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I've been holding off on posting because the twittersphere is full of rumors right now. Then Journalists began reporting two explosions in Simferopol. Now, Journos are saying that those explosions were not explosions. They were bangs. Others say they were either fireworks or sound grenades. There are no sirens, there is no fire or smoke.

There were then rumors are that there's a firefight at a Ukranian base in Simferopol, and that power has been cut to the base. I DO NOT believe those rumors, because we'd have something more if it were true. I am ONLY posting that rumor because it is so prevalent on twitter and because I want people to know that it seems to have been debunked.

Here's what we DO know: There are tense standoffs accross the region between Ukrainian and Russian troops.

In one situation, a Ukrainian Special Forces/Coast Guard base (it is being reported as both by various news agencies) was surrounded by Russian troops. The Ukrainians have Light Armor, Weaponized APCs similar to American Bradley Fighting Vehicles. The Russians didn't appear to have anti-armor weapons, and only had unarmored troop trucks, and a handful of the Russian equivalent of a Humvee. There are confirmed media reports of Russian jets and Helos operating in the area.

Video of that is here:

This may be the base where there were rumors of explosions.

According to twitter, CNN reported that power was cut to a military base and a firefight was ongoing. No other journos reported this. Because it's CNN, I didn't trust it, and that instinct turned out to be correct.

Videos have also been popping up of Russian helicopters entering Ukraine. I don't have the capability to confirm whether this footage is from the current conflict, I could be punked and this could be footage from Georgia, but I am getting current reports of Helicopters entering Crimea, including one Video posted in Ukrainian, entitled "Russian Choppers on the way."

UPDATE: THE CURRENT STATUS OF THIS VIDEO IS DEBUNKED. It is from a 2013 Russian Dashcam.

The first video shows four Russian gunships, followed by 24 transport helicopters in formation.

We know Russian Choppers are active in Crimea. We do not know if this footage which is being widely circulated is accurate.

The second video may be from Georgia, in fact I seem to remember having seen it before. The videos have been appearing together, which makes me think that they might not be accurate.

Some rumors that those helicopters are straying into Ukraine as a whole, but I seriously doubt that at this point. Al Jazeera and BBC have both confirmed Jets on the Crimean border, but there are NO verified reports of Russian soldiers operating outside of Crimea at this time.

I'm going to hold off on posting a lot of information here. I've had a LOT of trouble verifying information coming out of Crimea so far today, and my infostreams are a mess.

I think my major job today may be debunking information, but the situation is extremely tense at the moment, and it's difficult to get a handle on what's going on.

While I have trusted sources from Kyiv, they're a long way away from Crimea, and the situation has developed so quickly there that I haven't yet identified ANY trustworthy social media sources in Crimea.

At this point I am considering ALL information not confirmed by the swarm of Journos on the ground unconfirmed. There's a lot of alarmist information out there. I'm going to attempt to dispell as much of it as I can, but this is a very messy situation which is getting messier by the minute.

Updates are incoming.

There will be three information trustworthiness ratings for this liveblog:

RUMOR. I'm hearing this from somewhat trustworthy sources.
CONFIRMED. The rumor has been confirmed by journalists on the ground.
DEBUNKED. The rumor has been dispelled by Journos on the ground, or by other trustworthy sources.

There's a lot more information out there, I'm going to try to confirm some of it, and in the lulls, I'm going to write about what I've read today on the complicated situation in Crimea.

2:48 PM PT: It seems the CNN-started rumor about "explosions" managed to punk the BCC, France 24, and Al Jazeera.

2:53 PM PT: Reports of Russian Military movement outside of Crimea may be accurate. Sources I trust from Kyiv are tweeting this video, which they claim is of Russian Armor being transported under police escort in Eastern Ukraine:

UPDATE: THIS VIDEO HAS BEEN DEBUNKED.

Russian Helos in Ukraine proper could be providing support for the transport of  Armor into Crimea.

