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The Military

Russians Take Ukraine's Last Land Base In Crimea 551

Posted by samzenpus
from the in-soviet-russia dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Firing shots in the air and using stun grenades, Russian troops captured the last Ukrainian military base in Crimea today. From the LA Times: 'Meanwhile, Ukrainian and Russian officials were carrying on talks on evacuating Ukraine's loyal servicemen and families from the peninsula, a top Ukrainian military official said during a briefing Monday in Kiev. "About 50% [of Ukraine servicemen stationed in Crimea] joined the Russian side," said Olexandr Razmazin, army deputy chief of staff, the UNIAN news agency reported. The decision has been made to carry out the evacuation, he said, "but we need to work out a legal way to do it."'"
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Russians Take Ukraine's Last Land Base In Crimea

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  • Re:I dont get it (Score:5, Informative)

    by sabri (584428) on Monday March 24, 2014 @03:05PM (#46566449)

    It's the same reason you give your wallet to the mugger with the gun and the crazy eyes.

    And this is exactly what it is. Putin is a mugger with a gun and crazy eyes. Too bad he also has nuclear weapons so nobody can do anything about. The only thing that can be done is to isolate Russia the same way as we isolate North Korea. Nazdrovje!

  • Re:Bullshit (Score:5, Informative)

    by cold fjord (826450) on Monday March 24, 2014 @03:12PM (#46566511)

    There were many reasons for Finland's relative success that don't apply today to this conflict, and if you don't understand that you are in the realm of magical thinking. I will also point out that as glorious as Finland's resistance was, Finland actually lost that war and had some of its territory taken by the Soviet Union and added to the Russian Soviet Republic.

  • Re:I dont get it (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 24, 2014 @03:44PM (#46566855)

    Tell us again why Iraq was invaded in 2003?

    Because Saddam Hussein made open threats against the west, repeatedly defied the United Nations, refused nuclear weapon inspections, and ultimately defied UN resolution 1441. This is why Iraq was invaded by a coalition made of mostly the United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Australia, Poland, Portugal, and Denmark with 33 other countries providing some form of troop support.

    The fact that Saddam Hussein himself escalated the events leading up to the war and that it was a multilateral invasion seems to be forgotten. I assume for some type of political advantage by the progressives and the participating countries who rather the US be held fully accountable.

  • Re: I dont get it (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hognoxious (631665) on Monday March 24, 2014 @04:02PM (#46567055) Homepage Journal

    That piece of land legally belonged to Russia

    It did not legally belong to Russia at all. At a time when it was legally owned by the USSR an internal transfer was made from one region to another.

    A referendum took place (the right of self determination - remember that chump?)

    A referendum with two alternatives, both of which were the same.

    they voted for independence.

    Wrong. Independence wasn't either of the options. They were both "join Russia".

  • Re: I dont get it (Score:5, Informative)

    by Quila (201335) on Monday March 24, 2014 @04:42PM (#46567591)

    choices seem pretty valid. the second one was "remain part of ukraine"

    That is disengenuous and will only fool those who don't know what's going on. The two options were:

    "Are you in favour of the reunification of Crimea with Russia as a part of the Russian Federation?"

    "Are you in favour of restoring the 1992 Constitution and the status of Crimea as a part of Ukraine?"

    The latter establishes an independent state technically within Crimea, but with autonomy to later join Russia if it wishes, and the parliament already said it does.

    So, basically, the options were "Join Russia now, or join later." There was no option to remain as part of Ukraine under the status quo.

  • by Loki_1929 (550940) on Monday March 24, 2014 @05:21PM (#46568183) Journal

    Are people making a big deal out of this because even though the majority of Crimerians voted to merge with Russia, they believe that vote was coerced under the threat of violence ( Russian troops massing on the border )?

    No, people are making a big deal out of this because Russia marched troops and mobile armor into Ukraine, allowed (some would say encouraged) armed mobs of fanatical ethnic Russians to run amok, surrounded Ukrainian bases in Crimea, and then decided there should be a hastily organized vote on whether Crimea should join Russia immediately or become independent and let its leadership vote on whether to join Russia (no options to remain part of Ukraine). Ethnic Russians make up about 51% of Crimea. Since Crimea was handed to Ukraine some 60 years ago, younger generations of ethnic Russians have grown up as Ukrainians and largely self-identify as Ukrainian. About 15% of the population there are ethnic Tatars, who were brutalized and murdered by Russia until Crimea came under control of Ukraine. The rest is mostly ethnic Ukrainian.

    So with Russian tanks and armed troops parked outside peoples' homes and armed mobs of fanatical pro-Russia groups roaming the streets uninhibited, a vote took place in which 97% of votes cast were to join Russia. 97%, despite the fact that at least 15% of the population would essentially be like Jews voting to have their homes fall under the control of the Nazis. The Russians claim this is somehow a legitimate vote and that the people of Crimea have the right to simply vote themselves part of any country they choose (so long as that country is Russia).

    Why are some Crimerians fighting and not others? Different ethnic groups being for and against the merger?

    There's very little fighting going on. Much of the violence you're seeing in Crimea is from pro-Russian fanatics who've formed armed mobs supported by the Russian military. They've killed or wounded a small number of Ukrainian soldiers stationed at Ukrainian bases in Crimea and they're generally running amok because nobody's stopping them. The Ukrainian troops in Crimea aren't shooting because if they did, the Russians would just murder them (bombing from the air, rockets from helicopters, shelling from artillery; the Russians have a lot of options against small numbers in tight quarters armed only with small arms). As it turns out, about half the Ukrainian military on the ground in Crimea are joining Russian forces, likely because they don't want to be on the losing end of a potential slaughter and/or due to personal or familial Russian self-identification issues.

  • Re: I dont get it (Score:4, Informative)

    by Darinbob (1142669) on Monday March 24, 2014 @06:13PM (#46568843)

    The referendum was bogus by any rational measure. No time was set up for voters to become aware of the issues or debate them, it was obviously rushed. There was plenty of heavy handed intimidation by mobs in the streets, Tatar houses were marked with Stalinist era crosses, and so forth. No opposition would want to speak out in that environment. Journalists were intimidated. The government itself was essentially gone; the Crimean government buildings had been taken over forcibly and flags replaced before any voting. Ukrainian forces (the legal military protectors of that region of land) were blockaded in their bases. The pro-Russian people essentially set up a de-facto "we're already Russian" system in a couple of days.

  • by Xest (935314) on Tuesday March 25, 2014 @05:06AM (#46572085)

    "Why does everyone ignore the fact that the population there WANT to join Russia?"

    Because they almost certainly don't? Objective polling before the election put only 41% of Crimeans in favour of becoming part of Russia. Russia invaded, installed a puppet Crimean government (kicking the democratically elected one out) took over the airwaves, spread propaganda everywhere, refused to allow impartial international observers in and then called an election which they "won" with 97% support - the jump from 41% to 97% isn't within any sane margin of error.

    The real question is if a majority of Crimeans wanted to be part of Russia then why did Russia have to go to such lengths? If the Crimean people supported joining Russian then their democratically elected government could've called a referendum, international observers could've been allowed in to verify it's validity and so on and so forth. The fact none of that happened is evidence enough that the Russians had zero confidence that the people there wanted to join them fair and square. If that was the case then hell I'd even support what happened, as it wasn't I can do nothing other than refer to it as an illegal annexation against the verifiable will of the populace.

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