Pardon the unscheduled update: Russian media are reporting today the appointment of a couple of oligarchs to key positions in ruling two western districts of Ukraine loyal to the Kiev FlashGov.
Oligarchs are an important item at the moment, since Ukraine’s flash-mob government is about to run out of money. Having a few ultra-wealthy industrialists around would give the FlashGov the financial “street creds” to load up on Western debt.
In the meantime, the information war is in high-gear. Earlier today, the Ukraine government reported that the Russians had issued a Tuesday morning (local time there) for the Ukrainian Navy to surrender or face action.
However, the the Ukraine (independent media) then asked where the story came from and the Kiev FlashGov claimed it had come from other media reports. It hadn’t.
What we see is a fine lesson in information warmanship. Notice how widely that “deadline story” has been parroted by the non-critical me-too media.
Russia has yet to invade, no shots have been fired (knock on wood), and what’s effectively the speaker of the Russian House (Duma) says no troops may be needed.
You can see where this is going, I hope? Someone on the Western-backed Ukrainian takeover’s is trying to promote a direct war with Russia. And they did it two months before democratic elections were already planned. So the game is bait Russia, steal democratic processes. And no, you won’t see this in the MSM.
The Russian Defense Ministry says reports of the “ultimatum” are purely made-up nonsense.
Russian media meantime are showing lots of pictures of the 45 Russian-built Mig-29’s that used to be loyal to Kiev, but which have now moved into support of Moscow-back Crimean local officials.
Russian analysts continue to use the term “putsch” although FlashGov is more like it. Just like in Arab Spring.
“Maybe,” one observer suggested to me, “It’s because it harks back to the fears Maggie Thatcher had about a resurgent German drive to [again] conquer Europe?”
“No, it’s just easier to spell than Coup d’état,” I suggested. “Ever go looking for them odd characters on a deadline on your mobile device?”
All of which leaves the motivation for the Ukraine uprising very suspect in its timing. Remember, Ukraine had national elections scheduled for May and it is doubtful moving them up to this month will be very effective, since the hardliners are unlike to gain more than a few seats in government by moderate and centrist reports.
All of which leaves us wondering: Where would the benefit be? The cui bono…the follow the money?
There is only limited economic data and bad memory to help guide our thinking on what comes next.
One interesting coincidence just in the past month we have seen reports of a massive bearish short position on the S&P. I’m sure you’ll figure this one out reading the details over here. Did their contacts hear this one coming?
A growing possibility is Middle East oil countries would love to have control over energy pipeline into Europe. Energy prices continue to escalate over the past few weeks. Still, petroleum prices are still soft compared to last fall.
Which gets us to this:
Remember last summer when the Saudi’s told the Russians to support the replacement of Syria’s government and they could assure there would be no terrorist attacks at the Sochi Olympics. Which implies a level of contact/control along Russia’s southern border. It was called a “stormy meeting.” And apparently Putin didn’t budge.
Might this have led certain middle east countries to back the flash mob in Ukraine through EU proxies – in spite of the elections already scheduled in Ukraine.
Democracy isn’t on the table. Control of oil prices in Europe is on the table and the flash mob will be able (with the rah-rahs from the half-witted West) to turn over pipeline control to whom, exactly?
As gambits go, it’s pretty ballsy: Snitch the Russian warm water port, seize the pipelines…control the price…in return for immigrant peace in the EU…what’s not to love? Passing around the daggers, as the Borgia’s did it.* Poisoned tea next?
And if someone’s already made a few bucks on the downside, can you imagine the upside with the “dramatic peace agreement” is announced and the markets soar?
Crumpets and tea in the morning, then. But this whole “crisis” has developed an odor of manipulation to it at several levels. And it’s important in uncertain times to be skeptical, analytical, and discerning.
*Yes, Francesco Borgia’s Dagger shows up in the Warehouse 13 Wiki. We don’t want to be too obscure.