#Official Commentary of Ekaterina Martyanova on Western reaction to aggravation of military conflict in Donbass
In late January 2017 the escalation of hostilities in Donbass began. This happened because the Ukrainian side carried out the so-called ‘creeping offensive,’ which completely contradicts the Minsk agreements.
The offensive of the Ukrainian side was supported by heavy artillery shellings using heavy cannon artillery and MLRS, the use of which is prohibited by the Minsk agreements. Armed Forces of the DPR and the LPR gave an adequate response to the provocation of the AFU.
The military operation of the Ukrainian side was synchronized with the information support and diplomatic actions. Ukrainian media routinely accused Russia and the Donbass Republics of hostilities intensification, and Petro Poroshenko cut short his visit to Germany “because of the emergency situation in Avdeyevka, bordering on a humanitarian disaster.” According to the Russian president assistant Yury Ushakov, these actions of Kiev were directed to check readiness of the US President Donald Trump Administration to support such military adventures. Also, the Ukrainian side has customary expected a positive response from the EU.
However, this time the reaction of the US and Western Europe was unexpected for Kiev and not similar to something that representatives of the Kiev authorities are used to. First, at a joint briefing with Petro Poroshenko Angela Merkel said that at this time there is no ceasefire in Donbass and expressed concern about this. No charges for the resumption of hostilities against Russia and the Republic of Donbass were voiced. Further, the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung, citing a source in the German government, said that, in the opinion of the ruling circles of Germany, it is the Kiev military that are escalating the conflict and trying to change the front line in their favor. According to the German edition, the Kiev regime’s plan is to aggravate the situation to the limit, and by that stop the US President’s plans to ease sanctions against the Russian Federation. Thus Berlin has made it clear to Kiev that its provocations will not be supported anymore, as it was before.
Kiev was waiting for the reaction of the US State Department. And it appeared, but not the kind to which the Ukrainian politicians are used to. Washington has called for an immediate ceasefire in Donbas and access for the OSCE observers. This statement was neutral – the responsibility for the resumption of hostilities was not entrusted to any of the parties and expressed support for the full implementation of the Minsk agreements. Russia in the statement was not mentioned at all, especially in the context of sanctions.
For Kiev regime it is a very painful defeat on the diplomatic front, and the reactions to it more palpable than to AFU military failures. The aim of the military operation was to woo the new US presidential administration. However, the effect was the opposite – the State Department took the provocation coldly and did not show even a glimmer of support for Kiev. Moreover, The New York Times published an article with the headline about the civil war in Ukraine, but subsequently deleted the word “civil,” and Washington expressed support for the Minsk agreements, which the Ukrainian party refuses to comply.
However, Kiev does not leave hopes to get support from Trump’s administration. Today, Poroshenko claimed that most of all wants to cancel the anti-Russian sanctions. However, he let it slip that too hasty lifting of sanctions will strengthen the “Russian aggression” against Ukraine. So apparently in this clumsy manner Poroshenko wants to please Trump and still achieve his patronage.
In general, the situation looks very unattractively: the Kiev regime went in for casualties, put Avdeyevka on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe, provoked large-scale resumption of hostilities – and all this for the sake of an illusory hope to regain Washington’s goodwill. Vassals, trying to please their suzerain at all costs, behaved in this way. However, judging by the first actions of the new administration of the White House, the US no longer needs such vassals. And the fate of abandoned vassals is unenviable…
Ekaterina Martyanova, the DPR People’s Council deputy