Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Vineyard of the Saker: The bizarre non-story of the captured Russian soldiers

Did the Ukrainians really catch 10 Russian paratroopers?


For one thing, this time around the Ukies have provided names, a unit number (331st Regiment, 98th Guard Airborne Division) and even a video of their interrogation. So this might be real.

If it is, I hope that it will at least shut up the choir of naysayers who constantly accuse Russia of doing nothing, of betraying Novorussia, of selling out the Donbass and all that kind of nonsense. The fact is that Russia as constantly been assisting the Novorussians covertly and while bloggers such as Colonel Cassad and myself can claim that (read his excellent commantary here in Russian and here in English), Russia cannot do the same because of the legal consequences of such an admission. But anybody who knows what is going on has known all along that Russia was helping.

So this is war and, as they say, shit happens. Still, there are a lot of weird things in this story.

First, we have to completely ignore anything the poor captured guys might have sad. We all know how the Ukies treat their prisoners so what they said is irrelevant. Likewise, if the Ukies say that they captured these guys in location X, that does not mean that this is what really happened. Having said that, there are still a of of unanswered questions:

Could these soldiers have been "lost" as Russia claims? Hardly. Everybody knows that the region where they were caught is not only crossed by an international border, but also that there is a real shooting war on the other side. Russian paratroopers don't just get "lost" in a warzone, not at the age of GLONASS/GPS. For all I know, they could have been kidnapped on the Russian side of the border (like the Israelis whom Hezbollah captured in 2006) and dragged across the border to make it look like they had crossed it.

But if they were sent in, what would have been their mission? This is a total mystery to me. Paratroopers are not just sent into enemy territory just like that, they would have to be in support of some kind of operation involving much bigger forces.

Then, by all accounts, these guys surrendered without firing a single shot. If there is one thing Russian paratroopers are famous for is not surrendering, not even if that means dying. Yet these guys did not see it fit to fight. Weird, again.

The Ukies said that the paratroopers were caught with their documents. That is laughable. The Russians would never send in a recon team with their military IDs. By the way, the Ukies *also* said that before they were sent across the border, the officers took all their documents. Total contradiction. Go figure.

Complete story at - The Vineyard of the Saker: The bizarre non-story of the captured Russian soldiers

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4. Gladio - NATO's Dagger at the Heart of Europe - Richard Cottrell
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