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(Special Broadcasting Service)   Ukraine: Hey there NATO. Say, you guys remember that wacky treaty we signed in 1994 where you promised to defend us if we were attacked in exchange for us giving up our nukes? Yeah, funny thing, never thought we actually need that, but   (sbs.com.au) divider line 291
    More: Scary, NATO, Ukraine, interim leader, Viktor Yanukovych, Russian forces  
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15755 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Feb 2014 at 1:50 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



291 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-02-28 02:42:19 PM  

Grahor: Wait a second. You mean foreign troops, which were most explicitly NOT invited by local population, should invade the foreign country without a declaration of war and wipe out local civilian population (doesn't matter if they are or aren't; they would be local civilian population by the time you have finished executing them)?


There are an awful lot of people on here who seem to think its no big deal for NATO troops to just waltz into Ukraine, occupy a territory where they seemingly would NOT be welcomed, and then dispatch the Russian troops they may find there. As if everyone would look around and say "well, I guess that settles it."

There's a reason why, even in Vietnam and Korea, we stopped short of directly engaging the Russians in open warfare.
 
2014-02-28 02:42:46 PM  

MylesHeartVodak: And somebody shut down all of our A-10s because we were never going to need tankbusters again.


Hagerstown Maryland checking in: You want more A-10s, we'll be happy to start building 'em again.   Just show up at Town Hall with a purchase order.
 
2014-02-28 02:42:53 PM  

vpb: It didn't specify what methods we would use to protect them from aggression.  I think that Ukraine would have to commit it's own armed forces before they would plausible demand that anyone send them military help.

Besides, the Crimea seceding from Ukraine is probably not what most people would regard as "outer aggression", even if Ukraine sends in troops to hold on to it.


I don't even see anything in the actual agreement that says they will defend Ukraine in the event of outer aggression.  What am I missing?  I'm asking seriously, not sarcastically (all the summaries say it means that, so I'll admit the problem is probably on my end).
 
2014-02-28 02:43:46 PM  

LesserEvil: I say NATO should go in and wipe out those gunmen... Putin would lose face with his military, the Russians lose a ton of Spetznaz on a "disavowed" mission, and the Russian loyalists in the region suddenly get a lot meeker (and regional stability goes up).

Putin's attempt only works if the west backs down from its promises... and if it succeeds, its bad news for the rest of Eastern Europe.


Well, it would be a good test of the NATO Response Force, which mostly has just handed out humanitarian relief supplies the few times it's deployed.
 
2014-02-28 02:45:16 PM  

fireclown: MylesHeartVodak: And somebody shut down all of our A-10s because we were never going to need tankbusters again.

Hagerstown Maryland checking in: You want more A-10s, we'll be happy to start building 'em again.   Just show up at Town Hall with a purchase order.


Sorry, but you've been diverted to building crappy outlet malls.
 
2014-02-28 02:45:30 PM  

Grahor: LesserEvil: I say NATO should go in and wipe out those gunmen... Putin would lose face with his military, the Russians lose a ton of Spetznaz on a "disavowed" mission, and the Russian loyalists in the region suddenly get a lot meeker (and regional stability goes up).

Wait a second. You mean foreign troops, which were most explicitly NOT invited by local population, should invade the foreign country without a declaration of war and wipe out local civilian population (doesn't matter if they are or aren't; they would be local civilian population by the time you have finished executing them)?

And you feel it's a proper behavior?

And you think _Russians_ are evil?


I'm assuming the Ukraine asks for military intervention, at which point, we honor the treaty and give it to them.

Those aren't locals they'd be fighting, they're Russian military. Certainly not a cakewalk, but unless Russia is prepared to fully support them (logistics are still a thing, you know), they are toast if a multi-national force comes in.

I could care less what separatists think. That doesn't come into play with treaty obligations - the Ukraine is still the legal government, in the world's eyes.

Let Putin get away with this, and he'll take it to the next level. As others have mentioned, Crimea can't really stand alone and hostile to the Ukraine, anyway, but who knows what sort of play comes next?
 
