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Regional geopolitics

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  • Re: Regional geopolitics

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    • Re: Regional geopolitics

      BBC News
      EUROPE
      31 August 2014

      Putin 'urges talks on statehood for east Ukraine'

      Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for talks to discuss "statehood" for eastern Ukraine.
      He said the issue needed to be discussed to ensure the interests of local people "are definitely upheld".
      His comments came after the EU gave Russia a one-week ultimatum to reverse course in Ukraine or face sanctions.
      Russia denies Western accusations that its forces illegally crossed into eastern Ukraine to support separatists there.
      "Russia cannot stand aside when people are being shot at almost at point blank," he added, describing the rebels' actions as "the natural reaction of people who are defending their rights".
      He dismissed the EU's threat of further sanctions, accusing the EU of "backing a coup d'etat" in Ukraine.
      The West, Mr Putin said, should have foreseen Russia's reaction to the situation, adding it was impossible to predict how the crisis would end.

      Mr Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, later said the president's remarks on "statehood" should not be taken to mean an actual separate entity, and that the Ukrainian crisis was a "domestic" one.
      The BBC's Steve Rosenberg, in Moscow, says raising the concept of statehood in the east may be one way of Mr Putin increasing pressure on Kiev to halt its military operations.
      Pro-Russian rebels have made gains against Ukrainian troops in recent days in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
      Also on Sunday, Russian media reported that 10 Russian paratroopers returned home in exchange for 63 captured Ukrainian soldiers held by Russia.
      Some 2,600 people have died in fighting since April.



      In his interview with Russian TV, Vladimir Putin called for "substantive talks" with Kiev on "statehood for south-east Ukraine".
      So, does Russia now want south-eastern Ukraine to split from Kiev and become independent? Is Moscow now wedded to the idea of breaking up of Ukraine? Recent reports of Russian military activity across the border would seem to back up this idea.
      But it may not be the case. Not yet, anyway.

      There is no doubt that Russia is determined to retain a degree of influence in Ukraine and to ensure, at the very least, that Ukraine never joins Nato. Moscow is equally determined to make sure the pro-Russian separatists avoid a military defeat.
      Promoting "statehood" in the east is one way of increasing the pressure on Kiev to stop its military operation and start talks with the pro-Moscow militants - and with Russia itself.
      If Kiev fails to do this, the Kremlin may well press for south-eastern Ukraine (or "Novorossiya" as Moscow increasingly refers to the region) to break away from Kiev.

      The conflict in the east erupted in April following Russia's annexation of Ukraine's southern Crimea peninsula a month before.
      Speaking after a summit in Brussels, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said the EU "stands ready to take further significant steps in light of the evolution of the situation on the ground", adding that the EU was working urgently on further restrictive measures.

      The EU and US have already imposed asset freezes and travel bans on many senior Russian officials and separatist leaders in eastern Ukraine.
      Western sanctions also restrict loans for Russian state banks, block defence-related technology exports and certain oil industry exports to Russia.

      Russia denies that its forces are backing the rebels, instead accusing Ukrainian forces of aggression and deliberately firing at civilians.
      Several European leaders at the summit condemned Russia's actions and expressed support for further sanctions if necessary.
      But Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb said the "jury is still out" on whether sanctions had worked, adding: "We need to find a ceasefire, a peace plan."

      Federica Mogherini, named on Saturday as the EU's future foreign policy chief, said there could be no military solution to the crisis and that while sanctions were being worked on, the diplomatic process would need to continue.
      Government forces have lost ground in recent fighting to pro-Russian rebels.
      Western and Ukrainian officials say this offensive has been substantially helped by Russian regular troops, opening a new front. Russia denies the accusation.

      War in eastern Ukraine: The human cost

      At least 2,593 people killed since mid-April (not including 298 passengers and crew of Malaysian Airlines MH17, shot down in the area) - UN report on 29 August
      951 civilians killed in Donetsk region alone, official regional authorities said - 20 August
      In some particularly dangerous places, such as Luhansk region, victims are said to have been buried informally, making accurate counts difficult
      Rebels (and some military sources) accuse the government of concealing true numbers
      155,800 people have fled elsewhere in Ukraine while at least 188,000 have gone to Russia

      Comment


      • Re: Regional geopolitics

        This article by BBC is one sided and only a half truth in sense that donetsk revolt started as a result of not Crimea annexation but the the maidan putsch and subsequent government take over by right sector in Kiev. As a matter of fact crimea annexation too was the result of the putsch and western/NATO dictated policies of new government.
        The key in this fiasco is the wests refusal to name conflict in Donbass a civil war not a russian invasion, which they continue from day one. In case of accepting it as a civil war, then the warring parties and their supporting backers could be brought to international norms and to negotiating table. More importantly, it would expose wests part and guilt in it. I guess it is preferred to simply call it a russian invasion, solely a russian sponsored event and keep trying to rip geopolitical dividends from it.
        If west had warned and threatened current government in Kiev against any civilian casualties, like it did to Yanukoviche's government, and stopped, not encouraged Kiev in bombarding Donbass cities, things would not go so out of control. Instead west has become coconspirator in their silence or false propaganda wars about real casualties in front. They, as a matter of fact have strengthened russia's hand by doing so, as things have come to point that western actions of threats are hitting the wall of limits of what west can do about Ukraine.
        Since beginning of conflict west has accused russia of invading Ukraine so many times, which turned false later (as world public by word invasion understands physical military entry into another country, and subsequently comparing facts in middle east and ukraine does not come to follow west very enthusiastically) that a real or partial invasion will not bring the counter reaction desired.
        Ukraine is crumbling. Going bankrupt economically and population wise. Whatever will be left after all this for west, will be only a burden. But russia is ever closer creating a country that will be totally aligned with it's interests on a big chunk of Ukraine.
        That is why Poroshenko declares that Ukraine is at a point of no return.
        Today west has announced a new pack of sanctions for russia if it does not change it's corse. But for russians is like we say in Armenia, " the one going into water is not afraid of getting wet".
        The cards are open now. Putin will play his hand fully. No doubt about it.

