New Russia! Magazine column, “Ukraine Slipping into Paramilitary Arms Race.” Here’s the opening paragraph:
Max Weber defined a state by its power to uphold its “claim on the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force.” The fledgling Ukrainian state’s ability to maintain its monopoly on violence is quickly disintegrating as militant separatists, volunteer militias, oligarch backed paramilitary groups, and criminal gangs fight to control the streets of its southern and eastern cities. Ukraine is on the verge of becoming a failed state. The expansion of these forces, on both sides of the conflict, is a disturbing trend. They undermine any political solution to the crisis and gives prominence to armed radicals ready to solve disputes through the barrel of a gun. But peel back the veneer and the emerging Ukrainian civil war looks more like a gang war between competing oligarchs.