2014-02-28 02:45:46 PM  

dukeblue219: Born_Again_Bavarian: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/feb/28/russia-invades-crime a- sends-armored-personnel-carr/

It's the Washington Times. They're not a legitimate source for anything. From all the other sources out there (starting with BBC) it looks like there may be a few armored personnel carriers on the roads to and from the naval base, but nothing that warrants a "they're sending in the tanks" kind of headline.

//Putin's not stupid. He's not going to send the whole damn army rolling into Ukraine. Just gradually take control of the region step by step such that there's no one particularly overt act that the west can use to justify force.


Agree.  It could very well be just that.  But the statement was that Russian APCs and tanks were rolling into Crimea.  Someone asked for a link.  I provided the link.
 
2014-02-28 02:46:49 PM  

Magorn: You see that peninsula at the bottom? That's Crimea. If it breaks away from Ukraine, it will, de acto or de jure become part of Russia. If that happens Russia gets a bottleneck that effectively allow it to control access to the Black Sea for nearly Half of Ukraine land mass and many of its major cities. It would make Ukraine itself a satellite of Russia just as surely as if it still had an SSR after its name


Thanks for elevating the thread.  Wouldn't that also be the case for any of the Russian territory to the East of the pennensula?  Could they not build a port in Tuapse, for example and still pretty much own the black sea?
 
2014-02-28 02:46:59 PM  

Via Infinito: Well subs, the article says that the treaty was signed by the US, the UK and Russia.
Maybe we're only allowed to defend them against countries that didn't sign the treaty?

Not only that, but the legitimate elected government of Ukraine is the ousted one that is on the side of Russia against the protesters who have simply taken over the government buildings. If we honored the treaty, we would have to side with the elected government which is the side the Russians are backing -- not the protesters.
 
2014-02-28 02:47:26 PM  

Marcellinus: fireclown: MylesHeartVodak: And somebody shut down all of our A-10s because we were never going to need tankbusters again.

Hagerstown Maryland checking in: You want more A-10s, we'll be happy to start building 'em again.   Just show up at Town Hall with a purchase order.

Sorry, but you've been diverted to building crappy outlet malls.


It's not like we're HAPPY about that.
 
2014-02-28 02:47:30 PM  
It also bears repeating that most of the Pro-Russian types in Crimea and the other southern/eastern regions are Russians that immigrated into the region after Papa Stalin sent a lot of Ukrainians to Siberia.
 
2014-02-28 02:48:55 PM  
media.washtimes.com
Oh please, is this a joke picture? It's hard to get too worked up about this.
Those APCs were scary, in 1965.
These days we could take them out with drones. I guess we have to take them seriously, but it hard.
 
2014-02-28 02:49:27 PM  

fireclown: MylesHeartVodak: And somebody shut down all of our A-10s because we were never going to need tankbusters again.

Hagerstown Maryland checking in: You want more A-10s, we'll be happy to start building 'em again.   Just show up at Town Hall with a purchase order.


Stand by - could be a windfall of work headed your way.
 
2014-02-28 02:51:10 PM  

JK47: PreMortem: It's still a sovereign nation, we can't just "send in troops". And they didn't invade, they are occupying their own military bases. The US would do the same if Italy fell into chaos, especially with the nukes on those bases and whatnot.


The Russian "Militia" (who are wearing identical sets of kit which Russia started issuing to its regulars 2-3 years ago) are occupying the civilian (non-military and fully Ukrainian) airports in the Simferopol and Sevastopol areas.  Military forces crossing borders to occupy foreign territory is the classic definition of an invasion.

Plus back in Kosovo circa 1999 Russian troops pulled something similar (seizing the main airport) in order to allow them to quickly fly in reinforcements (a full Brigade IIRC).


Daily Beast has an exclusive that claims those troops are Russian civilian contractors, a la Blackwater. Nice cutout for the Russians, gives them plausible deniability while still getting what they want.
 
2014-02-28 02:51:22 PM  
Well I'm sure the UK will be into going into Crimea again.
 
