It also depends on the definition of "war". But the same logic that makes Ukraine a tempting morsel for irredentists makes it a powerful example for democrats. It also depends on the definition of "war".And it also depends on the definition of "win".And finally it depends on which media source you believe. Finally, as with Yanukovych, Putin has tragically overestimated his proxies in the separatist leadership of the Donbass. The Friday Cover is POLITICO Magazine's email of the week's best, delivered to your inbox every Friday morning. Russia has gained enough leverage on the ground to force negotiations on autonomy, but it lacks influence over Kharkiv or Odessa, important cities and industrial centers. ”When Ukraine will meet those (NATO) criteria – possibly within the next 5-6 years – then the people of Ukraine will make their choice,” Poroshenko said. This assertion may strike readers as bizarre since China's vital interests are not engaged in this war, nor does it participate in any of the negotiations. But, after 23 years of chaotic post-Soviet independence, Ukraine now has a wired and educated civil society prepared to fight for democracy and a leadership that knows how the West works and wants to emulate it. The remaining question is whether Russia’s efforts to improve its bargaining position in Ukraine and the interim government’s efforts to contain this sponsored separatism will lead to an escalation of the conflict. Here’s the question, not of the day, but of the month: Who’s Winning the War in Ukraine? By Christopher Harress @Charress 02/24/15 AT 2:06 PM. The first Few Ukrainians would agree. ... launch an offensive and is leading many to question whether Ukraine has sufficient forces to fight a more free-wheeling war in the east. Ukraine war leaves many in squalid conditions. “The differences between Ukrainian and Russian people are cosmetic,” he wrote in a recent blog post. If the Russian forces massed on Ukraine’s border invade, it will be because Putin has decided to show Russians, Ukrainians and the world that he has the power and the will to impose autocracy not just at home, but at gunpoint in foreign, sovereign states. We saw that first with the Maidan, where Ukrainians defied freezing weather, tanks and finally snipers to bring down their authoritarian regime. Start with Yanukovych, Putin’s would-be authoritarian junior partner. If Kyiv was to attempt a serious assault on the separatist regions, it would result in civilian casualties, and could precipitate either a Russian invasion, or spark a genuine civil war in those regions. More importantly, many in the West are convinced that Vladimir Putin’s true intentions are to disrupt the upcoming elections. After the independence referendums held in Luhansk and Donetsk on May 11, that is as inevitable an outcome as it is unpalatable in Western capitals. Whatever happens next, the question ‘who won the war in Ukraine’ is perhaps the wrong one to ask. To understand if Putin will roll the dice and what that would mean, begin with one central fact—since November, when this crisis began, Putin has repeatedly misread Ukraine. Given that the separatists are armed with heavy weapons, and undoubtedly led by Russian special forces, the process would be bloody and costly. If anything, Ukraine’s government appears to be returning to its traditional policy of finding a way to manage Western expectations and moderating Russia’s anger. The regime was hollowed out by corruption, infiltrated by Kremlin agents, and its coffers emptied by theft from the top. The May 25 presidential election, in which Petro Poroshenko, a Russian-speaking centrist businessman from the south, won a strong majority on the first ballot in a field of 17 candidates, gave the lie to that putative threat. President Turchynov vacillates between stating that his government is effectively helpless to restore order in the East, and vowing that counterterrorism operations will continue. Believe it or not, on 1 October it was eclipsed by a far bigger story for Ukrainians: Putin is winning Europe’s only war. Either way, it makes sense for Russia to start unwinding that relationship. This is a moderating factor, because Russia is not interested in general, disorganized chaos and instability in Ukraine. Russian-sponsored insurgents have probably seized all the geography they can obtain without sparking a broader conflict. But just because the Western countries like Ukraine doesn’t mean they’re willing to help them. “The main risk of war is that it can exhaust us without exhausting the enemy. This backing could strengthen Ukraine in … Still, all of these long-term scenarios must be of little comfort to Ukraine, which is steadily descending into organized, and disorganized, chaos. Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt and Syria have taught us that even in conflicts where it is easy to spot the villain, virtuous actors can be much harder to find, and effective virtuous actors can be rarer still. Ukraine crisis: How Vladimir Putin is winning the psychological war. The following is an incomplete list of major wars fought by Ukraine, by Ukrainian people or regular armies during periods when independent Ukrainian states existed, from antiquity to the present day. The war has centered around the status of the Ukrainian regions of Crimea and Donbass. They have no army, they have no equipment. That may sound like a simple question, but it isn't. That question leads to a second question "In whose eyes?" The fight in the Donbass is a continuation of the battle against a liberal Russia that Putin began when he arrived in the Kremlin in 2000. Here's the question, not of the day, but of the month: Who's Winning the War in Ukraine? On June 12, three T-72 tanks rolled through portions of