Ukraine reminds everybody that it’s still there and still at war

Per Vox’s Zach Beauchamp, it looks as though violence is back on the rise in eastern Ukraine: The resumption of hostilities in Ukraine, with exchanges of machine gun and mortar fire across the front line up to levels not seen since last summer, suggests a willingness by Russia, which supports the rebels in eastern Ukraine,… Continue reading Ukraine reminds everybody that it’s still there and still at war

Whatever it is, it can’t be good

It’s not clear what’s happening in eastern Ukraine, where the rebel “government” in Luhansk has ordered all UN aid agencies out of the province along with an unknown number of other international NGOs (Doctors Without Borders, for one, and it’s not clear how many more). The “government” in Donetsk is reportedly considering a similar measure.… Continue reading Whatever it is, it can’t be good

Ukraine’s non-ceasefire is officially over now, right?

Without suggesting in any way that Ukraine’s civil war ever really stopped, because it never really did, it seems clear now that it’s back on in a big way. It’s one thing for the army and the Donbas rebels (and the Russians?) to still be struggling over control of the Donetsk Airport, but it’s quite… Continue reading Ukraine’s non-ceasefire is officially over now, right?

Ukraine is teetering on the brink of war again

The September 6 ceasefire that supposedly halted the war in eastern Ukraine has never actually been implemented in practice, but the low-level violence that’s been ongoing since then is now threatening to escalate back into full-scale war. The flashpoint is Donetsk’s international airport, which has been contested by Kiev and the rebels since late May… Continue reading Ukraine is teetering on the brink of war again

Ukraine and NATO, sitting in a tree…

Of all the things Kiev could have done to try to defuse its conflicts with its eastern rebels and their Russian backers, this was definitely, um, a thing that they did anyway: Ukraine’s parliament has voted to drop the country’s non-aligned status and work towards Nato membership. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called the move… Continue reading Ukraine and NATO, sitting in a tree…

Supergenius Vladimir Putin gets everything he wanted in Ukraine, except the things he wanted

We’re back on the “Vladimir Putin is an all-knowing, all-powerful demon-king” beat, I guess. That’s the best takeaway from this piece at The New Republic yesterday: Putin Just Got Exactly What He Wanted in Eastern Ukraine Let’s…maybe take a step back here. If you were Vladimir Putin, when the big ball dropped in Times Square… Continue reading Supergenius Vladimir Putin gets everything he wanted in Ukraine, except the things he wanted

When is a ceasefire not a ceasefire?

How about when nobody has actually ceased firing? Shelling has killed six people and wounded 15 others in the rebel stronghold of Donetsk, the city council said, the worst reported violence since a ceasefire between Russian-backed rebels and Ukrainian troops began on September 5. Fighting around the eastern city’s government-held airport has left its northern… Continue reading When is a ceasefire not a ceasefire?