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Sun Mar 2, 2014, 12:07 PM

Why are the Russian troops in Crimea without ensignia or otherwise identifying markings?

What is the point of that. Everyone knows who they are. The Russians know everyone knows it. What is accomplished by that?

43 replies, 1520 views

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Reply Why are the Russian troops in Crimea without ensignia or otherwise identifying markings? (Original post)
arely staircase Mar 2014 OP
stevenleser Mar 2014 #1
Adrahil Mar 2014 #2
arely staircase Mar 2014 #11
polly7 Mar 2014 #3
stevenleser Mar 2014 #4
polly7 Mar 2014 #6
stevenleser Mar 2014 #10
polly7 Mar 2014 #12
stevenleser Mar 2014 #14
polly7 Mar 2014 #17
stevenleser Mar 2014 #18
polly7 Mar 2014 #21
sabrina 1 Mar 2014 #41
dipsydoodle Mar 2014 #5
polly7 Mar 2014 #8
sadoldgirl Mar 2014 #38
libodem Mar 2014 #7
arely staircase Mar 2014 #13
libodem Mar 2014 #35
VanillaRhapsody Mar 2014 #9
arely staircase Mar 2014 #16
hobbit709 Mar 2014 #15
AnalystInParadise Mar 2014 #19
arely staircase Mar 2014 #22
Igel Mar 2014 #36
rdharma Mar 2014 #27
AnalystInParadise Mar 2014 #31
rdharma Mar 2014 #34
AnalystInParadise Mar 2014 #42
rdharma Mar 2014 #43
OregonBlue Mar 2014 #20
sarisataka Mar 2014 #23
arely staircase Mar 2014 #24
sarisataka Mar 2014 #25
jberryhill Mar 2014 #28
sarisataka Mar 2014 #29
Recursion Mar 2014 #30
jberryhill Mar 2014 #26
aristocles Mar 2014 #32
Igel Mar 2014 #39
aristocles Mar 2014 #33
seveneyes Mar 2014 #37
Democracyinkind Mar 2014 #40

Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 12:11 PM

1. They are doing everything they can to blunt criticism including throwing this slight doubt into

who it is that has seized control of the Crimea. This gives their supporters multiple avenues to deflect criticism. And we have in fact heard multiple excuses for this unprovoked war of aggression.

If they really believed they were in the right, they wouldn't do this.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 12:12 PM

2. Yup.. look how many here tried to claim it wasn't Russians NT

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Response to Adrahil (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 12:29 PM

11. I missed that

glad I did. The usual RT crowd I am guessing.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 12:16 PM

3. Carnival in Crimea

THE ROVING EYE
Carnival in Crimea
By Pepe Escobar

Time waits for no one, but apparently will wait for Crimea. The speaker of the Crimean parliament, Vladimir Konstantinov, has confirmed there will be a referendum on greater autonomy from Ukraine on May 25.

Until then, Crimea will be as hot and steamy as carnival in Rio - because Crimea is all about Sevastopol, the port of call for the Russian Black Sea fleet.

If the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is a bull, this is the red flag to end all red flags. Even if you're deep in alcohol nirvana dancin' your troubles away at carnival in Rio - or New Orleans, or Venice, or Trinidad and Tobago - your brain will have registered that NATO's ultimate wet dream is to command a Western puppet Ukrainian government to kick the Russian navy out of its base in Sevastopol. The negotiated lease applies until 2042. Threats and rumors of reneging it have already emerged.

The absolute majority of the Crimean peninsula is populated by Russian speakers. Very few Ukrainians live there. In 1954, it took only 15 minutes for Ukrainian Nikita Krushchev - he of the banging shoe at the UN floor - to give Crimea as a free gift to Ukraine (then part of the USSR). In Russia, Crimea is perceived as Russian. Nothing will change that fact.


http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/CEN-05-280214.html

What do you suggest for all those people in Crimea who want no part of the new Ukraine leadership?

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Response to polly7 (Reply #3)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 12:19 PM

4. Are you really trying to make that argument?

What do you suggest for the people of Alabama who did not want Obama's leadership?

Should they ask China to invade to solve that issue? And if they did, would that satisfy international law and make the Chinese invasion legal and not a war crime? The answer to that last question is no, just in case you were wondering.

