The video clip shown here is evidence that Russia is actively involved in an ‘invasion by stealth’ in Ukraine. The Russians call this ‘Maskirovka’.
A new military front has been opened in south-eastern Ukraine and – as it is obvious to expert observers that this is not just pro-Russian rebels – the town of Novoazovsk has fallen into Russian hands. It is a border town on the south eastern tip of Ukraine, it is the administrative center of the Novoazovskyi Raion, in Donetsk Oblast.Situated close to the Russian border on the Sea of Azov. The next likely target will be the port city of Mariupol. This is a Russian strategy to keep NATO from their border. It is not a strategy that the pro-Russian rebels in Donetsk would adopt as it would stretch their already limited capabilities
Ukraine has again claimed that Russian military columns have entered Ukrainian territory to ensure success for the rebel attack, but the Russian government continues to deny arming or covertly supporting the rebels, with their strategy of maskirovka, attack by stealth. Putin’s mafia have repeatedly claimed that any military hardware, such as rocket launchers or tanks used by separatist forces, must have originated from Ukrainian army bases that have been overrun by the rebels..
In a blog for the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), an expert analyst, Joseph Dempsey, has identified what can only be a tank that has originated from the Russian military in a column of tanks and rocket launchers that were seen in eastern Ukraine two days ago. He writes
Recently published online footage, reportedly taken on 26 August in Sverdlovsk, Luhansk Oblast, in eastern Ukraine, shows a convoy of military vehicles. Whilst date and location are unconfirmed, the operator of the convoy is apparent: flags associated with the separatist movement are clearly displayed and some vehicles feature bright green areas, a common feature of separatist armour.
The mixed convoy includes at least three T-72B1 MBTs but it is the appearance (01:40–01:53) of a lone, more modern T-72 variant that is of particular significance. This variant, distinguished by the prominent Kontakt-5 Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA) arrangement on the turret front, is commonly referred to by Western sources as the T-72BM. It is operated by the Russian Army in large numbers, but crucially it is not known to have been exported or operated outside of Russia. The presence of this variant in Ukraine therefore strongly supports the contention that Russia is supplying arms to separatist forces.
Expert identification of this Russian tank in a separatist column in eastern means that it could only have come from across the border in Russia. There is no confirmation of the date or the exact location, but it is clear from the footage that the tank that must have come from Russia is with other armoured vehicles flying the Donetsk separatist flag. This took place whilst Putin was in Minsk trying to establish a road map for peace in Ukraine. So what is Putin’s aim?
A study of a map that was produced for the Presidential Election in Ukraine in December 2004 gives a clue to voting patterns in south and south-eastern Ukraine. You may already know that Yushchenko was elected in the poll, that he was a staunch supporter of Ukraine and its freedoms – namely “democracy, Ukrainian identity and European integration”. His ethnicity is Ukrainian as the “Sumy Oblast region where he was born is predominantly Ukrainian-speaking” whereas Yanukovych, who lost this election but subsequently won the presidency in 2010, was a native Russian ethnic who lived in the Donetsk Oblast.
It is apparent from this snapshot of voting patterns that the blue areas, supported a strongly pro-Russian president, whereas the Orange areas voted for an ethnic Ukrainian. The division along ethnic lines is confirmed in this graphic, underscoring the pattern that Putin is seeking to exploit by sending advisors, troops and equipment into Ukraine. Although this strategy is weakening his international reputation it is strengthening his popularity in Russia,
“The guys from the east shot the positions of the Ukrainian army and the army left Novoazovsk,” according to freelance journalist Petr Shelomovsky, who told the BBC. “Since the morning, they’ve been leaving the town and we’ve probably seen the last armoured personnel carrier leaving the place.”
The German Chancellor and the EU are currently making representations to Moscow protesting the interference by Russia in the conflict in Ukraine. If some decisive action is not taken, Putin will grab more land from Ukraine and any such success will only feed the appetite of the Russian nation to see a rebirth of the USSR.
In an article headlined Putin Forever? Russian President’s Ratings Skyrocket Over Ukraine, the writer explains that “Russian President, Vladimir Putin, is enjoying almost unprecedented job-approval ratings in his country. And the only reason for this popularity surge, sociologists say, is Russia’s tough stance on Ukraine. A separate study conducted in April by Russia’s state-funded polling agency VTSiOM showed that 82 percent of respondents thought their country played an important role in global affairs, compared to 58 percent six years ago.”
Putin’s comment to George W. Bush stands as a chilling warning about the fate of Ukraine. It is reported that he said ‘You Have to Understand, George. Ukraine Is Not Even a Country’
That view is becoming ever closer to reality in the passage of 2014.