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Thread: Ukraine (closed; covers till August 2014)

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    JMA and Outlaw,

    Your dialogue and prescriptions for the Ukraine-Russia issue presupposes that Russia (and confronting it) is a major policy issue. But it's not - and part of that is that many on the Hill believe Russia is not a 'great power' any longer and therefore not worth confronting. But it's that attitude which has generated tension in the first place since Washington has been thoroughly dismissive of addressing what Russia would consider it's vital interests.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaur
    Now the country is splitting between those lines. Who is responsible?
    In Ukraine we witnessed the limits of soft power. Washington poured billions of dollars and many years into developing a 'democratic' opposition and into muscling them onto the political scene. The February Agreement was an agreed upon political transition to ensure stability - but it collapsed under the weight of political opportunism. That prompted the Russian response since the flight of Yanukoyvch created a desperate situation in which Moscow lost all political influence on the Kiev government. Now with a territorial dispute in Crimea, unrest in eastern Ukraine (artificial or not), and the economic weapon, Moscow has reasserted its leverage. There is no such as a 'clean break' in this scenario. Either the West continues confronting Moscow on Ukrainian issues or some kind of accommodation is which which also satisfies Russian interests.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    Now this goes to our discussion of the 100 series--the weapons used were in fact the AN94 firing a sub caliber round in semi mode---the AN94 was clearly seen.

    If it is being used during a 2013 Russian Army SF firing exercise then it is the standard weapon for Russian SF and the airborne, air assault and marines types had no problem firing it and seemed quite comfortable with it --then in fact that is their standard weapon as well regardless of what some articles are saying about the 100 series---the video footage showed excellent accuracy (not a single miss from five individuals shown to be firing) with the sub round which is also a characteristic of the 94--meaning it's accuracy.
    The AN-94 is available to some units in very small quantities. It never reached full scale production, and it's going to die the quiet death that has been coming to it for a long time. Think of it as Russia's equivalent of the Stoner 63 series of rifles and MGs - technically interesting, a possible contender at one point, but overtaken by economics and it's own complexity. It's a very rare weapon for any unit to have. It's hardly standard. That you seem to repeatedly discuss a 'sub calibre' or 'sub round' like it is meaningful in this context is strange. They fire the same 7n6, 7n10 and 7n22 5.45mm rounds as the AK-74.

    That five individuals didn't miss a target is devoid of meaning without context. The same five individuals given an M4, a BM59 or a No4 Lee Enfield, could do exactly the same thing. What is technically impressive about the AN-94 is that it can place a burst of automatic fire very accurately. The drawback is that it's a finicky and difficult-to-maintain piece of equipment.

    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    mirhond---more information from original Russian sources that speaks about the 100s and the AN94---if you take the time to Google you will find articles on the 100s being used by the Russian Special Operations, Airborne units, air Assault and the Ministry of the Interior Forces ie GRU due to it's accuracy in auto and semi automatic fire.

    And the article is from 2009 five years ago and shortly after the Georgian invasion.

    http://en.ria.ru/analysis/20110929/167252191.html
    I'm not Mirhond, but it's a topic that I'm interested in.

    It's a semi-informative article. The AK107 isn't actually part of the same family of other AK100 series weapons in anything but name, it uses the same action as the AN-94. It is effectively a prototype, and apart from some civilian sales (that haven't materialised because they haven't actually been built yet), it will have the same fate as the AN-94.

    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    The quote refers to weapons produced inside Russia---the Russian special units and the Ministry do not use weapons built under licensing agreements made outside Russia.
    In context of the 100 series, maybe. They certainly didn't stop using their Austrian-built Glocks when they began their own licenced production. I'd like to know where this tidbit of information comes from.

    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    If one looks at the history of the 100s it was a competition between two arms manufacturers as the Russian Army wanted a "new rifle for a new Army" after realizing they had in the depots/and in Army units enough AK74s and older models to give every Russian citizen a rifle.

    After testing both competitors they did not get to a decision and the 100 series lingered and thus released for licensing/export to recoup their development investments.

    Out of all this confusion in the decision process one stood out and stood out for it's accuracy in auto and semi fire the AN94 even though it is a weapon that is a little clumsy in the handling.
    You haven't yet understood the development of the 100 series and their link to the AK-74M, nor the fact that Izhmash would have been the manufacturer of whatever rifle was adopted, AK-74M or AN-94.