The people of Iraq did not want Saddam Hussein either. Are you now going to change your mind regarding the Iraq war? That is where the justification you just put forth leads.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #4)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 12:24 PM

6. YES, I really am trying to make that argument!

Are you really trying to force a people who see themselves as more Russian to remain with a leadership they do not want?

Your Iraq strawman is complete, pathetic bullshit.

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Response to polly7 (Reply #6)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 12:28 PM

10. If it is a strawman, prove it. Did you support the Iraq war?

Or did you, as I am asserting, reject the legitimacy of the Iraq war, in particular the idea that the war was justified to remove a regime that the Iraqi people did not want.

It's not a straw man. My contention is right on. You rejected the Iraq war and believe it is a war crime, but you support the invasion of Ukraine for the same reasons you think were inappropriate with Iraq.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #10)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 12:29 PM

12. Russia is not 'invading' the Ukraine.

Do a little reading and stop presuming you know shit about me.

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Response to polly7 (Reply #12)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 12:31 PM

14. LMAO. We were liberators in Iraq too. Didnt you get the Bush memo? Listen to yourself. nt

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #14)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 12:35 PM

17. You make as much sense as McCain.

Listen to yourself.

Were you Georgian right along with him when western media was lying about events there, too? I imagine so!

And no, Iraq was an atrocity for empire and oil, intervention was called for by NO-ONE. Unlike the people of Crimea who undoubtedly have great fear after all the violence and hatred.

LMAO, is right.

Pro-Russian Crimeans welcome Moscow's decision to send troops
Pro-Russian residents in Crimea's largest cities have shown their approval for Moscow's decision to send additional troops to the Ukrainian peninsula. But not everyone is happy that the crisis has taken this turn.

http://www.dw.de/image/0,,17467431_303,00.jpg

Cars flying Russian flags passed cheering people on the streets of Sevastopol and Simferopol on Saturday (01.03.2014) as pro-Russian Crimeans welcomed the unanimous decision by the Russian parliament to approve the use of the armed forces in Ukraine.
The news followed an earlier decision to move up a referendum on the status of the semi-autonomous region from May 25 to March 30, a decision that was greeted with enthusiasm by Crimea's Russian community, who make up about 60 percent of the population. The referendum could be the first step towards greater independence for the peninsula, and could lead to a possible secession from Ukraine or even a decision to join the Russian Federation.

Symbol of bravery

On Saturday, mass rallies were held in Crimea's two major cities. In Sevastopol, a crowd estimated at more than 5,000 people gathered in the main square, not far from the city's administration building.

Pro-Russian residents of Sevastopol wear the St. George's Ribbon

Many Crimeans have been waving Russian flags and wearing the St. George's Ribbon

They chanted "Rossiya, Rossiya!" and many wore the St. George's Ribbon, a well-known Russian symbol of military valor that is worn in remembrance of the victory over Nazi Germany. In 1941-1942, the seaport of Sevastopol was the scene of one of the fiercest battles of World War II. Russia's Black Sea Fleet is still stationed in the city today under a lease agreement with the Ukrainian government.


Rarely has the atmosphere here been so politically charged. In cafes, grocery stores and on the street, politics is all anyone talks about. Until very recently, it was completely different. "Normally, it's very, very quiet," said Galina, a small business owner. "We stayed silent during the protests in Kyiv, up until the new government decided to overturn the language law. That was the last straw. Suddenly, 30,000 people filled this square."


http://www.dw.de/pro-russian-crimeans-welcome-moscows-decision-to-send-troops/a-17467545


This brings back memories of how badly people here tried to shut up certain of us who dared point out the tens of thousands in the streets protesting against the no-fly zone in Libya.


The Russian Stronghold in Ukraine Preparing to Fight the Revolution

Lawmakers and worried citizens in the pro-Russia Crimea consider their options

By Simon Shuster / Sevastopol @shustryFeb. 23, 2014525

A Ukrainian woman holds a Soviet flag during a rally in the industrial city of Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, on Feb. 22, 2014

The busload of officers only began to feel safe when they entered the Crimean peninsula. Through the night on Friday, they drove the length of Ukraine from north to south, having abandoned the capital city of Kiev to the revolution. Along the way the protesters in several towns pelted their bus with eggs, rocks and, at one point, what looked to be blood before the retreating officers realized it was only ketchup. “People were screaming, cursing at us,” recalls one of the policemen, Vlad Roditelev.

