Ukraine: Strategic Assessment

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The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) has been around for 55 years, looking at armed forces around the world. The IISS will also run an analysis of actual and possible events, from a strategic perspective.

Here is their summary of the last known disposition of Ukrainian armed forces. With a summary of their effectiveness here.

The Russian Black Fleet assets are listed here.¬†With a discussion on Russia’s strategic need, or not, of their base in Crimea.

The BBC has a summary of recent events, which if you scroll to the bottom, may well show what Russia is after. Gas wells are centred around Crimea, and the Eastern part of Ukraine. Gas has been Russia’s main leverage over Ukraine, and Europe. Most Ukrainian bases are in the West and South. Consequently, the Crimea approach should work in Russia’s favour to capture the East, which also has a heavy ethnic Russian population. ¬†This approach would also shorten Russia’s border with Ukraine. All nice strategically for Russia, but a bit of a historical repeat of Ukraine being imposed upon by a neighbour.

Not a cheery assessment on the 200th anniversary of Shevchenko’s birth. The poet & artist, not the footballer.