eu expands sanctions against russia and ukraine

Russia President Vladimir Putin must be having a Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot moment after the latest Ukraine events.

Putin negotiated with Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko, Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s François Holland in Minsk for hours to hammer out a ceasefire agreement between the Ukrainian government and the eastern Ukraine rebels. As a side note, the US was not present for these talks, but seems ready to supply the Ukraine army with weapons. I’ll revisit that point in the future…

Russia should have a sense that the agreement is doomed to fail since Dmitry Yarosh, head of Ukranian extremist group Right Sector and member of the Ukrainian Parliament, said that he and his private army do not feel bound to any ceasefire with the rebels. For your information, Yarosh’s extremist tactics and civilian killings continue without any US objection. Azov, another far-right militia group who’s down with the Ukraine government, also isn’t expected to obey a ceasefire.

After the agreement was inked, The EU expanded its sanctions against Russia and Ukraine(!) What a reward…

Goodwill expectations aside, Russia should’ve figured out by now that a ceasefire HAD to be negotiated by Ukraine and the EU since the rebels are kicking the Ukraine army’s collective backside, and like the previous ceasefire, the Ukraine army needs to regroup and rearm before limping out to the battlefield again. One of the biggest ceasefire default risks at the moment is at Debaltseve, where 8,000 Ukraine soldiers are surrounded by rebels—who will allow the army to exit the area with their lives, but only if they drop all weapons (see this). The Ukraine troops have decided to take an armed stand in Debaltseve, so I expect that we’ll see truckloads of fresh dead bodies for the Ukrainian government to once again figure out how to hide in its official body count.

And while there’s still no clear evidence that Russia is providing arms or troops to the rebels, Putin will be blamed if Ukraine loses thousands of troops within the next few days. This assumes the EU doesn’t try to rescue Ukraine with additional talks first…

song currently stuck in my head: “soul brothers” – ray charles & milt jackson

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