Read a really good analysis of the situation over at Moon of Alabama (if any of you guys haven't heard of it you should check it out)
cliffs at end
The U.S. and EU sponsored coup against the elected government and president of the Ukraine had several strategic implications and aims. One of them is the Black Sea base of the Russian Navy which is used to supply and defend Syria. A takeover of the government in Kiev was necessary but not sufficient to neutralize the base as a strategic Russian asset. To do that a takeover of the local government of the Crimea and all its powers would also have to take place. The Crimea is historically Russian and most of it inhabitants are Russians. There is also a rather small minority of Tatars of Muslim heritage.
There seem to have been plans in place to use that minority to help with a takeover of the Crimean government by the "western" sponsored coup-government in Kiev.
In mid December 2013(!) the Turkish website Aydinlik Daily reported:
According to news appearing in the French, Ukrainian and Russian press, Turkish Intelligence has a finger in the ongoing pro-EU protests in Ukraine. News stories from these three nations have claimed that the governmental intelligence organization of Turkey, the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) organized the transfer of separatist, jihadist Tatars trained in Turkey to the Ukraine. According to French news site Egalite et Réconciliation, dozens of Crimean Tatar Jihadists were extracted from Syria by the MİT and transferred to Ukraine via Turkey on an İstanbul-Sevastopol flight of Turkish Airlines on the 22 November. According to information based on sources from the Security Service of Ukraine, (SBU), Crimean Tatars who attended the protests in Ukraine's capital Kiev on November 21 were charged with establishing the security of the square. The Crimean security staff who obtained the support of separatist "Azatlık" movement operating in Russian city of Kazan received political support from Nail Nabiullin, the current president of Tatar Youth League in Azatlık.
An February 26, shortly after the Kiev coup-government was installed, Tataric groups rioted in the Crimean capital:
In Crimea, fistfights broke out between rival demonstrators in the regional capital of Simferopol when some 20,000 Muslim Tatars rallying in support of Ukraine's interim leaders clashed with a smaller pro-Russian rally.
The protesters shouted and attacked each other with stones, bottles and punches, as police and leaders of both rallies struggled to keep the two groups apart.
One health official said at least 20 people were injured, while the local health ministry said one person died from an apparent heart attack. Tatar leaders said there was a second fatality when a woman was trampled to death by the crowd. Authorities did not confirm that.
Voice of Russia reports about an alleged Anonymous hack of emails between the coup plotters in Kiev and a Tatar leader:
Hackers posted a quote from one of the emails:
"Everything is going according to the plan. We are ready to proceed with the second part of the play. As agreed earlier last week, my guys together with people from the "Karpatskaya Sech" and UNA-UNSO will arrive wherever is needed and with the necessary weapons. You only need to let us know the addresses of the warehouses in Simferopol, Sevastopol, Kerch, Feodosia and Yalta, and the time of the meeting...Don't worry about the money, everything will be fine, just a little bit later. In the end, you know that if we succeed, you will get a lot more."
According to the text, the neo-Nazi organization "Trizub imeni Stepan Bandera" along with "Karpatskaya Sech " and UNA-UNSO are ready to fulfill all the dirty work: to kill, burn and banish all the opponents of Maidan from Crimea. Crimean Tatars should "only" provide them with "instruments", ie weapons and store them in the most important cities of the Crimea.
A lot of people might consider that the Ukrainian nationalists and Crimean Tatars pursue different goals, and their union at first glance looks quite unnatural. However, they have one aim in common, which is to eliminate the Russian-speaking population from the Crimean region and for that their «union» is neccessary in pursuing the common strategic objective.
It is also important to note that Aslan Omer Kyrymly is the founder of several companies and president of the board of the Crimean International Business Association (CIBA). He controls serious financial flows associated with various business projects, both in Ukraine and abroad. It is believed that Aslan Omer Kyrymly is a true leader of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars.
Anonymous (or Russian intelligence) earlier published emails (http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_0...-treason-3581/) between coup-plotter Klitschko and the Lithuanian government.
On February 27 Russian forces stationed in the Crimea and supported by allegedly local paramilitary took over security at two airports and of some government buildings in Crimean cities. A Turkish flight to Simferopol airport was called back and further Turkish fights to Crimea were canceled. The Turkish foreign minister Davutoglu announced that he would today visit the coup-government in Kiev:
"Crimea is important in Ukraine due to its strategic location, multi-ethnic and multi-faith formation. It is difficult to maintain peace in Eurasia unless it is secured in Ukraine. Likewise, maintaining peace in the Black Sea is difficult unless it is secured in Crimea," [Davutoglu] added.
The status of Crimea amid the Ukraine crisis cannot be determined without Turkey playing a role, a deputy from Turkey’s ruling AK Party said Friday.
"Turkish Foreign Minister [Ahmet] Davutoglu's visit to Ukraine is an indication of Turkey's intention to be proactive in developments in Crimea," Samil Tayyar told the Anadolu Agency.
Two Turkish Airlines flights from Istanbul to the Crimean capital of Simferopol on Friday night have been canceled amid escalating tension on the peninsula.
Early Friday, another Turkish airline, Atlasjet, cancelled a flight to Simferopol after media reports that Simferopol International Airport had been seized by armed groups.
An alleged attempt by coup forces to seize the interior ministry of the Crimea tonight was repelled. In Kiev anti-Russian Tatars call for more trouble:
Meanwhile, Tatar lawmaker Mustafa Dzhemilev of Batkivshchyna has asked acting President Oleksandr Turchynov to deploy the entire Ukrainian army to Crimea.
“I spoke with Turchynov that all of our military might should be deployed to Crimea. There are no threats in other oblasts yet. Call a state of emergency and take control,” said Dzhemilev cited by RBK-Ukraine.
(sources: http://rt.com/news/russia-crimea-sieze-gunmen-344/ and http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukra...es-337942.html)
The picture emerging from the above seems to show that:
-Turkish intelligence helped with training Tatars in support of a local Crimea anti-Russian coup
-Russian intelligence has thoroughly penetrated the coup-plotters communications (see Nuland tape) and knew what was coming
-Russian aligned forces secured the Crimea and prevented infiltration of more Tataric units from Turkey
-On the Crimea, as well as in other Russian aligned areas in east Ukraine (Donetsk, Mykolaiv and Dnipropetrovsk), counter coups are establishing separate regions which will ask for Russian support and eventual incorporation into the Russian Federation
-If all this goes well for the Russians the "western" coup in Kiev will have resulted in the "west" acquiring a bankrupt, dirt poor west Ukraine while Russia will acquire the industry and resource rich east Ukraine and will keep the Crimea as its strategic asset
-In the context of the war of Syria the coup in the Ukraine was a countermeasure to Russian support for Syria. Unless the Crimea falls to coup forces that countermeasure will have failed.
-There is little the U.S. can say against Russian troops in Crimea. According to the status of force agreement Russia can post up to 30,000 soldiers there. The normal size of its forces there is just half of that. If Russia wants to reinforce those it can do so without breaking any national or international agreement.
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