# News Ukrainian mess

#### nikkkom

Excellent article.
West has something Putin can't possibly match: vastly superior economic power.

West can give Ukraine as much money as it needs - and for the West, the needed sums will actually look modest. $100 billion? EU just forgave as much to Greece! And additionally, West can use these money as a stick - Ukrainian kleptocrats have no one else to turn to. Whatever reforms West demands, they will HAVE TO implement. It will not be "doing ukrainians' job for them", it will be "helping them": Ukrainian public pushes for reforms as hard as it can, right now. The only problem, how to make Western bureaucrats to appoint a *competent* team to oversee this project? I have no illusions that Western bureaucracy is an *efficient* mechanism. We just saw how US poured about a trillion dollars into Iraq, with almost no visible results. #### nikkkom >> His neighbor is not a wife beater. His neighbor has a long history of attacking him... A long history that ended - even reversed - 60 years ago. The reversal of which is why NATO exists! It's you who misunderstood my post. "He" in that phrase was Ukraine, not Russia. The "neighbor" is Russia. You seem to understand it as "He" = Russia, "neighbor" = Europe. Last edited: #### Czcibor Excellent article. West has something Putin can't possibly match: vastly superior economic power. West can give Ukraine as much money as it needs - and for the West, the needed sums will actually look modest.$100 billion? EU just forgave as much to Greece!

And additionally, West can use these money as a stick - Ukrainian kleptocrats have no one else to turn to. Whatever reforms West demands, they will HAVE TO implement.

It will not be "doing ukrainians' job for them", it will be "helping them": Ukrainian public pushes for reforms as hard as it can, right now.

The only problem, how to make Western bureaucrats to appoint a *competent* team to oversee this project? I have no illusions that Western bureaucracy is an *efficient* mechanism. We just saw how US poured about a trillion dollars into Iraq, with almost no visible results.
I consider as quite funny this mechanism of disciplining your politicians. (but to be honest to much smaller extend we use it also in Poland, and have our gov officially explain to EU why our budget deficit is a bit too big)

There are a few differences here. Greece was first given quite a lot of money when it joined the EU in 1981 (technically speaking European Community). It was a political decision, because of communism threat. So a lot of money was taken, but not too much reforms implemented. It was not giving \$100 BLN. It was more that those money were already lent a while ago so it was more just officially admitting that part of money is already for sure wasted.

Technically speaking - in case of Greece there was recently used Troika (EU+IMF+ECB). Maybe not the best choice (a bit too preocupied with short term financial results), but good enough.

Because of Greece there is now not too good moment for that. (you know, think about convincing taxpayers to support another such big program, when the previous one do not look like success and more like just drowning their money). But it seems as the best idea right now.

#### Astronuc

Staff Emeritus
Separatist commander says can fire on Ukrainian transport hub town despite truce
http://news.yahoo.com/separatist-commander-says-rebels-fire-ukrainian-town-debaltseve-102908674.html
DONETSK (Reuters) - A senior pro-Russian separatist commander said on Sunday that, despite a ceasefire, rebels have the right to fire on the town of Debaltseve in east Ukraine as it is "our territory."
. . .
"Of course we can open fire (on Debaltseve), it is our territory... The territory is inside, it is ours," Eduard Basurin told Reuters by phone, saying that elsewhere separatists were observing the truce.
Um, no!

#### nikkkom

Because of Greece there is now not too good moment for that. (you know, think about convincing taxpayers to support another such big program, when the previous one do not look like success and more like just drowning their money). But it seems as the best idea right now.
The idea is to NOT give lots of money at once. Give a little (a few billions), and demand specific changes. If changes do not happen, refuse to give more money until they do. Right now, Ukrainian government will have absolutely no choice but to do what is asked of it. Unlike past governments, they can't possibly turn to Russia, you know :) [if they try to do anything like that, they will probably be caught and executed by angry mobs].

Eventually, if this method succeeds, after many installments, total may end up somewhere in 50-100 billion dollars range. It would be well worth it. Losing Ukraine to Russia would create a far bigger threat than Russia currently is.

#### nikkkom

By all indications, Ukrainian General Staff continues to display shocking levels of incompetency.
"Almost encirclement" of Debaltsevo slowly goes from bad to worse, but generals neither order them to withdraw nor allow them to respond to shelling which continues right now - you know, "ceasefire"!

#### Czcibor

The idea is to NOT give lots of money at once. Give a little (a few billions), and demand specific changes. If changes do not happen, refuse to give more money until they do. Right now, Ukrainian government will have absolutely no choice but to do what is asked of it. Unlike past governments, they can't possibly turn to Russia, you know :) [if they try to do anything like that, they will probably be caught and executed by angry mobs].

Eventually, if this method succeeds, after many installments, total may end up somewhere in 50-100 billion dollars range. It would be well worth it. Losing Ukraine to Russia would create a far bigger threat than Russia currently is.
In theory - sounds very reasonable, as something as I would willing sponsor from my tax money.

The main problems:
-The countries that are really nervous, Poland and Balts are clearly neither rich nor big enough to sponsor that on their own.
-The country who as usual would fit the main part of the bill, treats Russian behaviour as disgusting but not as direct threat. From German perspective there is some business to be done with Russia while Russian attempt to vassalize Ukraine seems as limited action.
(think in the following way - if Russia can collapse if the oil prices stay low for a few years, would spending lot's of money to speed that up be so good investment for Germans or countries that are even more far away)
-As usual coordination problem in the EU. We have a bunch of bureaucrats and local politicians with contradicting aims (including those who go to Brussels just to play a drama for audience in their home country) - system works not so bad in normal cases, but stops to a grind when facing any non standard challenge (European Central Bank needed over 6 years to start quantitative easing). The system is highly based on consensus which makes speedy decisions very hard.

