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Showdown In Ukraine: Putin’s Quest for Ports, Oil, Pipelines & Gas

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by Claude Salhani via OilPrice.com,

Yes, Russia is guilty of meddling in Ukraine, but then again so are the United States and the European Union. The major difference is that far less was said and much less reported by the international media over the Americans’ and Europeans’ interference than of Russia’s actions and the reactions it caused.

Where Russia is involved many in the West believe that one only needs to scratch the surface to see traces of the old Soviet Union begin to resurface. After all, Russian President Vladimir Putin is a former KGB officer. The truth is much more complicated than that: or perhaps somewhat simpler.

The Cold War that divided the East and West maybe over but the old rivalry still lingers. The rivalry between the West and Russia is no longer one over diverging political philosophies, but purely over resources – and the capitalistic gains they produce from mainly oil, gas and pipelines.

The West and in particular the United States seems to be suffering from collective memory disorder and have forgotten all the mud they slapped onto Putin’s face during the past 15 or so years. Or at least they expected him to forget and forgive.

But then again Russian troops did move in to grab control of Crimea, taking over the territory from the Ukrainians. You can counter that argument by pointing to the US and NATO, who not only interfered, but swallowed former Soviet domains bringing them into the North Atlantic alliance, pushing NATO closer to Russia’s borders.

Yes, Russia needs access to warm water ports for its Black Sea fleet and many analysts also believe that this is a major issue of concern for Moscow, which it is. But the plot, as they say, thickens.

There is also another reason for Putin’s intervention in Ukraine and that has to do with Russia elbowing for dominance of the very lucrative and strategically important “energy corridors.”
That is very likely to be the major reason why Putin is willing to risk going to war with the West over Crimea, the pipelines that traverses the Caucasus and the oil and natural gas these pipelines carry westwards to Europe.

Given the geography of the region there are only so many lanes where the pipelines can be laid; and most of them transit through Ukraine. Others travel across Azerbaijan and Turkey. Most of Western Europe’s gas and much of Eastern Europe’s gas travels through Ukraine.

If Russia has vested interest in “recolonizing” Ukraine, the United States on the other hand has its own interests in Ukraine and other former Soviet areas.

What is going on today is nothing short of a race for control of what’s going to dominate the energy markets over the next two or three decades: the energy corridors from Central Asia, the Caucuses and through Russia and Ukraine.

As stated in a report published by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, “the proclamation of independence, the adoption of state symbols and a national anthem, the establishment of armed forces and even the presence on Ukrainian territory of nuclear missiles—all important elements of independent statehood—amount little if another power, Russia, controls access to fuel without which Ukraine cannot survive economically.

That same report denotes that "Ukraine's strategic location between the main energy producers (Russia and the Caspian Sea area) and consumers in the Eurasian region, its large transit network, and its available underground gas storage capacities," make the country "a potentially crucial player in European energy transit" - a position that will "grow as Western European demands for Russian and Caspian gas and oil continue to increase."

Ukraine's dependence on Russian energy imports has had "negative implications for US strategy in the region."

As long as Russia controls the flow of oil and gas it has the upper hand. Russia's Gazprom currently controls almost a fifth of the world's gas reserves.

More than half of Ukraine’s and nearly 30% of Europe's gas comes from Russia.  Moscow wants to try and keep things going its way; Washington and Brussels find it in their interests to try and alter that by creating multiple channels for central Asian and Caspian oil to flow westwards.
Ukraine today finds itself in the center of the new East-West dispute.

Ironically, the very assets that make Ukraine an important player in the new geopolitical game being played out between Washington and Moscow is also its greatest disadvantage.

 

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Wed, 03/26/2014 - 22:11 | 4596974 ApollyonDestroy
ApollyonDestroy's picture

There's just no more avoiding war at this point.  Too many people, not enough resources.  War for energy, people for slaves.  NWO crashes into the world, no more acquiesence 

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 22:28 | 4597039 Latina Lover
Latina Lover's picture

Russian short man, small dick 1,  Bisexual Mulatto 0

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 03:00 | 4597581 kashey
kashey's picture

Wrong!
Russia's actions has nothing to do with control over pipelines because all pipelines go through nationalist anti-Russian Western Ukraine and in any scenario of splitting the country along ethnic regions Russia will have parts if pipelines still going through independebt Western Ukrainian territory.
Then, Russian Black sea fleet has always, including soviet time been not strong or important because Black sea is land locked and any fleet there is doomed to be local defensive.
As a Russian I see no other reason but protection of ethnic Russians in Ukraine from forced assimilation, as well preventing NATO aifields and missiles stationed 500 km from Moscow...

