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posted by LaminatorX on Monday March 03 2014, @07:00PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the nothing-funny-to-say dept.

wantkitteh writes:

"The BBC is reporting that Russia has given Ukrainian military forces in Crimea a deadline of 3AM Tuesday morning to surrender or face assault. Moscow claims the position is to protect Russian civilians in Crimea following what it describes as the illegal coup in the past weeks. The Ukrainian Prime Minister has denounced Russia's actions as totally illegal and has called on it's allies to put pressure on Moscow. Russian military readiness in the area is very high with a blockade in place at Ukraine's naval headquarters and pre-positioned air and ground forces already in central locations around Crimea. Ukrainian forces are outnumbered and unprepared to face the threat. Demonstrations in the largely Russian-speaking area have supported Moscow's position while outside the area civilians are scared of what the future holds."

From the article:

Russia's military has given Ukrainian forces in Crimea until dawn on Tuesday to surrender or face an assault, Ukrainian defence sources have said. The head of Russia's Black Sea Fleet Aleksander Vitko set the deadline and also threatened two warships, Ukrainian officials said. However, Interfax news agency later quoted a fleet spokesman who denied that any ultimatum had been issued. Moscow has said its troops are needed in Crimea to protect civilians. The Kremlin says people in Crimea have come under threat from "ultra-nationalists" since pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted last month. Russia is now said to be in de facto control of the Crimea region.

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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by dotdotdot on Monday March 03 2014, @07:07PM

    by dotdotdot (858) on Monday March 03 2014, @07:07PM (#10160)
    • (Score: 5, Informative) by wantkitteh on Monday March 03 2014, @07:13PM

      by wantkitteh (3362) on Monday March 03 2014, @07:13PM (#10162) Homepage Journal

      Actions speak louder than words. Infographic of Russian military movements from composite sources:

      https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bhtq8aLCUAEO9Mv.jpg [twimg.com]

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by frojack on Monday March 03 2014, @07:35PM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 03 2014, @07:35PM (#10174) Journal

        You have to remember that many of these forces were already in Crimea, as
        Russia has major bases there (via treaty). So we don't know if Russia actually moved more forces in or are merely using assets on hand. They had plenty there already.

        The fact that all the soldiers on the streets have removed all insignia on their uniforms gives Russian authorities a thin layer of plausible deniability.
        (Which of course no one believes).

        Its pretty clear that this was a long planned reaction, carried out like clockwork. Much like the US taking down Panamanian Noriega, by an "invasion" from forces already in-country. (Although the US never bothered to deny it). This plan had to have been in place for years.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by dotdotdot on Monday March 03 2014, @07:45PM

          by dotdotdot (858) on Monday March 03 2014, @07:45PM (#10183)

          I wonder if Russia was prepared for the hit [reuters.com] to their stock market: down 11.3%

          Or was that also part of their plan?

          • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Sir Garlon on Monday March 03 2014, @07:50PM

            by Sir Garlon (1264) on Monday March 03 2014, @07:50PM (#10188)

            If an investor knew the invasion was coming, he could have shorted [wikipedia.org] a lot of Russian stocks and cashed in quite nicely. So just because the market took a hit, does not imply no one came out financially ahead.

            --
            [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
      • (Score: 1) by iWantToKeepAnon on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:06PM

        by iWantToKeepAnon (686) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:06PM (#10761) Homepage Journal
        Calvin and Hobbes: you can tell this is an in-depth story, because it's got an article next to the chart. http://assets.amuniversal.com/e8fa168071900131f02a 005056a9545d [amuniversal.com]
        --
        "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." -- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by physicsmajor on Monday March 03 2014, @07:22PM

      by physicsmajor (1471) on Monday March 03 2014, @07:22PM (#10168)

      "In war, truth is the first casualty."
      - Aeschylus

      Take everything you hear with loads of salt, and consider the source! RT stands for Russia Today, and is hardly independent or unbiased. CNN, Fox, MSNBC and friends are similarly suspect from the US side. The BBC used to be a bastion of independent journalism, but lately that seems less and less the case.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Monday March 03 2014, @07:44PM

        by Grishnakh (2831) on Monday March 03 2014, @07:44PM (#10180)

        I'm just guessing that Al Jazeera is probably the best you're going to get for unbiased news these days unless it has to do with the Arab region.

      • (Score: 1) by Runaway1956 on Monday March 03 2014, @08:43PM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 03 2014, @08:43PM (#10222) Homepage Journal

        Good call. But, if the truth is to be had, where are we to find it? India? China? Maybe North Korea? I haven't checked Al Jazeera yet . . .

        --
        Our first six presidents were educated men. Then, along came a Democrat.
      • (Score: 1) by ikanreed on Monday March 03 2014, @09:28PM

        by ikanreed (3164) on Monday March 03 2014, @09:28PM (#10246) Journal

        No, you're mistaken. RT isn't comparable to any news agency in the US. It's actually run by Putin's associates.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @09:40PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @09:40PM (#10252)

          Can't tell if this was meant as an ironic comment or not.

          • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @10:10PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @10:10PM (#10278)

            In soviet USA, media runs the government.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by GmanTerry on Monday March 03 2014, @09:59PM

        by GmanTerry (829) on Monday March 03 2014, @09:59PM (#10266)

        "Take everything you hear with loads of salt, and consider the source! RT stands for Russia Today, and is hardly independent or unbiased. CNN, Fox, MSNBC and friends are similarly suspect from the US side. The BBC used to be a bastion of independent journalism, but lately that seems less and less the case."

        I was a Marine during the Cuban Missile Crisis. I listened exclusively to the BBC for news because we knew the American government was filtering the story. I did the same thing during the Gulf Wars.

        --
        Since when is "public safety" the root password to the Constitution?
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by combatserver on Monday March 03 2014, @10:37PM

        by combatserver (38) on Monday March 03 2014, @10:37PM (#10295)

        "RT stands for Russia Today, and is hardly independent or unbiased. CNN, Fox, MSNBC and friends are similarly suspect from the US side."

        And amongst the two sides, there are lines to read between.

        RT is the Russian equivalent to the US CNN network--if you read both, you can get some idea of what is really going on (drawing you're own conclusions). If you read one or the other, you're pretty much stuck with propaganda and a biased opinion that doesn't serve the truth very well.

        For every news bookmark I have on my browser, I have what I think is an opposing view bookmarked as well. NYT and The Guardian. RT and CNN. I even do the same with local news.

        And, FOR FUCK SAKE, DO NOT get your news from Facebook .

        --
        I hope I can change this later...
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @07:19PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @07:19PM (#10166)

    1. Russia claims "defending Russian population"
    2. Russia provokes other party into shooting them
    3. Russian forces shoot back
    4. Profit.

    No need for ??? It all depends now whether Ukraine's army starts shooting.

    Maybe it was better to have kept the old president and do a trade deal with Russia instead of punching them in the nose, 2nd time? Remember the "Orange Revolution"? There is a large portion of the population that does not like what Kiev protesters want. Remember, the president was *elected* by the people!

    Ukraine is bankrupt and the Russian deal would have allowed it to pay its bills. That's why it needed that deal and no the pro-European deal. This is something that protesters forgot? Now, all that is off the table and the table is upside down.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday March 03 2014, @07:27PM

      Nah, it doesn't matter if the Ukrainian military shoots first, the Russians only have to say they did.
      --
      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by wantkitteh on Monday March 03 2014, @07:39PM

      by wantkitteh (3362) on Monday March 03 2014, @07:39PM (#10177) Homepage Journal

      My thought was that the outgoing Ukrainian President claimed it was an illegal coup to give Russia the excuse it needed to "defend" the eastern/southern areas of Ukraine with the high population of Russian nationals. Having manufactured an excuse to be there in force, the mere proximity of the protagonists is highly likely to cause some kind of incident that can be spun into a reason for Russia to keep those areas at least, expand further into Ukraine preferred.

      In paranoid mode, I'm looking at the pipeline running from Belgerod on the Russian border through towards Moldova and Romania. That'll increase Russia's direct access to the European gas market, as well as it's control

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Angry Jesus on Monday March 03 2014, @07:49PM

        by Angry Jesus (182) on Monday March 03 2014, @07:49PM (#10186)

        My thought was that the outgoing Ukrainian President claimed it was an illegal coup to give Russia the excuse it needed

        In any successful revolt the loser always claims it was illegal.
        It's usually technically true too.

        • (Score: 1) by wantkitteh on Monday March 03 2014, @07:58PM

          by wantkitteh (3362) on Monday March 03 2014, @07:58PM (#10194) Homepage Journal

          True, Putin probably put his plans in motion as soon as it looked like the Ukrainian president might get ousted. Such a statement is pretty obvious in hindsight and Ukraine was in no position to increase military readiness as a preemptive defensive measure in that event. Russia have always been pretty savvy when it comes to seeing things like this coming.

          • (Score: 2) by frojack on Monday March 03 2014, @09:53PM

            by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 03 2014, @09:53PM (#10261) Journal

            Also pretty savvy about tamping it down until just AFTER the Olympics.

            --
            No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04 2014, @08:55AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04 2014, @08:55AM (#10521)

        The "Russians" in Ukraine are largely not nationals. They are Ukranian citizens who are ethnically Russian. Russia's "defense" is based on ethnicity.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by frojack on Monday March 03 2014, @07:40PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 03 2014, @07:40PM (#10179) Journal

      If Ukraine is bankrupt it is by Russian design. Ukraine is one of the richest farming areas in the region, and has a large industrial base.

      If Bankruptcy is a reason for invasion then perhaps the Russians would do the world a favor and invade North Korea while the US invades Cuba, and the EU Invades Greece.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 4, Informative) by VLM on Monday March 03 2014, @07:56PM

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 03 2014, @07:56PM (#10192)

        "US invades Cuba"

        Yeah I'll be "that guy" who points out you typed that in backwards... Cuba's in pretty good financial shape at this time.

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by edIII on Monday March 03 2014, @09:34PM

          by edIII (791) on Monday March 03 2014, @09:34PM (#10249)

          Was about to say....

          I was going to ask who was going to invade the US. Not complaining or anything, just want to know what money will be used in my wallet so I can start converting.

          God knows the US economy is just a worthless piece of shit being managed by cronyism.

          Personally, I'm hoping Canada. I like real Maple Syrup and Tim Horton's.

