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The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

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March 17, 2014 - 7:16 am

Military Move

1. Ukraine says Russian forces moved outside Crimea Saturday, seizing control of a small village that just happens to have a natural gas distribution center. Ukraine’s government called the move a “provocation.”

Smearing the Maidan Protesters

2. Russia and some in the West accuse the Ukraine protesters of being neo-Nazis and the like. But Ukraine’s Jews refuted that, saying that there “isn’t a hint” of anti-Semitism, Nazism or fascism among Ukraine’s Maidan protesters.

Debt

3. Ukraine owes Russia about $1.5 billion, in the form of payments to Gazprom, which is majority owned by the Russian government. But Gazprom puts that debt at $1.8 billion. Russia has already threatened to cut nearly half of the natural gas it pipes to Ukraine, which would drive Ukraine’s government farther into debt.

Call Up the Reserves

4. Ukraine’s parliament has approved mobilizing about 40,000 reserve troops.

A Brief Truce

5. Ukraine’s and Russia’s defense ministries agreed on a truce in Crimea, up to March 21. Both sides can be expected to reinforce their positions for the next few days on the peninsula.

Will Russia invade the rest of Ukraine? That still seems likely. Having taken Crimea and sawed it off the rest of Ukraine with the referendum on Sunday, Russia is consolidating its gains, mobilizing its forces along Ukraine’s border, and through Gazprom building an economic case for invasion of eastern Ukraine, where the bulk of the country’s energy production lies. The smear of the Maidan protesters and the instigation of riots and violence in eastern Ukraine would be mere pretexts to sweep into Ukraine and either turn it into a puppet state or, with assistance from Belarus, dismember it.

 

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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All Comments   (6)
All Comments   (6)
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Tom Clancy got it right- just the wrong countries (China invades Russia)
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Poor Ukraine; it is putting itself in the hands of the New American World State and does not realize what it will reap. Just look at the bloody streets in Libya where thousands and thousands have died because they thought the Americans were going to help them and then look at the bleeding in Syria and see again the hand of the American empire. My heart feels for what those disillusioned Ukrainians are now going to suffer because they believed in the neo cons at the State department and the Obama/Biden regime.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
So now Svoboda and Right Sector are not fascist/nazis? What an amazing transformation! The US Warfare party sure can work miracles!
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Arius would you agree that Russia owes Ukraine reparations for their taking of Crimea from Ukraine. How much is enough for their taking. Now let's talk about Putin taking the Donbas. Oh, and by the way, can you stop with the name calling? If not please refrain from interferring with a respectable conversation, or are you being paid to toss bolenya?
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
That suggests an arrangement that, just possibly, would let everybody save face and their strategic interests:

Ukraine and the international community agrees to an independent Crimea, which is not to join Russia for, say, 50 years; but is free to align itself with Russia.

In return, Russia agrees to:
* forfeit all debt from Ukraine;
* provide 2 years of gas to Ukraine free of charge (same amount of gas as in the last 2 years: any more gas would be charged at market prices);
* NATO bases and nuclear cruise missiles to be installed in Ukraine if the Ukrainians agree;
* all Crimean residents who want Ukrainian citizenship rather than Crimean citizenship, can get it, without forfeiting their estate in Crimea;
* Sevastopol to be turned over to NATO if Russia defaults on the above agreements.

NB: this is just a rough sketch, and needs more work. You're welcome to contribute.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Putin takes a small portion (Crimea) the world wringsit's hands and does nothing. Putin says to himself "what can I take next? It's not like that pussy Obama will do anything to stop me."
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
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