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Thread: What can Ukraine do to settle the crisis in the eastern Oblasts

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    What can Ukraine do to settle the crisis in the eastern Oblasts

    Initially I wanted to name this thread: How the crisis in Ukraine will end - A Game of Thrones approach ; but when I started writing, by the 2nd paragraph, I figured the title wouldn't match the topic and so I've decided to revamp the whole thing and start again.

    So as you know, 2 Oblasts, Kharkiv and Donestsk have been taken over, their regional administrative buildings that is, by pro-russian supporters, some of them armed, who took down the Ukrainian flag and raised the Russian one and called for the independence of the 2 regions. Luhanska is also very much bordering the same situation but nothing has been reported, as far as I've seen, about it there. These protesters who occupied govt buildings in the region called for independence from Ukraine and also set a date of a referendum, 11 May in the case of Kharkiv. So next month.

    This is not the first time this has happened. In late february, after the Yanukovich govt fell, the same thing happened, protesters raised the russian flags on govt buildings in eastern ukraine, but for some administrative buildings the flag was replaced back with the Ukranian one, for some, on and off... complicated stuff depdending on the city you're in. Safe to say, a volatile last month. But yesterday, protesters made a coup de grace if you will and at least Kharkiv is now, illegally but officially, moving forward with independence and a referendum.

    Police clashed with protesters in Donestsk, again today... we'll see what leads where.

    What is the worst possible scenario in this situation? Let's start with worse for Ukraine.
    I) Pro-ukranian partisans like the Right Sector move in the respective regions and start causing havoc. If this happens, Putin wins hands down. He'll have reason to enter eastern Ukraine to actually, legitimately this time, protect Russian ethnics and stabilize the region. No more army without markings, legit, full on legitimate entry into the country. Let me put it this way, you'd be wrong to call it occupation in this case. Likely outcome: the 3 regions join Russia and Putin will get the credit. He'll end this story being the hero that eastern europe needs. He would have saved lives, caused stability and uphold the right of self-determination of the people.

    II) Ukrainian govt starts Berkrut-style crackdowns on the protesters. Massive fights, people getting injured, maybe even a fatality or two. Outcome? Russia condemns this action to the international community, waits a few days for some other tragedy to happen, it happens, that's cause for intervention... the end result is same as I).

    III) Partisan warfare. Nationalists on each side start causing havoc in the region. Hundreds die because pro-russians clas with pro-ukranians. There is speculation in the west that the Ukranian govt is letting the pro-ukraine nationalists fight so they dont get their hands dirty, ukraine is discredited in the eyes of the west... at the same time the west sees Russia as supporting the pro-russian partisans. The region falls into a state of chaos, not a dysfunctional type of chaos, but sufficient to warrant some kind of intervention, both Ukraine and Russia send in the army for "stabilizing" purposes and "humanitarian" reasons, we don't get a war, but we do get a Crimea-style situation where both armed forces are stationed side by side, neither want to leave... both "co-exist" if that's the term you want to use... meanwhile, there's a referendum being planned and sooner or later, the regions join Russia or become independent and nobody wins. Russia is considered an aggressor and a bully. Ukraine is considered corrupt. Everyone loses.

    Worst case scenario for Russia?
    There is just one really. The economy collapses before it can make a move and this will only happen if strong sanctions and immidiate decisive drastic action is taken by the EU. A war of economic attrition which will bend Russia to it's knees before the Wests' knees give in.

    well, there is a second case which may a "loss" in terms of PR but really, what PR does Russia have in the eyes of all decent folk?
    And that case is a Crimea 2.0. Soldiers with no markings make their way into the 3 regions and "secure" the territory while regional administrations, now with self-appointed parliaments make a referendum whose result overwhelmingly shows that they want to join Russia. So Russia wins but doesn't get the PR boost as it does in scenario I and II, and basically "enjoys" a second round of fallout with the west, similar to what happened due to Ukraine, only worse.