          --
          Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by VLM on Monday March 03 2014, @10:47PM

            by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 03 2014, @10:47PM (#10301)

            WRT Canada I like their health care system. Cheaper than ours by half yet people live longer and get better treatment.

            And WRT their cuisine, I've eaten this poutine thing and I'm convinced its just like Haggis, as long as no one tells me whats in there, I'll enjoy eating it.

            Remember the neocons before WWIII in the middle east or Vietnam-II or whatever its called where they claimed the locals would throw rose petals at us the whole time when we invaded (although it turned out to be IEDs and grenades rather than rose petals...) Well I'm convinced that if Canada invaded and took over about 99% of the population would be like "Eh? Cool!". Just don't F with the sports, the Bubba's down here love their football and baseball and no one in Florida is going to take up ice hockey anyway.

            • (Score: 2) by edIII on Monday March 03 2014, @11:32PM

              by edIII (791) on Monday March 03 2014, @11:32PM (#10333)

              Health care is why Obama is the biggest idiot on the planet.

              You don't fix a product or service by forcing more people to buy it. You fix that product or service by fixing the product or service.

              The US is 46th in the world in terms of health care performance, and we are only around 30% for effectiveness. The top performers are in the 90's and I don't think a single reputable country is really less than 70. It's an ugly ugly fact that not all Americans can have health care. We simply don't have the money to satisfy that much demand for inefficiency via corruption and expensive middle men.

              OTOH, if you just work on the efficiency part of it, the US has so much room to grow in that regard.

              If Canada announced they were going to invade with their health care, I might start to sob as it would benefit us all so much more than the idiotic horror show the politicians have put on.

              Ohhh, poutine. I'm totally with you on that. But DON'T forget Tim Horton's. Seriously. America has no idea how to donut. I figured that out with one trip to Vancouver.

              --
              Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
        • (Score: 1) by bearhouse on Monday March 03 2014, @10:46PM

          by bearhouse (2237) on Monday March 03 2014, @10:46PM (#10299)

          Whaaat? Tell that to the poor "citizens" who are prostituting themselves - in all kinds of ways - to earn a buck.
          Sorry, but you're either delusional, never been there, or both.
          It's depressingly similar to Russia - great people, awful system.

          Who the fuck modded parent up?

          • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday March 03 2014, @10:59PM

            by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 03 2014, @10:59PM (#10309)

            OP was talking about invading a nation because its fedgov was AFU and incorrectly claiming the government of Cuba was worse off financially than the government of the USA.

            Its true that Cuba is immensely smaller, but all the important ratios are better. Their expenses vaguely equal their income rather than being totally outta whack like the USA, and their ratio of debt to income is better than the USA. You're more likely to see a T-Bill default than a cuban bond default.

            This has nothing to do with how much rice they grow per capita or whatever. .gov never cares much about citizens.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by combatserver on Monday March 03 2014, @10:42PM

        by combatserver (38) on Monday March 03 2014, @10:42PM (#10297)

        "If Bankruptcy is a reason for invasion ..."

        It is. If you think I'm wrong, look at how many homes here in the US were invaded by banks when the owners couldn't handle the the bills.

        --
        I hope I can change this later...
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @07:44PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @07:44PM (#10181)

      Maybe it was better to have kept the old president and do a trade deal with Russia instead of punching them in the nose, 2nd time? Remember the "Orange Revolution"? There is a large portion of the population that does not like what Kiev protesters want. Remember, the president was *elected* by the people!

      Ukraine is bankrupt and the Russian deal would have allowed it to pay its bills. That's why it needed that deal and no the pro-European deal. This is something that protesters forgot? Now, all that is off the table and the table is upside down.

      Part of why Ukraine is Bankrupt is because Yanukovych has been moving the money of the nation into his own and his friend's accounts. There is a paper trail in he hoards of documents [yanukovychleaks.org] found at his property. The Swiss have frozen his assets and are performing their own investigations [swissinfo.ch]. Of that $15B Russia was offering, how much more of it should have gone to Yanukovych and his friends? How would that have made anything better?

      You seem to be the one forgetting the "Orange Revolution". It was Yanukovych that caused that and LOST after the wide spread corruption of the election was displayed. I can't speak to the validity of his last elections as I have my feelings, but no proof of anything. That said, in light all he has done to maintain power in Ukraine, I completely understand why no-one would believe that there would be fresh and fair elections in December.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by marcello_dl on Monday March 03 2014, @07:46PM

      by marcello_dl (2685) on Monday March 03 2014, @07:46PM (#10184)

      A bankrupt Ukraine can still seek the EU "help", I guess that one more market would be worth some table update at banking databases (that's what money has become, at those levels, db fields). The protesters should have stressed immediately that if Crimea people want autonomy they should get it with a referendum (or maybe they did, I am not all that informed on the subject). It would have not changed anything, Russians would have put people in Crimea nonetheless, but it would have made the russkies look more evil.

      And Russia is making a big mistake in opposing the EU infiltration, given enough crisis and gas they could be the EU leaders themselves in the long run (JK, my opinion is that most nations are already all under one system, if they clash with each other is to tighten the control over the people with social and economic distress).

