Ukraine: Government Reportedly Wins Battle for Sloviansk

The war in eastern Ukraine continues, but it appears that the pro-western government forces today won a significant battle in Sloviansk.


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The war in eastern Ukraine continues, but it appears that the pro-western government forces today won a significant battle in Sloviansk, which has been a major stronghold for the Russian and pro-Russian separatist forces.

Reuters reported the latest on the situation several hours ago:

A Reuters reporter saw a convoy of about 20 military transport vehicles and buses filled with armed rebels driving out of Kramatorsk where they had gone after apparently fleeing Slaviansk 20 km (12 miles) to the north.

About 100-150 Ukrainian troops patrolled the center of Slaviansk and some soldiers were bringing out weapons and ammunition from one of the administration buildings the rebels had been using as a headquarters.

The military reportedly carried out a bombing campaign throughout much of the night.

"Due to the overwhelming numerical superiority of the enemy our men were forced to abandon their positions," acknowledged Alexander Borodai, the self-proclaimed prime minister of the self-described People's Republic of Donetsk. Among the fighters for the "people's republic" are, apparently, Chechen mercenaries among other hired guns.

BBC's David Stern provides some analysis of the situation:

Of the government's victories so far, the retaking of Sloviansk and raising of the Ukrainian flag over city hall is by far the most significant. The city was not just a command center for the insurgency—it was a symbol of the militants' continuing ability to thwart Kiev's attempts to reassert control in the east.

Now, it appears that the insurgents may also be evacuating Kramatorsk, another key city. But the question is whether this is a turning point in the war, or merely a shifting of the battlefield.

The president, who on Tuesday declared the end of a failed ceasefire, has ordered the nation's flag to be flown over the city of over 100,000 residents, which had been under rebel control since mid-April. 

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  1. I’m starting to think Putin may have miscalculated. I think he might have pissed off enough Ukrainians that they might actually defend their freedom, even if that means supporting their corrupt government.

    1. Yeah, makes the bear look like winnie the pooh which I don’t think was the message he was going for

    2. Anyone who thinks Putin (and his Russian army) would lose if he was actually supporting the separatists is either insane or stupid.

      The new Ukrainian government has gotten more support from the US then the separatists have gotten from Putin.

      1. The new Ukrainian government has gotten more support from the US then the separatists have gotten from Putin.

        Citation needed.

    3. Or maybe he didn’t miscalculate. Maybe everyone has been overestimating the extent of his support for the separatists. I mean, I hear all the time about how the separatists are all just a bunch of thinly-veiled proxies for the Russians. But, I haven’t seen a lot of evidence to support this. It’s almost as if we’re just taking the Ukrainian government’s word for it, as if they might not have a little bit of an interest in how we perceive it.

      1. Yeah, those Chechen mercenaries just teleported into Ukraine.

        1. And why would Chechens, who are Muslim, be fighting FOR Russian interests in Ukraine while fighting against the Russians in Chechenia?

  2. I’m proclaiming myself prime minister of what I’m describing as the People’s Republic of Hit & Run.

    1. You gonna import some mercenaries from to force the issue?

    2. I demand alt-text for every picture and banishment of all squirrels FOE.

      1. Alt-text could be used to issue covert instructions to enemy operatives.

    3. Instead of ass sex, pot,and Mexicans could we have blowjobs, fine bourbon, and Brazilian chicks?

      1. Slammer is new PM. Sorry FOE.

        1. Do we get to vote on this, or will Fist and Slammer just have to settle it with a cage match?

          1. Haven’t you ever heard of one man, one vote? Well I’m the one man.

          2. Two votes enter. One vote leaves.

      2. Wait, what’s wrong with Mexican women? Have you never seen Sabado Gigante?

        1. Don Francisco can be Secretary of State.

      3. Slammer,

        What does your post have to do with an article on the situation in the Ukraine?

      4. *makes weighing gesture* pot or bourbon… Pot or bourbon…

        Is there a reason that we can’t have both?

        1. Bear in mind I don’t care what you people do. I’ve already proclaimed myself prime minister. Accept it or don’t. Do whatever the hell you want. High, drunk, both or neither. What other minister, prime or otherwise, offers you such apathy?

