The Situation in the Ukraine? Maybe “Complex” Best Describes It

| May 12, 2014 | 6 Comments

It’s beginning to look like the situation in the Ukraine is best described as “complex”.

Many have held that the pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine are nothing but puppets, acting at Moscow’s direction.  While that could well be the case – and I’m sure Russia has a rather strong degree of influence on them – I’m not sure I agree that they’re “Russian puppets”.  If they are, they seem to be pulling their own strings.

Russian President Vladimir Putin recently asked for east Ukrainian separatists to postpone the independence referendum scheduled for yesterday.  However, those pro-Russian separatists refused to do so.  They held the referendum anyway.  (Results were suspect – reportedly they were heavily in favor of “independence” for parts of the eastern Ukraine, in spite of recent poll results showing a majority in favor of remaining a part of the Ukraine.)

It also doesn’t seem to be a simple “east/west” division within the Ukraine.  In some respects, the country is indeed more-or-less divided into a western-leaning part in the west and a Moscow-leaning part in the east.  That division is based both on politics and language (Ukrainian is the dominant language in the western part, while Russian is the majority language in the east).

However, other indications indicate that the situation is far more confused.  Outside of the Crimea, legitimate and independent opinion polls show no clear preference for reunion with Russia.  Even in the east, recent polls show that well over 50% of the population wants to remain a part of the Ukraine rather than reunify with Russia.  But many (if not most) in the eastern Ukraine also say they don’t trust the new government in Kiev, either.  (The population desiring to remain independent and trusting the Kiev government is obviously much higher in the western, Ukrainian-speaking portions of the Ukraine.)

Putin announced that he had ordered Russian troops to pull back from the eastern Ukrainian borders last Wednesday.  A Pentagon spokesman indicated there had been no indications of such a pullback the following day.

Bottom line:  this situation in the Ukraine is indeed All Fouled Up (AFU).  Let’s all hope it doesn’t become FUBAR and end up being resolved by force.

Category: Foreign Policy, Military issues

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  1. ChipNASA says:

    15 seconds is all it takes….

  2. Pinto Nag says:

    We haven’t had a permanent “resolution by force” in my lifetime that I remember. What they have all turned into are simmering insurgent wars, with no winners and lots of losers. And when there has been a winner, it’s usually been the most vicious group in the bunch — whose *ss we usually end up beating for them. And then the cycle repeats itself.

    Please feel free to refresh my memory, if you can think of a situation that didn’t fit that pattern in the last 50 years.

    • Hondo says:

      Pinto Nag: The Dominican Republic, Grenada, and Panama come to mind, actually. And the first Gulf War didn’t end up devolving into a continuing “insurgency” – though it also didn’t end the issues with Hussein, either.

      • Pinto Nag says:

        Thank you Hondo, I stand corrected. I might argue about Panama (FARC and drug presence) and the Gulf War (we left a maniac and his two psychopathic, murderering sons in charge)but I understand and concede your point.

  3. Richard says:

    FWIW, my closest co-worker was born in Donetsk and raised in Ukraine and Siberia. He doesn’t want to talk about it. He says that the results depend on who is counting the ballots. Sort of like Chicago, if you have enough dead people, you can make the election come out any way you want. Apparently voting in Russia does not work the way that we think.

  4. David says:

    Pics I saw saw the ballot boxes being guarded by pro-Russian AK-bearing folks. I’m sure that, of course, had NO effect on the outcome.

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