The media hasn't been giving it much emphasis, but some of the reports that have been coming out of Ukraine Monday April 14 are a little unsettling. Today was supposed to see the beginning of a major Ukrainian operation to clear seized government buildings in eastern Ukrainian cities. Apparently it never happened. Instead, Reuters reports that Kiev's State Security Chief was sacked instead. (The Ukrainian Interior Ministry operates its own military organization, similar to America's National Guard, including anti-riot and internal security functions. Reportedly the Ukrainian Interior Ministry has about 30,000 troops.) The Irish Times (1 am Tue Apr 15 Irish time) writes "The performance of Interior Ministry forces in eastern Ukraine has shown they have little sense of loyalty to Kiev or appetite to fight the pro-Russian gunmen." Acting Ukrainian President Turchenov was quoted as saying that members of the security services "are unable to defend citizens and sabotage the performance of official functions". The LA Times is reporting (Apr 14) that the Ukrainian Interior Ministry has announced that it plans to "replace" 12,000 officers in the east, blaming "disloyal police" for failure of the "anti-terrorist operation". (That's 40% of the total force, probably most of those stationed in the east.) Acting President Turchenov has reportedly called for 12,000 "patriots" in the east to sign up in new units, apparently to replace the Interior Ministry troops. Obama was apparently briefed on all this Monday and he reportedly had a conversation with Putin that both sides describe as "frank and direct". (Diplo-speak for them being locked in a cage while trying to tear off each other's testicles. Vladimir ripped his shirt off, flexed his rippling muscles like a body-builder, but luckily he couldn't locate Barack's balls.) The NY Times is reporting that this PM Ukraine is asking the United Nations to send UN peacekeeping troops to eastern Ukraine. Apparently Kiev has called out the regular Ukrainian Army since they can't trust the internal security service. Somebody has photographed a Ukrainian column of 2 tanks and 20 armored personnel carriers on a road about 70 km northwest of Slaviansk, headng towards that town. There are reports of something happening at a small Ukrainian Air Force base outside Slaviansk. On Sunday, the Air Force planes stationed there were visible, On Monday, there was nothing, and local separatists say that they now occupy the base. So the Ukrainians apparently flew their planes out and abandoned the facility overnight. There are reports of "police" in Donetsk going over to the separatist side. It isn't clear whether these are local police or Interior Ministry troops. Ok... connecting the dots and employing a little imagination, I'll speculate that there was some kind of mutiny among Ukraine's Interior Ministry forces in eastern Ukraine today, perhaps when they were ordered to remove the separatists from the buildings they had seized. While it isn't clear that all of these Interior Ministry forces have gone over to the separatist side or what precisely they are doing, it is known that members of the Interior Ministry's elite 'Berkut' anti-terrorist police, which former President Yanukovich used as his personal enforcers, and which were ordered disbanded by the new government as soon as it took power, have indeed switched sides. They are still organized and still wearing their Berkut uniforms in the eastern cities and have been photographed spearheading separatist building takeovers. If this picture turns out to be anything close to the truth, then things have suddenly become much more grave for Ukraine. I sense that we will be hearing a lot more about this in the next few days, if Ukraine starts unraveling. Remember that Yanukovich was firmly entrenched in Kiev until the Interior Ministry troops turned on him. He was sent fleeing less than 24 hours later. My gut tells me that things may have once again become very shaky in Ukraine.