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    Central Asia
     Apr 11, '14

This is all too reminiscent of Moscow in 1993,

Russia might very soon do something rather counter-intuitive: nothing at all.

All the signs are that the freaks in Kiev have decided to put down the demonstrations in Kharkov, Donetsk and Lugansk by force. YouTube is full of amateur footage showing all sorts of militarized units, APCs and even artillery pieces being moved towards these cities. Local people have tried to stop them, but without success.

It appears that the attacking force will include loyal cops from

other cities, regular military units, private contractors hired by the oligarchs, riot police, "anti-terrorist" units of the SBU and volunteers from the Right Sector.

Facing them are crowds of largely unarmed or minimally armed civilians. In Lugansk some of these civilians have looted the SBU armory and have assault rifles (AKM-74s). The crowds are relatively large, but not huge, most of the local activists have taken up positions inside key government buildings which they occupy and while there are some barricades around these buildings, they do not appear to be properly defended, at least not in a military sense.

This all reminds me of Moscow in 1993 and it scares me. Badly.

For those of you who do not remember, let me remind you of what happened then.

In 1993 the Russian Parliament building was defended pretty much in the same way as the buildings in eastern Kiev are: all sorts of supporters outside the building, but the core defenders inside. Once the shooting began, the crowd of sympathizers outside rapidly dispersed. Shortly after the building itself was assaulted an offer was made to those willing surrender to let them out safely. Some accepted. Others stayed.

The assault of the building resumed and the bloodbath which took place inside was hidden from the public. As for those who surrendered, they were hunted down while leaving the area, beat up and often murdered. Finally, the winning side engaged in a massive hunt for Parliament-sympathizers who were hunted down, arrested, beat up and even killed for a least a week. Something very similar might happen in the next few days in eastern Ukraine. More ...

The Saker is an anonymous blogger and occasional contributor to Asia Times Online who writes at The Vineyard of the Saker.

(Copyright 2014 The Saker)

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