Skip to comments.U.S. Intel Assessement: Greater Likelihood Russia Will Enter Eastern Ukraine (and Baltics)
Posted on 03/26/2014 6:00:27 PM PDT by kristinn
A new classified intelligence assessment concludes it is more likely than previously thought that Russian forces will enter eastern Ukraine, CNN has learned.
Two administration officials described the assessment but declined to be identified due to the sensitive nature of the information.
The officials emphasized that nothing is certain, but there have been several worrying signs in the past three to four days.
This has shifted our thinking that the likelihood of a further Russian incursion is more probable than it was previously thought to be, one official said.
The buildup is seen to be reminiscent of Moscows military moves before it went into Chechnya and Georgia in both numbers of units and their capabilities.
U.S. military and intelligence officials have briefed Congress on the assessment.
As a result, Republican members of the House Armed Services Committee late Wednesday sent a classified letter to the White House expressing concern about unfolding developments.
An unclassified version obtained by CNN said committee members feel urgency and alarm, based on new information in the committees possession.
The committee said there was deep apprehension that Moscow may invade eastern and southern Ukraine, pressing west to Transdniestria and also seek land grabs in the Baltics.
The United States believes that Russia might decide to go into eastern Ukraine to establish a land bridge into Crimea.
The belief is that Russian forces would move toward three Ukrainian cities: Kharkiv, Luhansk and Donetsk in order to establish land access into Crimea. Russian forces are currently positioned in and around Rostov, Kursk, and Belgorod, according to U.S. intelligence information.
(Excerpt) Read more at security.blogs.cnn.com ...
Oh my. I hope Obama isn’t hoping Russia does this so we can rally around the flag while Obama does something stupid.
Let’s not forget the signs of lack of resolve and disorganization coming from Ukraine. They did not put up a fight anywhere, — that in itself may be interpreted as a calculation that they should not be viewed as belligerent, making help from the West more likely to materialize. But now with the assassination of a Right Sector leader apparently by the Interior ministry — which is supposed to arrest people and put them on trial and not just murder them, — we understand that the Ukrainian government simply lacks coherence and professionalism. If so, from Putin’s perspective, the time to invade is now.
And Obama will do NOTHING EFFECTIVE to stop Putin!
Putin’s foray in taking Crimea was so easy why should he stop there?
obama has been completely compliant so far (with putin) while giving the media nothing to believe in while he has technically done nothing (though the media will not say such) but encourage putin (imho) to do what he has done while saying he (obama) is worried about a nuke to Manhattan. What an odd statement by this _resident. The lame-stream thinks (maybe) obama is protecting them and their children while God only knows what obama is truly up to except I believe the lame-stream media certainly has an idea and is afraid for their jobs (maybe), so they (the media) continue dutifully to worship him. One more misstep by obama, because obama has made plenty of missteps in what he has been saying publicly (and perhaps intentionally) and many people could be dead. Sorry for my little rant. I swear it was not directed at you.
Ukraine is not a NATO member. Other of the Baltic states are. I will be stunned if Putin goes after a NATO member. The question is, if he does, how will NATO react? If it doesn’t respond, then Putin goes for broke. He won’t stop til all of Europe (except maybe GB) is under his control. I think he will go after Israel before he goes after a NATO nation. Maybe not directly, but someone else will take advantage of Russie flexing her muscles (like Mussolini and Japan) and attack Israel and Putin will “protect” Israel. Oooo. Interesting times we are a-livin’ in! Worrisome thing for me is that I have a son in the USAF. God is in control—I keep telling myself.
If that is the case, and I doubt it, we'd have a whole new ball game and war is coming.
Whoa. I had not heard that. But I can believe it. Link please?
If the people of eastern Ukraine (primarily Russian) vote to join Russia, would Putin be justified in absorbing it?
The US had best watch their words here; the same rationale may be used for Mexico to reclaim some territory along our southern border...
I just want to know if there is real intel on Russia being positioned to move on the Baltics.
Recently Russia has been having war games with their large military formations based near the Baltics. They could be mobilized within hours to attack NATO countries in the Baltics.
Estonia has an active army of 4,000 troops. The joke in Lithuania is that they have two tanks. One doesn’t run and one doesn’t shoot!
Excepting Poland all NATO troops are too far away to do anything before Russia creates facts on the ground. This seems to be by design. The kenyan is all talk and no action.
I think Eastern Ukraine is a given, driving south through Odessa (nearly as Russian as Moscow) and into Transwhatever.
There'll be much finger wagging over it.
But a move into the Baltics would trigger war.
Link to assassination of right-wing Ukrainian nationalist
Estonia is likely on Putin’s radar.
On 24 March 2014 Oleksandr Muzychko was shot dead. There are conflicting stories about how this happened.(links at source).
According to Ukrainian MP Oles Doniy, a group of unknown armed people arrived on three Volkswagen minivans and kidnapped Muzychko and five other people from a cafe near Rivne. They murdered Muzychko behind the cafe by two gunshots to the heart.[source needs translation][source needs translation] In another telling of Doniy's account, a group of attackers forced Muzychko to stop his car, pulled him from it, handcuffed him and shot him.
According to the interior ministry of Ukraine, Muzychko died in a shoot-out with police in a cafe in Rivne. According to the ministry, the police raided the cafe to arrest Muzychko, but he opened fire while he tried to flee. He was shot when the police returned fire. The police were able to capture him and three others, but by the time the paramedics had arrived at the scene, he had died.
On 25 March, police stated that Muzychko had shot himself.
Reacting to news of the shooting, Dmytro Yarosh, leader of Right Sector, called for the resignation of Interior Minister Arsen Avakov and the arrest of the police who had come for Muzychko.
The story was "developed" all day. The salient facts are that the Ukrainian Interior Minister Avakov apparently ordered the hit and took responsibility for it. The photograph shows the body with chest wound(s) and handcuffed with hands behind the back, the shirt torn apparently to reveal the absence of a bullet proof jacket. This makes subsequent stories of resisting arrest, fleeing, or committing a suicide all bogus. Why a minister (and a millionaire) would execute such manner of "justice" is for me and your to ponder.
It’s also very important to note that we have 140,000 combat troops trapped in Afghanistan and the rest of NATO has some there too.
I could imagine the Russians moving in to the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, where Russian-speakers form the majority, and Putin could claim to be liberating the Russian-speakers from violence and oppression from the Ukranian majority. But a land bridge would require conquest of Kherson and Zaporizhia, which seems highly unlikely. It would be infinitely simpler to construct a bridge across the Strait of Kerch, which is barely two miles wide across placid waters. If they conquer all the way to a land bridge at Armyans’k, it has little to do with establishing a land bridge and everything to do with conquering the entirely of Eastern and Southern Ukraine... which I don’t see as likely.
Russia could go to the Ukranian government and “negotiate” a “land bridge”. However, they don’t recognize the current Ukranian government. That leaves a hostile takeover.
When they invade, what should be our response?