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    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko attends a ceremony to hand over weapons and military vehicles to servicemen of the Ukrainian armed forces in Chuhuiv outside Kharkiv, Ukraine, October 15, 2016

    Why Kiev's Shelling Raids on Donbass Coincide With Poroshenko's Foreign Tours

    © REUTERS/ Mikhail Palinchak/Ukrainian Presidential Press Service
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    Kiev deliberately has protracted the talks over the Minsk agreements, according to Natalia Nikonorova, Foreign Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR). Speaking to RT Russian political analyst Alexei Chesnakov, she assumed that Kiev wants international security forces brought in to eastern Ukraine to gain the upper hand.

    Kiev used pauses in the negotiations of the Normandy Four and the Trilateral Contact group to sabotage the Minsk accords, Natalia Nikonorova, Foreign Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), told a press conference Thursday.

    "Of all 13 paragraphs, which describe the whole set of measures necessary for the implementation of the Minsk accords, only one has been implemented [by Kiev] — to create subgroups," Nikonorova said as quoted by RIA Novosti.

    She emphasized that although these political subgroups have really been created by Kiev, they are negotiators in name only, because very often Ukrainian representatives use various pretexts to block decision-making.

    Furthermore, Nikonorova called attention to the fact that Kiev continues to sabotage the implementation of the so-called "Steinmeier formula" proposed by former German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier back in 2015.

    Under this formula the special status to Donbass will be assigned to the breakaway republics on the day of local elections in the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics.

    She stressed that Kiev keeps protracting the talks. The Ukrainian leadership refuses to discuss the Steinmeier formula by referring to the necessity of receiving "additional signals" from the Normandy Four. It appears that it is in the interest of Kiev to stall the talks, she believes.

    "Yesterday there was the 56th meeting of the political subgroups," Nikonorova said Thursday, "We prepared eight documents which were presented [to Kiev] back in April and May. [For its part], Ukraine has failed to work out any [document]. At the same time the [Ukrainian] subgroup has already replaced four negotiators over the past year."

    OSCE inspectors examine the territory of the Donetsk filter plant, situated on the contact line between Yasinovataya and Avdeyevka in Donbass, which was heavily shelled by the Ukrainian army
    © Sputnik/ Igor Maslov
    OSCE inspectors examine the territory of the Donetsk filter plant, situated on the contact line between Yasinovataya and Avdeyevka in Donbass, which was heavily shelled by the Ukrainian army

    Both DPR and LPR representatives have expressed their dissatisfaction with the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, stressing that it doesn't exert enough pressure on Kiev.

    "The OSCE is using extremely evasive [language] in its reports. They [OSCE] know much more than they say. They do not specify, at least presumably, who fired in the territory," LPR diplomat Rodion Miroshnik said, as quoted by RT.

    DPR and LPR representatives voiced their growing concerns about the OSCE mission amid increased tensions between Kiev and the breakaway republics.

    The situation in eastern Ukraine has escalated over the past few weeks, in particular near the town of Avdiivka, where clashes between Kiev forces and the local militia have intensified.

    On January 29, fighting erupted in Avdiivka, Donetsk region.

    Instead of de-escalating the conflict Kiev began to beef up its military presence near the town.

    "The Ukrainian army continues to concentrate its forces in the vicinity of Avdiivka for an offensive," Deputy Commander of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) Operational Command Eduard Basurin reported on February 2.

    A few days later the Russian Investigative Committee confirmed that Kiev was increasing its military presence along the contact line in Donbass.

    "The Kiev authorities continue to illegally, in violation of the Minsk agreements and ceasefire commitments arising from them, actively build up their military presence along the contact line," Russian Investigative Committee spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko told reporters on February 7.

