Can somebody explain to me the reason why there is fighting in eastern Ukraine?

Mar 2016
916
Australia
#1
I have a general understanding of the earlier situation with Crimea, but the situation in Ukraine is more confusing to me. As far as I'm aware it's not a direct conflict between Ukraine and Russia, but instead some groups that are separatists that want to join Russia? And I assume that Russia is encouraging and aiding these separatists?

Am I sort of on-the-ball here, or am I completely wrong? I'm not intent on starting a debate over who is in the right or wrong here, I just want a general understanding of why the conflict started, and what exactly it's about, and who is involved.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,103
Sydney
#3
It stated just after Maidan when the Ukrainian parliament first act was to prohibit the Russian language
some civilian unrest , caused the Ukrainian president to send the army ,
which simply refused to shoot when facing protest , fascist militias were then used ,
which resulted in Russia nationalists crossing to help their brothers
the Ukrainian army was somewhat reorganized and the Russian volunteers became more and more regular troops
with a thin veneer of not being officially there .

A fundamental object is to stop Ukraine EVER becoming a NATO member
a member must not have any territorial dispute to join
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,092
#4
There's fighting because the Russian government in 2014 decided to send in people like this...
Igor Strelkov (officer) - Wikipedia
...supplied with money and guns, to start an insurrection. This was done in all provinces in eastern Ukraine, down to Odessa. But it only really worked in the two provinces in the Donbass (with a Russian, not Ukranian, ethnic majority):

And then, when it looked the Ukranian army might actually defeat these insurrections anyway, Russia sent in heavy weapons, Russian commanders to take charge, and conventional Russian ground forces — only clandestinely, while denying it was doing this.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,092
#5
It stated just after Maidan when the Ukrainian parliament first act was to prohibit the Russian language
some civilian unrest , caused the Ukrainian president to send the army ,
which simply refused to shoot when facing protest , fascist militias were then used ,
which resulted in Russia nationalists crossing to help their brothers
Errant Russian BS.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,103
Sydney
#6
Your opinion , I just report facts
I followed the events quite closely from a large number of sources ,
the New Ukrainian government was extremely provocative and could have managed the situation better
for months they couldn't even equip their troops who had to resort to public appeal for equipment
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
16,806
SoCal
#7
I have a general understanding of the earlier situation with Crimea, but the situation in Ukraine is more confusing to me. As far as I'm aware it's not a direct conflict between Ukraine and Russia, but instead some groups that are separatists that want to join Russia? And I assume that Russia is encouraging and aiding these separatists?

Am I sort of on-the-ball here, or am I completely wrong? I'm not intent on starting a debate over who is in the right or wrong here, I just want a general understanding of why the conflict started, and what exactly it's about, and who is involved.
This story, as I understand it:

-Ukraine had a President named Viktor Yanukovych. He was elected in 2010 and was known for his authoritarian-like behavior (for one, he got a majority in the Ukrainian parliament in 2010 by getting a few opposition politicians to change sides even though the Ukrainian parliament explicitly prohibited this).
-Yanukovych initially wanted closer ties with the European Union and negotiated an Association Agreement with the EU. However, under Russian pressure and also due to Ukraine's poor financial situation, Yanukovych changes his mind about this at the last minute, refused to sign the Association Agreement with the EU, and opted for closer ties to Russia instead. (During this time, Russia was trying to build a Eurasian Economic Union and to get Ukraine to join this union.)
-The decision to go back on the EU angered a lot of people in Ukraine--especially in western Ukraine. This resulted in large-scale protests against Yanukovych starting from late November 2013.
-These protests continued for a couple of months and eventually culminated in a revolution in Ukraine in February 2014. This revolution resulted in Yanukovych's overthrow even though Yanukovych's opponents didn't actually have the necessary votes which the Ukrainian Constitution required to remove a President from office during an impeachment.
-Some people in eastern and southern Ukraine viewed this revolution and the new, pro-Western Ukrainian government as being illegitimate--though only in the Donbass was there actually enough support for an armed rebellion against Kiev. (Crimea was quickly annexed by Russia--thus eliminating the need for an armed rebellion there.) The blogger Anatoly Karlin previously gathered data which shows that 80% of the separatist fighters in the Donbass were locals--though obviously Russia played an important role in providing supplies, military assistance, et cetera to the Donbass separatists--not to mention feeding them a lot of anti-Ukrainian propaganda.
-It isn't quite clear what the Donbass rebels/separatists want, but the impression that I get is that they want closer ties to Russia (possibly but not necessarily including being annexed by Russia) and--if they have to remain a part of Ukraine--to have a lot of autonomy within Ukraine. Specifically, they disagree with Ukraine's pro-European Union course and want close ties to Russia as well as to have a lot of autonomy and self-rule for the Donbass.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
16,806
SoCal
#8
Russia does appear to have fanned the flames of separatist sentiment in the Donbass--though some of this was the work of individual Russians such as Igor Girkin ("Strelkov") rather than the Russian state itself. Also, it's very possible that the Russian annexation of Crimea raised hopes in the Donbass that they would be next if only they would rebel against the Ukrainian central government. It didn't quite work out that way, though--which is a shame given the Donbass's sorry state nowadays. (I don't necessarily view a Russian annexation of the Donbass as the best option; however, it would probably be much better for the Donbass in comparison to the status quo.)

The rebellion in the Donbass would have very likely been crushed by August or September 2014 if it wasn't for large-scale Russian assistance, though. Thus, one can certainly say that Russia's actions significantly prolonged this conflict--though I will let others judge whether this was a good thing or a bad thing.
 
Mar 2014
1,877
Lithuania
#9
War in Eastern Ukraine is Putin's way to keep Ukraine weak and poor. It doesn't seem that they want to achieve actual victory there, perpetual war serves their interests perfectly. If separatists start to loose Russia reinforces them, when they are doing well they cut back on support. Most likely this war will continue at least until Putin stays in power, maybe longer.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,103
Sydney
#10
The Russian media was pretty certain there was a concerted action by Western politicians to move Ukraine in the Western alliance
the Donbass situation started from local grievance which Poroshenko painted as a russian aggression ,
thus making a bad situation worse
at the time the footage was showing women protesting against Ukrainian soldiers ,
meanwhile the Azov battalion was proudly sporting the Wolfangel badge of the Das Reich division
Bandera , a rather sulfurous nationalist was praised as a hero for murdering poles ,Russians ,Ukrainians and Jews
the least which can be say is that he was not the discriminating type

local Donbass insurgents were fat old men and young guys wearing sneakers and lounging in a way which would have driven any sergeant to fury
their armament was pathetic , even saw some equipped with Pph41 , it's a wonder if they had ammunition for this antique

one year later things had changed , there were more military grade personal weaponry , they had military camouflage
artillery started to appear
it seems to me the situation was an escalation from locals not happy to international conflict
 
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