Thursday, November 6, 2008

USS Mount Whitney in Ukraine: Pindostanis at the Gate


The American flagship in Sevastopol'. The sailors are not expecting a warm welcome.

The American command ship USS Mount Whitney sailed into Sevastopol'. The Americans are due to make a two day port visit to Crimea. For now these plans are under review. Their visit was almost canceled today. The Mount Whitney spent almost three hours at the outer roadstead waiting and then unexpectedly went back out to sea. Only after a few hours was the ship able to enter harbor. Meanwhile the sailors are not expected to receive a joyous welcome. Hundreds of people are demonstrating against the American ship in Sevastopol'. Interview with Yevgeniy Dubovik, Sevastopol' City Councilman:
We know that according to Article 95 of the Ukrainian Constitution, only the Supreme Rada can approve a port visits to the Hero City of Sevastopol'. We all know very well that the Supreme Rada is dysfunctional, so there is no permission. So today an American ship has invaded Sevastopol' without an invitation, which means that we will meet the ship with either peaceful picketing or combat grenades. For now, it is peaceful picketing.

Comment: What a dick.

I suspect that the Coast Guard Cutter may actually be someone spoofing the Mount Whitney, but here is a clip (with photos) of what is allegedly the conversation between the port pilot and the Ukrainian Customs Cutter on VHF maritime band:


Pilot: Can you tell us exactly what is the basis upon which we must leave your territorial waters?
Ukrainian Customs Service: You are leaving our territorial waters because you do not have permission to enter Sevastopol'. Therefore we ask that you leave our territorial waters.
Pilot: We do not have permission.
UCS: Yes, yes, you don't have permission to enter our territorial waters.
Pilot: Understood…(2-3 missed) that we do not have permission to enter the territorial waters of Ukraine.
UCS: I don't understand, repeat please.
Pilot: There is some confusion, we think we DO have permission to enter territorial waters.
UCS: The information I have says that you do not have permission to enter our territorial waters.
Pilot: Can you give us your full name and position?
UCS: We are the Border Service, you do not have permission to enter the territorial waters.
Pilot: Can you confirm your full name and position?
UCS: One minute...We have just talked with Sevastopol' and you do not have permission to enter territorial waters. You need to leave territorial waters and wait for permission to come.
Pilot: We await permission and we are leaving territorial waters and we will wait at the 12 mile limit.
UCS: You have understood correctly, at the 12 mile limit.

It does fit with some of the behavior observed by the denizens of the message boards at though. Speaking of which, for those of you planning to show up, the demonstration starts at 1000.

Tomorrow the demonstration will be at Nakhimov at 1000 to mark the 07 Nov holiday. After that we go to the Pindoses in port.


Gist: The American command ship unexpectedly departed Sevastopol' today (07 Nov). The Mount Whitney suddenly got underway and so far local officials have not explained the hasty departure. Originally the NATO sailors were supposed to stay in Sevastopol' for three days, but some reports suggest that problems arose when the Americans improperly filled out customs and border paperwork.

Also, a Mount Whitney crew member was gracious enough to post a comment thanking the Ukrainians for a pleasant port visit. With the exception of Souda Bay, Crete, I have rarely been on a port call where the locals allegedly "didn't like us" and I wasn't treated nicely by the vast majority of people. I genuinely think that, even in places like Sevastopol', the locals like Americans and America and that the US Navy almost always makes a good impression. It only takes the work of a few loud, bad apples on both sides (like the distinguished city councilman above) to spoil things. I am kind of shocked that the offical Russian media arm of the Russian military chose to highlight a violence-threatening thug/clown like the distinguished city councilman and not the thousands of friendly residents, Russian, Ukrainian, Tatar and other nationalities alike who welcome, like and profit from their visit. And profit not just from sailors spending their money, but also from the spirit of friendship that most of the Americans bring with them.


Anonymous said...

Comment: What a dick

Why do you say that? Please explain.


asdfsdf said...

"Why do you say that?Please explain."
Allow me to interpret for Red

"How dare those cowboys fake permission from that ass-kissing pro-western group of politicians who claim to govern our country and pass it off as real. I never voted for them; How could they possibly represent what is best for my country as a whole if it goes against my wishes? They think they can just sail on in here and dock at our port just cause they got permission from some government losers? They would be offending our largest customer base! How dare they! Comrades! Onwards! No Retreat! No Surrender! Give me Obstreperousness and Pointless Civil Disobedience or Give Me Death!"

In other words, this man is escalating something that really isn't an issue int an act of war and a riot.

What a Dick

Anonymous said...

He IS being a dick, however its not totally unexpected. Considering that the population of Sevastopol and Crimea as a whole identify quite strongly with Russia, its not surprising that they would be shitty, on November the 7th of all days.

Partly I think this whole thing is also a big "fuck you" from Yuschenko to the Russian population of Ukraine. Viewed against the background of the recent banning of Russian TV and Radio stations in Ukraine it sure seems like it.

russiannavyblog said...

"Why do you say that?Please explain."
Allow me to interpret for Red:

Yup. Exactly.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but the "MSM" camera looks a bit narrow and showing only one side. I suspect those protesting hold Russian passports.. Let the sailors go ashore and fuel the local economy with greenvacks....oh, the local merchants will want them back but these puppet protestors won't like how the local merchants that did ok spin their side of the port visit.
Lets see what the locals say about the port visit a few days after they leave.

Anonymous said...

As a crew member of MOUNT WHITNEY, I'd like to thank

Anonymous said...

As a crew member of MOUNT WHITNEY, I'd like to thank the Ukranian people for a wonder port visit. We only saw a small number of russian protesters, about 15, and they stayed only a few minutes. I guess they wern't paid very much to be there.

Anonymous said...

So...I wonder what the Ukrainian women thought about the americans ?

asdfsdf said...

"So...I wonder what the Ukrainian women thought about the americans ?"


asdfsdf said...

I mean I am dead sexy but I'm not on the Mt. Whitney and of course not everyone can be as drop-dead handsome as me.

Jeff said...

let someone else take over their country and they would be the first to cry to america to come over and help thjem get it back and we will say screw you... you are on your own!!!!!

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