Russian Troop Movements Reported Near Ukraine

It is interesting that novels like 'The Riddle of the Sands'; and those of Buchan, were written as popular fiction but are so well written that they compare favourably to much of today's 'serious' literature. I recently read 'Midwinter' by Buchan. It is a dramatic and romantic (in the old sense of the word) adventure; there are few cliffhangers or shocks - just an interesting story, with a well-drawn cast of characters; with the pleasure being in the story itself and in the evocation of a past time.
Childers' description of being on a small yacht is soooooo accurate; you can smell the stomach-turning kerosene from the stove and feel the lump on your head from hitting the deck beams.
 
The break-up of the Communist iteration of the Muscovite Empire in 1991 and the subsequent independence of Ukraine (and the other component parts of the USSR) has never really been accepted in Moscow. But Moscow signed the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances in 1994 under which:
Russia, the US and the UK confirmed their recognition of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine becoming parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and effectively abandoning their nuclear arsenal to Russia and that they would:​
  1. Respect Belarusian, Kazakh and Ukrainian independence and sovereignty in the existing borders.
  2. Refrain from the threat or the use of force against Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.
  3. Refrain from using economic pressure on Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine to influence their politics.
  4. Seek immediate Security Council action to provide assistance to Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine if they "should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used".
  5. Refrain from the use of nuclear arms against Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.
  6. Consult with one another if questions arise regarding those commitments.
Now the question is: Why would Moscow sign such an undertaking if it ultimately wanted to reabsorb Ukraine (and the other states) either partly or wholly? The answer is obvious. The fact that Ukraine possessed nuclear weapons could be used as the ultimate deterrent against renewed Muscovite claims on its territory. Moscow needed to remove that possibility. So Moscow did what it always does when it feels weak - lie. That is negotiate and concede in the short term to remove the perceived greater threat to its ambitions. Then once it felt strong enough it can always repudiate its promises on spurious excuses and revert to type. Which of course it has done.

And therein lies the problem; no use (or threat of use) of nuclear weapons, no problem for Moscow.

'... if they "should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used".


Some interesting analysis of the pros and cons of Ukraine's denuclearization - International relations theorist John Mearsheimer predicted a Ukraine without any nuclear deterrent was likely to be subjected to aggression by Russia, but this was very much a minority view at the time.[8]

A 2016 study argues that the denuclearization of Ukraine was not a "stupid mistake" and that it is unclear that Ukraine would be better off as a nuclear state.[9] The study argues that the push for Ukrainian independence was with a view to make it a nonnuclear state.[9] The United States would also not have made Ukraine an exception when it came to the denuclearization of other post-Soviet states such as Belarus and Kazakhstan.[9] The deterrent value of the nuclear weapons in Ukraine was also questionable, as Ukraine would have had to spend 12 to 18 months to establish full operational control over the nuclear arsenal left by the Russians.[9] The ICBMs also had a range of 5.000-10.000 km (initially targeting the United States), which meant that they could only have been re-targeted to hit Russia's far east.[9] The air-launched cruise missiles (ALCMs) left by the Russians had been disabled by the Russians during the collapse of the Soviet Union, but even if they had been reconfigured and made to work by the Ukrainians, it is unlikely that they would have had a deterrent effect.[9] Had Ukraine decided to establish full operational control of the nuclear weapons, it would have faced sanctions by the West and perhaps even a withdrawal of diplomatic recognition by the United States and other NATO allies.[9] Ukraine would also likely have faced retaliatory action by Russia.[9] Ukraine would also have struggled with replacing the nuclear weapons once their service life expired, as Ukraine did not have a nuclear weapons program.[9] In exchange for giving up its nuclear weapons, Ukraine received financial compensation, as well as the security assurances of the Budapest Memorandum.[9]
 
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slick

LE
I'm certain that is US MTP she has on. I'm not at all convinced that the badges on the left sleeve have ever made contact with it though. Looks like she took up post some time after Sep 2019, and has an Int/Pol-Mil Affairs background, so as the Military Attache, should know better.
You could be right, there is something strange about that patch (its overlapping a tag below), although it looks like the same patch in the second pic ?
 

