#Commentary of Valery Skorokhodov on Ukrainian scenarios for resolving conflict in Donbass

The Kiev authorities have not decided yet what scenario they will be using to “reintegrate” Donbass. For instance, the Ukrainian Deputy Minister for Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons Yuri Grymchak enumerated three possible scenarios of “United Forces Operation”.

The first scenario is a purely military operation. Grymchak quotes the Chief of the General Staff Muzhenko that the Ukrainian army can occupy the territories of the DPR and LPR in two weeks. However, the Deputy Minister considers this very scenario improbable. Apparently, the experience of hostilities against the Armed Forces of the DPR and LPR gives no cause for hope to Ukrainian soldiers to use heavy-handed approach to the problem. Grymchak calls other two scenarios “Croatian” ones. According to the first “Croatian scenario”, Russia will be forced, as Serbia was in its time, not to interfere in the conflict in Donbass and, in such a way, Ukraine wants to compel the People’s Republics of Donbass to “reintegration”. But the Ukrainian Deputy Minister hardly believes in this scenario.

The forceful options of “reintegration” based on the AFU seem to be hardly probable to many experts, including Ukrainian ones. This is due to the fact that the situation of soldiers in the Ukrainian army has deteriorated extensively. The former Commander of the AFU Vladimir Shilov expressed a similar view in the interview to Ukrainian mass media. According to Shilov, Kiev has ruined all volunteer movements, and military volunteers do not want to deal with the AFU. This state of affairs reiterates a statement, which was made by the Military Advocate General of Ukraine Anatoly Matios in October last year. He stated that more than ten thousand soldiers had been killed or injured since 2014 for reasons unrelated to hostilities in Donbass. The Minister of Defence of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak attributed casualties in the Ukrainian army to diseases, violations of safety measures and alcohol ingestion.

For these reasons, Yuri Grymchak puts his hopes on the third or second “Croatian” scenario, under which peacemakers have to enter the territory of Donbass and disarm the army of the DPR and LPR, and ensure the establishment of transitional authorities designed for placing the territories of the People’s Republics of Donbass under the control of Ukraine. Grymchak is so carried away by this scenario that he had a chance to report on possible sponsor of peacekeeping mission on the air of a Ukrainian channel. According to him, the US, France and Germany are ready to finance the peacekeeping mission of the UN in Donbass.

However, the dreams of Ukrainian forces destined to face harsh reality. Under international law, the introduction of peacekeeping forces is possible only in agreement with all parties to the conflict, and the DPR and LPR are recognized as such within the framework of the Minsk agreements.

The official Kiev has proved its inability to negotiate with the Republics more than once, therefore it is not necessary to hope that, on such sophisticated issue as the introduction of the UN mission, it will be different.

it is difficult to imagine the viability of the scenarios presented by Grymchak with such a consistent position of Ukraine. It seems that the intensity of statements is the goal of Ukrainian politician. And there is nothing new about that either.  

Valery Skorokhodov, the DPR People’s Council deputy

The official website of the DPR People’s Council

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