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Ukraine president renews hostilities under pressure at home, from abroad - experts

July 02, 2014, 18:00 UTC+3 Zamyatina Tamara
© ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krsilnikov

 MOSCOW, July 02. /ITAR-TASS/. Renewal of the so-called anti-terrorist operation in Ukraine’s east on Tuesday night resulted from pressures by radical nationalists and the overseas “party of war” on President Petro Poroshenko. The Ukrainian leader has thus demonstrated his inability to make independent decisions, and Moscow will review its attitude to Poroshenko, say Russian politicians and experts polled by ITAR-TASS.

On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that until recently Poroshenko had no connection to the military orders, but now he took on the full responsibility - not only military but political as well. This is much more important, Putin believes.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov wondered why at the last moment Kiev refused to announce the statement on the need to prolong truce, agreed on Sunday on the presidents’ instruction by the German, French, Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers — as if some external player had interfered from the outside.

Ukraine failed to announce the joint statement after Poroshenko’s phone conversation with US Secretary of State John Kerry, State Duma member Vyacheslav Nikonov told ITAR-TASS.

Along with the American factor, Poroshenko’s decision to resume military operations in the rebellious Donetsk and Luhansk regions with use of combat aircraft and heavy artillery was impacted by his milieu and militant groups.

“Before addressing the nation on lifting the ceasefire regime in the east Poroshenko held a Security Council meeting. The group is dominated by hard-liners who support a crackdown on resistance from the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics to Kiev's policies,” the expert said.

The Ukrainian president is being overtly blackmailed and prompted to continue the war by private armies recruited by Ukrainian oligarchs, Nikonov believes. “During a rally in the centre of Kiev, the militants of these armed groups threatened to lynch Poroshenko for pacifism and predicted he would suffer the plight of deposed Viktor Yanukovych,” he told ITAR-TASS.

“It is not to be discounted that Petro Poroshenko decided to resume military actions hoping there was a chance for a sweeping victory over the people's militia after a ten-day truce. If it is true, the president’s peace plan was a forgery from the very start and its sole purpose was to to save strength and defeat the opponents,” Nikonov believes. Moscow, he added, would anyway revise its attitude to Poroshenko who cannot be considered an independent political figure as “he does not stick to agreements and can change his mind within several hours”.

A deputy chairman of the Federation Council's committee on international affairs, Andrey Klimov, believes Poroshenko would hardly dare to issue the order but for pressures from radical members of the new ruling team.

“They came to power through a violent coup and now they feel scared about their own future and what may happen to them if the crackdown in the east fails. Poroshenko’s radical milieu wants to tie him hand and foot with common responsibility for bloodshed the way that is customary among gangsters,” Klimov told ITAR-TASS.

Poroshenko’s team, he added, included the hawks in Washington. “For them ‘the Ukrainian arc of instability’ (an allusion to the African and Arab 'arc of instability’) is a scenario aimed to distract the international community from the US failure in the Middle East, where jihadists have seized a third of Iraq and part of Syria and proclaimed an Islamic caliphate,” the expert said.

Meanwhile, nothing is at stake for the US when it instigates a continued military operation against the people's militia, he believes. “The US infiltrates military advisors and intelligence contractors into Ukraine so that they coordinate the army’s and militants’ actions. Those in Washington know that the heaviest burden from the current crisis in Ukraine will lie on the European Union and Russia. From the US establishment’s point of view, the worse for their rivals, the better for the US,” Klimov said.

“Putin’s speech to the Russian diplomats on Tuesday was the first mention of Poroshenko’s personal responsibility for the bloodshed in Ukraine,” a deputy director of the National Institute for Modern Ideology Development, Igor Shatrov, told the ITAR-TASS Political Analysis Centre. “This means that those holding further talks with the government in Kiev will keep in mind the back thought this government's nature is criminal.


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