Friday, February 28, 2014


Ukraine's interim president's representative says Russian troops are flying into Crimea.

This is not good:

A day after gunmen seized the Ukrainian parliament and raised the Russian flag, a representative of Turchinov in Crimea said 13 Russian aircraft had landed on the Black Sea peninsula with 150 personnel on board each one.

If true, this does not speak well of Putin's intentions.

UPDATE: The US says this is basically true. But no worries, it isn't an invasion. It's an "uncontested arrival."

An arrival that Ukraine does not want.

But thank goodness it isn't an invasion. It would be embarassing for the president's warning to be ignored so soon:

"The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine," Obama said in the White House briefing room.

Ah. "The world" has set another red line.

UPDATE: Let me add that, as the Russians claim, this is probably all legal. I'm sure the Russians have an agreement with Ukraine that allows Russia to protect their naval base by moving troops out of Sevastopol proper.

This doesn't make the troop movements any less dangerous. Every plane load of troops that lands in Crimea is one less that has to drop by parachute on D-Day, should that day come.

And if Russia occupies Crimea, accelerating the NATO membership process would be in order. As I've noted, if I understand it correctly, NATO rules preclude Ukraine from joining NATO while Russia has a base in Ukraine. If Crimea is not part of Ukraine, that erases that problem.