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You could be right, there is something strange about that patch (its overlapping a tag below), although it looks like the same patch in the second pic ?

No reason that either pic is real. All other reasonably verifiable pictures I've seen of her outside on this visit (2-3 days ago - temps in Ukraine in single figures C) have her wearing a fleece rather than shirtsleeves.
 
Here's ex-Driver Childers HAC's wife on a family sailing trip to Ireland a little later.

View attachment 564750

You'll be up for a reminder 'of the thread title . . . "russian-troop-movements-reported-near-ukraine", which concerns military action to change borders, invade and acquire another countries land' if you're not careful.;)
 
Stalin and Hitler did that in 1939

In 1945, Stalin got far more than he did in 1939, though less than he had envisaged for if his original plans had panned out and Germany had fought a long attriional war in the West.

A very good book on the subject out now: "Stalin's War" by Sean McMeekin.

------------------------

As regards Ukrainian Crimea: Until 1954, Crimea had never been part of any Ukrainian or Ruthenian polity. The Muscovite Empire (whether Tsarist, Communist or the current neo-Tsarist) never envisaged Ukraine splitting off from Moscow and thus Crimea was "gifted" to the Ukrainian SSR from the RSFSR in 1954, partly as a way of binding Ukraine more firmly to Muscovite Russia.

The break-up of the Communist iteration of the Muscovite Empire in 1991 and the subsequent independence of Ukraine (and the other component parts of the USSR) has never really been accepted in Moscow. But Moscow signed the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances in 1994 under which:
Russia, the US and the UK confirmed their recognition of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine becoming parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and effectively abandoning their nuclear arsenal to Russia and that they would:​
  1. Respect Belarusian, Kazakh and Ukrainian independence and sovereignty in the existing borders.
  2. Refrain from the threat or the use of force against Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.
  3. Refrain from using economic pressure on Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine to influence their politics.
  4. Seek immediate Security Council action to provide assistance to Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine if they "should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used".
  5. Refrain from the use of nuclear arms against Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.
  6. Consult with one another if questions arise regarding those commitments.
Now the question is: Why would Moscow sign such an undertaking if it ultimately wanted to reabsorb Ukraine (and the other states) either partly or wholly? The answer is obvious. The fact that Ukraine possessed nuclear weapons could be used as the ultimate deterrent against renewed Muscovite claims on its territory. Moscow needed to remove that possibility. So Moscow did what it always does when it feels weak - lie. That is negotiate and concede in the short term to remove the perceived greater threat to its ambitions. Then once it felt strong enough it can always repudiate its promises on spurious excuses and revert to type. Which of course it has done.
The catalyst for this crisis started in the Colour revolution in Georgia, then the Arab Spring and established a pattern of colour revolutions which put the Russians on alert that the west was no longer interested in preserving the status quo.

As for your conspiracy theory, the bottom line is the russian capacity for long term planning is something I'm not aware of and Stalins short-sighted policies almost led to russia becoming extinct.. But what they're are good at, is scrambling and imitation, the ugly truth is the west invented the grey zone(5/6th gen war) and the russians have started to turn our own weapons back at us.
 
These lads are probably hoping Putin either gets on with it, or sends them somewhere more hospitable.


Also, any Arrsers know what these vehicles are please?:


Sorry for the music - seems to be a feature of these clips.


Ah yes Igor Girkin, AKA Strelkov, who claimed to have been a prime mover in getting the insurrection going in east Ukraine or it would have fizzled out.




And


from which

In an interview on 22 January 2015, Igor Girkin, one of the major "Russian self-defence" commanders in 2014 Crimean crisis, explained that the "overwhelming national support for the self-defence" as portrayed by the Russian media was fiction, and they actually had to "forcibly drive the deputies to vote [to join Russia]". Under his command, the rebels "collected" the deputies into the chambers to vote. A majority of the law enforcement, administration and army did not support the "self-defence".
 
