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Ukraine Defense Minister resigns, Ukraine disarms citizens: Kiev has a choice

Written By | Mar 26, 2014

WASHINGTON, March 26, 2014 —  Kiev either does not understand the gravity of the situation they are in or they are unable to cope with or address it.

Yesterday, CNN ran a report detailing the internal turmoil currently surging through the new government in the Ukrainian capital, while also detailing how woefully unprepared they seem to be to resist a Russian offensive in Eastern Ukraine, or anywhere else.

Among the items mentioned in the report is the resignation of Defense Minister Ihor Tenyukh, who cited his handling of the Crimean disaster as the reason for his departure.

READ ALSO: Next steps on Ukraine and Crimea – A European perspective

But the real story is the plea that his successor and other members of the newly established government in Kiev are making to the international community. “What we need is support from the international community. We need technology and military support to overhaul the Ukrainian military and modernize — to be ready not just to fight, but to be ready to win…”

Those are the words of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who now has the honor or preparing his baby deer of a Ukrainian government for war against the Wolf of Asia, Vladimir Putin.

Apologies, Mr. Prime Minister, your army needs more than technology and training to defeat the Russian Federation, you need help.

In fact the Ukrainian government is so desperate for help that they have begun making the necessary changes to the country in order for them to achieve membership in the European Union. One of these changes is forcing the people of Ukraine, who recently helped the Opposition government in Kiev achieve power, to give up their “illegal” weapons.

This is a move that Ukraine may live, or not live, to rue.

READ ALSO: Kiev Moves to disarm Ukrainians with Russia at the door

With Russia knocking at the door and getting ready to blow the house down, the European Union would like to force Ukraine to disarm its citizens in the name of stability and conformity. Sort of a “disarm and become one of us, we will protect you” kind of thing. But the EU has done nothing up to this point to lead one to believe that should Ukraine become a member, and should Russia invade, they would do anything about it.

Europe gets much of its energy from Russia, and biting the hands that heats and fills your gas tank is not exactly good energy policy. If Ukraine enters the EU, and Russia invades Eastern Ukraine, it would not at all be surprising if the EU urged Ukraine to let Russia keep what they capture.

Or, Ukraine can fight.

According to the above mentioned report there are thirty thousand Russian troops in the Eastern Ukraine alone, and if we recall previous reports there are over a hundred thousand more around Ukraine ready to be called to action. They were placed there earlier this month under the guise of “training exercises” and for the most part have not left their “training” grounds.

READ ALSO: Force is the only remaining option in Ukraine

Thirty thousand Russia troops against the Ukrainian military is not as daunting for the Russians as you would think. If the Ukranians hit hard, and hit fast, they could capture the land between Russia and Crimea in order to establish line of site to Russian territory. There are roughly ninety to one hundred and fifty thousand Ukrainian troops in country, the number of which are battle ready is unknown. In addition, Ukraine is an enormous country, and ninety thousand troops spread out across its expanse to cover every major inroad is nearly impossible.

But there are millions of Ukrainians who are of fighting age, and millions of Ukrainians who probably don’t want to see any more of their country fall to Russia.

Arm them. Train them. Show Russia that you have a hold on your people and that your people are willing to fight, and do not want any more Russian flags flying over Ukraine.

READ ALSO: Caustic encounters: Western demands on Putin escalate Crimea crisis

Those are the choices Kiev seems to have.

They can either disarm their people and potentially incite more unrest which would only embolden Russia further. By disarming, they can get into the EU, the organization who promises to protect them militarily in the case of foreign aggression.

But in all likelihood the EU will have disarmed the Ukrainian people only to invite aggression by Russia and further partition of the country while they sit on their thumbs and stay warm with Russian energy.

READ ALSO: Natural gas plays central role in Ukraine crisis

Or, Ukraine can trust their people, they can arm and train hundreds of thousands of men and women who would fight with the Ukrainian military against a Russian invasion. Putin would need a lot more than thirty thousand troops in order to push an armed populace out of the way.

Right now Kiev is a house made of straw, and with a wolf prowling about, it is only a matter of time before it is all blown down. They need to build a stronger foundation on the trust and support of their people, and not treat them like dangerous enemies of the state. By disarming the people Kiev can possibly get help, at some point in the future from a body of nations who was too timid to speak up in the first place. Or they can arm their people, and they can begin building a foundation for a country where the people determine the direction of their nation, and who have the ability and the right to drive that wolf from their door.

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Conor Higgins

Conor Higgins has a BA from Catholic University in DC and an MA form George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, both in history. When he not getting his hands dirty in 2nd Amendment and firearms news he is doing his best to take a crack at some drive-by political analysis. And every now and then he may or may not review a low end bourbon for the tax write off. Sit back, relax, and enjoy Back Porch Politics.