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    Donbass: Deal-Breaker for the New Détente?

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    Andrew Korybko
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    Kiev's war on Donbass has heated up right when Presidents Putin and Trump seem ready for a New Détente, leading many to wonder whether this latest conflict is a planned act of geopolitical sabotage.

    Ukraine's President Poroshenko
    © Sputnik/ Mikhail Markiv
    Prior to the latest wave of hostilities, which has included Kiev’s shelling of civilians and the assassination of rebel leaders, most analysts agreed that Russia and the US were on the verge of cautiously re-engaging with one another in brainstorming spheres of pragmatic cooperation all across the world. While it’s still very possible for that they might work together to fight Daesh in the Mideast, the upsurge of violence in Donbass has the chance of diminishing the prospects that they might end up seeing eye-to-eye in Europe. To recall, the New Cold War was triggered by the US-backed EuroMaidan coup and spree of urban terrorism in Ukraine, which preceded the historic reunification of Crimea with Russia. The epicenter of European geopolitical dynamics has inarguably been Ukraine for the past couple of years, so it’s no real surprise that it’s returning to its recent role.

    What’s most disturbing, however, is that Russia and the US obviously support different sides in the War on Donbass, with Moscow being favorable to the rebels while Washington has provided open military support for Kiev. There are unconfirmed rumors that Trump’s position towards Poroshenko will be different than his predecessor’s, though that still remains to be seen. Even so, some analysts believe that Kiev is trying to “test” Washington by provoking the War on Donbass in order to pressure Trump to align with his predecessor’s policies and blindly throw his weight behind Poroshenko. If he does that, then it might complicate Russian-US efforts to seal a sought-after deal for a New Détente to the New Cold War, which is why some people are fearful that Kiev has laid a trap for the US through its latest aggression against Donbass.

    Trump is obviously under a lot of heat for his ambitious approach to Russia, and the temperature keeps increasing as more Congressional members call on him to take additional steps to “support” Ukraine. Russia, on the other hand, is wary of any expanded American warfighting effort in the country, whether through the export of US weapons to the warzone or whatever else the neoconservatives might be conspiring.

    Andrew Korybko is joined by Miquel Puertas, lecturer and blogger from Barcelona working at Donetsk National Technical University, and Adam Garrie, writer at The Duran.

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    Tags:
    Ukrainian crisis, Donbass, Kiev, Ukraine
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