Was it really a Russian INVASION of Crimea?

map of Ukraine

Crimea is an autonomous republic in the southeastern region of Ukraine.

On February 22, 2014, the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych was ousted out by pro-EU demonstrators. On 26 February 2014, thousands of pro-Russian and pro-EU protesters clashed in front of the Crimean parliament building in Simferopol. Pro-Russian protesters wanted Crimea to secede from Ukraine and sought assistance from Russia.

On 28 February 2014, Russian Ground Forces occupied airports and other strategic locations in Crimea. The interim Government of Ukraine described the events as an invasion and occupation of Crimea by Russian forces.

In an interview with King World News on March 7, 2014, former U.S. Treasury official Dr. Paul Craig Roberts said, “Now, there’s been no Russian invasion.  That’s a lie coming directly out of Victoria Nuland’s [U.S.] State Department and it has spread all over the world. According to the Russian/Ukrainian Agreement, Russia is permitted 25,000 troops in Crimea. So the notion that 16,000 Russians, who have been there since the 1990s, recently invaded is a lie.”

Indeed, there is such an agreement. Below is an article from rt.com on that agreement, giving the view from Russia.

Russia’s 25,000-troop allowance & other facts you may not know about Crimea

March 4 2014

Ukraine’s statement at the UN that ‘16,000 Russian soldiers had been deployed’ across Crimea sparked a MSM feeding frenzy that steadfastly ignored any hard facts that got in their way.

Especially unwelcome is the fact that the so-called ‘invasion force’ has been there for 15 years already.

The media many trust described in hysterical tones how the Autonomous Republic of Crimea was under a full-scale Russian invasion with headlines like: “Ukraine says Russia sent 16,000 troops to Crimea”, “Ukraine crisis deepens as Russia sends more troops into Crimea,” as well as “What can Obama do about Russia’s invasion of Crimea?”.

Facts, and ardent statements by top Russian diplomats were totally ignored by the western ‘war press’.

Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin pointed to the longstanding 25,000 troop allowance while FM Sergey Lavrov stressed the Russian military “strictly executes the agreements which stipulate the Russian fleet’s presence in Ukraine, and follows the stance and claims coming from the legitimate authority in Ukraine and in this case the legitimate authority of the Autonomous Republic Crimea as well.”

So here they are, the facts:

1) A Russian naval presence in Crimea dates to 1783 when the port city of Sevastopol was founded by Russian Prince Grigory Potemkin. Crimea was part of Russia until Nikita Khruschev gave it to Ukraine in 1954.

2) In 1997, amid the wreckage of the USSR, Russia & Ukraine signed a Partition Treaty determining the fate of the military bases and vessels in Crimea. The deal sparked widespread officer ‘defections’ to Russia and was ratified by the Russian & Ukrainian parliaments in 1999. Russia received 81.7 percent of the fleet’s ships after paying the Ukrainian government US$526.5 million.

3) The deal allowed the Russian Black Sea Fleet to stay in Crimea until 2017. This was extended by another 25 years to 2042 with a 5-year extension option in 2010.

4) Moscow annually writes off $97.75 million of Kiev’s debt for the right to use Ukrainian waters and radio frequencies, and to compensate for the Black Sea Fleet’s environmental impact.

5) The Russian navy is allowed up to

  • 25,000 troops,
  • 24 artillery systems with a caliber smaller than 100 mm,
  • 132 armored vehicles, and
  • 22 military planes, on Crimean territory.

6) Five Russian naval units are stationed in the port city of Sevastopol, in compliance with the treaty:

  • The 30th Surface Ship Division formed by the 11th Antisubmarine Ship Brigade. Comprises the Black Sea Fleet’s flagship guard missile cruiser Moskva as well as Kerch, Ochakov, Smetlivy, Ladny, and Pytlivy vessels, and the 197th Landing Ship Brigade, consisting of seven large amphibious vessels
  • The 41st Missile Boat Brigade includes the 166th Fast Attack Craft Division, consisting of Bora and Samum hovercrafts as well as small missile ships Mirazh and Shtil, and 295th missile Boat Division;
  • The 247th Separate Submarine Division, consisting of two diesel submarines – B-871 Alrosa and B-380 Svyatoy Knyaz Georgy;
  • The 68th Harbor Defense Ship Brigade formed by 4 vessels of the 400th Antisubmarine Ship Battalion and 418 Mine Hunting Ship Division respectively;
  • The 422nd Separate Hydrographic Ship Division boasts the Cheleken, Stvor, Donuzlav and GS-402 survey vessels and hydrographic boats.

7) Russia has two airbases in Crimea, in Kacha and Gvardeysky.

8) Russian coastal forces in Ukraine consist of the 1096th Separate Anti-Aircraft Missile Regiment in Sevastopol and the 810th Marine Brigade, which hosts around 2,000 marines.

9) Russian naval units are permitted to implement security measures at their permanent post as well as during re-deployments in cooperation with Ukrainian forces, in accordance with Russia’s armed forces procedures.

