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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, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 24, 2014 @01:42PM (#46566109)
    Although fighting for something on principle isn't always a bad thing, doing so in a hopeless situation is foolish.
  • Re:I dont get it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bellers (254327) on Monday March 24, 2014 @01:42PM (#46566117) Homepage

    Because it would have been A> futile, and B> converted this into a full-scale shooting war, which no one, but particularly Ukranians, want to see in their country. Ukraine cannot, as a practical matter, do anything about Russia.

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

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 24, 2014 @01:44PM (#46566129)
    Did you mean that sarcastically? The majority of people in Crimea were loyal to Russia before any of this unrest began a few months ago. The last elected Ukranian president was a Russian loyalist. He was a deposed by a moltov-throwing mob with west-leaning sympathies, so we support them. But that doesn't change the feelings of the majority there.
  • by RichMan (8097) on Monday March 24, 2014 @01:45PM (#46566141)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G... [wikipedia.org]
    At the time Germay was "reoccupying land dominated by Germans". The League of Nations stood by and actually there were negotiated terms, the Munich Accord which spelled out what would happen.

    However, Germany was emboldened by the success of expansion. And the occupation was far from the end of the aggression.

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

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 24, 2014 @01:45PM (#46566143)

    I myself have been to combat more than once.

    I'm not sure how much I would like to fight a Russian MRR on the offense.

    These guys use recoilles rifles (modern bazookas) to rescue children. They killed 1 out of every 13 Afghans in the Soviet-Afghan war (no shit). Look how Chechnya looked after the battles.

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

    by dlt074 (548126) on Monday March 24, 2014 @01:47PM (#46566173)

    to finer tune your point, the Ukranians stand alone and will lose even more if/when this escalates.

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

    by BitZtream (692029) on Monday March 24, 2014 @01:48PM (#46566181)

    Because they'd get walked over. They are nothing compared to the red army.

    Some of the commanders on bases were publicly BEGGING the Ukrainian leadership to give them the order to leave, because until they got that order, they were going to stand their ground ... and they knew what the result would be. They were more than willing to die for their country if that was what they were supposed to do, but not for a cause they weren't going to win.

  • Re:I dont get it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fustakrakich (1673220) on Monday March 24, 2014 @01:48PM (#46566183) Journal

    Maybe they are following orders of the elected government, not the coup leaders.

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

    by Kenja (541830) on Monday March 24, 2014 @01:48PM (#46566197)
    It's the same reason you give your wallet to the mugger with the gun and the crazy eyes.
  • Re:I dont get it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FuegoFuerte (247200) on Monday March 24, 2014 @01:50PM (#46566217)

    Well, according to the OP, about 50% joined the Russian side, so even without the outside forces you'd have most people dead, assuming equal training and weaponry (which if they're all from the same base, is pretty likely). Also, most of these guys would have served together for years, so it's likely they didn't relish the idea of killing (and being killed by) their comrades when the alternative was "pack up your shit and go home to be with your families."

    Now add in the outside Russian forces, and anyone who fought back would have been quickly destroyed. Ukrainians aren't stupid, but they can be pretty pragmatic. The ones from Crimea were likely Russian heritage or at least had Russian sympathies, and the ones who were just stationed there likely didn't give much of a rat's arse about losing the peninsula after most of the people there voted to leave Ukraine. So rather than dying, they went home.

    There's a lot to be said for living to fight another day, and it seems like these people "get it" in that regard. Why die for a lost cause that you may not really believe in? Why defend a peninsula that doesn't really seem to want to be defended? Russia takes what it wants, the "allies" of Ukraine have made it clear they have no intention of doing more than a bit of posturing in response, why stay and fight?

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

    by Nidi62 (1525137) on Monday March 24, 2014 @01:50PM (#46566221)

    I don't get why the obviously loyal Ukrainian military didn't defend their bases with firepower against the invading Russians? Were they just too scared?

    Because they don't want to give Russia a casus belli for a war with Ukraine. Without being directly fired upon, if Ukrainina soldiers shoot at the Russians the Russians can rightfully claim Ukraine as the agressor and invade. Also the Ukrainian soldeirs have been given express orders not to shoot except in cases of self defense. If a Ukrainian soldier shoots a Russian "peacekeeper" (where's a sarcasm tag when you need one?) Russia won't stop until they have tanks parked on the streets of Kiev.

