Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Eastern Ukraine in Full-Scale Civil War

Just a few snippets:

Literally hundreds of pro-Russian insurgents keep attacking bases and border posts:
http://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2014/06/02/ukraine-says-insurgents-attack-border-guards

Insurgents from Russia are using occupied border posts to pour through and reinforce eastern Ukrainians. Of course Russia is not really doing anything to prevent this:
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/russian-fighters-killed-along-with-insurgents-in-eastern-ukraine/

Ukrainian troops are battling insurgents for control over dozens of locations, like border posts, government buildings, and a big airport:
http://www.thewire.com/global/2014/05/hours-after-ukrainian-elections-pro-russian-separatists-seize-airport/371579/

The insurgents are well-armed: having taken some armories and (embarrassingly) APCs, they're doing more than your typical AK-47 wielding civilian. They were even able to shoot down a Ukrainian helicopter:
http://www.thewire.com/global/2014/05/ukrainian-helicopter-shot-down-by-rebels-leaving-14-dead/371789/

The military has the advantage in training and equipment, and killed 300 (probably) insurgents as they close in on Slaviansk. That's a crazy-big number for the kind of war this is:
http://time.com/2821792/ukraine-russia-slaviansk/

Putin of course making matters worse by jacking up prices on Ukrainian gas and cutting off supplies from Crimea. Ukraine refuses to pay the extra fee (but is paying at the old rate), generally considering this extortion. Now, of course, Russia is planning to cut off supplies entirely:
http://www.thewire.com/global/2014/05/putin-speech-ukraine-spief-2014/371491/

NATO's response for the moment is to fund/train Ukrainian forces, increase exercises in Russia's regional waters (Black and Baltic seas), and step up spending on its own military (particularly in Poland, which is probably due for a war with Russia within the next 20 years):
http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/nato-to-support-ukrainian-army-report-350521.html
http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/news_110609.htm
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