Status: Rumor.

3:29 PM PT: Okay, I seriously doubt that there's action in Belbek.

There's at least one photo from a soldier with a cameraphone. So we know that folks have eyes on the ground and are capable of getting images out.

If Belbek were really involved in a firefight right now, they'd be getting more images out.

Here's the image:


 

3:36 PM PT: The Russians don't seem to want this to escalate into an armed conflict, and the Ukrainian soldiers trapped in their bases are NOT standing down, as is being claimed.

The Guardian has a report from INSIDE one of the Ukrainian bases under siege.

An elite battalion of Ukrainian Marines is surrounded by Russian forces who are demanding that they disarm themselves and surrender. This is the response:

Asked what would happen if, next time, the Russians came with orders rather than requests, the men claimed to have no doubt. "I am Russian myself, I was born there," he said. "But we are professional soldiers and we have given an oath of duty. We will not give up this place without a fight."
Source

4:07 PM PT: I have video from a third Ukrainian military base that is refusing to stand down: http://www.youtube.com/...

According to a report I posted above from the Guardian, the bases were calling each other to verify orders.

I don't believe the Russian reports that most military units are siding with Russia. It's pretty clear that numerous bases are refusing to stand down.

I also do not believe the reports from twitter that conflict has broken out. The Russians do not seem to be interested in escalating this fight, and have a siege mentality right now.

I also have an update. The reports of Russian military movement in Ukraine but outside of Crimea are now debunked, and I've downgraded the source tweeting that information.

There was confusion about whether the tank column in question was in Mikolaiv or Маріуполь. Маріуполь is Mariupol, and it's on major road between the Russian Border and the Crimean peninsula. Mikolaiv is in Western Ukraine. There's no reason the Russians would have any military units anywhere near there. The video is disinformation.

I can confirm that the tank column in question was A) In Mikolaiv, western Ukraine, and B) almost definitely Ukrainian.

So Ukrainian armor is headed to the Crimean Border.

4:39 PM PT: Final update for the evening.

Here's what I can confirm.

The Russian forces are doing everything they can to Claim Crimea, WITHOUT shooting anyone.

This is intentional. If this turns into an Armed conflict, it would be a disaster for Everyone. I've read some Analysis on Putin, and I think his plan is to just take Crimea without firing a shot.

But if shots are fired, there's a good chance that we, NATO, and the EU get dragged into this.

A very good chance.

So it's in everyone's interest to keep this peaceful. And I'm sure from the reports I'm getting from military bases with standoffs that it's going to stay peaceful. The Ukrainians are not going to fire on superior forces. Even when the ground forces outnumber the folks surrounding them, they're aware of Russian air support. Any Ukrainian move will get them attacked by gunships they can't shoot down.

Similarly, the Russians don't particularly want to fight Ukrainian soldiers, a good percentage of whom are Ethnically Russian.

Though those Ethnically Russian Ukrainian Soldiers are all, universally saying, that they are professional soldiers who will keep their oaths to defend Ukraine.

That they will not give up their positions without a fight.

The situation is tense, but no one seems like they want to make the first move. Some of the commanders have organized truces. In some of the photos I've seen, both sides have removed ammunition clips from their rifles, probably so that someone young and stupid doesn't drag two nations into a war. That's probably an agreement made by the military commanders on both sides.

So all that stands between the world and a major war that might drag NATO and the EU into a military standoff with Russia is the discipline of the soldiers on the ground, and the intelligence of their commanders.

Rumors continue to fly of this base and that base being taken. The disinformation campaign is strong here, and is coming from both sides.

This has been the most difficult and most frustrating live blog I've ever done. Finding and verifying information is nearly impossible.

Though I have read a lot of analysis, and will be posting an overview on the situation tomorrow.

Hopefully, everyone keeps their cool until then.

4:51 PM PT: Another update. The Chopper Videos are Debunked. They're from a 2013 Russian dashcam.