Ah yes Igor Girkin, AKA Strelkov, who claimed to have been a prime mover in getting the insurrection going in east Ukraine or it would have fizzled out.




And


from which
It may not be the Igor Girkin - from the translations of his tweets, I think he - the tweeter - may be Ukrainian. He does post anti-Russian content (the tweeter, not Girkin the man).
Happy to be corrected if I have that wrong.

Edit: translated tweet below, which suggests the tweeter using the name is anti-Russian:

1618253077238.png
 
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It may not be the Igor Girkin - from the translations of his tweets, I think he - the tweeter - may be Ukrainian. He does post anti-Russian content.
Happy to be corrected if I have that wrong.

Perhaps a deliberate pseudonym?
 
It may not be the Igor Girkin - from the translations of his tweets, I think he - the tweeter - may be Ukrainian. He does post anti-Russian content (the tweeter, not Girkin the man).
Happy to be corrected if I have that wrong.

Edit: translated tweet below, which suggests the tweeter using the name is anti-Russian:

View attachment 564810

I did actually wonder whether it was THE Igor Girkin, but thought it gave a good excuse to post what I did. :)
 
I did actually wonder whether it was THE Igor Girkin, but thought it gave a good excuse to post what I did. :)

I agree - I didn't know about Igor Girkin and it is interesting to learn more about the background to the current situation.

I wasn't intending to correct you btw - just thought we might be about to brand a Ukrainian as a Russian :)
 
The catalyst for this crisis started in the Colour revolution in Georgia, then the Arab Spring and established a pattern of colour revolutions which put the Russians on alert that the west was no longer interested in preserving the status quo.

As for your conspiracy theory, the bottom line is the russian capacity for long term planning is something I'm not aware of and Stalins short-sighted policies almost led to russia becoming extinct.. But what they're are good at, is scrambling and imitation, the ugly truth is the west invented the grey zone(5/6th gen war) and the russians have started to turn our own weapons back at us.

As regards the first paragraph, it just underlines my explanation of the "Muscovite Mindset" (https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/t...ts-reported-near-ukraine.304396/post-10693682) that someone who denies it and calls my sanity into question in ad hominem posts, falls back onto it in his/her arguments. Under the "Muscovite Mindset" small countries like Georgia cannot have independent policies, but must be under the control of a greater power. Therefore it is inconceivable that the Georgians themselves would be smart/proud/courageous enough to demand self-determination and an end to subservience to Moscow without Washington pulling the strings in the background. This is the way Moscow operates and cannot understand that not everybody else does too.

As regards the second paragraph. I have no conspiracy theory about Moscow's role in enabling the start of WW2 in order to further its own aims of expansion of its hegemony over as much territory as it could. A close, focused and unbiased study of history reveals as much. See works by Conquest, Moorhouse, Applebaum, Dallas and just recently by McMeekin (Stalin's War) with more archival evidence unearthed. As for long-term aims. The ambitions of the Soviet Empire were clearly stated from the beginning and much work was undertaken to lay the foundations. Yes, the (Muscovite) Soviet Empire suffered a spate of crushing defeats at the hands of its erstwhile ally, but it was not due to any short-sighted policies of Stalin, but rather some miscalculations in his long-sighted vision of how the war that he encouraged and enabled panned out and the preparation of the Red Army for offensive operations against the West at a favourable time when both Germany and the Western Allies were exhausted. Stalin knew that Germany would attack Russia, but he was certain that Hitler would not launch an offensive without securing his western flank first.

Furthermore, (as it is vehemently denied by Moscow), it should also be underlined that it was Moscow's perceived Capitalist enemies that actually provided much of the support to help turn the tide of war in Moscow's favour. Moscow then just carried on in pursuing the same aims it had in 1939 and did not even regard the Western Powers as allies, but as adversaries to be outmanoeuvred. They had shown their weakness. As far as Stalin was concerned, they showed their weakness yet again, when despite having the massive advantage of nuclear weapons, they did not use them to defeat Moscow. Had the tables been turned, there is no doubt in my mind that Stalin (or any other Muscovite leader) would have used them (or the threat of them) to further Muscovite hegemony.

