Putin has been readying for this moment for years. He knew a challenge would come sooner or later ever since the Orange Revolution, the first attempt to swing Ukraine out of the Russian sphere of influence and towards the EU, and before.
He has been moving in sleeper forces to the Crimea with operations planned and ready to go ahead for when the day arrives that the West – EU/NATO – tries to grab the Crimea and Ukraine.
Russia lost Ukraine in the Treaty of Brest Litovsk, retook possession after the Russian Revolution and decimated the country. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has feared the political drift towards EU/NATO that has always threatened, especially the potential loss of Russia’s naval port of Sevastopol which is part of Ukraine occupied on a longterm lease.
There can be little doubt that the armed men seizing the Crimean Parliament are acting under orders from Putin. Crimea, apart from the Tartar Moslem population, is loyal to Russia and the Soyuz Party is strong there, and holds the balance of power. The Russians will not tolerate the loss of the Crimea without putting up a serious fight. One question is how much more of the Ukraine will Putin attempt to seize, through his emplaced henchmen.
There is a real danger of a war occurring, if Ukraine were to now call on NATO to come in and stop the likely takeover of the Crimea by Putin. The only problem with that being that the Ukraine government has collapsed and there is no government able to do that. Putin has picked the right moment to move, while the country is operating without government. The recent Ukraine coup designed to seize Ukraine from Russian control is now resulting in Crimea being about to be seized by Russia from Ukraine.
Putin is willing to fight. Is NATO, the unofficial One World Army ready to face down the situation they have created? Putin doesn’t need to send in troops. he already has enough strength on the ground inside Crimea. But if forces enter Crimea to reimpose rule from Kiev, then the trouble could blow.
Russia Grants Protection to Yanukovych: “I’m Still The President”
February 27, 2014 “Information Clearing House – “Reuters” – – Ukraine’s Viktor Yanukovich said on Thursday he was still the legitimate president of his country and that people in its southeastern and southern regions would never accept the “lawlessness” brought by leaders chosen by a mob.
Russian news agencies quoted a statement by Yanukovich as saying he had asked Moscow to guarantee his personal safety. The statement could not be independently verified and it was not clear where Yanukovich was, although some media groups have suggested he is in Moscow after fleeing Ukraine, where he was toppled by opposition forces at the weekend.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said he had no information and could not comment on the statement.
“I, Viktor Fedorovich Yanukovich appeal to the people of Ukraine. As before I still consider myself to be the lawful head of the Ukrainian state, chosen freely by the will of the Ukrainian people,” he was quoted as saying. “Now it is becoming clear that the people in southeastern Ukraine and in Crimea do not accept the power vacuum and complete lawlessness in the country, when the heads of ministries are appointed by the mob.”
“On the streets of many cities of our country there is an orgy of extremism,” he said, adding that he and his closest aides had been threatened physically. “I have to ask the Russian authorities to provide me with personal safety from the actions of extremists.”
Russian television showed what it said was a copy of the statement. Interfax news agency quoted a source in the authorities as saying Moscow would ensure Yanukovich’s safety on the Russian territory. “In connection with the appeal by president Yanukovich for his personal security to be guaranteed, I report that the request has been granted on the territory of the Russian Federation,” the source was quoted as saying.