Ukraine

Russia Hardly Even Trying to Disguise 'Stealth' Invasion of Ukraine

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World Economic Forum

So much for those peace talks. Russia's military launched another attack in Ukraine, according to Kiev.

From The New York Times:

Tanks, artillery and infantry have crossed from Russia into an unbreached part of eastern Ukraine in recent days, attacking Ukrainian forces and causing panic and wholesale retreat not only in this small border town but a wide swath of territory, in what Ukrainian and Western military officials described on Wednesday as a stealth invasion.

The attacks outside this city and in an area to the north essentially have opened a new, third front in the war in eastern Ukraine between government forces and pro-Russian separatists, along with the fighting outside the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Exhausted, filthy and dismayed, Ukrainian soldiers staggering out of Novoazovsk for safer territory said Tuesday they were cannon fodder for the forces coming from Russia. As they spoke, tank shells whistled in from the east and exploded nearby.

State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki describes it as a likely "Russian-directed counteroffensive." 

For what it's worth, the self-designed leader of the so-called People's Republic of Donetsk assured last week that something like the current scenario would happen soon.

The Associated Press (AP) suggests that "the bold offensive along a new southeastern front" indicates that "separatists are seeking to create a land link between Russia and Crimea, which also would give them control over the entire Azov Sea." Logistically, it would be near impossible for fighters in the separatist-held cities of Donetsk and Luhansk to have reached this front on their own, the mayor of the newly-embattled city of Novoazovsk told AP. The fighters would have to cross a large amount of Ukrainian-controlled territory, whereas Russia could easily send troops from just across the border.

Although Russian regular soldiers were captured in Ukraine on Monday and admitted that they are, in fact, Russian soldiers, the Kremlin continues to deny any involvement, and claims it can't really help the situation. Says President Vladimir Putin:

We, Russia, cannot talk about any cease-fire conditions whatsoever, or possible agreements between Kiev, Donetsk and Luhansk. We can only facilitate the creation of an environment of trust in the course of this possible and much needed, in my opinion, negotiation process.

Putin does admit that sometimes soldiers accidentally cross the border.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who insists that the war is a "domestic armed conflict," says that he intends to send another humanitarian aid convoy into Ukraine, despite objections from the international community and the fact that the last one brought little aid (but did bring plenty of armored vehicles) and stole Ukrainian military equipment on its way out. 

About 400 Russian mothers have just told Russian media that it's their Russian soldier sons coming home to Russia in Russian body bags, or you know, sometimes just disappearing without a word

Read more Reason coverage of Ukraine here

NEXT: Russia Conducting 'Stealth Invasion' of Ukraine, IMF Chief Christine Lagarde Under Investigation, Will 'Full House' Return? P.M. Links

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  1. In Russia, stealth invades YOU!

  2. There is no reason for Ukraine to hold back or waste its time with Western Europe any longer. They must go all out.

    1. They gave up their nukes in the 90’s. So they’re fucked now.

      1. Who the fuck trusts a security guarantee from Slick Willie?!?

        1. A security guarantee to be honored by Barack Obama, no less.

          1. The upside of Barack Obama’s utter spinelessness (for us noninterventionists) is that it will be a long time before politicians in other countries will trust a guarantee from the US enough to enter into formal long term agreements with it.

            1. We might even get lucky and all the fuckers who try to drag the US into every civil war on the planet with “oh oh US please please save us and give us stuff so we can form organizations like ISIS” will stop asking.

            2. True but by that token you’ll also see reticence on the part of other nations to trade with us, share intel, train together, etc.

              Depending on where you fall in the an-cap scale, those may be bad outcomes.

              1. Why wouldn’t they trade with us?

            3. So… you think we should have gone to war over the Crimea?

        2. Who the fuck trusts a security guarantee from Slick Willie?!?

          Marc Rich?

        3. Especially one that didn’t guarantee security.

          Read it. It says that Britain and the US won’t invade Ukraine. Not that they’ll defend it from invasion.

          1. Yes.
            It’s a guarantee the US will, uh, think about something or other.

        4. Didn’t Slick Willie promise not to move NATO into Ukraine How did that work out?

      2. Yeah, that Budapest Protocol was just a Saturday Night Live skit by Tina Fey. She said she could see Budapest from her house or something and the dumb Ukes believed her.

      3. Nukes wouldn’t help much. At least not so far.

        1. Nukes would do no good at all. For what it’s worth, Point 1 of the agreement (summarized by Wikipedia) states:

          “The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine;”

          Ukraine could be excused for thinking that some action would be taken in response to invasion and annexation of its territory by one of the signatories.

          But, “You fucked up, you trusted us” is the way we deal with agreements we find inconvenient.

