Mankind's only alternative 28   JAN.   23  
Mankind's only alternative

The Fall of The eXile For all those wondering what the "Save The eXile Fundrasier" banner is all about, here it is as simply as it can be phrased: The eXile is shutting down.
June 11, 2008 in eXile Blog

War Nerd: War of the Babies in Taki's Magazine The War Nerd talks about babies, the greatest weapon of the 20th century.
May 28, 2008 in eXile Blog

Kids, Meet Your President A website for Russian kids to learn all about President Medvedev's passion for school, sports and family.
May 22, 2008 in eXile Blog

Cellphone Democracy Cam If this girl was exposed to Jeffersonian democracy...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Dyev Photos Yet another hot Russian babe imitating the Catpower look...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

Proof That Genetic Memory Is Real! Sure, the Ottomans shut down the Istanbul Slavic slave markets centuries ago...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Russia's Orthodox Church Youth Outreach Program The priest is going, "Father Sansei is very impressed with grasshopper Sasha’s...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Club Photos w/Russian Dyevs We took the Pepsi Challenge here...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Blogs RSS feed

The War Nerd October 28, 2003
Ukraine vs.Russia: Get Off My Mudflat!
By Gary Brecher Browse author Email
Page 2 of 3
You have to remember, a nuke is worth a lot of money to people like bin Laden. And Ukraine is one of the poorest places outside Africa. Right now, the average yearly salary in Ukraine is $750. That's about what my monthly electric bill is in the Summer, thanks to Gray Davis. Not much to live on for a year.

If I'd been a guard on one of the mobile SS-19 launchers based in Ukraine after the Soviet armed forces broke up, I'm pretty sure some evil little thoughts would've started going through my head, like should I be a good little sentry and starve to death, or should I talk a couple of my buddies into helping me unscrew one of those warheads so we can auction it off to some Jihadi with more money than sense? A nuclear warhead would sell for a lot of rubles in places like Riyadh, or Sana'a, or Islamabad (this was back before Pakistan could make their own nukes).

A lot of bad Hollywood thrillers got made out of that scenario, but it didn't happen. The official line is that Ukraine destroyed its last SS-19 at Khmelnytsky airbase on June 5, 1998.

If anything was going to happen in Ukraine, it would've happened back then in the crazy days after the USSR dissolved. Instead whoever's running the country gave up the nukes that put them in the world-power club. So you have to figure Ukraine is run by pretty easygoing types who just want bribes, not power.

Even if they wanted a war with Russia, I'm not sure whether Ukraine could manage it. Russia's not doing too well down in Chechnya, but at least they've got a real army and air force, real vets. I'm not sure Ukraine does. If you track the Ukrainian Army since independence, you see it's one of those bloated draftee forces designed for WW II, with too many grunts and way too few techies. In 1991 Ukraine had 500,000 troops. Now they're below 300,000 and they'd like to go much lower. There just isn't much use for cannon fodder any more.

Russia's got the same problem: too many troops and not enough money, tech support, training, or decent officers. Russia keeps making noise about switching to a small, professional army. It's not going to happen soon, but it does show you one thing, they don't feel ready to fight. Chechnya's so small they can do it without straining too hard, a little low-intensity counterinsurgency sideshow. They can keep that going with a few mercenaries, which is what they're doing right now. There's good money to be made in the smuggling business for officers and contract soldiers.

Fighting Ukraine in a conventional war would be a whole nother thing. It wouldn't make any sense -- be more like a 1943 reenactment than a real battle, because the both armies were designed to re-fight WW II. And since they're both Soviet knockoffs, it would be like fighting yourself in the mirror.

The more I read about Russia and Ukraine, the more they both look like dead-tired old boxers going into the 12th round. They've got no birthrate, no money, no big rallying cry. A new poll shows Ukrainians absolutely don't want to fight and feel a lot of sympathy for the Russians' position. Not the kind of wild-eyed berserkers you'd want to take into a rumble.

And the guys who run the two countries aren't much to get excited about either. Kuchma, who runs Ukraine, plays rough with internal opposition but wags his tail whichever way NATO tells him to, all the time sucking up to Russia whenever NATO's distracted by other matters, which is most of the time. Putin, the fish-faced little judo-ka who runs Russia, has all the war he needs in Chechnya. He doesn't need trouble with people who are pretty much identical to Russians, only poorer. Russians, see, make a whopping $1,800/yr. Not much, but about 2.5 times what Ukrainians make. So the biggest threat to Russia from Ukraine is the flood of cute Ukrainian girls who bring down the price per hour in the Russian prostitute markets. But you eXile types know more about that than I do. Only Russian girl I ever got to look at was Natasha on Bullwinkle.

SHARE:  Digg  My Web  Facebook  Reddit
Gary Brecher
Browse author
Email Gary at, but, more importantly, buy his book.
The "bilan"
Russia's Mullet Revolution :
Golden Apple
Bite My Boutique : Can’t afford a bed at the Golden Apple? Try the kitchen
Shawarma Shuttle
Shwarma Shuttle Of The Week :

Your Letters :


Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

Scanning Moscow’s Traffic Cops
Automotive Section
We’re happy to introduce a new column in which we publish Moscow’s raw radio communications, courtesy of a Russian amateur radio enthusiast. This issue, eXile readers are given a peek into the secret conversations of Moscow’s traffic police, the notorious "GAIshniki."

Eleven Years of Threats: The eXile's Incredible Journey
Feature Story By The eXile
Good Night, and Bad Luck: In a nation terrorized by its own government, one newspaper dared to fart in its face. Get out your hankies, cuz we’re taking a look back at the impossible crises we overcame.

Your Letters
Russia's freedom-loving free market martyr Mikhail Khodorkovsky answers some of this week's letters, and he's got nothing but praise for President Medvedev.

Clubbing Adventures Through Time
Club Review By Dmitriy Babooshka
eXile club reviewer Babooshka takes a trip through time with the ghost of Moscow clubbing past, present and future, and true to form, gets laid in the process.

The Fortnight Spin
Bardak Calendar By Jared Lindquist
Jared comes out with yet another roundup of upcoming bardak sessions.

Your Letters
Richard Gere tackles this week's letters. Now reformed, he fights for gerbil rights all around the world.

13 Toxic Talents: Hollywood’s Worst Polluters
America By Eileen Jones
Everybody complains about celebrities, but nobody does anything about them. People, it’s time to stop fretting about whether we’re a celebrity-obsessed culture—we are, we have been, we’re going to be—and instead take practical steps to clean up the celebrity-obsessed culture we’ve got...


    MAIN    |    RUSSIA    |    WAR NERD     |    [SIC!]    |    BAR-DAK    |    THE VAULT    |    ABOUT US    |    RSS

© "the eXile". Tel.: +7 (495) 623-3565, fax: +7 (495) 623-5442