Russia’s FSB, formerly the KGB, has accused Ukraine of two armed incursions into the Crimean Peninsula over the last few days. The Russian security agency says one Russian soldier and another FSB employee were killed. One supposed Ukrainian commando was arrested and a variety of light weapons were reportedly seized. President Vladimir Putin vowed “further security measures” in response to Ukraine’s “stupid and criminal” acts. Large amounts of Russian armor, military vehicles and troops were reported being seen moving from the Crimean crossing with Russia in the east, headed to the Ukrainian border area. “Russian accusations against Ukraine of terrorism in occupied Crimea sound as preposterous and cynical as the statements of the Russian leadership about the absence of Russian troops in the Donbass [region of rebel-held eastern Ukraine],” Petro Poroshenko said. “These fantasies are only a pretext for making more military threats against Ukraine,” reports the BBC. The Kremlin accused Ukraine of heavy fire across the Ukrainian border into Russian held territory and of attempted sabotage on Crimean infrastructure. Ukraine fears these incidents are simply fabricated as a way for Russia to take more Ukrainian territory in the absence of strong Western support for the embattled government in Kyiv. The conflict in East Ukraine smolders as well with recently the highest civilian and military casualties since the Minsk ceasefire was implemented. Mr. Putin is a master at escalation and deescalation. Perhaps he has decided the last few months of President Obama’s term are the time for escalation in pursuit of Russia’s foreign policy goals.
Vlad the bully is back at it..and yes, he’s taking advantage of Obama’s weakness and inaction. The Obama administration needs to get off it’s collective butt, and take a MUCH more proactive and aggressive military posture with Moscow, while at the same time cultivating our relationship with Kiev. It is in our national security interests to develop a military relationship with Ukraine, and Petro’s government. For over two years here at The Daily Buzz we have strongly encouraged the Obama administration to take diplomatic, economic, and yes, military measures (i.e. expanded military exercises in Poland and eastern Europe, sharing military intelligence with Kiev, increasing military hardware sales to Kiev, parking an entire U.S. Navy Carrier Strike Group in the Black Sea near Odessa, etc.) to push back against Vlad’s aggressive posture. We cannot afford another Crimea..
Russia’s army is massing troops and hundreds of pieces of weaponry including mobile rocket launchers, tanks and artillery at a makeshift base near the border with Ukraine, a Reuters reporter saw this week. Many of the vehicles have number plates and identifying marks removed while many of the servicemen had taken insignia off their fatigues. As such, they match the appearance of some of the forces spotted in eastern Ukraine, which Kiev and its Western allies allege are covert Russian detachments. The scene at the base on the Kuzminsky firing range, around 50 km (30 miles) from the border, offers some of the clearest evidence to date of what appeared to be a concerted Russian military build-up in the area. Earlier this month, NATO military commander General Philip Breedlove said he believed the separatists were taking advantage of a ceasefire that came into force in February to re-arm and prepare for a new offensive. However, he gave no specifics. Russia denies that its military is involved in the conflict in Ukraine’s east, where Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting forces loyal to the pro-Western government in Kiev. Russia’s defense ministry said it had no immediate comment about the build-up. Several soldiers said they had been sent to the base for simple military exercises, suggesting their presence was unconnected to the situation in Ukraine. Asked by Reuters if large numbers of unmarked weaponry and troops without insignia at the border indicated that Russia planned to invade Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said during a conference call with reporters: “I find the wording of this question, ‘if an invasion is being prepared’, inappropriate as such.”
The thug-acracy of Vlad doesn’t like being called out like that. We’ve been saying here at The Daily Buzz for over 11 months now, that the Obama Administration needs to do a WHOLE lot more to counter Vlad’s brazen aggression and global bullying. To that end, we’ve been calling on Obama and his minions to take a more assertive military posture, and we’ve outlined on numerous occassions substantive measures that the administration could take that would send a VERY clear message to Moscow. Thus far (and no surprise), the measures taken have been symbolic and timid, and project weakness….which is very dangerous.
With Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine continuing, the White House announced Wednesday the U.S. will begin training 750 Ukraine troops. The news came after a phone call between Vice President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and coincided with Russians celebrating the first anniversary of their country’s annexation of Crimea. “Soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade based in Vicenza, Italy, will conduct the National Guard training mission at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center, in Yavoriv, which is in western Ukraine, near the border with Poland,” Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen Lainez said. Another defense official told Fox News 290 U.S. paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade will begin training 750 Ukrainian soldiers in late April. The U.S. training exercise had been put on hold for fear of antagonizing Russian President Vladimir Putin. Originally, the plan involved a larger number of US soldiers going to Ukraine.
It’s about flippin time!!! Here at The Daily Buzz, we’ve been calling on the Obama administration to do exactly this…for over eight months!! As with anything Obama does militarily.. It’s nowhere near enough. But, hey.. It’s something. In the meantime, we need to park an entire U.S. Navy Carrier Strike Group (CSG), and not just some random destroyer, in the Baltic. That’s another of the many military suggestions we’ve been suggesting for a long time now. Vlad has NO intention of slowing down, or scaling back his aggression. So, we need to start seriously pushing back and letting him know we will NOT be bullied, and that we stand with Ukraine, and our friends in eastern Europe (i.e. Poland, etc.).