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    Posted March 8, 2014 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Ukraine unrest

    Marenon and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Ukraine crisis as it unfolds
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    Russia's Big Bang Disruptor Strategy for Ukraine?


    What if everyone, except the Russian government, is over-thinking this whole Crimean invasion? What if Russia in Ukrainian Crimea is just one great big ruse. A diversion that distracts all of us, not for a long time, but for just the right amount of time to pull off the real objective? The real scam.


    We are all freaking out over the invasion, an invasion where only shots have been fired into the air, Tatars have been spooked by someone painting an 'X' on their doors. An 'X' must mean something bad, right? Many demonstrations by pro-Russians who are likely mercenary protestors or sectors out to make a quick rouble.


    Ukrainians in Ukraine and the diaspora are going nuts. Ukrainians are also getting into arguments with their Russian family members. Many tears, lots of tension. Big distractions.


    When I lived and worked in Ukraine in the early years, post independence, my staff wanted to better understand what does the term 'marketing' mean. I gave them, as a comparison, what a pickpocket does and what a marketeer does. A pickpocket puts his hand into your pocket and steals your money. Simple. A marketeer, on the other hand, is someone who is able to create such an enticing story, negative or positive, that you actually put your hand in your own pocket and give them your money. Same result, big difference in strategic approach. Free will in action.


    Another example is a magician who distracts you with one hand while performing his real magic trick with the other. The hand is quicker than the eye.


    Back to Russia in Ukrainian Crimea. What we are potentially seeing here is a sophisticated form of marketing. Is it meant to shake up the status quo to produce a new world order? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe all it is meant to do is the same as the magician, distract us from the real objective.


    However, as in my definition of a marketeer stated above, Russians don't have to do much more than what they have already done. It is Ukrainian citizens, the Ukrainian government and Western governments that are running around, in response to an enticing story, making their decisions and that will eventually garnish favour on to Russia.


    Perhaps, after all is said and done, the real objective is not military. The real objective is not any disruptive marketing that involves some crusty messianic Russian's vision of an improved Greater Russia. Perhaps the real objective is to distract the Ukrainian populace for the next
    60+ days to ensure that Ukrainians are not paying a lot of attention to any Presidential election campaigning. Perhaps the reason for creating such military disruptions and distractions is to ensure that, in the last month leading into the Presidential election, a 'sleeper candidate', a sophisticate-looking pro-Russian stooge, is positioned to win the Ukrainian Presidential election this coming May. I know, conspiracy theory but as we've seen with Ukraune since Nivember, Hollywood could not have written a better, off-the-wall script.


    Why is Russia doing this? Several possible reasons:
    A) Spooked Tatars may leave Crimea. Perfect! That means that Russian resettlement can occur without a hitch. Forget any racist genocide nonsense. That's bad for business when it comes to Russian squatters taking the Tatars places in Crimea. Besides, if Tatars leave of their own free will, en masse, you get cheap commercial and residential property prices too.
    B) So how are property prices doing in Kyiv? Elsewhere in Ukraine? Anybody know if they are holding steady? Certainly not rising. An opportunity for Russian bargain hunters?
    C) Which Presidential candidate(s) is pro-Russian? Does anybody really know? Will it be evident before or after the Presidential elections?
    Recall that Yanukovych was given an extraordinary second chance to run in Presidential elections after earlier being confirmed to be part of a Presidential election conspiracy to defraud the Ukrainian public. Why did he get a second chance and how could he convince enough voters to vote him into office in what appeared to be, more-or- less, a free and fair election? Is the Russian plan to baffle the Ukrainian public again, dilute the vote across multiple parties and get their man, or woman, front and centre to win the second round of the Presidential elections?
    D) Russia may pull out of Crimea or negotiate a compromise that appeals to Ukraine by mid-June. After all, the Russian government doesn't want to mess with the vacation plans of Russians hoping to relax on the Crimean beaches along the Black Sea coast. Epecially now that Russian squatters are saying that it's on their turf. Squatters' right? 'Sort of a 'Free Russian man on the land'?
    E) On the other hand, raising hell in Crimea could go on for years. What better way to reorientate Russian sunbathers to Sochi as a must-see tropical paradise (you can even ski there, if you bring in enough artificial snow).
    F) Russia has no intention of governing Crimea. Logistically, just too hard as there is a country in between Crimea and Russia - Ukraine. It was the main reason why Khrushchev handed Crimea over to Ukraine in 1954. Ukrainians are better managers and stewards of their land!
    Go to Moscow and drive a 100 kms. outside of Moscow and see if you see any Gucci or Cartier signs. You'll be lucky to see paved roads.
    G) The Russian rouble and stock market have dropped significantly. Not to worry. Markets and currencies drop and just as quickly jump back up. As if the Russian government cares what happens to Russian small businesses in the short to medium-term.
    Besides, what Russia loses in business taxes, it gains from the increased price of oil & gas. Since Russia is a one-trick economy, primarily relying on its natural resources to bankroll its econony, all is good, yes?


    What all of the above could then mean is that after the Ukrainian Presidential elections this May, Russia still plays hardball for concessions but dumps Crimea back on Ukraine's lap to govern and maintain law & order.


    The above could all be off-base but sometimes, the best plans are the simplest. There may not be any Russian-type of disruptor occurring, a resetting of the old order. This may be a magician's slight-of-hand and the real reason for such chaos is to distract the Ukrainian public from their own Presidential election. As a positive spin-off for the Russians, the Ukrainian economy is a basketcase, cheaper Ukrainian property prices along with higher world oil & gas prices due to the optics of increased risk to supply chains.


    Finally, Ukraine then gets saddled with giant chronic macroeconomic inefficiencies by governing Crimea and the coal mines of Eastern Ukraine, both money pits that help guarantee that Ukraine will, for many years to come, have a weak economy and an unstable society, perfect for Russian manipulation.


    Ukrainian citizens!! PAY ATTENTION!! You have a Presidential election coming up in May, 2014!! Prepare yourselves to ensure that you do not get saddled with another 'Yanukovych Ii'! Forget the baubles and trinkets that politicians everywhere give out before elections. Ask your candidates to offer you a realistic political platform, information on their policies for achieving a stable economy for Ukraine a few years down the road. Be reasonable in your own expectations as your economy is in BIG trouble, with on without the current Russian magician's slight of hand.

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