Thursday, March 6, 2014

Ukraine SITREP March 6, 12:50 EST

  • The Crimean authorities have just announced that the referendum of the future of the Crimea will be held on March 16 and that the two questions will be:
    Are you in favor of Crimea becoming a constituent territory of the Russian Federation?
    Are you in favor of restoring Crimea’s 1992 constitution?
  • Crimean MPs voted on Thursday for the region to “to become part of the Russian Federation as its constituent territory,”:  78 MPs said yes to Crimea joining Russia, while 8 abstained from voting.  The parliament has also made a decision to ask the Russian leadership to “launch the procedure of Crimea becoming part of Russia.”
Comment: this is quite a surprise to me, I had not expected the Crimeans to chose to join Russia.  I suppose that this is a reaction to the escalation of verbal threats coming from the US and EU.

PS: concerning the rumor about the Ukrainians placing mines around the Sevastopol harbor, this is nonsense for the following reasons:

1) Who would have placed them?  The Ukrainians - impossible: the Black Sea Fleet intel would have picked up on the deployment.  Also, the Ukrainians do not have the means to do that.  The West - impossible.  That would be an act of war.  And, again, the BSF intel would have picked that up.  The Russians themselves - why?  And if they did, how could they lose control of the codes?
2) The BSF does have the means to remove such mines.
3) The Crimean authorities and the Russians could get a fantastic chance for some propaganda if that was true.  They never mentioned it.
4) What would be the point?  Give a pretext to the Russians to open up with whatever they want on the Ukrainians?  Hardly.  A false flag?  That would not require such big deployment.

Bottom line - dismiss these crazy rumors.

Cheers and stay tuned!

The Saker