H/t to Claudius Bombarnac for finding this.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (21+ / 0-)

    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

    by OllieGarkey on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 02:47:14 PM PST

  •  remember that some of the participants wrote (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OllieGarkey, judyms9, Lawrence

    the playbook on disinformation campaigns

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 02:52:58 PM PST

  •  I seriously doubt that there is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OllieGarkey

    going to be any very reliable information. You can latch onto the tweet of your choice.

    •  Missed this. (5+ / 0-)

      No, the way I'm verifying information is by trusting Journos who are on the ground. There are a lot of people who rolled into Crimea who'd been reporting from Kiev.

      There are also some Indy Journos I've been trusting in Kiev.

      That's why I haven't posted an update labeled "Confirmed" yet.

      An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

      by OllieGarkey on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:49:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  the truth is out there (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OllieGarkey
    SIMFEROPOL, March 2 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine’s autonomous region of Crimea confirmed Sunday that the majority of Ukrainian military units stationed on the Crimean peninsula have expressed their support of legitimately elected Pro-Russian authorities.
    Earlier reports by Russian media about peaceful takeover of the military units by forces loyal to the Crimean government were denied by the Ukrainian defense ministry.
    However, Crimean authorities said that most of the Ukrainian units sided on Sunday with pro-Russian forces “without a single shot fired,” and warned the commanders of a few units that remain loyal to Kiev that they would face criminal action if refused to surrender.
    “I would like to warn commanders who force their subordinates to commit illegal actions that they will be punished according to existing laws,” Crimea’s Prime Minister Sergei Aksenov said in a statement.
    The Crimean government said earlier that some 10 warships from the Ukrainian navy left their naval base in Sevastopol apparently on orders from Kiev.
    Crimea is now at the center of the ongoing crisis in the country as pro-Russia groups move to distance themselves from a reformed national parliament that ousted President Viktor Yanukovych a week ago.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 02:59:52 PM PST

  •  I'd take that video about that convoy being (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OllieGarkey

    Russian armor with a grain of salt.

    Since there is a police escort, the guys on the APC's do not look like Russian soldiers, and Ukraine has ordered a general mobilization of its military, including reserves, I'd say it is more likely that that is actually Ukrainian armor being mobilized.

    If Russia marches into parts of Ukraine other than Crimea, he is running a very, very high risk of full scale war.  Ukraine is not Georgia - Putin knows this, and if Russian armor does enter other parts of Ukraine I doubt it will be on the backs of trucks.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:07:30 PM PST

    •  Except that the russians have a lot of support (0+ / 0-)

      outside of Crimea, in Eastern Ukraine.

      Yeah, that's still a rumor, but it comes from sources that have been basically trustworthy.

      An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

      by OllieGarkey on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:10:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It turns out you were right. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lawrence, wilderness voice

      Thanks.

      Since you asked that question, I've been following that Rumor very closely. It's now debunked. Update is posted.

      An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

      by OllieGarkey on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:08:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good deal. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OllieGarkey, itzadryheat, JWK

        One slight niggle I have is describing those APCs as "heavy armor".  They're not - heavy armor would be self-propelled artillery or main battle tanks.  If it were heavy armor, it could easily indicate a planned Ukrainian counter-offensive into Crimea, while APCs likely mean that they are positioning themselves to prevent Russian troops from marching into southern Ukraine from Crimea.

        "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

        by Lawrence on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:19:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks again. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lawrence

          I've changed the info to "Armor."

          Those are indeed APCs. I thought they were some kind of tank. I'm learning a lot about Russian military equipment today.

          An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

          by OllieGarkey on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:44:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yep, I think they are bmp-1 APCs. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JWK

            Could be bmp-2's, too.  Picture is really fuzzy, so I can't tell.

            BTW, if they really were in Mariupol, they are probably moving towards the eastern border with Russia and not Crimea.

