By Kristina Melnikova for EAD –
In the Donbass, a tense military situation has recently arisen. However, from the beginning of May, trends towards a progressive escalation became apparent to everyone. Moreover, they were accompanied by implacable rhetoric from Kiev. In particular, in mid-May, representatives of the Donbass contact group on the part of Ukraine rejected the consolidation of the special status of Donbass in the Ukrainian constitution, which finally led to a deadlock for several years already stalled disputes about the implementation of the Minsk agreements.
The constitutional reform, which implies decentralization and the special status of Donbass, is enshrined in the Set of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements, agreed by the parties in February 2015. The reaction to the intensification of shelling and statements by Ukraine, apparently aimed at sensing the soil and determining the boundaries of what is permitted, was to bring the DPR and LPR People’s Police units to high alert . It is worth noting that the war did not stop even for a single day, the soldiers were at the forefront and were ready to repel a possible attack. So this statement, circulated by the media, was more likely to show Kiev its place and return it to the mainstream of political negotiations.
“The high alert mode for us is the norm not only recently, but throughout the war as a whole. We regularly bring all our units to a state of high alert, because the state of affairs at the forefront has this quite often. Recently, we have had an unprecedented aggravation of relations with Ukraine. On the front line there are provocations from Ukraine, which are accompanied by continuous shelling, an increase in the use of artillery prohibited by the Minsk agreements. The number of arrivals across our territory is increasing at times, ”the founder of the Vostok brigade, the head of the Donbass Patriotic Forces, Alexander Khodakovsky , told EAD.
He drew attention to the fact that the situation has reached a peak of tension not only on the military, but also on the diplomatic front.
“Automatically it is reflected on the line of contact. This interdependence has always taken place in the development of events in the Donbass. We are now witnessing attempts to pressure Russia. America has increased attention to the negotiation process in Minsk and, in general, to the situation in Ukraine. The negotiation area in Ukraine is overseen by people affiliated with American intelligence agencies. In Kiev, the highest political level is lobbying for the presence of Americans in the negotiating group, which is called the Norman. There are attempts to strengthen Ukrainian positions in the negotiation process, which is accompanied by activation on the front line. These, as I have already said, are interconnected processes. The Donbass front is always responding to increased political tension. In this case, the logical step is to introduce increased combat readiness. There is nothing strange about this. We are following the development of the situation, and so far there are no hard prerequisites for it to get out of control. Nevertheless, we’ll see how far Ukraine is ready to go,” concluded Khodakovsky.
French volunteer sniper, military expert Eruan Castell told EAD that increasing the alertness of the People’s Militia units is a necessary measure related to the increased shelling in recent months.
“It is of great concern that shelling of peaceful areas has intensified over the past few weeks. May has become one of the worst months of the war since 2015 in terms of civilian casualties. The increase in combat readiness was intended to show Kiev in parallel with warnings in the political sphere that the republics were ready to defend their population,” said Eruan Castel.
He drew attention to the fact that for six years the war has been going on and for five years the parties have been trying to find a compromise within the framework of the Minsk agreements.
“We can conclude that the Minsk agreements have reached an impasse, as well as a political solution to the conflict. We are becoming more and more stuck in these agreements, we are at an impasse and do not see any way out. It is increasingly necessary to realize that the Minsk agreements, since they are not feasible by either side, were a temporary, compromise solution that did not produce long-term results. At that moment, everyone seized on the Minsk agreements, expecting that they would lead to the exhaustion of the enemy. Russia thought that Ukraine would collapse as a state, that the “Maidan” would happen, which would be swept away by the pro-American government. In the same way, Ukraine hoped that the sanctions against Russia would lead to its refusal to support the republics, which it somehow carries out,” Castel said.
Expect that under Zelensky Ukraine will be ready to compromise on the implementation of Minsk, according to Eruan Castel, one should not, since Zelensky is no less than Petro Poroshenko dependent on his American curators.
“Zelensky is not a strong and independent president, he is even more susceptible than Poroshenko to orders and pressure from Washington outside and nationalists inside the country,” Castel said.
However, according to him, Zelensky is aware that a large-scale offensive by Ukraine will inevitably lead to large casualties among the civilian population, which will untie the hands of Russia, which in this case cannot fail to intervene. Moreover, after receiving passports in the Donbass, citizens of Russia now live.