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 10:25 | 4598336 Sofa King Confused
Sofa King Confused's picture

The Black Sea is not landlocked dumbass

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 22:14 | 4596991 holmes
holmes's picture

Why the fuck does/should the USA care how nat gas gets from Russia to Europe. Obama should get his dumb ass back here and get our Keystone pipeline built.

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 22:23 | 4597024 Rakshas
Rakshas's picture

Short dumb answer - Petrodollar Plummet; and since that is the loveliest camel in the herd ...... it's gonna get nuts...

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 01:25 | 4597478 HardlyZero
HardlyZero's picture

and...why is there a meeting with the Pope ?   all of a sudden ?    Maybe this is more serious game than normal and it is time to belly up to the big boys bar (in a metrosexual way) ?

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 02:25 | 4597554 Ifigenia
Ifigenia's picture

someone want to gave our souls to Creator? So he need to confess his sin?

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 22:32 | 4597052 DIgnified
DIgnified's picture

"Qatar is the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world, and the country's exports of LNG, crude oil, and petroleum products provide a significant portion of government revenues."

 http://www.eia.gov/countries/cab.cfm?fips=qa

 

Syria said no.

 

"Qatar unlikely to abandon favoured Syria rebels"

http://www.worldbulletin.net/todays-news/131571/qatar-unlikely-to-abando...


Wed, 03/26/2014 - 23:06 | 4597158 ILLILLILLI
ILLILLILLI's picture

I always look for tiny bits of interesting new information...keep it coming.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 00:03 | 4597327 philipat
philipat's picture

Yup, Qatar gas needs a pipeline to the Med/Europe. In view of Russia's actions, I think Syria just got wiped out?

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 02:28 | 4597556 Ifigenia
Ifigenia's picture

so Obama sacrifice the life of those voters for oil?

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 22:20 | 4597006 DIgnified
DIgnified's picture

Watching the worst people in history get beat in war-chess without a shot being fired (not for lack of effort) is grand.  I want a powerful country that is respected.  Not a reviled country that is fucking evil, if there is such a thing.

 

Good day.  Assholes learning everywhere today.  Obama with the cold-shoulder in Europe. The foiled-at-every-turn warmongering.  CalState Sen Anti-Gun Democrat Leland Yee was arrested for corruption, bribery, and illegal firearms trafficking (or at least offering to make an illegal sale happen). He was joined by NY state senators John Sampson and Malcom Smith in the "I got arrested for corruption charges today" club.   Aaaaaand once he's (Yee) bounced out of office shortly, that will eliminate the California Democrat SuperMajority.

 

Good day indeed.

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 22:35 | 4597062 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Ding, ding. We're to all fall in love and become world government dependants. It's recorded on that HD, wiped from Google.  Hillary pushed this agenda during their attempts to pass free health care provisions. The negro has himself painted against the wall. Couldn't happen to a better clan of progressives aiming to kill off the US Dollar to partake a global seat. 

NSA, can you hear me now? Get fucking busy. 

 

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 04:24 | 4597632 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

obama is not a communist, socialist, liberal or progressive in any important way.  he talks like one on occasion.  he almost never acts like one.  he and bush are nearly the same but for style and window dressing.

http://www.tomdispatch.com/archive/175432/ 

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 06:29 | 4597715 swmnguy
swmnguy's picture

Amen, Brother.  "Communist, socialist, liberal or progressive" are words that have meanings far beyond "Thing I Don't Like."  When I read in May 2008 that Obama was getting more contributions from the Finance Industry than either McCain or HRC I lost all doubt that he was anything but a different wrapper for the exact same entity.  Misusing name-labels merely distracts people from understanding what's right in front of them.

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 22:57 | 4597142 Snidley Whipsnae
Snidley Whipsnae's picture

"But then again Russian troops did move in to grab control of Crimea, taking over the territory from the Ukrainians. You can counter that argument by pointing to the US and NATO, who not only interfered, but swallowed former Soviet domains bringing them into the North Atlantic alliance, pushing NATO closer to Russia’s borders."

