By Olga Oliker and Keith Crane, Special to CNN
Editor’s note: Olga Oliker is associate director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center and a senior international policy analyst at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation. Keith Crane is director of the RAND Environment, Energy, and Economic Development Program as well as a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. The views expressed are their own.
Ukraine is burning. Ongoing fighting between government forces and insurgents in eastern Ukraine have left more than 2,000 Ukrainian civilians dead and some 300,000 displaced, according to AP. Meanwhile, in large swathes of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, those who remain lack food, running water, and electricity. If the West is serious about preventing things deteriorating further it needs to find a new approach – and one that makes Russia part of the solution.
The Ukrainian government argues that it is doing its utmost to avoid civilian casualties in eastern Ukraine, but it is believed to have been using Grad rockets, an inaccurate weapon that makes this particularly difficult. The separatists have for their part also used heavy weapons indiscriminately, killing Ukrainian civilians and likely accidentally shooting down Malaysian Airlines Flight 17.
In an effort to convince Russia to stop supplying the separatists with weapons and other kinds of support that have kept the conflict going, the European Union, the United States and their allies have imposed economic and travel sanctions on Russian citizens and companies in an effort to change President Vladimir Putin’s policies. Two weeks ago, Russia responded by banning food imports from most of the countries sanctioning it. Yet despite a running joke among some critics that Russia has become the latest country to sanction Russia, most Russians have maintained their long-running support of Putin.
Of course, the Russian government claims that it, too, wants peace in Ukraine. But neither Ukraine nor most European states believe it, a point underscored by the voicing of suspicion that Russia’s humanitarian aid convoy, dispatched last week, was in fact cover for a military incursion.
Why is Russia continuing to destabilize Ukraine even at the cost of what had been solid political and economic relationships with European Union countries? From Moscow’s point of view, Ukraine is only one part of a larger battle, one in which it is finally standing up to decades of U.S. hegemony and bullying. Never mind that it was Ukraine’s withdrawal from the EU Association Agreement that led to the Maidan protests and, ultimately, the end of the Yanukovych regime – the vast majority of the Russian public believes the United States was behind it all, and that the United States is simply trying to weaken Russia. Russia, for its part, says it has vital interests in the countries that have emerged from the former Soviet Union, and suggests that the United States and EU should stop meddling in Russia’s regional sphere of influence and accept that Russia will always have a pre-eminent role in Ukraine.
Unfortunately, however ridiculous Russia’s reasoning may seem in the West, and however bellicose its approach, Ukraine will not enjoy peace without Russian acquiescence. The reality is that the Ukrainian-Russian border is too long and too porous to prevent people, arms, and funds from flowing across it. Without cooperation from Russia, Ukraine is in for a long period of violence.
Ending insurgencies actively supported by a neighboring power can be nigh impossible. Moreover, Ukraine needs normal economic relations with Russia if it is to emerge from its current recession – Russia is Ukraine’s largest source of imported energy, electricity, oil and natural gas, and its second most important export market after the EU. Even if Western sanctions help forestall a direct military invasion by Russia into Ukraine, they are unlikely to induce Russia to take positive steps to resolve the conflict. Sanctions are a long game, and tend, at least initially, to result in publics rallying around the flag.
So what could work?
Russia has talked a good game on Ukraine, with calls for ceasefires and the afore-mentioned humanitarian aid mission. With that in mind, then, one way out of this mess could be to internationalize some of Russia’s proposals, and do so quickly.
For example, Russia has floated the idea of sending “peacekeepers” to eastern Ukraine. Why not create an international peacekeeping force under the auspices of the U.N. or the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe? Such a force could include a support role for Russia, but most of it would need to be composed of troops from other European countries, possibly from Sweden, Finland and Switzerland, none of whom are members of NATO.
The Ukrainian government asked for a U.N. peacekeeping mission back in May. At the time, Russia opposed such a move. But in light of Russia’s current threatening posture, Moscow may find it difficult to both block an international mission and also advocate that it should carry out one on its own.