          1. And Thank God for that. I don’t want America getting in there, especially for a treaty that Congress didn’t agree with.

            1. Come on, you wouldn’t want America to ‘get in there’ if Congress DID agree with it with loud whoops and hollers.

              That said the only thing that will ‘go in there’ is the occasional strongly worded letter indicating that we’re moved nearly to the brink of issuing a condemnation.

          2. It was never legally binding on the USA, Congress did not vote on it.

            Presidents signatures last as long as they are President

          3. Ukraine could be excused for thinking that some action would be taken in response to invasion and annexation of its territory by one of the signatories.

            No, they couldn’t. Respect =/= protect.

            1. I agree, words are meaningless when our politicians say something, except when they announce their intent to rob or push around our own citizens. Then they follow through with astounding speed and effect.

  3. In Russia YOU libertarians defend foreign intervention…oh wait!

    1. Unfortunately only progressives get called out here. The resident neocons get a pass cuz, you know……Team Red

  4. You know who else hardly disguised aggressive military actions against neighboring countries…

    1. Kane?

        1. Brotherhood of nod. Don’t you know history?

    2. James K. Polk?

  5. At least Russia is invading a country that borders them, unlike the US./Rockwell and Richman

    1. You forgot an “R” there: Raimondo.

      1. Oh right, I forgot.

        I’m waiting for those three to praise James Madison and James K. Polk since they only invaded countries that bordered the US. Oh and Lincoln for only suppressing secessionist rebels with some unpleasant views.

        1. Oh and Lincoln for only suppressing secessionist rebels who attacked a US military base and invaded US territory.

          Corrected for you.

          1. And the Mexican War started when the Mexicans attacked the US military and invaded US territory.

          2. And the US entered WWI because the Germans sank US shipping and supported a Mexican invasion and conquest of parts of the US.

          3. So the Civil War was a defensive war. By the Union.

            It’s embarrassing that you would call yourself a libertarian when you support the 19th-century version of FDR.

            1. You don’t have to support FDR to recognize that the foreign governments he fought against were much worse than he was.

              Likewise with Lincoln and a nation whose reason for existence was perpetuating the institution of slavery.

            2. C’mon man. War against rebels whose primary interest is the “right” to enslave Americans isn’t anti-liberty.

        2. Unpleasant views? Seriously?

          Gotta love the libertarians who scream about red light cameras while minimizing the horror of slavery.

          1. “Gotta love the libertarians who scream about red light cameras while minimizing the horror of slavery.”

            Gotta laugh at assholes who can’t tell the difference between what can’t be fixed without a wayback machine and that unjustice taking place now, regarless of their comparitive distruction.

  6. I have to say I laughed out loud when I saw the WSJ headline this morning:

    Moscow Says Soldiers Ended Up In Ukraine ‘Probably By Accident’

    Of course, in my head all Russian news is read by Alfred Molina as Boris The Butcher…

    1. So, like a Russian version of Stripes?

      1. Yes. Only not as funny.

        1. Every “Meanwhile in Russia” youtube video I have seen says different.

  7. *Sigh*

    This is not Putin. It doesn’t matter who is in charge in Russia, they will die before they give up their only warm water port. Unless we are willing to go into a full war with them, they are going to have the Crimea and enough of Ukraine to secure it. All the hand wringing is pointless.

    1. The Russians have Crimea, do they want to build out the facilities at Mauripol because of better land access than Sevastopol, or something?

    2. Russia isn’t that strong.

      1. You are right. Basically a Third World country with nukes. But they are strong enough to beat the shut out if the Ukraine.

        The Ukrainians wasted a decade of independence on corruption and stupidity.

        1. The Ukrainians wasted a decade of independence on corruption and stupidity.

          And the new ones running the government now are even worse.

          1. the new ones running the government now are even worse.

            Please stop lying.

            1. Tell that to the boy who cried wolf who runs the country now.

        2. Not only do they have nukes, they have oil and gas and a non-idiot leader. They’re not superpower material, due to their abysmal and corrupt economy and plummeting birthrates, but they could fuck stuff up way beyond Ukraine if they feel like it. Putin is flashing his ass at the intl community and nobody is willing to do anything about it because he’s got Europe in a chokehold wrt energy.

          Not that I’m saying we should intervene in a non-ally country such as UKR but we could at least build up in our eastern NATO allies, to draw a bright red line for Vlad. Well it would if BO hadn’t demonstrated that his red marker comes with an eraser.

          BO’s second term is doing for our international standing and security what his first term did for our economy.

          1. The contention that Putin is not an idiot is pretty suspect. At best he’s a craft child-which is really why he’s so dangerous.