For the umpteenth time: Russia had thousands of army troops stationed in Crimea under a leagle treaty with the Ukraine... and Russia has a lease on the seaport until 2042...all PRIOR TO the coup that ousted the gov of the Ukraine. Russia did not need to 'move to grab control of the Crimea' cause Russian troops were already in Crimea under a legal treaty with Ukraine.

I call bs on this article.

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 23:53 | 4597297 philipat
philipat's picture

If you can't even spell "Legal", I call BS on your post!

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 04:28 | 4597636 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

the spelling was wrong but the facts largely right.  russia could have added thousands more troops and still been in compliance with that treaty.  and, to me, at least as telling is that over 90% of both the voters and the ukrainian army (!) in crimea chose to join the russians.  

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 00:14 | 4597347 Idi_ocracy
Idi_ocracy's picture

What the fuck does the lease have to do with anything? before this crisis, the Crimea was governed politically and millitarily, by Kiev. Now it is governed by Moscow. I also call BS on your comment.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 01:33 | 4597494 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

I call bs on our response ("there will be no military move to oust the Russians from Crimea.") Wow...we have an electoral strategy for victory? even Catherine the Great is laughing her boobs off with that one. (and a fine set of boobs she had I might add.)

"Bwhahahahaha. hello Mr non-monarchy guy. in Russia we vote you...not other way around."

And of course I better get five hundred up arrows for this because everyone living on the Planet...even the plants...know I'm right.

by my count athat should be at least 5 trillion up arrows. I means chimps might disagree...they're kinda like that...but no one asks for their vote. those things are crazy...especially when you mess with their appearance. "it makes them sad...and when chimps get sad...they get angry. and when chimps get angry they start to ideate. and when chimps start ideating...well let's just you better have a top flight military staff college to deal with that issue."

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 04:37 | 4597641 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

doesn't look like those up arrows are coming.  not everyone likes war as much as vets seem to. 

wonder if russia as any anti-drone drones?

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 22:19 | 4597008 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

"There is also another reason for Putin’s intervention in Ukraine and that has to do with Russia elbowing for dominance of the very lucrative and strategically important “energy corridors.”

Oh, my gosh, I never thought of that.

"As stated in a report published by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars,..."

Goose, this is Maverick, we're in a flat spin.  I'm punching out.

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 22:20 | 4597009 exartizo
exartizo's picture

(reprinted by Popular Demand.)

 

LIGHT INTRODUCTIONS PRESENTS;

 

Fly On The Wall Productions

 

A  recently tapped (Non NSA) wireless conversation between Herr Merkel and Mr. Obama

 

Herr Merkel: Mr. Obama I am in possession of our most recent intelligence regarding the Russian advance of troops and military possessions further into Ukraine.

 

Mr. Obama: Yes. I’ve been following events too. I made a speech, without my teleprompter, condemning Putin’s increasing use of force.

 

Herr Merkel: It appears Putin intends to secure his borders for energy control purposes as we have discussed in the past. Short of direct military conflict with him we are now powerless.

 

Mr. Obama: I’ve been considering our alternatives also. I think we’re going to have to let Ukraine go back into Russian hands. Mr. Putin has outfoxed us again!

 

Herr Merkel: He is so bold! What is to stop him from re-annexing all of the former USSR bloc republics?

 

Mr. Obama: My golf game has been off lately. I’m sure I can figure this out when I get back.

 

Herr Merkel: The Bundestag is panicking! We are certain that we will be under Mr. Putin’s thumb for the foreseeable future with our natural gas requirements.

 

Mr. Obama: Yes you’re right Frau Merkel. I’m really sorry about that. What choice do  we have?

 

I mean, the man has nukes, and I’m afraid he’s likely not afraid to use them if he has to. Plus the rest of the civilized world is happy that someone finally has the balls to stand up to us.

 

Where does he get the balls from, that’s what I want to know. He must be eating some kind of Russian bear gonads to give that kind of cahones.

 

Herr Merkel: I wouldn’t know about that Mr. Obama. But I think we need some kind of counter strategy going forward.

