Friday, December 12, 2014

How A Major War Could Have Started In Ukraine: An Alternate Timeline

Most of the stuff I've been posting on the blog from my alternate-history forum has been counterfactuals of fictional scenarios like things going differently in A Song of Ice and Fire or what-not.

Here's something a bit more grounded in reality, and based on current events to boot. It's entitled "And To Think It Might Have Happened: A Ukraine War Timeline." The point of divergence from our history is that on March 14, during the Russian takeover of Crimea, a Ukrainian missile boat fires on a Russian corvette and cripples it, forcing it to be abandoned. The Russians sink the missile boat with aircraft. Things mushroom from there, with the Russians launching a massive aerial attack March 17 followed by a ground invasion March 19.

*The Russians take Luhansk pretty early and advance all the way to Kharkiv. The Ukrainians put up a spirited fight, but their resistance crumbles when supplies and ammunition run out. The new government in Ukraine early on had problems paying its soldiers, so keeping them supplied in wartime is going to be even more of a problem.

*Kazakh troops are fighting alongside the Russians.

*Kiev gets bombed, nearly killing the Ukrainian president.

*NATO doesn't intervene in Ukraine's defense, although they do share intelligence on Russian movements and even fly aircraft in western Ukraine as a show of force. The latter course is really quite risky, given the possibility of an accident.

*By March 25, the Russians are approaching Kiev itself. The Ukrainians for the most part have fallen back over the Dnieper. The Russians announce their intentions to annex occupied Ukraine.

Then a British passenger jet gets shot down, escalating things even more. Right now NATO troops have been deployed to Europe in large numbers and the Russians are preparing to intervene in the Baltic States. The Russian secretary of defense has just resigned (and been arrested) rather than participate in something this risky.

This is a really interesting timeline. The last date was yesterday and the update before that was around three days ago, so there might be a new installment by this weekend.

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