Thursday, November 25, 2004

A copy of an email

Here's a copy of an email sent to a magazine website that has been commenting on the Russian Spetznaz here in Ukraine. (They reported the flight into Borispol airport yesterday.)

The arrival by airplane of special forces from Russia is actually the second wave. Television reports (and video footage) here in Ukraine have them coming in by bus since Monday. I wondered when they reported it how they knew these were from Russia. The answer is that they have photos of the license plates and the numbers show the buses are from Russia. But they are here and have been bivouacking in the city of Irpin which is about 40 minutes from Kiev.

The latest report on the arrivals by plane said that they were turned away by a Ukrainian official. That is the latest but it is hard to know if this is true or not. A lot of rumors are being passed on by the media. It would be nice for it to be but who knows.

There are also reports of increased military activity on the border between Ukraine and Russia, Russian side. This comes from people there on the ground phoning in. They don't talk about massing, if they even know what that means at all, but any increased military activity on the border raises the blood pressure a bit. This isn't confirmed either but the only parties who are able to confirm it deny it (Ukraine) or will neither confirm or deny it (Russia.)

I wonder why there is no general outcry about this in the US and around the world. There has been no crackdown yet and by the grace of God maybe there won't be one, but to think there is a Russian military presence here in the Ukraine is something out of the Cold War. Think Czechoslovakia, 1968, I think it was. This is where I came in.

The problem with Russian troops is that they will not have any problem firing on Ukrainians. They are Ukrainians after all, not Russians. But there is every indication the Ukrainian troops may in fact be reticent to shoot.

There are some blogs out there that are pretty good on this. I have one at http://foreignnotes.blogspot.com and there is good information at http://www.tulipgirl.com/, http://vkhokhl.blogspot.com/, http://fistfulofeuros.net/, and http://theperiscope.blogs.com/the_periscope_/, for starters.

There is another angle to this whole thing though. The Democrats are silent on this as far as I can tell. They have gone from camera to camera lamenting how democracy was the loser in the last election and how the people have been disenfranchised by the right wing intolerant Christian Republicans and how fascism has raised its ugly head in the US. But when there is a case of real election fraud and there is a real threat to a democracy and the iron fist may ring down for real on a people struggling to take their government into their own hands, these guardians of democracy, these Democrats, are nowhere to be found. That is except for some "We welcome the opportunity of dealing with the new president" comments made by a Democratic Congressman who is purported to have taken contributions from the pro-government candidate.

Some irony, huh?

It just seems to me that there ought to be more of reponse to this from the outside world. Maybe they're not confident this is happening? That might be. The evidence is circumstantial, this is true. It is possible that the Ukrainian military is leasing Russian buses to transport their troops or that there is some sort of Lend/Lease program for transportation from Russia, though I doubt both of these. And the planes landing at the airport incident is from the opposition camp, so, being the objective reporters we are supposed to be, we discount that out of hand. (They have an interest in this making them biased. Of course the opposition has shown themselves to be as good as other sources here but the bias is just too much for us.)

But understanding what the consequences of this involvement of Russian troops might be, it would be much better to protest and let the Russians prove that it hasn't happened, than to sit around until the proof becomes incontrovertible. This would help maintain the sovereignty of a nation. Waiting might be too late.

11 comments:

Alex said...

One explanation is that the "Russians" are Ukrainian troops from the Russian-speaking half of the country - which would explain why they sound Russian. As the uniforms, vehicles and kit are not very different it would be an easy mistake to make.

Scott W. Clark said...

The speak with a different accent though one that Ukrainians pick up on easily.

Anonymous said...

Just seen your post - I guess its a while out of date now, but I posted why I think rumours of Russian troops in Kiev are rubbish on my website last week - http://www.siberianlight.net/siberianlight/2004/11/russians_troops.html

Also, the comment that a Russian military presence is "out of the Cold War" is a little off, given that Russia has a massive naval base in Ukraine already.

Andy

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