True, putting a force like this together would be a significant challenge – other countries have struggled even to coordinate a sanctions-based response. But an international initiative that does not appear to emanate from NATO or the European Union could help bring Russia to the table, in part by accepting that Moscow, too, has a role. Importantly, an international peacekeeping force could open the way for a negotiated end to the conflict.
The alternative to being proactive in getting Moscow involved could be continuing hostility, something that would very likely doom Ukraine to a cycle of violence – even if the country finds military success.
Here is a very good pov on this issue, and other related ancillary issues.
Clashes with Russia point to globalization’s end
"What happened in the Security Council, reminded me of" The Kingdom of Crooked Mirrors ", as some members of the Council were not interested in that eastern Ukraine killed civilians, not interested in the fact that there a humanitarian catastrophe, and worried by the fact that Russia has been providing humanitarian assistance to those people who are under fire, "- said Vitaly Churkin
This appears to be a good article. The question is really-what do the population of Ukraine want in terms of alliance ie,Russia or EU? When that is clear the UN should use neutral peacekeepers and-if Russia is resistant to that The General Assembly look at expulsion of Russia from the organization. A big step -but doable.
I’m not sure what naïve world you live in but kicking Russia out of the UN is impossible not “A big step -but doable” as you say. Russia has veto rights at the UN and on top of that please explain to me how you are going to get more than half of the 190 countries that make up the UN to vote to remove them?
Ukraine is a divided country the North and West want to move closer to the EU and the East and South identify more with Russia. This article is one of the better ones I’ve read on this subject. Forcing peacekeepers on the Russians could lead to WWIII, the author is saying that any solution to the problem must include the Russians. And that seems to me to be the best answer to this problem that isn’t going to lead to WWIII.
Look carefully at all that is happening to Ukraine: Territory was seized from her and annexed by a larger neighboring country, with a cheap lie of a false vote to justify it to fools. Then rebellions were started in the east, instigated by the larger neighbor who falsely denied their involvement. Then, when the sovereign government went to war to crush the rebellion in its sovereign territory, the larger neighbor supplied arms and men to the rebels and periodically made acts of war by shooting down military aircraft violating that sovereign nation's space and rights, in a blatant attempt to get the little nation to fight back at the larger neighbor and justify invasion and a land grab.
Who is that larger neighboring nation and what will happen to it due to its crimes in the sight of God? That nation is Russia, and woe to her, for God will do to her exactly what she has done to Ukraine. Half of Ukraine is embroiled in civil war. Therefore, half of Russia will likewise be embroiled in civil war. The seizure of Crimea was in violation of covenants signed by Boris Yeltsin, first and last truly democratically elected President of Russia. Therefore, I tell you, the promises and agreements that were made to Russia will likewise be broken and Russia will be betrayed by her neighbors and by the world. And large areas of territory and possessions that Russia now possesses will be taken away, with the same lack of justification and betrayal as Russia's seizure of Crimea.
In addition, the USSR broke up with unprecedented peace. People wondered and marveled all over the world at this bloodless revolution. How was this all achieved? How was civil war avoided? It must have been a miracle. Blessed was that generation, for the people were penitent and did right in the eyes of the Lord, and so the civil wars were delayed for the sake of the righteous ones. That generation is in the past, and now evil rulers have taken over, so the civil wars that would have taken place back then shall take place now.
And woe to those who delight in wars. They thought it would be just a little war, that only the people of a foreign nation would die. I tell you, such people who delighted in wars will receive what they asked for. They will get their wars, plenty of war, and they will never again be without wars. And the wars will consume them until they die in their own blood at the hand of a neighbor seeking a revenge killing. Such is the fate of all those who love war and the killing of innocents.
Very good comment. The saying is: He who lives by the sword, eventually dies by the sword. Let's not just look at bully #2: Russia, and all her incredible machinations, shady logic, theft of Crimea and now theft of half of Ukraine. Let's also look at bully #1: USA. America has been up to no good for quite awhile now. Ever since they benefited tremendously from WWII which caused their US Military Industrial Complex to grow disproportionately into the gargantuan colossus that it has now become, bully #1 has been "Living by the sword". Korea, Vietnam, coups in over 50 countries, CIA covert operations, selling of arms to over 100 nations, bombing the crap out of Afghanistan and Iraq, the latter on false pretexts and trumped up charges. Yes, indeed, we Americans need to admit to the fact that we have been terrorizing the planet for way too long now. And, one day, it will come back to haunt us.......... which is exactly what happened to the Roman Empire in 476 AD.......... one day, it came back to haunt them..............
