Russia Prepared To Fight War Over Ukraine, Senior Government Official Admits

Tyler Durden's picture

"If Ukraine breaks apart, it will trigger a war," warns a senior Russian government official. The FT reports Russia is prepared to fight a war over the Ukrainian territory of Crimea (where the largest ethnic Russian population lives and they have a military base). Conjuring images of the 2008 Russian invasion of Georgia, the official told the FT, "they will lose Crimea first [because] we will go in and protect [it], just as we did in Georgia." The Kremlin regards the Georgian conflict as the biggest stand-off between Russia and the west since the end of the Cold War and it has fed determination in Moscow to push back against what it believes to be western attempts to contain Russia.

 

 

Via The FT,

If Ukraine breaks apart, it will trigger a war,” the official said. “They will lose Crimea first [because] we will go in and protect [it], just as we did in Georgia.” In August 2008, Russian troops invaded Georgia after the Georgian military launched a surprise attack on the separatist region of South Ossetia in an effort to establish its dominance over the republic.

 

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The brief conflict with Georgia pitted Russia indirectly against the US and Nato, which had earlier tried to put Georgia on a path to Nato membership. The Kremlin regards the Georgian conflict as the biggest stand-off between Russia and the west since the end of the Cold War and it has fed determination in Moscow to push back against what it believes to be western attempts to contain Russia.

 

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The warning of a similar scenario comes because Ukraine’s civil conflict has fanned tension in Crimea. On the peninsula, located on the northern coast of the Black Sea where Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is stationed, ethnic Russians make up almost 60 per cent of the population, with Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars accounting for the rest.

 

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Volodymyr Konstantinov, speaker of Crimea’s parliament, said on Thursday that the region might try to secede from Ukraine if the country split. “It is possible, if the country breaks apart,” he told the Russian news agency Interfax. “And everything is moving towards that.” Russian media also quoted him as saying Crimeans might turn to Russia for protection.

 

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The Kremlin has been eager to stress that it is not interfering in Ukraine. ...

 

However, many government officials say in private that Ukraine falls inside Russia’s sphere of influence. “We will not allow Europe and the US to take Ukraine from us. The states of the former Soviet Union, we are one family,” said a foreign policy official. “They think Russia is still as weak as in the early 1990s but we are not.”

So while some suggest the "agreement" today is great news, we suspect it solves absolutely nothing as the corruption at the core remains and the push-pull of East-West tensions remains as the only thing that matters - it sadly appears - is who controls the pipelines.