On July 27, another “complete and all-encompassing ceasefire” between Kiev regime troops and self-defense forces of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (LPR and DPR) started in eastern Ukraine.
It became the latest attempt at a complete ceasefire in Ukraine’s troubled east. The previous 29 ceasefires collapsed due to two main factors:
- the inability of the Kiev regime to control various radical groups, neo-Nazi ones, that are deployed on the frontline with the LPR and the DPR;
- the unwillingness of the Kiev regime to support a political solution of the conflict with the DPR and LPR because it uses the conflict in eastern Ukraine (that it falsely calls ‘the war with Russia’) to achieve own political and financial goals, including the justification of selling of the country’s sovereignty to Euro-Atlantic structures, the mass censorship and political terror against opposition parties, media and activists inside Ukraine.
The ability of pro-Kiev forces to participate in ceasefires can be clearly seen from the recent incident near the village of Zaitsevo. On July 14, a sabotage and reconnaissance unit of the Ukrainian Army violated the ceasefire regime entering the ‘gray zone’ and preparing an attack on positions of DPR forces. However, the operation failed and at least 2 members of pro-Kiev forces (including a citizen of Estonia) died and another one received injures. After this, Ukrainian media outlets launched a propaganda campaign accusing the DPR of violating the ceasefire and Russia of ‘another act of agression’.
The Kiev regime, this time represented by President comedian Volodymyr Zelenski, pretends that this time the situation will be different. On July 26, Zelensky held a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin discussing the prospects of the ceasefire.
“The leaders agreed on the need for an urgent implementation of extra measures to support the ceasefire regime in Donbass,” Zelenskiy’s office announced after the conversation.
“The President of Ukraine stressed the need for further practical steps in the issue of the release of detained Ukrainian citizens in the temporarily occupied territories of Donbas and Crimea, as well as in the Russian Federation.
The parties also discussed the Law on the Special Procedure for Local Self-Government in Certain Districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions, which is being considered by the TCG political subgroup, and the Law on Decentralization, which provides for amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine.”
In own turn, the Russian leader expressed concerns over a recent bill adpoted by the Ukrainian parliament (Verkhovna Rada), which excluded the region of Donbass from regional elections in 2020 saying it undermines the Minsk agreements and puts the settlement prospects in jeopardy.
“The Russian side underscored the need to prioritise the implementation of the decisions made by the Normandy format leaders, including those that followed the December 2019 summit in Paris.
Vladimir Putin pointed out that the Verkhovna Rada’s July 15 resolution on 2020 local elections contradicts the Minsk agreements and threatens settlement prospects. He also expressed grave concern in view of recent remarks by Ukraine’s top officials on the unacceptability of some of the provisions in the Package of Measures and the need to reconsider them. The President of Russia specially noted that the position Vladimir Zelensky reiterated during their telephone conversation, namely that there can be no alternatives to the Minsk agreements, must find its affirmation in practical actions taken by authorities in Kiev,” the Kremlin said.
The comments by the Russian side, which remains the main supporter of the DPR and LPR and the only force directly opposing an attempt of the Kiev regim and its NATO backers to launch a new large-scale advance in eastern Ukraine, which in the event of the military success will inevitably lead to the ethnic cleansing of Russian population there.
An overwhelming majority of people in eastern Ukraine are ethnic Russians, speak Russian as the main language, or self-identify themselves as Russian-speaking people. Since the very same moment, when the current political regime in Kiev came to power in 2014, Russian-speaking people and ethnic Russians were decalred enemies of the state and ‘subhumans’ that must be neutralized or even killed in order to allow Ukraine to go forward on its ‘European way’. There is no surprise that this approach immidiately led to a rebellion that turned into an armed resistance in the region of Donbass. Crimea evaded the bloodbath thanks to the involvement of Russian forces and the secession of the region to Russia.
In 2020, the ideas of ethnic cleansing of Russian-speaking population in the region of Donbass and Crimea still remain powerful in the Ukrainian political mainstream and among various radical groups and political parties that receive a direct financial, administrative support from the current regime and have access to weapons through illegal weapon trade channels from the conflict zone. The political process and constitutional reforms needed to de-escalate the situation in the east and grant an autonomy to the DPR and LPR face a strong resistance on the all levels of the governance system.
Radicals attack independent journalists, bloggers, political activists, politicians and even people that visist ‘wrong churches’. On July 23, the house of Vitaly Shabunin, the head of the non-profit Anti-Corruption Action Centre, was set on fire. The Centre said it believed the arson was “an assassination attempt” targeting Shabunin and his family. The incident happened in the village of Gnidyn outside Kiev
Shabunin accused President Volodymyr Zelensky of doing nothing to prevent such attacks.
“He hasn’t done anything about it so far,” he said. “People are being maimed and killed. And no one is held responsible for this.”
On July 13, members of the “National Corps” political party (created on the basis of the “Azov Battalion” neo-Nazi group) attacked a house of the head of the opposition Shariy Party in Kharkov. According to the head of the party, Anatoly Shariy, the attackers were armed with firearms and injured at least 2 people.