        Comment


        • Re: Regional geopolitics

          Originally posted by Hakob View Post
          This article by BBC is one sided and only a half truth in sense that donetsk revolt started as a result of not Crimea annexation but the the maidan putsch and subsequent government take over by right sector in Kiev. As a matter of fact crimea annexation too was the result of the p-----------------. No doubt about it.
          1- Of course it is, how could it be otherwise, since BBC is the propaganda tool of a conflincting side, the UK. As are the russian side sources. I couldn`t find a more balanced source, to register the new turn of events, we may call russian counter offensive.

          2- Your opinion about what should the West have done, supposes a Western `honesty`. Something can`t be expected, since the name of the game, is a Western trap for Russia.

          3- Sometimes first impression is not the best. At first, it appeared that Putin was a `mastermind`, outmanoeuvering the opponent in Khrim. But the more the game develops, the more it appears, he had been trapped.
          What ever he does, he is on the loosing side.
          - if ever he intervenes massively ( and no one doubts the russian army has the might to capture half of Ukraina if it had the wish to), he will at best take the control of let`s say Donetsk, Luhansk, perhaps Kharkov??? But simultaneously he will loose >80% of Ukraina, with a huge diplomatic cost. This scenario means total failure, evidently....
          - if he does not intervene, his men will loose, he will be discredited among his people, and before the few allies he still has.
          -if he chooses to keep a low intensity war scenario, he still will have to pay a considerable diplomatic and economic cost, in the mean time antagonising most of the Ukraina people, plus permitting the ethnic cleansing of the russian etnos in Novarassia, something already well in course....

          4- No matter how much propaganda is up in the air, it seems quite clear, that most of the ethnic russians, or proto-russians, or russophile ukrainians did not choose to take arms. If not, they would not need the input of `mercenary/volonteers` like the few Armenian esh nahadags already mentioned here, or more importantly the Chechens, Ingush, Kozaks..... The info from the ground, from both sides, states indeniably, at least substantial presence of such elements.
          Not to mention purely Russian (RF) input, which seems undeniable, no matter the sources (see info about garves in Pskov, for servicemen killed,... does not matter here if the losses are 10 or 400, according sources)
          In all appearence, there is less than 5-10.000 men in arm on the separatist side, from a population of more than 2 million...., and at least a big chunk of thoose are not residents of Ukraina....
          If those people wished really to take part, they should have mobilised a much more sizable force, very easily.
          Just to compare, during first stages of NKR independence war, while the Perzor road was still closed, and there was no organised military mobilisation (imposed after June 1992, fall of Martakert), the 150.000 strong Artsakhian population had more 5000 volonteers, in various self denfense units, from NKR proper (I exclude Armenia/RA input).
          Even accepting that the existential threat to Russians has no comparison with the one Artsakhians had to face, nevertheless, such a poor level of interest in the fight, tells a lot, about what kind of game is there ....

          5- You assume, the destruction of Donestk, Luhansk, is bad news for Kiev. It sounds quite the contrary to me... the more they will be levelled to the ground, the more it must be welcomed for central government.... just was the news from Stepanakert to Baku.....

          6- I do not see, how can Russia get out of this situation, unharmed. The only victorious outcome, given the bad situation already created, is cutting a huge chunk of Ukraina, virtually all the Black Sea coastline, to reach Odessa, and Bessarabia/Transdniester.
          It seems quite impossible.

          7- I would not be surprised, if on the Ukrainian side, you had not only volonteers, but organised small units from Poland, lets say....

          8- You still have a russian vision of far right, Pravi sector thing.... The West did not hesitate to use original natzi veterans during the Cold War, or allies of the III Reich from the Baltic states, or Khrvatia....., do you think the more or less ambiguous slogans of some Ukrainian nationalists will bother anybody?

          Comment


          • Re: Regional geopolitics

            Israel downed a drone over Golan after it was identified as a Hizballah Ababil 2
            DEBKAfile

            August 31, 2014,



            DEBKAfie’s military sources report exclusively that the UAV, shot down Sunday Aug. 31 by an Israeli Patriot battery over Quneitra on the Golan, was launched by Hizballah – not Syria as initially reported. The Iran-made Ababail 2 was on a photography and intelligence-gathering mission over the Golan battleground where the Syrian army and rebels have been fighting for control off the Quneitra crossing between Syria and Israel.
            Our sources add that Hizballah launched the unmanned aerial vehicle from a Syrian air base attached to Damascus international airfield, where Hizballah keeps a fleet of Ababil 2 drones transferred from Lebanon.
            When the IDF picked up the drone on course for Quneitra, the information was flashed to top Israel government and military decision-makers, who decided on the spot that the Golan military situation was messy enough without a new complicating factor entering the fray. And so it was decided to shoot it down.
            Arrayed against Syrian troops on this sliver of land, are at least five insurgent groups, the largest of which is the Syria Revolutionaries Front. Another is the Syrian Al Qaeda offshoot, the Nusra Front. Around 1,100 troops of the UN Disengagement Observer Force are responsible to policing the buffer zone between Syria and Israel that runs through Quneitra.
            The Fijian contingent’s 44 members, who were abducted Thursday, Aug. 28 by Al Qaeda, are being held in an unknown location as hostages for a ransom that has not been published.
            Our military and intelligence sources reveal that, shortly before the abduction, various intelligence watchers spotted a number of Hizballah officers who had arrived on the scene. It was generally estimated in Israel that the Lebanese Shiites were not planning to join the fighting, but had come out of concern that Syrian rebels would manage to drive Syrian troops out of Quneitra and its surrounding villages, and then break through to the Syrian villages on the Hermon and the Chabaa Farms on the Western slopes of the Hermon range. From there, the way would be open for the Syrian insurgents to reach southern Lebanon and mount another front against Hizballah from the rear.
            The Druze villages on the Syrian slopes of the Hermon are loyal to Bashar Assad and appear to be preparing to resist the rebel advance should it take place.
            HIzballah sent its drone to bring back firsthand information on the state of play in the struggle for Quneitra, as well as on Israel’s military deployment just across the border. That was one reason for sending an Israeli Patriot into action to down the aircraft. Furthermore, Israel stood by last Thursday, when Syrian warplanes came overhead and bombed rebel positions in the Quneitra crossing, although this was in breach of the 40-year old accord for the separation zone’s demilitarization.
            At the same time, Jerusalem relayed a strong warning to Damascus against any recurrence. Next time, Israel would shoot down any intruders. It was therefore important for the IDF to make good on that warning and down the Hizballah drone for the sake of deterrence.

