UKRAINE CALLS UP RESERVES AMID TENSIONS WITH RUSSIA: Here’s part of a report from the Associated Press.
Ukraine’s president on Monday announced a partial call-up of reservists for training amid tensions with Russia, saying the country needs to beef up its defenses to counter the threat of a Russian invasion. The Kremlin dismissed the Ukrainian leader’s statement as an “absurd” attempt to inflame tensions.
Relations between the two neighbors have been strained further following a Nov. 25 incident in which the Russian coast guard fired upon and seized three Ukrainian naval vessels and their crews off the Crimean Peninsula that Russia annexed from Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko responded by introducing martial law for 30 days in much of Ukraine. For the duration of martial law, Ukrainian authorities barred entry to all Russian males aged 16 to 60 in a move the Ukrainian leader said was needed to prevent Russia from further destabilizing the country. Poroshenko said Monday that some reservists will be summoned for training as part of martial law. He also said that some military units will be redeployed to strengthen the nation’s defenses.
“Ukraine is taking its own steps in response to the threat of a large-scale Russian invasion,” the Ukrainian leader said.
Ukraine is mobilizing for war. Bluff? Political posturing? Reinforcements to deter Russian attack? Could be all three. Time will tell. Read the entire report.
BACKGROUND ANALYSIS AND CONTEXT: Here’s a column from November 2004 that helps establish the historical context. Forgive the [?] hash on the webpage– it’s a track from a cyber attack that occurred about a decade ago.
A Russian bid to return to super-power status is the truly big story behind Ukraine’s rigged election.
At the moment Russia is a European also-ran, a one-time giant with deteriorating clout. However, Russia, plus Ukraine, plus Belarus, plus Khazakstan is a geo-strategic formula for a global power re-born.
This isn’t a new discovery. Before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, U.S. analysts concluded that the communist leadership would spin off the Baltic and Caucaus Soviet Union. At the same time, however, they would try to keep or link the core empire strength: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan (RUBK, pronounced “rubik,” as in the tricky, tough to solve puzzle called Rubik’s Cube.)
My new book, Cocktails from Hell: 5 Complex Wars Shaping the 21st Century elaborates on the Kremlin’s shenanigans. It will be published December 18.
This recent Creators Syndicate column discusses the attack on the three Ukrainian naval vessels (the Kerch Strait incident) and examines some of its implications.
h/t Austin Bay