Ukrainian militias

Many Ukrainians feel defenceless and calls for a mobilization have more or less directly led to the creation of de facto militias more or less parallel to the regular armed forces. 

I cannot tell the exact nature of what is growing there - that's the disadvantage of writing about recent events. 
I do want to remark that such militias have historically rarely proved to be effective against invaders. There's especially no example in history of an ad hoc militia forcing its ways over a defended land bridge as the one(s) connecting the Crimea with the continent. The battles on the land bridges of Tenochtitlan came most close to such an example, but the attackers failed.

Such militias can easily grow into domestic political factors, though. The German Freikorps, French revolution Garde nationale, Afghan Mujaheddin and plenty other examples show this.

So the actions of the government in Kiew regarding control, regulation, absorption or disbanding of whatever kind of militias sprung up will be potentially coining strategic decisions. I suppose these decisions will be more influential than their rhetoric reactions to what Russia does on the Crimea.
In an outlier scenario, the mobilisation and aroused nationalism could put the Ukraine into a position of regional numerical superiority vs. Russia and thus provoke a fundamental change of Russian military posture in Europe. This in turn could necessitate an arms race-like reaction by Poland and Germany - if we're not too busy and distracted with domestic and intra-EU issues.



  1. The militias likely serve their own agendas of securing undemocratic control of the state.

  2. My understanding of the raising of the new militia force is that the new Kiev regime does not sufficiently trust the command structure its regular armed forces in the event of war with Russia.

  3. Militias are not automatically ineffective against regular forces, provided they can avoid a conventional fight.

    A future article should examine the counterpoint: the effectiveness of militias as irregular forces.

    Historical examples include: French and Indian war, American Revolution, Tet Offensive (military failure, but politically a gold mine), Hezbollah, partisans on the Eastern front of WWII.