Ukraine: So now we wait * UPDATE *

Peace in our time.

Ex-Kara CG Ochakov, now bottling up the Ukrainian fleet. (Ukrainian Defense image)
Ex-Kara CG Ochakov, now bottling up the Ukrainian fleet. (Ukrainian Defense image)

As predicted, Vladimir Putin has established a foothold in Ukraine, and now he has to be negotiated with.  He’s in no hurry to start negotiating at this point, because circumstances haven’t lined up sufficiently in his favor yet.  He’s in a position he can’t be dislodged from, Continue reading “Ukraine: So now we wait * UPDATE *”

Ukraine update: Russia prepares the battle space

Peace in our time.

Things are proceeding about as I expected in Ukraine, and in terms of Putin’s posture.

Readers will have heard about the Russian military exercise launched in the Western Military District involving “150,000 troops.”  That’s a lot of troops, but I very much doubt they are all headed for Russia’s border with Ukraine.  I do expect a build-up on that border, but something on the order of 20,000-30,000 is more like it, and it may not be that many.  The 150,000 troops are, in any case, mostly stationed in western Russia to begin with.  Some, especially elements like special forces, aviation, and missile units, will probably deploy from elsewhere to augment the Western Military District’s permanently stationed units.

Russia establishes a beachhead Continue reading “Ukraine update: Russia prepares the battle space”

USS Mount Whitney, USS Taylor both in Black Sea ports

On the QT…

USS Taylor in Samsun, Turkey. (Image credit: 6n1k.com.tr via Bosphorus Naval News; links in text.)
USS Taylor in Samsun, Turkey. (Image credit: 6n1k.com.tr via Bosphorus Naval News; links in text.)

The U.S. warships in the Black Sea continue to be nowhere near Ukraine, except in the sense of being closer to Ukraine than they would be if they were in port in Spain.

USS Taylor (FFG-50), the frigate, which was last heard of running her propeller aground Continue reading “USS Mount Whitney, USS Taylor both in Black Sea ports”

Black Sea update: USN not off Ukraine

Interesting times.

Congratulations to Russia.  Some of her senior officials are as, er, misguided as some of ours.

Liberty Unyielding’s Kenric Ward reported earlier that Colonel General Leonid Ivashov has claimed the U.S. is “at war” with Russia over Ukraine.  (Ivashov is not in a military command or staff position now, but serves as vice president for the Academy of Geopolitical Affairs.  He has a history of stirring things up.)

Ivashov took up the refrain of some of the opposition elements in Ukraine, arguing that the presence of U.S. Navy warships in the Black Sea is a precursor to a NATO action of some kind Continue reading “Black Sea update: USN not off Ukraine”

Black Sea naval charade continues

Monty Python and the Sochi Games.

If you ignore the Russians, you might think the U.S. Navy ships being sent to the Black Sea for the Olympics are there to provide security “back-up” for Russian forces.

The Russians aren’t ignoring their own government or media, however.  From their perspective, and that of others in the region, it doesn’t quite look the way it’s being reported in the Western media.

There’s been an interesting sequence of events.  In late January, after hints began surfacing in Western media that the U.S. would deploy warships to the Black Sea for the Sochi Games, Continue reading “Black Sea naval charade continues”