|One of today’s shells. Photo taken from TASS, where you will find another current report in English.|
“Russia was excluded from the negotiation talks for the Donbass, but continues to be held responsible for the implementation of the Minsk agreements.”
Silvia Vittoria MISSOTTI
In Opinione Pubblica, July 14, 2016
Translated from Italian by Tom Winter July 17, 2016
This July the military activity of the Ukrainian forces reached a peak. The attacks on the territory of Donbass have risen to hundreds every day. Hardly a day goes by without the civilian residents of the Peoples Republic of Donetsk and Lugansk (DNR and LNR) falling under Ukrainian attacks, and the housing and infrastructure in the cities getting turned into more ruins.
Every day, the representatives of the Republics of Donbass record heavy artillery being brought up to the border from Ukraine, which is forbidden by the Minsk Accords.
At the NATO summit in Warsaw violations of the ceasefire by both sides were noted, but NATO had to admit the Ukrainian responsibility.
On July 6, Grigory Karasin, deputy Russian Foreign Minister, met with the ambassadors of France and Germany in Russia, and expressed concern about the situation in the Donbass because of Ukraine’s dangerous actions.
In a statement that Karasin issued after the meeting, it was openly stated that the authorities in Kiev are preparing to resume war in the Donbass. On the same day, at the initiative of President Putin, there was a telephone conversation between the Russian leader and President Obama.
A major theme of the interview was precisely the situation in the Donbass.
US refuses, however, to put pressure on Kiev and force the Ukrainian government to submit to the Minsk agreements. At the NATO summit, Russia was accused of aggression against Ukraine in the Crimea and in the Donbass, and the government in Kiev has been promised US military aid to the value of 500 million dollars.
In addition, a G5 + Ukraine commission was established to replace the “Normandy format” process for resolving the conflict in Donbass. Russia was excluded from the negotiation talks for the Donbass, but continues to be held responsible for the implementation of the Minsk agreements.
Russia thus would face further isolation, as well as NATO’s political and military pressure, the while that the Republics of Donbass are faced by new bombings.
According to representatives of the DNI, the the situation in this summer of 2016 in the Donbass is reminiscent of the darkest weeks of the summer of 2014. The Ukrainian artillery at this time is bombing the area’s cities, including Donetsk, a city of one million people.
Ukraine has concentrated almost all the available units of its military equipment at the demarcation line with the Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in addition to the troops, even “Grad” rocket launchers, which were originally near Chernobyl. It is a radioactive mechanism, and therefore dangerous to health of the crew.
According to representatives of the DNR, all this would be done in order to implement a “blitzkrieg:” the defeat of the Donbass Republics in a quick battle.
At the time, the population of Donetsk is about three-fourths of what it was before the war, and the bombings continue. Kiev would seem to be conducting a scorched earth policy in the Donbass, the zone standing apart from the government, in order to undermine the morale of the local citizens.
Therefore, Russia would be forced to protect the people of Donbass by any means, including military means. But so far diplomatic means are still going on. On 13 July, President Putin held telephone talks with Angela Merkel and François Hollande, and once again expressed deep concern about Ukraine’s heavy bombing on the Donbass.