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The deal announced Thursday to end the fighting in Ukraine will face the same obstacle the previous such agreement has faced – how to ensure that Russia will abide by it.Frustrated by Russia's continued support for Ukrainian separatists, Western statesmen have begun discussing military assistance for the Ukrainian government. By contrast, Russia seems to be relishing its contra war in eastern Ukraine, which at very low cost can keep Ukraine unstable and on the defensive almost indefinitely.On the other hand, Russia could easily handle continuing its military skirmishes in eastern Ukraine. While its economic cards are weak, its military ones remain strong, especially compared with those of Ukraine. Russia has 771,000 active duty forces and 2 million soldiers in reserve, plus 8,000 nuclear weapons, of course.If that's the case, then military aid for Ukraine wouldn't work either.Military aid to Ukraine would stoke the fires of Russian nationalism, let Putin wrap himself in military colors and defend his "fellow Russians" in an arena in which he will be able to ensure that Moscow prevails.
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