Monday, May 5, 2014

How A Russian Military Incursion Into Ukraine Might Unfold

Image from The Guardian

Ravenous Russia? Thirsty Crimea. -- Oleg Shynkarenko and Will Cathcart, Daily Beast

Back to basics like water and power. Taking Ukrainian territory is one thing, holding on to it is quite another.

As violence rages in Odessa and eastern Ukraine, with buildings burning, helicopters downed, urban combat and hostage taking, chaos may soon solidify into a concerted Russian military campaign. But if Moscow's tanks and thousands of troops cross Ukraine’s eastern border in the regions of Slovyansk, Donetsk and Kharkiv, don’t expect them to roll like thunder toward Kiev. Their first move will likely be a quick drive through Zaporizhia and Kherson toward… Crimea. There are several reasons for this: one obvious one being that military assets in Kremlin-annexed Crimea currently are inaccessible to Russia by land. But there is another more basic reason: resources.

Crimea may be formally and theoretically part of Russia at this point, but it still relies on the Ukraine mainland for the most basic of necessities such as water and electricity. Thus Russian forces may soon resort to an armed southern invasion to take control of the pipelines that feed Crimea, and once that bridge is crossed, as it were, the military campaign could stretch all the way to Transnistria, the breakaway eastern province of Moldova.

My Comment: I agree with Oleg Shynkarenko and Will Cathcart's analysis .... a Russian military incursion will initially focus only on the predominantly Russian speaking part of the country .... and they will ignore the rest.

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