    Towards the end of the existence of the Soviet Union, there were developments that were intended to replace the AK-74. The AK-74 was based on the AKM, which had been first produced in the very late 1950s. Obviously, there had been some developments in the manufacturing processes and materials used between 1959 and 1989. The rifle that became the AN-94 was intended to be the rifle to replace the AK-74. Of course, this did not end up happening. The Russians decided to spend the least money possible and upgrade the AK-74 in the interim to become more compatible with modern manufacturing methods and materials, and in 1991 the AK-74M became what the US military would consider Standard A. As seems to be the case with interim solutions, it became permanent. Particularly after the abysmal performance of pre-production AN-94s in Chechnya.

    Do not confuse the AK-74 as being the same weapon as the AK-74M. It's not, and there are important differences. It was not a case of recalling AK-74s, rebuilding them as AK-74Ms and sending them out for issue as a new rifle. These are new builds.

    Having adopted a new rifle, the Russians needed to develop a new equivalent of the AKS-74U, as they had stopped building the receivers used to build them when production switched to the AK-74M. This would become the AK105.

    The AK101, 102, 103 and 104 were not developed to become the "new rifle for a new Army", because they'd just adopted the AK-74M, built on the same tooling. It was a marketing decision to build AK-74Ms and AK105s chambered for the two other major world-wide rifle calibres, for sure, but it was never expected that the various Russian armed forces would issue a 5.56x45mm or 7.62x39mm weapon for general issue. Russia was/is very heavily invested in the 5.45x39mm cartridge. Even the AN-94 is 5.45mm. I suspect that Izhmash were very surprised to get orders for AK103s and 104s from within Russia, but there's still some very impressive stocks of 7.62x39mm in some branches of the Russian forces.

    Probably worth pointing out that when the AK-74M was adopted, there were still shortages of even the old model AK-74. Hell, some units were still using the SKS well into the second half of the 1980s. The glut of AK-74s is very much a 21st Century phenomenon for Russia.

    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    Check where the AN94 disappeared to after the competition tests--Army special units and the Ministry of the Interior.
    And after using them (or trying to) in Chechnya and Dagestan, it was discovered that they weren't acceptable for issue as a replacement for the AK-74M.

    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    Would actually trust the comments especially made by a SBU/Minister of Interior who has years in the SBU as someone who can discern weapon types and would in fact recognize them.
    What I believe is that the situation of building takeovers in the last day or two aren't actually being conducted by Russian military personnel, but rather pro-Russian Ukrainians.

    If I was the Minister of the Interior and I suspected that the Russians were pulling the strings, I'd be telling the world anything I could think of to implicate them, regardless of their physical presence and/or evidence. So we end up with fictional AN-94 wielding Russian military personnel. Pending photographic evidence, I believe he's either lying, or he doesn't know what he is talking about.

    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    Just a side comment---special units world wide--if they train on one particular weapon they deploy with that weapon and in the current turmoil and swirling masses in the various eastern Ukrainian cities with masses of all types of AK74variants a small special unit team's hand carried weapons will simply disappear in the midst and not be automatically recognized as such---that is why his comment is important.
    I'm not entirely sure what you're getting at. The second part of this paragraph is odd, because any non-5.45x39mm weapon is going to stand out like the proverbial dog's bollocks (and believe me, every piece of footage containing a previously-unseen weapon in Ukraine is being documented in several open source forums), as are AK105s. Reference the fellow with the M4 clone being tracked down and corresponded with on Twitter in the last few days. I certainly believe that if the Ukrainians actually spotted someone carrying a 9A-91 or SR-3M on a CCTV camera (as both weapons are Russian-only and actually issued in significant numbers, as well as being ideal for urban warfare), we'd have seen it within a very short time.

    The first part of your paragraph, that if an SOF soldier trains on a weapon, he deploys with it, is a very broad statement. The SASR boys here do their kill-house training with MP5s (kill-house ballistic walls here are only rated for 9mm, not 5.56), they sure don't use them in Afghanistan in any notable quantity. MARSOC teams have trained like hell with their M45s and deployed with Glock 19s or M9A1s.

    If you're looking for a defining 'a-ha, only Russians use that gun' moment, you'll be waiting awhile. If you're happy to have a defining 'wow, that's a whole lot of AK-74Ms, they've got to be Russians' moment, then I haven't had one of those moments in anywhere but Crimea as yet. Believe me, as a gun-buff/geardo/military history nerd, I'd be literally beside myself with fascination and wonder if an AN-94 turned up somewhere.

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    JMA, this is what happened after Georgia-RF war http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/...14885620080920

    AmericanPride

    There is no such as a 'clean break' in this scenario. Either the West continues confronting Moscow on Ukrainian issues or some kind of accommodation is which which also satisfies Russian interests.
    Like that Reuters article about last war shows, West is split and some want to confront and some want to accommodate.

