Friday, August 29, 2014

How to Stop Putin’s War in Ukraine

August 28, 2014

The bloody crisis in Ukraine has entered a new phase, with regular Russian military forces now apparently fighting in the country’s rebel-held east. Although the elements of a possible political settlement are visible, so far, the Kremlin has shown little interest in de-escalating the conflict. Instead, at every turn, Russian President Vladimir Putin has met Western sanctions and opprobrium with fresh violence. Let’s admit it: The West’s current strategy isn’t working. It’s time for new steps designed to encourage Moscow to change course.

Putin met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Belarus on Aug. 26. Apparently the meeting did not go well. Ukrainian sources initially reported agreement on securing control of the Ukraine-Russia border and a prisoner release, but Russian sources gave a more downbeat assessment. For his part, Putin denied that Moscow had any role to play in achieving a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine—holding to the increasingly unsustainable fiction that Russia is not involved in the fighting.

With little tangible having emerged from Minsk, and with growing evidence of Russian forces bolstering the rebels, the sides seem set for more continued fighting.

On Thursday, Poroshenko told Ukrainians not to “panic” at Putin’s escalation, but he is clearly concerned: He does not want a new “frozen conflict” to emerge in eastern Ukraine. His military has displayed increasing competence the past two months, pushing back the separatists and Russian fighters in their strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk. In doing so, he enjoys solid backing from the Ukrainian populace, which has rallied in the face of Russian aggression.

(More here.)


Blogger Tom Koch said...

Perhaps another red line would do it....

7:25 PM  

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