The situation in Donbass has deteriorated sharply in recent days. Ukrainian troops continue to conduct offensive operations to seize positions held by self-defence forces, including in the suburbs of Donetsk. Heavy weapons, including heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, are being actively used to shell residential areas. According to Minsk Package of Measures of February 12, 2015, such weapons should long since have been withdrawn from the contact line. There are casualties and wounded among the civilian population. As a result of the shelling by Ukrainian troops, the Donetsk Filtration Station and the Avdeyevka Coke Chemical Plant have lost power. The lives of miners working in the mines are under threat.
We see southeastern Ukraine, which is already suffering from the economic blockade imposed by Kiev, again on the verge of a real humanitarian and environmental disaster.
All of this is a direct outcome of ongoing violations by Ukraine of its obligations under the Minsk agreements, which no one in Kiev intends to act on. Instead of efforts to achieve sustainable peace, the Ukrainian authorities are trying hard to achieve a military solution to the conflict. Everyone should remember what kind of outcome this kind of reckless behaviour has led to on previous occasions.
Strangely enough, every escalation of the situation in Donbass comes at a time when the Ukrainian leadership is away on a foreign trip. Clearly, this is an attempt to keep the crisis provoked by Kiev on the international agenda.
We urge the Ukrainian authorities to immediately put an end to the armed provocations in Donbass, comply with existing ceasefire agreements and begin, at long last, to responsibly fulfil all the provisions of the Minsk Package of Measures, including those relating to the political aspects of the existing problems.
We expect Ukraine’s partners to exert the necessary influence on Kiev to put an end to these efforts to turn the tables in Donbass and sink the Minsk agreements.
We expect a quick response on the part of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine in order to de-escalate the situation as soon as possible.
Kyiv forces lose 27 killed, dozens wounded in two attempts to break through Donetsk republic defences, Donetsk News Agency, Jan 31, 2017
German newspaper reports German gov’t believes Kyiv is guilty of exacerbating the situation in the Donbass, by RIA Novosti, translated from the Russian original by New Cold War.org, Feb 1, 2017
Note by New Cold War.org:
Western mainstream media is beginning to report the heightened military clashes in eastern Ukraine, but its reporting is limited to a ‘he said, she said’ story. This is well summarized by this Guardian headline: ‘Kiev and Kremlin trade blame over surge in fighting in east Ukraine’.
The Guardian, Reuters and Associated Press, to take three examples, each write versions of the Guardian‘s Jan 31 article, saying, “Ukraine and NATO have accused the Kremlin of supporting the rebels with troops and weapons”. Such accusations against Russia began to be reported by said media nearly three years ago. And they still lack the journalistic integrity to examine and report the veracity of the anti-Russia claims. That’s because their reporting is driven by a pathological opposition to all things Russian. Instead, they parrot ad nauseum NATO’s claims of ‘Russian aggression’ and ‘pro-Russia separatists’ in eastern Ukraine.
Metaphorically, the Western media is perched in a bird cage like parrots, calling out to any and all who will listen and basking in the attention that might fall their way.