Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Cease fires and Russian election cycle

There has been much internet discussion about the timing of cease-fires in Syria especially with the last one turning out to be almost a nonstarter.

Also in the Ukraine Russian backed rebels last week declared a unilateral ceasefire out of nowhere. The spokesman was in a civilian suit where usually he is in combat fatigues. This seems odd given the substantial build up of Russian donated armor over the summer to the rebels.

My speculation is that Putin wanted a ceasefire in Syria that he could blame the Americans on when it failed and he wanted a ceasefire in Ukraine the week leading up to the Duma elections. 

Putin's party won decisively and the day after the elections the Russians declared the Syrian ceasefire dead.

If things heat up in Ukraine, I would suspect that it will be timed in November or late October leading up to the US elections and before the weather turns unfavorable. November has historically been an active combat period in the Ukrainian conflict.  Also one may see Putin stirring up Ukraine in advance of the US election in order to embarrass Hillary.

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