2014-02-28 02:52:07 PM  

SuperNinjaToad: LesserEvil: I say NATO should go in and wipe out those gunmen... Putin would lose face with his military, the Russians lose a ton of Spetznaz on a "disavowed" mission, and the Russian loyalists in the region suddenly get a lot meeker (and regional stability goes up).

Putin's attempt only works if the west backs down from its promises... and if it succeeds, its bad news for the rest of Eastern Europe.

I'm glad you're not POTUS then because I believe that is EXACTLY what Putin wants. He's laying a bear trap for the Ukranians and foreign/NATO intervention into Ukraine will mostly likely play into his hands. It means he will get back Crimea. All he needs is a single NATO troops or a single tire track of NATO vehhicle on Ukranian soil and you just gave him a bunch of leverage to exercise his plan.



Yea, if I were Ukraine I'd just divert all civil aircraft away from that airport (or airports), and encircle it with my own troops, but without moving in or making any effort to engage.  Allow any Russian aircraft to depart the airport without restriction.  Basically the ball would be in Russia's court.
 
2014-02-28 02:53:45 PM  
Nothing will happen because the treaty is (deliberately) vaguely worded so that so that any obligation to act can be negated by arguing over legal definitions of words like "attack" and "defend".

This is what happened in Rwanda back in the 90s, when the wrangling over the the definition of "genocide" was used as an excuse for inaction, despite 800,000 people murdered in ~100 days because of their ethnicity.
 
2014-02-28 02:55:54 PM  
The nice thing about living in DC is that I will probably never know what hit me.
 
2014-02-28 02:55:58 PM  
I wonder how practical it would be to split the Ukraine into a Ukrainian and a Russian state?

Probably not a good idea, I know. It smacks of appeasement and the Russians would be sure to grab the other half back on some flimsy pretext some day. I wouldn't care to betray the Ukrainians that way, but the geography is sound at least.

I sure hope that we are not sleep-walking our way to World War "x" (where x is any whole number from 3 to 5).

The souring relations between China and Japan are a worry also, as is the risk of China simply taking over Siberia rather than infiltrating it as they have been doing.

China needs resources and have been buying land and agricultural companies every where from Central Asia to the US (they bought your biggest pork producers, Smithfield whatchamacallem in pursuit of food security which may or may not be a will-o-the-wisp.

So many potential hot zones that could be turned volcanic by climate change and the economic aspirations of the not-so-poor developing countries (first BRIC and now MINT).

Brazil
Russia
India
China

Mexico
Indonesia
Nigeria
Turkey.

These have long been military and economic threats for some of the world. They may soon be threats for all of the world.

I'm an optimist. I expect the worst and hope for the best. It's so much better than expecting all of those black swans waiting in the wings, because them babies are a thousand times worse than the worst you can count on. Being a pessimist is a sorry business. THERE'S NO BOTTOM TO WHAT IS POSSIBLE, ONLY TO WHAT IS CREDIBLE.
 
2014-02-28 02:56:26 PM  
I don't think it's fair to say that most Crimeans want to be Russians. Some do. Quite a lot of them don't, even if they want the Russian language to be officially recognized.
 
2014-02-28 02:56:45 PM  
i.imgur.com
 
2014-02-28 02:56:58 PM  

tinyarena: [media.washtimes.com image 630x365]
Oh please, is this a joke picture? It's hard to get too worked up about this.
Those APCs were scary, in 1965.
These days we could take them out with drones. I guess we have to take them seriously, but it hard.


Those are BTR-80s, which are the equivalent of American Strykers. Not obsolete at all. Better than the Bradley in some ways. Drones can take out most tanks; that's what the Hellfire missile was originally designed for.
 
2014-02-28 02:57:20 PM  

fireclown: MylesHeartVodak: And somebody shut down all of our A-10s because we were never going to need tankbusters again.

Hagerstown Maryland checking in: You want more A-10s, we'll be happy to start building 'em again.   Just show up at Town Hall with a purchase order.


You should look into another line of work.   At least for the next few years.
 