            "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

            by Lawrence on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:27:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's true. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Lawrence

              But they WEREN'T in Mariupol. The people who posted the vid said they were in Mikolaiv.

              Some of the people linking to it said they were bound for Crimea in Mariupol, and eastern Ukrainian police were supporting the Russians.

              It's part of larger anti-police rhetoric from that particular group. Also, I was using google translate, so when I asked them questions and challenged them, they got REALLY incoherently angry. To the point where I couldn't google what they were saying. They were speechifying about the police.

              The other group rationally explained where the vids were taken, and that they were worried it was Russians, but had no proof of that fact.

              An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

              by OllieGarkey on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:47:54 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  BMP armored personnel carriers. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JWK, OllieGarkey

          No tanks were in that video. The basic BMP is armed with a 73mm smooth bore gun, anti-tank missiles, and a medium machine gun.

          Not something to challenge a tank with, but as you said, good for skirmishing/holding actions.

          And yeah, I know tarantulas don't really act like that at all, so no snarking, this is the internet damnit!

          by itzadryheat on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:31:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  it always comes back to the Sudetenland (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OllieGarkey, cfm
    "My feeling is that if this remains just Crimea, the Ukrainians will let it go for now," says Dmitry Gorenburg, Russia analyst at the US government-funded Center for Naval Analyses, part of the larger not-for-profit CNA Corporation.

    "But if Russia looks like it's going to take the rest of eastern Ukraine, they will fight even if it means they know they will lose."

    Some analysts explicitly compare events in Crimea with Nazi Germany's 1938 annexation of Czechoslovakia's German-speaking Sudetenland, followed months later by the rest of the country and the next year by Poland, sparking the Second World War.

    The important thing now, they argue, is to make sure Russia understands which lines - such as those around NATO Baltic members - really cannot be crossed.

    In Poland, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said the Ukrainian conflict could accelerate Warsaw's efforts to modernize the army and gain energy independence.

    But most capitals, including Washington, have little economic choice but to cut defense spending.

    "The Russian military still doesn't really compare to ours," said former U.S. Navy officer Christopher Harmer, now senior analyst at the Institute for the Study of War in Washington DC. "But they know where they want to use it and unlike us, they have the will to do so." (Reuters)

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:20:25 PM PST

    •  also, the historical frame moves quicker now (0+ / 0-)
      Soviet troops invaded Czechoslovakia in 1968 after the "Prague Spring" saw a more moderate government come to power seen as much more open to the West.

      Despite Czech calls for support, Washington and its allies offered little more than criticism, reluctant to risk nuclear war following the Cuban Missile crisis six years earlier.

      The current stand-off is more dangerous than that over the 2008 Georgia war, where the West held back in part because the Georgian government was blamed for escalating the war through an attempt to seize the disputed region of South Ossetia.

      In sending troops to Ukraine, in contrast, Moscow is seen to have unilaterally invaded a sovereign state - although there have long been Russian forces in Crimea, which leases the base for its Black Sea Fleet in Sebastopol from Ukraine.

      Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

      by annieli on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:23:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Someone needs to tell (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OllieGarkey, annieli, buffie, jan4insight

    Al Jazeera that although CNN plays one on TV, they are not a reliable source. And thanks for this OllieGarkey.

  •  Russia is going to keep Crimea (3+ / 0-)

    Whether they annex it into Russia or divide Ukraine up into 2 countries (pro-Russia/Pro-EU)  there is no real doubt at this point.  

    The US supported Kosovo separating from Serbia under similar circumstances (the majority of people in Crimea are Russian and/or Pro-Russian) so the US has no business getting all sanctimonious about Crimea.

    The only question now is how far will Russia go into Ukraine?  The Kremlin's view is that Kiev's new government is self-appointed by a "coup" that illegally deposed an elected president (yes, a crook and liar, however legally elected).  They do have a point - it would be in Ukraine's best interest for their "leaders" to call for a new election ASAP - so they can say they have a legitimate government.  They can even put the crook on the ballot to appease the Russians.  Perhaps Kerry (who has been totally useless so far) could suggest it.

