Ukraine: Brave EU decisions are needed

10 лютого, 2015

Публікація на EUobserver

Once again in history, Ukraine has become the bloodiest place on the continent. Russian military aggression has already claimed 5,358 lives, according to the most recent UN report, and made around a million Ukrainians homeless.

Despite all the diplomatic efforts and concessions meant to appease Russia, there is no end to the bloodshed on the horizon.

The Minsk protocol – last year’s ceasefire accord – is dead.

The cause of death is clear: Russian aggression against Ukraine has bigger goals than the current territorial gains in Crimea and in the Donbas region in east Ukraine.

The failure of peace efforts does not come as a surprise. Since September, Russia has been pouring heavy modern weaponry into Donbas on a scale unprecedented in modern day military conflicts. It was clear that such a military buildup was not intended to respect the ceasefire.

For many long months, world leaders pretended to see no hard evidence of direct Russian aggression. The one valid reason for this was to leave the exit door open for Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

For the same reason, Ukraine has been fighting the “hybrid” war with a hybrid defence: it has restrained itself from announcing a state of war, even when parts of its territory were occupied, while conducting an “anti-terrorist” operation against Russia-controlled militants armed with tanks and rocket systems.

Putin, so far, does not want to make use of that exit door.

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Ukraine: Something bad in the air

13 листопада, 2014

Публікація на EUobserver

Russia’s massive deployment of troops in east Ukraine in recent days indicates an upcoming escalation in Putin’s covert war against Ukraine and the West.

Ever since a Russian military-led offensive in August captured the town Novoazovsk in south-east Ukraine, few had doubts about what would come next.

Novoazovsk is a bridgehead in the direction of Mariupol, a port town and a Ukrainian stronghold, which prevents Russian leader Vladimir Putin from securing a land corridor to Crimea, which he annexed in March.

Only two questions remain: When will the Mariupol offensive begin and on what pretext?

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