Tuesday, September 02, 2008


The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Dallas left Sevastopol Tuesday morning after anti-NATO protests in Ukraine's Crimean port (see picture).

The Dallas, which recently delivered humanitarian aid to Georgia's Black Sea port of Batumi, docked on Monday at the Crimean port, where Russia has a naval base, at the invitation of Kiev.

The ship's arrival was met by thousands of anti-NATO protesters chanting "Yankees go home!" and waving banners with the slogan "NATO Stop!" Police cordoned off the area around the ship reports Novosti.

A second line of protesters were on Grafsky dock where people also held posters demanding the NATO warship to retract from Sevastopol.

According to customs officials, the ship's commander was so concerned with the anti-NATO sentiments in the city and that he decided against allowing the the men and women on board ashore.

On Monday evening the US crew gave a party on board the ship attended by senior officers of the Ukrainian Navy and border guards, but protesters immediately switched on loud music playing popular Russian World War II songs to disrupt the party according to protest organizer and Deputy of the Ukrainian Rada (parliament) Yevgeny Dubovik.

Military.com says the Dallas was in port to participate in previously scheduled theater security cooperation activities with the Ukrainian Navy.

"The principal aim of visits like these is to increase interoperability by developing the individual and collective maritime proficiency of partner nations, as well as promoting friendship, mutual understanding and cooperation," said Capt. John Moore, commander of Combined Task Force 367, under which the Dallas is operating.

However, as mentioned above, the Dallas called at the Sevastopol seaport after it had completed its " humanitarian" mission at Batumi seaport in Georgia.

In addition, currently there are 18 NATO ships in the Black sea, including the US destroyer McFaul and Spanish, German and Polish ships. The group of NATO ships have been conducting joint maneuvers in close proximity of the Georgian coast. In the next few days another US coastal guard ship Mount Whitney is expected to arrive in the Black Sea.

This is not sitting well with the Russians.

I wonder why?

The following is from Wired Blog Network.

Russians Chase Off U.S. Ship... with 'Loud Music'

When the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Dallas pulled into the Georgian port of Batumi last week, a throng a cheering civilians greeted the crew. On Monday, the Dallas pulled into the port of Sevastopol, Ukraine, where Russia leases a naval base. The throng there had a slightly different reaction.

Resident Russians flocked to the pier to protest Dallas' presence. A Dallas crew member with business ashore was even assaulted by an old woman wielding a Russian flag on a pole.

Dallas was slated to stay until Tuesday night, but just after dawn on Tuesday morning the ship slipped her moorings and motored out of Sevastopol. Russian protesters claimed credit, according to ITAR-TASS.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting - the thousands of protesters appear to be dozens - see the video - I also do not hear any music = perhaps the crowd maxed out the volume on their Ipods - http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=2d4_1220346743