Meanwhile, Tens Of Thousands Of Russian Troops Continue Piling Up At Ukraine's Borders - The Full Update

Tyler Durden's picture

With Russia continuing to diplomatically assure the world that no invasion is pending, and rather comically asking for President Obama's benevolent aid in policing the treatment of Russians in non-Crimean Ukraine; it seems from all actions (as opposed to words) that Putin is pressing ahead with building his forces (up to 60,000) around the divided nation and as Dmitry Tymchuk notes, planning for invasion from Chernihiv to Donetsk. Internal politics continue to roil as Klitschko pulls out of the Presidential election (just as the US wanted) but we suspect the Ukrainians will be confused to discover their USA saviors have been spying on the future Premier Tymoshenko for years. The people of Ukraine are likely a little upset at We are sure Kerry and Lavrov will have plenty to discuss tomorrow in Paris and perhaps the following map will be a good starting point.



Kerry canceled plans to return to the United States from Saudi Arabia on Saturday and instead was headed to Paris for a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Sunday evening, Psaki said from a refueling stop here. The goal is to reach agreement on what happens next over Ukraine, following up on a phone call Friday between Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Obama.

Klitschko pulls out of Presidential election...

Leading Ukrainian politician Vitaly Klitschko has pulled out of presidential elections planned in May.


The former boxing world champion said instead he would back tycoon Petro Poroshenko.


Both men played a key role in months of street protests that led to the ousting of President Viktor Yanukovych.


Mr Klitschko's withdrawal means the race is likely to be between Mr Poroshenko and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Which is exactly what the US had been hoping for (judging by Victoria Nuland's conversation). However, as Spiegel reports, the Ukrainians may look on their bailout-funding corruption-beating saviors - The USA - a little differently when they find out the NSA has been spying on Tymoshenko for years...


But it is the troop build up that is creating the most anxiety around the world...


As Dmitry Tymchuk - a widely read Ukrainian so clearly he has his own bias but is instrumental in understanding the Ukraine perspective which currently the most irrational and thus unpredictable, explains on his blog, there is "good news and bad news."

The bad news:


1. The Russian military forces accumulated at our borders are increasing in number, due to the arrival of new units and detachments to the Bryansk oblast [region] of the Russian Federation. Earlier, we saw a build-up of troops in Rostov oblast, while the numbers were considerably lower in the north.


This means that Putin is preparing an invasion across our whole “eastern front” – from Chernihiv to Donetsk.


The interesting thing is, on March 23, international observers carried out a survey flight over the borderland areas of the Russian Federation. At that time, Moscow pulled some of its troops in Rostov oblast back from the border; while in Bryansk oblast, there weren’t that many to begin with. As soon as the inspectors left, the troops crawled back to the border, like cockroaches with the lights out. In short, one would have to be a complete sucker to trust the Kremlin.


The only encouraging detail is the fact that by now, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have successfully regrouped. Our border guards keep the border under strict control, while our intelligence services are actively neutralizing Russia’s “fifth column” in our eastern oblasts. All of these things can serve to seriously meddle with the Kremlin’s plans.


2. Ukraine, essentially, has no Navy. Earlier today, we presented a full breakdown of the situation: 10 ships are flying the Ukrainian flag, and 51 have been captured by the occupiers.


The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense is currently negotiating to reclaim at least some of the property stolen by the aggressor. But we know how this works – if Putin says “I didn’t take it,” he’s not going to give it back. Nevertheless, we have to try, at least to make ourselves look better.


The good news:


1. Aggression against Ukraine is already becoming too costly for Russia. The outflow of capital from the Russian Federation has reached USD 70 billion, since the beginning of this year. Today, the World Bank announced a forecast (as reported by the Wall Street Journal): if Putin continues to escalate the situation, Russian GDP will drop by 1.8% in 2014. Compared to the 1.3% growth in the previous year, that’s quite a difference.


Today, the President of the EU Council [Herman] van Rompuy, the US President [Barack] Obama and the President of the European Commission [José Manuel] Barroso made a solemn vow: if Putin continues messing about, the EU and the US are prepared to unleash the full extent of sanctions.


It’s obvious that getting through that nut’s [Putin's] thick skull is not an easy task. But noticeable [financial] losses are definitely a good sign. Let’s see which force is stronger in the Kremlin – aggression or greed.


2. As I was writing this, reports came in that six of our commanding officers, previously kidnapped in Crimea by terrorists calling themselves “Russian military,” have been set free. Today, they are heading to Henichesk through Chonhar, and from there, to Kyiv.


