Beyond the Cusp

April 8, 2014

Which Way Will Russia Turn?

Anyone believing that Russian President and former Colonel in the KGB will be content with simply occupying the Crimea is likely to be found sorely in error. The real question is where will Putin and the Russian military turn next. As far as a generally accurate list for targets, one can assume any nations previously a member of the Warsaw Pact nations which were subverted under Soviet control for the duration of the Cold War. The overriding evidence for such assumptions are the words spoken by Vladimir Putin, aka Vlad the Invader, to top Russian politicians and the Parliament in April of 2005 State of the Nation Address where he stated, “Above all, we should acknowledge that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the century. As for the Russian nation, it became a genuine drama. Tens of millions of our co-citizens and co-patriots found themselves outside Russian territory. Moreover, the epidemic of disintegration infected Russia itself.” Vlad the Invader is a man who sees his life’s mission as being bringing Russia back to its former glory with all the influence and including the satellite territories which she once commanded at the height of her Cold War years of, as Putin views them, glorious potential where Russia commanded the respect and fear of much of the rest of the world. There are some tactical necessities which the Russian invasion and annexation of the Crimean Peninsula make as an obvious next step. Looking at a map one will notice that Russia has one glaring weakness as far as retaining complete control and ability to defend its newly acquired territory, a land connection from mainland Russia to the Crimean Peninsula.


In order to have an overland connection the Russians will necessarily need to annex additional provinces from the Ukraine including minimally the eastern lands including Lugansk, Donets’ka, Zaporiz’ka, and Khersons’ka with a high likelihood of also annexing Luhans’ka. All of these provinces consist of predominantly or significant Russian speaking and origin populations. There have been riots and partial takeover of government buildings already in Donets’ka with demands that a referendum vote to decide to separate from Kiev and join with Russia. Recent videos and information has confirmed these demonstrations became quite violent over this past weekend with some demanding that Russia send forces to assist and protect the Russian ethnic peoples from the illegal government which recently took control in Kiev through what these rioters view as a coup. One of the demonstrators who insisted on anonymity was quoted saying, “Without your support, without the support of Russia, it will be hard for us to resist the Kiev junta on our own.” The news has reported that some have requested that Russian President Vladimir Putin send “peacekeeping troops” to the region, this according to the National Post.


Early Monday interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk had accused Russia of inciting the protestors and of sending in troops to perform more de facto invasions of the provinces on the Ukrainian-Russian border. He was quoted claiming that, “The plan is to destabilize the situation, the plan is for foreign troops to cross the border and seize the country’s territory, which we will not allow.” he added that people engaged in the unrest have “distinct Russian accents.” The fact that the Russian troops are presumably already stationed less than thirty kilometers, short of twenty miles, from the border makes the situation potentially more explosive and uncertain.


There have been other rumors and whispers of rumors that cloud the picture even further spinning off so many alternative scenarios that it boggles the mind. There were the reports that Poland called up their entire contingencies of reserves for training and preparations for possible conflict, something that had reportedly never been executed by Poland previously. Other words floating on the currents of rumor denoted Russian plans for the reabsorption of Bulgaria were coming in the not too distant future. I am sure if one were to investigate further that there are many leaders and “experts” who would point to other eastern European and central Asian nations as being eyed by Vlad the Invader as ripe plums sitting on low branches just begging to be plucked. The best hope going forward is that, for reasons unknown, Vlad the Invader hesitates sufficiently until there is leadership elsewhere which would be capable and willing to act to place restraints on what has the potential to be a resurgence of Russian imperialism establishing a renewed Russian hegemonic power over half of Europe destroying much of the European Union and directly challenging NATO. It is becoming obvious that should Vlad the Invader fully flex Russian military might and push forward Russia’s borders by annexing neighboring countries using the same planting of instigators working with local citizens of Russian ancestry that there is nobody currently in a position willing to oppose him in any meaningful manner. In the meantime, the world has to rely on President Obama leading the Western World in sanctioning Russian financial leaders denying them access to their funds in Western financial institutions. For some reason I have my suspicions that the Russian oligarchs have not placed large sums of their wealth in banks in New York City, Washington DC, Los Angeles or, believe it or not, Council Bluffs, Iowa. Still, President Obama has proven that when it comes to foreign affairs, he is the man without a plan but with all the bluster and buffoonery of a Saturday morning huntsman asking the audience, and we quote, “Be qwiet, vewy vewy qwiet, I’m huntin’ wabbit.”


Beyond the Cusp


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