    One other thing: look at all the pictures that have been taken over the past few weeks regarding the standoff between the Russians and Ukrainians. The Russians have been posturing with armored vehicles and the Ukrainians have not been seen deploying any heavy weapons in any type of defensive fortifications. This would indicate that these troops are armed with nothing more than light weapons, with heavier weapons probably stored in depots elsewhere, if at all. No sane soldier is going to try to stand against amored vehicles with nothing heavier than a light machine gun. It's not fear. It's realism and following orders.

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

    by Valdrax (32670) on Monday March 24, 2014 @01:50PM (#46566223)

    I don't get why the obviously loyal Ukrainian military didn't defend their bases with firepower against the invading Russians?

    They didn't have the firepower necessary to hold off even an immediate attack, much win the conflict they would have started when things escalated. All they could accomplish would be to get themselves and possibly others killed. Worse, the example of Georgia has shown that the Russians will use any violent resistance as an excuse to just seize even more territory.

    Some of the bases personnel essentially chose to engage in nonviolent protest, marching with flag and no guns (despite getting warning shots from the Russians). It's been a really weird conflict so far, from this distance. [dailymail.co.uk]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 24, 2014 @01:50PM (#46566231)

    OK fine, one casualty. Iraq: at least ONE HUNDRED THOUSANDS.

    Again, they have proven they are far more professional.

  • by RichMan (8097) on Monday March 24, 2014 @02:06PM (#46566453)

    Unfortunately we are in the very dangerous point of really needing lots of people to die to stop Putin. I am sure he knows this and knows that until he encounters a country
    a) willing to commit to the loss of lives
    and
    b) expecting to be able to "win" should a) occur
    Putin is going to be able to do whatever he wants.

    After the interventions in Iraq and Afghanistian it is clear that the west is highly resistant to (a) and is uncertain if (b) is even possible. With those massive levels of innertia Putin is going to be able to march all over the Ukraine and likely several other "Soviet" regions as well.

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday March 24, 2014 @02:10PM (#46566489) Journal

    The actual beginning of the end for the League of Nations as a meaningful quantity was when it stood by and let Italy seize Abyssinia without question. Once it became clear to Hitler that there were no real repercussions to forced annexations, he felt quite free to begin plotting his own.

  • Re: I dont get it (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 24, 2014 @02:14PM (#46566541)

    I dont like racist reasoning. Thats like saying most of America should belong to Africa/South&Central America. With your reasoning you can basically start WWIII if you look around the worlds demographics.

  • Re:OMG! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by iggymanz (596061) on Monday March 24, 2014 @02:17PM (#46566577)

    please, the Russian's and other european countries were doing such things long before the USA existed, just substitute older methods of communication for your "network infrastructure" phrase

  • by TubeSteak (669689) on Monday March 24, 2014 @02:20PM (#46566615) Journal

    Alas it looks like Russia doesn't want it to be over and wants to rekindle its 'former glory'.

    This has nothing to do with glory and everything to do with geopolitics/spheres of influence.

    Russia might be wrapping their activity in patriotism and nationalism, but that's just an easy way to sell militarism to the Russian people.

    The real issue is that Europe has been slowly encroaching on Russia's borders and Putin isn't about to allow a buffer state with a warm water port used by the Russian Navy to align itself with Europe.

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

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 24, 2014 @02:25PM (#46566665)

    Yes I guess the Ukranians should have added "no backsies" to the 1994 Belgium memorandum. But I guess that piece of international law was "more like guidlines".

    I guess we should watch out for Mexico reclaiming parts of Texas real soon now because "it is Mexican". After all they over 60% are Mexican and they speak "Mexican" and a scant 160 years ago they did rule the place.

