Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Ukraine: Croaks Amongst the Splattering Boiling

The devastation of where the Ukrainian army has quit is immense. The picture above is from the Lugansk...airport.

The Ukrainian army is in full retreat.

 The Russians have raised the Soviet flag (!) above the Saur Mogila monument which both sides fought over and destroyed.

It may be the Russian army has halted in Lugansk and Donetsk.  It might also be they are pausing to disentangle themselves from their big push forward.  Units get lost.  Units need to be replenished, etc.  Or it might be the intent was to prevent DNR/LNR from losing (which they were going to) rather than push on.  That would be the best case scenario, but I doubt it.

Putin has stated he has requested the 'rebels' to halt their advances and claims he had a ceasefire agreement set with Poroshenko.  Poroshenko denied it.

Putin's plan, as I understand it is:
  1. Militias should cease military advances in the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions.
  2. Pro-Kiev armed forces should withdraw to a distance that excludes the possibility of shelling settlements.
  3. Implement full and objective international control over ceasefire observation and monitoring.
  4. Exclude the use of combat aircraft against civilians and villages.
  5. Prisoner/captive-exchange via an ‘all-in-all’ formula, without preconditions.
  6. Humanitarian corridors for refugees movement and delivery of humanitarian aid across Donetsk and Lugansk Regions.
  7. Direct repair-crew access to destroyed social and transit infrastructure with supportive aid.
 This would create Transdniestra Mk II.  Another frozen conflict.  Kiev will not accept that.

A number of Russian paratroopers now in Ukraine or wounded and returned to Russia were IDed on social media sites as having been dressed in Berkut uniforms during the Euromaidan and when Crimea was taken.  If true, Russia's been deeper involved than previously realized.

France has decided NOT to transfer the first Mistral to Russia, nor the second when its ready in October.  They have stated because of Russia's actions in Ukraine, they are delaying the completion of the sale until Russia's behavior changes.  I suspect France just got a couple more amphibious warships courtesy of Russia.  or they might sell it elsewhere.  Oh no though!  The idea of perfidious France having more power projection ability!  

Europe is looking to start slamming more doors shut to Russia in the form of sanctions.  European financial services and markets are likely to be closed to Russia, especially to their financial and defense sectors.  More specific sanctions are going to be rolled out too for individuals.  The finance moves will hurt the most.  Russia will have to turn to China more.  I'd say India, but India's getting a little pissed at the Russians over their behavior (re aircraft carrier they bought and the PAK-FA problems amongst others).

The US will be slamming more doors shut as well.  I am interested to see what they are.

The heads of NATO will meet with Poroshenko before the NATO summit.

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