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‘Losing Their Nerve’: What is Behind New Escalation of Donbass Conflict


  • ‘Losing Their Nerve’: What is Behind New Escalation of Donbass Conflict
    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has cut short a working visit to Germany following an unprecedented escalation of the conflict in Donbass where Ukrainian forces have violated the fragile ceasefire almost 2,000 times over the past 24 hours alone.

    Briefing reporters ahead of her meeting with Poroshenko, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the hard-won truce in eastern Ukraine was not holding.

    “We have learned again that the ceasefire regime simply does not exist, and that soldiers are dying again. The situation along the separation line is very alarming,” Merkel said.

    Petro Poroshenko reiterated Ukraine’s adherence to the provisions of the Minsk accords and urged the Western countries to extend and toughen their sanctions against Russia if no progress is achieved in the implementation of the agreement to end the armed conflict in Donbass.

    “They came here to study, not to be fired at”
    Meanwhile, the Donetsk People’s Republic’s deputy militia commander Eduard Basurin mentioned over 4,000 ceasefire violations by the Ukrainian military since January 27.

    He said that several houses were damaged or destroyed in Donetsk, Makeyevka and a number of other places, and that a local hospital, a daycare center, a steel plant and several other facilities had come under artillery and mortar fire.

    Two civilians and three members of the local militia were killed and more than 500 local schoolchildren had to be evacuated. “Hearing the sound of artillery shells exploding nearby we led the children into a shelter. The kids were terrified. They came here to study, not to be fire at,” the school’s headmaster Lyudmila Kharchenko told RT.

    Back to 2015
    When briefing reporters on Monday, Eduard Basurin blamed the latest escalation on “provocations” on Right Sector fighters who he said were forcing the Ukrainian military command to “adjust to their uncontrolled actions and suffer losses.”

    “This is taking us back to the situation we had here in 2015. Ukraine is resorting to such provocations and artillery barrages to restart an all-out war,” Denis Pushilin, who represents the Donetsk People’s Republic at the trilateral peace talks in Minsk, told RT.

    He urged the OSCE Special Monitoring Commission and the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC) to do whatever it takes to prevent any further violations of the Minsk accords and to maintain the ceasefire.

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February 1, 2017 - Posted by | GeoPolitics | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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