eastern Ukraine. Moscow does not want to support these regions. In the eyes of the media, Ukraine is winning. The message was clear: Russia will ultimately prove victorious as it did in WWII, though it may have to go through great hardship in the interim. On June 12, three T-72 tanks rolled through portions of eastern Ukraine. Like a chess master, perhaps the U.S. always needs to think a few moves ahead and reset our resolve after the exhaustion of the first Cold War and the tailspin following the proxy wars. But who is winning the ‘information war’? In the near term, Ukrainian and Western policies are increasingly divergent in nature. Then, Putin believed his own myth of an ethnically divided Ukraine. The tragic paradox for Kyiv is that each democratic success has made it more vulnerable to a further Russian escalation. Like a chess master, perhaps the U.S. always needs to think a few moves ahead and reset our resolve after the exhaustion of the first Cold War and the tailspin following the proxy wars. Answer May Shock You! These demonstrations, which followed the February–March 2014 annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federat… And it also depends on the definition of "win". Their reign is a partial occupation, based on individual buildings their gunmen have seized and camped out in, and roadside checkpoints. It also gives Russia the option of playing a spoiler after the elections if Ukraine does not appear willing to compromise on demands for federalism. The war has centered around the status of the Ukrainian regions of Crimea and Donbass. That may sound like a simple question, but it isn't. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that Moscow wants to end the five-year war in eastern Ukraine, Zelenskiy has said. No matter how hard Putin tries to spin it (or to turn from attack line into a reality), Ukraine isn’t a failed state, prey to domestic extremists and weakened by civil war. But both sides are still are their limits and rapidly losing strength. “They [the Ukrainians] are the first large group of ethnic ‘Russians’ who become free on their own power and valor. It just has to be strong enough to keep Russia from winning — that is, from embarking on a massive land war or compelling Ukraine by means of a costly war … But will Putin invade? How did the war in Ukraine start? Remember all of those warnings from Putin and other Russians about the dangerous power of the far right and the worries that the euphoria of the pro-Europe protesters who rallied in Kyiv’s Maidan Square last winter would give way to rule by armed, brown-shirted militias? The next proof points came in the fraught months between the flight of President Viktor Yanukovych and the presidential election won by Poroshenko, which gave Ukraine the stability of a democratically elected leader. I don't think this is some utopia," Andrukhovych told Novoye Vremya Strany. Kiev doesn’t seem to think so. https://www.politico.com/.../story/2014/08/kiev-is-winning-the-war-109935 Here's the question, not of the day, but of the month: Who's Winning the War in Ukraine? Whatever happens next, the question ‘who won the war in Ukraine’ is perhaps the wrong one to ask. China is winning the war in Ukraine. Europe Russia and Ukraine in 2019: More conflict ahead? Ukrainians aren’t fighting only for their sovereignty—which would be good enough cause—they are fighting for what they call the new Ukraine, which they are simultaneously trying to build. You can unsubscribe at any time and you can contact us here. Putin Is Winning the Ukraine War on Three Fronts. That question leads to a second question “In whose eyes?” It also depends on the definition of “war“.And it also depends on the definition of “win“.And finally it depends on which media source you believe. Ukraine’s third success is the consolidation of its post-revolutionary government. The violence in Odessa demonstrated that it could certainly spread further, but also that in other Ukrainian cities, large segments of the population are not in favor of Russia’s agenda, and if Moscow presses the matter, it could result in uncontrollable violence. To understand the scale of that achievement, here is the last group of Russians who were not ruled by khans, czars, communist chairmen, or KGB generals: the Free Novgorod Republic. Western leaders have a serious problem on their hands. But the war is real and still taking lives, and a … The War in Donbass is an armed conflict in the Donbass region of Ukraine, part of the Ukrainian crisis and the broader Russo-Ukrainian War. May 25 is rapidly approaching, marking a period when the dynamic in Ukraine changes and the battle for influence with it. Ukraine’s leaders predict that, absent further Russian escalation, they will be fully back in control of their country by the end of the month. Moscow’s latest turn in this crisis is an effort to distance itself from the separatists so that they can be set up as an independent group to negotiate with Kyiv. That may sound like a simple question, but it isn't. Ukraine’s second success is its unprecedented degree of national unity. This is entirely about the Ukrainian people’s decision that they were no longer willing to live in an authoritarian kleptocracy—and the annexation and invasion of their territory that was the Kremlin’s response. Russia’s May 9 Victory Day parade was a special occasion this year intended to mark not just the defeat of Germany in World War II, but also Vladimir Putin’s victory in Crimea. Eight weeks after Ukraine’s new government and pro-Russian separatists in the country’s east agreed to a cease-fire, the war continues to simmer. The real purpose of this drama was to lessen the rationale for new Western sanctions as a punishment for the actions of the separatists. That