Thursday, 6 March 2014

The story so far...

My comments from the past few days (from here):

March 3

My guess is the Russians are still trying to starve out the few remaining Ukrainian military bases before they send in the heavy stuff and the soldiers wearing Russian insignia. Then they can have a nice victory parade without the embarrassment of body bags coming home. Putin is still hoping to take the Crimea bloodlessly. At the moment there’s too much of a chance of a shooting match between the remaining Ukrainian soldiers and the “unidentified gunmen” besieging them. Once the Ukrainian army in Crimea has been neutralised, the official Russian military will move in, there will be a referendum at the end of the month with probably a 90% (i.e. rigged to make doubly sure) vote in favour of independence (or union with Russia, although that’s a riskier option diplomatically). Crimea will then exist in the same kind of international legal limbo as South Ossetia. If it votes for “independence”, then Russia will recognise it as well as a few places Putin has bribed such as Nicaragua and Nauru. That’s if things go to schedule…

March 6 (i.e. earlier today)

So it looks like the Ukrainian soldiers and sailors in Crimea haven’t followed the plan and surrendered. They are also unlikely to be starved out before the end of the month. So Putin has had his puppet regime in Crimea speed up the annexation schedule. After the “union with Russia”, they can then declare that the Ukrainian military still in Crimea are the real “occupying force”.

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