You wouldn’t know it from watching the network news, but the bodies are piling up as Ukraine’s conflict with Russian-backed separatists escalates. So thank heavens for alternate media. Mike Shedlock at Townhall-Finance has compiled stories from several different sources ~ Graves Waiting For Bodies: Major War Escalation in Ukraine; In 5 Weeks Ukraine Out of Money.
It seems almost surreal that conflicts like this still take place in Europe in the 21st century – even eastern Europe. But then, it was only one year ago that the EuroMaidan revolution was wrestling control of Kiev from what they viewed as a tyrannical government.
The EuroMaidan movement, representing the majority of Western Ukraine sentiment, was successful in ridding the country of a corrupt president (who immediately fled to Russia). Shortly thereafter Putin launched a military campaign to retake Crimea (an autonomous republic within Ukraine, which had been part of the U.S.S.R. until 1991), regaining Russian seaport access to the Black Sea. And now his sights are set on Ukraine itself – at least some of the eastern provinces.
[Crimea is the brown-colored peninsula in the Black Sea]
Russian continues to deny direct involvement in the escalating hostilities, but the stark reality is hard to refute. As the body count rises, Kiev Post interviewed Pavel Felgenhauer, a leading independent Russian military analyst and commentator, who believes that Putin’s aim is to destroy Ukraine’s independence, defeat the West ~
KP: How long could Putin’s proxies in Donbas last without Russian military and financial support?
PF: “The rebellion would crumble rather swiftly. It could take weeks, months, up to a year. But it would be doomed. Donbas on its own cannot provide resources for the continuation of of war at the present level of hostilities. It’s absolutely impossible.” [...]
“Putin believes that under pressure, Russians will unite and perform miracles like previous generations did, that maybe it’s a good thing that we are under sanctions. We will find our national identity, unite China and India against the West. He’s living in a kind of dream world as Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel once said. Now it’s more of a financial crisis, which right now is beginning to develop into an overall crisis. There are layoffs already happening.” [...]
KP: So the West and Ukraine are in for a long war unless they compromise on Ukraine’s independence?
PF: “I believe so; I don’t see right now any amicable or swift way out. I believe that Russia cannot win. If they try, they are totally screwed, in general, in taking on the West like that, pig-headedly. Ukraine is seen by Russia and the media from the imperial capital as important, but not as important as the clash with the West. A head-on clash with the West will destroy Russia in its present form.”
I hope his predictions about Russia’s chances of success turn out to be correct.
But in the meantime, the death toll is mounting:
Just in the last two days, in Mariupol (a port on the Black Sea) – Death toll in Ukrainian city of Mariupol rises; about 30 killed, 100 injured in insurgents’ shelling.
In heart-felt candor, Brian Bonner – chief editor of the Kiev Post – had this to say last week ~
The Russian side is totally without respect to Ukraine’s living and dead, and to Ukraine as a nation. I saw the Kremlin propagandists post disrespectful and graphic photos of Ukraine’s dead. I watched how separatists commanders laughed about the Ukrainian soldiers they killed. And I saw one of them throw the Ukrainian flag under the wheels of a military truck so that it could run over the patriotic symbol of every nation.
These incidents tell me that Ukraine is up against evil and heartless people. These people don’t want a better life for the Donbas residents, which used to be 15 percent of Ukraine. They are just in it for the fight and don’t care who gets killed [...]
Good people and good nations don’t fight wars gleefully. They don’t take joy in the enemy dead. They don’t humiliate and parade opposition prisoners of war in public, in front of cameras and allow them to be assaulted by a mob. All of this happened in Donetsk.
Good people and good nations go to war reluctantly, because they have to, because they have to use state violence to destroy evil forces in the war or uphold principles or defend themselves against aggression [...]
The disrespect for life is staggering. I don’t know the ratio of casualties between civilians and soldier in other wars, but in this one almost four times as many civilians (4,838) have been killed as Ukrainian soldiers (1,373). This is insanity. If estimates of enemy killed are correct, Russia and their proxies are paying an even higher price, with 6,242 killed.
All of this underscores that the 11-month-old war that Russia has been waging against Ukraine, which started with the Feb. 27 invasion of Crimea, is not going to end anytime soon. The cycle of hatred and killing is only increasing.
The fighting will be over when Russian President Vladimir Putin says it will be over.
Not very encouraging…
If only the leader of the free world were a confident, clear-thinking, admirable leader like, say – Ronald Reagan(!), the Russians would be high-tailing it back to Moscow – not murdering innocent civilians in a quest to recreate the Soviet Union.
Update 1-26-15: Interesting development, from Stars & Stripes ~ (U.S.) Army looking to store tanks, equipment in Eastern Europe. Stay tuned.