Beyond the Cusp

March 2, 2014

Russia and Ukraine Face-Off

A face-off between Russia and the Ukraine would have been more welcomed on the ice at the Olympics in Sochi a few weeks back. Instead the world is facing a heated and anxious situation as Russian troops have entered the port city of Sevastopol, Ukraine which serves as the home port for both the Ukrainian Navy and the Russian Black Sea Fleet. The Russians are claiming these troops are within agreed upon levels by treaties they have with the Ukraine and have nothing to do with the recent changes in the Ukrainian governance. For obvious reasons, the new government in Kiev is viewing this other than normal infusion of Russian troops in the areas of the Ukraine populated largely by Russians who were placed there by Stalin during his rule over the Soviet Union. A underlying level of animosity has existed between the Russian and native Ukrainian population which has only intensified as a result of what those Ukrainians who feel a close affinity to Russia feel has been an illegal coup by those who have recently claimed to have replaced the former government of President Viktor Yanukovych after months of protests. Further aggravating what is definitely a delicate situation are the rumors that the Russians are also providing a safe haven for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych who has yet to actually fully accept and acquiesce to the fact that there is a new governance going to be elected come May 25th unless something alters the current situation.

 

United States President Obama has expressed concern and warnings to Russian President Putin not to interfere with the “natural progression” currently evolving in Kiev and across the Ukraine. It is highly doubtful that President Putin will be anything other than mildly amused by President Obama issuing warnings as he has had more than enough experiences with the United States President’s Red-Lines. This begs the question why President Putin would only send in a limited force and whether the restraint is due to modest goals or a test to discern what the reactions will be from the rest of the world. Our guess doubts that Putin cares one whit about how the rest of the world, the United Nations included, will react to his placing troops in the Russian areas of the Ukraine. What is far more likely is Putin is only interested in the safety of the southern port at Sevastopol, Ukraine which allows for the Russian entrance to the Mediterranean Sea and from there the Atlantic Ocean and through the Suez Canal to the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean and beyond. There are more than sufficient Russian reserve troops poised on the Ukrainian border along with a fleet of aircraft should a larger assault prove necessary. The fact that the Russian presence is limited in both scope and numbers and basically simply holding two airports in the eastern and southern regions and the port city of Sevastopol, one is led to believe that the Russians are simply protecting critical infrastructure and military infrastructure and may have no intent to challenge the evolving politics in the Ukraine. On the other hand, we may be witnessing the first stages of a repeat of the Russian intervention into Georgian Republic where Russian military forces took by force the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which have large ethnic Russian populations similar to the eastern and southern areas of the Ukraine.

 

The responses available to the nascent leadership in Kiev will be completely dependent upon the support or lack thereof from the Ukrainian military. One can expect that the Ukrainian military would not be overly anxious to test their abilities against the Russians, and it is no wonder why. The basic truth is that whatever Putin decides he wants to do, he has the military power and resources to accomplish and this includes reversing the overthrow of President Yanukovych’s government. This has been further enabled as the Russian parliament unanimously voted to grant President Putin permission to mobilize the country’s military to utilize in the Ukraine. The European Union does not actually have sufficient military to enforce anything and are likely to at most sound some bluster and noise that will have little effect. As far as President Obama, he is far more interested in disassembling and paring down the United States military forces and capabilities than he is about preventing Putin from having his way in the Ukraine. The truth is that the United States under the auspices of President Obama has no international intentions and has basically surrendered all foreign policy decisions to the rest of the world. President Obama has decided to vote “Present” on all things beyond the maritime borders of the United States and maybe not even that far out to sea. His entire foreign policy can be summed up in one goal, force Israel to capitulate to as much of the Palestinians demands as possible and hoping that is sufficient to get a Palestinian state founded and he and Secretary of State Kerry a Nobel Peace Prize. Everything and everyone else, best of luck without us, the US. As we said when President Obama was first elected, welcome to Jimmy Carter on steroids. Jimmy Carter gave us the Ayatollahs ruling Iran and Barack Obama is giving the Ayatollahs a free run at manufacturing their own nuclear weapons. Russia imposing their will on the Ukraine, though a sad affair and unfortunate for those who fought so long to win a fresh start for their nation without corruptocratic rulers, a nuclear armed Iran will result in a far more damaging future and it is all thanks to Barry.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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