Finally, on Saturday morning, the bus reached the refuge of Crimea, the only chunk of Ukraine where the revolution has failed to take hold. Connected to the mainland by two narrow passes, this huge peninsula on the Black Sea has long been a land apart, an island of Russian nationalism in a nation drifting toward Europe. One of its biggest cities, Sevastopol, is home to a Russian naval base that houses around 25,000 troops, and most Crimean residents identify themselves as Russians, not Ukrainians.

So when the forces of the revolution took over the national parliament on Friday, pledging to rid Ukraine of Russian influence and integrate with Europe, the people of Crimea panicked. Some began to form militias, others sent distress calls to the Kremlin. And if the officers of the Berkut riot police are now despised throughout the rest of the country for killing dozens of protesters in Kiev this week, they were welcomed in Crimea as heroes.

For Ukraine’s revolutionary leaders, that presents an urgent problem. In a matter of days, their sympathizers managed to seize nearly the entire country, including some of the most staunchly pro-Russian regions of eastern Ukraine. But they have made barely any headway on the Crimean peninsula. On the contrary, the revolution has given the ethnic Russian majority in Crimea their best chance ever to break away from Kiev’s rule and come back under the control of Russia. “An opportunity like this has never come along,” says Tatyana Yermakova, the head of the Russian Community of Sevastopol, a civil-society group in Crimea.


Read more: Crimea, Russian Stronghold in Ukraine, Is Ready to Fight Revolution | TIME.com http://world.time.com/2014/02/23/the-russian-stronghold-in-ukraine-preparing-to-fight-the-revolution/#ixzz2upQsd8u7

http://world.time.com/2014/02/23/the-russian-stronghold-in-ukraine-preparing-to-fight-the-revolution/

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Response to polly7 (Reply #17)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 12:38 PM

18. LMAO, McCain thinks breathing is essential for life so we should stop because he said it.

I would have thought someone who accused me of using a logical fallacy wouldn't then follow up shortly thereafter with using one of their own, to wit:

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/guilt-by-association.html
Fallacy: Guilt By Association

Also Known as: Bad Company Fallacy, Company that You Keep Fallacy

Description of Guilt By Association

Guilt by Association is a fallacy in which a person rejects a claim simply because it is pointed out that people she dislikes accept the claim. This sort of "reasoning" has the following form:

It is pointed out that people person A does not like accept claim P.
Therefore P is false
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you are asking my opinion on the Georgia incursion, my opinion was that Georgia started that war. So, you were wrong about my opinion there too. Next?

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #18)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 12:48 PM

21. Sorry, I don't believe you know what you're talking about.

Demanding a people with no affiliation to a leadership they fear have no choice in their outcome, is about as pathetic as it gets.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #4)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 05:18 PM

41. Wait, I'm confused. Are you saying the Kiev protesters should not ask the US for help?

I could swear that was a justification here on DU for our involvement there, that the protesters wanted us there.

How many Americans are there in Ukraine/Crimea as opposed to how many Russians are there?

Eg, if protesters arrived in Puerto Rico eg, and attacked their government buildings with guns, should the US send troops to protect the population, or should Russia come all the way over to do so?

Your comments on this situation have been extremely lacking in knowledge of the history of the region as far as I can determine. Perhaps it's just that you are not expressing your position very clearly??

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #5)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 12:25 PM

8. Thank you!!!

http://www.trbimg.com/img-5311cfa7/turbine/lat-crimearussianflags-wre0015647375-20140301/600
Pro-Russia demonstrators wave the colors of Russian military valor at an anti-American rally in Simferopol, in the Crimea region of Ukraine. The sign says, "We will free Ukraine from American occupation." (Sean Gallup, Getty Images / March 1, 2014)

By Sergei L. Loiko
March 1, 2014, 4:36 a.m.

