Monday, October 6, 2014

Profits Before Glory |

Judging by the fact that, on both sides of the front, the participants are scaling back their activity and preparing for winter (and that, on the Ukrainian side, conversations about the Army’s lack of readiness for wintering in the field are getting louder), it can be assumed that, after all, a decision has been made to wait until the spring. We no longer need to suspect the sides of some kind of clandestine intentions—it is getting colder and damper, and, while, of course, there could be fighting, it will be solely in the form of torpid skirmishes and sabotage behind enemy lines. The usual kind of positional war following a Verdun-esque meat grinder.

In a sense the Cunning Plan has prevailed. Kiev was not allowed to finish off Donetsk and Lugansk, and they were pulled back from the brink at the very last moment. The existence of the rebel territory remains a thorn in the chubby backside and carries the threat of the pain being drastically amplified in case of misconduct. On the rebel territory itself, by the looks of it, a classic sweep of disloyal elements and the transformation of the freemen into something like a controllable entity has begun.

The existing bedlam has its negative aspects—the proliferation of weapons has taken on quite a menacing form. Just today, two contract soldiers were caught trying to sell a hundred grenades in the Rostov region. One can hazard the guess that this was simply scraps from the master’s table of the mobile Voentorg shop. What is carried out of the shop by men with stars on their epaulettes is, of course, not reported to the general public; but, as always, in times like this the arms trade is brisk and not at all retail in nature. Pumping the border regions—already complicated in every respect—full of weapons can only be done at one’s own peril.

On the other hand, by swiftly and firmly reining in the offensive impulse of the reinvigorated Militia, Moscow has demonstrated its commitment to a partnership with Kiev. It does not in the least fancy losing a thirty billion cubic metre Ukrainian gas consumption market, and the fact that Yatsenyuk is threatening that in ten years Ukraine will become fully self-sufficient in this product only causes them to sniff disdainfully in the Gazprom offices—“we will see where Yatsenyuk himself will be in ten years.”

Complete story at - Profits Before Glory |

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