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

Mar 2014
1,877
Lithuania
#31
China could, at least in 1989. It's more sophisticated about how to avoid repeats these days. (Though we'll just have to see how it goes once China hits an unknowable but inevitable bump in its economic growth, since the CCP has based its legitimacy on the ability to continue to create prosperity for the public.)

Clearly Ukraine wasn't and isn't China.
It is debatable if China in 1989 could be called civilized. At that level Egypt seems to make short work of aggressive demonstrations, I would hesitate before calling it civilized.
 
Nov 2015
1,725
Kyiv
#32
the situation began with protesters assaulting the Ukrainian parliament building in February 2014
Assaulting? Really?

Let's start with the fact that the building of the Ukrainian parliament since the end of its construction in 1939 and before Yanukovych became president, had no fence and looked like this




In 2011 under Yanukovych, Rada was fenced in one night with a fence 2.5 meters high. And Rada herself said that she had nothing to do with the fence

.




After the Maidan 2014 fence demolished.

And about the protesters assaulting the Ukrainian parliament building in February 2014 - they probably climbed over that fence? I hear about it for the first time - though i was a participant of the Maidan both in 2004 and 2014

It will probably be interesting for you to see with which fence Yanukovych surrounded his own residence in Mezhigorye near Kiev long before the beginning of the Maidan?
Here it is. With a Berkut near the fence. Such fence with barbed wire encloses the entire residence of 127 hectares




Inside the residence is also a lot of interesting things. Now there are guided tours for tourists.



Коррупция президентского масштаба или Экскурсия по Межигорью | Туристический центр Рыба Андрей



 
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Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,094
#33
Putin wants to reclaim the Ukraine under Soviet influence. In addition, he wants "Buffer" states to fight in when it all goes tits up. Just like the Yanks need Europe.
Nahoae... He is doing SUCH a poor job of it, that seems questionable. By now it seems pretty clear that Putin had no real plan, was taken by surprise (everyone was though), being reactive, and while very ACTIVE certainly, AND using the Russian armed forces (because that is to a large extent what Russian HAS to use for problem-solving, bit short in the tool-box like that), he had no actual plan, and has been making things up while going along. And largely on bad intel, faulty estimations, etc. A lot of it not working out particularly well. He could make a mess though, and so he did. (It was rather revelatory how Merkel, speaking Russian, set up a shuttle diplomacy with Putin over Ukraine in 2014. They had something like 43 personal meeting. Those ended after Merkel finally laid it all out point blank to Putin and demanded to know what the Russian idea of an end-game in Ukraine was, where Russia actually was trying to make the whole situation end up, and Putin had no reply. Which made Merkel conclude, clearly rightly, that he actually had no idea where to get, or how.)

Russia has a chip on its shoulder re western Europe and the US certainly. And it clearly fears a great many things. Some of which might even be real, though clearly not all of them...

Part of the problem really seems to be how as soon as something unexpected happens that is somehow not-good for Russia, this triggers a response that it all MUST be a western conspiracy (because apparently nothing can happen otherwise). The fact that it is, is PROVEN by the absolute lack of any clear fingerprints of western shenanigans – which is as good as proof positive of just have GOOD at being sneaky the westerners are. (While of course also being despicable and curiously rubbish at most everything else.) That is, unlike poor honest Russia always forced to play catch up, being ALMOST honest about the clandestine nasty stuff it gets up, to since it always gets rumbled sooner or later. Unlike the western stuff that is just so DEEP can never be revealed in a comprehensive manner.

As for the Yanks, they needed Europe for added heft in international politics for promoting a post-WWII economic, social and political model. Though of late the Americans seem to have gone off on that one.
 
Mar 2016
923
Australia
#35
Putin wants to reclaim the Ukraine under Soviet influence. In addition, he wants "Buffer" states to fight in when it all goes tits up. Just like the Yanks need Europe.
Surely if Putin was determined on playing the part of a conqueror intent on restoring the old political order he’d be a bit more aggressive and conduct the war on a larger scale. After all, the last time Russia reconquered Ukraine they did it in only a couple of years, and that was in the midst of revolution.
 