    •  Ukraine already moved elections to May, how much (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OllieGarkey, Lawrence

      earlier do you think they should go for? Next week? And everyone would think that an election with an occupying force in 1/3 of the country is perfectly fair and un-influenced by those "peaceful invaders."

      As for comparing Serbia to this, it is hardly a comparison. There was an active civil war, complete with genocide. In the Ukraine the elected kleptocracy fled after killing a couple of hundred of its citizens. Then the Russian kleptocrats decided to take back Crimea. Yes, its exactly the same thing...

      •  There was no active civil war (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Anna M

        when the west recognized Kosovo.  It was a decade after hostilities had ended.

        "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

        by Paleo on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:49:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Where do you get the "occupying force in 1/3 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wilderness voice, Anna M

        of the country" from?

        So far, all reports tell that the Russian troops are located in the Crimea adjacent to their naval base. BTW, the Russians also use two airports for their military planes as as part of the naval base lease.

         

      •  If you held a vote in the Crimea (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wilderness voice, Anna M

        which as I understand is considered a semi-autonomous region, likely a majority there would vote to rejoin Russia.

        That makes it very difficult for outside forces to somehow claim it's illegitimate for Russia to try to annex it.

        •  Yes, but that Majority is descended from people wh (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lawrence, Ignacio Magaloni

          o comitted Genocide against the indigenous Crimean Tartars, who oppose the annexation of their homeland by Russia.

          This is a complicated issue, and I'll have more on it tomorrow.

          An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

          by OllieGarkey on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:45:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I can't believe I'm defending Russia in this (3+ / 0-)

        but looking through their eyes -  the Ukrainian government is now illegitimate - it is composed of an unelected, self-appointed mob.  The democratically elected Ukrainian President Yanukovych and the local government of Crimea have invited the Russians in to Ukraine, to restore order.   They are therefor not "invaders".

        I'm not saying I agree with their POV or what they are doing, but they do have international law on their side, unless you believe that protest groups should be allowed to take over a government by force.

        And the Kosovo situation was VERY similar to the Crimea.

        •  It's always good to try to see the world from (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Anna M, Lonely Texan

          the perspective of someone else.

          I'll have my full thoughts on the situation tomorrow.

          An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

          by OllieGarkey on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:46:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Actually Yanukovich says he's not invited invasion (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OllieGarkey, Lawrence

          at all. If he said he had asked Russia to invade, he'd never have a chance of returning to Ukraine again. He would be even more hated than he is already. The Russians invaded Crimea for their own purposes. They will supposedly hold a referendum on independence soon, which may or may not be legitimate, given the current military occupation and intimidation of the opposition, but they cannot just say that occupation is ok because 58% of the people are Russian. Not even all Russians support annexation.

          Also, don't be so quick to say that election makes Yanukovich legitimate and everyone else illegitimate. When Gaddafi was overthrown, was he legitimate and everyone else illegitimate? Yanukovich killed and wounded hundreds of people in the streets. He had signed orders that have now been made public for additional mass attacks on civilians. His own security forces abandoned him because of what he was doing. At what point does a brutal tyrant's criminal behavior become too much and the people have no choice but to force him out or die? He can't forever keep hiding behind the idea that his election makes anything he does legitimate, including mass murder, and anyone who tries to stop him is automatically illegitimate.

          Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

          by tekno2600 on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:31:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Kosovo (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Anna M, Andrew Lazarus, buffie

      Yes the west had no problem breaking up a country when it suited them.

      Crimea may end up becoming an autonomous region affiliated with Russia.

      "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

      by Paleo on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:37:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Who was advising Ukrainian Govt.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Anna M, Claudius Bombarnac

      ...when it...

      (i) Outlawed "Russian" as an official language, and

      (ii) Announced that Russia would immediately have to leave its warm-water port in Crimea?

