Up until the last part of his essay, 'Have we lost already?', Vancraen is sadly accurate in his assessment of Putin's plans for Ukraine, and the West's feeble reaction.
The remainder of his essay, however, containing Vancraen's prescriptions for united US-EU-NATO action, are all strong and good but do not have a chance of being implemented, thanks to Western disunity and fecklessness, amounting to capitulation to Putin.
Until now Putin has expertly gamed the West. At each peak of the conflict he has employed peace talks and soothing words as a stalling tactic with the EU; meanwhile, he continued pursuing what he has wanted: a "frozen" No Man's Land in eastern Ukraine (Donbas), a la Transnistria in Moldova and Abkhazia in Georgia; and a literally frozen Ukraine this coming winter, after a cutoff of Russian gas, making Ukraine too weak and depleted to oppose Russia further.
Soon Russia will have its revenge for the breakup and ethnic cleansing of Yugoslavia by doing the same to Ukraine, the largest country in Europe.
To my Ukrainian friends I must say, I'm sorry we let you down. Now you'll have to make the best of it.
Just as you succeeded, miraculously, in a matter of weeks in resuscitating the Ukrainian army from the brink of death, directly with your pocketbooks and blood, so too you must bring the Ukrainian nation back to life.
In the space that remains to you, liberate yourselves from corrupt thieves and oligarchs! In what remains of Ukraine, make it a real nation of free, united citizens that is hell-bent on joining the EU and exhibiting the European values of democracy, free expression and free assembly, equality before the law, government accountability, tolerance, entrepreneurship and social solidarity.
If the words of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. are true -- "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice" -- then perhaps one day Ukraine will become a shining example to Donbas and Russia itself of what great feats free people can accomplish, and make Ukraine the envy of Europe. Слава Україні -- Героям слава!
By Luc Vancraen
September 7, 2014 | Kyiv Post