The Least Known Great Danger of the Russian Bear's Weaponry vs. Western Weapons, Ukraine's Impotence Explained and Anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe

Update:  04/23/2014
Ukraine crisis: Russia 'to respond if its interests' attacked

My analysis: Now it is just a matter of when. Perhaps they are also signaling what the new entity would be like. Just Google South Ossetia.  Watch and pray.  

Update:  04/22/14

I believe that recent events are indicative of a Russian invasion of Eastern Ukraine, if not all of Ukraine, before the May 25 elections. 

The Rhetoric
The head of a Russian think tank affiliated with Putin compares Putin to pre-1939 Hitler
- the comparison is meant to highlight Hitler's efforts to unite German speakers in one country (i.e. Putin with Russian speakers in Eastern Europe)

There are no Russian forces in Eastern Ukraine (but then Putin said the same thing about those in Crimea -- and now he admits they were Russian)

The recent violence
Deaths of pro-Russians at military checkpoint, torture deaths of two men (one who was a politician in the Ukrainian acting president's party) and a Ukrainian surveillance plane hit by small arms fire

Two bodies pulled from a river who are said to have been stabbed to death.

Armed men in masks robbed the homes of several of the 150 Roma families in Slovyansk, demanding gold and money and telling the Roma that they should leave town.
The continued display of Western weakness
We have rejected Ukrainian requests for lethal aid 

The US is sending 600 troops total, divided among Poland and the three Baltic republics. Troops will rotate in and out, not growing from the 600 number
Original Post: 

What if one of the greatest dangers of the Russian military, its presence on the Ukrainian border, its incursions in Georgia in 2008 and in Crimea in 2014 was totally missed by the West?  Check out this VERY disturbing article on Russia's military buildup:  

Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
Tanks-to-troops modernization

From the article: 

Russia has the third largest military budget in the world at $70 billion

The Russian modernization plan began in 2008 and goes from tanks to body armor to ammunition.

US troops have complained about their M4 rifles and the 5.56 mm rifle rounds vs. the Taliban.  Often enough, they had to shoot each member of the Taliban several times as they kept on coming. Unless they got a shot to the head, the rounds were not doing the job.  And the Taliban had no body armor

Then there is the modern Russian soldier.  He fires a 5.45 “steel core” ammunition from an AK-47. The US ATF considers this round to be armor-piercing and thus has banned it from being imported. The round is considered to be extremely lethal against any body armor. 

And how about our 5.56 mm (that we have in common with NATO and Ukraine's AK-47s fire similar rounds)?  Well, it is complicated by the new Russian body armor.  Their new 6B43 model body armor, issued chest and back plates made of titanium and hard carbide boron ceramics are impervious to our 5.56 mm rounds while our body armor is vulnerable to theirs.  In fact, the Russians could take several shots to the chest before dropping.  

On the more cheerful side, there are a few caveats.  One, Russia is showing off its best and brightest right now.  The West has little idea how the average Russian soldier is equipped.  Apache helicopters and US armored vehicles are superior to what the Russians have.  

Another sad note is that Ukraine has helped us in Afghanistan and Iraq yet the US hasn't given any kind of lethal aid in their time of dire need.  In fact, promised sleeping bags have still not shown up and Ukrainian troops are forced to build fires which reveal their positions and make them easy targets of snipers and infiltrators. One of the biggest lessons of recent is that the US is glad to have you do their bidding (think removal of Ukraine's nuclear weapons when Ukraine was the third largest nuclear power and their help in Afghanistan and Iraq) but when you are in need, well, good luck.  

One of the mysteries to me was how Ukraine could agree to disarm itself of nuclear weapons (see link above labeled "removal of Ukraine's nuclear weapons") and then have a terribly inept and ill-equipped military on the border with Russia.  This article explains it all:

Ukraine, short on military budget, starts fundraising drive

From the article:

When the new government took over, it found a military and security agency organized around loyalty to ousted President Viktor Yanukovych and riddled with people closely tied to Russia’s security service, the FSB, Andriy Parubiy, secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, said in a recent interview. Not only was the treasury empty, so were military fuel tanks.

A recent investigation found that one defense factory was stealing $81 of every $100 order, Deputy Prime Minister Vitaliy Yarema said. “If the stolen money had been used for modernization of the Ukrainian army,” he told reporters, “there would not be a problem.”

Listen to this exchange during a debate in the race for the presidency over Russia.  Very informative. I chose a clip that gives the greater context of the remarks.  The clip is almost 3 minutes long.

Anti-Semitism is still prevalent and still a threat 

From the article:

When President Putin first invaded Crimea and threatened eastern Ukraine, he used anti-Semitism as one of his excuses, claiming to be defending Jews from their suffering there, and highlighting the role of fascists in the recent revolution.

Ignore the sheer cheek of this for a moment, given how Jews have always been treated in Russia.

Ukraine has a terrible history of anti-Semitism in cities such as Odessa, formerly part of Russia.

Today there are only about 65,000 Jews left in Ukraine – down from 2,700,000 in the 1920s.  In 1941, 11,500 Jews were marched at gunpoint to a park and butchered by the Nazis with the complicity of Ukrainians.

The good news is that modern Ukraine is far more hospitable to Jews, the article argues, than it has been before.  

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