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Russian Troops Take Up Positions In Sevastopol As Ukraine Teeters On The Brink Of Civil War

Russian Military Vehicle In The Main Square Of Sevastopol

Russian military vehicles have been photographed in the main square of Sevastopol, and there are fears that Ukraine is about to plunge into a very bloody civil war.  The pro-Russian eastern half of Ukraine is in a state of shock, and many living there are openly calling on Russia to militarily intervene to protect them against the protest groups that have seized power in Kiev.  Down in the Crimea, where approximately 60 percent of the population is ethnically Russian, militia groups have formed to protect their region from the “fascist scum running around in Kiev with swastikas“.  That quote is from a recent Time Magazine article, and it demonstrates the extreme level of tension that exists between the two halves of Ukraine right now.  Perhaps a peaceful resolution can still be achieved, but at the moment a civil war seems quite likely.  And if war does erupt, the truth is that it is going to be exceedingly difficult for Russia to stay out of it.

And Russia is not just sitting back and waiting to see what will happen.  They are actively moving military forces into position for a potential conflict.  Just check out this excerpt from an International Business Times article entitled “Russian Ships Arrive On Ukraine’s Crimean Coast As Fears Mount Over Russian Invasion In the Region“…

According to Russian news site flot.com, Russian military ships carrying soldiers have arrived on Ukraine’s Crimean coast in what some are claiming could be the early signs of a Russian coup in the hotly disputed autonomous region of the Crimea.

Russia’s large landing ship Nikolai Filchenkov has arrived near the Russia Black Sea Fleet’s base at Sevastopol, which Russia has leased from Ukraine since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The ship is reported to be carrying as many as 200 soldiers and has joined four additional ships carrying an unknown amount of Special Forces troops. Flot.com also reported over the weekend that personnel from the 45th Airborne Special Forces unit and additional divisions had been airlifted into Anapa, a city on Russia’s Black Sea coastline. In addition, it is believed that Russia’s Sevastopol base contains as many as 26,000 troops already, according to the German Institute for International And Security Affairs. 

Posted below is a photograph that has been shared widely on Twitter of a Russian armored personnel carrier sitting right in the middle of the main square in Sevastopol.  Needless to say, this sends a very strong message to the new “regime” in Kiev…

Russian APC In Sevastopol

And according to the Guardian, officials have “installed” a pro-Russian mayor in the city.  In fact, this new mayor is actually a Russian citizen…

Authorities in the southern Ukrainian city of Sevastopol have installed a pro-Russian mayor as fears grow that the Kremlin may be stoking separatist sentiment in the region.

Sevastopol’s city council handed power to Aleksei Chaliy, a Russian citizen, during an extraordinary session on Monday evening while more than a thousand protesters gathered around city hall chanting “Russia, Russia, Russia,” and “A Russian mayor for a Russian city.”

Fears are spreading that separatists in Sevastopol, and the Crimean region of which it is a part, could use the power vacuum in Ukraine to seize greater autonomy and deepen ties with Russia.

It has become quite clear that Russia does not intend to relinquish control over the Crimea, and the overwhelmingly pro-Russian population down there does not want that to happen either.  In fact, many citizens down there see this as an opportunity for the Crimea to reunite with Russia

So when the forces of the revolution took over the national parliament on Friday, pledging to rid Ukraine of Russian influence and integrate with Europe, the people of Crimea panicked. Some began to form militias, others sent distress calls to the Kremlin. And if the officers of the Berkut riot police are now despised throughout the rest of the country for killing dozens of protesters in Kiev this week, they were welcomed in Crimea as heroes.

For Ukraine’s revolutionary leaders, that presents an urgent problem. In a matter of days, their sympathizers managed to seize nearly the entire country, including some of the most staunchly pro-Russian regions of eastern Ukraine. But they have made barely any headway on the Crimean peninsula. On the contrary, the revolution has given the ethnic Russian majority in Crimea their best chance ever to break away from Kiev’s rule and come back under the control of Russia. “An opportunity like this has never come along,” says Tatyana Yermakova, the head of the Russian Community of Sevastopol, a civil-society group in Crimea.

It will be fascinating to see what happens in the days and weeks to come.

Of greatest concern to the west, of course, is the possibility of Russian military intervention in the rest of Ukraine.

At this point, western officials don’t think that Russia will intervene in Ukraine, but they certainly aren’t ruling that possibility out either

There would be enormous risks – and Moscow would likely contemplate it only as a last resort. But it is not inconceivable that Russia could find a pretext—particularly if ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine were violently suppressed in an uprising against decisions made by a new government. In such extreme circumstances, Moscow would probably prefer a partition that would install a Russian-friendly government in the East, arranged either by force or maneuvering behind the scenes.