Authorities in the Ukrainian Autonomous Republic of Crimea – where over half the population is Russian – requested Moscow’s assistance after the self-proclaimed government in Kiev introduced a law abolishing the use of languages other than Ukrainian in official circumstances.

Last week, Russia’s Federation Council unanimously approved President Vladimir Putin’s request to send the country’s military forces to Ukraine to ensure peace and order in the region “until the socio-political situation in the country is stabilized.”

*******

On March 11, 2014, the Supreme Council of Crimea declared Crimea independent from Ukraine as the Republic of Crimea. The Parliament in Crimea has voted to secede from Ukraine and return to Russia.

~StMA

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11 responses to “Was it really a Russian INVASION of Crimea?

  1. A. James Gregor, Ph.D. & Professor

    It has become evident that the current administration in Washington has neither the will nor the inventory to bring force to bear against Russia in Crimea, it became equally evident that any “resolution” of the “crisis” could only follow a diplomatic course. There was little advantage to be gained by the issuance of threats: economic threats could not be supported by the EU which obtains much of its energy from Russia–and no one conceived of a war to force the Russians out of Crimea (no matter the frequent allusions to Hitler’s aggressions in the late 1930s that preceded the Second World War). The “crisis” only provided another occasion for the administration in Washington to issue yet another empty threat (consider the threats directed against Iran, Syria, and North Korea). Either our State Department or our Executive is ill informed. Threats are tools only when supported by a disposition to act, and the possession of an inventory that assures success of the enterprise.

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  2. anchorageknight

    Ironically this article is at least as misleading as the “facts” it seeks to clarify. While it is perfectly true Russia is permited to have 16,000 troops in Crimea, they are not allowed to take over government buildings or blockad Ukranian naval and military bases. Why are these “legitimate” troops NOT wearing insignia or identifying themselves in the sense most modern solders do. [I am reminded of a rescue op in which we shout “US Soldier” before entering any building or room – no room for doubt who was coming?] Why would legitimate soldiers remove the assigned security guards or dig trenches along an “internal” border between Crimea and Ukraine.

    On the other hand, I have independent confirmation there WAS a “petition” signed by some people in Crimea asking for Russian intervention. But that was done due to Russian state media falsely broadcasting stories about attacks on ethnic Russians, and blocking Ukranian and other media broadcasts from even balancing the story.

    This op is classic KGB “maskarovka” combined with an invasion plan and there is zero intention of allowing Crimea to decide its own fate in a democratic sense. Do not try to enter the territory with materials suggesting perhaps one might not want to be subject to Russian draft law or tied to Russian currency problems – you will disapper (wether forever or just for now remains to be seen – this has happened already and is not a theoretical statement). The Russians are going to hold an illegal “election” in which there is only one permitted option to advocate – and then are going to re-annex the territory.

    Crimea is an unusual area with very mixed heritage – more than just Russian and Ukranian – and many people are not taking sides based on language or ethnic origin. The area has something of a tradition of getting along across such lines, due to its many families with mixed heritage, and its resort status attracting many visitors from different places. This is an unmitigated tragedy on several levels, including its negative impacts on RUSSIAN manufacturing enterprises ENTIRELY shut down due to inability to import or export what they need.

    To allege this is a phony issue is as silly as to allege the 911 attacks originated with the US government. Astonishing numbers of people believe that – some polls say a majority – but it remains utter nonsense.

    At the same time, I agree with Dr Gregor that threats were not going to work out very well. They only make Putin look good to his fans – never mind he is not honoring Russia’s formal, soverign word in several respects. He will not back down in their face, making him look ‘strong’ – which plays good in his political environment. It would take a classic exercise in military diplomacy to turn this around. Since this is sovereign Ukranian territory – formal re-occupation of official locations – and detention of militias – is and remains a theoretical option. But no one is considering it. So we have much ado about nothing – the bully will have his way – and the things said by Obama and Eastern Europeans in particular are only meant to make it look like they objected. No one is intending to change the facts on the ground. Putin will not risk a major fight with NATO or the USA – never mind a nuclear war; like the Sudatenland crisis – it is not necessary to back down. Only to show up in force and demand the border be respected – dealing with anyone who is dumb enough not to back down in a measured way. This is a lot like a rescue op writ large. [They used to send a squad to a hostile place to save a bunch of people. It was tricky – fighting a battle or starting a war was not a real option. But you didn’t have to go along with thugs either. You could fight them point by point until it was done. I wonder if they even train people how to do that in this age?]

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  3. Reblogged this on THE CLINGERS : BLOGGING BAD ~ DICK.G: AMERICAN ! and commented:
    GYG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  4. Pingback: Was it really a Russian INVASION of Crimea? « donniebishop

  5. freddiemoore2014

    Reblogged this on Reading between the lines.

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  6. WildBillAlaska

    Anchorage knight is spot on in his assessment.

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  7. Try not to mention that US-supported Ukrainian neo nazis were terrorizing and massacring pro-Russian Ukrainians in Odessa. Western political right media loves to omit such details.

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