I can only breathe with relief. Our heroes are free – and that is excellent.


I’m not a vicious person myself. But I’d like to wish, from the bottom of my heart, that our Russian friends find themselves on the receiving end of the same low and despicable treatment that they’ve been giving our servicemen in Crimea this whole time. Let them drink that in full and choke on it.


3. The Armed Forces of Ukraine will conduct ”Spring Rain” military exercises in Kharkiv oblast.


The military, and the political importance of military exercises, in eastern Ukraine cannot be overestimated right now. Our army – slowly and gradually, with moans and groans, with exploding tanks and crashing planes – is waking up from its 20-year-long lethargy. For the first time since the years of Ukrainian independence, it [the army] is starting to understand why it even exists. The same can be said for our entire country.

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ShortTheUS's picture


WSJ: Some U.S. officials, skeptical of Mr. Putin's approach, believe the buildup of forces on the border with Ukraine will give the Russian leader the option of launching another operation if he isn't satisfied with the outcome of this diplomatic initiative.

ZerOhead's picture

< Russia will invade

< Russia will allow the Ukraine to self destruct

Well Dmitry... Let's not forget that the Ukrainian Navy was rendered useless when the Russians sank a couple of ships at the harbor entrance.

The Ukrainians should be on alert that Russians will incapacitate the Ukrainian Army (prior to the MSM predicted invasion) by having their hidden assets park some old trucks in front of the gates of the Ukrainian Army bases.

Anusocracy's picture

So Dmitry Dumfuk served in Iraq, Lebanon and Kosovo.

Hey! Guess what Dmitry, Ukraine is going to enjoy all the fun and games the US has brought to dozens of other countries.

Ukraine is the new Iraq. I hope.

ZerOhead's picture

Could be worse... the bankers are setting the Ukraine up to become the new Ireland...

CrashisOptimistic's picture

Regardless of politics or who instigated what, out beyond all those issues is this:

It costs one helluva lot of money to keep 100,000 troops away from their home posts.  Supply lines have to be created, sewage hauled away, ammo shipped, maybe even TDY pay.

Decisions are going to be forced.  Soon.

Joe Sixpack's picture

I suspect the current Ukranian leadership to invite NATO in any time...

Chupacabra-322's picture

Absolutely! Plus all those free arms CONgress just revealed Criminal Obama armed Russia with.

Boys & girls at the highest Compartmentalized levels of Criminal Global Govenments & Criminal Espionage CORP. INC. they're all "in on it."

The worlds a stage with really criminal, bad actors on it.

Atlas_shrugging's picture

Putin's techniques with Obama remind me a lot of this scene in Mars Attacks

Anusocracy's picture

How many troops has the US kept overseas for how many decades?

ZerOhead's picture

They have been overseas for so long that residency requirements no longer qualify them as US troops...

stant's picture

About 67 k. 40k of which are in Germany the rest in England and Italy mostly

Volkodav's picture

There is more than 67K just in Europe.

Snidley Whipsnae's picture

Putin recently paid $50 billion for a bunch of games. I reckon he can afford to keep some troops deployed for a while.

Is it possible that ZH could find a more biased azz hat than the author of this screed?

Hey, if enough neo cons want a war badly enough there is no way to stop them short of throwing them in the crossbar hotel. They have already spent $5 billion stirring up the Ukraine, shot some cops and citizens, put neo nazis in charge of the place, said that 'the EU can go fuck itself', lied about everything thats happened there, etc. 

Too bad that after a nuke exchange there won't be enough people left to conduct war crimes trials.

Gotta find that damn shovel and get to digging... or find a for certain ground zero target.

Buck Johnson's picture

I agree, it isn't hurting him and this article was biased as hell.  He's massing those troops on the east and to the south to cut reduce the west of the Ukraine to a few areas and give the east of the country over 2/3 of the country.  That way the west is landlocked and have to essentially be supported forever by the west until Putin decides to crush it.

Chuck Walla's picture

But, but, Obama said that's "so 19th century" to act "from Weakness".






TheReplacement's picture

Why would you wish that on the Ukrainians?  Seems like a real dick move.

SafelyGraze's picture

soldiers are still fairly expensive (compared with, e.g., drones and autonomous deathbots)

it is important to keep them persuaded that your currency has value, and that they will receive a pension if they prevail


ZerOhead's picture

That could be a very tough propaganda job.

After all... the Ukrainian currency is crashing and half of everybodies pension check will soon be sent to the European banksters...

RafterManFMJ's picture

Dunno, SafelyGraze - soldiers must be pretty cheap if they are piling up on the borders. There will be some type of clearance sale soon.

Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Most people don't realize the hype behind drones. First, they require someone to fly the drone inside an expensive electronic box. Second, drones crash at a higher rate than manned aircraft. Third, they are easy targets for AAA missiles. In the end, drones make good surveillance tools and little more. 

Snidley Whipsnae's picture

As long as the currency will cover hookers and booze the soldiers will stick around... speaking humbly, from experience.

TheReplacement's picture

Soldiers who survive to retire cost more than dead ones.

socalbeach's picture

FYI, here's what Lavrov just said concerning a possible invasion of Ukraine.  It's different than the headline at Yahoo which stated, "Russia vows no Ukraine invasion as diplomacy intensifies".


Q: By the way, Yatsenyuk says he is not considering this option at this point.

Lavrov: “At this point.” We are convinced there can be no ambiguity on this issue. There are too many of those caveats – “at this point” and “no intention.” Intentions can change, and you end up facing new facts on the ground...

Q: Almost all the statements regarding sanctions, including those made by the EU and the US official political institutions, contain the phrase “further escalation.” By “further escalation” my Western colleagues mean that Russian military forces may cross the borders of the mainland Ukraine and move toward Kharkov, for example. Will this happen or not?

Lavrov: President of Russia Vladimir Putin in his address given on March 18 in the Georgievsky Hall said clearly that we are very concerned with the situation with Russians and Russian speakers in eastern and southern Ukraine, especially after various Right Sector groups, a certain Beletsky and the Eastern Front rushed there. Those are absolutely odious people. You don’t need to be a physiognomist to be able to tell what their intentions are. They speak openly about that. Many leaked phone calls indicate how Russians will be treated in Ukraine not just by the Right Sector members.

The Russian president demanded that Ukrainian authorities and their Western patrons take immediate action to stop the violence. He said we are going to protect the rights of Russians and Russian speakers in Ukraine using all the political, diplomatic and legal methods. I have nothing to add to that.

We need to be honest. You cannot just say like many times before – regarding Syria, Iran, etc. – that we have come to a crisis and that we just need to accept the reality. Russia is to settle the Syrian crisis, to solve the Iranian problem and to resolve the situation in Ukraine through direct talks with the Ukrainian authorities. The West is consistently trying to avoid the responsibility of dealing with those whom they nurtured and continue to support for their geopolitical purposes.

We have absolutely no intentions of crossing Ukrainian borders. This is not in our interests. We simply want everybody to work together; we want the violence to stop and we want the Western countries who are trying to sweep under the rug those cases of violence and to portray the situation in Ukraine in a positive light to realize they need to bear the responsibility...

TheReplacement's picture


"Lavrov: “At this point.” We are convinced there can be no ambiguity on this issue. There are too many of those caveats – “at this point” and “no intention.” Intentions can change, and you end up facing new facts on the ground..."

"Lavrov: "We have absolutely no intentions of crossing Ukrainian borders."

Taking lessons from Kerry and Obama on how to contradict oneself?

StychoKiller's picture

Perhaps it hasn't occurred to most people that those Russian forces are there to keep the Ukrainian rabble rousers contained in Ukraine.  Time is on Putin's side.  Once the IMF starts applying the screws (literally and figuratively!), Ukraine is gonna revolt once more!

FMR Bankster's picture

You need a third response: Russia will invade after Ukraine extracts $27 billion from the IMF (USA mostly)and transfers it to Russia (and $2 billion to China)to pay past due bills.

hungarianboy's picture

Kiev won't pay. They hope for the oil and gas reserves from the US. Oh, and a full bailout of course.


VD's picture

but Kunstler said they can't afford this!




Kuntfukr keep the florid essays for the tuberz....

cossack55's picture

Define afford.


What they cannot afford is NATO sitting on their borders.  Ya know, like Reagan assured Gorby that NATO would NEVER move East. LOL

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Define "NEVER". -Kirk.

"Define 'IS' " - Bill Clinton

Snidley Whipsnae's picture

Kunstler also ranted that Y2K would end civilization as we know it... Hell, he even wrote a book about it.

VD's picture

exactly. Kunstler is a moron.

666's picture

Kerry has to meet Lavrov in Paris for a face-to-face talk because old horseface doesn't trust using the phone, knowing that the NSA will be listening in.

MeMongo's picture

For those of who haven't seen this clip it's older but still a classic response to an assinine reporter. The look on the reporters face is priceless enjoy!

