Rarely do I post anything on here which is not by me, but today I’m making an exception.
This is an extremely important article, which seems to have passed beneath everyone’s radar. I did not find any mention of it on the main news sites.
I’d urge everyone to maintain caution about the urge to support one side or another completely and absolutely in the developing Cold War II, because, as this article – if it is factual – shows, neither side has its hands clean. While the article is so far unconfirmed by sources elsewhere, I don’t necessarily discount the very serious allegations it makes. Please do not assume that I am endorsing the contents of this piece. However, if it is true, then in the competing land grab operations underway in the former USSR, Russia is fortifying itself and readying for an open showdown with the West. Unless one side or the other backs down at some point, we are almost certainly going to be faced with nuclear war.
In accordance with the source site’s permissions, I’m only publishing part of the original article, with a link to the rest of the piece.
All I ask is that you keep an open mind.
Russia Invades Durakistan
BY KAY PEETU AND KEJI CHAMATTHU
MOSCOW Tue 1 April 2014, 1202 pm IST
(Rueters) – As the United States and Russia face off over the future of Crimea and Ukraine, and all attention is focussed on Eastern Europe, the world media have apparently missed very significant developments far away, in Central Asia.
According to sources on the ground, and confidential information from officials in the Russian military and government, last night, at midnight local time, the Russian Tenth Army, supported by independent armoured regiments, invaded the former Soviet Republic of Durakistan. As columns of T 80 and T 90 tanks, followed by armoured personnel carriers and self-propelled artillery, slashed across the northern border, elite Russian Spetsnaz forces heli-dropped into the capital, Choknutiy, and quickly secured the airport, the parliament building, presidential palace, and all major institutions. President Bezumnii Glupostayev and his entire cabinet seem to have been taken into custody. There was no resistance as the Russian invasion took the country’s tiny and unprepared forces completely by surprise.
|This image, which cannot be independently verified, claims to show Russian tanks in Durakistan|
“I heard helicopters flying low overhead in the middle of the night,” a Choknutiy resident who wanted to remain anonymous told Rueters over Skype. “There was panic and confusion in the streets, with people wondering if there had been a coup. By dawn, we saw masked foreign soldiers in the street, passing by in armoured vehicles. They did not respond to questions but were dressed in Russian uniform.”
|This photo, provided by activists, claims to show Russian soldiers in Choknutiy|
Asked about the current situation in the capital, the resident said that it was relatively calm but tense. “The Russians have taken over the police and the government. They’ve imposed martial law but not made any official announcement about it. The shops are all closed and people aren’t on the streets.”
Another informant, who wishes to be known only by his first name, Zhopa, claims to have been a soldier in the Duraki army. He told Rueters that he was on guard duty at the frontier when the Russian columns went past. “There was no firing,” he said, over the telephone. “They smashed the border barriers with a tank and just moved in. Some soldiers came to our post and disarmed us, after which we were allowed to go.”
With the total absence of resistance and the swift occupation of the capital, Durakistan seems to have been an easy conquest for Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
The smallest and poorest of the former Soviet republics, Durakistan lies between Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. It was a part of Uzbekistan before breaking away in the 1995-6 civil war, which ended in the territory gaining de facto independence. It is still desperately poor, and, lacking any international recognition, receives no foreign aid.
|Map of Central Asia, showing Durakistan in purple|
“Why would Putin want to invade Durakistan?” Professor Vsyo Znaetov, Durakistan expert at New York’s prestigious Academy for Central Asian Studies, spoke to this writer. “Well, for one thing, it’s part of his long-term strategy to reassert Russian influence in Central Asia. Durakistan’s situation – sandwiched as it is between the three former Soviet Republics – makes it a very attractive staging point for military domination in any direction. If tensions rise in Central Asia, Putin can act before any outside powers can step into the breach.”
There is also, Professor Znaetov, said, the question of resources. “Though dirt-poor, Durakistan sits above possibly the world’s single largest bubble of natural gas. Controlling it gives Putin a powerful bargaining chip to use in strengthening Russia’s hand internationally.” China and India are believed to be interested consumers, Professor Znaetov said, and likely knew of the invasion in advance.
Rueters asked Professor Znaetov what justification Putin might have for this action, since unlike Crimea, Transdniestria, South Ossetia or Abkhazia, Durakistan does not have a significant Russian population.
“Most people can’t find Durakistan on a map anyway,” Znaetov replied. “Even the State Department, in all probability, has little knowledge of the place. Almost certainly, there will be no international storm over it at all. And if Russia begins selling Duraki gas, the local economy might improve to the point where the majority of the people may begin to accept Russian domination. Then, if anyone raises questions, Putin can say he was acting in the best interests of the Durakis themselves. President Glupostayev was in any case unpopular and implicated in massive corruption, so few mourn his ouster.”
|President Bezumnii Glupostayev, who is believed to be in Russian custody|
Professor Znaetov also had a comment about a possible quid pro quo with the US. “Putin,” he said, “has probably reached an understanding with the US. In return for staying out of Eastern Ukraine, he will be allowed to take over Durakistan. Russia likely doesn’t want the problems which will come with the rusting industrial belt of Eastern Ukraine anyway, with its ethnic mix and economic and social tensions. On the other hand, Durakistan is a far easier territory to control and offers Putin many more benefits.”
As proof of his idea of a quid pro quo, Znaetov offered the fact that the media have completely blacked out the news of the Russian invasion. “You won’t hear about it even on the most shrilly anti-Russian news networks,” he said. “This is inconceivable, unless the government has ensured that the news stays under wraps.”
The danger, Znaetov says, lies afterwards. “While the occupation of Durakistan is a fait accompli, the problem arises if Putin or some future Russian leader has a reason to intervene in one of the other Central Asian nations. Since he now has a base for such an intervention to be performed rapidly and successfully, he might be tempted into rash behaviour which may in turn bring him into conflict with the West. It might be in the best interests of both sides to declare Central Asia off limits to everyone.”
Rueters also spoke to a State Department official who wished to remain anonymous since he was not authorised to speak to the media. He denied any claim of a cover up. “Durakistan doesn’t even exist as far as we’re concerned,” he said. “But assuming it did, we totally deny it has been invaded by anybody. And even assuming it had been invaded, we totally deny clamping down on the media about it.”
Meanwhile, a top NATO official announced in Brussels today...
[Read the rest of the article here.]