Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Note that the now sacked - or resigned - defense minister order the troops to fight. There is also the somewhat confused case of the sniper(s) that shoot a Ukrainian soldier and/or a pro-Russian militia man, but failed to trigger a confrontation.

Ukrainian serviceman killed in Crimea - Europe - Al Jazeera English

A Ukrainian serviceman has been killed in an attack at a military facility in the Crimean capital Simferopol, the defence ministry has said.

Al Jazeera's Paul Brennan, reporting from Kiev, said news of the soldier's death had been received with "shock" and that Tuesday's attack had escalated the situation, which he said was "hugely tense".

Our correspondent said Ukrainian authorities described the dead soldier as a warrant officer, but a Crimean news agency, which cited a source in Ukraine's interior ministry, called the victim a self-defence fighter.

It said self-defence fighters were shot by a sniper from an uncompleted building opposite a Ukrainian military base, which is flying a Russian flag. The defence ministry described those behind the attack in the peninsula as "armed masked men".

So it is not so much if Kiev - as in the cabinet - had acted differently, but if Ukrainian military had acted differently.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Apr 6th, 2014 at 03:43:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My memory might be playing tricks on me but I only remember the defence minister allowing the soldiers to use their weapons in self defence. I read it as silly passive aggressive posturing.

I do however agree that one of the key points that gets too little play in the discussion of Russian and NATO options is the stance of the Ukrainian military. Or lack thereof as it were. Would they shoot western paratroopers? Presumably that's what the upper officers were trained to do. Would they follow orders? Disintegrate without a shot being fired? Split?

by generic on Sun Apr 6th, 2014 at 08:33:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An der Ostgrenze der Ukraine: Nato beunruhigt über russische Truppenpräsenz - Europa - FAZ
Bekannt wurde unterdessen, dass Kommandanten ukrainischer Kriegsschiffe auf der Krim sich dem Befehl der Übergangsregierung in Kiew widersetzten, ihre Waffen zur Verteidigung einzusetzen. Der ukrainische Verteidigungsminister Igor Tenjuch sagte am Sonntag in Kiew, Russland sei es ,,trotz des Befehls an alle Kommandanten, Waffen einzusetzen", gelungen, die Schiffe zu übernehmen. ,,Bedauerlicherweise" hätten die Kommandanten selbst über ihr Vorgehen entschieden, sagte er.

I read that as a refusal to obey orders, but I could be wrong. In general, the position of the Ukrainian military is crucial and very little is known so the few datapoints can be interpreted in different ways.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Apr 7th, 2014 at 03:48:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series