2014-02-28 02:58:05 PM  
I'd be interested to see how many soldiers from different Russian battalions "retired" to go work for these companies about 2 weeks ago?
 
2014-02-28 02:58:37 PM  

Lady Beryl Ersatz-Wendigo: The nice thing about living in DC is that I will probably never know what hit me.


I have it on good authority that the metro tunnels will survive more or less intact.
 
2014-02-28 02:59:02 PM  

LesserEvil: Those aren't locals they'd be fighting, they're Russian military. Certainly not a cakewalk, but unless Russia is prepared to fully support them (logistics are still a thing, you know), they are toast if a multi-national force comes in.



Russia doesn't have far to go and its forces are positioned adjacent to the Ukrainian frontier.  It will likely bolster it's hold on Crimea using the Sevastopol fleet base as well as the military airports they possess and civilian ones they seize.  That would allow them to bring in their airborne forces while their mechanized forces in the north keep the over-matched and undermanned Ukrainian military pinned down.  In the meantime NATO naval forces will basically be operating from the Aegean until the Russian Navy is neutralized since transiting the Bosporus and Dardanelles would be extremely unwise if Russian Naval forces are in range with ASM's (also assuming they don't mine both straits).  So absent access to the Black Sea for amphibious operations that leaves the overland option meaning NATO will need bases and infrastructure in eastern Poland (likely too close to Belarus for this scenario) or Romania (added difficulty being no ocean access (see above).  Also, reinforcements from the West will have to contend with that Russia supported pocket in Moldova as well as with Serbia who would, no doubt, look forward to an opportunity to frustrate NATO's goals.

Basically, you're thinking of the old Russian military and not how it current functions, and while you're right that logistics are an issue they are more of an issue for NATO than Russia.  Advantage Russia.
 
2014-02-28 03:01:42 PM  
wac.9ebf.edgecastcdn.net
 
2014-02-28 03:02:43 PM  
3rd ACR and 1st armored could move in and really fark some things up - also the German tankers are VERY good - we could run 24hr drone based warfare on the Russians in theater from air bases in Germany. The brits could jump in with some bombers and their pocket carriers would be a welcome addition to naval forces in the area.
 
2014-02-28 03:03:12 PM  

Magorn: fireclown: What would be the downside be if the nation simply split?  The southeastern Ukranians pretty much consider themselves Russian anyway.  Is there a national resources reason, a la Iraq, that they couldn't just splinter off?  Apart from all the tradgedy of divided families and the death of the velvet revolution and all that.

Take a look at this map of Ukraine

You see that peninsula at the bottom?  That's Crimea.  If it breaks away from Ukraine, it will, de acto or de jure become part of Russia.   If that happens Russia gets a bottleneck that effectively allow it to control access to the Black Sea for nearly Half of Ukraine land mass and many of its major cities.   It would make Ukraine itself a satellite of Russia just as surely as if it still had an SSR after its name


They would still have a port on the black sea, with similar access as Romania and Bulgaria, and access to the west via NATO and EU members Poland and Slovakia and Hungary.
 
2014-02-28 03:04:36 PM  
Tomahawk513:

It'd be really cool if, in the event of civil war, the UN could come in and stabilize the situation.  Then, a Swiss elections team could come in, administer a democratic election for a temporary government, and then everyone packs up and goes home.  No disputing the results (democracy, and all that).  No accusations of bias (Switzerland is a paragon of neutrality).  And very little bloodshed.

Uh yeah. Untill the dude they elect does something that is good for the Ukrainian economy, but unpopular with the population, and we have the same shiat again.

Once people gets used to being able to topple legitimate elected governments, see Egypt, you might as well just have a millitary dictatorship.
 
2014-02-28 03:05:23 PM  

brantgoose: I wonder how practical it would be to split the Ukraine into a Ukrainian and a Russian state?Probably not a good idea, I know. It smacks of appeasement


Did it "smack of appeasement" when Czechoslovakia was split up? Did it "smack of appeasement" when Yugoslavia was split up? Did it "smack of appeasement" when Sudan was split up? Did it "smack of appeasement" when Ethiopia was split up?

