YouTube videos have been uploaded in recent days and hours showing a massive buildup of military forces throughout the Ukraine, Crimea and Russia indicating the possibility of an imminent major war.
Here's what I've found thus far:
Massive Russian military convoy passing through Novorossiysk Russia:
Cell phone footage of a massive column of Russian forces spotted on the side of a highway in Novorossiysk Russia on March 7th - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hIr2L5l2tM
On 8 March at 14:40 on the Feodosia highway (to Bilohirsk) in Simferopol more than 50 Russian military vehicles were spotted - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=023YV8Ets28
Multiple rocket launchers seen on the side of the road in Sumy on 3/6 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eu4Z2Km64U8
95th Airmobile Brigade of Ukraine armed forces leaving their base in Zhytomyr - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDKT6ah9_Q4
26th Artillery Brigade Self-propelled artillery moving through Berdychiv - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daEfGbgEHTA
Column of marines moving out from a base in Lviv - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRpw9S9vZLA
55th Artillery Brigade Heavy artillery moving through Zaporizhia - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRvdE3yxJr8
20 T-64 tanks on trains in Bila Tserkva (1st Mechanized Battalion of the 72nd Brigade) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEFMEaXulcI
There's a very dangerous possibility with the Ukraine crisis. Keep in mind that not even a month ago Ukraine was under the executive leadership of Russian puppet Viktor Yanukovich. I believe the Ukrainian military command and control structure, which has not changed much, remains effectively under the control of Moscow regardless of who's now "president" in Kiev. Indeed, should we even trust the new political leaders in Kiev for that matter? Yet, all of the sudden Ukraine's military is perceived to be directed by "Western" forces! This creates a possibility for Moscow to wage a "managed war"....one in which Russia is seemingly battling against "the West" over vital national interests.
Is it possible that Kiev is going to order military action to take Crimea back from Russia? Remarkably, there's little discussion of this possibility in the press. Yet, comments from the "new leadership" in Kiev suggests this could be the plan:
While conceding that his nation can't come close to the military power of Russia, the interim prime minister of Ukraine said Thursday that "we are ready to protect our country" if Russia does not stop its "military aggression" in Crimea.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk told reporters in Brussels, Belgium, that the presence of Russian forces in that autonomous region of his nation "is unacceptable in the 21st century."
In a news conference about the situation in Ukraine, President Obama said Thursday that the world is "well beyond the days when borders can be withdrawn over the heads of democratic leaders."
The Ukrainian military, Yatsenyuk said, has refrained from taking action so far because it does not wish to play into a "scenario designated by Russia." But he added that Ukraine has "the spirit" to defend itself if necessary.
Yatsenyuk spoke just after 9 a.m. ET. His comments followed the news from earlier in the day that lawmakers in Crimea have taken steps toward what they hope would be an eventual split from Ukraine to join the Russian Federation.
Yatsenyuk called the Crimean parliamentarians' action "an illegitimate decision" and said that "Crimea was, is and will be an integral part of Ukraine." [NPR]
If the idea of a 'staged war' seems far-fetched, then I suggest you consider Russia's conflict with Georgia in 2008 which I believe is an example. Note that it was Georgia, not Russia, that struck first in that conflict. (Since, after all, "imperialism is the source of all antagonistic conflicts of the present day world" - see below.)
Why would the Kremlin concoct a Ukraine-Russia conflict?
Moscow's strategic focus has never deviated from the primary objective of total victory over the West IMHO. In this context, how to fight and win a global nuclear war is of the utmost relevance. Examine the quotes below of key Soviet nuclear war-fighting strategists from yesteryear. I think you'll get the idea...
The Soviets never start a war. By definition, the United States or, more generally speaking, "imperialism is the source of all antagonistic conflicts of the present day world, the source of war danger." [General Major A.S. Milovidov, quoted in Soviet Strategy For Nuclear War, p.98]
Speaking of the surprise unleashing of a nuclear war, the following should be noted. Recently the command element of the U.S. army, evidently, does not exclude the possibility of opening military operations even in the main theaters with the use of just conventional means of destruction. Such a beginning of war can create favorable conditions for the movement of all nuclear forces to the regions of combat operations, bringing them into the highest level of combat readiness, and subsequently inflicting the first nuclear strike with the employment in it of the maximum number of missile launch sites, submarines and aircraft at the most favorable moment.
One of the advantages the Soviets see of the conventional phase is the possibility that it provides cover to operations to initiate a nuclear attack, preparations that might otherwise be detected and provide warning. The notion of striking at "the most favorable moment" included in this quote is often encountered in Soviet military literature, especially in regard to surprise attack. [From Soviet Strategy For Nuclear War, p.103]
"We believe that the main determinant in the attack is the most decisive operation possible, having for its purpose the total destruction of the enemy's armed forces, and particularly the destruction of his nuclear weapons; that is, the achievement of results such that he would no longer be capable of offering further resistance within the limits of missions being carried out, or which would be needed for general capitulation. In the past this aim was possible of achievement only with the successive forward movement of land forces (or the enemy) to close with the enemy and to destroy his firepower. In the modern attack, when the mission of destruction can be accomplished by nuclear strikes, made at any depth, practically speaking, forward movement becomes a secondary item. It is not even necessary in certain cases. The situation can arise, for example, when the enemy, as a result of the massive nuclear strikes inflicted upon him, such strikes being the main part of the attack, capitulates and peace-loving forces accede to political power in his country..." [Lt. Gen. G. Lobov, as quoted in Soviet Strategy For Nuclear War, p.26]
"In view of the immense destructive force of nuclear weapons and the extremely limited time available to take effective counter-measures after an enemy launches its missiles, the launching of the first massed nuclear attack acquires decisive importance for achieving the objectives of war." [K. Moskalenko, Marshal of the Soviet Union, as quoted in Soviet Strategy For Nuclear War, p.36]
"Today's weapons make it possible to achieve strategic objectives very quickly. The very first nuclear attack on the enemy may inflict such immense casualties and produce such vast destruction that his economic, moral-political and military capabilities will collapse, making it impossible for him to continue to struggle, and presenting him with the fact of defeat." [Colonel M.P. Skirdo, as quoted in Soviet Strategy For Nuclear War, p.17]
"There is profound error and harm in the disoriented claims of bourgeois ideologues that there will be no victor in a thermonuclear war." [A.S. Milovidov, Russian Military Theorist, as quoted in Soviet Strategy For Nuclear War, p.10]