            Comment


            • Re: Regional geopolitics

              31 August 2014
              http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-28951324

              Ukraine war pulls in foreign fighters
              By Patrick Jackson
              BBC News


              French, Spanish, Swedish or Serb, the foreigners fighting for both sides in east Ukraine's bloody conflict hail from across Europe and come with a bewildering array of agendas.

              The non-mercenaries among them are motivated by causes which can stretch back to the wars in the former Yugoslavia - and even further still, to the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s.

              Russia is the elephant in the room, dwarfing any other foreign nationality, although it is increasingly hard to disentangle Russians fighting as volunteers from regular soldiers allegedly deployed on covert missions.

              Ukraine's pro-Russian rebels like to talk up their foreign volunteer fighters, presenting them as latter-day International Brigades fighting "fascism". Meanwhile there has been some debate in Kiev on the wisdom of creating a Ukrainian "Foreign Legion".

              Here we look at some of the foreign fighters by country of origin, in a phenomenon which, in a small way, mirrors that of young Muslims from Britain and other parts of Europe travelling to the Middle East to fight in its wars.

              ----------------------
              Russia
              It is no secret that Russian citizens have occupied senior posts among the rebels, the most famous of them being Igor "Strelkov" Girkin, who reportedly held the rank of reserve colonel in Russia's Federal Security Service as late as last year.

              Jump media playerMedia player helpOut of media player. Press enter to return or tab to continue.
              Hopes of any real progress seem to be diminishing, as Nick Childs reports
              There is strong evidence that rank-and-file Russian fighters have entered east Ukraine to join the rebels, but whether they are volunteers making common cause with ethnic Russians in Luhansk and Donetsk, or mercenaries, is a grey area.

              Rebel leader Alexander Zakharchenko has stated publicly that between 3.000 and 4,000 Russian "volunteers" have fought for the rebels since the start of the uprising in April.

              "There are also many in the current Russian military that prefer to spend their leave among us, brothers who are fighting for their freedom, rather than on a beach," he said on 28 August.

              Chechen fighter Ruslan Arsayev
              Chechen fighter Ruslan Arsayev
              Evidence has mounted that regular Russian soldiers are involved, with 10 paratroopers captured inside Ukraine and indirect evidence of military casualties at home in Russia.

              Chechens, both from Russia's Republic of Chechnya and from the anti-Russian diaspora living in exile, are believed to be involved on both sides of the conflict, but predominantly fighting for the rebels.

              A gunman who presented himself as a Chechen called Ruslan Arsayev told the Mashable news website in an interview he was fighting for Ukraine because he wouldn't "bend over for Putin".

              ------------------------
              At the scene: Oliver Carroll, journalist working in Ukraine

              A number of foreign fighters serve in the Aidar volunteer battalion currently fighting in east Ukraine. Chechen Ruslan Arsayev is perhaps the most colourful example. An army veteran of six military campaigns, Ruslan came to Ukraine to fight during the Maidan revolution. He was injured twice, once seriously, when a bullet punctured his lung.

              He comes from a well-known family of warriors. One of his brothers was security minister in Aslan Maskhadov's rebel government. Another was convicted of hijacking a plane en route to Moscow in 2001, an action that resulted in the loss of three lives.

              At the Aidar base near Luhansk, Ruslan explained he had come to Ukraine because of Putin. "Putin has turned my home into Stalin's Russia, with a dozen informants on every street," he said. He wasn't prepared to accept Putin's rule, and predicted an uprising in Chechnya in the "very, very near" future.

              ----------------------
              France
              Some 20 French citizens have gone to Ukraine to fight on both sides, French public radio station France Info said in a report (in French) on 11 August.

              Four of them, including two former soldiers, went to Donetsk to fight for the rebels. They were filmed by Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda posing with guns.

              Their spokesman is Victor Lenta, 25, who earlier told France's Le Monde newspaper (article in French) he had been a corporal in the Third Marine Infantry Paratroop Regiment and had served in Afghanistan, Ivory Coast and Chad. Another member of the group is Nikola Perovic, also 25 and with Serbian ancestry, who likewise reportedly fought in Afghanistan as a corporal in France's 13th Mountain Infantry Battalion.

              Former soldier Nikola Perovic holds up a French flag in southern Donetsk region, 11 August (photo given to journalist Pierre Sautreil)
              The French group gave Le Monde journalist Pierre Sautreil a photo of Nikola Perovic holding up a French flag in the southern Donetsk region on 11 August
              They told Le Monde they were the founders of an ultra-nationalist movement called Continental Unity, which has organised demonstrations in France and Serbia in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Serbian war crimes suspect Vojislav Seselj.

              In their view, according to Le Monde, Russia is the final bulwark against liberal globalisation which they consider "responsible for the decline in national values and loss of French sovereignty".

              Their main role among the rebels, apparently, is to provide combat training for recruits from West European countries.

              Gaston Besson, on the other hand, has been fighting for the Ukrainian government as a member of its Azov volunteer battalion, a unit known for its far-right associations.

              Aged 47, he nonetheless describes himself as a "leftwing revolutionary", according to France Info. Reported to be a former paratrooper, he is said to have fought in previous conflicts ranging from Croatia to Colombia

              He is known for his efforts to recruit other foreigners and, according to a Eurasianet article, wrote in June: "Every day I receive dozens of requests to join us by email, especially from countries like Finland, Norway and Sweden."