    Hell why we are at the Russians should take back Alaska too. After all what are borders when Russians get bored of the current borders. Never mind that the reason that the Crimea is mostly russian is that only 25% of the Tatars repatriated after Stalin kicked them out. And also that Russian soldiers were given free apartments and cars when they "decided" to retire to Yalta.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday March 24, 2014 @02:30PM (#46566723) Journal

    The comparison of Crimea with Iraq is utterly moronic. Iraq didn't have a 65% American population, with a good half of the remaining 35% also expressing support for US.

  • Re:I dont get it (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 24, 2014 @02:35PM (#46566769)

    > I guess we should watch out for Mexico reclaiming parts of Texas real soon now because "it is Mexican". After all they over 60% are Mexican and they speak "Mexican" and a scant 160 years ago they did rule the place.

    You should wait until Russia stages a coup in Mexico and installs some pathetic local chumps as the new rulers. Oh, and when you do invade, try not to kill anyone. It's possible, even though you're not used to it.

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

    by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Monday March 24, 2014 @02:41PM (#46566835) Journal

    The last elected Ukranian president was a Russian loyalist.

    Perhaps he should have been loyal to Ukraine.

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

    by etash (1907284) on Monday March 24, 2014 @02:49PM (#46566915)
    I guess you are throwing the right of self determination out of the window dude. What sort of international law are you talking about? It's funny because in Kosovo, there was no referendum at all, it became independent just by bombing. The alaska thing is straw man, it was sold to the US.
  • by Calavar (1587721) on Monday March 24, 2014 @02:49PM (#46566921)

    The real issue is that Europe has been slowly encroaching on Russia's borders

    Utter nonsense. This is the post-Soviet area. Ukraine is no longer a buffer state or the "Russian border." It is a sovereign nation and can mold its foreign policy as it sees fit, whether or not those interests align with Russia.

    with a warm water port used by the Russian Navy to align itself with Europe.

    Russia has been moving more and more of it's Black Sea naval operations to Novorossiysk, so Sevastopol is not nearly as important to Russia as it was a decade ago. No Russia's Crimean intervention is about money. The Russian oil oligarchs want the natural gas deposits in Crimean waters (there is between 4 trillion and 13 trillion cubic meters to be had), and unlike Ukrainians, they have money to build the infrastructure needed to harvest those deposits. They afraid that Ukrainian integration into the European Union with open a flood of British, French, German, and Italian investment in Ukranian natural gas, eventually allowing the nations of the EU to wean themselves off Russian oil. That's bad for business.

  • by Nidi62 (1525137) on Monday March 24, 2014 @03:02PM (#46567063)
    According to CNN, it looks like the US and the other members of the G8 voted to kick Russia out. Russia's response to that should be interesting.
  • Re:OMG! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cold fjord (826450) on Monday March 24, 2014 @03:04PM (#46567081)

    There isn't any question that our views differ, and it isn't a "slight" difference. The US invaded Afghanistan in a legitimate act of self defense after a series of attacks on diplomatic posts and military units culminating in the 9/11 attacks. As to Iraq, maybe you could explain to me why you think ordinary Iraqis would want to continue being subjected to Saddam's government? I believe there are hundreds of mass graves that have been found since the invasion, and that is before you get to the question of mass killings with chemical weapons. Iraq was a brutal dictatorship before the invasion, and now it is a functioning even if troubled parliamentary democracy, and US combat forces left long ago. In neither case was their a coup that the US invaded after. And unlike Crimea, Iraq committed hundreds of acts of war against the US before it acted.

    So yes, our views are different. My views at least have an identifiable association with history as opposed to being some sort of self-loathing anti-American political fringe rubbish.

  • Re:Bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 24, 2014 @03:23PM (#46567353)

    Finland dished out an awesomely disproportionate asskicking, but in the end, who won? Do you think Stalin missed all the guys Russia lost? Think Finland's equally failed to mourn their fallen?

    Regardless of whatever Ukraine could do, they're thinking about what they should do, and a lot of their people getting killed, doesn't rank high on the list. Even if you can kill a bunch of Russians, sometimes your death isn't worth it.

    BTW, to anyone who thinks the Crimean referendum was a sham election, you need to talk to an American Republican to get the right perspective. Keeping dissenters away from the polls wasn't a rights violation; it was all about preventing election fraud. ;-)

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