Ukraine’s small Sovietized underfunded and poorly trained army

Linda Kinstler writes: Russian President Vladimir Putin is celebrating Victory Day in Simferopol today, admiring the Crimean peninsula that he so winningly stole from Ukraine this spring. Not too far away, in the city of Mariupol, Ukrainian police began the holiday with a deadly gun battle with separatists. Over 100 people have died in Ukraine since May 2, and despite reports that Ukraine’s “anti-terrorist operation” was successfully driving out separatists in the east, it does not look like the fighting will stop anytime soon. Victory Day celebrations in Ukraine must carry an ironic tone today, as the conflict has revealed the extent to which its armed forces were systemically mismanaged since the country declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, leaving Ukraine almost entirely helpless to stave off the Russian invasion. Here are a few reasons why: [Continue reading…]

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