This is coolbert:
From the Chicago Tribune today, this headline:
"Ukraine’s Russia quandary"
Here is an additional “hot spot” where Russia may soon exert influence in other than a neighborly fashion, “bullying” a lesser power in an attempt to again establish “manifest destiny” similar to what would have been done during the Czarist era.
A location where animosities are simmering below the surface. Hostilities of an ethnic nature having an additional military dimension!
Crimea. Russian Imperial territory [Soviet since 1918] since the 1700’s, NOW part of the Ukraine. Territory where a majority [slightly greater than half] of the populace is ethnic Russian, speaking Russian, devoted to the Russian “motherland”, carrying Ukrainian and Russian passports both, and to a degree aggrieved with Ukrainian nationalists such as Yushchenko.
Crimea [Krim in Russian], also home to the Russian Black Sea Fleet. A fleet leasing port facilities [Sevastopol] from the Ukrainians until 2017.
“there . . . Are disturbing similarities to Georgia’s separatist regions [Abkhazia and South Ossetia] that have Ukrainians worriedly trying to forecast the Kremlin’s intentions." [with regard to Crimea]
“'If Ukrainian authorities continue to push away Russians from Crimea, there will be serious consequences.' - - Gennady Basov - - head of the pro-Russian Russky Bloc."
“'Russia feels its new found power, and wants to revive its influence over former Soviet territory . . . That’s why the fleet here in Crimea is an effective way of preserving that influence . . .' - - Sergei Kulik - - director of Nomos, and independent think tank in Sevastopol."
[this particular Tribune article is accompanied by a picture of a Russian Slava class cruiser returning to port, greeted by Russian on-lookers. Pretty formidable looking warship, equipped with sixteen anti-ship cruise missiles, and two turret-mounted 130 mm guns. The Soviet/Russian Kirov/Slava class cruisers were self-contained all-purpose naval combat arms vessels. Anti-ship/anti-submarine/anti-aircraft capability all rolled into one!! How many of these warships the Russians can put to sea is undetermined! NOT the same as in the Soviet days. But a potentiality does exist?]
Some comments here:
Russia, from the earliest Czarist times, through territorial expansion, ALWAYS desired to obtain and establish dominion over WARM WATER PORTS!! Ports such as can be found in Crimea! Allowing access to the sea and oceans regardless of the season. Of the four Soviet fleets, ONLY THE BLACK SEA FLEET HAD YEAR-ROUND ACCESS TO WARM WATER PORTS, THE BALTIC, NORTH, AND PACIFIC FLEETS BEING TIED UP FOR A GOODLY PORTION OF THE YEAR BY ICE!!
It has been suggested that the illness recently suffered by President Yushchenko of the Ukraine was due TO POISONING BY A HOSTILE FOREIGN POWER! A hostile foreign power displeased with the overtures Yushchenko was making to NATO and the “west”!! Yushchenko allegedly was poisoned while being “entertained” as a guest of the Russians, given dioxin with his tea and biscuits?? So desirous are the Russian to retain bases in Crimea that they would resort to poisoning the leader of a foreign nation whose inclinations are felt to "anti-Russian", whatever that is!?
Many Soviet era sanitarium, resorts, R and R facilities, dacha for high-ranking officials were located in the Crimean area. SUBMARINERS FROM THE NORTH SEA FLEET [MURMANSK] WOULD RECUPERATE FROM LONG VOYAGES WITHOUT SUN BY LOUNGING ON A CRIMEAN BEACH LISTENING TO TAPE RECORDINGS OF BIRD SINGING!! The Russian has a long and emotional relationship to the Black Sea and environs, especially Krim!!
The Russian is saying - - "don't mess with Krim!!"