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Analysis
01-04-2014
Some Russian war preparedness strategic reasons to retain Crimea and Ukraine's border regions
Author : Hendrajit, senior researcher of the Global Future Institute

On March 17, the reunification of Crimea with Russia became a reality following a referendum in which 96.8 percent of the Crimea's people supported their reintegration with Russia. On March 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an official document to become a law. Since then, Crimea has officially become part of the sovereign territory of Russia.


According to military analyst, Michael Snyder, Russia will never, ever give up Crimea without a resistance. TheRussian Black Sea fleet’s main base at Sevastopol is too important and very strategic for Russia. Moreover, 60 percent of the Crimea's population is ethnic Russians, so it makes sense that most of the population tend to take side with Russia.
 
"The truth is that Russia is more than willing to fight a war over Crimea.  And considering the fact that vitally important pipelines that pump natural gas from Russia to the rest of Europe go right through Ukraine, it is not likely that Russia will just willingly hand the rest of Ukraine over to the U.S. and the EU either," said Snyder.
 
According to the Snyder's prediction, "If the U.S. and the EU push too hard in Ukraine, a major regional war may erupt which could ultimately lead to something much larger." It must be realized that Russia and Ukraine have very deep historical ties. So Ukraine in the eyes of Russia has very strategic values.
 
Of these developments, the Jakarta-based Global Future Institute believes that the reunification with Russia will create a balance of power between Washington and Moscow in addition to re-expanding the Moscow sphere of influence in Ukraine. While at the same time, the separation of Crimea from Ukraine will limit the expansion of the U.S. and NATO to their Russian "backyard".
 
So not surprisingly if some media reported that currently 100 thousand Russian troops have been deployed in the border regions of Ukraine, and waited for the orders of President Putin to launch an attack on the territory of Ukraine. So the presence of the Russian military will not stop in Crimea alone. Rather it will be pushed into, into the territory of Ukraine.
 
About the presence of 100 thousand Russian troops in the border regions of Ukraine,  Chairman of the National Security Council of Ukraine Andriy Parubly told the Voice of America on March 28, 2014. According Parubly, Russia has put 100 thousand troops on the border of Ukraine in the North, South and East.
 
Even President Obama admitted that based on the information of the Department of Defense, Russia was continuing to strengthen its forces in the three border areas, although there was not yet a clear intention from Russia in placing its troops in the three border areas.
 
Likewise, Russia will apparently address it seriously. As reported by the Interfax on March 28, Russia had prepared its strategic missile known SMF. In addition, the defense authorities in Moscow have ordered Yury Dolgoruky nuclear-powered submarine carrying Bulava missiles, to leave its base in Severodvinsk in northern Russia.
 
The command to move the Dolgoruki submarine and Bulava missiles seems to be read as a form of Russian readiness in fighting against the U.S. and NATO military maneuvers, following the overt hostility of the U.S. and the European Union following the Russia'S development in Crimea. While 98.6 per cent of the Crimea's people agreed the reunification of Crimea with Russia.
 
Imagine! the Russian Dolgoruki submarine, besides carrying Bulava missiles which is the strongest type of nuclear weapons in the world today, it is also the one most feared by the U.S. and NATO because its movement is difficult to detect with radar.
 
Even NATO dubbed the Yuri Dolgoruki submarine as "The Silent Killer" because of its sophistication to disappear from enemy military radar. In addition, it is also able to launch the Bulava missiles with a range of 10 thousand kilometers of waters anywhere in the world. Bulava is capable of carrying 6 to 10 nuclear warheads in which each is measuring 100 to 150 kilotons.
 
Some other indications showing the Russian forces  preparedness not only to stop Crimea alone, but will invade Ukraine, could be seen through some signs :
 
1. More Russian military vehicles continue to pour into Crimea.
2. Russian military vehicles have been photographed in the main square of Sevastopol.
3. Russian military jets near the border with Ukraine have been put on combat alert.
4. Russia has ordered “surprise military exercises” along the Ukrainian border.
5. In connection with those “exercises”, it is being reported that Russia has deployed 150,000 troops along the border with Ukraine.
6. Russia already has approximately 26,000 troops stationed at their naval base in Sevastopol.
7. Russian ships carrying additional soldiers have been spotted off the coast of Crimea. Russia’s large landing ship Nikolai Filchenkov has arrived near the Russia Black Sea Fleet’s base at Sevastopol, which Russia has leased from Ukraine since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
8. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu made the following statement to reporters on Wednesday, February 26, that Russia will take measures to ensure what it termed "the security of our facilities."
9. An unidentified Russian official has told the Financial Times that Russia is willing to use military force to protect Crimea. Moscow earlier revealed that it would be ready to go for war over the Crimea region in order to protect the large population and army installations. An unidentified Russian official told the Financial Times, “If Ukraine breaks apart, it will trigger a war. They will lose Crimea first [because] we will go in and protect [it], just as we did in Georgia.” 
10. Officials in Sevastopol have “installed” a Russian citizen as mayor of the city.
11. Approximately 120 pro-Russian gunmen have seized the Crimean parliament building and have raised the Russian flag.
12.  There are rumors that Russian authorities have offered protection to ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.
Russian news agencies reported that he had already arrived in Russia, but officials did not immediately confirm that.
 
It seems that no matter how hard the U.S. and EU efforts to maintain its sphere of influence in Ukraine, Russia will defend  Crimea having direct access to take control of Ukraine. As Russia was also persistent in defending South Ossetia and Abkhazia in Georgia a few years ago.


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