FIRST? GREAT? SMALL?

President Poroshenko’s first name is Petro (Peter). Before him there were two Leonids (Kravchuk and Kuchma) and two Viktors (Yushchenko and Yanukovych). For this reason the present-day President is sometimes facetiously called Peter the First, which is the Slavic name of the czar known in the West as Peter the Great. However, I have strong doubts that  the Ukrainian Peter will do as much for Ukraine as his 18th– century  Russian counterpart and namesake did for Russia.

So far Mr. Poroshenko’s promises thundered out in his inauguration speech remain the ‘pie-crust made to be broken.” Absolutely no steps to stem the spread of the Russian aggression have been taken. A Ukrainian correspondent spoke to rank-and-file soldiers in the war-zone and what the soldiers said might be interesting for the President – if he would like to know what is the mood of the army.

Yes, Mr. Poroshenko addressed the Ukrainians right after the military aircraft with 49 people on board had been shot down. But the army expected more, namely – the imposition of the martial law in the East of Ukraine, which would make it easier for them to fight the enemy.  Instead the President had uttered some incomprehensible phrases about the army’s counterattack.  That counter-attack sounded as ridiculous in the ears of the military as the President’s earlier promise to gain victory over the rebels by the end of the week (just the time when the aircraft was shot down).  The soldiers complained about stupid orders when the command may be first given to capture the enemy’s position and then the troops are ordered to retreat and the position which had earlier been freed, is again taken over by the enemy.

One other important moment: for more than 20 the Ukrainian army had continuously been weakened and made ineffective by the pro-Russian rulers of Ukraine. When things started getting hot this year, ordinary people began collecting money to rebuild the army, and many young people who had served in the army (often as conscripts) volunteered to form resistance groups and fight the terrorists in the East.  However, if volunteers are involved in a battle with the enemy, they sometimes do it in isolation, and the regular army troops may not be ordered to assist them, even when the volunteers are surrounded and suffer losses. It looks like treachery, doesn’t it?

Other questions asked by the soldiers were: why does the President want to introduce the ceasefire? Any lull in military activities only helps the terrorists to rearrange their troops and prepare for further actions. Why these negotiations with the Russians, if the Russians are waging the war against us? Why does the Ukrainian government keep meeting its obligations under military contracts and delivering military equipment (made at Ukrainian plants) to Russia?

Why? Why? Why…

There may be one answer: it’s because our powers-that-be (whatever their first names) are either traitors, or amateurs, or wrong people in their places, or they do not care, or they are just …too small for big things.

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