21st Century Wire says…
As the ‘Ukraine Crisis’ progresses, so do the chess moves on both sides. At present, Russia has maintained the upper-hand, as is expected on their home court, so to speak…
What is being billed as an “international crisis” in the west, with British and American political mouths now hyping-up Russia’s supposed “clear breach of international law”, few western mandarins and TV experts have bothered to mention (you can guess why) that the Russian Naval port located in Sevastopol, in Crimea, Ukraine, is one of their largest naval military facilities established there, hosting Russia’s Black Sea Fleet since 1783.
In addition, Russia already has approximately 26,500 troops stationed in the Crimea, which they are paying for.
To call Russian troop movements around the Crimea as an invasion is little more than western war-hyping writ large. Par for the course.
The Ukraine is well within Russia’s ‘sphere of influence’, and the Crimea even more so, peopled mainly with Russian-speaking residents – again, well within Russia’s sphere of influence. Also not mentioned in the Western press is the very fact that Russian and Ukrainian military train and run joint exercises together in a spirit of cooperation which goes back to Ukrainian independence circa 1991.
This latest defection by Denis Berezovsky (photo, above), a high-ranking Ukrainian military official – over to the Russian camp, speaks volumes of what the two military forces think of each other – mostly mutual respect, and very little interest in engaging in an EU and US-led conflict in their home regions…
Ukraine’s New Navy Head Denis Berezovsky ‘Defects’ After Just One Day On The Post
(Sunday night) Overnight, there had been numerous rumors that the newly appointed chief of the Ukraine Navy, who was just made head of the navy on Saturday, had defected to the Crimean people explicitly, and to pro-Russian forced in the region implicitly.
The sourcing of most were various Russian outlets so we discounted these until we got confirmation from a “western” source. The BBC did just that moments ago.
‘New head of Ukraine’s navy ‘defects’ in Crimea’
‘The newly appointed head of Ukraine’s navy has sworn allegiance to the Crimea region, in the presence of its unrecognised pro-Russian leader.
Rear Admiral Denis Berezovsky was only made head of the navy on Saturday, as the government in Kiev reacted to the threat of Russian invasion.
Russia’s troops have been consolidating their hold on Crimea, which is home to its Black Sea Fleet.’
— Kashin⚓Kashin⚓Kashin (@KSHN) March 2, 2014
The move is not entirely unexpected: while the US may not have many issues with facing the Russian navy head on as it did last summer in the Mediterranean over Syria, others are not quite as excited with being on the receiving end of the Russian military juggernaut.
So if this has been confirmed, the rest of the news reported earlier by RIA is also true. To wit:
Ukraine’s autonomous region of Crimea confirmed Sunday that the majority of Ukrainian military units stationed on the Crimean peninsula have expressed their support of legitimately elected Pro-Russian authorities.
Earlier reports by Russian media about peaceful takeover of the military units by forces loyal to the Crimean government were denied by the Ukrainian defense ministry.
However, Crimean authorities said that most of the Ukrainian units sided on Sunday with pro-Russian forces “without a single shot fired,” and warned the commanders of a few units that remain loyal to Kiev that they would face criminal action if refused to surrender.
“I would like to warn commanders who force their subordinates to commit illegal actions that they will be punished according to existing laws,” Crimea’s Prime Minister Sergei Aksenov said in a statement.
The Crimean government said earlier that some 10 warships from the Ukrainian navy left their naval base in Sevastopol apparently on orders from Kiev.
Crimea is now at the center of the ongoing crisis in the country as pro-Russia groups move to distance themselves from a reformed national parliament that ousted President Viktor Yanukovych a week ago.
The map below is said to summarize all the Ukraine cities where the Russian flag has already been hoisted.
If anything, these bloodless victories will only embolden Russia to press on: hardly the resolution the west would like. Perhaps that explains why early unofficial quotes of the Russian Ruble see the currency dropping as much as 10%.
READ MORE UKRAINE NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Ukraine Files