may sound like a simple question, but it isn't. Ukraine lost … Our chance of winning is that Russia becomes bogged down in this conflict, wastes loads of resources, and deflates. Moscow is also eager for a government that it can recognize, and one that could conclude the arrangements it desires. There are dozens of examples from the past few weeks of Kiev trouncing Moscow in the information war. The erstwhile Ukrainian president proved too weak and too unpopular to do the job, eventually opting to flee the country that had elected him less than four years earlier. It is a measure of the gravity of the moment that Ukrainians accepted Poroshenko’s argument and, for the first time since independence, chose a president on the first ballot and with strong backing from across the country. Another important point to note is that Ukraine’s national consolidation includes its business elite. Who's Winning the War in Ukraine? By signing up you agree to receive email newsletters or updates from POLITICO and you agree to our privacy policy and terms of service. Ukraine’s third success is the consolidation of its post-revolutionary government. Here’s how Max Skibinsky, a Russian Silicon Valley venture capitalist, describes it. Given this deep regional divide, contesting the legitimacy of the outcome would not be difficult for Moscow. Ukraine may have chance to take lost … Ukraine lost … “The differences between Ukrainian and Russian people are cosmetic,” he wrote in a recent blog post. Putin’s mistakes have the virtue of intellectual consistency—he really does seem to believe that Ukrainians are Russians and that he will likewise succeed in bringing them to heel. They have made the same choice all of us would, and they are proving they are willing to fight, and to die, for it. The little green men swiftly took control of the government and military infrastructure there. The war in Ukraine is more devastating than you know A Ukrainian fighter stands in a building damaged by shelling in Avdiivka, Ukraine, on Feb. 4, 2017. Ukraine’s political culture has no messianic or imperialist strain, and today building democracy at home is more than enough to keep the country’s leaders busy. No to Capitulation!’ shouted an angry crowd outside Mr Zelensky’s presidential office this weekend. EU civilians (MH17), 2,600 Ukrainians, and who knows how many Russians lost their lives. But in determining how to respond, it is essential to understand this standoff has been created by the surprising and growing strength of Ukrainian democracy—and by Vladimir Putin’s refusal to allow a peaceful democracy to exist on his western border. This crisis is not about an American power play in the former Soviet Union— indeed, it often seems as if President Barack Obama privately wishes Ukraine’s democracy revolution would just fade away. The Kremlin started by sending in “little green men,” as the Russian troops infiltrating Ukraine wearing uniforms but no official government ID have come to be called, to Crimea. That question leads to a second question "In whose eyes?" Almost two years after the start of the conflict in Ukraine, it is clear that China, not Russia, is the real victor. It does not want the interim government in Kyiv to have control and legitimacy in Russian-speaking areas, but it also does not want the country descending into civil war. There is more chatter out of Eastern Ukraine that suggests Kiev might be willing to give in to the separatists’ demands of regional autonomy. Eight weeks after Ukraine’s new government and pro-Russian separatists in the country’s east agreed to a cease-fire, the war continues to simmer. But who is winning the ‘information war’? This date cannot come sooner, since the continued crisis has spawned a veritable menagerie of paramilitary groups in support of and against the current government in Kyiv. During “Cold War II” (not generally acknowledged), the U.S. has stayed primarily on the periphery of global crises with Syria, Sebastopol, Crimea, Georgia, and the Ukraine. ... Russia may be winning the war, with the separatists point of view being taken more seriously, but sanctions are likely to trigger a recession. Is Russia Winning Ukraine 'War'? In a recent interview, Verkhovna Rada Speaker Andriy Paraubiy said the European Union decision to extend sanctions against Russia for its aggression against Ukraine is a sign that Ukraine is winning the information war against Russia. This confounding juxtaposition of policy statements suggests that the only purpose to such operations is as a demonstration to the West that they are backing a government willing to fight for its territory, and able to confront Russian meddling. It also depends on the definition of "war".And it also depends on the definition of "win".And finally it depends on which media source you believe. Chrystia Freeland: Ukraine is winning the war The fog of war, the ADHD of cable news and the smears of Russian propaganda have combined to obscure some important good news in this dismal summer. That’s why the early success of the new Ukraine is so significant. Recent polling suggests that 63% of Ukrainians in the east believe the elections will be unfair, compared with 59% in the west, who have a positive outlook. They said the Alliance is winning on all fronts and were pretty confident they could end the war within weeks. For both Moscow and Kyiv, TV is the key to winning the hearts and minds of Ukrainians. Ukraine’s two far-right candidates polled less than 2 percent each, far less than the hard right polled in European Union parliamentary elections held on the same day. These three elements—civil society, state and national unity—account for Ukraine’s fourth success: since May 15, when the steel workers of the eastern city of Mariupol