    Local residents examine their flat that has been destroyed as a result of night shelling to the flashpoint eastern town of Avdiivka
    © AFP 2017/ Aleksey FILIPPOV
    Local residents examine their flat that has been destroyed as a result of night shelling to the flashpoint eastern town of Avdiivka

    In addition to shelling residential areas in Donbass, the Ukrainian Armed Forces carried out attacks against the region's infrastructure facilities: in particular, on February 4 the Ukrainian military blew up a power line near the city of  Horlivka.

    "The forces exploded the power line at 14:30 local time [11:30 GMT] on the territory controlled by Kiev, near the town of Svitlodarsk. As a result, the whole city of Horlivka was left without power," a spokesman for the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) reported.

    Commenting on the issue, Alexei Chesnakov, the head of the Center for Political Analyses in Moscow, explained that back in May Kiev adopted a new tactic of destroying the region's infrastructure and industrial facilities.

    "Ukraine wants to shift the focus from the discussion of the political process [in Donbass] to security issues," Chesnakov told RT, suggesting that this approach is being backed by US and EU decision-makers.

    "This policy aimed at raising the problem of environmental and technological disasters is coordinated between Ukraine and the West," he explained.

    "Kiev wants international security forces deployed in the region. Apparently, it is appropriate to talk about the United Nations, since the OSCE has no military force. This is a simple and primitive game," Chesnakov said, adding that Kiev hopes to win in few moves.

    DPR militiamen on demarcation line
    © Sputnik/ Genady Dubovoy
    DPR militiamen on demarcation line

    The Russian political analyst suggested that artillery raids on Donbass during Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's foreign tours are yet another element of Kiev's broader "game."

    "These activities [on the part of Kiev] are linked to the schedule of [Poroshenko's] foreign tours. If we connect the dots properly, we will see that the escalation is aimed at drawing Western politicians' attention to what is going on in Ukraine," Chesnakov said.

    The question then arises whether such a strategy really helps Poroshenko to tip the balance in his favor in the eyes of Brussels and Washington.

    Speaking to reporters last Friday Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov noted that the US and EU have begun to understand the true nature of Kiev's leadership.

    "The only plus that I see in this situation, is that the West begins to understand the true nature of the Ukrainian authorities, but it is being achieved with blood and many months-long, if not years-long, experiments," Lavrov told the NTV channel.

    Related:

