James Carden, a Washington-based expert and former advisor to the US-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission at the State Department (2011-2012), spent several days in the Donbas region and found out noncombatants and independence fighters in Donetsk had a little interest in a rapprochement with Kiev.
"Ukraine is dead. It was killed on May 2 in Odessa," one senior officer told the expert in reference to the hideous Odessa massacre carried out by Ukrainian ultra-nationalists on May 2, 2014.
James Carden pointed out that many residents denounced Kiev's moniker for its military campaign in eastern Ukraine – "the Anti-Terrorist Operation" – as an attempt to dehumanize the population of the region, literally equating it to ISIL terrorists.
Donetsk civilians and militia do not trust the Kiev regime and expect the Ukrainian leadership to breach the terms of the Minsk agreement in the immediate future. An independence supporters' commander said that Kiev would most likely launch a new major offensive "within a week," adding that eastern Ukraine was ready for a continuous fighting, the expert noted.
At the same time, James Carden stressed that "the idea that Kiev will emerge victorious anytime soon after the twin military defeats it suffered at Debaltseve and at the Donetsk airport—with or without American lethal aid—borders on the preposterous."
However, "this is nothing more than a fantasy dressed up as a strategy," James Carden underscored. Furthermore, he cited the Chief of Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces, General Viktor Muzhenko, who admitted in January, 2015, that the Ukrainian military forces were not fighting with Russia's regular army.
The expert pointed out that the indigenous military forces of eastern Ukraine will not "melt away," stressing that Ukraine is suffering from a "civil war between two groups with diametrically opposed visions for the future of their country."
What has been happening in Ukraine since the beginning of 2014 is the gradual disintegration of the state, Mr. Carden underscored, adding that the prospect of putting the country together again is bleak.
The civil war in Ukraine poses a serious threat to global security, the expert warned. Instead of adding fuel to the fire, the US and European policy makers should take further steps to broker a permanent ceasefire deal in Ukraine, he added.
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