ATO’s perspectives: Putin won’t give Donetsk without a serious fight.
True, Ukraine’s forces are now better trained and equipped than before, thanks in part to $23 million in recent U.S. aid, the article states. But they’re still no match for Russia’s military—and Russia won’t let Ukraine retake Donetsk without a serious fight, Ian Bremmer, head of the political risk research firm Eurasia Group, told Bloomberg. Edward Walker, head of the Soviet & Post-Soviet Studies Program at the University of California, Berkeley, thinks using heavy artillery would “produce more civilian casualties.” “Kiev is going to face a very difficult decision,” he writes in his blog. “Putin’s aim is to get Kiev to strike a deal that he can spin at home as ‘mission accomplished. A great apocalyptic war in Donetsk doesn’t advance that case.”
Ukraine’s militaries said about their plan to “stifle separatists by blockade” and have no intention to wage a street battles in Luhansk and Donetsk, what could produce more civilian casualties, including civilians.
American local authorities think Putin’s primary aim was to annex Crimea and guarantee Russia the further access to the naval base in the peninsula.
The Wall Street Journal:
“They argue that his further efforts to destabilize eastern Ukraine were part of an effort to consolidate his hold on the peninsula,” the newspaper writes. “It is the quit while you are ahead strategy,” said the U.S. official. “The Crimea, that is the prize,” he adds. “While U.S. officials have publicly insisted that Mr. Putin’s hold on Crimea will continue to be opposed by the West, other officials concede privately that with a strong majority of Crimean residents apparently favoring the annexation, it is unlikely to be reversed in the foreseeable future,” the article states. These U.S. officials suggest that if the Ukrainian counterinsurgency operation succeeds in the southeast, the outlines of a compromise will be clear. “For the West, it would see Russian influence over eastern Ukraine weakened and the pro-Western central government in Kiev strengthened. Russia, for its part, would avoid further sanctions while keeping Crimea,” the newspaper retells.
Kremlin radicals continue talking to Putin through Western Media. Kremlin “hesitations” over extending military support to east Ukraine’s embattled pro-Russian rebels could lead to a domestic political backlash against Vladimir Putin.
The Christian Science Monitor:
” “He declared the unity of the Russian World, and this was understood by leaders in east Ukraine that Russia would help them. But after a difficult struggle inside the Kremlin, the decision to help has been delayed. This is seen as a sign of betrayal by the patriots…. I wouldn’t call it betrayal yet. But Putin has changed the timing, and this has created a very critical situation,” he says..
Obama and Holland are threatening to impose new sanctions on Russia if Moscow does not immediately take actions to de-escalate the crisis in eastern Ukraine.
Neue Zurcher Zeitung
On Monday EU agrees in principle to add names to Ukraine related sanctions list.
The Wall Street Journal:
One of the diplomats said that while Ukrainian forces have made significant military gains over the past few days, raising hopes that Moscow is cutting back its alleged support for the separatists, the diplomatic track had lost some momentum, Norman writes. “As a result, member states felt it was the right time Monday to agree to a modest stepping up of targeted pressure,” the journalist explains.
Italy’s minister of foreign affairs, who is leading now the EU, is making steps to start negotiation process between Ukraine’s opposing forces.
Corriere della Sera:
«It is not easy to be a mediator with conversation partners, who blow up bridges (!!!) or organize punitive operations. But there is no alternative. Five steps could help to negotiate the situation: two-sided disarming, control over the border, releasing hostages, decentralization of power in regions, a guarantee to hold parliamentary elections. Yesterday evening US President Barak Obama and his French counterpart Francois Hollande call on Vladimir Putin to sit down at the negotiating table with Kyiv authorities,” the agency reports.
NATO’s current situation. There’s the activist Alliance, embodied by founding member Norway, which sees no sign that Russian aggression is about to vanish. That vision is juxtaposed against the minimalist, don’t-talk-about-the-war NATO which Finland’s new prime minister wants to join.
The Wall Street Journal:
Сучасний стан ЄС: прагнення зменшити домінування Німеччини та бажання відпустити Британію.
The New York Times:
Exasperated by 40 years of Britain’s hardball tactics in blocking European efforts to adopt a more federal structure, many European leaders are tempted to cut Britain loose (from the EU – ed.), the article writes. “Yet keeping Britain in the bloc (NATO – ed.), provided the country does not obstruct closer economic and political integration in the euro zone, remains preferable. But the dominance of German economic thinking, with its emphasis on austerity and a deep-seated culture of saving rather than spending or investing, needs to be tempered “if Europe is to avoid losing a decade to stagnation and high unemployment,” the article underlines. The Italian prime minister, Matteo Renzi is challenging Berlin’s policy prescription, using the rotating European Union presidency to try to change the debate. “His offensive, supported by France and other southern states desperate for fiscal leeway to revive growth, has drawn limited concessions from Ms. Merkel and offers Mr. Juncker a chance to make the union’s economic policy mix a bit less German,” Paul Taylor sums up.