In addition Moscow clearly demonstrated the application of the "Muscovite Mindset" in its rule over the territories conquered and occupied by the Red Army in WW2. As opposed to those territories which were actually liberated by the Western Allies. Contrast the fates of the two Germanies. The fate of Italy compared to that of Hungary and Romania. The fate of Poland compared to that of France (where Poland had arguably contributed far more to the anti-German war effort). Why was it that all the countries which fell under the Muscovite yoke, clamoured to be free of it?

Back more directly to the thread topic. Moscow considers an independent Ukraine as a direct threat to itself as explained in my previous posts in this thread:
A free and independent Ukraine is perceived as an existential threat by the Kremlin. Of course we (in the West) cannot see how it could be perceived as such a threat to Russia, but this is a problem of our perception and the values it is based on. What should be underlined is that a free and independent Ukraine is not a threat to the country we know as Russia, nor to the Russian people. However, even the existence of a free and independent Ukraine is a very significant threat to the way Russia is ruled and to those who rule Russia.
And:
Domestically, Putin has a growing political problem with increasing (though still weak) opposition. In the Muscovite mindset, this is a result of "foreign interference". The opposition is encouraged by the (so-far) successful Ukrainian secession from Muscovite control and by the continued Belarusian opposition movement, despite Muscovite support to Minsk in stifling it. We must remember that in the "Muscovite Mindset" Ukraine and Belarus are inviolable parts of the Muscovite dominion over all the Russias and it is intolerable for them to be separated. Minsk has since 1994 more or less remained in stable Muscovite orbit. Ky'iv has not and its success in escaping from Moscow's gravity well has never been accepted as permanent in the Kremlin. By retaking Ukraine, the Kremlin reasserts its authority within Russia as well as Moscow's own perceived historical role as the successor to Ky'ivan Rus ......... ........ Also domestically, Putin has a growing economic problem with the overall weakness of Muscovite Russia's exploitative rentier economy. Historically Muscovy has overcome this with expansion and property theft. Ukraine's natural wealth and economic potential is vital to increase revenue flow back to Putin and his "siloviki" clique at Moscow central in order to maintain their grip on the levers of power.
Therefore we should be considering the possibility of an all-out assault on Ukraine by Moscow exploiting what it sees as a golden window of oppportunity caused by:

1. Global disarray caused b the Covid-19 pandemic.
2. A new US President in a very polarised and politically divided America (the main adversary).
3. The new American administration's focus on domestic issues.
4. The imminent completion of the Nordstream-2 pipeline (and German-US disagreement over it).
5. German military strength and preparedness as well as martial willingness at a very low-ebb.
6. Recent French diplomatic overtures to Russia.
7. British withdrawal from the EU creating economic pressures and political tensions between allies.
8. Chinese sabre-rattling over Taiwan.
9. North Koreans ratcheting up tension on the peninsula and with Japan.
10. Potential of Iranian military escalation in the Gulf and against Israel.
11. Polish preoccupation with one of the worst outbreaks of SAR-COV-2 (Covid-19) anywhere.

All Putin needs is a spurious but plausible "casus belli". He was hoping for a provocation from Ukraine, which is unlikely. So the "little green men" may have to stage their own little "Gleiwitz incident".
(Gleiwitz incident - Wikipedia) to provide a justificatory excuse.

The difference is that Putin's calculation that the response of the Western Allies will be more like that to Hitlers annexation of Czechoslovakia in 1938/9 than to his invasion of Poland.
 
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Interesting Twitter tweet chain from a Russian account about the movement of a Russian Air Assualt Division to the Crimea:


Text from chain for those who don't access Twitter:

'In the evening of April 10, a video of a train with Russian vehicles, allegedly filmed in Crimea, was posted to YouTube. We believe it shows a part of the 76th Air Assault division from Pskov, whose vehicles were earlier observed travelling to Crimea.

