February 28, 2014


Video: Russian attack helicopters entering Ukraine

According to local media, this video allegedly shows about ten Russian attack Mi- 24 Hind helicopters entering Ukrainian air space through Crimea, the autonomous Ukrainian republic where 58.5-percent of the population are ethnic Russians.... The Daily Beast claims that the 2,000 Russian soldiers are part of a Russian "private military force," not actual soldiers from the Russian Army. Other people are saying that these are disguised Russian special forces.


Posted by gerardvanderleun at February 28, 2014 7:28 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Boy, that sure didn't take long.

Posted by: cond0011 at February 28, 2014 7:51 PM

Choppers don't go where there isn't infantry to support.

Posted by: TmjUtah at February 28, 2014 8:01 PM

I counted 11 but 1 or 2 in the background seem to be more like 'spotters'... not the same silhouettes as the Hinds.

Posted by: red jeff at February 28, 2014 8:02 PM

Boy those Generals are going to be shocked when they find out the carbon footprint of invading Ukraine. Also, Russian history tells us they don't like to be invaded (see 1939-1945) so once the Generals learn they have invaded a country they will be so embarrassed. This will all be over in hours, Gah Ron Teed!

Posted by: Scott M at February 28, 2014 10:03 PM

Spetznaz GRU forces on board, with backing hardware already rolling to consolidate control of the initial objectives.
Much more to follow.
Bank on it.

Posted by: eurefugee at March 1, 2014 12:36 AM

If I'm living in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia or other desirable properties of the former U.S.S.R., I'm probably not sleeping nearly so well anymore.

Posted by: Richard at March 1, 2014 6:51 AM

Eurefugee is correct.

Those aren't tanks, by the way; they are self-propelled artillery.

Posted by: B Lewis at March 1, 2014 7:41 AM

B Lewis is right, M1974 122mm self-propelled guns, to be precise. Still remember what they look like from my Army "threat recognition" classes.

Posted by: waltj at March 1, 2014 8:26 AM

An interesting bit of information I was unaware of, from over at the Hotair site.

A treaty signed in 1994 by the US and Britain could pull both countries into a war to protect Ukraine if President Putin’s troops cross into the country.

Bill Clinton, John Major, Boris Yeltsin and Leonid Kuchma – the then-rulers of the USA, UK, Russia and Ukraine – agreed to the The Budapest Memorandum as part of the denuclearization of former Soviet republics after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Technically it means that if Russia has invaded Ukraine then it would be difficult for the US and Britain to avoid going to war. …

Sir Tony Brenton, who served as British Ambassador from 2004 to 2008, said that war could be an option ’if we do conclude the [Budapest] Memorandum is legally binding.’

It promises to protect Ukraine’s borders, in return for Ukraine giving up its nuclear weapons.

Kiev has demanded the agreement is activated after insisting their borders had been violated.

In response Mr Brenton said in a BBC radio interview: ‘If indeed this is a Russian invasion of Crimea and if we do conclude the [Budapest] Memorandum is legally binding then it’s very difficult to avoid the conclusion that we’re going to go to war with Russia’.


Well, the Budapest Memorandum requires either the US or UK to take this to the UN, so that should be happening anyway.

I would be more than a little surprised if this administration took this to the UN. Our UN ambassador, what's her bucket, already delivered a strongly worded memo.

I feel sorry for the Ukrainians, who cast their vote for freedom & western values, some with their lives.

The EU won't act. They don't care as long as can still go on vacation this August and not have to actually, you know, be inconvenienced in any way.

They will stand there and stare at their shoes while Russia eliminates the movers and shakers and makes sure the rest of the population understands the cost.

This administration won't act either. The only fighting our Poofter & Chief understands is against domestic political opponents.

The one good that might come out of this is that this finally, finally might serve as the Neville Chamberlain peace in our time moment, where America finally wakes up.

We'll see.

Posted by: Tim P at March 1, 2014 8:32 AM

Mind you, don't forget this statement.

Also, because the US mainstream media doesn't provide in depth adult coverage of the news, I suggest reading this from Haaretz.

The money quote being eight paragraphs down,

It should be an easy war of annexation. Beyond diplomatic protests, the Western powers led by the United States, which couldn’t even launch one missile attack on Syria following the use of chemical weapons against civilians, would never go to war with Russia on behalf of a torn country, a significant part of which supports becoming part of Russia anyway.

Posted by: Tim P at March 1, 2014 8:48 AM

Anyone willing to war game here? What might the Ukranians have done to prevent/counter a Russian invasion?

Posted by: iggy at March 1, 2014 10:02 AM

We need to be careful not to jump the gun, here.

