Good background on where things really lie in the Ukraine and the dangers to be faced in the future, not withstanding the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner yesterday.
Though this latest phase in the Ukraine crisis might seem like a repeat of recent events, this round is more dangerous for a number of reasons. Here are five of them
17 July 2014
This past week the mainstream coverage of the Ukrainian civil war has focused on Kiev's move to encircle Donetsk. However there are reports coming out of the east right now that indicate that the Ukrainian troops may have just walked into a trap. Specifically the separatists claim to have encircled western troops and have completely stalled their advance.
Note that this report is coming from those who openly support the separatists, and the claim that Kiev's forces have been encircled has yet to be confirmed by any major outlets, however Reuters does confirm that the Ukrainian troops have suffered heavy casualties in the past 24 hours, and there are separate reports that the separatists have managed to gain control of a new town on the Russian border within that same time period.
The big picture here is that Kiev's forces may have overextended their forces and supply lines after being lulled into a false sense of momentum by the withdrawal of separatist forces from Slavyansk. There are some who are even speculating that the retreat was a trap. It's too early to know for sure if this assessment is accurate, but it is plausible. This is a common pattern in armed confrontation (The writings of Erwin Rommel regarding modern military tactics are very educational in this regard).