Friday, November 07, 2014

Preparing for Annexation

It looks like the Russians are preparing--post-faux election--to formally take control of the territory in Ukraine's east that Putin's hand puppets control.

On the heels of recent developments, it looks like the Russians are getting close to making a move against Ukraine:

A column of 32 tanks, 16 howitzer artillery systems and trucks carrying ammunition and fighters has crossed into eastern Ukraine from Russia, the Kiev military said on Friday.

"The deployment continues of military equipment and Russian mercenaries to the front lines," spokesman Andriy Lysenko said in a televised briefing referring to Thursday's cross-border incursion.

I guess the question is when Russia formally adds the region to Mother Russia.

And how much land the Russians will attempt to add to their currently held territory.

Have no doubt, the Russians are coming.

UPDATE: Secessionist forces are on the move after apparent Russian supplies and reinforcements arrived:

Associated Press reporters saw more than 80 unmarked military vehicles on the move Saturday in rebel-controlled areas of eastern Ukraine, indicating that intensified hostilities may lie ahead.

Three separate columns were seen — one near the main separatist stronghold of Donetsk and two outside the town of Snizhne, 80 kilometers (50 miles) further east.

The Russians really want the Donetsk airport. Can they take it and what else do they want before actually ceasing fire?

While the casualty count of this report is likely exaggerated, it does indicate the secessionists are massing:

The press center of Kyiv's "Antiterrorist Operation" (ATO) said on its Facebook page on November 7 that "militants who were firing at Ukrainian military positions on the grounds of Donetsk airport on November 6 were eliminated by artillery units of the ATO forces."

It said "verified information" indicates the artillery fire "killed up to 200 militants" and destroyed or damaged four tanks and several other pieces of military equipment.

The Russians deny knowledge of Russian involvement, jokingly citing the inability of our State Department to confirm it as evidence:

During a meeting with Kerry in Beijing, where the two gathered for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, Lavrov deflected a reporter’s question about Ukrainian allegations it had sent soldiers and weaponry into rebel-controlled areas of the country.

“Even Jen Psaki said that the State Department doesn’t have the information about this,” Lavrov said, referring to the State Department’s spokeswoman. “If Psaki doesn’t have it, I don’t.”

Kerry stood clasping his hands in front of him and began to smile as a reporter pressed Lavrov on Russia’s involvement in Ukraine. Psaki said yesterday the troop movements, if confirmed, would violate a cease-fire pact agreed in September.

I, of course, remain jealous that Russia has a chief diplomat who attempts to advance his country's interests.

Kerry then translated Lavrov's jape into French, demonstrating his abilities.

UPDATE: The Russians and their proxies are massed at Donetsk in order to capture the government-held airport:

Artillery fire rocked east Ukraine's rebel stronghold of Donetsk on Sunday as separatists appeared to be reinforcing frontline flashpoints and fears grew of a return to all-out fighting.

Ukraine is shooting rather than just waiting for the blow to hit at Putin's leisure.