TheReplacement's picture

The farce of the Ukraine situation is utterly exposed by the fact that the US and Russia are meeting on it but there aren't going to be any Ukrainians.  Russia and the West need to stay out - without Russia and the West there would be no tensions or fears of conflict. 

Ukraine for Ukrainians and only Ukrainians.

Freddie's picture

For the first time since the years of Ukrainian independence, it [the army] is starting to understand why it even exists. The same can be said for our entire country.


Who writes this shit?  More mainstream Zio media.  Why are the Tylers posting this crap.  

The only reason why the poor people of The Ukraine will exist now is for the banksters and IMF to make them debt slaves. 

cossack55's picture

Do the Ukes have any army groups?  Hope none of them are designated as Army Group Centre.

JustObserving's picture
Can Catherine Ashton get more hypocritical?


EU’s Ashton denounces nationalists’ pressure on Ukraine parliament

The lawless actions of Ukraine's nationalists have finally caught attention of the intl community, with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton denouncing Right Sector for its ‘pressure’ and ‘undemocratic’ demand of the interior minister’s resignation.

A day after neo-Nazi activists who helped bring the acting government in Kiev to power turned against it, Ashton has issued a statement condemning the “pressure by activists of the Right Sector who have surrounded the building of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.”

This “intimidation” the EU foreign policy chief believes, stands against all “democratic principles and rule of law,” as Ashton called on the ultra-right group “to refrain from the use or threat of violence.”

Ashton stressed the need to “hand over any unauthorised arms to the authorities immediately.”

In other news, Voltairenet tears into Obama's speech on Ukraine:

“Russia’s leadership is challenging truths that only a few weeks ago seemed self-evident, that in the 21st century, the borders of Europe cannot be redrawn with force, that international law matters, that people and nations can make their own decisions about their future.” – as Vladimir Putin said last week, “it is good that they eventually recalled that there is such thing as international law”. Taking into account Kosovo adventure, unlawful ousting and assassination of Muammar Qaddafi, and the result of the referendum in Crimea (96+% for reunification with Russia), Obama’s statement is just beyond absurdity;

adonisdemilo's picture


Ashton wasn't worried about any unauthorised weapons when the EU and US sponsored rent-a-mob were ousting a democratically elected president.

I may be persuaded to give her the benefit of the doubt if I could be convinced that she doesn't really know what she is doing other than fronting those hell bent on setting the world on fire.

After all, she only got the bloody job because she's a "friend of Tony- war criminal-Blair.

Cat Sniper's picture

Wow, it's as if someone has stolen all the mirrors in Brussels.

Snidley Whipsnae's picture

ahhh good ol Belgium... now the largest purchaser of US Treasuries. 

Kirk2NCC1701's picture


GHW Bush let Saddam pile up troops and tanks along the Kuwait border, and "played dub" (Possum!).

Then, when Saddam went for the "Sucker" play (threw the first punch, having been provoked long enough to do so), Bush had ALL the pretext he needed.  The rest, as you (hopefully) know, is history. 

Classic US game of Provocation into the First Punch.

nightshiftsucks's picture

And what did we get out of that ?

ThirdWorldDude's picture

For starters, you've got to pay $4 for a gallon of gas...



JustObserving's picture


What is uncommon knowledge is the critical role played by April Glaspie, US ambassador to Iraq in Saddam's invasion of Kuwait:

Glaspie had given Saddam a green light

The Iraqi Government still insists that April Glaspie met with Saddam Hussein in 1990 before his invasion of Kuwait. Glaspie "...was informed of Iraq's plans and gave her de facto approval." America and April Glaspie flatly deny this accusation: "Obviously, I didn't think, and nobody else did, that the Iraqis were going to take all of Kuwait. -- Former Ambassador April Glaspie, in response to accusations that the U.S. invited Saddam Hussein to take Kuwait" 4

In a May 27, 1999 Christian Science Monitor article, Carleton Cole writes, "...from a translation of Iraq's transcript of the meeting, released that September, press and pundits concluded that Ms. Glaspie had (in effect) given Saddam a green light to invade."

"We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts," the transcript reports Glaspie saying, "...such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary [of State James] Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction...that Kuwait is not associated with America."

caustixoid's picture

Good point.  Glaspie was an "Arabist" well-versed in the Middle East who spoke the language.

And while she was saying "we have no opinion on inter-Arab disputes " the U.S. had satellite pictures showing the Iraqi troop buildup on Kuwait's border.

She knew exactly what she was saying. 

Saddam thought he did too.  psyche!


Jorgen's picture


Remember (pre-Pearl Harbor) Japan.