              ----------------
              At the scene: Pierre Sautreuil, French journalist working in Ukraine

              I met the French volunteers for the first time on 9 July in a bar in Budapest, Hungary. Up until then, our exchanges by phone had been brief and their answers evasive.

              The rules for this first meeting were simple: they pose the questions. They feared I might be a French intelligence agent. "We can't trust you yet."

              After a long series of questions about my background, and my opinions on the Ukrainian crisis, they asked for my passport and photographed it several times.

              "We have nothing but enemies in intelligence," one of them told me, handing back my passport. We said our goodbyes.

              Next day I got a phone call: "Our friends have completed their little investigation. You're clean. We'll meet at 19:00." And thus began my investigation.

              --------------------
              Spain
              For two Spanish leftists, the conflict in east Ukraine represents a chance to repay what they see as a historic favour.

              Angel Davilla-Rivas (C) and Rafa Munoz Perez (R) in Donetsk, 7 August
              Angel Davilla-Rivas (C) and Rafa Munoz Perez (R) in Donetsk
              Angel Davilla-Rivas told Reuters news agency he had come with his comrade Rafa Munoz Perez to fight for the rebels in recognition of the Soviet Union's support for the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War.

              Mr Munoz, 27, is a former social worker from Madrid who has been a member of the youth wing of the United Left political movement since 2010, Spain's El Pais newspaper said in an article. His friend, 22, is from Murcia and belongs to the youth wing of a branch of the Spanish Communist Party, the paper added.

              Mr Davilla-Rivas showed off tattoos of Soviet leaders Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin on his torso.

              "I am the only son, and it hurts my mother and father and my family a lot that I am putting myself at risk. But... I can't sleep in my bed knowing what's going on here," he told Reuters.

              There are also reports of Spaniards fighting on the government side, according to an article in the Kyiv Post.

              -----------------------
              Serbia
              Dozens of Serbs are believed to be fighting for the rebels, ostensibly drawn by an ethnic and nationalist sense of solidarity with the region's Russian Orthodox Christians and residual hostility towards Nato, regarding the Ukrainian government as its proxy.

              However, Belgrade-based security expert Zoran Dragisic told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle in a report that Serbian fighters were primarily fighting as mercenaries and could be found on both sides in Ukraine.

              "It's indoctrination that draws young people - some of them almost children - to war," he said.

              Meanwhile, there are moves within Serbia to stem the flow of fighters heading east with a law that penalises participation in a foreign war.

              ---------------------
              Sweden
              Mikael Skillt inside an armoured car
              In an interview with the BBC's Dina Newman, a Swedish sniper with far-right views, Mikael Skillt, said he was fighting for the Ukrainian government because he believed in the "survival of white people". Like France's Gaston Besson, he is a member of the Azov battalion.

              "I would be an idiot if I said I did not want to see survival of white people," he said. "After World War Two, the victors wrote their history. They decided that it's always a bad thing to say I am white and I am proud."

              At the same time, he added that he planned eventually to fight for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad because he believed Mr Assad was standing up to "international Zionism".

              -----------------------------
              Poland
              Reports that Poles were fighting in Ukraine prompted the government in Warsaw to formally deny that Polish citizens were fighting as mercenaries for the Ukrainian government. It went on to warn that any Poles who go there to fight could face jail upon their return, Deutsche Welle reports.

              Leonid Smolinski, a 49-year-old Polish citizen born in Ukraine, was killed in a rebel ambush on 12 August while serving in Ukraine's Dnipro volunteer battalion, according to Euromaidan Press.

              At least one Pole has also sided with the rebels. In a speech in the rebel capital Donetsk, carried by radical Polish website xportal, Bartosz Becker described himself as a representative of "Polish free people who are against Nato terrorist bases in Poland".

              ---------------------
              Germany
              Margarita Zeidler is a former nurse who moved to Ukraine in 2002 for religious reasons after converting to the Russian Orthodox Church, according to an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper (in Russian).

              Dismayed by events in Kiev during the Maidan uprising over the winter she moved initially to Crimea, then to Donetsk region, she said, after one of her friends was shot dead there in May. She became the rebels' information officer in Sloviansk during its siege by government forces.

              While she describes herself as a journalist, she told the newspaper that she always keeps an assault rifle "within reach".

              Speaking in Russian in a video posted on YouTube on 11 August, she said she could not "stand by and watch Ukrainian fascists kill civilians".

              ----------------------------
              USA

              Despite rebel allegations to the contrary, there is little evidence of American volunteer involvement on the ground. The exception was a Ukrainian-American called Mark Gregory Paslawsky, who had taken Ukrainian citizenship.

              Paslawsky, or Franko as he liked to be known, was killed fighting for the Ukrainian government side in the embattled town of Ilovaisk. In an interview for Vice News, the 55-year-old West Point graduate and investment banker from New York had explained he wanted ultimately to help root out corruption in Ukraine, saying "the political elite has to be destroyed here".

              Russian media suggest that there are US citizens fighting for the rebels too.


              ------------------
              Italy
              Francesco F, 53, enrolled in the Azov battalion to "fight a good fight against Russia", the Italian weekly Panorama reported in an article (in Italian) in June.

              Already doing business in Ukraine two years before the violence erupted, he said he had "found his home alongside Ukrainian nationalists" on the Maidan barricades.

              Francesco, who also featured in a video report by Il Giornale, has a past in the far right in Italy, according to Panorama.

              --------------------
              Other countries
              Other nationalities are reportedly involved in the conflict, probably in small numbers.

              Citizens of Georgia, Belarus, Baltic states, Finland, Norway, Canada, Croatia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic, as well as Russia, are said to be involved as volunteers on the government side.

              Rebel leader Alexander Zakharchenko said on 17 August that his foreign volunteers also included a number of Turks and Romanians.

