Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

48 hours of bedlam until the resumption of war

Posted by Charles II on February 12, 2015

Making out what is going on with the Minsk 2 agreement, which goes into effect right after midnight on the 14th, i.e. on the 15th, is a genuine intellectual challenge. Both sides of course are spinning furious. But they seem to agree that the war is not over.

Kyiv Post:

The biggest question after the new Minsk deal is how long it will last. Reached after a night of talks among four European leaders, the Feb. 12 Minsk II peace agreement might repeat the fate of the September Minsk I deal, which was routinely violated.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she had “no illusions” that peace would be achieved soon, while French President Francois Hollande said that the Minsk deal itself did not guarantee peace.

Russia Today:

RT: Do the results of the negotiations give grounds to speak about a lasting peace in Ukraine?

Jan Oberg: I wish I could say yes. … this is only a very weak beginning. I’ll tell you a ceasefire is just a beginning and the question is how it will be enforced if somebody breaks it in the future, and I’ve argued for United Nations troops to get into the place. And nobody seems to have it on the agenda.

A member of Der Spiegel’s editorial board, Roland Nelles, thinks Putin is the victor, as does the WaPo editorial board. Too many more “victories” of this kind, and Russia is undone.

One of the rebel sites points out this very troubling point regarding the Debaltsevo encirclement. Ivan Lizan:

Can you imagine how Poroshenko is supposed to issue orders to the Debaltsevo group after many of its officers had fled? If even Poltorak says that there is no encirclement. How are the Ukrainian soldiers to return to the demarcation line if they are encircled? Breaking out – means violating the ceasefire, staying put means death and capitulation.

You break the ceasefire and Minsk-2 collapses.

And, Lizan points out, many Ukrainian units are volunteer units that aren’t under Poroshenko’s control, Kiev owes large amounts of money to pensioners and others in Eastern Ukraine (money which Kiev doesn’t have), and it’s going to be impossible to convince the Rada (Parliament) to establish autonomous zones along the battle lines. But, basically, Kiev has 48 hours to rescue the men in Debaltsevo, and the rebels have 48 hours to annihilate them–otherwise, there will be men inside of rebel-held lines who are not prisoners. They may well include westerners, which disclosure would be an embarrassment for Kiev.

So, this sounds like a pause for re-loading.


4 Responses to “48 hours of bedlam until the resumption of war”


    • Charles II said

      I certainly wouldn’t long too hard for the USSR. Or for the days of the Tsar.

      In fact, I think that the rise of Putin illustrates the problem in Russia. In a healthy country, there are lots of very talented people, any of whom could serve in a position of top leadership. Only when a country has become unhealthy is a great leader necessary.

      The US is unhealthy. We allowed George Bush to serve as president, even though he was neither elected nor suitable for the job. In 2008, the Democrats were able to field two credible candidates– three, if John Edwards hadn’t been living a secret life. In 2016, it looks as if they will field only one credible candidate. On the Republican side, the only credible candidate is Jeb Bush There simply aren’t many Americans of a stature suitable for the presidency.

      But in Russia, there’s only one credible candidate, and he’s been in power for a very long time. That’s a sign of danger.

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