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You're reading: Oksana Bashuk Hepburn: The shame of losing Crimea

It had started nobly for
Ukraine.  Despite the immediate defection
to Russia’s side of the newly appointed commander of Ukraine’s navy, Denis Berezovsky
was, at first, alone. When he appeared
in the Ukrainian headquarters–already blockaded by Russian forces– to
convince some 200 officers to join him, they broke into Ukraine’s
national anthem and sent him packing.

Where was the command from
the top brass in Kyiv to arrest the traitor? 
And what was the government’s strategy in Crimea?  If to hold: why were the weapons locked up?  If to capitulate, than why no evacuation plan
to save human resources and materiel? 
Why no explanation to the troops or to the public?

For months Russia’s
military—despite their camouflage and lies– had been amassing in Crimea.  Yet, when there still was parity in numbers
–some twenty five hundred on either side—there was no command given to block
roads or set up border checks to keep more from coming.  They were invading “to protect
Russian-speakers”.  Where was Kyiv’s
command to protect Crimeans; all citizens of Ukraine?

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