UN condemns Kiev’s new tactic endangering 430,000 civilians

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July 1, 2016 – 

Yuri Kot, oleinik – 

Translated by J. Arnoldski

The Ukrainian government has taken the decision to move the Zaytsevo block post to Mayorsk and the Novotroitskoe checkpoint to Berzovoe. The head of the Donetsk regional administration, Pavel Zhebrivsky, remarked that together with the transfer of these checkpoints, the work of humanitarian and logistical centers located at these points will be terminated. 

The UN office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs is concerned about the safety of the civilian population over the government’s decision to transfer two checkpoints closer to the demarcation line. This was reported by the press secretary of the United Nations.

“Today, the UN office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs expressed concern over the decision of the Ukrainian government to move two checkpoints in the Donetsk region closer to the ‘contact line,’” the UN press secretary stated.

He remarked that in May alone 430,000 people passed through these checkpoints. Accordingly, their transfer might lead to greater casualties. the UN believes that people will be subjected to greater danger and risk of coming under sniper fire or mortar shelling the closer that that the checkpoint is moved.  

The issue of checkpoint security has been raised more than once at meetings of the JCCC and OSCE. However, it has not yielded the desired result. The Ukrainian side simply ignores the recommendations of monitoring missions by unilaterally blocking border crossing points, arranging more provocations against civilians, and moving across the demarcation line. The other day, due to the artificially provoked queue at the Stanitsa Luganskaya checkpoint, one civilian died from the unbearable conditions of waiting on the street and two were hospitalized with heart attacks.

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Transferring checkpoints closer to the contact line subjects the civilian population to even greater danger from continuous shelling in these areas. On the night of April 27th, the Elenovka checkpoint was shelled while civilians were there. Five people, including a pregnant woman, were killed and another ten were wounded.

“This tragedy has once again confirmed the obvious fact that the Kiev government and nationalist volunteer battalions are provoking a military conflict in Donbass. The ‘democrats’ have absolutely no intention of peacefully settling the conflict. This government needs war, not negotiations. The constant maintenance of a state of war and shelling allows the Kiev authorities to increase the military budget. Poroshenko’s enterprises have already largely switched to weapons manufacturing, in particular producing grenade launchers and armored vehicles. In addition, everything can be attributed to war from prices to poverty  and corruption, and even offshores. Putin and the so-called ATO can be blamed for everything. So that the fire does not go out, they throw in logs, as was the case with the shelling of Elenovka,”the people’s deputy of the Verkhovna Rada and co-founder of the Committee for the Salvation of Ukraine, Vladimir Oleynik, commented. 

Earlier, fire from small automatic arms was opened on civilians at the checkpoint near Marinka. The civilians under fire from Kiev security forces were forced to flee. At this moment, the checkpoint is closed indefinitely according to the decision of Ukrainian authorities. 

In the area of the Mayorsk block post near Gorlovka, Ukrainian security forces have begun to delay the inspection of vehicles coming from the direction of the DPR. People are forced to sleep in their cars at the checkpoint on the frontline. In April, a similar situation was observed tat the Mayorsk checkpoint, just like at the ill-fated Elenovka block post near Donetsk. 

By moving checkpoints, the Kiev government is apparently pursuing several aims. First of all, by transferring checkpoints closer to the contact line, Kiev is attempting to occupy the neutral zone and therefore compel the forces of the people’s republics to retreat deeper into their own territory according to the latest agreements on intelligence operations of the warring sides. But the republics understand this “military cunning” of Kiev and are opposing it.

Secondly, by arranging another provocation and shelling of checkpoints, the Ukrainian side is trying to once again disrupt the Minsk Agreements and shift the blame for their failure onto the militia. 

Thirdly, by increasing the danger level for people passing through checkpoints, Kiev obtains a formal excuse for closing more checkpoints by citing concerns for the civilian population’s safety. In doing so, they are trying to gradually implement a total blockade of Donbass and thereby exacerbate the difficult situation of the republics’ peaceful civilians. 

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