Beyond the Cusp

April 1, 2014

Russian Buildup in Crimea Portends Further Encroachments

Virtually every article covering the Russian annexation of the Crimean Peninsula after occupying it after the change in Ukrainian governance in Kiev quotes Russian sources claiming that there will be no further land grabs by Russia. What would you expect Russian sources to say, we want to conquer all of Europe and after that we will consider if there are any other areas which would gain from Russian leadership? Of course the Russians are going to attempt to calm the concerns of the rest of the world, particularly the remainder of the Ukraine and the Eastern European nations which are all too familiar with Russian military diplomacy from their years of being crushed under the iron fist of the former Soviet Union. The suspicions that the Russians may not be finished reclaiming lands which were previously included within the Soviet Union are being driven by the massive buildup of Russian military within the Crimean Peninsula since it was annexed by Moscow. The questioning of why Russia would require over fifty-thousand troops to enforce their annexation which was initially established using merely six-thousand troops is a valid and interesting question. Additionally, large exponents of the newly inserted troops are armored units complete including tanks, armored fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers and assault vehicles. These are the exact forces one would need to launch a fast ground-covering assault to blitz any defending units rapidly breaking the heart of any attempted resistance. There is also the presence just beyond the border of Russian air units which could support such an attack. Despite what has been reported by eye witnesses and journalists covering the situation from embedded positions, the Russians are claiming that their buildup consist of anything but of an offensive potential, they are simply there to facilitate a smooth transition to Russian rule.

 

There is other evidence that the story being sold by the Russians is not being universally accepted as Poland has called up their reservists and begun training and preparing them for any potential need that might arise. There is only one single threatening set of events anywhere near the Polish borders, and that is the Russian flexing their military might under the pretense of protecting Russian interests and people from potential threats from their own government. This was the pretext of the Russian invasion of the Crimean Peninsula under claims that the Ukraine had become a threat to its own citizens who were of Russian ancestry. Poland knows, as does the remainder of the Ukraine and other former Soviet States, that there are citizens within their borders who it could be claimed have Russian ancestry thus providing Russia with the same precedent for invasion and annexation of parts of these lands. This is the same excuse which has been the initial excuse of numerous wars through the ages, the protection of an ethnic minority within a neighboring state which requested protection from the more militant neighboring state. For a deeper understanding simply research Czechoslovakian history, or other histories of regional wars at their initial outset when the first initial steps were taken and excuses were required to calm nervous leaders of neighboring nations in order to prevent their preparations for what inevitable was to come.

 

Another piece of interesting information is the first political figure from Russia to visit the Crimea is Prime Minister Medvedev who is offering wreathes of peace in the form of establishing a special economic zone to ameliorate relations and minimizing any economic strains that might result from the Russian annexation. This may prove to force Russia to solidify their annexation and develop the Crimean economy before taking any further steps that appear to be inevitable simply by inspecting any map of the Ukraine including Russia and the Crimean Peninsula and the problem becomes obvious very readily. If Russia plans on retaining their control over the Crimean Peninsula and enjoin the Crimean economy into the Russian economy, then there is going to be one physical impediment, the lack of any overland connection between Mother Russia and her little sister, the Crimean Peninsula. At some point in the near future Russia will very likely desire annexing sufficient areas from eastern Ukraine in order to have an overland connection between the two areas. Russian economic development is very likely dependent upon having overland access unencumbered by having to gain the accommodations of the Ukrainian government, especially the current revolutionary government and possibly less so once the new government is elected hopefully in May. Still, should there come to the fore that another area within the Ukraine which is considering holding a referendum on whether or not they wish to secede and rejoin under Russian rule because that will be the first event of further Russian encroachment. The fear is that such a future is inevitable and there may be far more to the Russian intentions to reestablish Russian hegemony starting with Eurasian nations spreading to Eastern Europe and ending where will be the big question. One need to remember that thanks to United States President Obama alienating much of the Arab Middle East and North Africa that close relations with Russia has already spread to Egypt, Libya and Saudi Arabia along with the Russian relations already in existence with Iran and Syria and through these, influence over Iraq. One can expect that as Afghanistan becomes closer to Iran that they will end up with closer relations with Russia than they will with the Western powers. An expansive Russia spreading its control is a definite threat in the future while the United States remains in eclipse receding from the world’s stage.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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