Is the right of self-determination only applicable to certain groups and not others?
 
2014-02-28 03:05:37 PM  
(Switzerland is a paragon of neutrality)

This was disproven a decade ago.  They NEVER were nuetral.
 
2014-02-28 03:05:59 PM  
From the Guardian:

"Political leaders moved fast in Moscow with the parliament rapidly introducing a law that would make it easier for new territories to be added to Russia's existing borders, a move that seemed directly linked to events in Crimea. The bill would allow for regions to join Russia by referendum if its host country does not have a "legitimate government". "If as the result of a referendum, Crimea appeals to Russia with a desire to join us, we should have the legal mechanisms to answer," said MP Elena Mizulina."

Probably just a coincidence that they voted on this just now, right?
 
2014-02-28 03:06:02 PM  
Crimea river.
 
2014-02-28 03:06:42 PM  
Is this a landwar in Asia?

www.slowmuse.com
 
2014-02-28 03:06:58 PM  

tinfoil-hat maggie: Well I'm sure the UK will be into going into Crimea again.


'Forward, the Light Brigade!'
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldiers knew
Some one had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
 
2014-02-28 03:07:23 PM  

Alien Robot: Did it "smack of appeasement" when Czechoslovakia was split up?


That's pretty much the prototypical example of appeasement, yes.

ww2gravestone.com
 
2014-02-28 03:07:36 PM  
No worries, Ukraine. The US has a long and proud tradition of ALWAYS fully honoring every single treaty it signs. Well, almost always.

indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com
 
2014-02-28 03:08:12 PM  

Keith Dudemeister: From the Guardian:

"Political leaders moved fast in Moscow with the parliament rapidly introducing a law that would make it easier for new territories to be added to Russia's existing borders, a move that seemed directly linked to events in Crimea. The bill would allow for regions to join Russia by referendum if its host country does not have a "legitimate government". "If as the result of a referendum, Crimea appeals to Russia with a desire to join us, we should have the legal mechanisms to answer," said MP Elena Mizulina."

Probably just a coincidence that they voted on this just now, right?


They're showing their hand.  They're not willing to go full 'invasion' on Ukraine, so they're going to use a political method to absorb Crimea.
 
2014-02-28 03:09:38 PM  

mbillips:
Those are BTR-80s, which are the equivalent of American Strykers. Not obsolete at all. Better than the Bradley in some ways. Drones can take out most tanks; that's what the Hellfire missile was originally designed for.


Nope, sorry, scroll through the pictures moar, based on the egg shape of their forward hatches, those are BTR-70s
And they really were built in the 1960s

Slow, cramped, easy to kill
meh
 
2014-02-28 03:09:49 PM  

youmightberight: 3rd ACR and 1st armored could move in and really fark some things up - also the German tankers are VERY good - we could run 24hr drone based warfare on the Russians in theater from air bases in Germany. The brits could jump in with some bombers and their pocket carriers would be a welcome addition to naval forces in the area.


How long to clear through all the dead EU protestors littering the highways?
 
2014-02-28 03:10:06 PM  
youmightberight: "... The brits could jump in with some bombers and their pocket carriers would be a welcome addition to naval forces in the area."

Thier what ?

  Brits....  carriers ?
 
2014-02-28 03:10:53 PM  

PreMortem: CleanAndPure: We should have sent troops there the moment Russia started holding invasion drills.

Russia wouldn't have invaded if we were there because they don't want war with us any more than we do with them.

This could escalate into a war because we were too pussy to stand our ground.

You're cute.

It's still a sovereign nation, we can't just "send in troops". And they didn't invade, they are occupying their own military bases. The US would do the same if Italy fell into chaos, especially with the nukes on those bases and whatnot.

And I'll give you a 2/10 for the 'stand your ground'.

/haven't been following too closely, so I could be 100% not right


They want us there. So yes... they would welcome our troops.

