On Thursday 6 March 2014, Jean MacKenzie of the Global Post published "Russia would attack Russians to justify war in Ukraine - ex Putin aide alleges." The identity of that ex-aide is non other than Andrei Illarionov, now a senior fellow with the libertarian-leaning Washington D.C. based think tank The Cato Institute.
Illarionov believes that Putin will stop at nothing to regain full control of Ukraine. As an example of Putin's ruthlessness, he proposes that three bombings which occurred in September 1999 and ripped through various buildings in Moscow, Buinaksk and Volgodonsk were staged by the Russian government's security service FSB. However, blame was always directed toward Chechen terrorists and the subsequent public outrage was then placed squarely on Chechnya. It was not long before an ensuing war was waged against Chechnya by The Kremlin (typically referred to as The Second Chechen War.)
If Illarionov's analysis of Putin's intentions is correct, then watch for extreme events in Crimea to unfold which particularly target ethnic Russians and Russian speakers in general. These events will likely be carried out by covert Russian special forces which have purportedly been making their way into the country of Ukraine for the past several months. Many of these militants are wearing combat uniforms, but without any national identification on the uniforms. As reported by CNN, Putin has denied the presence of Russian forces in Crimea and has indicated these unmarked forces are a "Crimean Defense Force" comprised of Crimean residents.
The claim of Illarionov is that Putin will instigate trouble by using a combination of implanted special forces interspersed with "hooligans and thugs," both transported into Ukraine from Russia during the past several months. At this time, they have been staging anti-Ukraine/pro-Russia demonstrations and hanging the Russian flag in all parts of Crimea thus giving the illusion that all of Crimea fully supports annexation by Putin. Eventually, these staged events will escalate into full scale violence with spectacular devastation that will cause such an outrage against Ukraine that Putin will have no choice but to go to war.
Don't believe it! While the majority of Ukrainians want freedom and an independent Ukraine, they are not promoting or seeking a war with Russia. Ukrainians have been expending great effort to take the high road and to remain peaceful.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, one man living in Crimea who has personally been caught up in the recent events gave his permission to this Examiner to include his thoughts on the situation in this article:
"I find it hard to accept this new reality. It is quite hard for me to believe that all this is happening. I have a sense of frustration and despair all because my motherland has been taken away from me. I do not want it to be taken away, but it is already taken. I believe that mainland Ukraine has already conceded with the new reality. They have given away the state of Crimea which was for democracy to the barrels of machine guns. Now, our freedom of speech does not extend beyond our apartment doors. They have given us away to the skinhead athletes, bearded bikers and the criminals who are now in power.
I was born in the USSR, but my entire conscious life has been connected with Ukraine. One of my degrees I received in Sevastopol and the second one in Kiev. I have been in almost all regions of Ukraine, including the regional centers. I have made acquaintances with many people from different parts of the country and have such a love for the many. I speak Russian and I have not studied Ukrainian language at school, and frankly, I do not speak Ukrainian. However, I love to listen when Ukrainian is spoken by others.
Being a Crimean, I have always tried to be a loyal citizen of Ukraine and hold myself liable to its laws. I pay taxes and have obeyed the law. I have tried to be an example in its relation to the authorities and to the state. But now it's all in the past. It is time to think about how to live, and in which, indeed, the state.
There is one plus. God is teaching me a greater appreciation for a citizenship in heaven compared to one on earth. I thank him for that!"
From nearby Nikolayev, a city some 411kM from Sevastopol, another Ukrainian citizen has reported to this Examiner that Russian Ilyushin planes were recently seen at one of the two airports in the city. Large numbers of people were observed deplaning and have been referred to as "tourists." These "tourists," who are mostly wearing athletic warm up suits, are unloaded from the plans and subsequently bussed into various regions in and around Crimea where they are becoming known by local residents to congregate in groups of six to eight persons on the streets. The local residents believe these "tourists" to be comprised mostly of criminals who have been sent into there areas to stir up trouble by harassing ordinary citizens and creating general intimidation. Earlier this week, The New York Times reported on the presence of the "protest-tourists" in various parts of east Ukraine.
When you hear that Ukrainians are attacking their fellow citizens in Crimea, be very skeptical. Make no mistake, Putin is in the midst of a power grab that has been in the works for some time now. The longer his actions remain uncontested by Europe and the United States, the more likely it becomes that he will proceed with grander and larger scale operations designed to bring Kiev under his control.