This One Paragraph Explains the (Partially Self-Inflicted) Tragedy of Ukraine

A Ukrainian soldier retreats. (AP)

The situation in Ukraine right now is pretty grim. The European-brokered “ceasefire” is joke, even if the Obama administration continues to hold out hope. Russian separatists launched an offensive against the town of Debaltseve, forcing Ukrainian troops to retreat. The State Department, for its part, boldly affirmed the Ukrainian government’s “sovereign right” to surrender their territory to foreign aggressors. How comforting.

Obviously, Putin deserves most of the blame for the carnage in eastern Ukraine. If he wanted to the fighting to stop, it would. But the Ukrainian people are also suffering from the corruption and incompetence of their own government and military. This one passage from a riveting Washington Post report on the Ukrainian battalion charged with defending Debaltseve captures the depravity of the situation:

Fighting Rages in East Ukraine Despite Bid to Revive Truce

Ukrainian servicemen ride on a military vehicle near Artemivsk February 19, 2015

ARTEMIVSK/VUHLEHIRSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – Fighting raged in eastern Ukraine on Thursday despite European efforts to resurrect a stillborn ceasefire, a day after pro-Russian separatists spurned the truce by forcing thousands of government troops out of a strategic town.

Obama Administration Affirms Ukraine’s ‘Right’ to Surrender Territory to Putin

Bros gonna bro. (AP)

Despite a European-brokered “ceasefire,” the war in eastern Ukraine rages on. Russian separatists continue their assault on the city of Debaltseve, forcing the Ukrainian army to withdraw its troops. And yet, the U.S. State Department continues to hold out hope that the ceasefire will work. “We don’t consider it dead,” said spokeswoman Jen Psaki. “We still need time for the agreement to work through.”

But that’s not even the most outrageous aspect of the Obama administration’s position on Ukraine. This is:

Ukrainian Forces Quit Besieged Town After Rebel Assault

Ukrainian servicemen ride on a tank as they leave an area around Debaltseve, eastern Ukraine near Artemivsk, February 18, 2015

ARTEMIVSK/BULAVYNE, Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukraine pulled thousands of troops out of an encircled town on Wednesday after a massive assault by pro-Russian rebels, who ignored a new ceasefire to seize the strategic railway junction.