      Imagine if Cuba announced that the US had to immediately leave Guantanamo?

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

      by PatriciaVa on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:53:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've heard both of those things, but I don't think (3+ / 0-)

        that either of them are true. The ONLY source I have on the first one is Russia Today: http://rt.com/...

        They didn't outlaw Russian. They just removed it and other languages as official languages.

        A dumb move, but certainly not "outlawing" the Russian language.

        Do you have a non Russian source for this? I'd like to read something from a neutral country on either of these issues.

        An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

        by OllieGarkey on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:13:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is what I found (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OllieGarkey, Ignacio Magaloni

          Perhaps no vote was taken.  Just bluster and bravado.

          http://www.nbcnews.com/...

          First published February 28th 2014, 9:05 am

          Boot Russia from Ukraine Naval Base, Top Lawmaker Says

          The deputy leader of Ukraine's parliament called for the deal allowing Russia to keep its Black Sea fleet in its southern region of Crimea to be scrapped on Friday.

          Oleg Lyashko's comments came after Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov accused Russia of staging a "military invasion and occupation" when gunmen seized control of two airports in the region.

          Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

          by PatriciaVa on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:27:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  That language law was vetoed by Ukraine's (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OllieGarkey, shenderson

          acting president, I believe.

          "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

          by Lawrence on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:30:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The veto of the language law was vetoed (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OllieGarkey

            Unfortunately, the original veto of the language law set the tone for the Russian speaking people in the east and south.

            The nationalist right wing parties now sharing power want to make Ukrainian the only legal language of the country. They will try to veto the language law again once they have more power.

            Even an idiot would have realized that vetoing the language law at this time would inflame passions. But, that is exactly what appears to have been the game plan in the last 3 months. Destabilization is the name of the game.

  •  Here's some fake video of Russian helicopters (5+ / 0-)

    Occurred On: Mar-2-2014
    http://www.liveleak.com/...

    Compare to this one:

    Added: Aug-19-2013
    http://www.liveleak.com/...

  •  I've mostly been following the BBC (4+ / 0-)

    which seems to be doing a reasonably good job both of having its own reporters and photographers on the ground, and of sorting through and assessing information they receive instead of just printing each breathless press release or tweet without any critical eyes.

    Thanks for adding to that critical eye.

  •  Ukrainian heavy armor only has 40 of these of a (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OllieGarkey

    total force of 2000

    According to Constantin Isyak (chief engineer of Malyshev Factory), the T-64BM "Bulat" is armoured to the level of modern tanks. They have 'Knife' [Нiж] reactive armour, and the 'Warta' [Варта] active defence system. The T-64BM "Bulat" weighs 45 tonnes (44 long tons), and with its 850 hp (630 kW) 5TDFM multi-fuel diesel engine can do 70 km/h (43 mph), and has a range of 385 km (239 mi). It retains the 125 mm smoothbore gun with an autoloader for 28 rounds, some of which can be guided missiles. It has a 12.7 mm AA machinegun, and a 7.62 mm coaxial machinegun
    Rocket and artillery troops are equipped with: missile complexes of operational-tactical and tactical missiles; Multiple rocket launcher rocket systems, such as the Smerch, Uragan, Grad; also, Giatsint, Pion, Akatsiya, Gvozdika howitzers; and, Konkurs, T-12 antitank gun anti-tank weapons.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:26:51 PM PST

  •  Video - Ukranian military in Crimea take oath. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OllieGarkey
    Five top military, security commanders take oath to Crimea

    A number of high ranking Ukrainian military and security officials in Crimea have sworn their allegiance to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, as Simferopol pushes for its autonomy from the self-imposed government in Kiev.

    The head of the Security Service of Crimea Petyor Zima, Chief of Department of Internal Affairs in the Crimea Sergey Abisov, the head of Service for Emergency Situations Sergei Shakhov and acting Chief of the Border Guards of Crimea Victor Melnichenko all took an oath of allegiance to the people of Crimea.