              Comment


              • Re: Regional geopolitics

                Seemingly reliable reports inform of the sinking of one, or two Ukraina coast guard ships, in the large of Mariupol.

                http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/defau...831_cutter.jpg

                Ukrainian Coast Guard Attacked Near Russian Border, Some Killed
                Tyler Durden's picture
                Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/31/2014





                A Ukraine military spokesman has confirmed that some sailors were killed and more injured when 2 Ukraine Coast Guard cutters came under attack by artillery from onshore near the village of Bezimenne (close to the Russian Border). This is believed to be the first such incident since the conflict began.



                As Bloomberg reports,

                Some killed when cutters attacked near village of Bezimenne near border w/ Russia, wounded are being transported to hospitals in Mariupol, Oleksiy Metasov, aide to Ukrainian lawmaker Yehor Firsov, comments by phone from Mariupol.

                The naval cutter is reported to have been attacked by artillery from the shore.

                http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-0...er-some-killed





                NOTE: If we look at this, and if this is not a hoax, then the ships must have been hit by missiles, and not traditional artillery from the coast, as it is reported.
                NB: Since the annexion of Khrim, most of the old CCCP ships of the Ukraina navy captured in Sebastopol, were returned to Kiyev by Russia.
                Seemingly their new naval base is near Odessa.
                Now, since the Kerch peninsula must be closed for Ukrainian military traffic, the few Ukraina ships remaining in the sea of Azov, must feel trapped.
                With no access to the open sea, if Russia closes Kerch, they are doomed, at the mercy of russian will, if the plan is effectively the capture of Mariupol, and all the sea of Azov....
                Last edited by Vrej1915; 08-31-2014, 09:53 PM.

                Comment


                • Re: Regional geopolitics

                  Originally posted by Vrej1915 View Post
                  1- Of course it is, how could it be otherwise, since BBC is the propaganda tool of a conflincting side, the UK. As are the russian side sources. I couldn`t find a more balanced source, to register the new turn of events, we may call russian counter offensive.

                  2- Your opinion about what should the West have done, supposes a Western `honesty`. Something can`t be expected, since the name of the game, is a Western trap for Russia.
                  The question is not the western honesty. You cannot expect something that is not there. But what has turned out to be not the game that west is played in case of Iraq, Syria and or Yugoslavia. Contrary to those countries, russia has a wider and more powerfull propaganda machine and it has sucessfully opened up wests weaknesses or dishonesty towards it's own population.
                  In this case it is becoming increasingly harder for Washington to rally it's traditional allies behind it's actions. And in case of urope, we see anti war groups gaining. At the end, this could weaken EU itself.


                  3- Sometimes first impression is not the best. At first, it appeared that Putin was a `mastermind`, outmanoeuvering the opponent in Khrim. But the more the game develops, the more it appears, he had been trapped.
                  What ever he does, he is on the loosing side.
                  - if ever he intervenes massively ( and no one doubts the russian army has the might to capture half of Ukraina if it had the wish to), he will at best take the control of let`s say Donetsk, Luhansk, perhaps Kharkov??? But simultaneously he will loose >80% of Ukraina, with a huge diplomatic cost. This scenario means total failure, evidently....
                  - if he does not intervene, his men will loose, he will be discredited among his people, and before the few allies he still has.
                  -if he chooses to keep a low intensity war scenario, he still will have to pay a considerable diplomatic and economic cost, in the mean time antagonising most of the Ukraina people, plus permitting the ethnic cleansing of the russian etnos in Novarassia, something already well in course....


                  Putin has been in trap since the beginning of Ukraine fiasco. Russia as a whole has been in traps since chechnia wars. But what's amazing, wests miscalculations, mainly the russian national sentiment in Ukraine itself was much stronger than what was expected. Putin's only actions were to portray himself and whole government as level headed in order to boost confidence around. But more so his lack of actions at the beginning in Ukraine, were because he realised of what a big trap west has laid for him and russia.
                  But he acted masterfully. Lets accept it. The bloodless take over in Crimea, as bad as it is internationally as a case of invasion, will allways be put against blody conduct of US in other countries and blody case of Kosovo and divide public's opinion and blunt criticism. You know the referendum, however democratic or not it is, has no value for west anyway, because it is not in wests interest. But Putin took the grand prize with a swift move and pretty much made wests plans empty and confused.
                  the next move for Putin was to use local population in donbas and Ukraine's right wing govenment's uncalculated ethnic cleansing bombings to rally local population into arms. Your comparision here of novorussia and Artsakh is not entirely appropriate, because our people had a clear and hisoric enemy that they were defending against. But Eastern Ukrainians were still concidering themselfs as part of Ukraine. Referendum or not, I don't think that they realy wanted independence so much as to go to war with their countryman. Putin sucessfully inserted some public declarations by some local or russian nationals there that "novorussian's" goal was joining russian mainland. That made west go bazurk and pushed newly elected president to loose any balanced approach and support and lean heavily towards right wing nationalists under pressure.
                  Next thing was how to get those handreds of thousands of miners to join the guerilla force.
                  Kiev government did the job for Putin perfectly. By bombing the cities, destroying infrastructure and killing thousands, Kiev left no choice for any moderates in east then to join the armed forces. You see, just like in Georgia, west is perfectly willing to create a bloodshed in order to break any relations between russia and any country and create many decades lasting enmity. Kiev did not think this deep. It just fell under Banderist and western pressures or false beliefs.
                  Now a new prospect has opened up for Putin. The war has divided Ukraine into such fiercely opposing camps that a peace seems allmost impossible between east and west. With a little help Novorussia started gaining in war and eventually it may take a big swath of Ukraine and become independent and pro Russia. That will be almost total loss for west. Could not be better for Russia. West has screwed up. Instead of an independent and powerfull Ukraine that deals with Russia as equals and is part of EU, a puny and insolvent entity will join west, that is more like a second Greece. And a large and totally pro russia new state will emerge on est.

