Delhi College of Engineering
"Mike Russians are not doing it [i.e., taking Ukrainian towns]:
What Kiev fears most is that the "rebels" will take Mariupol, then proceed west along Highway E-58 taking Kherson (on the Dnieper River) to Melitopol. then onto Mikolaev (Nickolaev) - creating a massive "land bridge" between Ukraine and Crimea, then straight into Odessa. This is the ONLY reason Kiev has agreed to a "cease fire" and negotiations!
Odessa is the main port in Ukraine and without it, the Kiev government is dead. The rebel forces could simply head 60 Km to the northwest to link up with the extremely well-equipped and VERY pro-Russian Transdnestr army and the 2,000 Russian regular army troops their. (Transdnestr has TWICE voted overwhelmingly in referenda to declare its independence from Moldava and to join the Russian Federation.)
What many foreigners do NOT know is that southern Ukraine is VERY anti-Kiev, especially in Odessa. )Forget the "Odessa Massacre" in which 40-plus Odessans were burned alive in a fire set by Right-Sector fanatics. These Right-Sector folks were bussed in from Kiev and do NOT represent the people of Odessa.
Odessa, much like eastern Ukraine, especially hates to be "dictated to" by the oligarchs in Kiev - when the main source of income for Ukraine are the mines and industries in eastern Ukraine and the port of Odessa, also a literally a "tourist paradise" which draws HUGE numbers of Russian and Western tourists eager to throw away their money- which Kiev sucks away.
Thus, the rebel armies would be wlecomed as they moved along the southern coast to Odessa, with many people volunteering to fight the pro-Kiev forces. Such a military maneuver would split Ukraine in half, cutting off the Kiev government from the sea - and from its most profitable cities.
That is why Kiev MUST stop the rebel movement at Mariupol and is the SOLE REASON Kiev is now willing to enage in a "cease fire" and negotiations at this time.
I would add that I do NOT think that the people of Odessa would vote to join the Russian Federation, but would much prefer total INDEPENDENCE from the corrupt Kiev government, perhaps forming a FEDERATION with other oblasts in southern and eastern Ukraine, along with the Transdnestr Republic."