Russia has found its next target for assimilation – Transnistria.
Transnistria is a breakaway separatist state mostly between the River Dniester and the eastern Moldovan border with Ukraine. They are pro-Russian which makes them ripe for the taking. They have their own constitution and their own currency.
Russian troops are massing on their border and are poised and ready to go into Transnistria and Eastern Ukraine warned NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove.
“The [Russian] force that is at the Ukrainian border now to the east is very, very sizeable and very, very ready,” Breedlove said at an event sponsored by the German Marshall Fund.
Ukrainian officials have warned for weeks that Russia is trying to provoke a conflict there. Russians are doing as they did with Crimea, sending KGB and rabble rousers into the area to stir up trouble in advance of the takeover. Russia denies it but they also denied they were going to take over Crimea.
Russian Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov said Russia is complying with all international agreements on troop limits near its border with Ukraine, according to Russian news services. Weeks ago, Hagel was told about “the absence of any intention to concentrate forces there” and yet the forces are concentrated there.
Just another deception.
Breedlove said Russian ambitions extend beyond Ukraine.
“There is absolutely sufficient force postured on the eastern border of Ukraine to run to Transnistria if the decision was made to do that and that is very worrisome,” Breedlove said.
The United States has abandoned a treaty with Ukraine to support them. The United States was one of the signers to a pact that gutted Ukraine’s army and took their weapons in exchange for a promise of protection.
We don’t need to put boots on the ground but we could supply weapons and we could provide strategists. Mr. Obama has taken that option off the table.
Ukrainians defending their last military outposts in Crimea were armed with sticks.
“In Belbek, the Ukrainians put up no resistance on the orders of the base commander, Col. Yuli Mamchur, who has become a symbol of Ukrainian spirit for his steely defiance of repeated Russian demands that the tactical air wing surrender and relinquish all weapons,” according to today’s Washington Post.
He told his men to stand down – it was over.
When four Russian personnel carriers drove through a concrete wall and rammed down the wrought-iron front gate, Mamchur’s men were waiting with sticks that appeared to have been fashioned from broken broom handles, tree branches, railing dowels, table legs, and croquet mallets.
Mamchur said one of his men had been kicked and beaten by the advancing Russians. It was unclear whether there were other casualties.
Ukrainians have been showing courage and we have been showing cowardice as have the Europeans.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said in the Sunday Telegraph that Russia faced “isolation and stagnation” over its “outrageous land grab.”
“This is the most serious risk to European security we have seen so far in the 21st Century,” Hague wrote. He vowed that he and his fellow European leaders would not “run scared.” Unfortunately, the United States is.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, meanwhile, said Sunday that Russia’s annexation of Crimea had set a “bad precedent.”
It is important to note that Crimeans had two choices in their referendum on annexation – either vote for Russian annexation now or later. Russia under Putin is a nation of thugs and will brutally dictate to all the people it conquers. Freedom will be a thing of the past and won’t be regained any time soon because there is little to no opposition from the West so far.
More information at The Washington Post.