 

Mr. Obama: Well. At this point I think we should wait and see how well the sanctions work. I mean sanctions really seemed to work with Iran. Maybe Putin will come around to the bargaining table once the sanctions we’ve placed really start to hit home.

 

Herr Merkel: Mr. Obama! You must be joking!

 

Mr. Obama: No ma’am. I never joke about my golf handicap.

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 22:38 | 4597076 franciscopendergrass
franciscopendergrass's picture

Obama think - Why should I care?  I have Nat Gas and Crude.  Fuck the EU, literally. Hope they pay up the ying yang for nat gas and gasoline. This would also give me brownie points with the oil lobby, the banks and the military industrial complex.  Nothing sells and justifies weapons like international conflict.

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 22:49 | 4597120 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

We can always deport the Chicago Muslim family members to Siberia. Won't be hard to find them wandering off the plantation on a white snow ground covering. We won't have to spend on GITO stay. 

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 22:20 | 4597011 kurt
kurt's picture

Hey Chevron Boy!

Bla fukin' bla

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 22:29 | 4597040 BullyBearish
BullyBearish's picture

We are underwater in debt, spying on and lying to the world, failing in Iraq and Afghanistan, led by a weak and unrespected president, a puppet of the banker luciferians and ripe for trial.  Russia and China both know this well.

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 22:33 | 4597057 franciscopendergrass
franciscopendergrass's picture

Obama think - time to block the Bosphorus.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 01:18 | 4597470 HardlyZero
HardlyZero's picture

Whose Athenian hips can gird that span ?    Where is Ray Harryhausen when you need him ?   Jason of the Argonauts ?   Colossus of Rhodes ?

Or maybe they can float the full unabidged edition of ACA documents down the minimum width 700 m (0.38 nmi) between Kandilli Point and Aiyan ?  That should stuff it up tight.   It would be green and a win-win if it ended healthcare and might be somewhat divine.

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 22:39 | 4597084 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

the usual worthlessness from oilprice.com

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 22:47 | 4597112 socalbeach
socalbeach's picture

Agree, another bull**** article, although not as bad as The Diplomat. I would re-evaluate if the author came up with some evidence that Putin would have "absorbed" Crimea absent the provocation of the US funding the overthrow of the Ukranian government.

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 23:12 | 4597182 ILLILLILLI
ILLILLILLI's picture

Hey, never let a crisis go to waste.

I seem to remember hearing that somewhere...

*ponders*

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 01:08 | 4597462 HardlyZero
HardlyZero's picture

Creative Destruction is the central kernal of the modern thesis...destroy it and they will come and fix it.

Hope that works out ?

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 23:14 | 4597186 HyeM
HyeM's picture

i read previously on ZH that Russia is getting serious about selling their oil/gas to China and India. granted it would take some time to develop those strategies (pipelines have to be built, etc.) but if they exploit that alternative market for their energy resources, then the European market (and by definition Ukraine) mean nothing to Russia; certainly not worth fighting for.

in my opinion European energy markets play a role but a very small role in Putin's calculations...i think he's real reason to risk going to war in Ukraine is to prevent NATO/Western encroachment on their border. oil/gas he can always sell to others, Europe is not the only game in town.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 00:15 | 4597345 sangell
sangell's picture

You are being too rational for Zero Hedge comments. Putin is a genius not an atavistic imperialist according to most here. Rather than wait until May when he was to go and sign a deal with Xi Jinping over that gas deal, Putin tipped his hand and, in a fit of pique over Yunokovich being overthrown while Vlad was preening before the world at Sochi, he burned his bridges to Europe. Now he has the unenviable task of convincing Xi Jinping he is not the unstable megalomaniac Angela Merkel discovered, but a reliable supplier of gas and oil. Will Xi buy it? Not at a high prices he won't. He will tell Vlad if you want Chinese support ( and financing) for your pipeline you will have to lower your price. A lot. That China has huge trade relations with the EU and the US that it cannot jeapordize simply to prop up your geopolitical ambitions.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 01:21 | 4597468 socalbeach
socalbeach's picture

To focus on just one aspect of your post, I doubt that Merkel said Putin was "not in touch with reality", or an "unstable megalomaniac" to use your words.  Apparently the NY Times originated the story, and I would hope most here know from the NY Times reporting on the leadup to the Iraq war, they are not always a reliable source of info.