    Pro-Poroshenko Bloc Urges President to Reconsider Economic Blockade of Donbass
    Lavrov: OSCE Understands It Cannot Whitewash Ukrainian Troops in Donbass Anymore
    OSCE Mission Reveals Number of Civilian Victims Since Escalation in Donbass
    LPR Residents Urge Russian, US, German Leaders to Prevent Violence in Donbass
    Donbass: Deal-Breaker for the New Détente?
    'West Begins to Understand True Nature' of Kiev Amid Donbass Escalation - Lavrov
    Tags:
    ceasefire breach, artillery, ceasefire, Normandy Format, shelling, Minsk agreements, Lugansk People's Republic, Donetsk People’s Republic, European Union, Petro Poroshenko, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Sergei Lavrov, Kiev, Europe, United States, Ukraine, Russia, Minsk
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    • avatar
      marcanhalt
      Given the opportunity, I would like to kick Poroshenko's a$$. With every death to his credit, the blood is rolling up his arms. If there are degrees of rewards in heaven, there has to be degrees of punishment in hell. I think that murder, or the shedding of innocent blood, will top that list.
    • avatar
      cast235
      There is MORE.. Why FRANCE doesn't use it's influence and Germany, E.U , NATO, U.S to tell KIEV that E Ukrainians are NOT terrorists but simple workers refusing the coup d etat that IS ILLEGAL and have U.S NATO OCCUPYING a sovereign country.
    • NATOisEVIL
      Russia cant go in to protect the people in Donbas because it would ignite WWIII, just as NATO and all the devilish war criminals want. In the mean time Porky kills children and women for fun, only to provoke the Russians.
    • avatar
      Mishka Kyivin reply tomarcanhalt(Show commentHide comment)
      marcanhalt, Who did you say blew up the criminals Givi and Motorola?
    • avatar
      marcanhaltin reply toMishka Kyiv(Show commentHide comment)
      Mishka Kyiv, "Who did you say blew up the criminals Givi and Motorola?" I don't know these people you mentioned, nor did I ever refer to them. When I read the other comments, I do not see anyone else mentioning their names. And neither are their names mentioned in this article. I cannot help you in your question.
    • landauroj
      He is just playing stupid children war games. His square brain does not help him to reason, perhaps to much toxic chocolate for breakfast.
    • Natasha Haas
      From the few people who know where to find Ukraine on the map, very few care what's going on there. Poroshenkow has to do all he can to receive enough ink so people recognize his his face.
    • avatar
      Mishka Kyivin reply tomarcanhalt(Show commentHide comment)
      marcanhalt, You dont recognise the names? They were russian terrorists in Ukraine. Blown up by fellow russians.
    • avatar
      Mishka Kyivin reply tomarcanhalt(Show commentHide comment)
      marcanhalt, Yes that is right. The 10,000 Ukrainian dead caused by Putin will be punished.
    • avatar
      marcanhaltin reply toMishka Kyiv(Show commentHide comment)
      Mishka Kyiv, You are an obvious fan of "fake news" and the Kiev Post, which I read everyday. I have lost friends in the Donbass area. I have also been to Kharkov and Kherson with emergency supplies by the cargo containers. I have yet to meet a displaced family that said, "The Russians did it." Let me know where you are at in Kyiv and maybe we can get together and discuss your conclusions. You will have to be in Kharkov this October as that is the next time we will be there. If I don't hear from you, I will just conclude that the Russians have taken you...
    • avatar
      marcanhaltin reply toMishka Kyiv(Show commentHide comment)
      Mishka Kyiv, Nope, I never heard of these two men. I know that Kiev loves to describe Ukrainians in Donbass as "terrorists". The world understands this as being a civil war.
    • avatar
      marcanhaltin reply toMishka Kyiv(Show commentHide comment)
      Mishka Kyiv, If there is going to be punishment for these 10,000 deaths, I am sure the people I know in your Prosecutor's office will know where to find Porloshenko, the Svoboda and the Adair Battalion once they are out of office and this is all over, right?
    • Jonathan Ferguson
      Svobs are like snakes in the grass... Always keep your eyes down!
    • Jonathan Fergusonin reply tomarcanhalt(Show commentHide comment)
      marcanhalt, Dante is at a loss.
    • Jonathan Fergusonin reply toMishka Kyiv(Show commentHide comment)
      Mishka Kyiv, Are Ukraine now hiring a 50 cent gang to post on social media?
    • Jonathan Fergusonin reply toMishka Kyiv(Show commentHide comment)
      Mishka Kyiv, Actually no, i don't think you are being paid. I think you are a 'useful confused' person.
    • avatar
      marcanhaltin reply toJonathan Ferguson(Show commentHide comment)
      "Mishka Kyiv, Are Ukraine now hiring a 50 cent gang to post on social media?"

      Mishka Kyiv, "Actually no, i don't think you are being paid. I think you are a 'useful confused' person."

      "Dante is at a loss."

      Thanks, I got it.
    • avatar
      marcanhaltin reply toJonathan Ferguson(Show commentHide comment)
      Jonathan Ferguson, Did you know that snakes want to get out of your way, and try to? The reason most people get bit, is because they surprise the snake. In the same way, if you let the Right Sector know you are coming, they sneak away into the day, only to come out when the darkness will hide their deeds. They are evil.
    • Jonathan Fergusonin reply tomarcanhalt(Show commentHide comment)
      marcanhalt, Ha ha!
    • Tony Rossiniin reply toNATOisEVIL(Show commentHide comment)
      NATOisEVIL,
      Not really, Ukraine is not a NATO country....so NATO can't invoke Article 5 in order to fight on behalf of the fascist Ukrainians.
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