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MOSCOW, October 7. /TASS/. The situation in south-eastern Ukraine is not so much a fragile peacem but rather a smouldering war. On Monday, participants in a situation analysis meeting with permanent members of the Security Council under President Vladimir Putin pointed to the extreme fragility of the ceasefire regime, in particular, around the Donetsk airport. This major air hub remains under the control of Ukrainian forces conducting what Kiev calls an “anti-terrorist operation.”
Several experts polled by TASS believe that the authorities in Kiev just simulate truce, while in reality they are getting ready to launch another offensive against the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics, possibly, next spring.
In defiance of the Minsk accords of September 19 on the ceasefire and withdrawal of heavy weapons with a calibre of 100 mm and more from the engagement line, the Ukrainian forces have continued to shell and fire rockets in Donetsk for the past few days. There have been casualties.
“This is not truce. It is a harsh war, looking pretty much like the massacre in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the mid 1990s,” a member of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, Maxim Shevchenko, told TASS after spending the past week in Donetsk. “Over the several days I have seen three students killed by an artillery shell on a street bench. Two people were killed at a bus stop. Four lost their lives during the shelling of a local school. And twenty five were injured. That all happened within the Donetsk city limits alone,” Shevchenko said.
“The Minsk Memorandum of September 19 does not work. President Poroshenko does not control the situation. In response to accusations of continuing artillery attacks the Ukrainian military says that some “third force” is to blame. In the meantime, all artillery positions near Donetsk airport are under the control of Ukrainian troops,” he pointed out.
“The authorities in Kiev are using the war in the east of the country for their immoral purposes — it helps them maintain their rating of Ukraine’s patriots in the run-up to the October 26 parliamentary elections,” the analyst said.
“Poroshenko needs the truce in the east of Ukraine not because he wants to address the problems of Donbass and the Luhansk Region in a civilized way, but for a pause to get ready for future battles,” Shevchenko said. “The truce in the east of Ukraine continues to be violated because the Ukrainian army wishes to avenge its defeat in the so-called anti-terrorist operation. Novorossiya’s militias are not going to make concessions. One has a very acute feeling the energy of the conflict has not been exhausted yet.”
“President Poroshenko and his overseas handlers at the US Department of State have not achieved their original objectives and they will not agree to any peace settlement in the region,” the President of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, Doctor of Military Sciences Konstantin Sivkov told TASS.
President Poroshenko’s September 24 decree On Urgent Measures to Protect Ukraine and Strengthen its Defense Capabilities clearly indicates that the authorities in Kiev are hatching revanchist plots. The decree declares the national economy is to be shifted to operation in the conditions of a “special period.” In the military language, the term “special period” means the introduction of martial law and the accompanying measures and war preparations. As official sources in Kiev said, Ukraine is creating infrastructure for the full-scale repairs and maintenance, as well as manufacture of military hardware.
“While preparations for another offensive are still underway, Poroshenko will keep the situation in the east of Ukraine suspended: neither peace nor war. The resumption of military operations will depend entirely on when the logistics of the Kiev-controlled armed forces become strong enough,” the military expert said.
ITAR-TASS may not share the opinions of its contributors.