While insisting they remain committed to “diplomacy” in their ongoing dispute over possession of the Crimean Republic, Ukraine’s interim government today announced a full military mobilization, preparing for war.
Many in the newly installed Ukraine government see war with Russia as inevitable, and the military is digging defensive trenches along their eastern border with Russia, while officials pledge harsh crackdowns against ethnic Russians in Donetsk, who supported the ousted elected government and have protested the new one.
Interim Defense Minister Ihor Tenyukh insisted that Crimea “will be our territory,” and that the troops still deployed in Crimea will not withdraw. Russian and Ukrainian officials announced a “truce” over those bases until Friday, hoping cooler heads would prevail.
Yet protest leader Vitali “Dr. Ironfist” Klitschko insisted that Friday won’t change anything, and the troops will remain beyond the date to control the bases.
Interim Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko insisted that between now and Friday the Army needs to be “ready for combat” and that the interim government’s goal is “to restore the military might of Ukraine.”
Despite the bellicose talk, Sen. John Barrasso (R – WY) says interim PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk told him a quite different story of a military where “nothing flies, nothing shoots and nothing works,” and urged major US military aid for his country. Though President Obama has pledged support for Ukraine’s new government regaining control of Ukraine, so far they have stopped short of pledging military backing for a war against Russia.