took to the streets to force would-be separatists to leave, Ukraine has steadily been pushing back the Russian-led insurgents. On the frontline of Europe’s forgotten war in Ukraine Four years after Russia backed the cause of separatist rebels, the death toll stands at 10,000. .12/13/2020 4:08:16AM EST. Hence Kyiv is trying to do enough to satisfy the political necessities of the West, but staying short of inciting a heavy-handed Russian response. ‘Listen to the Nation! It depicts the crisis in Putin’s own macho terms. But will Putin invade? Putin isn’t the only Russian who thinks Ukrainians are part of his Slavic tribe. That may sound like a simple question, but it isn’t. by Michael Kofman Russia’s May 9 Victory Day parade was a special occasion this year intended to mark not just the defeat of Germany in World War … During “Cold War II” (not generally acknowledged), the U.S. has stayed primarily on the periphery of global crises with Syria, Sebastopol, Crimea, Georgia, and the Ukraine. But just because the Western countries like Ukraine doesn’t mean they’re willing to help them. The first That pattern has now led to possibly as many as 45,000 Russian troops once again massed on Ukraine’s border, as Moscow considers how to check the success of the Ukrainian military in re-establishing control over the eastern Donbass region where Russian-backed fighters have been trying and failing for months to create a breakaway republic. The Russo-Ukrainian War (Ukrainian: російсько-українська війна, romanized: rosiisko-ukrainska viina) is a protracted conflict between Russia and Ukraine that began in February 2014. But not a single significant business leader anywhere in the country—including the Donbass—is backing the Russia-led rebels. Alternatively, if the separatists prove uncontrollable or burdensome, they will have to be sacrificed like pawns. That may sound like a simple question, but it isn’t. "Ukraine’s future is being determined by an unpredictable battle for leverage on the ground.". ‘Listen to the Nation! (Evgeniy Maloletka/AP) Upon annexing Crimea, Vladimir Putin outlined the terms of a prospective deal on Ukraine: Russian-speaking regions are to be given autonomy so that Russia can retain its influence, and—by proxy—a vote over Ukraine’s strategic orientation. Ukraine’s new leaders aren’t angels. Here's the question, not of the day, but of the month: Who's Winning the War in Ukraine? And in the years since 1991, when Ukraine gained its independence from the USSR, industrial paralysis and subsequent war have left many to romanticize the old Soviet order. This assertion may strike readers as bizarre since China's vital interests are not engaged in this war, nor does it participate in any of the negotiations. Ukraine’s future is being determined by an unpredictable battle for leverage on the ground, which has been ongoing ever since Russia annexed Crimea, and will continue until the May 25 election in Ukraine. Less than 48 hours after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down, an international group of some 200 experts was gathering in Kyiv to work on a comprehensive reform plan. The notion that all of Ukraine can be pulled into a Western orientation now appears unrealistic and naïve. Absorbing Crimea is already a significant burden on the Russian state, likely to cost billions. The increasing pressure that he thought would disperse the Maidan instead inspired ever greater resolve, ending with a willingness to march directly into sniper fire. -- Kenneth Rapoza, Forbes. Is Russia outgunning Ukraine in the ‘information war’? It’s all about gas “Ukraine is winning the info war in the West,” Mark Galeotti—a professor of foreign affairs at New York University and an expert on Russia—told War … Ukraine’s military has thus far proven undependable, and appears to have been hollowed out of any serious operational capability. The first success is the consolidation, maturity and determination of Ukraine’s civil society. Which is why the right parallel when thinking about how the West should respond to this crisis isn’t with the West’s past decade of military misadventures in the Middle East, it is with Eastern Europe in the 1980s, where civil society overthrew communist regimes and produced leaders who were, albeit with plenty of mistakes and hardship along the way, able to build capitalist democracies in their place. Putin has sought to portray Ukraine as a failed state, and in his collaboration with Yanukovych he came close to making that rhetoric reality. It just has to be strong enough to keep Russia from winning — that is, from embarking on a massive land war or compelling Ukraine by means of a costly war … Ukrainians didn’t elect Poroshenko for his charisma or his barnstorming speeches. Next, Putin underestimated Ukrainian civil society. Ukraine’s new media. There'll be no end to the war between Russia and Ukraine while it suits political elites on both sides to keep fighting. These efforts had some success in the Donbass, but it is important to appreciate how completely they failed in the rest of what Putin has named “Novorossia,” or New Russia. All of this is to be codified in a constitution or written framework that devolves authority to those regions. Units from the newly annexed Republic of Crimea were near the forefront of the parade. Unfortunately for all of us, the Kremlin’s unrelenting aggression against Ukraine shows that Putin sees Ukraine’s democratic renaissance the way Skibinsky does. Russia’s natural preference is that Ukraine, and by implication, the West, continue to be responsible financially for whatever happens in the country. To postpone their referendums on may 11, only to be sacrificed like pawns Putin is winning ‘. 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