As Kyiv continues its crackdown, pro-Russian forces still seem to hold the initiative:
In the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk, makeshift barricades, concertina wire and masked men in camouflage greeted visitors to the regional administration building Wednesday.
Seized by armed men Tuesday, the building in Ukraine’s restive Donetsk region is just the latest to fall under the control of pro-Russian militants.
Government sites across more than a dozen towns and cities in Donetsk remain occupied, despite an international deal agreed to earlier this month that called for illegal armed groups to disarm and go home.
And the militias, resolutely defiant, show no signs of changing their stance.
There’s another problem faced by the government forces which just occurs to me. It takes a very low level of violence for masked men to take over a building, especially if those men might have received some small amount of training (cough, cough) in Russia. It takes a much greater level of violence to root them out, which is most helpful to Russia’s fully-modern domestic propaganda effort.
This is 21st Century thuggery at its cunning “best,” and it’s going to take more than stern lectures to counter it.