By Eric Zuesse
Ukraine’s central government, located in Kiev, has given up manning the country’s border with Russia at areas in the southeast where popular opposition to the Kiev authorities has overwhelmed the Kiev government’s ability to police the border there.
The central government’s border guards at the town of Severniy abandoned their post, on Thursday June 5th, so that now anyone can cross unimpeded there to and from Ukraine and Russia. This will enable Ukrainians who want to flee to do so, and it will also permit Russians who want to join the rebellion in Ukraine’s southeast (or simply to protect family-members who live there) to do so, with no difficulty on either side, and with no fear at the border-crossing.
This abandonment was reported by Agence France Presse. Russia’s Itar-Tass News Agency reported in more detail, saying that the decision was made by Ukraine’s central government and had broader scope than just Severny: “‘To prevent the emergence of threats to the population’s life or health as a result of dangerous events taking place in certain areas, the cabinet [in Kiev, in the northwest] agreed with the State Border Service’s proposal to stop the operation of checkpoints,’ the government press service said in a press release on Thursday.”
Itar-Tass went on, to mention that Severny was one of a total of six abandoned border-crossings: “In Ukraine’s Lugansk region, the operation of the following checkpoints has been stopped: Dolzhansky, Chervonopartizansk, Krasnaya Mogila, Novoborovtsy and Severny. In the Donetsk region, the Marinovka checkpoint will be closed. The Ukrainian government has instructed the Foreign Ministry to inform Russia about the decision.”
The significance of this event is that it cedes control of the border there to Russia.
The Kiev government has been using helicopter and jet sorties into the region, and bombs, to persuade the residents that they will have to give up their opposition, in order to stay alive; but a lot more airpower will have to be devoted to that task than the Kiev government currently has at its command. On 14 April 2014, Reuters reported “U.S. Is Considering Arms to Ukraine.” However, for the U.S. to send weapons in any public way would be detrimental to America’s ability to persuade its European allies that the government that was installed in Ukraine in late February has democratic legitimacy, especially after the May 2nd massacre that took place in Odessa.
The IMF (International Monetary Fund) has told the authorities in Kiev that putting down the rebellion will be a prerequisite to continuation of financial support for the deeply indebted government.
So, the current leader in Kiev, President Petro Poroshenko, has his work cut out for him — by the IMF, if not by the U.S. or anyone else.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.