Did Angela Merkel really say Putin was unhinged?

"... The current example of this is the New York Times' report posted online Sunday and in its Page 1 lead story on Monday purporting to know what German Chancellor Angela Merkel told President Obama after her conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In that story, the Times quotes an identified Obama aide supposedly briefed on the conversation that Merkel described Putin as "in another world." Here's how that story reported it: "Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany told Mr. Obama by telephone on Sunday that after speaking with Mr. Putin she was not sure he was in touch with reality, people briefed on the call said. 'In another world,' she said. That makes for a crisis significantly different from others on Mr. Obama’s watch." The quote was too good to ignore and became the reporting line for every talking head and commentator for the next several news cycles...

As for the German chancellory, it's not exactly endorsing the Times's account. Die Welt, the German newspaper, reported that "The chancellery was not pleased with the reporting on the conversation. They claim that what the chancellor said was that Putin has a different perception on Crimea, which is why she is pushing for a fact finding mission on the matter." Government spokesman Jens Alberts told Claudia Himmelreich, a McClatchy special correspondent, exactly what the government said on Monday: no comment on the contents of the chancellor's confidential phone conversations -- with either Putin or Obama. In defining the German view, Alberts said he would "not dwell on reports and rumors of someone claiming she possibly said this or that. However, what is undisputed is that President Putin has a completely different view of the situation and the events on Crimea than the German government and our western allies." A different view. Obviously. But unhinged? ..."

Source: http://www.mcclatchydc.com

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 02:44 | 4597567 Ifigenia
Ifigenia's picture

the zio-jews media always want to instill fight and wars. Cui bono?

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 02:13 | 4597545 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Your analysis is rubbish as usual.  Only crap this bad comes from US Govt "workers" or their lap dog contractors.  Which one are you?

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 23:30 | 4597224 Aussie V
Aussie V's picture

Merkel has just come out and announced that "Germany is not ready to place sanctions on Russia. She wants to deflate the situation not inflate it."

I suppose that is another way of saying "Get Fucked Barry"

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 00:50 | 4597431 Freddie
Freddie's picture

A few things I have read around on blogs is that this entire mess will push the Germans closer towards Germany.  Putin is very smart.   He will keep charming Germany while Obama and his dual citizen stooges in the State Dept/CIA keep making a mess of this. The See Eye Al CHi-da is own by the dual citizens now.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 03:36 | 4597602 Volkodav
Volkodav's picture

She was trattling off death threat for Russia would suffer recently...I can't stand her...I wish Germans make referendem take their country back...

 

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 00:03 | 4597261 Gadfly
Gadfly's picture

There goes the MSM -- the Cabal's propaganda mouthpiece -- churning out lies and trying to drum up support for sending our tax money to Ukraine (and someday our children to spill thier blood for soneone's oil profits).  Oh my God, the big bad Bear is gobbling up everything in its path and must be stopped!  This is "Weapons of Mass Destruction" under a different name.  Ask me if I give a fuck about what Russia does in its back yard, or who controls the energy cooridors over there.  Oil companies and oligarchs care about that...because they are greedy fucks with no conscience and no regard for anyone else but themselves. (Which is why the article is brought to you by oilprice.com).  Classic sociopaths.  Check that... Psychopaths (since it involves killing others without remorse).  I, for one, will not lay down my life for thier pathology and insanity, nor will I ever allow any of my kids to do so. If the American public falls for this line of bull shit all over again, I fucking give up.

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 23:57 | 4597295 Ifigenia
Ifigenia's picture

"Yes, Russia is guilty of meddling in Ukraine, but then again so are the United States and the European Union. The major difference is that far less was said and much less reported by the international media over the Americans’ and Europeans’ interference than of Russia’s actions and the reactions it caused."

Is this real? BBC, Spiegel, etc. in Europe only point Russia as the culprit of present mess. Well, i go to reread the Vitoria Nulland`s free cookies to take some auspices.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 00:32 | 4597388 Volkodav
Volkodav's picture

ooops what?.....bloomberg???  useless...

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 00:52 | 4597434 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Ignore Flakmeister as he is an Obama voter and friend of the dual citizen types.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 00:56 | 4597446 Rock On Roger
Rock On Roger's picture

Ya, and doncha know the climate is changing?