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by VLM on Monday March 03 2014, @08:00PM

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 03 2014, @08:00PM (#10196)

        "they could be the EU leaders themselves in the long run"

        The purpose of the EU was to let the Germans take over non-violently this time, rather than the strategy from the last couple world wars. I'm thinking the Russians taking over the EU wouldn't work out so well.

        As the EU is rapidly falling apart, I wonder how the Germans are going to react?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @08:09PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @08:09PM (#10204)

          I wonder how the Germans are going to react?

          by calling in the loans and freezing assets is my guess

          • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday March 03 2014, @10:55PM

            by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 03 2014, @10:55PM (#10306)

            And then the natgas exports to .eu accidentally on purpose get shut off during winter. Maybe get away with it in June, maybe. UK's pumped out, they're a net natgas importer now. Gonna be a cold spring in .eu if they try that.

            Might at most be a PR move, like before they do it, they make a deal where the west gets to make a dramatic speech doing nothing, but the finances are all opened back up by the fall, maybe along with penalties.

            This would be an excellent way to push the .ru into the arms of the Chinese, who never met a bad loan they wouldn't gleefully underwrite for political purposes. So now you've got China and Russia united against NATO, what could possibly go wrong?

        • (Score: 1) by Hartree on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:52AM

          by Hartree (195) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:52AM (#10410)

          "The purpose of the EU was to let the Germans take over non-violently this time"

          Tell that to the French who were one of the main proponents of not only the EU, but the Common Market before it. I think Valerie Giscard D'Estaing (former French President who practically wrote the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe) would get quite a chuckle out of that.

          The situation we have now, with the German checkbook giving such influence, only started to emerge when the Germans were the only ones with enough cash to bail out the various failing economies after the economic downturn.

    • (Score: 1) by Dachannien on Monday March 03 2014, @08:29PM

      by Dachannien (2494) on Monday March 03 2014, @08:29PM (#10215)

      Ukraine is bankrupt and the Russian deal would have allowed it to pay its bills.

      I'm totally sure that Yanukovich wouldn't have kept any of that $15 billion for himself.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by darinbob on Tuesday March 04 2014, @04:48AM

      by darinbob (2593) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @04:48AM (#10440)

      I find it ironic that Russia is accusing new Ukraine leaders as "fascist", given the very strong parallels to the Sudetenland. Ie, any Russians anywhere are considered worth invading to protect (there were reports of people handing out Russian passports last week).

      "Fascist" and "Nazi sympathizers" are Russia's go-to terms for former USSR members that prefer to look west. Also added this week was "anti-Semite". Over the top rhetoric, but common. One the one hand, there were some Nazi sympathizers, 75 years ago, but this makes sense given that Stalin was greatly feared and countries stuck between the two dictatorships were more apt to be friendly to whichever indomitable army crossed the borders first. On the other hand, Russia does have a very touchy and sensitive spot about this; one of their biggest points of pride is that they helped win WWII at great cost to themselves and so they see their subjugated neighbors as ingrates if they don't prefer to remain subjugated.

      On the third hand, this may be an ongoing problem for some time. The USSR, and Russia before that, had a policy of Russification, or sending in Russians to live in the neighboring regions, promoting the use of Russian language and churches, and so forth.

      As for the old president and the bills. Reports are that $billions are missing during Yanukovich's rule, and maybe $70 billion taken out of the country. This makes the $13 billion loan from Putin seem tiny. Certainly you can't trust all these numbers any more than you can trust the lies coming from the other side. But it's highly likely that Yanukovich was a thief, highly likely that Putin knows this and approves. Maybe the new Ukrainian government is corrupt but that still needs to be proven unlike the near certainty about Yanukovich.

      Ukraine is essentially two countries, and neither side likes each other. Crimea used to be a third region (neither Ukrainian nor Russian, but Stalin put an end to that).

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Random2 on Monday March 03 2014, @07:30PM

    by Random2 (669) on Monday March 03 2014, @07:30PM (#10171)

    As someone who hasn't been following the news recently, what exactly is going on?

    From wiki it looks like Ukrainian people are upset with a constitutional amendment and overthrew the president to get things restored to their previous state. But now Russia's intervening because... why? Protecting Russian civilians?

    --
    If only I registered 3 users earlier....
    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Angry Jesus on Monday March 03 2014, @07:45PM

      by Angry Jesus (182) on Monday March 03 2014, @07:45PM (#10182)

      > As someone who hasn't been following the news recently, what exactly is going on?

      Try this summary of the two competing narratives. [washingtonpost.com]

      • (Score: 1) by wantkitteh on Monday March 03 2014, @08:00PM

        by wantkitteh (3362) on Monday March 03 2014, @08:00PM (#10197) Homepage Journal

        Mod up informative plz ;)

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Random2 on Monday March 03 2014, @08:01PM

        by Random2 (669) on Monday March 03 2014, @08:01PM (#10199)

        Ok, thanks! That makes more sense: The current affair is caused by the political shenanigans but is a symptom of competing identities within the country. Russia is involved because not only do some of the citizens in Ukraine want to be Russian, but because Russia wouldn't be opposed to including Ukraine in their territory. And there's a pretext of protecting Russian citizens.

        And everyone else in the world isn't very happy about any of this.