    So this is my analysis.
    Russians are great at waiting. I mean they're really, really good at it. And the waiting game wins them the scenarios. It did historically, every time, waiting makes them win. All of them, from the perspective of expansion, they only lose face... and who cares about what the West things as far as a lot of Putins' constituency and sympathisers say and think... The chance for those 3 Oblasts to somehow magically stop being pro-RU is impossible and therefore, it is not presented here.

    Convenient date, 11 May. On 25 May is the election day for the Presidential elections in Ukraine which would reconfer legitimacy to the institution of the Presidency and may help reduce the toxicity and the agitation and the radicalism we see today on both sides. The only way it'd be more tongue in cheek is if it would have been placed on 24th of May.

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    Re: What can Ukraine do to settle the crisis in the eastern Oblasts

    If I was Putin I would wait for the Ukrainians to make mistakes. If the violence escalates (without the help of the Russians), then he has the excuse to go in. But I would hold back as long as possible, hence making the justification bigger. A bit like what the west did in Kosovo.

    If I was the Ukrainians, then I would set up a referendum in those areas under Russian and international supervision and not attempt to manipulate the results. Make it as open as possible. Only then can they come out as the "good guy", else they just look like the Russians with another name. If they then vote to join Russia.. then so be it. It is what they should have done in the Crimea in the first place instead of trying to bully the Russian minority in the country.
    PeteEU

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    Re: What can Ukraine do to settle the crisis in the eastern Oblasts

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteEU View Post
    If I was Putin I would wait for the Ukrainians to make mistakes. If the violence escalates (without the help of the Russians), then he has the excuse to go in. But I would hold back as long as possible, hence making the justification bigger. A bit like what the west did in Kosovo.

    If I was the Ukrainians, then I would set up a referendum in those areas under Russian and international supervision and not attempt to manipulate the results. Make it as open as possible. Only then can they come out as the "good guy", else they just look like the Russians with another name. If they then vote to join Russia.. then so be it. It is what they should have done in the Crimea in the first place instead of trying to bully the Russian minority in the country.
    What I said at I).

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    Re: What can Ukraine do to settle the crisis in the eastern Oblasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Rainman05 View Post
    -- What is the worst possible scenario in this situation? Let's start with worse for Ukraine.
    I) Pro-ukranian partisans like the Right Sector move in the respective regions and start causing havoc. If this happens, Putin wins hands down. He'll have reason to enter eastern Ukraine to actually, legitimately this time, protect Russian ethnics and stabilize the region. No more army without markings, legit, full on legitimate entry into the country. Let me put it this way, you'd be wrong to call it occupation in this case. Likely outcome: the 3 regions join Russia and Putin will get the credit. He'll end this story being the hero that eastern europe needs. He would have saved lives, caused stability and uphold the right of self-determination of the people.

    --snip--

    So this is my analysis.
    Russians are great at waiting. I mean they're really, really good at it. And the waiting game wins them the scenarios. It did historically, every time, waiting makes them win. All of them, from the perspective of expansion, they only lose face... and who cares about what the West things as far as a lot of Putins' constituency and sympathisers say and think... The chance for those 3 Oblasts to somehow magically stop being pro-RU is impossible and therefore, it is not presented here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrylek View Post
    If I were a Ukrainian nationalist who cares about nothing but Ukraine, the first thing I would do is to shove Crimea and the two 'Russian' provinces in the east down the Kremlin's throat. There, try not to choke. In one fell swoop, Ukraine becomes a united country with a clear direction of development.

    But if I were a Ukrainian with some degree of sympathy toward actual Russians, Crimean Tatars, and everybody else who lives in the "bad neighborhood", I would go for "part of Ukraine, period". The territory controlled by the Putin's regime is rapidly becoming a truly dark place, reminiscent of everybody-knows-what. The state-controlled "Russian" media (which is also the prime source of information for the Russian-speaking population of the Ukrainian south-east) may have succeeded in generating a public euphoria regarding the Anschluss; after all, the last 23 years were pretty much years of misery; why not try something different?

