Ukraine Tomorrow: War, Peace and Money
801 views   /  2 Jun 2015
By a reader of Russian Accent
We received a letter from a man who decided to share his thoughts about a possible scenario in Ukraine – the topic everyone is talking about.
In this story I would like to share my thoughts about how the situation in Ukraine may unfold at an early date.
There are three intertwined aspects I want to emphasize: military, political and economic.
Let’s start with the military one. According to reports presented by the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Ukraine has boosted its military presence in the demilitarized zone (in breach of the Minsk agreements) and formed a powerful fist of 45,000 servicemen, up to 380 battle tanks, 1,800 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, as well as 980 multiple rocket launcher systems and field artillery systems, and 75 aircraft. These figures can be questioned, but there is an undeniable fact that Kiev has intensified the shelling of Donbass towns in the recent days. It seems Ukraine is preparing for a devastating strike against the emerging Donbass republics. If so, it would mean a complete violation of the Minsk agreements.
On Shifting Sands of Politics
I would not be surprised to see another fierce offensive this summer, but recent events hint that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is losing ground in the eyes of his foreign supporters. First, the Eastern Partnership summit showed that United Europe isn’t willing to embrace Ukraine and get another headache troubleshooting Kiev’s ordeal.
Second, Washington apparently decided to try another method of interplay with Moscow apart from sanctions and aggressive rhetoric. “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else,” Winston Churchill once said, and probably this phrase correctly illustrates what is happening right now. Here I mean the recent visits of US diplomacy bosses John Kerry and Victoria Nuland to Russia. Kerry even warned Poroshenko to think before using force in Donbass.
What comes to my mind is that both Europe and the United States are simply fed up with Ukraine and want the conflict to vanish as soon as possible. Moreover, hardly will France and Germany approve of Kiev’s summer offensive, as it would mean that they would endorse torpedoing the Minsk agreements brokered by French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Worst, Irrational Scenario
And finally, there is a harsh socio-economic reality. On May 19, Ukraine’s parliament allowed to stop paying off the country’s debt to foreign creditors. Several days later, hacker group CyberBerkut leaked the Finance Ministry’s documents concluding that an economic default is inevitable. Kiev’s creditors will hardly decide to write off the debts and they will demand their money back. Kiev may receive another trance from the IMF thus averting the default, and be forced to resort to very unpopular austerity measures, aggravating the already volatile social situation.
80% of Ukrainians Now Live Below the Poverty Line http://t.co/cBRdH5zDbD #Ukraine #ukrainechildren pic.twitter.com/GrGwNlSH3Y
— Russia Insider (@RussiaInsider) May 29, 2015
A new war will worsen Ukraine’s socio-economic situation and frustrate Kiev’s foreign creditors. So Kiev should not throw itself into war again.
The suggestions mentioned above are quite logical, in my opinion. But there is an irrational hitch that might turn the situation upside down. Poroshenko’s team may pull the plug on economics, society and politics, and simply decide to deliver a crushing blow on Donbass whatever it takes. That’s the scenario I fear the most.
The views and opinions contained in this article are those of the author. They do not necessarily represent the views of Russian Accent.
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I don’t know what other methods of interplay US wants to pursue in regard to Moscow but I doubt that Poroshenko and his team is ready to single-handedly decide on issues such as delivering a crushing blow on Donbass. This will most obviously trigger another acute confrontation and Washington understands that quite well. Hereby it is not my intention to exclude this possibility. I just believe it is the least probable scenario given that none of the parties is really interested in that kind of development currently.