        --
        If only I registered 3 users earlier....
      • (Score: 1) by allsorts46 on Monday March 03 2014, @08:24PM

        by allsorts46 (574) on Monday March 03 2014, @08:24PM (#10210) Homepage

        Thanks. Not to say they support either 'side' of the story, but those maps are really interesting.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Sir Garlon on Monday March 03 2014, @10:35PM

        by Sir Garlon (1264) on Monday March 03 2014, @10:35PM (#10294)

        Thanks for posting that. For once we get to read -- in an American newspaper, no less -- a reporter who declines to separate the complex, ethnically-based crisis into "good guys" and "bad guys."

        Even splitting the country in two would not solve this problem, since you'd still have the minority ethnic Ukrainians in the east, and minority ethnic Russians in the west, who'd become isolated and vulnerable.

        The Balkans have pretty much the same problem. If I understand correctly, several sub-Saharan African countries do, too, partly because the former colonial powers disregarded ethnic differences when they drew up the borders of the colonies in Africa.

        --
        [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
        • (Score: 2, Informative) by darinbob on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:18AM

          by darinbob (2593) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:18AM (#10448)

          One reason that Estonia has fared so much better than Latvia and Lithuania is that it had a much smaller percentage of Russians, most of whom showed up in the Soviet era. It's certainly not the only reason of course, but it stands out. Never the less, when Estonia decided to relocate a WWII memorial to an unknown Russian soldier from city center to a cemetary, Russia became furious. To the Estonians this was a symbol of an occupation by a subjugating power, but to the Russians this was a near sacred symbol of all they had sacrificed to stop Hitler's armies. So of course the Estonians were called nazis and fascists, very similar to what they are saying about the western Ukrainians.

          One thing in Ukraine though is that it is not necessarily that it's borders were drawn arbitrarily, but that there were active measures taken to put Russians there which was started with the czars and continued in the Soviet eras. The Crimea was neither Ukrainian nor Russian for a long time, though it changed hands often, until Stalin forcibly deported all of the Crimean Tatars who lived there to central Asia, and then later all of the Armenians, Bulgarians, etc. At that point it was essentially part of Russia, in name and in population; but then oddly Stalin granted it to Ukraine.

          I personally think the autonomous region of Crimea should just be a separate state, since right now it is basically de-facto a part of Russia. But for rest of Ukraine it is very odd state of affairs. Do you punish western Ukraine for not being pro-Russia and pro-Putin, or do you punish eastern Ukraine for having the bad luck to have ancestors resettled by Stalin or the czars, or do you punish both sides by keeping them together, or punish both sides by splitting them apart?

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04 2014, @09:15AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04 2014, @09:15AM (#10530)

            It was under Krushchev that Crimea was transferred to the Ukrainian SSR.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by wantkitteh on Monday March 03 2014, @07:53PM

      by wantkitteh (3362) on Monday March 03 2014, @07:53PM (#10191) Homepage Journal

      Here's a chart showing use of the Russian language in the Ukraine:

      https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3 4/RussianUseEn.PNG [wikimedia.org]

      Ukraine can't expect NATO support under treaty as they aren't a full member. Russia have a permanent military presence in the Ukraine, including an airbase pretty central to the Crimean Peninsula, giving them a great toehold before anyone even put their boots this morning. Add to that numerical and readiness superiority over their opponents, Russia are starting from a great military stance in the area. Given a correlation between language use and national identity, Russia's line that it's a defensive move holds just enough water to give them the initiative on top of all that.

      Now we have to wait while the Intentions department tries to figure out what Putin's goal is to make sense of it all. Break out the crystal balls.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by duvel on Monday March 03 2014, @08:00PM

      by duvel (1496) on Monday March 03 2014, @08:00PM (#10198)
      As someone who hasn't been following the news recently, what exactly is going on?

      Since Russia, the EU and the US all have vested interest in seeing the Ukrainian situation solved in a manner to their own liking, articles from any news feed of Russia, the EU and US about the Ukraine do not necessarily reflect the truth. Lucky for us, the Arab world is far less involved. It may be that Al Jazeera has the most objective view on what is happening Ukranian Timeline [aljazeera.com] and for more detail Liveblog [aljazeera.com].

      Sad to see that it has come to this.
      --
      This Sig is under surveilance by the NSA
    • (Score: 5, Informative) by VLM on Monday March 03 2014, @08:13PM

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 03 2014, @08:13PM (#10207)

      There is no such thing as the Ukrainian people. As if there's one united group.

      Picture Iraq or Yugoslavia again, this time sandwiched between Poland and Russia. Same deal for all those situations, the country doesn't really exist, some Imperial Powers decided to gather a bunch of people who can't stand each other into one blot on the map, which worked pretty well when the Empire kept them under control. Not surprisingly two of the ethnic groups are at each other's throats, like forever, and only an evil genius strongman kept them under control. Once he was kicked out, its open season on each other, and someone gets to try and stop the genocide. In this case the Russians. Aside from all the P.R. photo-op garbage, they seem to be doing a decent job. Better than we did in Iraq, which is rather embarrassing, which is why the USA is all lathered up. And the EU don't want to be accused of ignoring genocide like the "former Yugoslavia" yet again, etc.

      Russia kind of needs access to that naval base which has been either theirs or leased forever. One way or another they're keeping that base and land access to it. What happens to the rest of the country is unclear.

