Skip to comments.Russia could use force in Kosovo
Posted on 02/22/2008 5:57:24 AM PST by jhpigott
Russia's ambassador to Nato, Dmitry Rogozin, has warned that Russia could use military force if the Kosovo independence dispute escalates. "If the EU develops a unified position or if Nato exceeds its mandate set by the UN, then these organisations will be in conflict with the UN," he said.
In that case Russia would "proceed on the basis that in order to be respected we need to use brute force", he said.
Many EU members have recognised Kosovo, but several oppose recognition.
Russia, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, backs Serbia, which has condemned the independence declaration issued by the Kosovo parliament on 17 February.
On Tuesday members of the Serb minority in Kosovo attacked two border posts staffed by UN personnel and Kosovo police.
The violence led the Nato troops in Kosovo - known as K-For - to reinforce the border with Serbia.
Kosovo's majority ethnic Albanians are following a plan drawn up by UN special envoy Martti Ahtisaari for "supervised independence", which was rejected by Serbia.
The EU will soon deploy 2,000 officials to strengthen law and order in Kosovo, which has a population of about two million. Russia argues that the mission has no legal basis.
Russians shooting at Blue Helmets?
Get our guys out of there.
Great. Troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, and spread around the world in the Phillippines and like countries and Putin may just put troops into Serbia. What then?
Putin’s last gasp?
I can't see it happening.
Why are we backing the people there, who sided with Hitler in WWII?...
Can’t blame Russia all that much. They don’t want a muslim state set up in their backyard. Nobody is talking about it but that’s where it stands.
Why do we want another muslim country? Is this more of Bush-the-wuss’ compassionate conservastism?
Russia knows if they mess with with the US they risk total annihilation.
If anything, they’re rational gamblers. They’re not about to throw it all away over some lousy Balkan family feud.
Neither should we. Good luck to the EU.
How do these Euronuts recognize the State of Kosovo as a lawful sovereign entity and then deploy 2000 officials along with 15,000 troops within that nation's sovereign territory???
Bring all the troops home to stop the rioting over the bad economy, housing crisis, and the high cost of parking at the casinos in Vegas.
neither can I, he really has no way to get them there other than maybe an airlifted contingent. I don’t think the Ukranine is going to give em’ a free pass. Overland routes are not exactly in abundance.
However, I would not put it past Putin to rachet up the tension in Georgia
They are bluffing and saber-rattling.
The Serbs have placed their hopes in a megaphone, not an ally.
The Russians lost 8,000 soldiers in 20 months in Chechnya fighting a population half the size and far less than half as well-equipped as Kosovo, with no support from NATO.
Blame Bush First!
We would not wage nuclear war over Kosovo ... so there is really no annihilation risk here.
That said, Russia’s military options are limited. Putin could put in airborne troops pretty easily, but that’s about it ... and they would have no aircover as they have little basing options for their warplanes.
Now, Russian airborne troops on the Serb / Kosovo border would still freak out alot of Western politicians ... and may be enough to cause them to blink and back down, so who knows.
Russia does have some leverage, though, in it’s energy resources and what it supplies to Europe. We’ll see if that card gets brought up in the near term.
You’re right, clinton was the one to start this. But he’s just keeping the tradition alive. Like he himself said; Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton.
They did in 1914, and that led to the fall of the Romanovs. Historically, the Russians have always supported the Serbs, much like we have with some of our past conquests.
I wouldn't look for direct intervention, but an insurgent campaign to disrupt Kosovo.
i agree, the risk of direct conflict is limited.
That being said, if Russia were going to fight a conventional war with NATO - this would be as good as it gets for them. This is their backyard and the logistics train would be much shorter for them, than us.
Putin does have some leverage here and could easily enough move some airborne troops into Serbia. I doubt he has the gumption to try to insert them directly into Pristina, although Yeltsin pulled that off back at the end of the Kosovo bombing campaign.
WWII? WWII? A little dated arguement
We’re allies w/ Japan, Germany and Italy
Even the Cold War.
We’re in NATO w/Bulgaria, Czech Rep, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Rumania, Slovakia & Slovenia.
Time to wake up an smell the history books.
I guess that’s one advantage of a land-locked country.
The Russians are on the right side of this issue and President Bush is in the wrong.
Haven’t Clinton and Bush used our military to kill enough Serbs?
Haven’t we lost enough military troops fighting to set up hard core Islamic regimes?
Someone needs to protect the native Serbs left in Kosovo - the ones that haven’t been killed by the Albanian muslims yet.
Our president sure won’t lift a finger against the muslims to save the Serbs.
Why should we risk a major war when we created the mess and are backing the wrong side?
If Russia moves in to protect the Serbs we should wipe our hands of the mess we have made over the last 15 years and pull our people out.
Another UN success story.
