Kiev has lost eastern Ukraine to Russia, says a leading analyst.
The turning point came on August 27, as the first direct invasion of Ukraine by Russian regulars broke the Ukrainian army’s siege of pro-Russian rebel strongholds in Donetsk and Luhansk, Elizabeth Pond writes for the German Council on Foreign Relations:
The truce of September 5 echoed Thucydides’ maxim that “the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.”….
In the short run Ukraine’s position is weak, while Russia’s is strong. In the long run the reverse may be true. The problem for the West in the interim is that hard military power wins instant victories, while soft economic power, if it works, will do so only in the long run.
In this interim period Ukraine is again playing its historical role as a borderland playground for mightier neighbors.
ELIZABETH POND, a Berlin-based journalist, is the author of “The Rebirth of Europe.“ She has covered Ukraine for over 30 years.