World View: Russia Forced to Change Tactics after Ukraine's Election
This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- Ukraine's new president promises peace in a united Ukraine
- Russia forced to change tactics after Ukraine's election
- Jihadist violence across Iraq continues to grow
Ukraine's new president promises peace in a united Ukraine
Petro Poroshenko lights a candle in St. Sophia Cathedral after his inauguration in Kiev on Saturday (AP)
Petro Poroshenko, who was elected president of Ukraine on May 25,
promised to reunite Ukraine in peace in his inauguration speech on
Saturday. He said, "I am calling on everyone who has taken arms in
their hands — please lay down your arms," and he promised amnesty "for
those who do not have blood on their hands." He insisted that the
Crimean peninsula "was, is and will be Ukrainian," although he did not
indicate how Ukraine can regain control of Crimea.
Poroshenko has spoken recently with Russia's president Vladimir Putin,
and apparently they've known each other for a long time, as
Poroshenko's candy empire does a lot of business in Russia.
Poroshenko promised in his speech that he would open a corridor of
"safe passage" to Russia, something that Russia had demanded in the
U.N. Security Council, and Putin appeared to respond by ordering
tightened security along the border to prevent illegal crossings.
Pro-Russian rebel leaders in the east dismissed Poroshenko’s speech.
A rebel leader, Denis Pushilin, said, "At the moment it’s impossible
for him to come (to Donetsk for talks). Perhaps with security, a
group, so people won’t tear him to pieces." AP and Bloomberg
Russia forced to change tactics after Ukraine's election
Polls have indicated for some time that even the Russians living in
eastern Ukraine do not eastern Ukraine to be part of Russia. After
the revolution that ousted pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovich,
replacing him with an interim government Kiev, most of these same
Russians don't like or trust the Kiev government either.
But according to James Sherr, Ukraine specialist from London think
tank Chatham House, the election of Petro Poroshenko is changing some
minds, and improving the prospects for Ukraine. At the same time,
Vladimir Putin and the Russians are forced to change tactics. This is
my transcription of his interview on BBC:
"[Saturday's inauguration speech] was crucial. I
think with this speech Ukraine is now clearly back in the center
of its drama, and Poroshenko has projected an image of someone who
can take Ukraine into the future. This was a very purposeful,
positive and realistic speech, and it's done something very
important in Ukraine where, for months, there has been an interim
government, a lot of indirection and uncertainty, and in the west
the preoccupation for months has been almost exclusively on
Russia, and if Ukraine has any image at all, it's been largely
negative. So coming on top of these very impressive elections
with this very high turnout on the 25th of May, I think this is
now presenting a very different image, and it helps to establish a
different dynamics. ...
He's reaching out to his own country's well-being, and it's
important to bear in mind when you talk about separatism in the
east, we're talking about activity in two eastern regions, out of
six. And if you look at the eastern and southern parts of
Ukraine, which are predominantly Russian speaking -- that's nine
regions. And in only two, and at that only parts of two, are the
separatists pretty firmly in control. So that context has to be
borne in mind.
The Russians' tactics are rapidly adjusting. When the Russians
started this whole enterprise in eastern Ukraine, they expected
that the citizen population living there would rise up in their
support. And that has not happened. We had hundreds of thousands
of people on the street in Kiev [referring to the original
protests in December], you have not have that in Dnetsk and
Luhansk -- the fighters have been supported by at most crowds of
hundreds, and at most a few thousands.
So they started changing tactics then. And I think the election
itself has been a further blow to them. Their preoccupation still
is to get Western acquiescence in an overall deal that will
federalize Ukraine in such a way that the regions it partially
controls will not only have autonomy, but have veto power over the
central government itself. That's what they mean by
federalization. It has no resemblance to what the term means in
any other country in the world. I think that's understood inside
the EU. It's certainly understood by president
Jihadist violence across Iraq continues to grow
Iraqi officials have been caught by surprise at the size of three days
of attacks across the country by the jihadist group Islamic Emirate in
Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Gunmen attacked city buildings and
neighborhood in Samarra on Thursday, and gunmen and suicide bombers
attacked the northern city of Mosul on Friday. On Saturday, jihadists
attack Anbar University in the Iraq city of Ramadi, killing the guards
and blowing up a bridge leading to the school. Iraqi special forces
launched a counterattack to retake the campus, where most
of the students are Shias.
ISIS continues to grow and size and strength, having killed more than
4,400 people this year alone. It began in Syria when the Shia/Alawite
president Bashar al-Assad started slaughtering thousands of innocent
Sunni women and children, and driving millions from their homes. It
has become the rock star jihadist organization these days, where tens
of thousands of young people from all of the world have come to join.
It's growing in both Syria and Iraq, and is threatening the Shia-led
government in Iraq.
ISIS continues to grow for several reasons:
Terrorism violence has grown almost every month since the total
withdrawal of American forces in December, 2011. ISIS continues to
grow and become a major threat to the Mideast and to the world.
The National (UAE) and Ammon News (Jordan)
- Bashar al-Assad is carrying out a policy of "industrial
strength" torture and extermination on his opponents, mostly
- Russia and Iran are providing unlimited supplies of weapons
to al-Assad to carry out is torture and extermination of
- The Obama administration flip-flopped on its "red line" threat
that there would be consequences if al-Assad used chemical weapons.
Al-Assad used sarin gas on civilians last year, and continues to use
chlorine and ammonia in barrel bombs filled with explosives, screws,
nails and other shrapnel. Al-Assad uses chemical weapons with
- The Shia government of Iraq, with the support of the Shia
government of Iran, has inflicted enormous discrimination on the Sunni
minority in Iraq, infuriating Sunni jihadists.
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