Monday, November 10, 2014

Target: Donetsk Airport

While it is unclear how much of the Donbas region Putin wants when he annexes it, getting the Donetsk airport currently held by Ukrainian government forces is certainly the minimum conquest he wants.

It seems the Russians are getting ready to attack the Donetsk airport:

On the ground in Ukraine, intense weekend shelling around Donetsk and more armoured columns seen heading to the city ratcheted up concerns the rebels could be gearing up for an offensive after weeks of localised skirmishes.

An AFP journalist saw a total of 28 trucks, six tanks and 14 howitzer cannons driving through rebel territory around Donetsk on Monday.

The White House followed Europe by expressing grave concern at reports of Russian military reinforcements, warning that any separatist efforts to seize more territory would be a "blatant violation" of a September ceasefire agreement that had halted full-scale fighting but failed to stop shelling at key flashpoints.

In retrospect, there never was a ceasefire--just a pause to give the secessionists a chance to recover from the defeats they endured prior to Russian direct intervention.

So the Russian invasion continues, with only the scope of conquest in question.

My next question is why does Ukraine fight on Russia's terms? Why is the front limited to the east given that Russia also took Crimea?

Not that Ukraine could push into Crimea through the narrow isthmus that Russia defends.

But Ukraine has planes and surface-to-surface missiles. Perhaps a slow bombardment of the Sevastopol naval base would be in order.