5 July 2014, 15:55

Poroshenko's dependence on far-right radicals makes peace talks in Ukraine problematic - expert

Poroshenko's dependence on far-right radicals makes peace talks in Ukraine problematic - expert

Ukrainian army has resumed the onslaught against anti-government forces following President Poroshenko's refusal to continue dialogue with the country's Eastern regions. The decision not to extend ceasefire was made with complete disregard to the position of Russia and leading EU member states who called for a political solution to the crisis.

"I think that the situation has become much more complicated than we even predicted. The problem is that the military operation of the Ukrainian forces in the southeastern Ukraine could not be completed without large losses of the civil population," Andrei Fedorov, Director of Centre for Political Research, said. "I think that in the coming days the Russian leadership should undertake a certain decision what will be the goal of Russia in this very situation.

Some steps which can be undertaken together with the EU and the OSCE can help to ease the situation. But what we need today, we need today the so-called peace pressure on Poroshenko, because if there will be no concrete steps for a new ceasefire, new consultations or talk – whatever you would like to call it – the situation will deteriorate and will push Russia to maybe more hard moves."

"I think the question today is to have a ceasefire at least for one month, because this previous ceasefire showed that the so-called short-term decisions are not working," he added. "And there could be some concrete conditions. First condition is that during this ceasefire, there will be international monitoring of the Russian-Ukrainian border. Second, during the ceasefire Russia will not recognize Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics as sovereign states. And during the ceasefire the Ukrainian troops will remain on the territory of Lugansk and Donetsk, but will not undertake any military actions."

"The Ukrainian President Poroshenko broke ceasefire when only an hour remained till the announcement about extending the ceasefire almost agreed by all the interested parties," Sergey Letun, an expert at the Russian Academy of Military Sciences, pointed out. "The EU and Russia showed that he is not a completely independent figure inside the noninstitutional system of political power in Ukraine. So, I see that he is still under the influence from those outright radicals, the so-called semi-fascist forces that backed him to win the presidential elections.

In parallel, we see an attempt to raise the stakes in the negotiations with the rebels through the realization of insultment tactics against them. The military troops in Ukraine are not well-organized and coordinated. So, I expect that more devastation will be seen in the east of Ukraine.

And along with this, as time passes, more and more Ukrainians become divided. If you look at the last gallop poll released a month ago, it illustrates how deep it is. There are majorities in the east expressing distrust to the US interference, opposition to integrating economically with the EU and unwillingness to make sacrifices for the sake of economic reforms. So, in this complex situation Poroshenko has to find ways to defend his interests without unleashing a full-scale war against his own citizens and ending in a complete confrontation with Russia."

He also noted that while the Ukrainian army can win this war, it will take a long time considering the level of Ukrainian troops' training and the rebels' tenacity. "As I already told, the military troops in Ukraine are not well-coordinated. For example, it takes almost six months to provide full-scale congruence of actions for such troops like a single battalion. The Ukrainian army didn’t have any time to be well-trained to fight with the rebels. And I think that the fight can take too much time for the Ukrainian troops to be completely victorious.

And in case the rebels will withstand the attacks of the Ukrainian army, more devastative results of such a fighting will be see. And as a result, such fighting will lead to unexpected political conclusions, I suppose," he said.

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