Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Ukraine War Update: Вспышка и взрыва, лягушка

In a troubling development, fighting flared up and down the contact line.  The fighting has been restricted to small arms, automatic grenade launchers and 82mm mortars with a trio exceptions.  Those exceptions are really worrisome. 

The Donetsk Airport has blown up again.  So has Gorlovka and Optyne.  In all three cases, tanks are being used.  These are tanks that were supposed to have been withdrawn. At the airport, reports are of artillery starting to be used, too.  Again, artillery that was supposed to be withdrawn.

Zakharchenko has made numerous demands and stated if those demands were not met, the DNR would go to war again.  The Ukrainains have flipped him the bird and stated if he does, they will immediately respond. 

I have a hard time believing Putin would allow the DNR to go to war with the Ukrainians unless he intends for them to collapse.  I don't think that's his intentions at all, so Zakharchenko will be reigned in: Putin can't afford both the war in Ukraine and the war in Syria.

However, the fighting is concerning and soldiers have been wounded and died.

  • Red - Solidarity, Poroshenko Bloc
  • Light blue - Opposition bloc (ex. Party of Regions)
  • Dark blue - Svoboda
  • White - Fatherland Party (Tymoshenko)
  • Dark Green - Self Help Party
  • Light Green - Ukrop (Dill)
  • Brown - Revival (Renaissance) Party

The fighting took place after Ukraine had country wide elections, save for in the DNR and LNR.  Poroshenko's ruling block came out with a majority, but the margin slipped.  Everyone was rather worried about Tymoshenko coming back.  Her party floundered again.  I'm ALMOST tempted to call her a political has-been.  Three interesting bits: one, the old Party of Regions reformed to some extent and took some seats in the old stopping grounds of the east and south.  Second, Ukraine's elections had some irregularities, mostly in the east, but were hailed as very clean in general by monitors.  Third, people are very unhappy with the rate of progress in the country.  They want the reforms faster.  HOWEVER!  They feel the current Poroshenko allies are the best of the lot to actually reform.

 One of the OSCE monitors was forced to resign.  He got drunk and belligerent.  It also turned out he was a Russian GRU officer!  Whoops!  It explains some of the oddities with the OSCE reports.

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