Gathering: How Russia Invaded Crimea

An interesting take from Michael Totten.

So Russia invaded Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. I’m surprised that anyone is surprised. I’m hardly an expert on Ukrainian history or politics, but I’ve been there, and I’ve been to the Crimea, and this was just obvious. It was obvious to me even before Viktor Yanukovych became president....

Crimea is in Ukraine, but it isn’t Ukrainian. This part of the country really is Russian. By this point I had learned the alphabet well enough that I could read, so I knew the gigantic words “Автономной Республики Крым” announced to all visitors at the border that Crimea is an autonomous republic.

Crimea has its own flag. It hosts the Russian navy’s Black Sea fleet. It defiantly refuses to place itself within the Ukrainian time zone. Though it’s dead south of Kiev, it uses the more easterly Moscow time zone instead. It doesn’t have its own national anthem, but I heard the Russian national anthem playing loudly on the boardwalk of Yalta.

Posted by Tim P at March 1, 2014 7:45 PM

The outcome of having a pot head president.

Always re-fighting over the same territory.

Western Leftist will have to try pushing their "reset" and "easy" buttons again.

"Wishing and hoping our dreams will come true ?"

Posted by grace at March 1, 2014 10:07 PM

All this should not be a surprise to folks; agreed we don't see it here because our leader is softer than a sneaker full of shit. Putin is a pro, head of powerful nation with lots at stake. He won't screw things up. Get in, do what it takes, job over no muss no fuss.

Be honest: if it were our country dealing with a similar situation wouldn't you want the same degree of competence? Not like the Beirut hostage debacle. I want to be proud of my country. These days it is hard to be so.

Posted by chasmatic at March 1, 2014 10:11 PM

There's no way the American intelligence community could have seen this coming. But they probably have pictures of me in my underwear.

Posted by Arty at March 2, 2014 8:01 AM

Arty's comment echo's what I'm reading too.
The intelligence community didn't see this coming, yada yada yada.
That raises the question, in my mind anyway, then what good is all this massive surveillance?
Domestic political control perhaps?
Because the other answer is that our intelligence community are a bunch of bumbling, incompetent,...government employees.
Totten, who I quoted above, and others, who actually go to these places, talk to people, observe things, they figured it out.
I have to agree with chasmatic's assessment that, our leader is softer than a sneaker full of shit. Putin is a pro,.. Get in, do what it takes.
I differ on Russia being a powerful nation. Perhaps in comparison to their neighbors, but I think they are a shell of the former USSR.
To me, they simply seem powerful because they have the will to act.
But I think that their ruthless thug of a leader only looks powerful because he is trying to fill part of the power vacuum that America's
retreat under the corrupt, cowardly, and rudderless democrat regime has created.

Posted by Tim P at March 2, 2014 8:50 AM

Ok, here's today's line as presented by a David P. Goldman,

There isn’t going to be a war over Ukraine. There isn’t even going to be a crisis over Ukraine. We will perform our ritual war-dance and excoriate the Evil Emperor, and the result would be the same if we had sung “100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” on a road trip to Kalamazoo. Worry about something really scary, like Iran.

Ukraine isn’t a country: it’s a Frankenstein monster composed of pieces of dead empires, stitched together by Stalin. It has never had a government in the Western sense of the term after the collapse of the Soviet Union gave it independence, just the equivalent of the family offices for one predatory oligarch after another–including the “Gas Princess,” Yulia Tymoshenko. It has a per capital income of $3,300 per year, about the same as Egypt and Syria, and less than a tenth of the European average. The whole market capitalization of its stock exchange is worth less than the Disney Company. It’s a basket case that claims to need $35 billion to survive the next two years. Money talks and bullshit walks. Who wants to ask the American taxpayer for $35 billion for Ukraine, one of the most corrupt economies on earth? How about $5 billion? Secretary of State Kerry is talking about $1 billion in loan guarantees, and the Europeans are talking a similar amount. That’s not diplomacy. It’s a clown show.

Here's what Goldman misses though.
Ukraine is unimportant in the same way the Rhineland was unimportant in 1936.
Anytime you allow an act of aggression like this,
you embolden the thugs to go further next time.

No I do not propose the US provide 35 billion in loan guarantees or threaten to go to war over the Ukraine. The EU sooner or later has to actually grow a pair and shut down Russia's money spigot. Quit importing their gas.
However, the Europeans doing anything bold or decisive is about as likely as Obama doing something bold and decisive to someone other than domestic political opponents.
We need some adults in charge, and quick.

Posted by Tim P at March 2, 2014 9:08 AM

Tim, there's a new reality.

Many of us are sick of saving the Eurotrash from themselves, Syria, Iran, China, Russia, Egypt, and even Libya have deemed the US to be toothless, nobody wants to be in a trench with Obama, it's a good thing for Russia to have a mobile fleet, the US is broke and our days as world policeman are over. Embrace the suck. Americans want socialism, food stamps and affirmative action.

Posted by Arty at March 2, 2014 1:21 PM

Who is this "we" white boy?

"Europe" sucked the US into two world wars last century. What makes you think it would not happen again?

Posted by Eric Blair at March 2, 2014 7:17 PM