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 ...
I believe Danish F-16’s shadowed some of the recent Russian war games being discussed. But whether they could offer much more than harrasment of an actual Russian move on the Baltics may be questionable.
If Russia goes to Kherson they're not going to stop until they're through Odessa and into Transwhatever.
The costs to them would be the same either way.
But bascially none of our armor.. wasn’t effective in that combat zone. We could if we wanted roll some nasty tank formations up to Poland as a way of saying no more.
Agreed on the first part of that, but, Kherson could be difficult to secure, long term, making for vulnerable supply lines. Plus, the Russians end up on Romania’s border, which country is a significant NATO member, generally has it’s act together militarily, and is likely to view Russians (especially in this circumstance) on its border very dimly.
Of significance is Mihail Kogalniceanu airbase in Eastern Romania, which is our new air transit center to Afghanistan. It would make Russkis in Odessa (etc.) quite vulnerable, should push come to shove..
It would seriously be very hard to imagine a less adept administration. Obama is floundering in a bed he made up for himself.
It’s just sad to realize this guy represents us, and is destroying any respect for the United States.
I thought this ass hat was going to have all nations around the planet loving us. He stated Bush talked down to everyone.
Obama fixed that by talking up to everyone. How is that working for us Barack?
This decade will be looked back on as the pathetic years.
The Swedes are at least talking about beefing up a little, but the problem is that they (and the rest) should have gotten the message back in 2008.
Still... The whole post-Cold War construct to keep the peace relies on overwhelming U.S. muscle, with modest assistance from the Brits and French, and little from all the rest. Without that, it’s merely a matter of when a major war breaks out, not “if”.
“Maybe taunting them and calling Putin weak has made the “regional power” feel like it needs to make a statement.”
You got it in one...
And really, from the Russian view, why shouldn’t he? Obama has set the conditions for this. Just two days before Putin moves on Ukraine, Obama announces a U.S. drawdown to pre-WW2 troop levels.
Obama screwed the Russians badly by lying to him about the “No Fly Zone” in Libya, then Putin called Obamas bluff in Syria, and saw how fast The Gay Media Messiah went running away, and how fast the US Media forgot that it ever happened, because it made Obama look bad. 48 hours and it was just GONE from US non-Fox media coverage.
Now, Obama and the NGOs have destabilized Ukraine as well, and Putin is again going to call Obamas bluff.
From a strictly Machiavellian view, Putin would be stupid to not move on the advantage, while he has it. The U.S. has proven toothless, Europe doesn’t want to admit anything is happening yet, and Ukraine is in anarchy. A window for action like this doesn’t last forever.
Rules for Radicals doesnt cover this, but Machiavellis The Prince, does.
Personally, I don’t think the Russians will go in. I think Ukraine and Russia will work out a deal to grant commercial overland access to the Crimea. Only if Ukraine decides to draw their own lines will Russia act to secure the eastern Ukraine. I expect some kind of deal-making and “Finlandization” between the Baltic States, Belorus, and Russia.
The Russians scored a coup with the bloodless reacquisition of the Crimea. Going further without a period of some sort of deal-making I think would be pushing their luck. Poland and the Baltic states might mobilize and there’d be real poor relations for awhile. Islamic states would love to see internal strife among the European ones.
“But now with the assassination of a Right Sector leader apparently by the Interior ministry ...”
That Right Sector leader was a worldwide hunted International War Criminal, responsible for torturing and murdering Russian prisoners of war in Chechnya, and taking advantage of the chaos inside Ukraine to kill Russians and rob banks.
People like this are who the U.S. Governemt, and the Open Society NGO’s have been funding to create the unrest.
“And Poland and Romania and Azerbaijan and Balarus and Moldova and Finland....”
I don’t think Putin intends anything more than Southern Ukraine, and I called that one from the beginning of this. An attack on any NATO member activates the treaty, and we are dealing with a smart guy here.
Transdneistr might be another matter however, being unsettled business from the breakup of the Soviet Union.