      VLM's gut level guess? War refugees and forced relocation and all the ethnic Russians end up dead or shoved east and all the ethnic Slavics end up dead or shoved west and the smaller Ukraine allies with Poland and NATO and EU and the new vassal state of Crimea allies with Russia. No point building a wall between them, maybe a DMZX

      • (Score: 1) by photong on Tuesday March 04 2014, @06:53AM

        by photong (2219) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @06:53AM (#10477)

        all the ethnic Russians end up dead or shoved east and all the ethnic Slavics end up dead or shoved west

        Russians are slavs.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Kromagv0 on Monday March 03 2014, @08:27PM

      by Kromagv0 (1825) on Monday March 03 2014, @08:27PM (#10212) Homepage

      Well from my understanding the sequence of events is as follows, as well as some background

      Background
      The previous president (the one who is now in Russia wanted by the current government) was democratically elected. He was from the ethnically and linguistically Russian part of Ukraine, South and East portions.

      Ukraine is broke

      The western portion of Ukraine has closer ties to Europe and speaks Ukrainian not Russian.

      The population in and around Kiev is part of the population that is closer to the EU than to Russia

      Events
      Initially there was a proposal for closer ties between the Ukraine and the EU which was rejected. This brought out mostly peaceful protesters in Kiev.

      As things got worse in the Ukraine the country needs financial assistance and there were 2 proposals put forward, one by Russia for immediate cash aide and one from the EU with loans and restructuring to happen over time.

      The EU offer was rejected (mid January) which riled the protesters (they had been at it for months at this point)

      Shortly there after new laws were enacted to curb the protests which were still mostly non violent.

      At this point the protests became violent with beating and tear gas being used.

      The protesters now demanded that the existing president step down and new elections be held.

      These protests are much more violent than previous ones with varying amounts of violence from day to day depending on how things appear to be going. Some officials are canned and some new elections are called for a future date.

      After a few cease fires, truces, whatever and the situation in Kiev continues to deteriorate so the president flees.

      A new government is formed but is mostly from the EU aligned sections.

      This bring us up to about last week, and currently the former president is wanted for murder, the Russians have invaded, and there are rumors about Neo-Nazis and other white supremest groups streaming in to cause problems. Late last week there were rumors of the Russians taking control of things in Crimea where they have a base which was later confirmed. Russia operates a couple of military bases in the area so there are probably Russian civilians there but I wonder if by Russian civilians they might be including ethnic Russians as well.
       
        This is mostly from memory so some details may be a bit off. Also keep in mind that the ethnic Russian areas, Crimea included, don't have a problem and have supported the former president and support the current Russian activities. The Russians also blame the US, EU, and NATO for interfering in an internal Ukrainian problem, which the US, EU, and NATO blame Russia for interfering.
       
      I suggest reading up on it more since this seems like it may turn into a big deal (looking at you Archduke Franz Ferdinand) given who is on what side and various treaties, and if not at least you have expanded your knowledge of the world.

      --
      T-Shirts and bumper stickers [zazzle.com] to offend someone
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by mmcmonster on Monday March 03 2014, @09:28PM

        by mmcmonster (401) on Monday March 03 2014, @09:28PM (#10245)

        One more tidbit of background.

        Of the former Soviet states, the ones that converted to a capitalistic and more European style of governance have done better (ie: Poland) while those who have stayed more socialist aren't doing quite as well.

        My heart goes out to the people of the region. I know a few of them, and they're good people who are getting the shaft by their former president and future overlord.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @10:02PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @10:02PM (#10270)

        Wether Janukovytj was democratically elected is highly questionable and one of the reasons for the demonstrations took place in the first place was that the people felt that election results were being tampered with and that he would simply remain in power no matter how people voted.
        Also worth noting is that he seems to be little more then a crimelord lining his own pockets with money that isn't his.
        His enforcers the ("police") Berkut was pretty much running around doing whatever they pleased, the latest example of their antics would be shooting demonstrators. They have been disbanded by the new government. Interestingly Berkut officers have since been promised russian citizenship by Putin who also seems to distribute passports to people in crimea supposedly to be able to claim that he is protecting his own citizens.
        Also the russian motorcycle gang Night Wolves have gathered together a bunch of people and headed to crimea. The leader of this gang is a personal friend of Putin.

        All in all it sounds more like a script for a crappy action movie then reality, but sadly it isn't.

    • (Score: 1) by Runaway1956 on Monday March 03 2014, @08:52PM

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 03 2014, @08:52PM (#10226) Homepage Journal

      1. Protecting Russian assets in the Crimea
      2. Protecting Russian nationals
      3. Protecting ethnic Russians

      They do have a pretty valid reason for assisting the Crimean people to declare an autonomous region for themselves. 60% of the people in the Crimea are either ethnic Russian, or Russian nationals, or both.

      --
      Our first six presidents were educated men. Then, along came a Democrat.
    • (Score: 1) by darinbob on Tuesday March 04 2014, @04:54AM

      by darinbob (2593) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @04:54AM (#10443)

      Russia considers that native Russian speakers elsewhere are their deepest and closest brothers and sisters, and has stated that it will defend them.