Amazing comments about Russia being bully #2 and America being bully #1 on our planet right now! I have 2 sons, in the US public school system, right now, one is in high school and one is in middle school. The new school year started this week. Principals at BOTH my kids' schools, during the first general assembly, stood upon the podium, in front of a microphone, and said: "There is a ZERO TOLERANCE policy, regarding bullying, within this school district". If a kid is caught bullying another kid, the first incident is dealt with by bringing the kid to the Principal's office, giving him or her a severe verbal warning, and calling the parents and informing them about the situation. For the 2nd incident, standard protocol is to suspend the "offending" student for 1-2 weeks, from attending school, depending on how serious the offense was. For the 3rd bullying incident, standard protocol is to expel the offending student from that public school permanently, and to advise the parents to continue that kid's education outside of the public school system! Soooooooooooooooooooooo..................... how come America is getting away with being the biggest BULLY, by far, on this planet right now?????????? We bomb the crap out of any nation we feel like, we decide who the bad guys are and who the good guys are, not even caring to understand that we may be totally wrong, we allow our US military industrial complex to completely control Washington DC, through the nightmare of lobbyists and Super-Pacs, we continue to terrorize Muslims, throughout the planet, with impunity, because we are scared of that which we do not understand, we allow our fear and our ignorance to dictate our foreign policy, and most sadly, we BULLY other nations and groups of people, without even a thought that we are doing something awful................... not only does America deserve to be sent home for a decade, but we surely deserve to be EXPELLED from the world community............. just like we treat those BULLY kids in our public school system.............. yes???????????????
that land was stolen by Hrushev from russia
Let's be real....take the pro out & tell it the way it really is...Russian from Russian military are fighting this war & Putin is in total control on the ground, while Obama, Merkel, Hollande, Cameron are "sleep-walking" in a daze. What a bunch of useless, gutless leaders who just can't seem to face the facts on the ground. Send in NATO & stop all international flights in & out of Russia &Crimea...regardless of todays economic costs...they will be a hellèva lot higher if these clowns do not accept reality. There is no deal with Putin...what is so difficult to understandÉ
Spot on @ Eric Dunstan and @ LJ...you both have left very little unsaid! Thank you!
An offer Russia can't refuse? I wonder what an offer it should be that the authors of this great idea agreed to sell their parents or their children or their brothers and sisters?
Wise words – except there are a few problems with it:
1) Russian propaganda against the Ukrainian government is so blatant that Putin has painted himself into such a corner that he can't really let Ukraine win even though they are. The more territory the terrorists lose the worse the propaganda against Ukraine is. Right now they are using children from Ukraine against Ukraine in a supposed video that they created.
2) Russians and Ukrainians are two different people but the Russians refuse to accept this. The people are different – Russians are more FInnish-Urdic while Ukrainians are more pure Slavic. Additionally, Russia stole Ukraine's history and have been teaching those lies since Peter the Great. Moscow did not exist at the time of Ukraine's birth nor was it ever a part of Ukraine other than when Prince Volodymyr Monomakh sent his son to Moscow in the hopes of making it part of Ukraine but that did not last. When the Mongol hordes invaded Moscovy allowed the hordes to settle with them while Ukrainians saved Europe from being overrun. Ukraine fought the Moscuvites for centuries and have lost to them many times starting in the 1300's. Why should Ukraine settle for anything less than Russia's full retreat???
Russian propaganda, Helen? What about the right-wing news media and propaganda they use against the Russians? By posting the above, you just bore out what Josef Goebbels, the German Press Secretary said back in the 1930's. "if you tell a lie often enough, people will start to believe it" and you evidently fell for the U.S. government line! Need I say more?
I definitely need to try that pot you smoke! By the way, the surname Turyk means Turkish.