No wonder they can't ship the crude.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 01:51 | 4597516 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Freddie wouldn't grasp the significance of Russian tanker based oil exports being down from the one port that would likely be directed to Asia....

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 03:32 | 4597600 Volkodav
Volkodav's picture

That article makes nothing definitive even forgiving it from bloomberg...

North thru arctic route to Chine has been planned for more use in real.

 

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 09:00 | 4598020 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Thank god for the that global warming, eh?

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 02:51 | 4597574 Ifigenia
Ifigenia's picture

bloomberg the jew? didnt he alter the law to candidate for a 3times in NYC mayor? how inteligent to defend the dual citizen santuary in trouble times, imagine a monocitizen mayor to defend Wall street during the OWS movement.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 09:02 | 4598025 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

It's amazing how the articles involving Putain seem to bring out all the people worried about the Jews...

Not a coincidence...

BTW, you are full of shit...

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 00:21 | 4597362 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

"Two administration officials described the assessment but declined to be identified due to the sensitive nature of the information."

"Like" me, or at least "Bookmark" me......

LOLOLOLOLOL

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 00:23 | 4597370 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

 

07:02 PM ET U.S. intel assessment: greater likelihood Russia will enter eastern Ukraine

By Barbara Starr

A new classified intelligence assessment concludes it is more likely than previously thought that Russian forces will enter eastern Ukraine, CNN has learned.

Two administration officials described the assessment but declined to be identified due to the sensitive nature of the information.

The officials emphasized that nothing is certain, but there have been several worrying signs in the past three to four days.

“This has shifted our thinking that the likelihood of a further Russian incursion is more probable than it was previously thought to be,” one official said.

 

The buildup is seen to be reminiscent of Moscow’s military moves before it went into Chechnya and Georgia in both numbers of units and their capabilities.

U.S. military and intelligence officials have briefed Congress on the assessment.

As a result, Republican members of the House Armed Services Committee late Wednesday sent a classified letter to the White House expressing concern about unfolding developments.

An unclassified version obtained by CNN said committee members feel “urgency and alarm, based on new information in the committee’s possession.”

The committee said there was “deep apprehension that Moscow may invade eastern and southern Ukraine, pressing west to Transdniestria and also seek land grabs in the Baltics.”

Transdniestria is a separatist region of Moldova.

Committee members noted that Gen. Philip Breedlove, head of the U.S. European Command and NATO military chief, noted the Russians had sufficient forces to make moves into those areas.

American officials believe the more than 30,000 Russian forces on the border with Ukraine, combined with additional Russian forces placed on alert and mobilized to move, give Russian President Vladimir Putin the ability to rapidly move into Ukraine without the United States being able to predict it when it happens.

The assessment makes several new points including:

Troops on Russia’s border with eastern Ukraine – which exceed 30,000 - are “significantly more” than what is needed for the “exercises” Russia says it has been conducting, and there is no sign the forces are making any move to return to their home bases.

The troops on the border with Ukraine include large numbers of
“motorized” units that can quickly move. Additional special forces, airborne troops, air transport and other units that would be needed appear to be at a higher state of mobilization in other locations in Russia.

There is additional intelligence that even more Russian forces are “reinforcing” the border region, according to both officials. All of the troops are positioned for potential military action.

Russian troops already on the border region include air defense artillery and wheeled vehicles.

The United States believes that Russia might decide to go into eastern Ukraine to establish a land bridge into Crimea.

The belief is that Russian forces would move toward three Ukrainian cities: Kharkiv, Luhansk and Donetsk in order to establish land access into Crimea. Russian forces are currently positioned in and around Rostov, Kursk, and Belgorod, according to U.S. intelligence information.

Post by:
Filed under: Security Brief
Thu, 03/27/2014 - 00:26 | 4597375 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

To clarify: " CNN has learned." is at least as as oxymoronic as "military intelligence".

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 00:56 | 4597443 Freddie
Freddie's picture

More and more lying shit from the USSA and the USSA media.  The only thing more sickening than Obama, Democracts, NeoCon RINOs, MIC, intel goons are the Amerikunt idiots who voted for Obama. 

