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Top 5 Myths About Russias Invasion of Crimea

Published: February 12, 2014 (Issue # 1801)


Although it is well known that thefirst victim ofnearly every military intervention is thetruth, Russia seems tohave broken all records inthis category. Here are thetop five Kremlin myths about Russias invasion ofCrimea:

1. There was no invasion.

Media fromall over theworld have reported testimony fromsoldiers inCrimean cities who are dressed andarmed exactly like those inthe Russian army minus theinsignia. They have seized airports, border crossings andadministrative buildings, andare pressuring Ukrainian soldiers stationed inCrimea tosurrender. Nonetheless, President Vladimir Putin insists that theestimated 15,000 soldiers who have seized Crimea are local Crimean self-defense forces.

Putin has also said that theFederation Councils authorization onMarch 1 ofmilitary intervention inCrimea has not been executed yet. Whats more, Putin said last week during ameeting with journalists that thesimilarity between theuniforms ofthe Crimean self-defense forces andthe Russian army can be explained bythe fact that is easy tobuy those uniforms inany clothing store. Putin didnt clarify, however, if these self-defense forces also bought thearmored personnel carriers fitted with Russian military license plates, which were spotted inseveral Crimean cities, atthese clothing stores as well.

Putins explanations have thesame credibility ofa 5-year-old boy who left thetop tothe cookie jar open andhas crumbs all over his face andthen tells his mother, I didnt eat any cookies!

2. Russians are indanger inCrimea.

There is no evidence that Ukrainians inCrimea andcertainly not Crimean Tatars support Right Sector, Svoboda or other far-right groups whose base ofsupport is limited largely tothe Western regions ofUkraine. Nor is there any evidence, despite Russias claims, ofUkrainian fascists coming toCrimea tocarry out attacks against Russians there. Even agroup ofUkrainian Jewish leaders wrote anopen lettertoPutin onThursday, admonishing theKremlin not toexaggerate thefascist threat inUkraine.

This is arepeat ofRussias provocation inSouth Ossetia andAbkhazia weeks before the2008 Russia-Georgia war broke out. Then, Russias provocation also centered onthe false pretext ofprotecting Russian citizens indanger worked: Georgia fired thefirst shots inthe war. Although Ukrainians have not yet reacted toRussias provocation inCrimea, it is inevitable that atsome point Ukrainians will be forced toreact toRussias aggression, particularly if Russia decides touse its weapons onUkrainian troops inthe peninsula. Once thefirst shots are fired, it is aslippery slope toa protracted andbloody military conflict between Russia andUkraine that would likely drag inoutside powers.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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