If Russia does get militarily involved, it is a certainty that Ukraine will at least lose control of the Crimea.  In fact, one Russian official has already made that abundantly clear

The Crimea region lies on the northern coast of the Black Sea. Russia’s massive Black Sea Fleet is stationed at Sevastopol and 60% of the region’s population are ethnic Russians.

Moscow earlier revealed that it would be ready to go for war over the Crimea region in order to protect the large population and army installations.

“If Ukraine breaks apart, it will trigger a war. They will lose Crimea first [because] we will go in and protect [it], just as we did in Georgia,” an unidentified Russian official told the Financial Times.

So if Russia does take military action in Ukraine, what will the West do?

Will the U.S. and the EU just sit on their hands and complain loudly?

Or will they also take military action?

This proxy war in Ukraine has already caused permanent damage to the relationship between the United States and Russia, and many believe that this conflict is planting the seeds from which World War III may eventually erupt.

Please keep the people of Ukraine in prayer.  This is a great tragedy for their nation.  And if the situation in Ukraine does descend into mass bloodshed, it could potentially set off a chain of events which would ultimately lead to global war.

About the author: Michael T. Snyder is a former Washington D.C. attorney who now publishes The Truth. His new thriller entitled “The Beginning Of The End” is now available on Amazon.com.

The Beginning Of The End - The New Novel About The Future Of America By Michael T. Snyder
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  • K

    This would not be the first ex-soviet republic to break up. The question will be, how much blood will spill before it does split. From what I have read, the differences between the eastern and western parts of the Country, Is enough that they would probably be better off as two Countries.

    • K

      Next shoe dropped. NATO says it will support Ukraine territorial boundaries.

    • Hammerstrike

      Or there might be conflicts between the western side and israel, if some of the political groups present in the protests where to seize Power.

      The thing is, just like Italy´s North-South division, western side needs the eastern side, that might well be tired of the Kiev shenanigians.

  • guest

    As a crimean i can honestly say i hope crimea goes to russia. I think that 90% of crimeans will agree with me and that it will belong back to russia as it should.

    • Kim

      I thought Crimea was an independent republic like Georgia and Armenia. Shows what I know. It’s all so confusing- and the feuds go back so very long.

  • Kim

    Wait until Russia stops sending oil and gas to the Ukrainian refineries. Ukraine “opposition” won’t stand a chance. Russia will say: pay up or else and the Ukraine is flat broke.

    • sam

      yep, they owe somewhere between 1.4-1.8bn. The EU, US and IMF are going to be bailing them out though.

  • DJohn1

    MYOB. Mind Your Own Business. That is what Swiss Policy will be. We should stay out of it. We have been bled enough with wars in Iraq and other places. We also stand a good chance of going to war with Iran.
    All we can accomplish is more blood shed.
    I think Russia wants to protect the access to the waterfronts. The position you describe is one in which shipping is very valuable.
    I notice that they are using vehicles that cost at least 100,000 dollars a piece to build. That is the vulnerability of this Russian army. I suggest that anyone going against them will be fighting a long term economic war as well as a physical war of aggression.
    Being neutral is much more difficult than interference.
    What are the ethnic differences between the two sides? Is there a religious conflict here as well? I suggest that feelings run very strong on both sides, some of which are willing to murder people. Genocide is a very ugly word.
    Underneath all of this is the economic factors. On the surface there are a lot of anger and violence in the works. The bottom line is who gains the most from ruling this country and who loses the most. Because behind all the talk, I bet there is a lot of money involved in who runs the country.

    • Hammerstrike

      At least the Islamic militants are willing to fight with what they get their hands on, doubt the banderlogs are going to do the same, especially as they are hated by many in ukraine itself.

      If they are going postal, others will go postal on them.

  • Hammerstrike

    Sure about that? Militaries of both governements are pretty similar, Soviet-Union and continued and cooperation trade after it, so they likely have very similar armored vehicules.

    That being, can´t be ruled out that local “elite” have decided that the coup in Kiev was one step too far.

  • Bill

    Its Not A dangerous situation if the west just stays out of it and they should . The Crimea should go to Russia My Wife is from there
    That lady they just let out of JAil is a criminal just as bad as teh creep they just got rid of. Russia should protect the Russians in Crimea it would be Immoral not to. The US should just shut Up and watch a real president risk everything to do the right thing Something the weasel in Washington would never do

  • The USA Is Over

    Read the Obama prophecies, America is also about to fall apart at the seams. revelation12 dot ca