                  4- No matter how much propaganda is up in the air, it seems quite clear, that most of the ethnic russians, or proto-russians, or russophile ukrainians did not choose to take arms. If not, they would not need the input of `mercenary/volonteers` like the few Armenian esh nahadags already mentioned here, or more importantly the Chechens, Ingush, Kozaks..... The info from the ground, from both sides, states indeniably, at least substantial presence of such elements.
                  Not to mention purely Russian (RF) input, which seems undeniable, no matter the sources (see info about garves in Pskov, for servicemen killed,... does not matter here if the losses are 10 or 400, according sources)
                  In all appearence, there is less than 5-10.000 men in arm on the separatist side, from a population of more than 2 million...., and at least a big chunk of thoose are not residents of Ukraina....
                  If those people wished really to take part, they should have mobilised a much more sizable force, very easily.
                  Just to compare, during first stages of NKR independence war, while the Perzor road was still closed, and there was no organised military mobilisation (imposed after June 1992, fall of Martakert), the 150.000 strong Artsakhian population had more 5000 volonteers, in various self denfense units, from NKR proper (I exclude Armenia/RA input).
                  Even accepting that the existential threat to Russians has no comparison with the one Artsakhians had to face, nevertheless, such a poor level of interest in the fight, tells a lot, about what kind of game is there ....

                  Those international prorussia volunteers could never deal with Ukrainian army like they do now. They were for PR. Actually, russia even stoked those rumors into big proportions in order to use it as international PR. West has just fallen victim of trying in never ending efforts in proving Russia's involvement in an internationally unacceptable sircumstances. You see, west wasting all the efforts trying to prove that russia is an aggressor in Ukraine conflict, but in reality russia being a supplier and supporter of Novorussian independence, wests over reaction in russia's handling of situation makes PR propagandists debate and compare wests involvement and support in ISIS, Israel etc, and the civilian casualties in Donetsk and Lugansk make public somehow lean in condemning west more than russia. All this higlights US policy failures even more.

                  5- You assume, the destruction of Donestk, Luhansk, is bad news for Kiev. It sounds quite the contrary to me... the more they will be levelled to the ground, the more it must be welcomed for central government.... just was the news from Stepanakert to Baku.....
                  Is there anyway to look at it? Instead of hitting the guerilla groups hard, Kiev has strengthened them by creating ready to join and very angry population that hates ukraine now.

                  6- I do not see, how can Russia get out of this situation, unharmed. The only victorious outcome, given the bad situation already created, is cutting a huge chunk of Ukraina, virtually all the Black Sea coastline, to reach Odessa, and Bessarabia/Transdniester.
                  It seems quite impossible.
                  It is not how can russia get out of this, but how much more West will fall into the hole it dug. In any confrontation, the biggest looser is the one that has more to that can be lost.

                  7- I would not be surprised, if on the Ukrainian side, you had not only volonteers, but organised small units from Poland, lets say....

                  They are there. But they are rather like chechens and mujaheddin in Artsakh comparably. But for russians in "mainland" east Ukrainian russians are like Artsakh people for us. So the public support and resolution in what has become perceived as fighting against nazis in novorussia is only to grow.

                  8- You still have a russian vision of far right, Pravi sector thing.... The West did not hesitate to use original natzi veterans during the Cold War, or allies of the III Reich from the Baltic states, or Khrvatia....., do you think the more or less ambiguous slogans of some Ukrainian nationalists will bother anybody?
                  I don't know who they will bother in west but they are raising the public support for war in russia to such levels that it is increasingly treatening and hardens resolution of russians to stand up against west. That is enough for Moscow.
                  I miself am anti pravi sector. That is not a solely russian vision anywhere in world. I am also anti republican or anti tea party or anti white supremacist.


                  Sory, I don't know why it is saving this as continious in part, but I colored my thoughts red to separate.
                  Last edited by Hakob; 08-31-2014, 10:14 PM.

                  Comment


                  • Re: Regional geopolitics

                    Originally posted by Hakob View Post
                    I don't know who they will bother in west but they are raising the public support for war in russia to such levels that it is increasingly treatening and hardens resolution of russians to stand up against west. That is enough for Moscow.
                    I miself am anti pravi sector. That is not a solely russian vision anywhere in world. I am also anti republican or anti tea party or anti white supremacist.


                    Sory, I don't know why it is saving this as continious in part, but I colored my thoughts red to separate.
                    1/ You can not compare what had happened in Khrim, with any of the examples you quote, or anything similary, in recent past.
                    Russia was at home in Khrim.
                    The population was his, his army, fully operational was on the ground, ever since Tzars days.
                    Sebastopol is not only a russian city, but a hero city in russian psycho alongside Stalingrad/Volgograd and Leningrad/Petrograd.
                    Basically, he had nothing extraordinary to do in Khrim, on a tactical or operational level.
                    The few Ukrainian troops were doomed to surrender.
                    It was all theatrical representation of certainly high quality, but nevertheless only a show.
                    The way he did it might have surprised the West and Kiyev.
                    Certainly.
                    But yet, you may also consider it the carrot, of the Ukraina trap.
                    It is mainly because of the swift success in Khrim, that he did give the green light for Luhansk, Slaviansk .....
                    And for me, it is an open question: the absence of reaction of the Ukrainian side, during Khrim operation, was due only to stunning and absence of decision making capacity, or in a certain degree, was a part of the trap?
                    After all, no matter how hard Putin might have planned and orchestrated his swift actions, he could not have any 100% guarantee, that the Ukrainians will not fire a shot.....

                    2/ If the end of the game, is the creation of a small, at best, Kharkov-Luhansk-Donesk-Mariupol, buffer state, independent of Kiev: I would not consider it a success at all for Russia. Contrary, it might be the biggest defeat since the fall of the Iron Curtain.
                    You must compare what the stakes were at the beginning of the new round, and the result.
                    A year back, Russia had poor control, but yet, a great lever of influence on all of Ukraina.
                    Even more, it was on the verge of a neo-Emparialist capain, trying to reintegrate ex-CCCP republics, the prise being of course Ukraina.
                    By accepting the game/trap, it is ending by loosing 80% of Ukraina, in retuturn of full control on 20% burned out, ruined provinces..
                    This may be, at best good, for the original russian populations living there (provided it ended in Khrim variant, no bloodshed, no ruin), but it is definetly a geopolitical fiasco for Russia, and even more so for the would be neo-Empire.