Russia is most likely far more interested in protecting its Black Sea Fleet and bases than in a full blown invasion.


Posted by: B Moe at March 1, 2014 12:37 PM

iggy --
I have little sense of the current state of the Ukrainian armed forces, but I'd guess they're not especially formidable under the best circumstances, not to mention having mixed loyalties under the present circumstances.

So long as the Russians limit themselves to seizing the Crimea, I would think this whole matter will likely settle down in time, and Ukraine might be better off for it. The ethnically Russian Eastern parts of the country might be a more significant issue, as I believe they're more industrialized and economically important to Ukraine, though again their absorption by Russia might well reduce Ukraine's internal unrest going forward.

Posted by: Umbriel at March 1, 2014 12:40 PM

iggy -

I did an extensive war game of this on Facebook. Nobody played. LOL.

The west is isolated by The Dnieper River, and is rough ground and vast. Kiev is on the river. The Ukes must do the following (if they fight).
1 Deny Kiev to the Russians
2 Punish the Russians who invade
3 Strategic withdrawal to the west and harass Kiev if it is taken - make it a liability to the RU.
4 Make Putin look like a fool

The Russians must do this: destroy the Ukes' will to resist. Impose their own will.

The Crimea may reside under the bear today, but that could quickly turn into a huge liability for Putin.

Belarus? What will they do?

Posted by: Casey Klahn at March 1, 2014 5:01 PM

Casey -

Seems like the Ukranians didn't have a plan beyond the protests. Not good.

Waiting for something to happen allows Russians to gain control of .mil installations and infrastructure. Not good.

Wild cards, among others - Chechnya acts out, or some group denies access to club Med by closing the Bosporus. Hmm.

Large non-indigineous populations competing against those already there throughout the region, long held animosity. Linguistically, culturally, economically separated groups vying for control.

Beginning to look like 1914, again?

Posted by: iggy at March 2, 2014 11:08 AM

Questions: Since the Crimea is a peninsula, how did the self-propelled guns arrive? Ship? Already there? Or is this on the Ukrainian mainland beyond the Crimea?

Posted by: Dave at March 2, 2014 3:45 PM

The article at this link http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2014/02/an-insiders-stunning-firsthand.html#more describes a meeting between the President and Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson to discuss the Bowles-Simpson plan to restore some fiscal sanity to government spending. While this article deals with taxes and spending, the President's response was stunning and gives us a window into his thinking (please forgive the long quote from the linked article):
"The president told them that he would take no action on any of the Commission's recommendations and explained his rationale in the following way - prior to his re-election and probably after his re-election he would do nothing. Simply put it was a pure political decision. He stated that to accept reductions in the growth of entitlements would alienate his base and he would only look at the tax increase side of the recommendations after the election. He further added that to accept the recommendations would give the Republicans a victory as seen by the voters and he was not ever going to do that now or ever. He was adamant that he wanted more spending and more taxes and that he would pursue that course throughout his administration until his last day in office.

"Stunned by that answer, Bowles asked him if he would do what's right for the country and exert some leadership to save the nation's fiscal future. Obama's response was that he would let the next president worry about the spending and debt, but he was going to spend and tax and re-distribute wealth throughout his term."

Mr. Obama will not do what is needed for the good of the entire country, but only what will advance his agenda and let the next President fix the problems he has created.

God help us all.

Posted by: Dave at March 2, 2014 4:29 PM

iggy. Agreed. The Ukes are slow on the draw. Painfully slow.

My strategy and objectives can still be accomplished, but delay just makes things harder. Deny Kiev to the bear. Rip up the 2 roads traversing eastern Ukraine between RU and Kiev (I know the Spaz netz are already there - misspelled intentionally).

Harass Kiev from sanctuaries in the very defendable western region.

Punish the Russians militarily. Make Putin look stupid. That may be the center of gravity right there.

Crimea could be Putin's worst nightmare if the Ukes did things just so.

The slam dunk does not have to be a slam dunk.

Posted by: Casey Klahn at March 2, 2014 6:26 PM

Casey -

Yes, denying continued surface access to the region is essential, along with control of airports. Russia can fly many helos in but without ground support/fuel afforded by surface transport they are useless.

Selective denial of infrastructure benefits are essential as well - no electric, water or heat in baracks and seized areas would go a long way to further demoralize invaders.

And, UKs must build on nationalistic fervor - embarassing Putin could help there. But how?

Posted by: iggy at March 2, 2014 7:16 PM

Humiliating Putin. Burn his navy in Sevastapol. Jump in tanks and ride like hell toward Volgograd immediately. Summarily execute armed men in unidentified uniforms.

Posted by: Casey Klahn at March 2, 2014 9:49 PM