    How to handle countries that are split 50/50 between EU and Russian organisations? Next is Moldova.
    Last edited by kaur; 04-14-2014 at 03:15 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    kaur---did you notice that the Mu-28 seemed to be a cross between the Hind 24 and the US Army AH64 Apache newer version? Who says industrial espionage is not alive and well via the FSB.
    AH-64 first flight: 1975
    Mi-24 first flight: 1969
    Mi-28 first flight: 1982
    The Hind was heavily influenced by the Cobra doctrinally, but not necessarily technologically. The first flight date for the Hind was far too close to that of the Cobra for there to have been a great deal of borrowed technology being used. I have read that the -28 was quite influential on the development of the Apache. Mind you, it's taken an awfully long time for the Russians to actually put the -28 into service.

    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Take a step further backwards.

    What gave Russia the belief that they could get away with an invasion of Georgia?
    Kosovo, perhaps?

    Russia perceives the West as being happy to ignore national sovereignty when it is convenient, therefore Russia does the same.
    Last edited by Biggus; 04-14-2014 at 03:16 PM. Reason: Badly chosen word corrected

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    JMA and Outlaw,

    Your dialogue and prescriptions for the Ukraine-Russia issue presupposes that Russia (and confronting it) is a major policy issue. But it's not - and part of that is that many on the Hill believe Russia is not a 'great power' any longer and therefore not worth confronting. But it's that attitude which has generated tension in the first place since Washington has been thoroughly dismissive of addressing what Russia would consider it's vital interests.
    Yes, but if Russia is no longer a 'great power' what has become of the US that this has-been power can take it on and get away with it with impunity?

    The problem is that for Russia to exercise what it sees as its rights will mean nations - ethnic entities - will to be subjugated under the Russian jack boot.

    If the US is good with that then its a new direction for a burnt out (once) super power.

    The not an issue for the US argument is merely a poor excuse for shrinking - increasingly impotent - once great power.

    I predicted a few years ago that in the future - probably not in my lifetime - that China will take over Hawaii and Russia Alaska. No force will be needed the US will just roll over and spread its legs. Glad I won't be around to see it.

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    JMA:

    I predicted a few years ago that in the future - probably not in my lifetime - that China will take over Hawaii and Russia Alaska.
    You know what songs were played in Sochi paraolympics, when Russians marched with their flag?

    According to this news http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RAQ-cIARLDg it was

    Ljube "Davai, za ..." http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=51yLNKbFM_k
    http://lyricstranslate.com/en/davay-...a-do-it.html-0

    Nautilus Pompilius "Good bye America" http://lyricstranslate.com/en/gudbay...e-america.html

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    JMA---the following link agrees with your assumptions of both the US and the EU support actions/non support actions towards the Ukraine.

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/...trending_now_2

    It was mentioned in an article carried by a well known Berlin newspaper that out of all the EU sanctions against 17 individuals there was only one bank account frozen. The article went on to state that the EU sanctions were really nothing but a verbal slap on the wrist.

    What was far more interesting in the article was critique being voiced against the current German lack of support for anything against Russia---maybe because a large number of current German leaders grew up under the old Communist system and have a high respect for Russia which they do not openly voice to the public.

    There are a large number of banks accounts one could freeze in Switzerland but the Swiss will not adhere to the EU sanctions and states so openly.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 04-14-2014 at 04:59 PM.

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    I thought this was interesting. Putin is walking a fine line between using Russian ethnic nationalism which plays to a significant but not all-inclusive audience and using a more cosmopolitan Russian nationalism which plays to all Russian citizens. As he tries to build the broader cosmopolitan nationalism to ensure passification of non-Russian ethnicities he threatens to lose his own base.

    Staunton, April 5

    Russian nationalists in Crimea and in Russia are expressing their outrage at and opposition to what they see as Vladimir Putin’s “Tatarization” of Crimea, a policy that they argue does not reflect the ethnic balance on the peninsula and that calls into question Moscow’s portrayal of itself as a defender of ethnic Russians.


    The appointment to key positions of Crimean Tatars and efforts by leaders of that nation to take control of various facilities have infuriated ethnic Russian leaders there who thought that it was they, rather than the Crimean Tatars, who were exercising their right to self-determination.


