WASHINGTON – We hear nothing about Ukraine these days. And for a very simple reason. The war is over. Russia won, Ukraine lost and the West looks the other way. President Petro Poroshenko finally realized (amazing that it took him so long) that he was and is on his own in this most unequal fight.
In just a few days, Putin took over Crimea; and he got away with it. And now the Moscow-funded rebels who took control of portions of the East cannot be dislodged. Ukraine cannot win against rebels resupplied by Russia. At the same time, Ukraine found itself in the very uncomfortable position of having to reach an agreement with its very Russian enemies on the critical issue of natural gas deliveries from Russia. They are essential for Ukraine’s very survival.
Taking all this into account, Poroshenko came to the most obvious conclusion. “Whatever we may say in public, Russia won this war. We lost.” The hope that this fight in Eastern Ukraine could become a Western fight in which pro-democracy Good Guys would battle authoritarian Bad Guys proved to be just that: a hope.
The West will do nothing
Europe and the US are willing to say a few nice things. Up to a point, they will help out Kiev with loans and credits. But there will be no military engagement. None whatsoever. And not even indirect support, via arms or anything else that would improve Ukraine’s hopeless military inferiority vis-a-vis Russia.
The US and NATO may be counted upon to defend NATO countries under threat, at least we think so. Anything else is a non starter.
Waste of money
This was obvious months ago. It is really too bad that it took so long for Poroshenko to realize that his country would receive no military or any other assistance that would turn the tide of the conflict in the East. He could have come to the conclusion that it was time to give up and allow Russia to win many months ago. This could have saved lives, property and probably hundreds of millions of dollars totally wasted in a really hopeless, unwinnable war.
Very shrewdly, Putin understood that he had essentially a free hand in Ukraine and took advantage of the opportunity to unilaterally modify the post-Soviet era borders that he and so many other Russians believe to be unfair to Russia.