EDIT: Yes, I know, because of those governance problems the EU should be turned in Imperium Europaeum. ;)

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#### nikkkom

In theory - sounds very reasonable, as something as I would willing sponsor from my tax money.

The main problems:
-The countries that are really nervous, Poland and Balts are clearly neither rich nor big enough to sponsor that on their own.
Well, so far I did not see a definite evidence that these countries sent any material help more substantial than footwear and clothing. I'm not talking about tanks, but they are not _that_ poor that they can't buy and ship encrypted comm gear, for example?

We appreciate diplomatic support, we really do, but Russia sends MUCH more than that to their stooges.

#### Czcibor

Well, so far I did not see a definite evidence that these countries sent any material help more substantial than footwear and clothing. I'm not talking about tanks, but they are not _that_ poor that they can't buy and ship encrypted comm gear, for example?

We appreciate diplomatic support, we really do, but Russia sends MUCH more than that to their stooges.
Yes, I also see it as some disgrace that we haven't done that yet.

(of course on the list of what to do should be also stopping boosting demand for Russian gas by subsidizing purchase of natural gas by Ukrainian households; or retreating from Dobalcevo a while ago instead of being encircled there)

#### nikkkom

OSCE observers can't confirm ceasefire violations in Debatsevo, because they can't reach Debaltsevo, because the road is being shelled by separatists.

LOL....

#### Astronuc

Staff Emeritus
Battle rages for town where Ukraine rebels reject ceasefire
http://news.yahoo.com/battle-rages-town-where-ukraine-rebels-reject-ceasefire-125913126.html

Ukraine rebels bury dead who fell hours before ceasefire

US urges Russia, rebels to 'immediately' halt Ukraine attacks
http://news.yahoo.com/us-urges-russia-rebels-immediately-halt-ukraine-attacks-223056301.html

Ukraine cease-fire largely holding, Debaltseve still tense
http://news.yahoo.com/both-sides-claim-violations-ukraine-cease-fire-starts-062029016.html [Broken]

Ukraine says some soldiers taken prisoner in Debaltseve

I'm not sure what EU and US hope to accomplish with talks. It seems that they would accept that Russia walks over Ukraine and take what they want.

Putin urges Ukraine troops to give up Debaltseve
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-31511926

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#### russ_watters

Mentor
I'm not sure what EU and US hope to accomplish with talks. It seems that they would accept that Russia walks over Ukraine and take what they want.
Agreed. The logic seems to be "maybe if we give them whatever they want, they'll agree to stop". I seem to remember them trying that on a previous dictator who was invading and annexing countries in Europe. All it does is send a loud and clear message that he can take whatever he wants and we won't try to stop him.

#### Astronuc

Staff Emeritus
Ukraine is looking smaller these days.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-27308526

Agreed. The logic seems to be "maybe if we give them whatever they want, they'll agree to stop". I seem to remember them trying that on a previous dictator who was invading and annexing countries in Europe. All it does is send a loud and clear message that he can take whatever he wants and we won't try to stop him.
Perhaps the EU and the Obama administration are competing for the 2015 Neville Chamberlain Diplomacy Award.

Ukraine crisis: US warns Russia as UN backs ceasefire deal
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-31514295

Warn about what?! That we will be very cross with Putin?!

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Mentor

#### Dotini

Gold Member
Listening to BBC radio this morning, it sounds as though the (8000?) Ukrainian forces trapped at the Debaltseve "pocket", lacking resupply of food and ammunition, are either surrendering or pulling out.

#### nikkkom

Troops in Debaltseve pocket apparently decided to retreat without command, remembering that on previous occasions General Staff was neither helping besieged units nor ordering retreat.

President now says the retreat was "executed as planned", but I don't believe it's true. He also downplays the losses.

About 100 soldiers are captured, about 50-100 killed (both numbers are very approximate), the rest seem to be finishing pullout.

#### Astronuc

Staff Emeritus
Isn't it customary to support ground troops with air power? Does Ukraine have an air force? Do they have helicopters?

#### Dotini

Gold Member
Basically, it's over. PBS chief reporter for foreign affairs Margaret Warner reported this evening that Putin now appears to be in the drivers seat, with Poroshenko and his army now discredited by the disaster at Debaltseve. Warner reported Poroshenko to be on shaky political ground; look for him to be challenged or replaced soon, she hinted. Le Pen in France is said to be calling for acknowledgement of Crimea as Russia.

#### mheslep

Gold Member
Given the failure of the cease fire, the delivery of US defensive weapons to Ukraine seems more likely than not. I'm curious as to the European opinion on i) the US supply of weapons to Ukraine, and ii) the European supply of weapons to Ukraine.

#### mheslep

Gold Member
Basically, it's over.
What's over? Partition of Ukraine is over, so that Putin can move on to the next country? Surrender of Europe? Crimea is already Russian.

#### Dotini

Gold Member
What's over? Partition of Ukraine is over, so that Putin can move on to the next country? Surrender of Europe? Crimea is already Russian.
My guess: The shooting war is over and Ukraine has lost. The peace agreement will be implemented as signed. But much more negotiation remains, such as the exact degree of autonomy for the eastern republics. Putin will not attack other nations but work to rebuild trade with Europe. With his left hand he will build trade with China.

#### nikkkom

Isn't it customary to support ground troops with air power? Does Ukraine have an air force? Do they have helicopters?
Yes, they have air power.

There are numerous reports of anti-air weaponry in "rebel" hands. Even when conflict was not as intense, man-portable anti-air weapons were effective against helos, and you remember MH17. Ukrainian forces probably conserve air power for now.