    Earlier rear admiral Denis Berezovsky swore allegiance to the people of Crimea taking control over Crimea's newly formed Navy.
    ...
    Feeling a threat from the new central government of questionable legitimacy, a number of regions stood up against it. Thousands of people across eastern and southern Ukraine are flooding the streets of major cities, urging local authorities to disobey Kiev’s orders. The local population is calling the government in Kiev illegitimate and demanding that their local governments refuse to take orders from it.

    •  Ah, Russia Today: CNN except they use the term (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OllieGarkey

      hooliganism a lot more

      Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

      by annieli on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:46:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The former head of the Ukrainian Navy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ignacio Magaloni, OllieGarkey

      has been confirmed going over to the Russians. Ukraine has responded by opening a treason investigation.

      Ukraine Navy Chief Surrenders to Russians, Charged With Treason

      Ukraine launched a treason case on Sunday against the head of the navy, who surrendered his headquarters on Sunday in the Crimean port of Sevastopol — on only his second day on the job.

      Denis Berezovsky was earlier shown on Russian television swearing allegiance to the pro-Russian regional leaders of Crimea. Russian forces have seized the Black Sea peninsula and told Ukrainian forces there to give up their weapons.

      "During the blockade by Russian forces of the central headquarters of the navy, he declined to offer resistance and laid down his weapons," said Viktoria Syumar, deputy secretary of Ukraine's Security Council.

      Ukraine as it happened: Putin says 'threat of ultranationalists' forced him to intervene
      Vladimir Putin has spoken to Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and said that the "threat of violence from ultranationalists" forced him to intervene. In a sign of Putin's reach, Ukraine's head of navy has defected - and been charged with treason.
      First Ukrainian protesters were called Nazis, then Jews, and now violent ultranationalists. The propaganda would be laughable if the situation were not so serious.

      There are zero (0) reports of Ukrainians attacking Russian civilians in Ukraine. There have been counter-demonstrations in Crimea.

      The G-7 countries look like they will all pull out of the scheduled G-8 summit in Sochi in June, leaving only Russia.

      There are fears that Russia will cut off oil and gas supplies to Ukraine, and possibly the EU if any further sanctions are imposed.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:22:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here is what I've heard: (0+ / 0-)

    Russian military troops have captured almost all buildings and weapons of the Ukrainian military base in Belbek, except for the administrative building. They used flash bang grenades during the attack.

    Source: pravda.com.ua

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:44:50 PM PST

    •  Not verified. Pravda is less trustworthy than fox. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ignacio Magaloni

      The Airmen at Belbek have cameraphones. They're tweeting pictures. Last I checked, they were still in control of the base.

      It seems the Ukranians are publishing false reports about russian violence in an attempt to pull NATO and the EU into the conflict.

      We'll know tomorrow whether these reports are accurate.

      We really should pray that they are not.

      An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

      by OllieGarkey on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:52:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Please spell Ukrainian correctly (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ignacio Magaloni, OllieGarkey
    There were then rumors are that there's a firefight at a Ukranian base in Simferopol, and that power has been cut to the base. I DO NOT believe those rumors, because we'd have something more if it were true. I am ONLY posting that rumor because it is so prevalent on twitter and because I want people to know that it seems to have been debunked.

    Here's what we DO know: There are tense standoffs accross the region between Ukranian and Russian troops.

    In one situation, a Ukranian Special Forces/Coast Guard base (it is being reported as both by various news agencies) was surrounded by Russian troops. The Ukranians have Light Armor, Weaponized APCs similar to American Bradley Fighting Vehicles. The Russians didn't appear to have anti-armor weapons, and only had unarmored troop trucks, and a handful of the Russian equivalent of a Humvee. There are confirmed media reports of Russian jets and Helos operating in the area.

    Once is a typo

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