Ukraine’s military today claimed three soldiers were killed and seven wounded in fighting with eastern rebels, though they offered no details on where the fighting took place. These were the first casualties since Tuesday, and don’t seem a serious threat to the overall ceasefire.
Still, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was extremely pessimistic in a TV address on the situation, insisting that under “even the most optimistic scenario” of the ceasefire, Russia would still be a “military threat.”
To the extent that Russia is much larger, and has a much larger military, that’s the case, though of course the Minsk ceasefire agreement was never meant to make Russia disappear.
Poroshenko’s main problem is treating Russia as an military adversary, one they cannot possibly match. Ukraine’s entire military arsenal is just equipment Russia didn’t want when the Soviet Union split up.
While confronting Russia militarily is a pipe dream, keeping them as a “threat” could be of some value to Ukraine’s government as something to distract attention from their collapsing economy.