The Spectacle Blog

An Update on Ukraine

By on 7.29.14 | 10:57AM

It was Soviet civilization, but it was still civilization. Eastern Ukraine does not even have that anymore as the civil war between the Kiev-based government and pro-Russian separatists has caused the remnants of law and order to crumble. The government has gained a foothold in the separatist-controlled territory, and now has control over the crash site of MH17. Only time will tell if that brings answers.

The United Nations Human Rights Commission released a statement Monday detailing the unrest in separatist-controlled territory. Residents live in fear as warfare swallows order, disorder justice, and injustice liberty. Stories of abduction, torture, and execution continue to come out of the separatists’ regions. There was a semblance of order before the most recent Ukrainian offensive towards the Malaysian Airlines civilian crash site, but declaring it a strategic necessity, and claiming that the separatists were tampering with evidence, the Ukrainian military moved in first, making it too dangerous to investigate.

That is just another example of the continuous finger-pointing and denial characterizing the situation. Separatists, after being driven from the site, have asserted that the Ukrainian government is itself seeking to tamper with the evidence before international investigators arrive, reiterating their, and Russia’s, claim that Kiev downed the plane. Monday also saw Moscow attempt to cast doubt on recent American allegations that the Russian military had already begun interference in the Ukrainian conflict, firing mortars across the border. The Department of Defense says Russian troops continue to amass and mobilize along the border, and equipment seems to be entering Ukraine. This, and Russia’s response to the airline attack, have prompted the EU and America to promise stricter sanctions against Russia.

While blame is passed around and investigation of the crash continues to complicate, Ukraine marches toward bankruptcy. Separatist control has not been kind to the relics of Ukraine’s Soviet past. Despite the pro-Russian sentiment of the fighters, the work of the monolithic factories and giant mines of Ukraine’s communist days continues only fitfully. In a time of peace that would matter little, but the loss of revenue has cut Kiev off at the knees, leaving the government reliant on International Monetary Fund loans and bailouts, and the largesse of patriotic oligarchs. It is neither a stable nor safe place to be.

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