    After all, they point out, Russian President Vladimir Putin justified his moves in Crimea by talking about the repression of ethnic Russians, and the ethnic Russians, who form the majority of the peninsula’s population, were the most enthusiastic backers of joining Crimea to the Russian Federation.
    http://www.interpretermag.com/russia...ion-of-crimea/

    Of course, all this depends on the source. Has anyone heard of the "Institute of Modern Russia"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaur View Post
    JMA, this is what happened after Georgia-RF war http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/...14885620080920
    Yes France rolled over:

    Not a single project has been put off or suspended between France and Russia in the wake of the Georgia conflict.
    Only the French can turn cowardly appeasement into a virtue.

    ... but all is not lost. The French are not as dumb as the sometimes behave:

    In Ukraine crisis, Germany and France see ghosts of European nationalism that led to the First World War

    France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls called the Ukraine crisis “probably the greatest risk to peace and stability in Europe since the Iron Curtain came down.”
    Oh really? LOL it took sometime for our French friends to figure that out... now we wait for the penny to drop with the yanks.

    ... but then again we are told that peace and stability in Europe is no longer an important issue for the US...
    Last edited by JMA; 04-14-2014 at 05:49 PM.

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    Who's gonna buy their Mistral?

    http://bmpd.livejournal.com/765880.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    JMA---took the time to find via the Russian nationalist sites at least 12 videos taken in eastern Ukraine in the last two days and all had individuals walking around using cellphones.

    And you cannot tell me that the NSA does not know what is going on?

    And if so why not release the paraphases of the conversations if not the entire conversations and translated for the world media to listen to and understand?
    To be honest I think the US is in disarray.

    Obama has gone missing, Kerry seems to have imploded and now they are going to trot out Biden - yes, hilarious isn't it - to reassure the Ukrainians that the US will do nothing...

    What ever happened to Al Haig - the 'I'm in control here' guy?

    Crazy guy but he had style.

    I imagine he would handle the situation like this...

    Haig flies into Moscow overnight and insists on taking in some of the sights before meeting with Lavrov... When he finally meets with Lavrov he says: "Forgive my indulgence Secretary Lavrov but I had to use this visit to take in the sights of Moscow because unless you withdraw your troops beyond 100 miles of the Ukraine border within the next 48 hours Moscow will end up as a pile of radioactive rubble with Red Square as Ground Zero. I will be leaving now and taking my embassy staff with me. Good day to you sir."

    Oh for the good old bad days... sure beats the wimps of today.
    Last edited by JMA; 04-14-2014 at 06:25 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    I predicted a few years ago that in the future - probably not in my lifetime - that China will take over Hawaii and Russia Alaska. No force will be needed the US will just roll over and spread its legs. Glad I won't be around to see it.
    Remember when I said 'No it will never happen.'? You convinced me otherwise and now it seems closer than ever, at least with Hawaii. I see the result of a lost naval war with Red China being Guam becoming part of Red China and Hawaii becoming an independent country with Pearl Harbor being a PLAN base.

    As I said over at the Journal, the US will do nothing. Mr. Obama is a horse in the face of a threat, not a donkey. What we have to start thinking about is how deep a hole we are going to be in at the end of his term and how we can get out of it, if we can get out of it.

    (I've been hanging around horses and a burro lately so my analogies get headed in an equine direction.)
    Last edited by carl; 04-14-2014 at 06:48 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post

    What ever happened to Al Haig - the 'I'm in control here' guy?

    Crazy guy but he had style.
    Hey Mark,

    The General indeed had style.

    Responsible for the continuation of the Vietnam War, invasions of Cambodia and Laos, a coup in Chile, sent me and many soldiers in 82 on a boondoggle in an unmarked C130 into Nicaragua with strange people (agents), and, almost single-handedly turned America into Britain's enemy during the Falklands War.

    However, he may very well have been the right man for the job now
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    Stan, Great comment.

    Carl, It seems to me (from a very low personal knowledge base, I admit) that Russia is not a viable superpower now and will not be in the days to come. Poor Ukraine (lets not forget how hopelessly incapable Ukraine is as a "soveriegn" state at this time) and a few other similarly weak and divided countries around Russia will no doubt find themselves in a lot of trouble, but Russia just does not have the capacity to take on Western Europe or the system to finance such a capacity in the future.
    Too naive?
    About China, I think they are very much capable of becoming a great power, but would they really want to invade Guam and Hawaii? They would have to cross Japan first. Even the Mongols couldnt do that.
    Last edited by omarali50; 04-14-2014 at 07:18 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by omarali50 View Post
    Stan, Great comment.
    Thanks !

    But, at the end of the day, I agree with Mark on any number of issues. General Haig at least backed his words with action.

    That said, I blame Obama's advisers (much like I blamed Clinton's during the Genocide) for strongly worded Bravo Sierra with no immediate action. Symbolic movement of aircraft and personnel would not even fool Africans. With 3 years to go, Obama's administration wants to go out on a Democratic Party high note of actually doing something his party has yet to ever accomplish. Sad he chose to try his hand with Putin.