    But a few years will pass, and it will become clear that the new home is the same old home, only worse: the same corruption, the same heavy hand of the State, the same economy ready to fall apart any time now - but all that multiplied by the scary inability to serve the final divorce letter to the totalitarian Communist past, and by the delusions of imperial grandeur (for which the serfs will have to pay, as usual). It will be good to have options - to know that Ukraine had never given up on you.
    Quote Originally Posted by PeteEU View Post
    If I was Putin I would wait for the Ukrainians to make mistakes. If the violence escalates (without the help of the Russians), then he has the excuse to go in. But I would hold back as long as possible, hence making the justification bigger. A bit like what the west did in Kosovo.

    If I was the Ukrainians, then I would set up a referendum in those areas under Russian and international supervision and not attempt to manipulate the results. Make it as open as possible. Only then can they come out as the "good guy", else they just look like the Russians with another name. If they then vote to join Russia.. then so be it. It is what they should have done in the Crimea in the first place instead of trying to bully the Russian minority in the country.
    Ukraine has to look to the long term, it won't take long as "Cyrylek" posted in another thread for Russians to realise they simply have the same situation by another name. The long game will be won by whichever side can make the remnants of Ukraine / Oblast feel they have a better life with whichever side they have voted for or joined.

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    Re: What can Ukraine do to settle the crisis in the eastern Oblasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Rainman05 View Post
    What I said at I).
    Yea but I used different words and spelling mistakes

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    Re: What can Ukraine do to settle the crisis in the eastern Oblasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Infinite Chaos View Post
    Ukraine has to look to the long term, it won't take long as "Cyrylek" posted in another thread for Russians to realise they simply have the same situation by another name. The long game will be won by whichever side can make the remnants of Ukraine / Oblast feel they have a better life with whichever side they have voted for or joined.
    And if we are going the long game, then at this point in time I would bet on the Russians.

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    Re: What can Ukraine do to settle the crisis in the eastern Oblasts

    What should be done is this:

    1. Ukraine sells the Crimea to Russia.
    2. Russia guarantees the borders (again)
    3. Ukraine drops all charges against the former president of Ukraine
    4. Ukraine drops all charges against those people who seized some of the government buildings in eastern Ukraine (they were retaken).
    5. Russia recognizes the new government of Ukraine

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    Re: What can Ukraine do to settle the crisis in the eastern Oblasts

    The most important thing they can do is put the wraps on the ultra-nationalists in the government and make sure that Russian-language rights are preserved, as well as granting a level of autonomy to the Eastern provinces. If they continue to go down the path of "no Russians allowed" they'll lose those oblasts one way or another.


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    Re: What can Ukraine do to settle the crisis in the eastern Oblasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Rainman05 View Post
    Initially I wanted to name this thread: How the crisis in Ukraine will end - A Game of Thrones approach ; but when I started writing, by the 2nd paragraph, I figured the title wouldn't match the topic and so I've decided to revamp the whole thing and start again.

    So as you know, 2 Oblasts, Kharkiv and Donestsk have been taken over, their regional administrative buildings that is, by pro-russian supporters, some of them armed, who took down the Ukrainian flag and raised the Russian one and called for the independence of the 2 regions. Luhanska is also very much bordering the same situation but nothing has been reported, as far as I've seen, about it there. These protesters who occupied govt buildings in the region called for independence from Ukraine and also set a date of a referendum, 11 May in the case of Kharkiv. So next month.

    This is not the first time this has happened. In late february, after the Yanukovich govt fell, the same thing happened, protesters raised the russian flags on govt buildings in eastern ukraine, but for some administrative buildings the flag was replaced back with the Ukranian one, for some, on and off... complicated stuff depdending on the city you're in. Safe to say, a volatile last month. But yesterday, protesters made a coup de grace if you will and at least Kharkiv is now, illegally but officially, moving forward with independence and a referendum.

    Police clashed with protesters in Donestsk, again today... we'll see what leads where.

    What is the worst possible scenario in this situation? Let's start with worse for Ukraine.
    I) Pro-ukranian partisans like the Right Sector move in the respective regions and start causing havoc. If this happens, Putin wins hands down. He'll have reason to enter eastern Ukraine to actually, legitimately this time, protect Russian ethnics and stabilize the region. No more army without markings, legit, full on legitimate entry into the country. Let me put it this way, you'd be wrong to call it occupation in this case. Likely outcome: the 3 regions join Russia and Putin will get the credit. He'll end this story being the hero that eastern europe needs. He would have saved lives, caused stability and uphold the right of self-determination of the people.