KIEV, Ukraine -- Crimea's new pro-Moscow premier, Sergei Aksenov, moved the date of the peninsula's status referendum to March 30.
On Thursday, the Crimean parliament, which appointed Aksenov, had called for a referendum on May 25, the date also set for the urgent presidential election in Ukraine.

“In connection with a necessity we decided to speed up the holding of the referendum on the stauts of the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea,” Aksenov said Saturday in Simferopol at a new government session, the UNIAN information agency reported.

Earlier that day, Aksenov, head of the nationalist Russian Unity organization, appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin “to render assistance in securing peace and tranquility on the territory of the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea," UNIAN reported.


http://www.latimes.com/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-crimea-referendum-date-20140301,0,2305350.story#ixzz2upSDz443

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Response to polly7 (Reply #3)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 04:55 PM

38. Sorry, you better move.n/t

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 12:24 PM

7. Wild guess

Private contractors. It's probably,Eric Prince for a price, Blackwater. Or maybe the Soviet brand of mercenaries?

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Response to libodem (Reply #7)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 12:30 PM

13. Didn't they come from the Russian base already there? nt

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #13)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 03:22 PM

35. Who knows?

Could be? Probability not. But you can see how going private gives them plausible deniability that their government is behind the invasion. Just like we did in Iraq.

Remember how Iraqi citizens would show up at the morgue with 25 screws drilled into their heads? Who had all the power tools? Our soldiers? Al Qaeda from Afghanistan with a power drill as a weapon? Or Halliburton assholes with a no bid contract to rebuild the schools and hospitals, which never were built? Of course foreign fighters and insurgents got the blame.

Occupation is a dirty business. I don't expect the Soviets to be any cleaner than we were. Just saying.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 12:27 PM

9. Plausible Deniability

Putin learned alot from Cheney apparently...

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Response to VanillaRhapsody (Reply #9)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 12:32 PM

16. got to be the most implausible plausibe deniability ever nt

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 12:31 PM

15. Plausible deniability of course.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 12:39 PM

19. Easy three main reasons

1. Unidentified soldiers can engage in war crimes without being identified. It shows Russia's level of comfort in the fact that they can have unidentified soldiers in the battlespace. They aren't worried about future repercussions.

2. Not giving away units identification keeps the Ukrainians in the dark as to which units of the Russian military are already deployed. This keeps the Ukrainians guessing as to the combat strength, size and battle prowess of the units already in country. In other words are these dude reservists that we should ignore and let them run around, or are they front line Spetsnaz that are pre-deploying and we should take them out now? The Ukrainians don't know and if they guess wrong either way, it could cost them.

3. Perhaps they are not soldiers, but skin heads, Russian nationalists, militia members etc. If they are captured, they cause Russia no political embarrassment since they are not decked out in Russian uniforms with unit patches and other identifying symbols.

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Response to AnalystInParadise (Reply #19)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 01:01 PM

22. I think one and two make sense

but they look too well equipped and disciplined for number 3.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #22)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 04:49 PM

36. Speculation is that they're Berkut.

That would be the guard that reported to Yanukovich. They're the ones that were fighting at the Maidan.

They're very well trained, almost entirely ethnically and linguistically Russian, and they were disbanded and humiliated when Yanukovich left.

Russia fast-tracked Russian passports for those that fled to Russia (or, presumably, Russian-held areas).

There were about 4000 of them scattered around Ukraine, mostly in Russian-speaking or important PR areas.

They could be any unit. You'd have to listen carefully to their pronunciation to find regional differences. The vowels of many Russo-Ukrainians are slightly shifted.

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Response to AnalystInParadise (Reply #19)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 02:03 PM

27. Skin heads?

 

You've got a very wild imagination.

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Response to rdharma (Reply #27)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 02:24 PM

31. No I really don't

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/30/russian-skinheads-attack-_n_698744.html

What I do have is a few years under my belt as a Central Asian analyst, this includes Russia. Although I would love to hear how Russia does not possess skinheads and how those skin heads are not used as paramilitary forces. So please show me.

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Response to AnalystInParadise (Reply #31)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 02:31 PM

34. Russia has plenty of skinheads.......

 

But to think they would employ them as any sort of military type security force is ridiculous.

