Friday, October 03, 2008

Comrades in arms?

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has expressed outrage at reports that Ukraine supplied arms and technicians to Georgia before the recent war.

But not over its supply of arms to Kenya, Somalia, or whatever.

Guambat is finding it hard not to agree with these Somali insurgents: A Somali insurgent group Thursday urged the pirates holding a Ukrainian ship carrying military hardware to destroy the ship and its cargo.

He reckons maybe the Navy could offer an assist with a torpedo or two.

But doubts they'd want to sink a Coast Guard ship.


Stratfor has reported
Somalia announced on Wednesday its intention to recognize the independence of the breakaway Georgian republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. So far, only Nicaragua (and of course Russia) recognizes them as independent. According to Somalian Ambassador to Moscow Mohammed Mahmud Handule, “We want Russia to start military and technical cooperation with our country as soon as possible...."
But that's not the interesting part, which is
the Russians announced that they were sending a warship to patrol off of Somalia’s coast, and dispatched it just two days before a Ukrainian ship loaded with Soviet-era weapons was seized by pirates. A week after the hijacking, the Somalian government announced recognition of South Ossetian and Abkhazian independence....

Setting aside the coincidence that Russia announced the deployment of an anti-piracy warship three days before the hijacking of the Ukrainian ship, the strategic issue is that the Russians are involving themselves once again in the Horn of Africa.


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