The you know what hits the fan
Kiev, Ukraine (CNN) – Ukraine’s new leaders accused neighbor Russia of declaring war, as Kiev mobilized troops and called up military reservists in a rapidly escalating crisis that has raised fears of a conflict.
Amid signs of Russian military intervention in Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, Russian generals led their troops to three bases in the region Sunday, demanding Ukrainian forces surrender and hand over their weapons, Vladislav Seleznyov, spokesman for the Crimean Media Center of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, told CNN.
This is indeed a scary situation. I think we are as close to a major war as at any point in my lifetime. If you have read my blog this week you know I predicted that Russia would not stand idly by as the Ukraine and specifically the Crimea region was ripped from its grasp. It appears now as if Russia has indeed invaded Crimea and has taken control over the major infrastructure in that region. I was shocked this morning to read these articles. I am not sure we understand how serious a situation this is.
If you remember the causes of WW1 much of it was because of these interlocking security agreements which were signed so one Country guareenteed it would come to the defense of another if attacked etc . Etc.
Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances
Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances is an international treaty signed on 5 December 1994 in the Hungarian capital Budapest by Ukraine, the United States of America, Russia, and the United Kingdom concerning the nuclear disarmament of Ukraine and its security relationship with the signatory countries.
Daily Mail article
The agreement sees signatories promise to protect Ukraine’s borders
It was signed by Bill Clinton, John Major, Boris Yeltsin and Leonid Kuchma in 1994
Ukrainian parliament has now reached out directly to all the countries who signed the treaty
Putin currently has 150,000 troops on Ukraine’s borders and it is reported some have crossed into the country
President Obama says he is ‘deeply concerned’ by the news
The US and Britain have both made ‘crisis calls’ to President Putin to warn him to respect territorial boundaries
A treaty signed in 1994 by the US and Britain could pull both countries into a war to protect Ukraine if President Putin’s troops cross into the country.
Bill Clinton, John Major, Boris Yeltsin and Leonid Kuchma – the then-rulers of the USA, UK, Russia and Ukraine – agreed to the The Budapest Memorandum as part of the denuclearization of former Soviet republics after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Technically it means that if Russia has invaded Ukraine then it would be difficult for the US and Britain to avoid going to war.
The revelation comes as reports suggest the Kremlin was moving up to 2,000 troops across the Black Sea from Novorossiysk to their fleet base at Sevastopol.
At least 20 men wearing the uniform of the Russian fleet and carrying automatic rifles surrounded a Ukrainian border guard post in a standoff near the port yesterday.
The Blaze article
“If indeed this is a Russian invasion of Crimea and if we do conclude the [Budapest] Memorandum is legally binding then it’s very difficult to avoid the conclusion that we’re going to go to war with Russia,” Brenton told BBC radio.
Ukraine has accused Russia of a “military invasion,” though details are still coming in.
The unsettling news comes after President Barack Obama warned Russia about military action in Ukraine on Friday.
But a closer look at the Budapest Memorandum shows the specifics might be more complex than some are assuming. Article one of the agreement states:
The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine … to respect the Independence and Sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine.
Reaffirming a “commitment” to Ukraine’s borders and being legally required to go to war are two very different ideas.
There will surely be much debate over whether the Budapest Memorandum is a legally binding agreement requiring action. The U.S. going to war with Russia is likely a last resort for the Obama administration.
New Republic article
Vladimir Putin has asked the Federation Council—the upper chamber of Russia’s dummy parliament—to authorize the use of force not just in Crimea, but “on Ukraine’s territory until the socio-political situation is normalized.” And though American spies and the Washington Post categorically ruled this out just days ago, this was not entirely unexpected. The situation is changing rapidly, but here are some initial thoughts.
Why is Putin doing this? Because he can. That’s it, that’s all you need to know. The situation in Kiev—in which people representing one half of the country (the Ukrainian-speaking west) took power to some extent at the expense of the Russian-speaking east—created the perfect opportunity for Moscow to divide and conquer. As soon as the revolution in Kiev happened, there was an unhappy rumbling in the Crimea, which has a large Russian population and is home to the Russian Black Sea Fleet. It was a small rumbling, but just big enough for Russia to exploit. And when such an opportunity presents itself, one would be foolish not to take it, especially if one’s name is Vladimir Putin.
This is a very scary turn of events. We are in the middle of a giant chess game. Russia has made its move .. It is now our turn. Honestly I am not sure what will happen now. Either this turns into a very very scary situation or it is something almost no one remembers two years from now . It should be clear Russia is not intimidated nor will it back down at this point. It is clear to me they would have acted sooner if not for the Olympics taking place in Sochi.
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian troops took over Crimea as the parliament in Moscow gave President Vladimir Putin a green light Saturday to use the military to protect Russian interests in Ukraine. The newly installed government in Kiev was powerless to react to the action by Russian troops based in the strategic region and more flown in, aided by pro-Russian Ukrainian groups.
Putin sought and quickly got his parliament’s approval to use its military to protect Russia’s interests across Ukraine. But while sometimes-violent pro-Russian protests broke out Saturday in a number of Russian-speaking regions of eastern Ukraine, Moscow’s immediate focus appeared to be Crimea.
Tensions increased when Ukraine’s acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, made a late night announcement that he had ordered the country’s armed forces to be at full readiness because of the threat of “potential aggression.”
Speaking live on Ukrainian TV, Turchynov he had also ordered stepped up security at nuclear power plants, airports and other strategic infrastructure.
Ignoring President Barack Obama’s warning Friday that “there will be costs” if Russia intervenes militarily, Putin sharply raised the stakes in the conflict over Ukraine’s future evoking memories of Cold War brinkmanship.
After Russia’s parliament approved Putin’s motion, U.S. officials held a high-level meeting at the White House to review Russia’s military moves in Ukraine. The defense secretary, CIA director and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were among those in attendance. The U.N. Security Council held a closed-door meeting for the second consecutive day to discuss the current situation in Ukraine.
“Russia and the West find themselves on the brink of a confrontation far worse than in 2008 over Georgia,” Dmitri Trenin, the director of Carnegie Moscow Center, said in a commentary posted on its website. In Georgia, the Russian troops quickly routed the Georgian military after they tried to regain control over the separatist province of South Ossetia that has close ties with Moscow.
The latest moves followed days of scripted, bloodless turmoil on the peninsula, the scene of centuries of wars and seen by Moscow as a crown jewel of the Russian and Soviet empires. What began Thursday with the early-morning takeover of the regional parliament building by mysterious troops continued Saturday afternoon as dozens of those soldiers — almost certainly Russian — moved into the streets around the parliamentary complex and seized control of regional airports, amid street protests by pro-Russian Crimeans calling for Moscow’s protection from the new government in Kiev.