January 12, 2015
In the last couple days there were conflicting reports online about a UAF offensive, to which NAF responded with their own. Seems like some bloggers are raising a lot of noise about a new round of hostilities, while others say it was just a heavy exchange of artillery. While there were civilian casualties in the last couple days (just like every day), the shelling of Donetsk did target those outskirts which have been already mostly deserted. There were some reports online about 100 civilians killed in Donetsk yesterday, which were disputed by some. While the situation on the ground remains elusive, it appears that online info wars in the Russian blogoshere are intensifying between the “war” and the “peace”camps, with the pro-peace bloggers blaming the pro-war bloggers for inciting a war.
Lavrov’s meeting in Berlin today turned out fruitless, and Astana talks on January 15 have been postponed by at least a few weeks (months?). This is a victory for the US and a failure of Russia to secure peace. The increased shelling of Donetsk therefore should be evaluated from the perspective of its results – which is an indefinite postponement of Russia’s peace plan.