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Dramatic shifts in the political and military situation in Ukraine

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By Roger Annis, Feb. 18, 2015

I enclose here a compilation of key articles published in the last few days that will help you to understand the rapid shifts taking place in the political situation in Ukraine.

Debacle for Ukraine government and military at Debaltseve

I begin with the dramatic denouement of the military situation in the 'pocket' surrounding the town of Debaltseve, located between the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk and east of the 'demarcation line' that is set by the Minsk-2 ceasefire accord. The government in Ukraine  has failed to defend the forward thrust of its army there and will now lose a great deal of heavy equipment and suffer the political consequences of having thousands of its soldiers surrender to Donbas self-defense forces. The reason why this town became so important is that is it a railway junction that links the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk. You can read today's news summary by New Cold War.org of the situation and the consequences:

* Military and political debacle for Kyiv regime at Debaltseve, eastern Ukraine, by the editors, New Cold War.org, Feb. 18, 2015

The ceasefire agreement

The backdrop to the dramatic events at Debaltseve is the ceasefire agreement reached on February 11 in Minsk, Belarus which went into force on the morning of Feb. 15. Several analyses of this agreement have already been published on New Cold War.org,  but a new one today by Alexander Mercouris in Russia Insider sheds important new light on the subject. It is a must-read. Mercouris' article examines a lengthy article in Der Spiegel about German Chancellor Angera Merkel's role in the Minsk-2 ceasefire negotiation process. Mercouris concludes:

... There remain powerful forces in the U.S. and elsewhere still intent on confrontation and escalation.  However, no one reading the big Western newspapers over the last few weeks can fail to notice the growing sense of weariness and defeat there is about this conflict.

The conflict in Ukraine itself will grind on, probably until the government currently in power in Kiev falls, which will surely happen sooner or later. However, as a crisis in international relations, following the talks in Moscow and Minsk, it appears its peak has passed.

* Merkel in Moscow and Minsk: Der Spiegel says Putin has won, by Alexander Mercouris, in Russia Insider, Feb. 18, 2015

A new national identity is being forged in eastern Ukraine in the face of NATO-Kyiv aggression

Here is a collection of four articles which describe the new class and national identity which is being forged in the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk that have come under heavy Ukrainian government assault. New and similar identities are also developing in their own way in other regions of Ukraine in reaction to the austerity program and militarization of society being conducted by the neo-conservatives and extreme rightists in power in central and western Ukraine. These articles tell us that the people of eastern Ukraine do not like being bombed and shelled by the government in power in Kyiv, and they will not let it happen anymore.

* Crimethinks and doublethinks in the civil war regime of Ukraine, by Yulia Malkin, in New Cold War.org, Feb 11, 2015

* Donetsk Peoples Republic proclaims itself successor of the Donetsk-Krivoy-Rog Republic of 1918, a news compilation on New Cold War.org, Feb. 16, 2015

* School lessons and shelling forge new identity in eastern Ukraine, in Financial Times, Feb. 13, 2015

* The government is losing territory in Eastern Ukrainians’ hearts and minds, in BuzzFeed News, Feb. 13, 2015

Excellent article by Canadian writer in Rabble.ca

* Canadian troops in Ukraine? The Minsk II Agreement says they need to be pulled out right now, by David Climenhaga, Rabble.ca, Feb. 16, 2015

Addressing a similar theme of the foreign intervention in Ukraine is this article:

* Does U.S. military presence in Ukraine violate the Minsk-2 peace deal?, by Daniel McAdams, published by Ron Paul Institute, Feb 15, 2015

A world free of nuclear war? Think again.
Why would the U.S. government be embarked upon a very expensive modernization program of its nuclear weapon arsenal? Doesn't MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) nuclear deterrence protect the world from nuclear war, albeit very, very dangerously? Think again, once you read about the United States' High Speed Strike Weapon missile program.

* The end of nuclear deterrence? The U.S. hypersonic missile program, by Matthew Bodner, The Moscow Times, Feb. 12, 2015

Roger Annis is an editor of The New Cold War: Ukraine and beyond.

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