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February 12, 2015

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Here's one possibility as to what the Europeans were thinking: head off a bruising Battle of Debaltseve. Even if the peace breaks down, that's more time to get civilians out of the way. Plus, there's a small chance that Kiev will concede on point (11), thus giving the Russians a victory but stopping the killing ... and in a way you can sell as something other than a Russian victory.

Sound plausible?

Doubt it. Debaltseve will either be taken prior to the ceasefire or it will become the next Donetsk Airport and be the undoing of the ceasefire.

Debaltseve is too important for the Donny Rebs: its a major rail and road hub between the DNR and LNR. By not having it, Donny Reb has to pay a nontrivial cost logistics of moving equipment between.

Likewise the Ukrainians are not giving up the ship without a fight, so to speak. Just like the Donetsk airport, it will be a battle which will drag on, potentially out of proportion for the worth of the real estate; otoh, this real estate is worth a pretty penny.


I scratched my head some last night and it occurred to me the Europeans might NOT expect the ceasefire to work. This is a PR ploy. They'll show they bent over backwards, largely gave Putin what he wants and then he & his proxies still didn't play nice. It'd clear the way for at least allowed the US to arm the Ukrainians and possibly even join in.

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