#ukraine Putin failed again this weekend and what is ahead

imagine the troops were there, they were battle ready and the hospitals crews were alerted that they maybe would have much work to do

so it was waiting on the provocations and actions that should have been the argument to go in

* shooting a major of a major city by an unknown person could be a trigger but it wasn't as he clearly had switched sites and it couldn't have been put in the hands of the Rightsector (except on Russian tv off course). The fact that he is a jew makes it even more difficult with all the antisemitism in the Prorussian camp

* the explosion of an Afghanlike roadbomb against an Ukr police-officer was another incident to provoke something (but the link to the Prorussians is fast made because many of their military say they have fought in Afghanistan)

* the attack of a mob on a peaceful proUkr manifestation with a policeforce who did have no clear strategy, no command, no material and could hardly contain the small groups of prorussians attacking people on the ground (NEVER FALL ON THE GROUND AND IF ON THE GROUND MAKE YOURSELF SMALL AND DEFEND YOUR HEAD BUT GET UP)

* the take-over of a small city (but at the big road to Crimea) didn't provoke the anti-terrorist brigade sending their tanks (nobody knows if they are sending anything anywhere for the moment)

but in the end of the day, we can write and think whatever we think about the images and dramatics of the visuals, but military and strategically what did it bring Putin

absolutely nothing

it is clear that external police forces have to come in to protect the international monitors

it is clear that around 40 people have to be liberated by the Russian occupiers

it is clear that the prorussians are attacking proUkr demonstrators without reason (and laying on the ground)

it is clear that they didn't evacuate anything

so even if the sanctions weren't as harsh as wished by some, they are one step ahead and seeing the political pressure mounting in the US congress there will be more sanctions coming and maybe that was even the goal of Obama, not to proclaim himself harsh sanctions but to do so with the explicit political support of the full congress, telling his European partners that he has no choice because American public opinion is moving into this (right) decision

off course it looks all different in you are living in Ukraine and it looks much more desperate and chaotic but you have to keep some perspective

* there are no snipers and militea fighting all over the place with refugees going into their thousands to the borders

* there are no cities that are totally controlled by the russians openly supported by thousands and thousands of citizens (a few that are presented as such)

* the russian troops are back to their barracks which by the way are still to close for comfort to the Ukr border but this is not the same as being nearly on the border itself

These are the days we have to look out for

First of may : big parade - but it will be difficult to invade before because you need at least 48 to 72hours even with all the overwhelming manpower to be able to present itself and also Ukr and Russia have a meeting the day after about the dispute over the gas price (you don't invade a country the day before you will try to do business with them)

9th of may : big parade

11th of may : so called referendum that the seperatists would like to organize

12th of may : the reaction of the Duma and Putin to this referendum if it takes place

25th of may : presidential election

what to expect, I don't know and if anybody knows he may say so because this is so fluid that anything can happen at any moment at any place - and it is this what makes it so dangerous that we are living in the most dangerous times since the second world war and everybody is being careful although not everybody is doing what should be done (stopping the occupation of buildings for example) they are too afraid of this situation totally out of control to take the dramatic steps like an invasion

it is not for our pleasure or yours that we - and others - declare that an invasion is possible - it is because all the preparations for an invasion are in place, the readiness level of the army is in place and than there are certain manifestations and provocations that could possible be the pretext for some kind of invasion

luckily for Ukraine these provocations didn't give until the effects that was counted upon (according to the textbooks - but that is why they are textbooks)

this doesn't mean that he continues to try

but time is running against Putin and he knows it all too well

if we pass the 25th of May without invasion or big scale massive rioting, deserting and killing than he has missed in fact the opportunity to invade even if he doesn't accept the elected president

but that will be his problem - not of the west

when this will be over, we will ask Ukraine how they lived through these emotions and events and how it was possible that the west was so passive and didn't seem to do anything in time. But if all goes well, we'll say that it was the only way possible and had a good result. If all goes bad than we will have to change tactics and we are instantly into coldwar2.0 for a long time.

and there is no way to know what is best and what would be dangerous and who in the Kremlin is for war whatever the cost and who is trying in a diplomatic way to keep backchannels over and keep the discussions going (Ukraine and Russia are meeting each other the second of May over the dispute about the gas price).

there are also question rising if Putin has not lost control over his mercenaries operating in Ukraine and if they are not becoming rather a liability than an asset. There is no enormous outpouring of popular support (except pensioners and hooligans ready for a good bloody fight), the popularity of an annexation to Russia in the polls are going the wrong way and taking international monitors as hostages or even killing hostages is something that you can't sell as a reason to invade a country, on the contrary

if his mercenaries continue like that he will even not be able to intervene when the European special forces decide to implement the Geneva agreement themselves and come in for an 'antiterrorist operation' to liberate the international hostages and the 40 others, liberate the public buildings and disarm the militias before this really gets out of hand

and as the troops facing them won't be the Ukr untrained underequipped soldiers with an interdiction to shoot, I wouldn't be surprised if they would keep their salaries paid and just leave before they get hurt, especially if Putin only protests a little .....


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