Todays Quirky News: In Russia~McDonalds closed 4 of its restaurants in Moscow citing "sanitary reasons" ...of course Putin may have his own "sanity reasons"!
The saying is: He who lives by the sword, eventually dies by the sword. Let's not just look at bully #2: Russia, and all her incredible machinations, shady logic, theft of Crimea and now theft of half of Ukraine. Let's also look at bully #1: USA. America has been up to no good for quite awhile now. Ever since they benefited tremendously from WWII which caused their US Military Industrial Complex to grow disproportionately into the gargantuan colossus that it has now become, bully #1 has been "Living by the sword". Korea, Vietnam, coups in over 50 countries, CIA covert operations, selling of arms to over 100 nations, bombing the crap out of Afghanistan and Iraq, the latter on false pretexts and trumped up charges. Yes, indeed, we Americans need to admit to the fact that we have been terrorizing the planet for way too long now. And, one day, it will come back to haunt us.......... which is exactly what happened to the Roman Empire in 476 AD.......... one day, it came back to haunt them.....
Quite true indeed! I could not have said it better!!!
Amazing comments about Russia being bully #2 and America being bully #1 on our planet right now! I have 2 sons, in the US public school system, right now, one is in high school and one is in middle school. The new school year started this week. Principals at BOTH my kids' schools, during the first general assembly, stood upon the podium, in front of a microphone, and said: "There is a ZERO TOLERANCE policy, regarding bullying, within this school district". If a kid is caught bullying another kid, the first incident is dealt with by bringing the kid to the Principal's office, giving him or her a severe verbal warning, and calling the parents and informing them about the situation. For the 2nd incident, standard protocol is to suspend the "offending" student for 1-2 weeks, from attending school, depending on how serious the offense was. For the 3rd bullying incident, standard protocol is to expel the offending student from that public school permanently, and to advise the parents to continue that kid's education outside of the public school system! Soooooooooooooooooooooo..................... how come America is getting away with being the biggest BULLY, by far, on this planet right now?????????? We bomb the crap out of any nation we feel like, we decide who the bad guys are and who the good guys are, not even caring to understand that we may be totally wrong, we allow our US military industrial complex to completely control Washington DC, through the nightmare of lobbyists and Super-Pacs, we continue to terrorize Muslims, throughout the planet, with impunity, because we are scared of that which we do not understand, we allow our fear and our ignorance to dictate our foreign policy, and most sadly, we BULLY other nations and groups of people, without even a thought that we are doing something awful................... not only does America deserve to be sent home for a decade, but we surely deserve to be EXPELLED from the world community............. just like we treat those BULLY kids in our public school system.............. yes????
Thank you. But i thought we teach out kids not to be bullies. It beautifully said. Now I expect that a bunch of brainless idiots here will do all they can to denigrate what you just said! Keep up the good work!
@7:53. No! You are so full of it. We do not bomb nations. We bomb Al Queda, ISIS, and others. You obviously are a terrorist sympathizer or extremely ignor ant.
Go away. Do not come back. Moron!
It is a shame that animals like the ones that posted @ 7:53, 2:25, and 3:00, have their ignorant way of thinking posted on the internet for everyone to read. What trash and even worse, what trashy people. Disgusting!
These three indivduals induce such a strong feeling of wanting to vomit. Truly offensive.
banasy, you ignorant American, I don't blame you, most Americans are brainwashed into believing that their country is "oh so perfect", never does any bad stuff, and is innocent of the accusation of being called the world's #1 bully. But you see, my dear ignoramus, the facts are the facts, and they don't lie. America has been bullying every nation that it can bully, for quite awhile now. Great examples are: the Vietnam War. America dropped over 2 million bombs on Vietnam, and murdered over 1.7 million Vietnamese people, supposedly to keep Chinese communism out of South Vietnam. We all know now, that that excuse was just the "patsy"....... the real reason for all that murder,was the US military industrial complex was billing the US government ridiculous amounts of money, from 1964 – 1975, so that certain VP's and CEO's, within the US military industrial complex, could get very very very rich.............. that is what has made all the people on planet earth want to PUKE.......... war has become this horrible mechanism whereby a very few people within the US are getting ridiculously wealthy.............. and this brings into question the whole reason and motivation for America to get involved in any war.......... is the reason real or is it money motivated????????????? There are many many more examples, but let's just take you through it one step at a time, you being the moron............... after you have finished vomiting all over yourself, please think about this, long and hard, because the truth will.......... you guessed it.............. make you vomit all over yourself yet again................