            1. Far be it from me to praise Putin, but he’s picked his battles perfectly and masterfully taken complete advantage of his rivals’ weaknesses…. Europe’s addiction to Russian oil and gas, US distance and kindergarten-level leadership, Japan’s exhaustion and malaise. He’s not exactly outwitting the likes of Churchill or von Bismarck here, but it is still impressive what he’s done with arguably the weakest starting position on the board among the big powers.

          2. A NATO build up would make sense in light of what it’s chartered to do, but Putin would take offense at such shield rattling and we would back down the minute he looked squiggle-eyed in our general direction.

            1. Thanks to the Eurodolts becoming dependent on Russian energy that’s basically the way it has to work.

              Not that we’re immune either, I haven’t the faintest idea how we’re going to launch sattelites when the Russkies stop selling us their high powered rockets.

        3. The Ukrainians wasted a decade of independence on corruption and stupidity.”

          And what government has not, or is not ?

          I can;t think of one right now that seems to be doing the right thing.

        4. Russia has also wasted itself on corruption and stupidity but at least Ukraine is probably headed in the right direction with its new government. Russia OTOH is seeing the interest it pays on bonds rise ever higher.

        5. That Georgia wasn’t a fucking wakeup call to Ukraine is amazing.

    3. All the hand wringing is pointless.

      So we shouldn’t discuss foreign affairs at all then?

    4. It doesn’t matter who is in charge in Russia, they will die before they give up their only warm water port.

      Evidently not, since they gave independence to Ukraine and the Crimea. Nor does holding Sevastopol port require Russia to invade the Ukraine; the US regularly negotiates its basing rights with other countries without invading them.

      1. True that, and a willingness to die does not outweigh the bond markets, which are souring on Russia in a way that could get really ugly.

      2. One would also think that if Russia really wanted any part of the Eastern Ukraine, they’d start with that as their negotiating point rather than publicly press for a peaceful, one Ukraine solution as they have been since the start of this conflict. Russia just wants this thing peacefully resolved. Kiev and America are the ones standing in the way.

        1. Careful with that Kool-Aid, Vlad likes to cut it with vodka.

    5. Suthenboy|8.27.14 @ 6:38PM|#
      “*Sigh*
      This is not Putin. It doesn’t matter who is in charge in Russia, they will die before they give up their only warm water port.”{

      They’ve got one; see the Don delta.

  8. “”””State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki descibes it as a likely “Russian-directed counteroffensive.””””

    So which is it, a Russian attack or a Russian directed attack. There is a big difference

    1. It is what ever it needs to be so Obama can restart a second Cold war just in time for Hilary to turn it into WW3

      1. As much as I fucking hate Obama, he’s not the one who invaded Ukraine and risks a replay of the Cold War. The Cold War never actually ended anyway; it was merely paused while Russia converted from totalitarian communism, to a totalitarian kleptocracy.

        1. he’s not the one who invaded Ukraine and risks a replay of the Cold War.

          Ukraine was never at play during the cold war and, thank god, the US never made alliance with Ukraine after and the cold war was a global conflict not just the shit back end of eastern Europe gas station that France and Germany have a hard on for. You are an Idiot.

          The Cold War never actually ended anyway

          You are a super idiot.

        2. This is not the Cold War. It’s the burnt out husk of the USSR pretending to be BIG SHIT. Russia is the belligerent and it is already the loser.

        3. Actually, Obama is the one who started this war. Now obviously I don’t think Obama personally had any involvement, or could even locate Ukraine on the map for that matter, but the neocon advisers that run his foreign policy while he golfs and gives speeches were the ones that masterminded the coup in Kiev. The coup precipitated Russia retaking the Crimea. Russia retaking the Crimea created a situation were Eastern Ukraine (rightfully) demanded a new Constitutional order to deal with the changed political circumstance. So it all started with Obama’s meddling. And Obama’s stubborn refusal to agree to Russia’s more than reasonable peace plan is directly responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent Eastern Ukrainians who have been killed by Kiev’s indiscriminate bombing.

          1. You seem to have missed what precipitated the “coup” where the Ukrainian legislature constitutionally voted Yanukovych out of office.

            1. not true:

              although the legislative removal lacked the number of votes required by Ukraine’s then-current constitution

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Yanukovych

          2. “but the neocon advisers that run his foreign policy while he golfs and gives speeches were the ones that masterminded the coup in Kiev.”

            Were they on the grassy knoll with Elvis’ alien love child?
            I despise Obo as much as the next reasonable person, but this don’t pass the smell test.

        4. It was the State Department that spent $5 billion trying to overthrow the elected government. It was the Defense Department that wants to put NATO troops on Russia’s border. It was not Russian snipers tho killed policemen and anti-government protesters to force the President out. It was not Russia that wanted to stop Ukrainians from choosing how they want to be governed. That puts the blame on the US and the Ukrainian coup leaders, not Russia.

