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Kiev authorities preparing to resolve Donbas conflict by military means - experts

August 14, 2015, 15:42 UTC+3 Zamyatina Tamara
Ukrainian serviceman in Marinka, near Donetsk, eastern Ukraine

Ukrainian serviceman in Marinka, near Donetsk, eastern Ukraine

© AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

MOSCOW, August 14. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and the United States plan to resolve the crisis in the self-proclaimed People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk militarily, bypassing the Minsk accords negotiated to bring peace, experts told TASS on Friday.

Vladislav Seleznev, who heads the press service of Ukraine’s General Staff, told the Ukrainian Pravda newspaper that Kiev said via the West that the self-defense militias violate the Minsk agreements and that is why "we reserve the right to use artillery if our positions come under attack."

Donetsk republic’s Defense Ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin said Ukraine’s forces had attempted to breach militia defenses in the Mariupol direction on August 10 using large-calibre guns, tanks and mortars.

Kiev’s preparation for the offensive is confirmed by Poroshenko’s law signed on Tuesday on increasing defense spending by $250 million. Ukraine’s military expenses in 2015 already reach $5.5 billion.

The US has promised to allocate another $500 million to finance the training of Ukraine’s military divisions and the Pentagon plans to train a total of five battalions. Ukraine’s Deputy Defence Minister Petro Mekhed has not ruled out that another three waves of mobilization may be held.

The president of the International Center for Geopolitical Analysis, Leonid Ivashov, told TASS the Kiev leadership is preparing for war as it will be unable to retain power when peace comes to Ukraine.

"Social problems are growing in Ukraine. The economy is falling apart. The gunmen of the Right Sector extremist group do not subordinate to the defense ministry and challenge the authorities," Ivashov said.

"Poroshenko needs the war to discipline the citizens using harsh measures and to quash mass protests against the policy that is being pursued. Besides, the Ukrainian president needs to account to the US masters for military and financial support," the expert said.

"The continuing civil war in Ukraine allows the US to keep accusing Moscow and to step up pressure against Russia. From the geopolitical perspective, the US feels more comfortable when a war is under way in the middle of Europe, creating problems for EU countries," he said.

"As for the August offensive in the Mariupol direction, Kiev’s goal is to block Crimea. Besides, this is an economically important area as it is the major crossroads of transport routes."

The president of the Academy of Geo-Political Problems, Konstantin Sivkov, says "Kiev’s authorities need the resumption of the war in Donbas to distract people from the problems using the rhetoric about Russian aggression."

"The US is pushing Kiev towards gaining victory in the civil war to control the entire border between Russia and Ukraine and have a full-fledged bridgehead in Ukraine for pressure against Moscow," he said.

Deputy Director of the Institute of CIS Countries Vladimir Zharikhin said "Kiev is not planning to implement the Minsk agreements as they cross out what the current Ukrainian authorities have been fighting for since staging a coup in February 2014.

"The current Kiev authorities needed the coup to be closer to the EU and the US, and the Minsk accords imply that Ukraine cannot become an entirely anti-Russian and pro-Western state. That’s why Kiev is not set to include the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic in the Ukrainian political space and seeks to crush them by force," Zharikhin said.

TASS may not share the opinions of its contributors