Skip to comments.MAP: How Ukraine and Russia are moving toward war
Posted on 05/03/2014 8:29:56 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
With Ukrainian troops launching a major assault on a rebel stronghold Friday, just a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Kiev to withdraw its troops from the east and south of the country, it looks like the Ukraine crisis is entering a new stage.
As The Post's Michael Birnbaum reported from Moscow, "it seemed possible that even a small spark could ignite a tinderbox regional conflict."
Given this escalation, The Washington Post is publishing a new map that shows, using information from the Royal United Services Institute and our own analysis, recent troop movements in the region. The graphic illustrates how military exercises conducted by Russia have left a big build-up of troops on Ukraine's border. It also shows Ukraine's own military moves to its borders with Russia and Moldova's Russian-dominated enclave, Transnistria.
It'd be wrong to assume that military conflict between Russia and Ukraine is inevitable: There remains plenty of hope that a diplomatic solution can be found. That said, the graphic provides an important look at the military reality of the crisis.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
The forces shown are very small.
I doubt there will be a “serious” war, because in order for that to happen Russia would have to mobilize.
Very likely that Ukraine will lose the Donetsk one way or another though.
China wins when Russia and Europe fight.
won’t be much of a contest.
I guess it is a plan. As for now China is a major beneficiary of US game against Russia in Central Asia. America has just enough power to undermine Russian influence but not to hold a ground there.
Just wait until the Chinese has a land bridge to Middle East oil.
They're saying Russia can only bring 45,000 combat troops to the fight (92k total).
Can Ukraine field even 45k combat troops?
Nothing will happen till the ground dries up and the soil can support tanks
They’ve had the “small spark” now it’s up yo Putin.
I’m more interested to learn whether there are any NATO forces on the ground in Ukraine. I am aware that the USA put some 600 people into a training exercise - (bad idea - either put in a major force or don’t bother) but does NATO/UN have any skin in this game or are they taking the French option?
There was a strong USMC presence in Georgia in 2008.
None was hurt as far as I know.
Brigades against Divisions
As an outsider (Aussie) I am interested in what your take is on putting American boys and girls in harms way in this thing. My opinion (for what it is worth) is that this is a Euro conflict and should be left for them to sort out. The EU will jump up and down and make noise and demands but until they are willing to commit NATO troops does anyone take them seriously? That said I wouldn’t object to the US taking up a position with a couple of carriers just flexing it’s biceps. My concern is that some loose cannon on the Russian side shoots a couple of Americans and then what do you do - a response is a must but it makes escalation a certainty.
So maybe Russia should worry about the Chinese threat and place its entire military on the Chinese border instead of invading and annexing Ukraine.
Iraq wasn't much of a contest. We couldn't take the steady drip-drip-drip of casualties, so we left:
There is no such animal as an accidental war. All escalations are planned. War isn't like a street fight - it doesn't just happen. Supplies and military units have to be moved up, money has to be allocated and so on. The North Koreans hacked up a couple of GI's in the DMZ and nothing happened in response. They took the USS Pueblo and the response was bupkis. The Khmer Rouge took the USS Mayaguez and the US response was limited to attempting a rescue mission. The USS Panay was deliberately attacked and sunk by the Japanese in 1937. It wasn't until Pearl Harbor, 4 years later, that the US declared war on Japan.
Thanks for that reply - what do you think - is there anyway Obama would consider drawing a line that he will actually stand by or has he learnt his lesson on that?
Some long dead white folks has warned against exactly such an involvement in European affairs.
"Power projection" with A/C isn't really feasible in this case.
We couldn't get them into the Black Sea without Turkish approval -- which wouldn't be forthcoming. Nor would we necessarily want to risk an A/C in those enclosed waters.
Personally, I believe this is a "hide and watch" moment. Frankly, we're not in a position to do much for the Ukrainians -- and, even if we were, I wouldn't trust Obama to be the man to make the requisite decisions.
“Some long dead white folks has warned against exactly such an involvement in European affairs.”
Haha yes true - I suppose we will have to wait and see what Putin’s true plans are. Is this his Sudetenland? i.e. an excuse to invade another country or is what he says the limit of his expansion plans i.e. to take back what they consider to be Russian land or area heavily laden with Russian people. Time will tell!
