Ukraine update: Russia prepares the battle space

Peace in our time.

Things are proceeding about as I expected in Ukraine, and in terms of Putin’s posture.

Readers will have heard about the Russian military exercise launched in the Western Military District involving “150,000 troops.”  That’s a lot of troops, but I very much doubt they are all headed for Russia’s border with Ukraine.  I do expect a build-up on that border, but something on the order of 20,000-30,000 is more like it, and it may not be that many.  The 150,000 troops are, in any case, mostly stationed in western Russia to begin with.  Some, especially elements like special forces, aviation, and missile units, will probably deploy from elsewhere to augment the Western Military District’s permanently stationed units.

Russia establishes a beachhead Continue reading “Ukraine update: Russia prepares the battle space”

No, it’s not the Cold War: Ukraine and the paradigm shift

Interesting times.

Have you felt the paradigm shift?  It’s happening all around us.  But I’m not sure most Western pundits have realized what they’re sensing (or perhaps even begun to sense it yet).

George Will’s column from the past week has stood out in my mind.  He’s by no means the only one, but he’s been one of the most categorical, putting the Ukrainian crisis in the terms of the Cold War.  “Ukraine’s ferment,” he suggests, “is an emphatic, albeit redundant, refutation of Marxism.”

I don’t think I’m alone in recognizing that that formula has been overtaken by events. Continue reading “No, it’s not the Cold War: Ukraine and the paradigm shift”

Ukrainians not going quietly into that good night

Another Orange Revolution?…or another Green one?

It was a minor blip on the American radar screen when Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yanukovich, announced on 21 November – in a significant policy reversal – that Ukraine would forego economic and political agreements with the European Union in favor of closer integration with Russia.

For Ukrainians, the blip was anything but minor.  Yanukovich’s political opposition mounted a no-confidence vote in the Ukrainian parliament, which his government survived today (Tuesday 3 December).  More dramatically, thousands of protesters have thronged the streets of Kiev since the 24 November announcement from Yanukovich.  At least 100,000 flooded Independence Square on Sunday to demonstrate in opposition to Yanukovich’s policy (some estimates are as high as 350,000).  Continue reading “Ukrainians not going quietly into that good night”