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    February 20, 2015

    Ukrainian-Polish-Lithuanian Brigade to Become Operational in 2015





    2/20/2015


    Translated from Russian by J.Hawk



    Petro Poroshenko signed the law ratifying the agreement with Lithuania and Poland on the creation of a joint military unit.



    “The brigade is being formed in order to participate in international operations on the basis of a UNSC mandate and decisions by the appropriate government agencies of Lithuania, Poland, and Ukraine. The agreement is open to other countries upon their invitation by the three signatories,” the announcement states.



    The president’s press service notes that the structure, manning, weapons, and equipment or other aspects of its activities will be regulated by a separate technical agreement between security institutions of the respective countries.



    The brigade’s HQ will be located in the Polish city of Lublin. The HQ will operate in accordance with Polish law and relevant components of international law.



    Each of the signatories is responsible for the financial support of its units included in the brigade during joint training exercises and operations.



    The agreement was signed by Ukraine, Poland, and Lithuania in Warsaw on September 19, 2014 and was ratified by the Verkhovna Rada on February 4, 2015.



    Defense Minister Poltorak announced earlier that the brigade should become fully operational in the first half of 2015. He estimates that the first group of Ukrainian military personnel will arrive in Lublin in the second quarter of 2015.



    Poltorak also said that the number of Ukrainian soldiers included in the brigade will be determined during the working group meetings, and the troops will be subject to rotation.



    It sounds something like “fascists of all countries unite.” They have united before, and have come to Russia before, but we also know how these marches had ended. If someone has a short memory, too bad for them.



    J.Hawk’s Comment:  This announcement, coming very shortly after Poroshenko's call for peacekeepers, makes one wonder whether this is how he intends to deal with the Donbass problem, namely by handing over the fighting to Poles and Lithuanians. Because once Poles and Lithuanians start dying, the rest of NATO might be drawn into the conflict. This is a rather artful way of overcoming the inevitable French and German objections to a NATO-led peacekeeping force being sent to Ukraine. This is a trilateral agreement that does not involve Germany or France, therefore they have no official say about it. But once this unit is deployed anywhere, it will quickly become a NATO mission simply because these are NATO countries. There can be absolutely no doubt that Poroshenko wants to continue the war until victory or Doomsday.

    However, what is the likelihood if the brigade being deployed? There are many obstacles to the implementation of the plan. The brigade is unworkable, period, and it will not be a militarily effective formation. For starters, Lithuania and Poland are NATO countries whose militaries have been under NATO standards for years. Just to illustrate the level of difficulty here, Polish and Lithuanian soldiers use 5.56mm rifles (Kalashnikov clones, to be sure), while Ukraine uses actual 5.45mm AK-74s. Similar problems exist in all areas of interoperability.



    But the real problem is political in nature. Poland and Ukraine (though probably not Lithuania, but we’ll never know) both pretend to be the regional leaders. Poland will treat its former colonies as if they were younger brothers in need of tutelage by their world-wise (and Iraq/Afghanistan experienced) older brother, while Ukraine will naturally feel that since it bore the entire burden of defending Civilization from Russian aggression, it should be in the driver’s seat. It’s unlikely that the shared Russophobia of the three partners is sufficient to overcome their mutual suspicions and megalomania. The Poles' hatred of Nazis and Banderites might even prove stronger than  Russophobia, for what will happen should one of the units rotating to Lublin be one of the ones which treat Stepan Bandera as their patron saint?
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