    II) Ukrainian govt starts Berkrut-style crackdowns on the protesters. Massive fights, people getting injured, maybe even a fatality or two. Outcome? Russia condemns this action to the international community, waits a few days for some other tragedy to happen, it happens, that's cause for intervention... the end result is same as I).

    III) Partisan warfare. Nationalists on each side start causing havoc in the region. Hundreds die because pro-russians clas with pro-ukranians. There is speculation in the west that the Ukranian govt is letting the pro-ukraine nationalists fight so they dont get their hands dirty, ukraine is discredited in the eyes of the west... at the same time the west sees Russia as supporting the pro-russian partisans. The region falls into a state of chaos, not a dysfunctional type of chaos, but sufficient to warrant some kind of intervention, both Ukraine and Russia send in the army for "stabilizing" purposes and "humanitarian" reasons, we don't get a war, but we do get a Crimea-style situation where both armed forces are stationed side by side, neither want to leave... both "co-exist" if that's the term you want to use... meanwhile, there's a referendum being planned and sooner or later, the regions join Russia or become independent and nobody wins. Russia is considered an aggressor and a bully. Ukraine is considered corrupt. Everyone loses.

    Worst case scenario for Russia?
    There is just one really. The economy collapses before it can make a move and this will only happen if strong sanctions and immidiate decisive drastic action is taken by the EU. A war of economic attrition which will bend Russia to it's knees before the Wests' knees give in.

    well, there is a second case which may a "loss" in terms of PR but really, what PR does Russia have in the eyes of all decent folk?
    And that case is a Crimea 2.0. Soldiers with no markings make their way into the 3 regions and "secure" the territory while regional administrations, now with self-appointed parliaments make a referendum whose result overwhelmingly shows that they want to join Russia. So Russia wins but doesn't get the PR boost as it does in scenario I and II, and basically "enjoys" a second round of fallout with the west, similar to what happened due to Ukraine, only worse.


    So this is my analysis.
    Russians are great at waiting. I mean they're really, really good at it. And the waiting game wins them the scenarios. It did historically, every time, waiting makes them win. All of them, from the perspective of expansion, they only lose face... and who cares about what the West things as far as a lot of Putins' constituency and sympathisers say and think... The chance for those 3 Oblasts to somehow magically stop being pro-RU is impossible and therefore, it is not presented here.

    Convenient date, 11 May. On 25 May is the election day for the Presidential elections in Ukraine which would reconfer legitimacy to the institution of the Presidency and may help reduce the toxicity and the agitation and the radicalism we see today on both sides. The only way it'd be more tongue in cheek is if it would have been placed on 24th of May.
    Push for NATO military exercises to be accelerated from July to May and to enlarge them. Then extend an offer for them to stay to guarantee the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Armed with this added security firmer police actions to restore order in the cities in question can be taken.

    Absent this? Nothing. They have little control over Russian efforts to provoke conflict and their ample networks of agents and provocateurs. They can only hope that Russia does not decide it desires a pretext for intervention though it seems increasingly likely that this is the eventuality they are building towards as the hang the February 21st Agreement as their baseline over the crisis.

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    Re: What can Ukraine do to settle the crisis in the eastern Oblasts

    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyO View Post
    What should be done is this:

    1. Ukraine sells the Crimea to Russia.
    2. Russia guarantees the borders (again)
    3. Ukraine drops all charges against the former president of Ukraine
    4. Ukraine drops all charges against those people who seized some of the government buildings in eastern Ukraine (they were retaken).
    5. Russia recognizes the new government of Ukraine

    Why would Russia accept this offer? They gain nothing that they do not already have. It would merely be a Ukrainian acknowledgement of the existing state of affairs while offering concessions to those who will never return to Ukraine anyway. It removes a powerful totem that Russia has and a major tool for creating a pretext for intervention. They have already stated the February 21st Accord as their baseline--which is unacceptable and they know it.

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