June 8, 2015
By Igor Korotchenko
Translated from Russian by J.Hawk
The State Duma is allowing the possibility that Kiev might purposefully violate the Minsk Agreement, which might lead to a new round of fighting and a new intervention. According to Leonid Kalashnikov, the First Deputy Chairman of the Duma International Affairs Committee, in the event of danger to the safety and lives of Russian citizens, the Duma could give the president the constitutional right to use armed force outside the country’s borders.
That opinion is shared in the Federation Council, where they believe that Ukraine is using the war to prolong the sanctions against Russia. The possibility of the situation getting out of control and leading to unforeseeable consequences was also mentioned by the Russian UN amassador Vitaliy Churkin at an emergency UNSC session.
–The decision to give the president the right to use the military can be made by the Duma and the Federation Council at any moment, because the situation in Ukraine is growing more tense with every day, there are Russian citizens on the territory of LPR and DPR, therefore I think it’s possible that the situation could unfold along the similar scenario as in Transnistria (Russia was forced in 1992 to introduce peacekeepers in order to end the fighting), Kalashnikov said.
In his words, Ukraine is an instrument used to weaken Russia, an instrument that is being skillfully used by the West which is busy escalating the conflict and supplying arms.
–Ukraine’s provocations will continue, but they won’t lead to a big war. Our country is currently secure, and the US will not risk initiating a war, Kalashnikov believes, at the same time noting the situation in 1941, when Stalin forbade to react to German provocations aimed at USSR, which in the final account led to World War 2.
Vyacheslav Nikonov, the Chairman of the Duma Education Committee, was even more direct.
–I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that, if Minsk-2 is buried, Russia renounces the preamble to the Minsk Agreements, namely the guarantee of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, and that might be an even more severe response than a military intervention.
As a reminder, on Thursday the Verkhovna Rada adopted a law which allows Ukraine to invite foreign militaries to conduct operations on Ukraine’s territory. According to the law’s clarifying note, the document “allows the establishment of conditions to carry out an international operation” of an armed NATO and EU contingent, which is intended to ensure “the most rapid normalization of the situation, the restoration of the rule of law and normal functioning of the society, constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens” in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
Ukraine’s president addressed the Rada on the same day, claiming Russia has invaded the country and represents a military threat, and also that Ukraine is receiving weapons from 11 countries, including from, in his words, Ukraine’s main ally, the United States.
At a Friday press conference, Poroshenko also declared his intent to return Crimea to Ukraine, and promised the Donbass would be blockaded. The Barack Obama administration simultaneously announced the possibility of placing nuclear weapons in Europe supposedly in response to Russia’s violation of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty, and of using “additional means” in Ukraine, where fighting flared up with the use of heavy weapons. As a reminder, the recent clash at Maryinka cost the lives of 400 people, including civilians.
–The situation may once again get out of control with unforeseeable consequences. We call on Kiev authorities to do everything possible to avert that–Vitaliy Churkin said at the emergency UNSC session, noting that Porosheno is using the peace and the Minsk Agreements solely to regroup his forces.
The Federation Council also considers the situation to be tense.
–The main document supposed to regulate the situation in Eastern Ukraine are, undoubtedly, the Minsk Agreements. But we can see that the Kiev is violating their letter by shelling civilian cities and DPR/LPR military formations thus causing retaliatory actions, said Igor Morozov, a member of the Federation Council.
In his view, NATO has involved Ukraine’s armed forces in its training exercises both on land and in the air, and moreover the main objective of Ukraine’s GenStaff is the suppression of the freedom-living people of DPR and LPR and closing their border with Russia.
–Therefore I think that in the event of foreign armed forces reaching the border with Russia, in keeping with Rada’s new law, it’s possible to return to the approach that was used when the matter of protecting Russian citizens in Crimea arose. It would be a just international operation in the name of maintaining peace in eastern Ukraine, Morozov believes.
Morozov also believes that, by drawing Russia into an armed conflict, Ukraine and the US are striving to prolong EU sanctions against Russia.
–I wouldn’t say that Poroshenko is bluffing. I am convinced that Poroshenko is really preparing to carry out a major military action in the ATO zone. This is suggested by the fact that Ukraine’s armed forces have reconstituted, and Poroshenko never welcomed the Minsk Agreement. However, his position is extremely difficult since, in my view, he is a puppet in the hands of US, British, and other anti-Russian government, believes Sergey Markov, the head of the Institute of Political Studies.
–Poroshenko’s statements may be considered both a provocation and a direct threat to RF. The problem is that those are statements by an irresponsible politician who should be condemned within the framework of international law for his genocidal actions and crimes against humanity. The only just and available punishment is lifetime imprisonment, says Igor Korotchenko, a military expert and the member of the civic council at the RF MOD who emphasized that “Kiev is provoking the RF to conduct military operations.”
–Should the need to introduce troops arise, corresponding measures will be developed and the president naturally will carry out his duties.
J.Hawk’s Comment: I suspect this is still just post-Maryinka shock, especially on the part of Kiev which thinks that Moscow is trying to send it some kind of a signal. Still, there is a danger of escalation, all the more so since Kiev does not seem eager to return its heavy weapons to storage. But to say that the UAF have been reconstituted…nah, the losses during the January campaign were much too heavy to recover from so quickly. That doesn’t preclude the possibility Poroshenko might send his army into a fight he knows they will lose, in the hopes their collapse will induce the West to do something a bit more…proactive. Because at this stage I also wouldn’t say he is simply a puppet. The West takes much better care of its puppets.