Thursday, May 1, 2014

Ukraine - The east may be lost

8:30 coffee made, dishes washed, cats outside
10:30 emails and Facebook all caught up
11:30 read all important looking links and articles on Kyiv Post
12:00 make lunch, ready to go to work.

Thanks to whomever I stole the idea from.
There has been not much to blog about these past few days.  I expect the 11:00 pm news covers most of it and the junkies like myself have found sites they follow to get the latest and the analysis.

Violence increases steadily in eastern Ukraine as the Russian backed and led terrorists, armed with automatic weapons, grenades and tear gas continue to attack and take over public buildings in communities throughout Donetsk and now Luhansk Oblast with the intent of moving into Kharkiv as well.  These are men in their 20s to 40s, well organized, wearing unmarked uniforms and balaklavas and carrying Kalashnikovs.  The leaders carry AK100s which are Russian weapons while the locals carry Ukrainian AK70s models. They are apparently receiving training in Crimea's Feodosia.

The mayor of Kharviv, a neutral in all this (he hates both sides) narrowly escaped an assassination attempt and is in critical condition in an Israeli hospital.  Another tortured body has reportedly been found near where the first two were discovered, close to Sloviansk which seems to be the separatist stronghold.  About 40 people including seven OSCE observers arrested as "spies".  These people are held as hostages for future considerations.  A pro-Ukrainian demonstration of about 1000 people in Donetsk was attacked by pro-Russian thugs armed with bats and truncheons.

Of course that is not how Russian TV reports it.  They reported the grenade attack near Odessa as the pro-Ukrainian guards at the check point were playing with the grenade when it exploded.  Since the Russian people have no idea what is going on in Ukraine they are quite convinced that Putin is right.  Polls show 82% confidence in his leadership.  Right.  I am sure the 18% who were brave enough to disagree will be well marked for future considerations.

Kyiv is highly unlikely to regain control in the east as they are damned if they do and damned if they don't. One suspects the anti-terrorist operation is under orders not to use weapons.  An impossible situation to say the least.  Any deaths attributable to Kyiv military action will immediately bring the Russian army across the border.  If they do nothing, they may lose three oblasts in the east.  If Russia invades, they may lose all of southern Ukraine clear to the Dniester River.

Part of the problem with Kyiv is that the SBU (CIA/FBI) is riddled with informers and the local police are less than useless as a group since half of them seem to side with the terrorists and either collaborate or simply do nothing as was the case in Donetsk with the thugs beating up the pro-Ukraine demonstration.  In a sense you can't blame them.  They live there and will have to deal with the winners whom they judge will not likely be the government in Kyiv.

If Kyiv gets serious they will need to bring in police from western Ukraine.  this is how Yanukovych did it; his killer cops, the Berkut, were mainly Russians from the Donbass or Crimea who has no compunction whatsoever about dealing with Ukrainian protesters.

The whole purpose of the insurrection in eastern Ukraine is really to disrupt the presidential elections slated for May 25th which would give undisputed legitimacy to the government in Kyiv and also put paid to the notion that the country was run by Fascists as the right wing candidates are unlikely to get a combined 2% of the vote.  This was in fact stated by the self proclaimed "mayor" of Slaviansk.

The IMF have approved $17 billion in loans to Ukraine with the admission that it is highly risky both from implementation and geopolitical perspectives.  Obama is taking heat for the wussy additional sanctions this last round.  He made the right choice though, saving the heavies for when they are really needed.  Basically that will be all banks and the energy sector.  Putin has said if the energy sector is sanctioned the western oil companies invested in Russia will be made to pay dearly.

Today is a holiday in Ukraine, and the next two days too.  In fact no one does anything useful until May 10th, meaning May 12th with is Monday.  I think the same holidays apply in Russia too so I hope the troops on our border get the next two weeks off.  Bwahahahaha.


  1. We here so little on our news here in the US about the Ukraine other than a generalized sound bite...Russian threat...US sanctions. Of course some of the Old Men of politics (McCain) are bellicose and would like to beat war drums - there may be more sanity when my generation is gone - but I doubt it.
    the Ol'Buzzard

    1. McCain is getting more senile all the time, it seems. He used to talk sense years back. Ukraine could likely use arms but the non-lethal stuff is just as important. The time for war drums will be when Putin starts serious stuff with the Baltics. If NATO does not support the Baltics even though they are members, then NATO and USA is finished as all those countries who currently count on them for support will know that it is meaningless and will look for other options.

  2. It makes my stomach twist to read about this. And it makes me thankful all over again that I live in Canada...

    1. You called it right on that. Harper or no Harper, winter or no winter, it is a good place to live.


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