      I see parallels here with Germany invading the Sudetenland. Or the US protecting the Texans when Mexico wanted to quash their rebellion.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by r00t on Monday March 03 2014, @08:05PM

    by r00t (1349) on Monday March 03 2014, @08:05PM (#10200)

    This is important news for places like bbc.co.uk and cnn.com. I thought SN was going to be a tech-news site, or have I mistaken that?

    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday March 03 2014, @08:30PM

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 03 2014, @08:30PM (#10216)

      Why not try a tech discussion?

      I have not heard of any "cyberwar" type stuff going on.

      The Russians seem to be going in pretty low tech, boots on ground, APCs, that kind of thing, not so much high tech drones launching high tech missiles at wedding parties and journalists like the west would implement.

      I've seen pics and none of them contained anything terribly new and exciting... so far. Would be interesting to hear if someone sees a beta test of a new tank or APC or who knows what. The best intel for this war might be dudes posting cell phone camera pix on reddit or similar.

      Given that the eastern provinces, formerly Ukraine in name only, are like 90%+ ethnic Russians who speak Russian, its no great surprise there's no street fighting against the "invaders" who are after all their cousins. So far, anyway. But if fighting does break out, it was always a stereotypical excuse that 3rd world owners of .ru military equipment always failed because they had poor maint, no spare parts, etc. Well .ru isn't going to have that excuse so from a tech standpoint, if they do end up fighting, it'll be interesting to see how much more effective .ru weapons are when maintained and operated by trained .ru soldiers.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @08:33PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @08:33PM (#10218)

      The credo used to be "News for nerds and stuff that matters." I would argue that this stuff definitely matters. We're watching one of the major world powers provoke a war.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by allsorts46 on Monday March 03 2014, @08:40PM

        by allsorts46 (574) on Monday March 03 2014, @08:40PM (#10220) Homepage

        Agreed. If tech-related news does not suffer as a result, what's wrong with additional stories on things that important? It's easy just to skip over them, if they're not of interest.

        I thought the real point of moving here was to preserve the strong community that many feel is threatened by the changes going on over there. I for one would like to hear what people here have to say on a large variety of subjects, not only tech.

    • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by crutchy on Monday March 03 2014, @09:00PM

      by crutchy (179) on Monday March 03 2014, @09:00PM (#10229) Homepage Journal

      because there are a lot of hot chicks in Russia

      and because it's a breath of fresh air to see someone other the the USA kicking some other poor country's ass for once

    • (Score: 2) by mmcmonster on Monday March 03 2014, @09:24PM

      by mmcmonster (401) on Monday March 03 2014, @09:24PM (#10244)

      Mistaken. ;-)

      This is a discussion site for those who are geeks. Mostly tech-related discussions, but why say anything is off topic?

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @11:36PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @11:36PM (#10335)

      Slashdot, before it took a turn for the retarded was a good site for discussion on geopolitical topics - the "stuff that matters" part of the old tagline. There was the chance for people on the ground to post, some insights and in general information and discussion that you simply dont get on mainstream sites. And as well..... you avoid the comments sections of said mainstream sites if you do want to discuss said geopolitical topic. The intelligence level is still even on a betaized Slashdot soooo much better (even if there are some drooling morons infiltrating)

      Thence, carrying on the "stuff that matters" in Soylent is a great thing. So far the comments here have been pretty good and I've learnt a couple of things that I would not have in bbc.co.uk or AlJazerra.

      While I'm at it, one the bes tthings that I got from Slashdot was the recommendation to follow geopotical news on AlJazzera English. It's reporting is by far better than most mainstream sites, even exceeding the BBC at times. CNN is terrible these days so I would recommend BBC and AlJazzera English.

      I also apologize for spelling AlJazzera wrong if I have.

    • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:12AM

      by Phoenix666 (552) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:12AM (#10394) Journal

      SN is mostly tech-related discussion. I cherish that. I also cherish the intelligent discussion on the momentous topics of the day. CNN and BBC do not offer that. Stratfor is the only other forum I've ever encountered that has a similar signal-to-noise ratio, but its readership's generally hawkish bent exhausts me. I prefer the baseline level-headedness of the engineers and scientists and geeks we are with assorted toppings of left, right, center, and Cthulhu.

      Now, should articles about Oscar gowns and 3 surefire secrets to boosting your sex life or Awww! Cute kittens appear on the scroll, then it would be pretty clear that SN has gone permanently OT. But I do feel there is a little latitude for articles not strictly tech/science-related.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
  • (Score: 2, Funny) by bob_super on Monday March 03 2014, @08:32PM

    by bob_super (1357) on Monday March 03 2014, @08:32PM (#10217)

    Putin had 100k people protecting the Sochi area for the games.
    The paralympic games don't start for another 4 days.
    How else were they gonna keep all these guys busy?

    • (Score: 1) by TheB on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:31AM

      by TheB (1538) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:31AM (#10400)

      They are just looking for NEW athletes to compete in the games.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Boxzy on Monday March 03 2014, @09:20PM

    by Boxzy (742) on Monday March 03 2014, @09:20PM (#10240) Journal

    It's not looking so fucking funny anymore.

