Thursday, April 17, 2014

who's losing Ukraine?

It looks like Kiev.

From today's New York Times:
In a glaring humiliation for the government, a military operation to confront pro-Russian militants in the east unraveled on Wednesday with the entire contingent of 21 armored vehicles that had separated into two columns surrendering or pulling back.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Ukraine's military operation to wrest control in the east from pro-Russian separatists was stymied Wednesday, as civilians halted army columns in their tracks and militants hijacked Ukrainian military vehicles and drove them around with Russian flags.
The faltering "antiterrorist" operation, launched a day earlier, leaves the government looking increasingly powerless in the face of separatists who are holding government buildings in as many as 10 cities close to the Russian border.
A security official in the capital Kiev said the government was well aware of the army's troubles, adding that its performance would improve.
"Unfortunately, we have no experience with military operations, so it's really difficult, but we're learning very fast," said Viktoria Syumar, deputy head of the National Security and Defense Council.

I hope that those advocates of military assistance to Ukraine recognize how little help hardware could be when the forces are poorly organized and trained to make use of them. I hope this is a lesson for all of NATO: armed forces need good training as well as equipment.

And just in case someone wants to ratchet up sanctions on Russia, note this from the Financial Times:

Europe’s resolve to impose tough sanctions on Moscow is cracking under corporate lobbying, as companies warn governments that any retaliation from the Kremlin could cost them dearly. 


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