Ukrainian War of Nerves III
Stanislav Belkovskii, “political scientist”, cousin of former oligarch Berezovskii, has one of the more interesting takes on the situation, based, he claims, in inside information from Kiev…
–This is a scenario prearranged between Putin and Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Timoshenko (who is not that popular with more “radical” Ukrainian revolutionaries) — he creates this situation in Crimea, she comes on stage, “solves” it in negotiations with him, and then becomes Ukrainian president.
(Lenoe): Take with a grain of salt: Belkovskii also predicted that Putin would give up all power to Medvedev and retire following his second term as president.
Vadim Karasev (the lone Ukrainian voice among all the commentators)… director of the Kiev Institute for Global Strategic Research…does not expect invasion. Elites in east Ukraine, even pro-Russian elites, do not want it, and Putin does not have alternative cadres. Most likely Putin’s moves are some kind of a ploy for a semi-autonomous or autonomous Crimea within Ukraine, or perhaps some kind of autonomy for all of SE Ukraine. If he invades, Ukrainians *will* fight, not just in west, but in east.
(Lenoe): the latest evidence from Lugansk indicates that some elites from the east *are* ready to work with Russians to end rule of Kiev