Red Storm Rising, thanks to crude and gold.
Ya know, as long as US troops ain’t in the way, I would kinda look forward to that...
And I HATE finding myself on Russian and Putin’s side...
I still just can’t grasp what’s going on there. I can see why Kosovo would want to be independent. They’re in a region where the majority are of a different ethnicity and culture as their rulers. Makes some sense. It doesn’t mean we should support them but I can grasp that.
What I can’t grasp is, why all the protesting in Belgrade? Why are young men and women in their early 20’s burning cars and attacking our embassies?
Why so much hostility to Kosovo’s independence?
What do young college students in Belgrade have to lose?
Why would Russian risk international condemnation and further strain ties with western “friends” over this?
I see the protesters’ photos and they look like the same kids in the US who only care about porn and beer bongs. Maybe you’d get a couple who’d burn some SUV’s over Global Warming. But they wouldn’t care at all if South Carolina wanted to be independent.
I don’t believe it’s the Muslim thing. Although that would be important to me. I perceive the youngsters of Belgrade as being liberal minded, socialist, humanist, hedonists. Who would only jump into action if somebody wanted to take away their right to spit on Bibles. Am I wrong? Are they that ideological?
Can I declare myself a country and receive foreign aid from uncle sugar the Great Satan?
I agree. It would be their best shot at inflicting some damage before they inevitably had their asses handed to them.
The problem for Russia is that if their planes entered Kosovo airspace, NATO could obliterate them pretty handily - so Russia's best bet is to try and get as many Russian troops into Serbia as they could before Romania's government formally requested NATO aid for the violation of their airspace.
So Russia could deploy a bunch of their troops on the Serbia-Kosovo border, as you say.
If they invaded Kosovo at that point, NATO would make short work of them - and Russia would have real difficulty extracting their troops from Serbia after the failure of their little adventure.
What Russia sees here is a confluence of political and economic ($100 oil) events that can help them gain leverage with the EU.
Putin isn't stupid enough to initiate a war that would expose how weak Russia's military really is without gaining him any material advantage.
This is going to spread everywhere.
Couldn’t they just fly troops into Serbia and when they get enough, invade? If Serbia wants Russia’s help wouldn’t they allow them to build up there? I mean, we didn’t just march into Iraq from San Diego. We flew them to Kuwait.
China is backing Russia and Serbia.
However, China's logistiical problems in bringing force to bear in Kosovo dwarf Russia's.
If China really wanted to get involved in a global war and tried to deploy troops to Kosovo, NATO could erase any evidence that China's forces ever existed before they could get halfway to the Balkans.
Fair question. Here's an analogy which I hope will help.
The year is 2020. The Aztlan Party in Texas want to leave the United States. They are supported by 80% of the population of Texas, who snuck over the border during the McCain years.
I would expect the rest of America to be livid, and I would President Jeb Bush to send the national guard in. And if the Chinese bombed the White House to stop them, citing fictional-but-widely-reported atrocities that were reported happening in Texas, where a civil war had been raging between the immigrants and some heavily armed FReepers - I'd expect the Americans would be even angrier.
Remember that Kosovo is only 80% Albanian because Hitler introduced them en masse during WWII. They don't belong there.
China, at this point has the trump card on the world, and is only getting stronger.
I can (and they probably will)..
agreed. Still wouldn’t be surprised if he mobilized a few airborne battallions and moved them into Serbia and then made a bunch of bluster, and try to force our hand in that manner.
Or, conceivably, he could move troops into Odessia after a independence declaration there. Gerogia would be a lot easier for him to move troops into then would Serbia
If Putin wants, he can create some headaches for us, its just a matter of how hard he wants to press this thing
China's propaganda has been pretty effective, but China is much weaker and less consequential than many people imagine.
Its economy is almost entirely dependent upon the export market, its technology is wholly dependent on what it can steal, it has next to no natural resources, and it is in terrible demographic shape.
China is a power because of the sheer number of its citizens and for no other reason.
And those numbers are becoming a serious liability, since China has the oldest population in the developing world.
This area can go up in flames again, just like 1914. Nothing was resolved then, either.
Airborne and light infantry, yes. Heavy stuff, though, usually goes via ship, and Serbia is land locked and we control the seas. Plus, there is the question of air cover. Russia could get a ferw planes into Serbia, but not like NATO could via the U.S. Navy and NATO airbases in Italy. So, their main military option would be light / airborne infantry with little air cover. That’s fine if the West blinks and doesn’t fight. These forces are okay against the KLA and such. But, if the west up’s the ante and stands it’s ground, Russia would be at a severe military disadvantage.
I agree with that analysis.
I believe your assessment of China is a decade out of date.
And while their economy is dependent on exports, they are still a slave nation and in control. The rest of the world depends more on Chinese goods to keep them going than China does on exporting them.