Saturday, August 6, 2016

Update on Ukraine

It has been months and months since I posted anything about Ukraine on this blog.  Because it is simply too infuriating, depressing, maddening, frustrating and on and on anon. Plus ca change, plus ca meme chose.  Or something.

The front line between Russian occupied Donbas and Ukraine has not moved much if at all.  The Russians have increased their attacks along the border and deaths of Ukrainian soldiers are slowly mounting with July the most deadly month in two years. All the heavy artillery has been pulled out again including 120 and 150 mm guns and grad rockets.  The ATO is allowed to return fire in self defense but not to try to retake territory. It is that wonderful Minsk agreement.
Yesterday's map
Yesterday's update is here:

The ATO is getting its licks in though.  The Russian military and their proxies are not getting off free.  It is becoming more and more difficult to recruit "volunteers" from Russia.  Nor are the local terrorist militias too willing to face them.  One group, told to do recon and threatened with summary execution for refusing, solved that problem by shooting their Russian officer. The political leader of LNR was seriously injured in a car bomb explosion.  Whether Ukrainian resistance or local mafia or Russian operatives is not known.

Russia appears to be building towards a serious offensive.  Troops and heavy weapons are being stockpiled in key areas along the front line. It has been suggested that first will come increased clashes along the front line and that then Russia "will be forced to intervene in a peacekeeping role". They have up to 100,000 troops massed along the border with Ukraine and could sweep down through Kharkiv, encircling and trapping ATO troops.  
 This is “one of the possible scenarios directed at regime change in Ukraine,” Felgengauer says. Moscow will continue to demand that Ukraine agree to remain outside of the Western bloc, a commitment Kyiv is not ready to agree to. But Russia will do whatever it thinks it has to in order to ensure that happens, and the West may ultimately back down as a result.

Why does right now seem like the time Moscow is most ready to do something like this? Because, Felgengauer argues, the US and Europe are distracted by their own domestic difficulties and are far less likely to be able to agree on any action, including enhanced sanctions if Moscow does expand its invasion of Ukraine.


chlost said...

Yes, unfortunately, we are all distracted here, and it is not likely to change much until November. It's a nuthouse. Plus, I doubt that the President could get Congress to do much of anything, given the current state of what they ironically call our "leadership". The Congress flat out refuse to do anything that is supported by the President, good or bad. That's leadership?
Russia is certainly not stupid. Thank you for the update. I had just been discussing this recently. When Trump gave away the fact that he knows nothing about Ukraine or the issues there, we had a discussion about it. It has been lost in the news cycle here.
Take care. Best wishes.

The Blog Fodder said...

I can imagine there is not much else on American news these days. Trump and Hillary show up in my FB news feed all the time and I am not very interested. One thing about this election is that you find out on FB who your ignorant, racist, homo and Xenophobic, (non-) Christian friends are.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Our media doesn't cover much of the Ukraine situation at the moment, unfortunately. It's too busy being fascinated by the Trump Circus.


you are my information on the Ukraine Russia debacle..we are up to our asses in alligators with the election..only offset by the Olympics..

The Blog Fodder said...

I've not much interest in the summer Olympics. The winter Olympics were interesting to me back when I was following the figure skating. My late wife was a fan and I became one.
Your entire election process baffles me. America is constantly voting but nothing really changes.

The Blog Fodder said...

Trump shows up on my FB news feed far too often. Everything he says is a lie but no one seems to care among his supporters.

Diane Henders said...

Sigh. And here I was hoping that no news was good news. Sadly, it's just 'no good news'. You seem calm about the whole thing - is that just a stiff upper lip, or do you feel fairly safe where you are?

Ol'Buzzard said...

Your blogs on life and politics in the Ukraine should be required reading.
the Ol'Buzzard

The Blog Fodder said...

We are fine unless Russia decides on a full scale invasion. I will worry about that when it happens.

The Blog Fodder said...

Thank you. "All I know is just what I read in the papers, and that's an alibi for my ignorance." - Will Rogers

Rob said...

It's been awhile... how are things?