          1. whatever

      5. TIWTANLBC

    4. I, for one, welcome our Etiquette overlord.

  3. A wide variety of legal thought leaders evaluate the Supreme Court…..7huIvmwJSU

  4. Congratulations, Ukraine. All it took was air and mortar strikes on civilians to win back a shithole.

    1. Whatever means necessary.

  5. Valiant effort, Ticos.

    You’ve represented CONCACAF mightily. It was a pleasure having you in this tournament.

    1. Agreed. Not that the Netherlands look any more convincing than the other three teams left.

    2. Yeah, I thought CONCACAF made a good showing for itself, 3 teams getting into the round of 16, and the Ticos going to the quarters.

      Klinsmann was kind of ragging on MLS, although he has a point about it mot being quite good enough to give US players experience against elite competition.

      My thought is that they’re not too far off. The best MLS teams strike me as having the quality of about mid-pack in the elite Euro leagues. That is, the best MLS teams would be about equivalent to #11 in the Premiere League.

      What are your thoughts on that?

      1. My thoughts are….

        What difference…at this point…does it make ?

        1. True. It’s not going to change the US’ 2014 result.

      2. That is, the best MLS teams would be about equivalent to #11 in the Premiere League.

        What are your thoughts on that?

        ManU sure has fallen a long way is the first thing that comes to mind.

        1. I checked the standings at the end of last season, and damn, they have fallen. Although I was still thinking the top MLS teams are below them in quality.

      3. Mid-to-bottom table Premiership.

        Of course the Premiership, despite having a pretty permanent underclass, is still more competitive #5-#20 than most top leagues in Europe. So what does that mean? Most MLS teams are probably upper Championship quality, but would be pretty solidly mid-table in a bunch of other leagues.

        But that’s only really one-off quality comparisons. MLS’ structure makes it impossible to really reckon their teams with others because of the limited roster sizes, payrolls, and somewhat less-demanding season schedule (fixture congestion isn’t as big a problem in MLS, but travel is WAY worse). Also, top MLS teams are only a bad run of form from being in the bottom. Parity keeps there from being a “best” that one can identify with any consistency.

        1. Most MLS teams are probably upper Championship quality…

          Yeah, I didn’t phrase it well, but that’s pretty much what I was thinking. I also didn’t know that MLS was following along other US sports leagues with the stupid parity bullshit.

          Admittedly, seeing the same teams in the top 4 or 5 can get old, but there’s always a chance some tycoon will buy and then fund a team – like what happened to City a few years ago. I still think that’s better than essentially punishing teams with a stronger fan base.

          1. Careful: the “stupid parity bullshit” is probably one of the bigger reasons MLS is still around and now growing tremendously. Yeah, the way they go about it is irritating, but it’s been essential. And as the league has gone along and reaped huge expansion fees, it’s loosened some of its financial rules.

            There’s STILL a ton of parity-centric stuff there, and it’s still, to some extent necessary. Until there are 20+ owners willing to spend huge amounts uniformly, we will have what we have. There simply isn’t enough consistent depth in the available player pool to have huge rosters full of highly-paid guys sitting the bench like there are for even some of the shitty Prem teams.

            The academy system might be rectifying that, but it will take time.

            Incidentally, the 2nd New York team (which will actually play in the city) is basically an extension of Sheikh Mansour’s Man City venture, combined with some Yankees/MSG money.

  6. but it appears that the pro-western government forces today won a significant battle in Sloviansk

    What exactly are do these “pro-western” forces represent? Are they big fans of Sergio Leone movies?

    Drop the cheap labels, there are Ukrainian nationalists fighting against Russian nationalists. Nothing “pro-western” about the new Ukrainian government other than it’s willingness to take western money which disappears into the same bottomless pockets of corruption as the old government and the one before that.

    1. What exactly are do these “pro-western” forces represent?

      Hope for rule of law and a greater degree of freedom in Ukraine your fatalist false equivalence notwithstanding.

      1. And the evidence that they support this agenda is what exactly?

        1. The honest election they held and the manifestos of the revolutionary groups. Those groups have also maintained a Maidan presence to keep pressuring the government.

  7. After reading this article I’m left with the following impression: why do I give a shit about what happens in Ukraine?

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