Ukraine Tries to Disrupt the Minsk Peace Process
Ukraine is tired of abiding by the Minsk Peace Agreement. Today the Ukrainian armed forces resumed shelling Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) positions, located on the territory of the former airport of Donetsk. "At 9:00 a.m. Ukrainian security forces started shelling militia positions at the airport with 82 and 120 mm mortars, as well as automatic grenade launchers and small arms," - reported the DPR Ministry of Defence.
Recently, representatives of Donetsk People's Republic reported that Ukrainian forces attempted an offensive in Debalcevo area. "They were trying break through. Heavy and small arms were used during the battle," - said city mayor Alexei Granovsky.
"According to information from sources in Donetsk, Ukrainian forces' attack on Debalcevo didn't have any serious consequences. However, battles are increasingly breaking out on a large section of the front - from the southern suburbs of Donetsk to Alchevsk. This is mainly a shootout with small arms, but mortars and artillery are also being used. Under Debalcevo it was just reconnaissance. Similar attacks occur periodically accordingly to the changing situation on the front," - said the head of the Center for coordination and support of the "South-East" movement, Alex Anpilogov.
Since early November, the number of attacks from the Ukrainian side including those with the use of mortars and artillery is continually growing. Recently, at several key points in the conflict zone (Avdeevka, Konstantinovka, Gorlovka, Debalcevo) militia intelligence has recorded massing of manpower and equipment of the Ukrainian military.
Despite the agreement on heavy weapons withdrawal, the center of Donetsk was fired upon using multiple launch rocket systems "Grad". "The shelling was carried by Ukrainian nationalist battalions uncontrolled by Kiev" - said the head of the district administration Ivan Prikhodko. Apparently, it was done to provoke the militia to "retaliate" and accuse them of disrupting the Minsk Agreement, as well as to resume active military operations.
A DPR representative in the Rostov region, a political analyst Eduard Popov said that in the area of the so-called anti-terroristic operation (ATO) a large number of foreign mercenaries has been sighted. In his opinion, "this indicates that a large-scale provocation is being prepared. And possibly, Ukraine's withdrawal from participation in the Minsk Peace Agreement." Mercenaries are not cheap, and Ukraine, being seriously limited in the finances, would not throw "expensive" fighters to the front lines of war without a reason.
Despite the fact that cases of heavy weapons use are rare, it's hard to call what is happening a real truce. This opinion is shared by the representative of Lugansk People's Republic (LPR) in the Minsk Group Vladislav Deynego. "Ukraine has no reasons for further protracting of the Minsk process. The only way for Kiev to regain initiative is to force us by provoking return fire to bring back ourarms and vehicles to the front line. We try to refrain from this, but the Ukrainian side has not withdrawn their heavy mortars" - he added.
It is worth noting that in the last two months the implementation of the Minsk agreement has slowed down. One of the reasons for this was the influx of refugees from the Middle East to Europe that became EU's number one problem. thus other issues were moved to the background due to the aggravation of the social and political situation. Another reason is that Europe has changed it's opinion aboutthe Ukrainian authorities, which is formed of corruptioners, oligarchs and nationalists, and thus does not conform to the image of "a democratic European state."
French political scientist and economist, director of the Paris School of Social Sciences, Jacques Sapir said that recently, "France and Germany are tired of Ukraine. Nearly eight months have passed since the signing of the agreement in Minsk, and now they are aware of what is happening in Kiev. Western European part of the Normandy four, or for that matter, EU as a whole, is not eager to fund Ukraine."
On the one hand, such position of Europe laid on the shoulders of Kiev a number of Ukrainian problems which were previously thought to be further solved by EU, and on the other demonstrated that the Ukrainian authorities are not able to control it's governmental processes.
Keeping of the fragile peace in Donbass goes with great difficulties, because Ukraine was never originally into implementing the peace accords. This is understandable: their implementation will bring the conflict to an end, and will probably turn the Ukkrainian society' mindsets toward social, political and economic problems. And the ones to blame will be not some "terrorists" from Donbass, but the acting Ukrainian authorities. Therefore, yet another provocation in the conflict zone would be very helpful for Kiev.