On 10 August, Moscow announced that a team of Ukrainian saboteurs had attempted to attack Crimean economic infrastructure, a charge that Kyiv denies. The announcement triggered speculation in western media of a new Russian military offensive in eastern Ukraine, where the Kremlin’s clients have occupied two enclaves in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts since early 2014.
The reality is probably more complex. The protagonists in the eastern Ukraine conflict, Russia and its separatist allies on one side, and Ukraine on the other, frequently send reconnaissance and sabotage teams behind each other’s line. These incidents are rarely publicised, and casualties are only grudgingly acknowledged.… Seguir leyendo »
Uno de los elementos más peligrosos del conflicto en Ucrania, que ya va para dos años, sigue siendo la imprevisibilidad de las tácticas de la vecina Rusia. A pesar de sus declaraciones de apoyo al proceso de paz de Minsk y el reconocimiento de la soberanía ucraniana sobre las repúblicas separatistas de Donetsk y Lugansk, las acciones llevadas a cabo por Moscú en el este de Ucrania parecen diseñadas para reforzar dichas entidades en lugar de prepararlas para ser desmanteladas.
El alto el fuego acordado en Minsk en febrero de 2015 se mantiene, más o menos, desde septiembre. Pero la implementación del resto del acuerdo ha progresado poco y la situación sigue siendo volátil, mientras decenas de miles de tropas permanecen cara a cara a lo largo de una frontera de 500 kilómetros.… Seguir leyendo »
One of the most dangerous elements of Ukraine’s nearly two-year-old conflict remains the unpredictability of its neighbour Russia’s tactics. Despite repeated expressions of support for the Minsk peace process and recognition of Ukraine’s sovereignty over the separatist Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DNR, LNR), Moscow’s current actions in eastern Ukraine seem designed to strengthen those entities than prepare them for dismantlement.
The cease-fire agreed in Minsk in February 2015 has mostly held since September. But with little progress in the implementation of the overall Minsk accord, the situation remains volatile and tens of thousands of troops face each other along a 500-km line of separation.… Seguir leyendo »
Ten days ago Yelena Filippova, secretary to the head of Ukraine’s self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk (DPR), Alexander Zakharchenko, was badly injured when her car exploded as she drove to work. That afternoon, a prominent DPR politician was shot and wounded on one of the main streets of the city. With evening came fragmentary reports that a military building in central Donetsk had been blockaded by troops.
Then a senior military officer told interviewers that the DPR Defense Ministry had been “abolished.” Throughout all this, Zakharchenko remained silent and invisible. So did his defense minister, Vladimir Kononov, and another power broker, Alexander Khodakovsky, secretary of the rebels’ national security council.… Seguir leyendo »
A major crisis is taking place in Central Asia, but much of the world — and most governments — would prefer not to think about it. Kyrgyzstan has lost control of a significant part of its country.
Initial violence has caused many hundreds of deaths and, as of the latest count, over 400,000 refugees. This from a population of five million. The calm that has come over the area is temporary combat fatigue. Kyrgyzstan’s new provisional government is looking increasingly incapable of taking any measures to restore homes, livelihoods, destroyed infrastructure or trust. It can barely impose order. Yet world leaders are looking elsewhere.… Seguir leyendo »