Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Anschluss

Putin's seizure of eastern Ukraine appears to be going smoothly, unlike Kiev's efforts to resist. Troops sent by Kiev have been disarmed by so-called peoples' militias - apparently composed of or at least stiffened by Russian special forces. Polls appear to show that most locals would prefer to be part of Ukraine, but they don't object enough to Russia to resist.

SLOVYANSK, Ukraine — A highly publicized Ukrainian Army operation to retake control of Slovyansk and other eastern cities from pro-Russia insurgents appeared to falter badly on Wednesday, with one column of armored vehicles abandoned to militant separatists and another ground to a halt by unarmed protesters blocking its path.

The setbacks appeared to reflect new indecision and dysfunction by the interim authorities in Kiev, the capital, who have been vowing for days to end the insurrections in the restive east that they say have been instigated by Russia. The Kremlin has massed thousands of troops near Ukraine’s eastern border, raising fears that it intends to seize more Ukrainian territory, beyond its annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in the south last month.

This sort of thing often ends badly.

Next?