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You're reading: Brian Bonner: Ukraine on verge of losing 20 percent of its nation

Now the Russian-backed insurgents and separatists remain on the offensive and on the verge of
taking over Donetsk Oblast, with not insignificant support of the local population. Probably the majority still oppose this takeover, but it’s hard to argue with masked green men pointing automatic rifles at you.

Our journalists on the ground said that it’s going
to be extremely difficult for Ukraine’s military to retake cities such as Sloviansk, a district outpost of 120,000 people, where
Russian soldiers have given citizens hundreds of Kalashnikovs to
defend themselves — or shoot anybody coming from Kyiv.

The same sort of arming of civilians appears to be going on
in many locations of the oblast, which is home to 4.5 million people, 10 percent
of Ukraine’s population of 45 million people.

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