Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Russian Aid to Ukraine: Trojan Horse or Goodwill Offering?

Russia dispatched a massive convoy of trucks towards Ukraine recently.  According to Moscow, these trucks are jam-packed with humanitarian aid and supplies.  Western countries have warned against using such tactics as a cover for invasion, and Ukraine is concerned about letting these trucks cross the border.

There is a lot of distrust brewing on both sides and the concern over this action, particularly with Russian military forces on the border, is understandable.  What if Russia is sending aid, just as they said?

Will this spark another incident?  Are Russian motives clean?

A little while ago, I wrote a piece discussing how the U.S. had proof of cross-border artillery strikes by Russian forces.  If that information was 100% verifiable and accurate, why has the situation continued to deteriorate with little international effort focused on peace?  The world certainly seems to be up in arms about Israel and Gaza, so why not Ukraine and Russia?

Let's assume Russia has designs on Ukraine.

Aggressive acts such as the shelling, supplying rebels, and taking no action to disarm or oust the rebels has placed Russia in the cross-hairs of Western countries.  Continued sanctions seem to have little effect on the situation and Russia has even reciprocated sanctions against some countries, also with little effect.

If Russia desired to conquer and occupy Ukraine, there's little that can be done short of military intervention to drive them out.  I think we all know how that will end up.

Perhaps there's some nationalist need for Russia.

Does Russia feel compelled to occupy old territories, reclaim former glory, and show the world that Russian principles and strength is not to be underestimated.  All reasonable goals for a nation-state in the modern day, if you really think about it.  Isn't it all Darwinian action on the ideological stage?

When the aid convoy reaches Ukraine, maybe we'll figure out what's going on.  Ukraine has discussed stopping the convoy at the border and unloading the supplies onto Red Cross vehicles, detaching any military escort or other sneaky subversion.  It's entirely possible all the humanitarian workers on the convoy are Russian military personnel, and the Trojan Horse fear is realistic.

It's also possible Russia is genuinely concerned for the welfare of ethnic Russians in Eastern Ukraine.

This seems unlikely, as previous intervention could have stopped a lot of pain and suffering experienced by the very people Russia is trying to help.  Why wait so long?

What happens if the Ukrainian government retakes the rebel strongholds before the aid arrives?  How does the world know that Ukraine will make sure the aid gets to the needy?  Let's not dismiss the possibility of the Ukraine government being as corrupt, power-hungry, and systemically broken as any other government.  Is the world going to monitor and make sure Ukraine doesn't punish separatist supporters and civilians after they retake the areas?  Will they deny aid to certain people?

The West has agents at work in that part of the world, right?

Despite intelligence analysts, spying, satellites, and all that nonsense, we still no little about why these people are fighting.  Media reports don't help us to understand the beliefs and feelings at work, driving these people into situations of suffering and death.  

Yet we continue to assert and demand, sanction and sabotage, despite our ignorance.  All we can do is watch what happens because it is not our world, and we need to learn that lesson soon.

1 comment:

  1. According to a recent article (http://www.vox.com/2014/8/15/6006281/russia-ukraine-war-what-we-know), Russia and Ukraine are doing some serious nasty shit over there. Did Ukraine blow up Russian military equipment? Is the 'aid convoy' going to foreshadow an outright invasion? WTF?