I was going to write about the imagery of the Maidan Revolution but then I read an article on the BBC about the latest sanctions against Russia and saw a CNN report about the US sending in ammunition to the Israeli military. And all I could think about was: hypocrites! They say all of these things about diplomacy and a peaceful resolution to the “Ukrainian crisis” yet here they are, sending in military aid to Israel.
And these so called new strict sanctions against Russia by the EU – well, they’re sort of worthless in the end. Yes, the monetary sanctions against companies and individuals are significant but they aren’t targeting the big banks and big companies: if Visa and Mastercard can work in Russia still, well, it’s not really hurting the Russians all that much.
The weapons sanctions: ineffective since Europe doesn’t really get a lot of their arms from Russia (apart from those Minstrel ships from France, which is still happening since they conveniently grandfathered that in). And here’s the big one: energy. These new third level sanctions don’t even target the most important aspect of the Russian energy sector but just stop them from exploring European targets! They’re still trading gas and oil to Europe and the EU is still talking non-sense about stop Putin with sanctions alone.
I don’t want an escalation of violence on the ground, but I do want the Ukrainian military to be armed in the best possible way and that includes military aid from the EU, Canada and the US. That includes modern weaponry so they aren’t using decades old arms and ammunition. They don’t need troops on the ground and I think they’ve been fairly good at training up an army that can handle the Russians. They’ve managed to almost envelope the terrorists (except for the all-important Russian border where the arms and men are streaming into Ukraine), which was almost unthinkable at the beginning of this Anti-Terrorist Operation.
The heavy fighting will now happen in Luhansk and Donetsk. I worry that it will become our Stalingrad – street fighting to clear out a large city is never an ideal option for an army. It wastes men, time, equipment and morale. But I also believe that the Russians will be stubborn as*holes about it and probably want a street battle since the Russian media will take it up and exploit it to their own advantages.
What’s making this entire situation worse is that it seems that the international community cares a lot more about the civilians who perished on MH-17 than they do about the thousands of Ukrainian civilians who have died since the beginning of this conflict. That is when the international community could have stopped it but didn’t do anything and in a way, the MH-17 disaster is on their hands also. It’s a horrible tragedy but it’s one that could have been stopped months ago!
And now we see another war beginning in Gaza and we see a completely different response to the situation there than to the one in Ukraine. Military aid is coming from America, openly and with no (or limited) restrictions. Why can’t the Ukrainian military get some of that aid also? I’m sure simple bulletproof vests and night vision goggles aren’t as complicated to get as weapons ammunition! All the Ukrainian military wants is to have a fair fight against Russian mercenaries who have modern equipment (thanks largely in part to German arms deals – sort of remind me of the Ribbontrop-Molotov Agreement when Nazi Germany used the Soviet Union as a weapons training ground before their big day). So thank you to the EU for ‘furthering their sanctions’ which are somewhat limited and useless. I guess civilian lives, even ones that come from their own countries, aren’t really worth a damned when compared to the billions of euros Russia is shelling in EU companies. Money talks in the end – too bad for the Ukrainians who are actually fighting for those libertarian ideals that the French were so adamant about.