Putin Takes Crimea 2014

Being there . . . . on 27 July 1944 when 800 Russian heavy T-34 tanks rumbled through Lvov and
Stanislav in western Ukraine liberating an Allied sympathetic population. Warsaw was less than
eight miles away and pleasing Stalin because his Soviet Union had just achieved the sixth of the
USSR’ s promised Ten Victories for that year. What pleased Stalin the most, it was claimed, was
that from the famous Steps of Odessa across the Black Sea he imagined he could see the
partially destroyed spires and towers of Sevastopol and Yalta, in the same way Hitler could
imagine seeing the spires of the Kremlin from the advanced positions of the Wehrmacht
outside the walls of Moscow. Chuckling, he gave his view in a formal speech to the Russian
people, “Everyone imposes his own systems of rule and government as far as far as his armies
can reach. It cannot be otherwise.” Vladimir Putin, who regarded Ukraine not so much as a real
state but a part of Russia’s of sphere and historical birth right, this was not simply a thoughtless
remark by old Uncle Joe, but a command, a direct order to claim lost, but never forgotten
territory.
OSPREY PUBLISHING OFFERS TWO DETAILED, AUTHORITATIVE ANALYSES OF THE TWO MOST
WARS SINCE WORLD WAR II – PUTIN, IN 2014, BELIEVING HE COULD ROLL IN AND YANK THE
CRIMEA OFF THUE UKRAINE, THEN PLAN, FIGHT, AND DEBATE WHY THEY WERE WON AND
LOST.
Reviewed and Highly Recommended by Don DeNevi
“PUTIN TAKES CRIMEA 2014 – – Grey-zone warfare opens the Russia – Ukraine conflict”, by Mark
Galeotti. OSPREY Publishing Ltd, RAID SERIERS, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 79 pages, 7 ¼” x 9
¾”, paperback, $23. Visit, www.ospreypublishing.com.
This 79 page-turner is really a riveting textbook account of the invasion of Crimea from a
supremely qualified expert on modern Russian forces. Mark Galeotti is renown, one of the
brilliant young historian Osprey has lined up over the years, admired and respected by
members of that exclusive club, earning the company the “nonpareil” designation. As readers
of every one of his works, us “humbles” have no choice but to wait, forever wondering what’s
taking him so long to complete his latest.
As of today, the war seems to have stalemated, Western military aid having arrived just in
time. From the Russian side word reached the Ukrainians that the war not driven by the Soviet
generals but by the security and intelligence community – and that the seizure of Crimea had
been taken as a template for Putin’s “special military operation”, as he called it, unwilling to
admit it was a full-scale war. Of course, this was not the first time the Kremlin has made
disastrous misjudgments about wars based upon a misunderstanding of past experiences and a
reluctance to consult its own generals.
Apropos Mark Galeotti’s treatise is a New York Times article by Matthew Mpoke Bigg
published Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023, entitled, “War In Europe: Putin says annexed Ukraine land is

Russia’s, then bombs it”. The quarter-page article reads, “Russia on Saturday launched a missile
attack on a region in southern Ukraine that it claims as its own, wounding at least five people, a
day after Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
delivered dueling speeches that underlined their determination to keep fighting. Russia illegally
annexed four regions – Donetsk and Luhansk in the east and Zaporizhzhia and Kherson in the
south, exactly a year ago. Battles for control have continued to rage in all four areas . . . . Since
Russia’s illegal annexation of the four regions, Moscow has aimed to cement control in the
areas that its forces hold. Russian occupation officials held municipal and regional elections in
Khereson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk. Kyiv and its international allies condemned the
polls as fraudulent attempts to tighten Moscow’s grip, and Britain on Friday imposed new
sanctions on Russian officials in response to the ‘sham elections’.”

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