Friday, February 28, 2014

Armed Men Take Position at Two Airports in Crimea

Armed Men Take Position at Two Airports in Crimea, NYT article
In Simferopol, the regional capital of Crimea, a large number of masked armed men were stationed at the international airport Friday morning. They were dressed in camouflage and carrying assault rifles, but their military uniforms bore no insignia. It was not clear who they were and they declined to answer questions.

This is crazy. Think about it. It costs immense amounts of money and political power to amass a large number of men, train them, force them or pay them enough to go into situations where they may well be hurt or die, and to outfit them with armour and assault weapons etc. 
And to do this, and then tell nobody who you are, or why you are doing this!? I've never heard of anything like it. 

It's even spookier, because if they are not going to do anything, why do this at all? And if they are going to do something, why would they announce their presence days ahead? It's the first rule of fighting, you don't signal your moves. ... Unless your force is so superior that you have little to fear and you just want to show it off... 

I didn't care for the area before (I have friends living there*), and I like it less now. The article tells about nostalgia for the Soviet Union. How bad off does a country have to get to get widespread desire to get the Soviet Union back!?

* I traded a camera to a friend in Ukraine, I sent her a Canon 5D with an advanced zoom lens. The officials in the customs office told her that she could not get the parcel until she showed a receipt, so I made one. Then they told the receipt must not say the specific model of the camera or lens. Puzzled, I changed it. Then she got a parcel... with a much cheaper entry-level Canon camera with the kit zoom! And there was just nothing she could do. Basically a lawless country, it seems. 

1 comment:

Bruce W. said...

It seems that Russia is now in de facto control of the Crimea. I don't think they will give it up. Russia, both Tsarist and Soviet, saw it as absolutely critical to their national interest.

It is as if in 1940, Hawaii decided it wanted to ally itself with Japan. No way the US would have let it happen.

Power politics, pure and simple.