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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, Oct. 24


SPIBAs ongoing Breakfast with the Director series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at Sounds of the Universe, a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the clubs website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit Neophobia at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBAs Marketing and Communications Committees round table discussion on Government Relations Practices in Russia this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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