Pro-Russian rebels on Friday vowed to conquer more territory in eastern Ukraine and ruled out peace talks after Kiev retreated from a long-disputed airport, casting aside Europe's latest push for a truce.
The defiant comments from Donetsk rebel chief Alexander Zakharchenko came as Ukraine renewed allegations of Russian army units fighting with rebels across the frontline dividing the war-torn country's industrial east.
For a brief and glorious moment, documented here in a post and a series of updates that went from hope to despair, it seemed as if the Putin-written rules that only allowed pro-Russian elements to attack while Ukraine was relegated to defense and contesting only the pace of losing were being discarded.
Ukraine needs to kill Russian soldiers and their hand puppets.
This battle for eastern Ukraine will not end well for Kiev as long as Russia sets the rate of their own casualties to keep them within bearable limits.
UPDATE: How is it possible for writers to fall for the notion that Putin is the good cop (in the "good cop-bad cop" routine) in their relationship with their secessionist hand puppets?
Ukrainian rebel leader Alexander Zakharchenko declared on Friday that Ukraine's four-month-old cease-fire is effectively dead, and promised a new offensive to take territory from Kiev's control – an aggressive new tone that appears to put him at odds with his putative sponsors in Moscow.
The secessionists are "at odds" with Moscow because Moscow wants more autonomy for Donbas while the secessionists want independence? Oh, no! Russia fears they might be forced to annex another piece of Ukraine! The horror!
At this point, Putin may believe he needs that trophy to make his restless supporters who've lost lots of wealth because of Putin's aggression believe the sacrifice is worth it (and temporary, no doubt).
And while I'm at it, there is nothing "putative" about Russian support for the secessionists. Russia is enabling the war with weapons, supplies, intelligence, special forces, hired manpower, and even direct combat using Russian army troops.
In the wikipedia entry under "bad cop" there is a picture of Putin. Don't become confused on this issue.