Thursday, May 29, 2014

Are Chechen Fighters In Ukraine?

Analyst: Chechen Fighters Sent to Ukraine on Russian Orders -- Voice of America

Ukraine's presidential elections have not restored peace in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists continue to fight for independence and possible annexation by Russia. Moscow has denied supplying any military support to the insurrection, but reports from the region say there is growing evidence that many rebel fighters are Russian nationals, including some from Chechnya.

The ballots from Sunday's presidential election were still being counted when insurgents in the Donbas region seized the area's main airport and fought one of the fiercest battles to keep control over the city of Donetsk.

Moscow has officially endorsed the Ukrainian election. But Ukrainian officials say Russia is sending forces across the border to fight alongside the separatists, and this needs to be addressed.

Read more ....

More News On Reports Of Chechen Fighters In Ukraine

Chechen leader Kadyrov denies sending troops to Ukraine -- BBC
Chechen leader denies sending troops to Ukraine -- AP
Chechen Leader Denies Sending Fighters to Ukraine -- Voice of America
Kadyrov Denies Sending Chechen Troops to Eastern Ukraine -- Moscow Times
Chechen fighters among ranks of rebel militants in Ukraine, self-appointed mayor says -- FOX News
Chechens join pro-Russians in battle for east Ukraine -- Financial Times
Chechen Militants Are Now Spreading Chaos In Ukraine -- Business Insider
Yes, There Are Chechen Fighters in Ukraine, and Nobody Knows Who Sent Them There -- Vice
Chechens in Ukraine Capture Public Interest -- Moscow Times

My Comment: According to my sources .... there are Chechen fighters in eastern Ukraine .... but they are not in the large numbers that many in the media are trying to portray. They are easy to pick out in this region because they do not look Ukrainian (their Russian dialect is different and their physical appearance is from the Caucasus) .... and they are also traveling with heavy weaponry and equipment that local pro-Russian militias do not have.

The next big question that needs to be answered is .... are they there on Russia's orders? My answer is yes .... the Caucasus is one of the most militarized regions in the world .... armed militia units will never be permitted to cross literally a thousand kilometers of Russian territory unless they are given permission. What I do not understand is why send only a few units in a vast region where their role and impact will be minimal at best .... the only answer that I could think of is that this is a message from Moscow to Ukraine .... be compliant or else you will soon be fighting against thousands of Chechen fighters instead of a few hundred.


Rhaegar said...

Is it a risk of a Russian invation in Ukraine?
They are pulling back their troops but they are sending in some Checheniens, so its a bit confusing.
Are the Russians pressing Putin to intervene or will that happend when its a lot of causulties?
How mutch support are the pro russian demonstrators getting in East Ukraine, what says your friends in Ukraine about the support they are getting?
Hope Poroshenke wil stop the anti teror mission and go to dialogue are it a chanse for that too happen?
Russia has also made a trade agreement with Belarus and Kasakhstan Putin says it wil shallange EU. Hope you will post somthing about this when you got time, I think its important but i can be wrong.
There is incrasing political unrest in Sweden my neighbor country. Its far right agains far left, violent far left groups against increasing far right and neo nazi groups. If you have any info or an opinion about it i will be glad to hear it. Thanks for covering all these news, hope my post are a bit more orginised now.:)

War News Updates Editor said...

1) I do not see Russian troops on the ground in Ukraine unless the entire situation explodes into an controllable civil war that spills into their border .... which we are now getting there.

2) Russian troops are in their barracks .... but they can move very quickly to the Ukraine border regions with a day.

3) Russian support for an invasion of Ukraine is tempered .... they want to help but not with an armed invasion.

4) Russian support of Russians in eastern Ukraine is growing everyday .... I am especially seeing it in social media.

5) The Ukraine government has scaled back their military operations .... but there are no signs that a dialogue will take place. The fact that there is no unity amongst the rebels themselves does not help the negotiation process.

6) The trade agreement between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan is important .... but not as important as the growing Russian - Chinese alliance.

7) The social unrest in Sweden has been growing for a very long time. I will be covering this story in the near future.

Publius said...

I agree with your answer that Russia's deployment of some Chechens now is a threat that many more may follow. Russia may also have the following reasons to send Chechens now:

1. At this point, Russia's goal in Eastern Ukraine seems limited to keeping the situation unstable. Moscow wants the violence to continue to prevent the new Ukrainian president from (a) claiming a democratic mandate from voters in Eastern Ukraine, (b) establishing his authority and (c) negotiating any kind of political settlement. Moscow does not seem to want to annex the Eastern provinces, for now. To keep things stirred up, a few hundred tough Chechen fighters will do nicely.

2. Putin's deployment of Chechens also tacitly acknowledges that, for the moment, the Ukrainian separatists cannot hold off the Ukrainian army on their own; they need help. Sending in the Chechens will strengthen separatist forces on the ground.

3. Sending the Chechens also will reassure the pro-Russian Ukrainians. For one thing, the pro-Russian Ukrainians now know that Russia will not change its willingness to intervene in Ukraine merely because Ukraine held an election. Sending the Chechens now incidentally reveals that Moscow's complaints about the "coup" in Kiev against a democratically elected leader was mere propaganda for Western consumption. Moscow will interfere in Ukraine no matter whether the Government in Kiev is democratic or not. This is a challenge to the West and a reassurance of pro-Russian Ukrainians. Finally, if Moscow stood by while the Ukrainian army grinds down the separatists, the separatists (and Russia's allies around the world) will feel abandoned, sort of as the FSA in Syria (and America's allies) likely feel abandoned by our Administration.

4. Putin likely calculates that sending Chechens (instead of the Russian army) helps him in two ways. First, he avoids casualties among Russian young men. I'll bet that Russian mothers will be far less concerned that Chechen young men die, than they would be if their own sons die. This avoids a potential problem for Putin at home. Second, sending Chechens upsets the calculation of many in the West, and likely also the Government in Kiev, that Putin's only option to escalate is to send in the Russian army. Putin has shown all of us that he has other options, which enable him to inflict pain without feeling it. The Soviets sent Cuban troops to Africa, Nicaragua, and elsewhere, as surrogates. Putin's deployment of the Chechens is similar.

5. Finally, I think that by sending Chechens into Ukraine, Putin is showing his resolve and creativity to his tactical allies against the West, i.e. China, Iran, Syria, etc. This action shows that Putin is not afraid to confront the Ukrainians and their Western backers with violence. Each of those countries, as they calculate their next moves against their neighbors, or against the West, can count on Russian fortitude and aggressiveness.

phill said...

It's amazing what Putin has accomplished. His "chess tactics" moving all the right peaces to the right places.

while not a fan of him he seems to be the only one playing and wining this horrible game.

James said...

I agree with Publius's assessment. Especially item 1.