Russia has sent troops. Military jets and helicopters(and by some reports tanks) into Crimea without Ukraine's approval. That is a mini invasion.

I would probably support Crimea's call for independence from Ukraine. The people will it and people should chose their own governance.

However Russia sending military there is worrying. I can see Russia overstepping Crimea and taking the whole country.

They got their way in Georgia. They kinda got their way in Syria propping up their despot friend.

They've been testing the west for a while and starting slowly chipping away new territories. It will be Poland before long.
 
2014-02-28 03:11:03 PM  

AngryDragon: lindalouwho: Interesting. I feel pretty damn strong about your word being your bond, and your word being all you really have.

I want to see Ukraine free and safe from Russia. I know much, much more is ultimately at stake.

I don't have a problem with this.

It's a lot more than just keeping our word.  If NATO abrogates a treaty guaranteeing Ukrainian sovereignty, there are a lot of countries in that area who will start having second thoughts about their diplomatic alignment. NATO has to do something or it's the same as letting the Germans occupy the Rhineland.


Are you saying that everyone agrees that Crimea belongs to Russia?
 
2014-02-28 03:11:19 PM  

youmightberight: PreMortem: CleanAndPure: We should have sent troops there the moment Russia started holding invasion drills.

Russia wouldn't have invaded if we were there because they don't want war with us any more than we do with them.

This could escalate into a war because we were too pussy to stand our ground.

You're cute.

It's still a sovereign nation, we can't just "send in troops". And they didn't invade, they are occupying their own military bases. The US would do the same if Italy fell into chaos, especially with the nukes on those bases and whatnot.

And I'll give you a 2/10 for the 'stand your ground'.

/haven't been following too closely, so I could be 100% not right

Sorry let me help you with that.


I'm sorry, what was wrong with that and what evidence do you have to support your counter aguements?

I thought so. Go take a nap. Mad Dog 20/20 is not for the weak.
 
2014-02-28 03:11:53 PM  

jshine: Alien Robot: Did it "smack of appeasement" when Czechoslovakia was split up?

That's pretty much the prototypical example of appeasement, yes.


Zombie Chamberlain was involved in the post soviet split of the Czech Republic and Slovakia?!? Woah.
 
2014-02-28 03:11:56 PM  
images.sodahead.com
 
2014-02-28 03:11:59 PM  

youmightberight: 3rd ACR and 1st armored could move in and really fark some things up - also the German tankers are VERY good - we could run 24hr drone based warfare on the Russians in theater from air bases in Germany. The brits could jump in with some bombers and their pocket carriers would be a welcome addition to naval forces in the area.



The 3rd is now the 3rd Cavalry Regiment, equipped with Strykers, and located at Fort Hood.  Likewise the 1st Armored is now garrisoned at Fort Bliss.  Both of the heavy brigades in Germany (the 170th and 172nd) were drawn down over the last couple years.  We have one airborne and one stryker brigade in Germany, that's it.

As for the German Army, they're down to 60,000 men with five armored brigades and in the near future they'll only be operating 225 Leopard 2's.

As for the Royal Navy, all three of the Invincible Class carriers were mothballed years ago and their Harrier aircraft were sold off.
 
2014-02-28 03:12:23 PM  
www.streetsblog.org

Troops, tighten your chin straps!
 
2014-02-28 03:14:05 PM  

Infernalist: LewDux: Infernalist: This would never happen because there's simply too much at stake for Russia to lose the Crimea.  Lose that, they lose their access to their warm water ports and navy.

You know that they had access to all of that through all those 20+ years of Ukrainian independence, right?

Of course, but most of that 20 years was spent with a pro-Russian government in Russia's back pocket and I don't know if you've noticed or not, but this new Ukrainian government is pretty much 'fark the Russians and the bears they rode in on.'

I'm not saying that the Ukrainian government will revoke Russia's lease on those port facilities, but if you're Putin do you 'really' want to take the chance of losing access to your only warm water ports?



You keep saying that but you need to look at a map.  Russia has plenty of ports on the Black Sea.  Sochi, for one
 
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