggest that the shooters weren't military personnel because, before they even get to fire a shot, military personnel are trained in such things as safety catches and unload procedures, I mean they are "professional" in handling a weapon, they might be a cr@p shot but they are trained to handle the weapon :)
You can even tell a military person by the way he walks, because he has been trained to march he walks differently.
I only saw one short clip of the shooting. It was not the shooters. It was the people getting shot. They had shields. Everytime one would take the shield out, he would get shot. In this one instance, they looked like marksmen to me. Then again, this is just one instance.
By the way, bowhunter. You were planning to move to Ukraine weren't you? How does this affect your plans?
SOME VIEWS OF THE CRISIS FROM PEOPLE IN/FROM THE FSU (reports from people I know):
• Men of all ages are volunteering to join Ukraine's armed forces.
• An intelligent, highly educated and cosmopolitan Russian citizen, who believes that Ukraine is under the control of neo-Nazis, that the US controlled by fascists who are in league with Ukrainian fascists, that the snipers murdering protesters in Kyiv were NATO troops, and that Russia's invasion is justified.
• A woman of Russian ancestry, birth and education who is ashamed to be of the same nationality as Putin. She recently sent "care packages" for Maidan protesters who are far from home (people came from all over the country) and are determined to remain.
• An expat in the US who was born and spent most of his life in Ukraine, who is so preoccupied with the crisis that he struggles to manage his daily activities. A life-long athlete, he must run half an hour before the activity distracts him from the emotional pain in his heart.
• A married engineer in his late 40s, who lived and worked in Russia for some years, committed to join Ukraine's army if war comes.
• A young Russian man whose family is planning to spirit him across the border into one of the former SSRs if war breaks out -- he finished his compulsory military service a couple of years ago, and would be liable to call-up as a reserve.
friend of the family who is ukraine got called up for service . when he went to get uniform ect they opened the storage shed and everthing was gone . uniforms arms evern the lockers and light fitting . all been looted .