    I hope he's good at poker

    Quote Originally Posted by omarali50 View Post

    Carl, It seems to me (from a very low personal knowledge base, I admit) that Russia is not a viable superpower now and will not be in the days to come. Poor Ukraine (lets not forget how hopelessly incapable Ukraine is as a "soveriegn" state at this time) and a few other similarly weak and divided countries around Russia will no doubt find themselves in a lot of trouble, but Russia just does not have the capacity to take on Western Europe or the system to finance such a capacity in the future.
    Too naive?
    Not naive per se, but an underestimation of what Putin is capable of, even if his military are not up to snuff. They, in shear numbers, are more than capable and whatever losses will be yet another reason for Putin to rant to the Duma about military reform and financing. Something he often never gets.

    Unlike Obama, looking for a sweet exit from political life, Putin is all about saving face and not looking like the shrimp he is. If we were to have handled him like a former African dictator, we would not be having this conversation and he would be long gone, eaten by crocks.
    Last edited by Stan; 04-14-2014 at 07:25 PM.
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    Stan---from Interfax this evening----seems he is focusing on the eastern flank now.

    18:21 Russia to take measures in case NATO force configuration changes - Grushko (Part 2)

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    Default In the open or a fraud?

    Via Twitter:
    We are seeking a translation on this video from the Donetsk Oblast which Kyiv Post (https://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukr...es-343380.html) described as showing "a man who identifies himself as a Russian lieutenant colonel organizing police officers shortly after pro-Russian separatists stormed and took control of the police station in Horlivka.
    Link to YouTube (short clip):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DinMf_7dQK4#t=57

    Elsewhere named as:
    Lt. Col. Shulzhenko
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-14-2014 at 08:51 PM.
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by omarali50 View Post
    Carl, It seems to me (from a very low personal knowledge base, I admit) that Russia is not a viable superpower now and will not be in the days to come. Poor Ukraine (lets not forget how hopelessly incapable Ukraine is as a "soveriegn" state at this time) and a few other similarly weak and divided countries around Russia will no doubt find themselves in a lot of trouble, but Russia just does not have the capacity to take on Western Europe or the system to finance such a capacity in the future.
    Too naive?
    About China, I think they are very much capable of becoming a great power, but would they really want to invade Guam and Hawaii? They would have to cross Japan first. Even the Mongols couldnt do that.
    Omar:

    Russia is weak. But that weakness is only exposed if they are opposed. A boxer with a glass jaw will never lose if nobody ever throws a punch at him. That is not to say that they don't have some strength, as Stan says, but some strength is not winning strength. If we don't throw a punch so to speak, their glass jaw is no weakness.

    I didn't mean to suggest they would invade Guam and Hawaii. If they sank a bunch of ships, took 10,000 Americans sailors off sunk ships prisoner, killed most of our tankers and C-17s and then proposed negotiations, why who knows where that would lead? Just because reparations and territorial demands are out of style (maybe not so much lately) doesn't mean they won't come back.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    Hey Mark,

    The General indeed had style.

    Responsible for the continuation of the Vietnam War, invasions of Cambodia and Laos, a coup in Chile, sent me and many soldiers in 82 on a boondoggle in an unmarked C130 into Nicaragua with strange people (agents), and, almost single-handedly turned America into Britain's enemy during the Falklands War.

    However, he may very well have been the right man for the job now
    As I remember things, General Haig learned his foreign policy practice from Henry Kissinger, the guy who brought us detente and SALT. Haig left the SACEUR position in July 1979, retiring into the private sector until recalled to be SecState in 1981. One wonders how much involvement he had in shaping the MRBM/IRBM "double track" decision announced by NATO in December of 1979. His actions in 1982 regarding the Falklands and Lebanon were not exactly "get tough" positions either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCurmudgeon View Post
    I thought this was interesting. Putin is walking a fine line between using Russian ethnic nationalism which plays to a significant but not all-inclusive audience and using a more cosmopolitan Russian nationalism which plays to all Russian citizens. As he tries to build the broader cosmopolitan nationalism to ensure passification of non-Russian ethnicities he threatens to lose his own base.
    Playing favorites with the Tatars in Crimea may keep Tatars all over Russia from become the next group of terrorists in Russia. Too bad Putin doesn't really have similar options in Dagestan and Chechnya. Of course today's other disgruntled ethnicities in Crimea may become the terrorists of tomorrow, as you note indirectly.
    Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit
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