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Cold Winter, Cold Conflict

The ceasefire between Ukraine and its separatists in the east, agreed to in Minsk, is getting ground down with every passing day. With violence still flaring around Mariupol and shells sporadically raining down Donetsk and its environs, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko made some noises earlier this week about canceling its terms. What would this mean, in practice? Unfortunately for Ukraine, not much. Events earlier this summer demonstrated that Russia can halt any Ukrainian progress with little effort. Thus what is emerging is yet another stalemated war along Russia’s periphery.

Reuters reports:

“We have now realistically entered the phase of a ‘frozen conflict’,” said Yury Yakimenko, a political analyst at Ukraine’s Razumkov political research center, using a term often applied to other ex-Soviet republics where separatist enclaves have been protected by Russian troops since the early 1990s.

The American general who serves as the highest ranking NATO officer also said this week that the conditions for a frozen conflict were being created in Ukraine.

This is, as far as anyone can tell, things going according to plan for Moscow. By keeping Ukraine on the threshold of dissolution while still being able to extract its energy rents (one way or another guaranteed by the EU), Putin is sitting pretty. And there are few good option for changing that in the immediate term.

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  • Anthony

    Off topic but TAI registers me as having read one (1) of allotted three (3) articles this month. I have not read any and will probably subscribe online but rather not be ascribed an article read that did not occur. Thanks in advance. Oh, I have clicked on in error and that may be cause but I have not read counted writings.

    • Corlyss

      I got one of those pop-ups too. I don’t plan to subscribe to the rag again. It’s only a cut above Foreign Policy, a purportedly serious policy publication for people who think “illustrated novels” published today (i.e., comic books with better graphics than those of 50 years ago) are serious literature. I usually can get articles I’m interested in by other means.

      • Damir Marusic

        Of course, you always can. And I hope over time we can convince you of our value proposition.

    • Damir Marusic

      Shoot me a note at the main account.

      • Anthony

        Damir I will and thanks.

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