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 00:46 | 4597420 sangell
sangell's picture

I caught that report on CNN , which managed to insert it in between endless discussion about a missing airliner. Very worrisome because Putin, now that he has taken Crimea realizes Ukraine can throttle his new province in the same way he can throttle Ukraine. Crimea's electricity and water supplies are utterly dependent on Ukraine so he either has to come to terms with a government he does not recognize or seize Ukrainian territory to provide that which he cannot. It argues for him doing the latter. Of course if he does that he must accept a total rupture with the West and rely on China to sustain his creaking 'empire'. How powerful is his energy card? Not very I would suggest. The world does not seem to be short of oil and gas though Europe has a short term gas shortfall. Exports to China should Xi Jinping agree to a deal and be willing to finance a pipeline could not begin before 2018 by which time Europe could have US LNG arriving, increased imports from other nations or brought on line British and other indigenous shale gas production. I think Putin may have stepped on his genitalia here even if, and that's not a given, his conscript army can engage in sustained combat operations against  Ukrainian forces receiving material and intelligence assistance from the West.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 01:06 | 4597455 HardlyZero
HardlyZero's picture

A modern Ukraine Democratic Republic established in the Soviet Zone ?  1945 history repeats in 2014, all over again ?

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 01:26 | 4597480 Freddie
Freddie's picture

This is a terrible analysis on your part. You must work for the State Dept.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 00:44 | 4597413 BullyBearish
BullyBearish's picture

Gadfly...witnessed it myself on luciferian/tax-supported PBS and was amazed at its precision, including a nice reference equating Putin with Hitler absent of any pushback from the unattractive public-supported reporter.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 02:10 | 4597543 Gadfly
Gadfly's picture

Yes, they are very clever with words indeed.  They can create an entire mind-set in the general population, who then proceed to do their bidding, i.e. pay taxes and go to war.  More people need to wake up and smell the napalm.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 05:37 | 4597534 Joe A
Joe A's picture

Here a link to an interesting article on how big (agri) business in involved is this Ukraine thing. The name of Nuland and her hubbie pop up there not surprisingly.

http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2328765/ukraine_the_corpo...

Ukraine has huge fertile agricultural lands that are part of what is called the chernozem belt that extents from Croatia deep into Russia. Everybody wants a piece of that.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 02:47 | 4597572 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Fight Fascism wherever it exists. (hint: somewhere in the US)

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 03:29 | 4597599 Rakshas
Rakshas's picture

While I hold to what can best be described as a politically unbiased and somewhat apathetic view; I hate all politicians equally maintaining that any person that politicians should be beaten with the heads of lobbyists on a daily basis – and I don’t mean that as some form of hyperbole – really put their heads in a sack and start swinging – another offspring of big pharma gone wrong here folks; they should do more testing on these meds dammit – at any I truly despise beyond words the hypocrisy demonstrated by the western governments over the past decades; Ukraine is the country du jour, Syria last week Iran tomorrow it just never ends with the immoral locusts.  Here this guy sums up the sermon for the choir……

http://rt.com/op-edge/us-leaders-reject-democracy-221/

 

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 03:59 | 4597620 SmittyinLA
SmittyinLA's picture

The US's meddling in Ukraine politics pales in comparison to the criminal invasion of CA.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 04:15 | 4597627 dogismycopilot
dogismycopilot's picture

fuck this.

i am all in for Russia and Christianity vs Obama's New World Order secularized debt enslavement.

sorry. my dad, God rest his soul, raised me to hate Communists.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 06:31 | 4597717 beaglebog
beaglebog's picture

Interesting snippet, just published.

 

Purportedly, Anonymous has intercepted emails from US Army Attache to Ukrainian General, discussing false-flag attacks ... to provide moral mandate for military intervention in Ukraine.

 

Credible?  It certainly fits the known Modus Operandum of American regional destabilisation.

 

Worth a look, anyway. All the names are there in the link.

 

 

 

http://www.redflagnews.com/headlines/alert-anonymous-hacks-email-of-us-a...

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 07:04 | 4597756 smacker
smacker's picture

"The major difference is that far less was said and much less reported by the international media over the Americans’ and Europeans’ interference than of Russia’s actions and the reactions it caused."

It's worse than that.

When Russia took action in Crimea, Western MSM virtually air-brushed out everything which had gone before which lead to Russia's actions. Anybody coming to the party late would have been lead to believe that Russia's actions were unprovoked and completely out-of-the-blue.

