Monday, July 28, 2014

Ukraine: Hopeful, but Bloody Patterns

There have been a lot of developments since my last post.  The Ukrainians have been making sold progress in recapturing the Donbass.  It is not without its cost. There are differing maps as to who controls what. The one most common shows the Ukrainians have splitt he rebel territory into two:

Pervomaysk, Torez, the "mountain" of Savur-Mogyla, Snizhne, Shakhtarsk and Lutuhine have been reportedly taken.

The battle for Donetsk, Novosvetlovka, Lugansk and Gorlovka is on.

There are claims in Gorlovka, the rebels are threatening to kill hostages and blow up the chemical factory there if they are not given a 24 hour head start on retreating. The head of the Gorlovka rebels has also reportedly disappeared.

One side or another keeps shelling the residential areas. The Ukrainians claim they are only fighting house by house and using artilery away from the residential areas. The rebels are claiming they are not doing it and the Ukrainians are. The rebels have less credibility, of course, at this point by a long shot.

The Russians sent the largest convoy of equipment yet into Ukraine.  The Pentagon noted it was over 100 vehicles. The russians have likewise continued to bombard the Ukrainian army. There are reports a full Russian army unit (perhaps the convoy above) with Russian soldiers entered the Donetsk Oblast.

The Russians have supplanted almost all the Ukrainians in the rebel upper echelon.  It looks like they have decided to stop pretending this is really Ukrainian run and instigated. 

Worrisome is the fact the Kremenchuk mayor was murdered and someone attempted the same attack on the mayor of Lvov.

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