While the US and much of the West continue to encourage, even urge Kiev to continue its suicidal and potentially genocidal ‘anti-terrorist operation’ (ATO) against the Donbass’s separatists, the Ukrainian state continues to melt down and drive wedge between it and what remains of its population. One of the basic functions of viable state is its ability to possess a monopoly over the means of coercion. This requires maintaining a standing army to defend its sovereignty over the state’s territory and establishing police forces to enforce the law. Moreover, having ‘lost’ its Crimeans and Donbassians, the Maidan regime now led by Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko is alienating much of rump Ukraine’s remaining population by pressing forward with the civil war it initiated in April under the ATO label. To be sure, he appears to be a moderate nationalist, but his under immense pressure from the national chauvinistic National Front and Fatherland parties and the neo-fascistic Radical Party, Right Sector and Social-National Assembly. Members of these radicals party man the various volunteer battalions and are now breaking with the state and going rogue. In short, the Ukrainian state could be coming undone.
In a December public opinion survey conducted by Kiev’s ‘Social Monitoring’ group, an overwhelming majority of respondents (73 percent) wanted an end to the ATO. Only 19 percent supported its continuation, and 8 percent were undecided. This reflects a major shift from the beginning of the ATO when 50.4 percent fully or mostly supported it (http://vesti-ukr.com/donbass/83196-bolee-70-ukraincev-hotjat-okonchanija-ato).
Despite growing opposition to the war, Kiev nevertheless did little to cease it. It insisted that the Minsk Memorandum placed Donetsk’s Segei Prokofev Airport – the only locus of low-scale fighting that remained after the ceasefire initiated in autumn – on its side of the ceasefire demarcation line and left hundreds of troops in parts of the airport sparking occasional fighting. However, after full-scale fighting erupted last week in large part because of this step, the protocol or addendum (prilozhenie) to the memorandum signed by Kiev that defined the demarcation was published for the first time clearly revealing that the airport was delegated to separatists of the Donbass (which includes the Donetsk People’s Republic or DNR and the Lugansk People’s Republic or LNR) controlled territory (http://vesti-ukr.com/donbass/86106-memoran and http://vesti-ukr.com/storage/asset/file/untitled.pdf).