Ukraine, so much cynicism! ” “Time is running out

The best solution to avoid a conflict is a direct agreement between the parties

Ukraine is slowly albeit relentlessly descending into civil war. Virtual clashes between Russian and Ukrainian troops in Crimea have escalated in shootings and fallen in the East of the Country. Pro-Russian separatists raise the bar to push Kiev’s government to flex muscles, and the latter seems to have decided not to back away. This policy has already caused dozens of casualties and unless it takes a sudden U-turn, it will lead the Country on the brink of devastating chaos, as analysts have been predicting over the past weeks. At present, Eastern separatists lack military resources and organization means to engage in a civil war, nor can they rely on the populations’ determined, unwavering support. Moreover, as seen in Syria’s civil War, and in many similar armed conflicts, arms could easily arrive from abroad, especially in case of powerful, neighboring allies. As regards the support of the population involved, it can only be gained with time, provided there is evidence that a sufficient number of civilians were killed by the opponent. In situations such as this cynicism pays off, which can be said of the Ukrainian conflict. The best solution to solve political crises which have not yet reached the stage of full militarization is always a direct agreement between the parties who best know the details of the situation, its historical background, interests and mutual balance of forces. However, in Ukraine there is no more time for this kind of approach, and a serious international diplomatic intervention is ever more urgent. The problem is that all international interventions carry the interests of external powers, often poorly disguised. It became evident in the course of the past weeks with Russia’s approach, with seesawing declarations: at times voicing the need to leave Ukrainians free to decide their own future and others demanding UN intervention; declarations whereby Moscow proposes to be the guarantor of the separatists are followed by statements claiming that it has no control over them. Those who are familiar with the Russians’ military and political mode of action know that this is not the result of confusion, but rather of a well-designed strategy. There has been recent talk of a peacekeeping intervention under the auspices of the United Nations. It would be an engaging, delicate move, especially in political terms, but OECD doesn’t appear to be capable of handling the situation, although a meeting is scheduled in the next few days between the president-in-office of the Organization and Putin in Moscow. A massive deployment of peacekeepers could help tone down the situation, but it should take place before the conflict breaks out with all its might. In addition, it is necessary to resolve two fundamental issues: first of all, the presence of a Russian contingent and its role; second, the fate of eastern Ukraine. It is one thing to deploy troops to secure a peace process and the rewriting of the Constitution in a single country, another thing is to deploy troops to pacify the international border between two different countries, even though in the making. The time for reasoning is running out. Moscow remains an indispensable interlocutor in the crisis resolution. The question is: is there someone seriously determined to solve this crisis?

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