Moon of Alabama’s ‘b’ wrote on April 30 that the Ukraine regime would not be able to defeat the insurgency in the east and that that reality would eventually force a negotiated settlement. The settlement would leave Ukraine neutral and/or balanced economically and militarily between Russia and the West. In other words, the inevitable outcome is the one favored by Russia and most of the protestors in Ukraine’s south and east.
Another outcome was also possible, Russian invasion and occupation and perhaps a major war. The bait was random shelling of civilians in Donetsk, Luhansk, and elsewhere, and the Odessa fire and massacre. See this May 4 comment by b:
The U.S. plan for Ukraine seems to be to bait Russia into an occupation. This would destroy EU-Russia relations, embolden NATO and help the U.S. to keep the EU as a secondary partner under its control. There would be lots of economic upsides for the U.S. in such a situation. Selling more arms and increasing energy market shares are only the starters.
But, as b predicted, Russia didn’t take the bait. Instead (the NY Times and I assume) it has quietly and unofficially assisted/facilitated the movement of arms and experienced military volunteers into Ukraine to aid the eastern rebellion. Far less aid and direction than that provided by the U.S. to the anti-regime Islamic rebellion in Syria, but you get the picture. This assistance flies mostly under the media radar, and can recede or increase depending on U.S. non-official and official aid to Ukraine’s military and National Guard. (Hip tat to scalawag for the links.)
As at least one Ukraine government sympathizer realizes, in Poroshenko’s Vietnam, the result is a festering, civilian-killing stalemate. An economy-crushing stalemate that can last forever or be put to an end tomorrow. The question is, does new Ukraine prime minister Petro Poroshenko have the freedom to choose to stop the bloodshed, or is he tied so closely to U.S. interests that he must carry on ‘killing his own people’ despite certain knowledge that carrying that on is counter to Ukraine’s interests? Here is some of the ‘Poroshenko’s Vietnam’ essay, by Boris Danik: Read the rest of this entry →