The Lessons of the Ukrainian Wasteland
Ukraine is suffering badly. The entire southeastern portion just above Crimea is now a wasteland. Mother Russia controls entire swaths of territory that remain uncontested yet not allied totally to Moscow either. As it stands now, Ukraine is a lesson every dictator is watching, for when they gave up their nuclear weapons, Moscow swept down enveloping them; Ukraine today suffers from both an ersatz civil war and partition. Today, it is no mans land.
Moscow is using local separatists ideologically allied to Moscow, however, the reality on the ground is growing more difficult to contain or turn around. Russian backed separatists are kept busy by a cult of militarism that looks increasingly dystopian. Their is no economy, leaving vast swaths of Ukrainians moving north to Kiev in hope of settling outside an imposed war zone. To resolve this conflict the Americans need to arm the Ukrainians, as it currently stands, the Americans are playing a waiting game, but Ukraine can no longer wait.
How did the west arrive with a defeatist agenda?
Minsk-2 was the cease fire agreement that ratified the dissolution of the Ukrainian army by Russia. It meant that Moscow needed to return territories and cease hostilities. It never will. As it stands today, Ukraine is frozen and paralyzed.
For Washington to get Putin’s attention we’ll need to turn Ukraine into a battlefield that bleeds Putin. If war is Clausewitzian, we need to discern the regional politics to make any engagement worthwhile. The territories captured by Moscow have ceased having any political center, they aren’t administered or ruled, this greatly reduces the scope of any engagement. What the west is doing is waiting for Mother Russia to implode.
The resurrection of eastern Ukraine, historically known as Novorossiya would help damage Putin; what Moscow has done is foment discord throughout the world in the hope of exhausting Washington.
Ukraine needs to be rescued. It may already be too late.
Originally published on William Holland’s blog.
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