                    3/ I do not agree, that the West has much to loose, even in the worst cas scenario, in Ukraina.
                    It will cost them a couple of billion dollars a month, but it will ruin Russia, just as the Afghanistan war did....
                    The West is very slightly touched by the consequences of the bloodshed.
                    Slavons will kill each other, and no matter how deep the Russians can penetrate inside Ukraina, they will only get their human and economic costs bigger...

                    4/ I do not think, that Kiev is worried by the mood, mindset of the inhabitants or Donetst or Luhansk. in those two cities, half the people are Russians, and the best scenario for Kiev, is an ethnic cleansing....
                    Second, proof is, that those inhabitants were not so keen for a military struggle.
                    At least a huge chunk of them voted by their feet, emigrating to Russia...
                    And even if they were effectively massively pushed into separatist ranks, it won`t change much.
                    Given the human resources of Russia, 10, 15 or 20.000 more or less will not make a huge difference.....

                    Comment


                    • Re: Regional geopolitics

                      Enemy`s point of view.

                      --------
                      Карабах- что хуже, мир или война?
                      Публиковать 04 август 2014 -
                      от Мовсун Гаджиев
                      Meydan.tv





                      Летнее обострение на фронте, еще раз обострил вопрос с вариантами дальнейшего развития ситуации в карабахской войне. Точных данных о потерях сторон нет. Но в социальных сетях с азербайджанской стороны призывы к войне звучат все громче. И уже начался сбор подписей с требованием о начале антитеррористической операции в Карабахе.

                      С первого взгляда все логично. Перемирие на фронте длится уже 20 лет. И за эти годы единственный вопрос, которые стороны решили – это обмен пленными. По остальным вопросам с мертвой точки не удалось продвинуться не на шагу. Ситуация устаканилась и это похоже устраивает обе стороны – как Баку, так и Ереван. Что касается Еревана, там все понятно – в принципе за 1991 – 1994 гг. армяне захватили даже больше чем могли мечтать. Под их контролем оказались земли, которые более чем в 2 раза перевысили территорию бывшего НКАО. Линия фронта слишком расширена и армянской стороне не хватает живой силы, чтобы контролировать все участки фронта. Инциденты, притом неоднократные, когда с азербайджанской стороны линию фронта переходили гражданские, которые свободно прогуливались по оккупированным землям, лишнее тому подтверждение. Азербайджанские туристы даже умудрялись преоделать большие расстояния и проникать на территорию Армении. Фотоподтверждения неоднократно публиковались в социальных сетях. С противоположной стороны могли отвечать лишь фотографиями привлекательно одетых девушек на территориях, подконтрольных сепаратистам.



                      То есть, в случае возобновления боевых действий, при адекватной обстановке, максимум на что может рассчитывать армянская сторона – это удержание уже захваченных территорий. Что касается азербайджанской позиции, тут ситуация более красочная. За 20 лет перемирия позиции армян на переговорах то и делались, что ужесточались. Вместе с тем, отношение посредников также все больше и больше перемещается поближе к армянам. Real policy никто не отменял, все понимают что международное право – это для речей с трибуны ООН. То есть, если в 1995 году в мирном предложении, выдвинутым тогдашним генсеком ООН Бутросом Гали говорилось о расширенной автономии длля армян Карабаха, то в мирных планах 1999 года (как в пакетном, так и в переходном варианте) речь шла об ассоциативном государстве. Еще одна причина происходящего – это податливость Баку. В 1995 году, когда прозвучало предложение Гали, Гейдар Алиев ответил на это фразой «возможностью представления максимально возможной автономии». И в 1999 году против американских мирных планов, которые окончательно констатировали победу армян – сохранение для Карабаха сил самообороны, независимой банковской политики и обязательство Баку согласовать свою внешнюю политику со Степанакертом – вызвали возражения только у армян. Как известно, уступая нельзя остановится, и нынешняя азербайджанская власть политику уступок начала еще до переезда в Баку. Все началось еще с мая 1993 года, когда Гейдар Алиев будучи председателем Верховного Меджлиса Нахичевани, подписал с армянами соглашение о перемирии. Это было актом национального предательства, и именно этот шаг стал первым публичным актом в продолжающиейся серии фактических предательств азербайджанского режима. Выход Нахичевани из войны спровоцировал переброску дополнительных армянских сил в Карабах. Ко всему этому приплюсовали и роспуск указом Гейдара Алиева добровольческих воинских подрозделений. Результат – полный крах лета 1993 года, когда армяне захватили сразу 5 районов.



                      В 1999 году в кулуарах не скрывали – подписание мирного договора станет частью предвыборной кампании тогдашнего кандидата в президенты США от демократов Альберта Гора. Именно его собирались представить как автора мирного урегулирования очередного международного конфликта. Взамен Вашингтон собирался еще тогда благославить передачу власти по наследству в Азербайджане. Но пули, выпущенные в армянском парламенте поставили точку над всем.

                      Авторство этой акции приписывали России, которая была недовольна тем, что мирное соглашение будет подписано без ее участия. А независимые источники не скрывали, Москва в этот раз подыграла даже не Баку, а национальным интересам Азербайджана, избавив страну от позорного мира.