You know what the Ukraine is? It's a sitting duck. A road apple. The Ukraine is weak. It's feeble. I think it's time to put the hurt on the Ukraine.
“Ukraine is game to you?”
None of the above would happened if not for a western meddling. Just look at Finland after WWII. Finland is not a NATO member, it hasn’t attacked Russia in UN, it is not hurting Russian economic interests and not community-organizing anti-Russian groups inside Russia. And surprisingly, Russians aren’t fly their bombers into Finnish airspace, and ethnic Russians aren’t rioting in Finland.
It shows that Russia is not that expansionist and able to tolerate a stable western country on it’s border unless it takes a strong anti-Russian stance for some short to middle term political and economic benefits as it is the case for Georgia and Ukraine.
Syria was BS, a nothing. Israel can steamroll Syria any time it wants - Netanyahu just wanted the US to fight Israel's war. Heck, Israel just flattened a Syrian nuclear reactor in the making back in 2007 (Operation Orchard), allegedly infiltrating spec ops guys to point out the target(s). A Taliban state in Syria can't harm Israel because Israelis aren't politically-correct about keeping hostile Muslims out. The US is a different matter - just about any Muslim in the world can get tourist visa to the US, which is how 9/11 came about. Obama said no despite intense pressure from moronic Republican pols, and I'm grateful he did. Chemical weapons or not, nobody cares about what happens to the wasteland that is Syria.
Europe is a completely different matter. Europe is, apart from the US, the most productive region in the world. That is why major wars have been fought over Europe, because the stakes are so high. Russians (and I'm deliberately including the hoi polloi) have always had this complex, common to subjects of a number of great empires, that they are destined to rule the world. The Arabs, the Brits, the French, the Dutch, the Germans, the Chinese, the Iranians, Spanish, the Ottoman Turks and so on, have, in their time, also had this view. With the exception of the Chinese and the Russians, the other nationalities on that list have pretty much given up on world conquest, either through military reverses, an evolution in their world views or both.
In the decades ahead, Russia and China are the premier threats to existing national boundaries. Aggressive countries become more powerful by adding to their land and their population, and military victories won by aggressors encourage them to take ever more aggressive military gambles. Ideally, Russia will be stopped at Ukraine and encouraged to take its aggressions out on the Chinese, with whom they are competing for influence in Central Asia, where China was dominant until Arabs defeated a Chinese army at the Battle of Talas River in 751AD.
The power of Ukrainian Army
I’d start quietly (though not so quietly the Reds didn’t notice) expanding strategic capabilities in the area. In other words, start doing things that you’d need prior to a conflict (adding hangars, resurfacing runways, rebuilding barracks, etc.) while downplaying their significance. Let Putin puzzle over why. This administration isn’t sophisticated enough to pull that off, though. Obie’d probably start talking about how the Reds shouldn’t call his bluff.
Those dead white folks lived in an era when it took a sailing ship from Europe 2 months to reach North America, and mustering and supplying even a force of 10,000 men across the ocean was a major undertaking that taxed even an empire on which the sun never set, which was why Cornwallis finally surrendered. The US landed 100,000 men in France during the invasion of Normandy and supplied 1m men under arms at any given time in Europe, mostly from across the Atlantic. Thereby showing such an operation in reverse was possible, and that Europe's problems will remain there only if a latter day Napoleon is, going forward, prevented from realizing his ambitions on the continent.
~Those dead white folks lived in an era...~
Hmmm, another progressive neocon who thinks Founding Fathers are outdated?
The Founding Fathers believed in liberty. Would they be supportive of Russia's pending armed conquest of Ukraine as you are?
The eternal truths uttered by the Founding Fathers relate to how liberty is to be achieved via the separation of powers and so on. Other aspects are a little more spotty. Feel free to call just about every president since the Founding Fathers progressives, as they expanded the US military and ventured forth into the world. But all of this verbiage you're spouting is just a non sequitur. You couldn't care less about freedom. All you're concerned about is that Russia successfully adds Ukraine to its empire with as little interference as possible from the freedom-loving peoples of the world.
~The Founding Fathers believed in liberty. Would they be supportive of Russia’s pending armed conquest of Ukraine as you are?~
You are turning things upside down. I’m sure the Founding Fathers wouldn’t intervene.
