Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ukraine Update in Two Graphics

Looks like the first double envelopment is taking place to the west in the Donetsk salient while the "northern thumb" is being slowly squeezed

As was pointed out on the Front Porch last week, the Ukrainians are widening their southern area of control and getting better control of their border. Unless Russia does something, we are seeing the slow end to this phase of the separatist movement.

This is a strange kind of conflict. So few actual armed forces in play, but so much at stake. Everyone is trying to win on the chief, or seem to be waiting for a lucky break - or in some way, for the proverbial roasted duck to fly in to their mouth. 

I am intentionally avoiding the buzzwordsofthemonth. Everyone should do a little more watching and pondering, and less wonking. 

The next graphic does a very good job outlining the muted reaction from Europe to what is going on. Via TheDailyMail, follow the money, indeed.

The final bit I find interesting is what is the reaction to my friends in The Netherlands.

As usual, the good stuff can be found in TheEconomist;
JULY 23rd was a day of national mourning in the Netherlands, the first since the death of Queen Wilhelmina more than 50 years ago. Broadcasters dispensed with advertising and game shows; the windmills stopped turning, their sails set slightly off-kilter in a way that has betokened grief for centuries. At Eindhoven airport two Hercules transport planes were met on the tarmac by 40 hearses and over 1,000 relatives desperately hoping their loved ones were in one of the wooden coffins. The country came to a solemn standstill.
“People have a hard time matching balancing acts with atrocities,” says Marietje Schaake, a Dutch MEP for the liberal-democrat D66. The government has cuddled up uncomfortably close to Vladimir Putin in search of ever better trade relations; at the Sochi Olympics the king shared a cool Heineken and a photo-op with him while others offered only cold shoulders. There may be a backlash.

With the Netherlands now leading the investigation into who is to be held accountable for the outrage Mr Rutte will have to keep balancing the need to channel public anger and the need for “justice to be served”. It will be a struggle for him and his country to keep cool heads when their hearts hurt so badly.
Many more cards to play here.

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