12 July 2014, 17:17

Donetsk faces Ukrainian army onslaught, may share fate of Sarajevo

Donetsk faces Ukrainian army onslaught, may share fate of Sarajevo

The Ukrainian army onslaught in the eastern regions of the country forced the anti-government militia to fall back to the regional capital Donetsk. They vow to defend the city to the last man. If Ukrainian forces decide to storm Donetsk, the city, with a population of one million. may be razed to the ground, becoming a new Sarajevo.

Borislav Korkodelovich, an independent expert from Belgrade, pointed out that while there are indeed certain similarities between the situation in Donetsk and what happened in Sarajevo, there are also some notable differences. " 

As far as Donetsk is concerned, some people are thinking that it can become new Sarajevo which was besieged by the Serbian troops in Bosnia for almost three years, from 1992 to 1995.

I don’t know too much about the situation on the ground to say if the things will develop in that direction, in the direction of new Sarajevo, as Sarajevo used to be compared with Leningrad during the WW II. But that would be a tragic development if that would occur.

So, to answer your question, as I have said, there are some similarities between the situations in southeastern part of Ukraine and overall Ukraine and the situation in the former Yugoslavia, which has disappeared.

I think there are some similarities as far as the composition of the two states – Ukraine and the former Yugoslavia, which was a mixture of various religious and ethnic groups, and their cultures. This was in the former Yugoslavia and now it is in Ukraine.

The other thing is that basically both states haven't been historical entities. Ukraine is existing for about a quarter of a century, the former Yugoslavia for around 70 or 80 years. So, in the history, it is a very short period for some state to be well-established and become strong," he said.

Dmitry Polikanov, vice president of PIR Center in Moscow, said he believes that Ukrainian military will most likely attempt to besiege Donetsk under siege and try and orchestrate a split in the Donetsk and Lugansk militias' ranks. "Right now, if they [militias] managed to get integrated, they can lead the guerilla warfare against the Ukrainian Army for an endless period of time. But if the Ukrainian politicians manage to organize some sort of a split in their ranks, then it will be much easier to put an end to this rebellion in the east of Ukraine," he said.

Sergei Oznobnischev, director of the Institute for Strategic Assessment and also deputy chairman of the “Russia-USA” Association, noted that one doesn't have to be a military analyst to notice that the self-proclaimed republics' militias are losing ground to the Kiev regime forces. 

"Bad news, of course, is that President Poroshenko is not going to stop or it is not evident that he is going to stop the very active fighting, bombing, shooting which touches the population," he said. "And we know that a lot of people fled to Russia. The compromise will take place, but at present it is not obvious will there be the size of this compromise, because we see that President Poroshenko is not going to acknowledge the existence of Donetsk and Lugansk republics, the existence of the representatives of these republics.

And he is initiating the dialog with some minors in Donetsk, with those who didn’t fight against the regime. He pretends to speak with the simple people, as we were usually saying in the Soviet times. Common people who represent the interests of the region – this is the counterpart for Poroshenko. So, the compromise will take place, but we don’t know what the conditions of the compromise will be.

And the last and very important thing, Russia should combine together once more what the demands and the concerns of the Russian policy are, as far as Ukraine and the future of Russian-Ukrainian relations are concerned. What Ukraine do we want to see? The country which doesn’t belong to any military block. The country which doesn’t have nuclear weapons, and so on and so forth. These conditions should be pronounced and pronounced very loudly."

 

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