The truth is very different.

What happened in Crimea is a direct consequence of illicit actions taken by the USG, UKG, Berlin & EU-crats; they only have themselves to blame.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 07:59 | 4597845 dogismycopilot
dogismycopilot's picture

BTW-Putin is kicking ass and taking names in Iraq for those who have forgotten about Iraq. Honestly, you can't make this shit up.

(Seriously, I am telling you guys, go out and find a Russian bride TODAY before all the attractive ones with good families, KGB/FSB connections and pre-1917 real estate holdings get snapped up by the British Dandies. Just be prepared for your Russian father in law to make it a requirement that you must learn to sing the Russian National Anthem in Russian and to be married in an Orthodox Church.)

 

Excerpt from Middle East Oil Gas Report:

Moscow and Baghdad: future allies in global oil trade? 

Russian companies are playing a role in boosting Iraqi crude production, and Russian traders could help the country achieve its market goals in Asia 

By David Flanagan 

? Several Russian majors are already involved in Iraq, and they may soon be joined by heavyweight Rosneft 

? Russian companies are helping to establish export infrastructure in southern Iraq 

? Rising production raises questions about relations with OPEC over the long term 

 

Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of Russia?s state-run natural gas monopoly Gazprom, recently completed the process of connecting Iraq?s Badra oilfield to the country?s pipeline system. As a result, various questions are now arising about how Russia and Iraq will develop their future co-operation. 

Iraq will be vital to the future of global oil supply, and the country?s successful and fruitful evolution will serve all market participants. But along with commercial investment, Iraq needs a stable political regime to bolster the development of its oil industry. It has not had enough time to do so since the US and the UK made clear their intention to withdraw military forces from the country.....Yet the advice and logistical assistance that Russia can provide are just one element of the equation. Along with logistics, Moscow can offer Baghdad access to the trading market. 

Iraq?s oil will be a vital factor in planning for future energy consumption in Asia. However, Baghdad will need assistance to optimise its access to Asian markets. 

 

 

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 08:41 | 4597956 wearef_ckedwith...
wearef_ckedwithnohope's picture

Well, Western Europe became way overly dependent on oil travelling through the Ukraine instead of investing in other possibilities.

Just as the US did with regard to the Middle East - which determined that region's history for the last few decades.

Reveals the lack of the type of valuable planning that governments COULD do if they weren't so beholden to the financial industry and large corporations.

In the big picture, the most important thing is to watch any building relationships between Russia and China. 

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 08:27 | 4597912 homiegot
homiegot's picture

He who controls the spice controls the universe.

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 08:31 | 4597927 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

I do not normally promote links, but you guys need to read up on Crimean history if you are from the west as I am. I had not read any of this since high school. The story will make sense as to why the Russians are adamant over Crimea:

"What Does Crimea Mean to Russia?"

http://www.voltairenet.org/article182989.html

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 10:29 | 4598351 gcjohns1971
gcjohns1971's picture

Kashey,

You don't get it.  Yes, the pipelines go through anti-Russian west Ukraine, but the junctions and pumping stations that feed them are all in the Eastern Ukraine.

Western Ukraine's choice will be to have gas, or not to have gas.  They will be lucky to avoid being annexed.  And they will almost certainly be politically controlled.

 

Russia will absolutely take over Eastern Ukraine, whether by annexation, or by setting them up as 'independent Republics'.  It doesn't matter which.

If Russia does not subsequently control Western Ukraine, then the West Ukraine would ask for  - and get - NATO membership.  Russia, without natural defensive borders, cannot allow NATO to be in Western Ukraine.  The routes that are good for pipelines are also good for Armies, and Russia knows this.

Ukraine is doomed to involuntary political domination by Russia unless they join NATO, or start producing nuclear weapons.  And those two possibilities still will likely not prevent the domination, but only involve WWIII before the issue is decided.

West Ukraine is not open enough, not free enough, lacks the entrepreneurial traditions required, and hasn't the time to grow economically strong enough to resist Russia.  They will be raped again, as they have been raped repeatedly over the last four centuries.  It is simply part of the geography - 'On the Edge', without which they would still be Russians and not 'Ukrainians'.

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