Friday, August 15, 2014

There's that bear again: Russian armor convoy enters Ukraine, part of it destroyed by Ukrainian artillery

Well, this is getting interesting. According to reporters from both The Guardian and The Telegraph, a convoy of about 23 APCs, along with a number of support vehicles crossed the border into Ukraine yesterday. The Ukrainian government reports that the army destroyed part of the convoy with artillery fire.

This is starting to get worrying. It's more or less an open secret that the Russians have been supplying pro-Russian separatists with both weapons and *ahem* "volunteers" ever since the revolution there and maybe they just got caught red handed? Or, if I may go a little bit further than I should, what if this was meant to provoke the Ukrainians into doing this very thing? Who knows what Putin's game plan and end goals are. I don't think he could gobble up all of Ukraine without provoking a serious response from the rest of the world, but he could repeat what happened in Crimea and take another piece of Ukrainian territory, specifically, Eastern Ukraine.

I'm pretty much sliding over the thin line between speculating and bullshitting here, but this idea popped into my head just now. What if Putin goes on TV and tells the Russian people (and the rest of the world) that there was no incursion into Ukraine, at least not an intentional one? He could claim that the convoy that crossed over the border was just a patrol that took a wrong turn and got lost. Ignore the fact that the convoy was traveling with the supposed aid convoy the Russians have assembled on the border*; the two convoys were totally unrelated and just happened to driving down the same highway together. It would be easy for Putin to wave the bloody shirt and lament the "murders" of soldier who were merely serving their country, only to be cut down by "the barbaric" Ukrainians. Spin it some more and he could probably fan the patriotic flames and manufacture a mandate to send troops into Eastern Ukraine in order to prevent the loss of anymore Russian life. Again, I'm just crossing over from speculation to bullshitting here, so I doubt it will happen.

What do you think of this whole mess?

*Yeah, I believe what the Russians say about as much as I believe anything that comes from an untrustworthy source. They say "humanitarian convoy", but unless they allow the contents to be inspected by a third party, who's to say that it isn't carrying more weapons and supplies to the separatists?