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Debaltseve falls to Ukraine rebels; troops retreat

15 Comments
By BALINT SZLANKO and JIM HEINTZ

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15 Comments
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Total humiliation and disgrace for the Kiev regime.

Many fear that wait and the expanded powers for the region will allow Russia leverage to keep Ukraine destablized, thereby reducing any likelihood it could seek membership in NATO.

That's been the Kremlin's plan all along, and it's coming into fruition.

The West is obviously in disarray, with the US and EU blaming each other for their failed Ukrainian project. Merkel and Hollande just seem to want to drop sanctions and get back to normal. Putin's been invited to a major EU capital, Budapest to negotiate a new gas deal.

Epic win for the Russians.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Russia has indeed won the third world war. Its sort of funny, on my part. I actually expected NATO to do something.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Sad that they had to give in to this thuggery, but as the ceasefire says, all of this territory is to be returned to Ukraine. Sounds like a win to me if they can boot the Russkies out with minimal federalism.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Russia has indeed won the third world war. Its sort of funny, on my part. [emphasis added]

Indeed! Your hyperbole is quite amusing.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

No matter the circumstances, the retreat appeared to be an acceptance by the Ukrainian leader of a humiliating defeat in exchange for a chance at pushing a shaky truce agreement forward and securing the pullback of heavy weapons.

That's the bottom line. Getting into semantics about whether it was a retreat or a withdrawl misses the point. The rebels were not even going to consider fully implementing the truce until they held this city, and Putin was going to provide them whatever cover -- both politically and militarily -- that they needed. In the scheme of things, if losing one city, in return for a genuine truce, including the Russians getting their heavy weapons out of Eastern Ukraine, it is a good deal.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

The Russians did not win this. The East Ukrainian revolutionaries did. At an unimaginable sacrifice. Kiev helped them win by bombing and starving the East Ukrainian population.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

NATO meddling/instigation fails. BYOFB.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

including the Russians getting their heavy weapons out of Eastern Ukraine

Thanks for the laugh this morning.

At an unimaginable sacrifice. Kiev helped them win by bombing and starving the East Ukrainian population.

It seems Kabukilover that many of the US/NATO deniers here just don't know what Poroshenko has been doing for the last year to the East Ukrainians because it wasn't on FOX, BBC or CNN. And lets not forget about Odessa. The East Ukrainians haven't, and I'm sure that's partly what has been driving them to victory. The mass bombing of civilians is enough to drive anyone mad enough to fight for their freedom. Just like the Vietnamese I imagine.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Seems like a lot of killing over a language law that was never actually a law, in addition to a neo-Nazi group that had 500 fighters and less than 1% of the popular vote.

But hopefully the fighting will stop now. Round 2 will be the political phase and it looks like there are still some things to hammer out. It will be interesting to see the Russians and the rebels interact. Russia hasn't had a lot of success controlling the rebels on the ground so controlling them politically, sometimes at the rebels' own expense, will be a difficult task.

They will also have to form a government and that's not going to be easy. Do they invite men like Pavel Gubarev? He was the Russian-born neo-Nazi rebel leader who was called "the People's Governor of Donetsk." Lots of flags with swastikas and stuff. Fresh after conquering an imaginary neo-Nazi threat, will Russia work with an actual neo-Nazi? Does Russia get full veto power over the government and the candidates? Lots to figure out still.

May I ask some of the Russian supporters here: How is Putin reporting on the fact that Russia will not allow the east areas to join Russia?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If US and Canada do not succeed in their efforts to kill the peace process Ukraine may get back together under new constitution guarantying equal rights to all citizens. In the long run Russia is a looser and the winner at the same time. They will lose the Ukraine as a close ally yet they will win by not being forced in to a war that the west was trying to force them in. At least for a while Russia will not be taken over and partitioned as planed.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

May I ask some of the Russian supporters here: How is Putin reporting on the fact that Russia will not allow the east areas to join Russia?

The West's major downfall has always been greed and impatience. Russians, on the other hand, are a patient people. Ukraine will, in time, itself want to rejoin mother Russia, not a doubt about it. What a neo-Nazi minority thinks or wants is quite irrelevant in the larger scale of things.

Hence, Russians have no rush in annexing Ukraine, it will happen sooner or later and Ukraine will rejoin in full, not just the eastern areas.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Lots of flags with swastikas and stuff.

Among the pro-Kiev group yes. Among the Separatists? Oh really, where?

How is Putin reporting on the fact that Russia will not allow the east areas to join Russia?

By being Pragmatic. The Russians in the East will get Quebec style autonomy along with political and constitutional guarantees.

Putin never advocated the breakup of Ukraine, just political autonomy for the East.

Russians are happy enough with Crimea, and they'll be glad that the war in Ukraine is over and that the separatists are the clear winners.

You won't see any major protests or disagreements between Russia proper and the separatists areas. They are coordinated and disciplined.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

So in the end they escaped with their heavy equipment anyways. What a waste of time. Don't expect the ceasefire to last that long, but expect Ukraine be free to accept NATO arms; there's no more Debaltseve leverage to hold them back. Too bad Merkel's diplomacy is not working. Both sides have no reason to trust each other.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well, Burning Bush, what is really "funny" is how the conflict in East Ukraine was packaged by the MSM. We saw the bombed out buildings and the starving and frightened people but were not told who brought that about, the Poroshonko and company. Nor were we told about the conflicts in Kiev controlled that this Vietnam-like war created. Draft dodging. Anti-conscription protests. Desertions. Dissenters arrested.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

what is really "funny" is how the conflict in East Ukraine was packaged by the MSM.

Totally agree, how come there aren't any articles in the Western press about the Ukrainian economy. How's GDP in Ukraine, how are real wages, how about home heating costs for the average household?

As for the "sophisticated" weapons that the rebels are using I've never once since the Western press explain what type of "advanced" weaponry the rebels were supposedly deploying.

The Western MSM just repeats the same mantra, always vague, fraught with speculation and hearsay and never with any verifiable details.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

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