Finally…..New Timber! Stuff out soon. The “bygone series”
Russia Is Tightening Its Grip on Crimea
A little more than a week after the Ukrainian Parliament ousted President Viktor Yanukovych and Putin’s Winter Olympics in Sochi came to an end, Russian troops are now in control over Crimea, a chunk of Ukraine a bit larger than Vermont.
Russian troops are consolidating their hold on the region, and Ukraine’s still-shaky interim government is trying to organize a coherent response. While Western attention over the last week had been focused on nearby Russian military exercises, those troops may not be the ones directly intervening in Ukraine.
On Saturday Reuters reported that newly-installed Ukrainian defense minister Ihor Tenyukh stated that the Russian military had recently brought some 6,000 additional personnel into Ukraine. This suggests, although does not confirm, that unmarked Russian troops (i.e. wearing no flags or unit identification) were brought into the Russian naval base at Sevastopol several days in advance. The forces may have then set up their operations and staged their maneuvers directly from the base. It’s possible that the subsequent incursions into Crimea proceeded from the naval base, rather than coming directly over the border.
There are reports throughout the pro-Russian eastern regions of Ukraine involving pro-Russian protesters who have seized government buildings and raised the Russian flag. Similar events unfolded just a few days ago when protesters in Crimea stormed local government buildings, raising Russian flags. This has led some to speculate that protests elsewhere in the nation will provide a pretext for Russian intervention there as well.