The Importance of Identity


If you have been following events unfolding in Ukraine you may have noted various claims regarding the identity and origins of the armed groups currently contributing to the unrest in Crimea. Headlines are reporting that heavily armed soldiers have surrounded Ukraine's military bases in Crimea and have taken control of 11 border posts in the region. Clearly, the situation is serious. But who are these armed soldiers, and who has given them orders?

Many media outlets have reported claims that these troops are "local militias" who are wearing Russian-style fatigues because such attire is available in army shops across the former Soviet Union. Other outlets are repeating an assertion that armed men deployed to Ukraine's Crimea region are simply ''self-defense forces.''

I would like to address these claims.

Here at NATO's military headquarters we have been closely monitoring and analyzing the situation in Ukraine and have been keenly focused on these troops. After extensive review of multiple information sources we believe these are Russian military forces acting on clear orders to undermine Ukraine forces in Crimea.

This conclusion, although hastily stated by some members of the press, is based on deliberate and painstaking scrutiny of the many sources of data available to our professional military analysts. As we move forward and continue to closely monitor the situation in Ukraine, it will be with the understanding of the real identity of these forces.

The photos below are just a few examples openly available that help paint the picture.

Example #1

The following several photos show military vehicles that are currently operating in Crimea. Note the Russian military licence plates on the vehicles.

The first picture is from the Crimean town of Balaklava.


http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/author/robert-mackey/

 


http://www.salon.com/2014/03/01/russian_troops_take_over_ukraines_crimea_region_partner/

 


https://sobchak.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/non-intendersene-di-felidi-e-di-altro/

Example #2
This example is from YouTube
 
In this video, local journalists interviewed a soldier who admitted he was part of the Russian military. When asked why he didn’t have any insignias or symbols on his uniform, he responded that he was told not to wear them.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPZbYlcAgvY

Example #3

The pictures below are of soldiers currently operating within Crimea. The weapons and equipment they are using certainly are not typical of ‘local militias' or ‘self-defense forces'.


http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/ukraine-crisis-china-back-russia-cold-war-over-crimea-1438650

 


http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2014/03/03/russians_seize_ukraine_ferry_terminal_raising_fears_of_wider_invasion.html

 


http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/russia/140305/interview-russian-ukraine-putin-war-Andrei-Illarionov

 
"From the Cockpit"

 

Phil Breedlove
General, USAF
Supreme Allied Commander, Europe
Commander, U.S. European Command
 

 

The Ukrainian
The Ukrainian
When should Ukrainians expect the arrival of "suddenly emerged forces of Black Sea self-defence" with USS George Bush?
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Sergiy Jarich
No, no, they are green humanoids, martians.
General, help them to go back home, to Mars!
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
h-cz
h-cz
Good observations - however the statement lacks the legal aspects of suppressing the identity of the armed forces during the deployment. Is it acceptable modus operandi?
How will NATO deal with any future adversaries that will show capabilities often associated with national armed forces but will claim that they are volunteer, militia or self-defence forces?
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
AJ
AJ
Some people are saying now that they are Russian Private Military Contractors.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Mark
Mark
Please come and defend us, Ukraine needs help from EU / NATO...
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
L. Gabee
L. Gabee
Local militias are mostly recognized by the various armament and the use vehicles. This is not the case in the Crimea area, as seen on the photographs. In accordance with Russian (Sowjet) doctrine, special groups without markings of any kind, will be deployed unexpectedly at strategic points, before major force will be used. Noticing the uniformity in clothing and weaponry, this groups are on Ukrainian territory and are called SPETSNAZ.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Michael Silverado
Michael Silverado
It's ironic for Gen. Breedlove to claim that members of the press "hastily" came to the correct conclusion that these armed elements in Crimea are Russian soldiers, when the very sources that he's listed are from.. you guessed it.. the press. It's worth mentioning that the first reports of Russian soldiers in Crimea came from the local population and the local press, not NATO, and that these soldiers were being asked questions along the lines of "Where are you boys from?" But I digress, waiting for the eventual analysis of professional military analysts was the solid evidence needed. The assertion that a person (LN, tourist, press, etc.) actually in Crimea speaking to one of these Russian soldiers on camera is somehow "hastily" forming a conclusion is silly... unless "hastily" is the new "timely."
- Michael Silverado, I.A.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Ernest Geering
Ernest Geering
Europe,United States,and the rest of world need to put a stop to this bullying from Russia,END PERIOD!
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
SSG George Rivera
SSG George Rivera
Really? they are wearing Russian uniforms, gear, and carrying Russian weapons. They're driving Russian troop carriers, Armour vehicles and light tanks with Russian license plates. They also have Russian built radios and communicating in Russian. I don't think they're Russian at all.
Actually, they're Crimean self-defense forces and local militias, who purchased all their uniforms, weapons and vehicles with Russian rubles at Putin's Army and Navy Store near the Kremlin. Auf-Wiedersehen!
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Peter
Peter
Hi, i have been one of those unusual Americans that has liked vacationing in Crimea... i was there in Yalta this past end of October with Ukrainian friends. Everything was peaceful. There was no problems with people speaking Russian... everyone around me was speaking Russian practically. Had an idyllic time there. There was no justification for what Putin did... Russian speakers there were under no threat.

It is truly strange how this has split my Ukrainian friends. Some (from Sevastopol and with ties to Russian navy) think that Russia is going to turn Crimea into a sort of paradise. Others from the central part of Ukraine are incredibly dismayed at the behavior of Russia. Even here in my local Orthodox Church here the people don't want to talk about it... as it has split lots of relationships.

In any case the Russians aren't fooling anyone. i am not normally in favor of interventionism, but i feel that the USA has really let Ukraine down when it comes to helping. Putin is a thug and bully and only understands force... and the sooner the USA wakes up to that and organizes a genuine effort to help Ukraine defend herself, the better off the world will be.

PS: i won't be going back to vacation Crimea this next summer unfortunately :(((( i have the feeling that the Russians have destroyed their tourist seasons for a long time to come.
Monday, April 14, 2014
12
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