World View: Russia Masses Troops on Ukraine Border as Ethnic Russians and Tatars Clash

World View: Russia Masses Troops on Ukraine Border as Ethnic Russians and Tatars Clash

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Ukraine’s ethnic Russians and Tatars clash in Crimea
  • Russia masses 150,000 troops on border with Ukraine
  • Hezbollah vows retaliation for Israel’s air strike in Lebanon
  • Nigeria asks France for help in dealing with Boko Haram terrorists

Ukraine’s ethnic Russians and Tatars clash in Crimea

Long-dormant World War II hatreds came alive again Wednesday, whenethnic Russians clashed with ethnic Tatars outside of Crimea’sparliament building in Simferopol in southern Ukraine. Thousands ofTatars demonstrated in front of the Crimean parliament Wednesday toblock deputies from passing any legislation that would support theseparation of Crimea from Ukraine. According to one Tatar activist:

We warned them not to arrange a [parliamentary]session. Do not explode the situation in the Crimea. We know theyneed that session to tear Crimea from Ukraine. We warned that theCrimean Tatars will not allow this to happen.

As the Tatars chanted “Ukraine” and “Motherland! Crimea! People!”,pro-Russia demonstrators gathered, shouting “Crimea is Russia!”According to one pro-Russia activist:

We are here to defend ourselves from those westernUkrainians, who think they can decide our future here inCrimea. They never asked us what we wanted. We’ve spoken Russianfor 200 years here, and we’re not going to start speaking thatUkrainian. It’s not even a real language, it’s adialect.

Russia’s then-dictator Josef Stalin, who had already engineered the massivefamine in Ukraine in the 1930s, in 1944 deported 200,000 Tatars fromCrimea, where they had lived for millennia, to central Asia, accusingthem of collaborating with the Nazis. It was only in the 1980s and1990s that the Tatars returned in large numbers to Crimea,particularly after the collapse of the Soviet Union and Ukraine’sindependence. However, the bitter feelings between the Russians andthe Tatars still remain and could spiral into a bloodyconfrontation. Ria Novosti and CS Monitor

Russia masses 150,000 troops on border with Ukraine

Russia’s president Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered war gamesinvolving 150,000 troops along the border with Ukraine. This followedseveral days of activities as trucks full of armed Russian troopsarrived at the Black Sea port of Yalta and armored personnel carriersarrived at Sevastopol. Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu saidMoscow was “carefully watching what is happening in Crimea.” Heclaimed that no invasion of Ukraine was planned, but also said:

The commander-in-chief [Vladimir Putin] has set thetask of checking the capability of the armed forces to deal withcrisis situations posing a threat to the military security of thecountry.

The United States warned Russia against interference in the crisis,saying military intervention by Moscow would be a “grave mistake.” Ria Novosti and Washington Times and Telegraph (London)

Hezbollah vows retaliation for Israel’s air strike in Lebanon

Lebanon’s Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah vowed to “choose theappropriate time, place and method of response” to retaliate againstIsrael for an air strike Monday. The target of the air strike isunknown, though Hezbollah claimed that “no one was martyred orwounded,” and there was only “material damage.” However, somesecurity sources say that the strike hit two trucks transportingmissiles and a missile launcher into Lebanon and that four Hezbollahmembers were killed. Israeli defense officials are expectingHezbollah to target senior Israeli figures in the future, inretaliation for Monday’s air strike. Daily Star (Beirut)

Nigeria asks France for help in dealing with Boko Haram terrorists

France, which already has thousands of peacekeeping troops in formercolonies Mali and Central African Republic, is now being asked to helpanother former colony, Nigeria, deal with the growing threat by thejihadist terror group Boko Haram (“Western education is forbidden”).The request was triggered by a horrific terror attack on a school innortheastern Nigeria on Tuesday in which 29 boys were killed, and thegirls were told to go home, get married, and abandon Westerneducation. There had been soldiers guarding a checkpoint near thegovernment school, but they were mysteriously withdrawn hours beforethe attack, leaving the terrorists to continue their massacre for fivehours with no troops or security agents intervening. Nigeria’sgovernment also asked for help from neighboring Cameroon, saying thatthe terrorists hide out in Cameroon. Nigeria Bulletin and Oman Observer

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