Nov 2015
1,725
Kyiv
#36
Surely if Putin was determined on playing the part of a conqueror intent on restoring the old political order he’d be a bit more aggressive and conduct the war on a larger scale. After all, the last time Russia reconquered Ukraine they did it in only a couple of years, and that was in the midst of revolution.
Putin is very cautious, and I would say - fearful. He took a step and watched how the West reacts to it. When its reaction seemed weak or uncertain to Putin, he took the next step.

The West has strong levers of influence on Putin and his elite, and the Kremlin is well aware of this. And when Putin introduced regular troops to Ukraine (end of August 2014) - the States held an extremely unpleasant sanction for Russia, although they never voiced it publicly. They collapsed the price of oil, having previously agreed it with Saudi Arabia. This short visit of Obama took place at the end of March 2014, immediately after the annexation of Crimea by Russia.

A new round of Russian aggression in Ukraine brought this non-announced agreement into action. The price of oil has plummeted from $ 120 per barrel to $ 45. Since the tax on hydrocarbon exports produced more than half of the Russian budget’s revenues, it dealt a heavy blow to Russian finances and the economy. As I said, Russia's GDP fell from 2.3 trillion dollars (2013) to 1.3 trillion (2015). And this forced the Kremlin to sharply reduce its appetites in Ukraine and forced it to abandon the escalation of aggression against this country.

The second factor was the rapid growth of Ukraine’s resistance to Russian aggression. The Kremlin thought that the Ukrainian troops were not capable of anything, but this was not the case. And Girkin (who headed the "army of DNR in summer 2014) when he returned to Moscow from the Donbass admitted that the Ukrainians are fighting well.

The third factor was that after Russia's annexation of the Crimea and the invasion of the Donbass Russia's popularity in eastern Ukraine began to decline rapidly. And among the Ukrainians who went to the front as volunteers the number of those who lived in the east of Ukraine sharply increased. Among the soldiers who are fighting against the Russian forces in the East there are also quite a lot even those who have moved from the occupied territories of Donbass. This was told to me by my nephew that was fighting as an artillery officer in the Ukrainian troops in the Donbas. Under his command there is even a string of former Berkut soldiers who at the beginning of 2014 opposed the Protestants on the Maidan.

Another factor was that after the collapse in oil prices Russia began to become noticeably poorer. And the era of its rapid prosperity was over. It has ceased to be attractive to the majority of those Ukrainians who until 2014 treated Russia with great sympathy.

I often write on the Donetsk city forum - Донецк Форум. Донецкий форум. - as VoxPopuli.

And I can say that compared to the period until 2014 most of its participants from Donbass began to criticize Russia and its invasion of this region - and support Ukraine

In addition, the Kremlin knew how strong the resistance of Ukrainians could become in the format of a partisan war, if it carries out a massive invasion of Ukraine. Even a small part of Ukrainians in the format of partisans of UPA - Ukrainian Insurgent Army - had a strong resistance to the Russians from 1944 to the early 1950s with a solid support of local peasants. And the Kremlin needed extraordinary punitive measures (including the deportation of 300 thousand of the western Ukrainians for supporting the partisans) diluted with two amnesties for the partisans to suppress this resistance

The annexation of the Crimea in March 2014 was largely due to Putin’s desire to improve his rating, which by then had fallen dramatically. A high rating among Russians is extremely important both for Putin and for the Kremlin in order to maintain stability in that country. The annexation of the Crimea made this rating a record. But it caused big problems for Russia, lowered the standard of living of Russians and put an end to the "Putin miracle."

In May 2014, 83% of Russians polled expressed support for the president, while the number of those who are not satisfied was down from 34% to 13%. The euphoria from the capture of the Crimea did not last too long. And now Putin’s rating (VCIOM poll) fell to 32%
 

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