I have created this thread for the purposes of discussing the evolving situation in Ukraine, although a Crimean crisis thread does exist, in my opinion, the Crimean crisis is over and finished. Let me start by putting down some thoughts of what I think the latest rebel counter - offensives mean. The rebels have clearly been building up numbers and organisational capacity for many months now, it is clear that their decision to go on the offensive on the 24th of August was motivated primarily by one factor, the exhaustion of the operational reserves of the Ukrainian army. The 28th brigade, the last reserve of the Ukrainians was thrown into the foray during 20th - 24th of August, with this commitment, the rebels correctly perceived that in the event of a counter stroke, the Ukrainians would have no forces to reply with. How this offensive will evolve remains to be seen but there is growing evidence that the balance has tipped and the strategic initiative is passing to the rebels.