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The Ukraine Crisis (Excerpt 2)

Updated on July 20, 2014

Excerpt 2

With the current situation looking bleak, the Ukrainian forces are advancing on the strategic stronghold of the separatist militants. In fact, the Ukraine army has successfully recaptured the city of Sloviansk and are pushing towards Donetsk with high hopes and morale.

As firefights broke out all across the Eastern regional city of Sloviansk, the separatists seemed ill-prepared for what the Ukrainian army possessed. Heavy armor and light personnel carriers brought the fight to the front line and directly in the faces of the Russian rebels.

Havoc marked the roads leading out of the destroyed city towards Donetsk region. Rebel APCs and heavy armor littered the roads towards Donetsk; a retreat broken up by heavy artillery and anti-armor rockets fired by the Ukrainians. Bodies were everywhere, blown to bits by the shrapnel off of the explosives used by the Ukrainian military.

The victory for the Ukraine government amplifies the morale of the soldiers and therefore increases the momentum of the war in their favor. Everything seems to be falling into the right places for the Kiev government, whereas the Russian rebels are fleeing at the site of any Ukrainian military personnel.

It’s important in any journalistic approach however to identify some of the issues that arise from situations like this. After the Ukrainian army pushed through Sloviansk, they were quick to provide humanitarian aid to the cities population and help with infrastructure repairs. It’s intriguing to see an army that shelled the city for months take on the challenge of rebuilding, in many cases, this is left to the civilians.

As mentioned in my previous excerpt, the best place to check for news coverage is VICE news. They provide front line coverage from both ends of the spectrum. Their camera crews are involved in filming from both angles; the separatist and the Ukrainian point of views. With this unique coverage, audiences digest information that is unbiased and unprecedented. It’s hard to imagine that we can place a reporter with a film crew on both ends of the conflict without any kind of confrontation.

As the Ukraine army advances on the city of Donetsk, which happens to be the third largest city in Ukraine, people all over the world are waiting to see what happens. The Donetsk self-acclaimed leader has promised that he will bring the fight to the Ukraine army on the city’s outskirts. However, if this is anything like Sloviansk, which was a strategic stronghold, the fight won’t be much of a challenge for the Ukrainian soldiers.

There’s been a lot of speculation as to whether or not Russia is going to interfere with the current operations being conducted in the East of Ukraine. Luckily for Ukraine, they’re playing smart politics; more than likely coached by European politicians or Western figures on how to handle the situation without triggering a Russian retaliation. The Ukraine government has played these operations off as anti-terror operations, and have consistently used words like terrorists, bandits and rebels among others to describe the Russian ethnic militants.

This allows for many different opportunities to unfold for the Ukrainian government. First of all, they can now compare the separatists in their country to terrorists, which completely changes the scope of the operation. It also provides a safety net against any Russian interference; Ukraine can accuse the Russians as performing the same operations against Islamic Extremists in the North Caucasus region of Russia. In other words, if Russia interferes, it will set the stage for other countries to help Ukraine without facing international pressure since it’s a terrorist situation.

Portraying the separatists are terrorists also helps with public opinion in the country. Instead of portraying the terrorists as freedom fights for the ethnic Russian region in Ukraine, the Kiev government makes them look like the bad guys whenever they can to persuade public opinion and diminish support towards the rebels. As a matter of fact, the Secretary of Defense for the country released a statement pleading to civilians to stop supporting the separatist terrorists as it would make the operation last longer and in turn affect more lives.

The real question remains however, what’s going to happen to Donetsk once the Ukraine armor reaches the city. The city has a million civilians living inside of it and there’s no way that the Kiev government would want to shell the city prior to invading and eliminating separatist militants. The only remaining option for the Kiev government is to launch a full scale invasion into the city and hope that the Donetsk population is willing to work alongside them.

Opinion Poll

Who do you support?

See results

We would like to gather information pertaining to what our readers are thinking about the situation in Ukraine. If you could take the couple of seconds to read the question in the poll and answer appropriately, we would very much appreciate that.

  • Ukrainian Army has regained control over Sloviansk; a military stronghold for the separatist rebels occupying the Eastern part of the country

  • Rebels report a tremendous loss of life in regards to the invasion of Sloviansk and the days leading up to the rebels fleeing

  • The Ukrainian Army looks as though it will continue to push through until they reach Donetsk where they will attempt to control the perimeter

  • Strong intel reports are coming from the Western allies of Ukraine that support claims that Russia is providing financial and military support to the rebels

  • There’s a military presence building up on the border between Eastern Ukraine and Russia that suggests Russian armed forces are on the edge of the Ukrainian border, looking in

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