Thursday, October 02, 2014

The Peace That is War

Having knocked the Ukrainian security forces around with direct military intervention in eastern Ukraine (at the price of "hundreds" of Russian dead, according to Strategypage), the Russians pulled out many of their troops and the secessionists with lower levels of Russian support are able to continue the war despite the so-called ceasefire.

Ukraine continues to bleed to hold on to ground in the east:

Fighting continued in Ukraine between government forces and separatists one day after the country's military suffered its worst casualties since signing a truce earlier this month.

Separatists tried to storm the government-held Donetsk airport twice in the past 24 hours, Ukraine military spokesman Andriy Lysenko told reporters today in Kiev. Rebels shelled Ukrainian army positions with Grad multiple rocket launchers in at least four locations, the military said on Facebook. Nine Ukrainian soldiers were killed in attacks, including a tank assault on an armored personnel carrier near Donetsk airport, the government said yesterday. Three government troops were wounded, with no deaths reported.

Ukraine needs to think about attempting to shift the ground their way rather than allow the ceasefire to be a one-way street where what's the rebels' is the rebels'; and what's Ukraine's is up for grabs.

And this is good news:

The Pentagon has dispatched more than a dozen military personnel to Kiev this week to provide tips to Ukrainian security forces on counterinsurgency and military planning tactics.

Ukraine has a lot of work to do to repair the damage done to Ukraine's military by the pro-Russian government prior to this year.

If Ukraine could get even their existing army to levels of Western training and maintenance, they'd be a formidable force against Russia's still-limited army. (See that Strategypage post for more on that issue.)

On the bright side for Ukraine, their still-feeble ground forces were able to inflict "hundreds" of KIA on the Russians. Imagine what they can do when whipped into shape?

Better yet, let the Russians imagine.