Two days ago I shared some thoughts on what may be Poroshenko’s plan. I am not a military expert (not even close), but I cannot help the feeling I have had since March last year: that the only reasonable response to Russia’s occupation of Donetsk and Luhansk is a military one. When Russian forces occupied Crimea in February, and later took over central cities in Eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian defense was not only weak, it was close to non-existent.
Despite the lousy, corrupt and often Moscow-friendly generals, Ukrainians have established volunteer battalions and are little by little trying to improve the equipment, fighting spirit and military competence. But it is nearly not enough against Russia’s well equipped elite forces with modern and heavy weapons. The Ukrainian forces are scared of using its air force, since the Russians have state-of-the-art ground-to-air missile systems.
Since Ukraine wants to be a part of the civilized world, it has to follow the basic rules of warfare, while the Russians are using all the dirty tricks in the book:
- Shelling of Ukrainian military troops from the Russian side of the border (since mid July)
- Sending in thousands of troops over the border to kill more than thousand Ukrainian soldiers in Ilovaysk (August)
- Shelling of GRADs from inside cities in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Since the Russians know that the Ukrainians can’t fire back, the shooting goes on and on
- Shelling of villages and city districts, killing hundreds of civilians. Many of these “operations” are done in front of the Goebbels TV cameras (Life News, RT, Russia 24 etc), so that they can blame the Ukrainian side
- Executing Ukrainian POWs
- Conducting terrorists acts in several cities, like Kiev, Kharkiv, Odessa and others
- And so on…
So how shall Ukraine response to such a ruthless and cruel aggressor? Ukraine must get supplies of weapons and instructors from the West, and they must get them now. Russia will not stop now. If they succeed in occupying the land corridor to Crimea, Ukraine will lose the war.
Russia will very likely remove Lukashenko and just take over Belarus. The next step will be open aggression against Latvia, then Estonia. The process has already started in Latvia, which is a NATO country, but the West will not be able to react quickly enough. In any case we are getting closer to a full war in Europe. I doubt Europe understands the gravity of the situation or has the ability to react accordingly.