    --
    Go green, Go Soylent.
    • (Score: 1) by timbim on Monday March 03 2014, @09:48PM

      by timbim (907) on Monday March 03 2014, @09:48PM (#10257)

      Hey, nothing's happened at this point.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by chown on Monday March 03 2014, @09:36PM

    by chown (1227) on Monday March 03 2014, @09:36PM (#10250)
    and has called on it's allies to put pressure

    A while ago, SN asked about what we want this site to be. One request, regardless of the more fundamental goals: can we please have better editing than the other site?

    it's = it is
    its = a single word, denoting possession

    In the sentence above, "...and has called on it is allies..." makes no sense. Please fix it. It should be "...and has called on its allies..."

    It takes some technical knowledge to run a site such as this. If you don't know how to set up and run a web server, then you learn to do so. Similarly, please learn the small bits and pieces of how to edit correctly. Doing so is a fundamental part of running a site with "news" in its domain.

    • (Score: 0) by Fry on Tuesday March 04 2014, @03:03AM

      by Fry (642) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @03:03AM (#10415)

      It takes some technical knowledge to run a site such as this. If you don't know how to set up and run a web server, then you learn to do so. Similarly, please learn the small bits and pieces of how to edit correctly. Doing so is a fundamental part of running a site with "news" in its domain.

      Alas, a web server will generally let you know when you've messed up (by not serving web pages correctly or whatnot); an "editor" just blindly edits (or not, as we're seeing)

      Also from LamintorX today:

      "Taking a page out of Lexmark (sic) playbook..."

      "...the year of Linux on the Coffe Maker?"

      I would've expected the new editors to be on their best behaviour. Is this it?

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by GungnirSniper on Monday March 03 2014, @09:51PM

    by GungnirSniper (1671) on Monday March 03 2014, @09:51PM (#10260) Journal

    There are parallels [wikipedia.org] to Hitler's expansionist [wikipedia.org] policies, including taking advantage of mixed populations [wikipedia.org] for political purposes.

    "[The] demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century." - Vladimir Putin, April 2005 [wikiquote.org]

  • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by Khyber on Monday March 03 2014, @11:07PM

    by Khyber (54) on Monday March 03 2014, @11:07PM (#10311) Journal

    What, you think my Zero Light Technology [youtube.com] is not enough to knock out the USA and Russia?

    This technology, 50 years ahead of the rest of you, could EASILY make any country irrelevant as far as economic status goes.

    All that matters is who gets it. Right now, since California wants to hold me hostage with a false charge, FUCK THE USA. You get nothing.

    Oh, you want proof? Here you go: California charged me with criminal threat with intent to extort.

    Here's the e-mail with header:

    MIME-Version: 1.0
    Received: by 10.147.82.5 with HTTP; Sun, 20 Nov 2011 03:11:17 -0800 (PST)
    Date: Sun, 20 Nov 2011 03:11:17 -0800
    Delivered-To: techkitsune@gmail.com
    Message-ID:
    Subject: Pay up or my next visit is to your ShuffleMaster supervisors
    From: Alex McQuown
    To: Kenneth King
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1

    -Begin email

      And I'll be going straight to them with e-mails YOU have sent to me in
    your drunken stupors. I will show them that you're leaking information
    out to non-personnel, staring with the One2Six and the MD-2 failure
    e-mail you sent to me in your drunken stupidity. Oh yes, I have those
    e-mails. I will end your career with ShuffleMaster.

    So, What's your next move? You can either give us *ALL* of our money
    back, or I'm going straight to your supervisors, with EVERY e-mail
    you've leaked to me, and I *KNOW* that you signed a non-disclosure
    contract.

    I'll show them that violation and then THEY will sue you into the ground.

    Pay up or I get payback.

    I'll be expecting a check for six thousand and some change to be on my
    doorstep within the next couple of days.

    Failing that, my next move is to arrest the tenant you illegally
    brought over to my house when I rented from you and you showed up
    WITHOUT 24 HOURS NOTICE. I happen to have all of that recorded as
    well.

    I own you. Pay up. NOW.

    Failure to do so makes things *MUCH* more difficult for you and your floozy.

    Maybe I'll start with HER, first.

    -End Of Email

    As you see in the header, the e-mail was SENT TO ME. I DID NOT SEND IT. (This also works out because things like 'floozy' are his words, not mine. I use bitch.)

    Riverside, CA, uses false evidence to obtain convictions. I suggest you stay out of CA because Riverside is ranked #7th in corruption by CATO for a justice department its size.

    Imagine how many other cities are out there with Riverside's population. Yea, that is how many innocent people are getting railroaded.

    My own e-mail header should be proof enough, yet they won't free me.

    Proven treason. Kill them at your own convenience.

    --
    Destroying Semiconductors With Style Since 2008, and scaring you ill-educated fools since 2013.
  • (Score: 0) by Fry on Tuesday March 04 2014, @03:29AM

    by Fry (642) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @03:29AM (#10427)

    Personally, I'm ok with the story. As for a nerd angle, maybe some welding nerds should help these poor bastards build some wheeled armor (steel sheets welded to a truck or even just a steel box on casters)

    Maybe add in some nerd math on projectile speed/mass/energy and required plate thickness?

    Up close: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBPuoLa3jmM [youtube.com]

    16:45; yep, that's a head shot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSvj8F_Br4M [youtube.com]

    FYI, these are age restricted / require logging in. They're probably viewable elsewhere.