Nicely said. Ignoramuses like banasy truly make me sick!
To the left-wing extremist pig feces @ 1:55 a.m :
Your theory does not hold water. We needed to bomb Vietnam in an attempt to win the war. Be glad we didn't do to them what we did to you know who to end WW II.
As they say, anyone can post anything on the internet, no matter how untrue. Obviously this holds true for you.
And the real bullies are the terrrorists, you moron.
Come on banasy or whoever you are, you're not funny anymore so you can quit trying to be that way!
Bombing does not achieve anything. Let me continue with the example of Vietnam, in an attempt to educate the moron banasy. So, after dropping over 2 million bombs on Vietnam, and murdering over 1.7 million Vietnamese people, and spraying their poor little "rice farmer" towns with napalm, and spraying "agent orange" on their forests, we actually LOST that awful war, and 58,000 American soldiers got killed in the bargain!!!! All for what?????? The North Vietnamese took over the South anyway, and turned it into a communist nation. And then, BY THEMSELVES, 40 years later, when they were good and ready, they observed their Chinese neighbor quietly turning Capitalist under a veneer of Communism, and have cleverly done the same. Do you know that Intel has just built a 2 billion dollar facility outside Saigon, and has closed their huge "D2" facility, in Santa Clara, California????? So who really is winning modern day economic wars???? Certainly not America. You know why???? Because we are stuck in the archaic thought that you bomb the crap out of a nation or people, to force them to submit to your dominance. Soooooooooooooo, my dear moron, bombing the crap out of Iraq, wasting US $ 3 trillion, was a very bad idea huh???? You see, nobody can FORCE democracy down anybody else's throat. They will become democratic only when they are good and ready. Bombing and warring is only benefiting ONE group within the US, and that is a few 100 CEO's and VP's within the US military industrial complex. btw, I am not left wing or right wing. I prefer BOTH wings, attached to my brain. It allows my brain to soar, way above yours............ :)
Great comment about America wasting its valuable resources on bombing campaigns that lead to nowhere other than huge debt for American taxpayers and huge misery and death for the nations that are getting bombed. Meanwhile, that clever Asian juggernaut, known as China, has been investing 100's of billions of dollars in each and every single nation within the African Continent. Their initial "venture" into Africa was purely to exploit the natural resources there, approx 20 years ago. But over the last 10 years, the Chinese have figured out that actually investing in building infrastructure in Africa is a win-win situation for themselves and the African nations. So while the Europeans and Americans pretty much "ditched" Africa, the Chinese have taken it under their wing, so to speak........ and all this without having to drop one single bomb to dominate anything............ how's that for a different strategy, ignorant Americans?????????? So, yeah, war mongering Americans, keep bombing hapless ignorant uneducated muslims, that can only throw stones back at you and drive your "surplus" military hardware thru the Iraqi desert, while chanting rubbish........... while China slowly and surely grows stronger, in every way imaginable.............. brilliant move guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
There are an estimated 800 Chinese corporations doing business in Africa, most of which are private companies investing in the infrastructure, energy and banking sectors. Unconditional and low-rate credit lines have taken the place of the more restricted and conditional Western loans. Since 2000, more than $10bn in debt owed by African nations to the PRC has been canceled. One-third of China's oil supplies comes from the African continent, mainly from Angola. Investments of Chinese companies in the energy sector have reached high levels in recent years. In some cases, like in Nigeria and Angola, oil and gas exploration and production deals reached more than $2 billion. Many of those investments are mixed packages of aid and loan in exchange for infrastructure building and trade deals. In agriculture, Benin and the Sahel countries of Burkina Faso and Mali supply up to 20% of China's cotton needs. While Côte d'Ivoire supplies China with cocoa, large[quantify] shipments of coffee are imported from Kenya. As for fish products, Namibia remains one of the main[quantify] providers. During the year 2011, trade between Africa and China increased a staggering 33% from the previous year to US $166 billion. This included Chinese imports from Africa equaling US $93 billion, consisting largely of mineral ores, petroleum, and agricultural products and Chinese exports to Africa totaling $93 billion, consisting largely of manufactured goods. Outlining the rapidly expanding trade between the African continent and China, trade between these two areas of the world increased further by over 22% year-over-year to US $80.5 billion during the first five months of the year 2012. Imports from Africa were up 25.5% to $49.6 billion during these first five months of 2012 and exports of Chinese-made products, such as machinery, electrical and consumer goods and clothing/footwear increased 17.5% to reach $30.9 billion.