  9. So I take it Reason writers are not going to be doing the RT News circuit to bless that “patriot” hiding behind Putin’s skirt any time soon. Speaking of which, anybody hear little Eddie’s opinion on his new sugar daddy’s foreign adventures?

  10. Re: WWI, Germans sinking ships: Yes, because Wilson claimed ‘neutrality’ while supplying the Brits and French with arms.

    I find it curious that the one cross portrayed in the Global Voices story (the last link in the above article noting the claim of 400 mysterious “Russian” soldiers killed) has the name Alexei Karpenko. Hmmm . . . Karpenko . . . an ‘o’ at the end of a name usually signifies “Ukrainian” (in quotes because the term to identify the Cossack local culture – versus Polish or Russian – first was used circa 1805).

  11. Oh, and Budapest Memo: That relies on The Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe which says, “Accordingly, they will, inter alia, refrain from direct or indirect assistance to terrorist activities, or to subversive or other activities directed towards the violent overthrow of the regime of another participating State.” from http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/o…..nact75.htm

    The U.S. can claim that they didn’t have intentions of “violent overthrow”, but that is where “indirect assistance to . . . other activities directed . . . ” comes into play – see that phone call from Victoria Nuland to an underling during the “Maidan Protest”.

    As for accidental crossings, the New Republic had a good article in June when there was one of the many typically Russian (or Ukrainian or Slavic if you prefer) arguments of, “You crossed the border!” “No, you crossed the border!” Yeah, border control by either side is just so terribly efficient and well-monitored . . .

    As for the “Russian” fighters: yes, well, the links above, if you follow them, get to the originating article which has what’s-his-name saying that the fighters had been training in Russia for 4 months – which basically confirms that they are from eastern Ukraine, went to Russia to train and are returning home to fight. The equipment is, of course, another story.

    1. And then there’s the Russian paratroopers who are undoubtedly from Russia. And the fighters from the North Caucusus.

    2. The U.S. can claim that they didn’t have intentions of “violent overthrow”, but that is where “indirect assistance to . . . other activities directed . . . ” comes into play

      You need to work on your English. Without the intent of violent overthrow none of those other phrases matter.

      1. Too bad Ms. Nuland worked for the government in international relations. The only “international” she seems qualified for is waiting tables in the House of Pancakes.

        1. I’d be the last to defend BO or any of his apparatchiks.

  12. The Swiss Constitution would be a good model to resolve this conflict. Coincidentally, that is pretty much the solution that Russia has been pushing for from the start. The coverage of this conflict in the American media is horrific. Outside of The American Conservative and Uzn, it is just wall to wall parroting of neocon press releases.

    1. Russia is pushing for a Swiss-style constitution in Ukraine?

      Pull the other one; it’s got bells on it.

      1. Maybe he means Putin is pushing for a Swiss constitution in Russia?

        1. Putin would do well to do Russia first to see how it works.

        2. Putin would do well to do Russia first to see how it works.

          1. Have the tree-dwelling rodents returned?

  13. I happen to be reading a book which includes, in its arguments, claims of what occurred in the Kursk tank battle of WWII.
    So I go to Bing maps, trying to find the village involved in the particular claim and find that it is obscured in magnifications greater than something or other; you are NOT going to be able to identify a certain dwelling there.
    Well, it is near the edge of the Russian incursion into Ukraine, but it looks like Bing isn’t gonna help the Ruskies find their way through town.

    1. Kursk was a great Battlefield 1942 map.

    2. I seriously doubt that’s the reason. There are lots of places on earth outside of war zones that Bing (and Google) don’t bother storing hi-res satellite images of.

    3. At least the Russians only incurse and don’t invade like we do.

  14. Isn’t it a bit ironic that Reason is a mouthpiece for the war parties just like the mainstream media?

    Weren’t we told that trucks carrying medicine and food to Eastern Ukraine as part of a Red Cross operation were an invasion even though the Russians allowed both the media and Ukrainian border guards to check any of the vehicles?

    https://reason.com/blog/2014/08…..n-of-ukrai

    And weren’t we assured by Mr. Evans that according to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, that 23 Russian armoured personnel carriers crossed into Ukrainian territory where they were destroyed by the Ukrainian military? Where are the pictures or any other evidence?

    https://reason.com/blog/2014/08…..crossed-bo

    It seems to me that the Russians have been more honest than the Ukrainian government or Mr. Evans. I suggest that the editors at Reason begin to hold reporters accountable for not correcting any of their errors in a timely manner. They also need to start to question bias when all the errors tend to be one sided.

    Supporting military action when it is popular among the voters may be a good strategy for a short period of time but when it costs an institution credibility it may be time to stop playing politics and start to stand on principle once again.

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