You think all the foot stompin’ over Ukraine is just Obama Kabuki? Could be. Not disagreeing.
“I just want to know if there is real intel on Russia being positi9oned to move on the Baltics”
Nothing at all, other than a Russian mention of treatment of native Russians in Estonia last week.
There have been some movements caught by twitterers of top-line, recently modernized/westernized brigades (what we would call “Heavy Brigades”) in the last few days, though, on an axis toward Donetsk and Southern Ukraine, as well as some Twitter reports of a Battalion-strength unit on train in Belarus.
Ukraine could lose everything south of the Dnieper, from Donetsk to Meltipol, to Crimea, IMO. I don’t think they will go after the two cities, though.
Why would Putin want those problems?
this was a Russian style election. nyet is not an acceptable vote.
We have “intelligence”? Since when? They blew almost every major assessment and prediction (allowing for the fact that we don’t know what the CIA/DIA said in classified assessments and warnings that might have been right).
Our CIA has had a generations long bad habit of underestimating our enemies intentions and capabilities to carry out aggression.
The failure to plan for a No. Vietnamese cliff assault on one of our most valuable electronic listening posts in SVN/Lao cost us not only the site, but the lives of both Americans and Laotians.
Tet was not a surprise but the scope and coordination of it was. Also the inability to understand the Russian anti-aircraft defense systems around Hanoi and other strategic targets cost us a lot of men and planes, and our aerial attack patterns were absolutely stupid.
The USS Cole? No real outrider US protection craft? Who the hell let that one get by, esp. in hostile waters?
One lousy guardpost on the outer perimeters of the Marine Barracks/base at the old airport in Lebanon? Another major fiasco. Should have been a series of strong checkpoints in a circular pattern around the whole area.
The bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut. No real protection for a building that was built with floors overhanging the ground. Sheer stupidity and negligence esp. since the Israelis and French buildings had already been blown up by truck-driven bombers.
The bombing of the World Trade Center the first time was not taken seriously and the prevailing thought was that it wouldn’t be targetted again. You know how that worked out.
No anti-aircraft shoulder fired missiles for patrols on top of the Pentagon on 9/11. We heard the plane coming in about a mile from our house, then heard and felt the explosion as it crashed into the Pentagon. Not a single shot fired in an attempt to bring it down.
No arms available for any aircraft stationed a few miles away at either Bolling AFB or Andrews AFB who could have intercepted the hijacked plane far away from DC. Another military fiasco, partially the blame of Clinton/Administration but also by the military who didn’t prepare for anything.
I could go on but you know the history of our intelligence mistakes, including Pearl Harbor, the Red Chinese coming into No. Korea, and the Egyptian surprise attack on Israel in Oct. 1967 (Yom Kippur War), among others.
What we need is a complete overhaul of our intelligence systems, starting with the very basic concepts that it is operating on, concepts that are far from reality in most cases.
The breakdown in information flow in the FBI re the 9/11 hijackers who were taking one-way flight training in New Mexico/Arizona and Minnesota, and which was ignored up the chain of analysis and command, stands as an indictment for which heads should have rolled down Pennsylvania Ave in DC.
Bradley Manning, Snowden, etc. Totally failures in protective planning for out most important secrets and operating techniques.
If we don’t clean house now, there may not be a “next” time in which to do it. Someone may clean our house for us.
I think the leaking of this information is an attempt to reduce the “shock value” of any future Russian action.
In the Clinton days, Whitewater and Lewinsky information and so on was leaked out early to reduce its sensationalism and control damage to the Clintons.
Perhaps the Baltics are mentioned as part of the strategy to make the eventual Russian action in the Ukraine “not as bad as we thought”.
Obama and the EU are going to do very little because serious action would have serious economic and or military consequences.
The media has control of this and the idiot who occupies the Oval Office.
He certainly is no shrinking violet, but how much of his alleged crimes are RF’s disinformation I don’t know. His contribution to the Ukrainian anti-Communist Revolution is immense.