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Russia Distributing Passports in the Ukraine?

passport082508.jpgI saw this recent bit from Diane Francis:

Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council is investigating claims that Moscow is illegally distributing Russian passports to Russian speaking sympathizers in the port city of Sevastopil. Ukraine leases much of this port to the Russian Black Sea Fleet. What’s notable about this is that issuing bogus Russian passports to trouble-makers was exactly the same tactic, then excuse, the Russians used to move into South Ossetia and another province in Georgia. Once the separatist movement gained steam, aided by Moscow, Russian “peacekeepers” were sent in to restore the “peace” and have been taunting the government of Georgia ever since. The final result came days ago when Georgia foolishly took the bait, invaded South Ossetia, thus giving Vladimir Putin’s government the reason it needed to invade Georgia. It took over the country militarily, ignored ceasefires and has thoroughly frightened all its neighbors in the region. For Ukraine, this is very scary. It looks like the Russian military dictatorship is using the same tactic in Crimea and, worse yet, could more easily make trouble for Ukraine because its navy is already well-ensconced in Sevastopil.

Perhaps what Kiev should be keeping an eye out for is the sudden, unexplained arrival of the Russian press corps to cover a war about to start.