                      Сейчас же, мирный план, представленный Вашингтоном – если объяснить на пальцах, это фактически признание независимости Нагорного Карабаха, плюс присоединение к нему Лачина. По условиям этого мира, на этой территории проводится рефрендум о незасимости, итоги которого обязуются признавать обе стороны. Армяне уходят из 6-и оккупированных азербайджанских районов, на линии соприкосновения размещаются международные миротворческие силы. Это – фактически признание поражения, это капитуляция Баку. С учетом того, что эти данные пока что стали известны лишь с уст посла США в Ереване Джона Хеффрена, азербайджанская сторона не ответила гневным отказом – переговоры идут. О них американский посол рассказал в июне, в беседе с ресурсом Новости Армения. Притом, господин Хефферн пояснил что, возвращение оккупированных территорий – это заключительный этап переговорного процесса. До этого сторонам придется решить вопрос о статусе Нагорного Карабаха и о размещении на линии соприкосновения иностранных миротворческих сил. Статус будет определен в результате волеизъявления. Каким будет волеизъявление – тут и особых догадок строить не надо. Или независимость, или миацум. Примечательно что до этого волеизъявления речи о возвращении азербайджанских беженцев в родные места не идет. Понятно что погоду бы они не сделали – азербайджанцев там проживало еще до начала конфликта заметно меньше чем армян. Сейчас даже это меньшинство убирается. А размещение иностранных миротворческих сил закрывает все вопросы – вряд ли даже при политических изменениях в Баку кто то начнет менять реальность через голову миротворцев. Без разницы, российских или натовских. Кстати с учетом того, что каша заваривается на Западе, то логично что голубые каски тоже будут натовские.

                      На первый взгляд, возобновление боевых действий, это единственное, что остается Баку. Понятно что любая война заканчивается мирным договором. Но условия этого договора изменит лишь изменение ситуации на фронтах. Мы первую кампанию проиграли. И поэтому сейчас нам предлагают все более и более жесткие условия. Можно сколько угодно вопить о международном праве, жаловаться на имперскую политику Москвы и на всесилие армянской диаспоры. Международное право Вашингтон поставил на лопатки в 2003 году иракской войной, он же его убил в 2007 году на Косовом поле. А похоронный марш сыграла Москва – в 2008 году в Грузии, а в 2014 в Крыму. Что касается армянской диаспоры – даже казалось бы всесильная еврейская, не может оказывать существенную помощь Израилю в его палестинских операциях. А что до руки Москвы, украинцы последние месяцы наглядно показывают как можно ей отвечать. К нашей ситуации полно исторических аналогов. В 1992 году Хорватия в аналогичной ситуации потеряла контроль над одной из своих областей – Краиной. Ее захватили сербские сепаратисты, поддерживаемые Сербией и Югославской Народной Армией. В 1995 году, воспользовавшись ударами НАТО по сербам, хорваты в течение недели ликвидировали сепаратистский режим в Краине. Тут еще один аспект – Россия завязла на Востоке Украины, страна медленно, но верно входит в период глубокого экономического кризиса. Москва сейчас даже не в состоянии мешать очередным шашням Александра Лукашенко с Западом. Даже период года блогоприятствует нам – как известно, летом, азербайджанская армия воюет лучше. Кроме того, есть еще одна историческая параллель. В 1973 году арабские страны – Египет и Сирия напали на Израиль. Началась Война Судного дня, которая закончилась фактически ничьей. Тогдашний президент Египта Анвар Садат комментируя итоги войны, говорил что она сыграла очень большую роль в продвижении ближневосточного мирного процесса. «Часы на переговорах замерли, нам было важно их заново запускать».

                      Но несмотря на все вышеперечисленное, Баку не в коем случае не начнет боевые действия. Бравые рассказы о нашем военном превосходстве над противником – это для лохтората, который смотрит телеканализации , читает помойный бочок Haqqin.az. Да, по численности и по вооружению – наше превосходство неоспоримо. По этой логике, при полноценной войне мы от противника мокрого места не оставим. Но судьбу боевых действий решает не разница в вооружении, а боевой дух армии. У нас она отравлена – азербайджанская армия – это территория беззакония и беспредела. 18 лет абиевщины превратили наши вооруженные силы в структуры, где дедовщина и коррупция стали образом жизни. То есть, армия морально к новой войне не готова. Не готова к ней и власть. У официального Баку в отношении Москвы царит нескрываемый ужас – вспомним, в августе 2008 года, после грузинской войны, Ильхам Алиев был первой главой государства, который промчался в Москву, на поклон. Есть еще один немаловажный момент, который возможно даже сильнее первого – возобновление боевых действий ставит жирную точку над бойкой торговлей энергоресурсами. Под обстрелом армян может оказаться святая святых – трубопровод Баку – Тбилиси Джейхан. Даже полная потеря Карабаха для нынешнего азербайджанского режима менее страшна, чем уменьшение потока краденных нефтедолларов. Кстати, показательно и отношение Ильхама Алиева к нынешнему кризису – несмотря на усугубления положения на фронтах, он так и не умудрился прервать свой отдых и вернутся в Баку. То есть, разница между азербайджанским и хорватским аналогами с этой точки зрения такая же как между Ильхамом Алиевым и тогдашним хорватским лидером Франьо Тунджманом.

                      И наконец. Азербайджанская власть, несмотря на вышеперечисленные аспекты, не уверена в возможности победы. Новая война, если она начнется, будет несравнимо более затяжной и гораздо более кровопролитной, чем кампания 1991-1994 гг. За 20 лет армяне успели построить линии обороны, покрыть дотами и дзотами основные направления вероятных боевых действий – Агдамское, Физулинское и Агдеринское. В случае наступления, азербайджанская армия будет ходить по трупам товарищей. И не дай бог, если оно захлебнется, то азербайджанмским властям придется отвечать за поражение. Это будет гораздо хуже, чем даже позорный мир. Любой мир, для того же лохтората можно объяснить в выгодном для себя свете – для этого есть Мир Шахин, Ибрагим Мамедов и тд. В конце концов можно бесконечно рассказать о возвращении 6-и районов, из точки зрения «а вот они отдали, а Ильхам Алиев вернул». Поражение в боевых действиях объяснить невозможно. Поэтому скорее всего, в обозримом будущем Баку будет продолжать практику «Лазым гелсе».

                      Вместо PS. Аналог этой практики начиная с 1973 года проводили и арабские вожди Ближнего Востока. Почти 40 лет они ссыпали проклятия в адрес Израиля, заявляя о своей готовности выкинуть евреев на море. Спустя 40 лет появились ребята, которые решили что «Лазымды». И выкинули самих вождей в помойку.

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