The video was allegedly filmed at Nizhnegorskaya train station to the NE of Simferopol, where trains from Pskov have been arriving. The geolocation was confirmed by
@COUPSURE
. Nizhnegorskaya is ~150 km ride from Ukraine's Kherson region to the NW.

A few days ago, another video with identical vehicles (all characteristic of Russia's airborne troops) was posted on TikTok. The comments say it was filmed in Pskov.

After careful comparison, we found out that the train filmed in Crimea is the same as in Pskov, with passenger cars and platforms carrying trucks added to it.

Notably, Pskov is the home base of the 76th Guards Air Assault Division. Earlier, we spotted some of its vehicles moving into Crimea, but this is the first time they were seen this close to Ukraine-controlled territory.

Some vehicles had their markings painted over, which we believe was done for general OPSEC rather than to try to disguise them as "separatist", as had been done in Eastern Ukraine.

Some markings, however, were left unpainted, revealing an upside-down white triangle marking. Per researcher
@askai707
, this marking is used by two regiments of the 76th, of which only the 234th Air Assault regiment is based in Pskov itself.

Finally, it may be that some elements of the 76th are unloaded in Simferopol and not proceeding north - another video, allegedly filmed near Simferopol, showed a "Infauna" EW system (also seen on the train) unloaded and driving under its own power.

Regardless of how large the north Crimea deployment of the 76th Division is, it is still a worrying development, and we will continue monitoring the situation closely.'

To provide a contrary view, Rob A Lee on Twitter noted:

'One reason I think an invasion by Russian forces beyond the current line of contract is unlikely: Russia's buildup has been slow and very public, which has given Ukraine ample time to call up reserves and reinforce the front (including with Javelins).'
 
Interesting Twitter tweet chain from a Russian account about the movement of a Russian Air Assualt Division to the Crimea:


Text from chain for those who don't access Twitter:

'In the evening of April 10, a video of a train with Russian vehicles, allegedly filmed in Crimea, was posted to YouTube. We believe it shows a part of the 76th Air Assault division from Pskov, whose vehicles were earlier observed travelling to Crimea.

The video was allegedly filmed at Nizhnegorskaya train station to the NE of Simferopol, where trains from Pskov have been arriving. The geolocation was confirmed by
@COUPSURE
. Nizhnegorskaya is ~150 km ride from Ukraine's Kherson region to the NW.

A few days ago, another video with identical vehicles (all characteristic of Russia's airborne troops) was posted on TikTok. The comments say it was filmed in Pskov.

After careful comparison, we found out that the train filmed in Crimea is the same as in Pskov, with passenger cars and platforms carrying trucks added to it.

Notably, Pskov is the home base of the 76th Guards Air Assault Division. Earlier, we spotted some of its vehicles moving into Crimea, but this is the first time they were seen this close to Ukraine-controlled territory.

Some vehicles had their markings painted over, which we believe was done for general OPSEC rather than to try to disguise them as "separatist", as had been done in Eastern Ukraine.

Some markings, however, were left unpainted, revealing an upside-down white triangle marking. Per researcher
@askai707
, this marking is used by two regiments of the 76th, of which only the 234th Air Assault regiment is based in Pskov itself.

Finally, it may be that some elements of the 76th are unloaded in Simferopol and not proceeding north - another video, allegedly filmed near Simferopol, showed a "Infauna" EW system (also seen on the train) unloaded and driving under its own power.

Regardless of how large the north Crimea deployment of the 76th Division is, it is still a worrying development, and we will continue monitoring the situation closely.'

To provide a contrary view, Rob A Lee on Twitter noted:

'One reason I think an invasion by Russian forces beyond the current line of contract is unlikely: Russia's buildup has been slow and very public, which has given Ukraine ample time to call up reserves and reinforce the front (including with Javelins).'
Any air transport or sea transport assets being moved to marry-up with the 76th in Crimea?
 

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