Perfect example of why America is going down. Too many jobs gone to other countries. Sorry, wasn't banasy's idea to begin a war in the sand. That was the other moron, G.W. Bush.
Seriously? You KNOW that isn't really banasy posting!!! Why must you be such a TOAD? And in case you're wondering....thats a BIG drop from being the j a c k a s s you used to be!
I did not author any of the posts on this page bearing my name.
Passive-aggressiveness is part of his profound illness. Easier to get his views out under a stolen name than to actually admit he has them.
It is a coward's way of trolling.
Joey might be ok with you stealing his name...but the rest of us are NOT!
Lol that way he doesnt appear as insane as he really is @ banasy. Because argueing with ones self in different voices, or in this case, different identi ties, is a sure sign of insanity! In other words its ok when you talk to yourself....its when you start answering yourself, that people need to worry!
He does answer himself.
He should worry.
He isn't normal.
he modern peoples of Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia all claim Kievan Rus' as their cultural inheritance. At its greatest extent in the mid-11th century, it stretched from the Baltic Sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south and from the headwaters of the Vistula in the west to the Taman Peninsula in the east, uniting the majority of East Slavic tribes
What is the USA doing fermenting a family squable
This was Kievan Rus – a powerful East Slavic state dominated by the city of Kiev. Moscow replaced Kiev as the new centre of spiritual and political power, becoming the Grand Duchy of Moscow. In 1547 Ivan IV (the Terrible), who was also Grand Duke of Moscow, crowned himself the first Tsar.
Its a family mater. USA please leave before
This was Kievan Rus – a powerful East Slavic state dominated by the city of Kiev. Moscow replaced Kiev as the new centre of spiritual and political power, becoming the Grand Duchy of Moscow. In 1547 Ivan IV (the Terrible), who was also Grand Duke of Moscow, crowned himself the first Tsar.
Its a family matter. USA please leave before
Thank you, cuniverse. You know eastern European history. Most people posting here are totally clueless on the subject. That's the reason why we're getting all these ignorant anti-Russian comments.
You know the history of Eastern Europe, cuniverse. Most people posting here do not!
Go ogle "The US Failed In Hiding What the World Now Knows About Flight MH17"
Ukraine has pipelines controlled by US Carlyle Group of war profiteers. Same as Afghanistan. Get a clue. CNN and FAUX news both keep this secret from you.
Quite true Philip, quite true. This is why we keep sticking our noses into places where we have no legitimate business!
It is amazing how many opinions there are about one same thing. Everyone is so tangled around their own propaganda, clearly refusing to look at the situation from an independent angle. I guess "my truth" is based on what I have seen happening for the past 20 or so years throughout the world. What Russia is doing in Ukraine is exactly the same thing USA would have done with Canada or Mexico if they were allying with Russia.
For the past 20 years NATO led by US policies have been expending way beyond what all NATO allays need for their own security. It looks like US is using NATO to put their hand on the whole world. General policy is to create a conflict and then blame it on whoever is next on the list to be invaded. It also feels like next on NATO's list is Russia
I would like to give three advises to US government and all my fellow citizens in general:
1. Look realistically what 2 world wars had done to Russia – .....nothing, just made it bigger and tougher.
2. It is OK to be afraid of Russia – They do what they say they would....
3. US citizens may want to ask their government if our land is covered by an "Iron Dome", because if my memory serves me right, a few years back Putin promised Bush that WWIII would not be fought on Russian and European soil only......
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