Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Ukrainian Musings

I don't know what the answer is. The folks in the western part of the country were correct in charging that the government of President Viktor Yanukovych was corrupt to the core. The folks in the eastern part of the country are correct when they charge that Yanukovych was the duly elected president and that he was ousted by a coup. The westerners want closer ties with the EU, the easterners want those ties to be with Russia. Both sides include fascist elements.

There may have been a workable solution to all of that. Maybe a form of regional entities with a federal government over them. A lot of countries have such forms of government. They sort of work and they allow regional differences to be taken into account.

Maybe that could have worked in the Ukraine.

But the window for that is closing. Once bullets fly and people die, attitudes harden. The combatants will want to extract a blood price and, like most civil wars, this one will spin out of control and go on until one side wins, both sides are exhausted, or a superior power intervenes and puts down the fighting.

I'd bet on #3.

UPDATED to add: But even if the Russians do intervene to put down the Ukrainian civil war, I would not assume that they'd automatically absorb the eastern regions of Ukraine. For if they do that and leave a truncated state to the immediate west, it's probably a dead-nuts certainty that what remains of Ukraine would clamor for admission to the EU and into NATO. The Russians have rued the admission of the Baltics into NATO, they'd be eight kinds of pissed off if even a portion of the Ukraine joined NATO.

On the other hand, given that, if the Russians do move into Ukraine, they'll probably occupy all of it, for the reason stated in the previous paragraph.


Nangleator said...

Especially if the superior power has been busy creating the possibility of #3 all along.

hans said...

how about we keep our noses out of it?

CenterPuke88 said...

The most likely result would appear to be Putin agreeing to only absorb the areas of Ukraine located roughly southeast of a line from Chisinau to Kursk. The sticking point will be Ukrainian access to the Black Sea, but Russia has the muscle and the geography on its side.

The West is effectively powerless to prevent such a result, while a wholesale takeover of Ukraine would compel the West to keep trying to ratchet up the pressure. Doing this would give Putin his Sudetenland and delay the next confrontation. Also, this area is heavily ethnically Russian.

CenterPuke88 said...

Valid argument, Tux. However, I suspect that Putin sees this as another divide and conquer opportunity, as Hitler saw Czechoslovakia in the late 30's. He expects the rump of Ukraine to dissolve into in-fighting, justifying further intervention. Ukraine is no Georgia, with a more diverse and restless populace, even after removing the east, there would be lots of opportunities for mischief, right on the Russian border.

CenterPuke88 said...

My mistake, Comrade...I confused the blog I was commenting on. Apologies to Tux too. Replace Tux with Comrade if reading above.

Old NFO said...

The Russians will come in for one reason... Sevastopol... End of story.

hans said...

Club Orlov muses on Ukraine too, in a very interesting way http://cluborlov.blogspot.com.au/2014/05/statecraft-or-witchcraft.html