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Response to rdharma (Reply #34)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 05:41 PM

42. Not security force

Force to go in and foment trouble. There is precedent for this.

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Response to AnalystInParadise (Reply #42)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 06:05 PM

43. Oh? Let's hear your thoughts on WHY they would employ skinheads. nt

 

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 12:43 PM

20. I read yesterday that they are Russia's private contractors, not active military.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 01:25 PM

23. It is not an uncommon practice

In modern military to use very little identifiable markings.

For one, it is often unnecessary as the uniform and equipment is enough to tell which side the troops belong to. If both sides use the same or similar vehicles there will be subtle markings so troops on their side can identify them as friendly.

In addition it is to sow confusion among the opponents. Knowing what units you are facing also helps tell how many you are facing. Those are two valuable pieces of intelligence military forces like to keep hidden.

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Response to sarisataka (Reply #23)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 01:29 PM

24. but isn't the total lack of national identification that characterizes the Russians in Crimea

excessive even by those standards? I mean didn't the SEALs that killed bin laden even have subtle American flags on their unis?

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #24)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 01:42 PM

25. It depends on unit practice

Many US forces wear subdued flags, some do not. I cannot speak with assurance on the bin Laden mission.

From my interactions with Ukrainian military they wear national flags similar in size to what the US army wears, 2x3 inches or so. Russian troops usually have a flag on the right shoulder IIRC that is smaller than a postage stamp.

What the lack of obvious identification does tell me is they are suspecting there will be combat. Pure 'peace keeping' missions are an exception. Forces will clearly mark themselves and equipment to show they are 'neutral' as in the UN blue berets and white vehicles.

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Response to sarisataka (Reply #25)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 02:03 PM

28. Or the way the Japanese painted a big red target on everything

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #28)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 02:10 PM

29. US pilots loved those red disks

I wonder if France would have done better without drawing targets on all their planes and tanks

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Response to sarisataka (Reply #23)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 02:13 PM

30. Hence the random serial/tail numbers on vehicles and airplanes

They used to do it sequentially, until they realized that if tail number 73 were captured, the enemy would know you had at least 73 planes. (There's even some math for working out what a likely maximum is with even a few captures/sightings.)

Similarly, the single DevGru was called "SEAL Team Six" to persuade other countries that we had at least five others...

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 02:02 PM

26. Forget that, what are they doing there without a hall pass!

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 02:24 PM

32. Russia Today (rt.com): Happy Happy Happy

 

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Response to aristocles (Reply #32)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 05:00 PM

39. I's amusing how one of the signs arrogates "Rus'" to Russia.

Rather anachronistic and contrary to geography.

The translation has it wrong. Not slightly. Just wrong.

"Rus'" is the name given to the duchy based in Kiev that was destroyed by the Horde. It ruled Russia, and the Rjurikovy would rotate between major cities as their duchies. It reduced the loyalty of the citizenry to any one son of Rjurik and instead encourage loyalty to the house. It gave all the sons and heirs experience in a wide portion of the territory that one of them would one day rule, and made them more loyal to the House than to a specific territory.

Then again, it also had a kind of assembly, which made it far more democratic for the time than most places. Once the Horde trashed the duchy, already weakened by Muslim slavers over the course of a few hundred years, leadership passed to Moscow. Novgorod kept up having a kind of electoral system for a while, but Russia (Ivan IV? 'the Terrible,' in any event) put an end to that kind of anti-Russian thinking and did the Ottoman thing: He scattered the population across the north in forced resettlement.

To claim Moscow = Rus' is to claim all of Ukraine. Fortunately this was a Crimean Russian who simply failed to pass her history class--or perhaps learned a skewed, chauvinist view of history. Either way, her ignorance can be discounted and simply viewed as embarrassing.

On the other hand, for RT to publish it does show a bit of chauvinism, given RT's status in Russia. (There's a sort of poetic use of Русь, but I don't see it here. Usually it's restricted to на Руси, "in Rus(sia).")

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)


Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 04:52 PM

37. More importantly, things are somewhat peaceful

More so than the bonfire party up in Kiev. Let's hope it remains calm and every reasonable group gets what they need to be comfortable.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 05:12 PM

40. Plausible deniability plus s fair amount of paramilitaries. nt

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