As for Ukraine I think it could be better off as an independent entity, free of dominating influence of either EU and Russia.
To quote Joe Wilson, "you lie". I can think of many ways to justify staying out without parroting Russian propaganda. You have used none of them.
~To quote Joe Wilson, “you lie”. I can think of many ways to justify staying out without parroting Russian propaganda. You have used none of them.~
And what propaganda are you parroting? What are your options for Ukraine?
When one state is about to annex another one via armed conquest, the act speaks for itself. Propaganda is superfluous.
You are speaking with slogans resembling a communist agitator, and not answering my question.
That's weird coming from a guy who supports Putin, a guy who said the collapse of the Soviet Union "was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century". It's pretty simple - you support the armed conquest and annexation of Ukraine by Russia and I don't. Our positions speak for themselves. You are on the side of Russian imperialists, and I am on the side of freedom lovers.
I am unsure of their range but in the Med but that would require a fly over Turkey so not really going to happen!
~That’s weird coming from a guy who supports Putin, a guy who said the collapse of the Soviet Union “was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century”. It’s pretty simple - you support the armed conquest and annexation of Ukraine by Russia and I don’t. Our positions speak for themselves. You are on the side of Russian imperialists, and I am on the side of freedom lovers. ~
Another fairy declaration on your side and you still haven’t answered what are your prospects for Ukraine.
“None of the above would happened if not for a western meddling.”
While I know what you are saying I half agree. I think it gave Putin an excuse to take back some areas he believed was theirs anyway but definatley the wooing of Ukraine towards the EU has made Putin very nervous - I am pretty sure he liked having Ukraine as a buffer between the EU and Russia. Like I have said I think the EU miscalculated on how all this would be viewed in Russia and how twitchy they are about the EU “encroaching” into areas they still hope to hold political influence over.
Wow thanks for the detailed reply - I am glad he said no to Syria as well - The thing about being seen to be a strong leader is not to be so unwise about making such statements and then backing down. I am sure Putin sees Obama as weak because of this and takes that into account when dealing with him. I am also sure that Putin has seen that the Obama administration is happy to stir things up in areas and provide weapons etc to “rebels”. So Putin must be wondering if the populist overthrow in Ukraine was USA or EU inspired rather than a spontaneous uprising - like you said no war happens by accident! I do not know the answers to these things but just trying to see the thinking from both sides!
~Wow thanks for the detailed reply - I am glad he said no to Syria as well - The thing about being seen to be a strong leader is not to be so unwise about making such statements and then backing down. I am sure Putin sees Obama as weak because of this and takes that into account when dealing with him. I am also sure that Putin has seen that the Obama administration is happy to stir things up in areas and provide weapons etc to rebels. So Putin must be wondering if the populist overthrow in Ukraine was USA or EU inspired rather than a spontaneous uprising - like you said no war happens by accident! I do not know the answers to these things but just trying to see the thinking from both sides!~
Nobody knows for sure. On the other hand I still point at Finland as an example. It is a perfect example of a former Russian subject which is an independent free nation and Russians are allowing them to live peacefully. Maybe Ukraine has to follow it’s model?
Ukraine was the crown jewel of the Soviet Union. Big industrial base huge agricultural and natural resources. Warm water ports in Odessa and Sevastopol
Putin wants Ukraine back formally annexed or informally controlled
He is going for the whole deal
Factor this in. We no longer have a single tank in Europe. During the Cold War we had 1,000. Militarily we don’t have the horsepower to deal with this
Putin wants all of Ukraine under his control and he will get it
There is no reason to put a carrier in the Baltic. We have plenty are European airbases.
Russia is not going to invade Ukraine and become an occupier. Putin is no fool, he saw what happened in Iraq.
It is far better to dismember the country by backing protracted separatist war. Also, it is obvious Kiev has limited support in the South East and coastal areas which makes Russia’s task much easier.
Ukraine will be bleed empty, it won’t exist but as impoverished landlocked rump state when this is over. Then NATO can have it.
It will take the defeat of Ukraine to get Europe to beef up its defenses once more. Maybe a Maginot line. And to solve the problem of dependence on the East.