Translated by Ollie Richardson
In the OSCE reports on the situation in Donbass there are an increasing number of reports of violations of the truce by the Ukrainian Army. If earlier the missionaries diligently “did not notice” most of the violations by the Ukrainian side, now the situation has changed. Now the OSCE leadership is quite categorical about demanding the parties to the conflict to observe the terms of the signed agreements.
So, Alexander Hug said that the disengagement of the parties’ positions on the contact line in Donbass is the only way to reduce tensions in the region.
“You know that if the parties are too close, the tension is very high in these areas. The only option to stabilize the situation in the longer term is to disengage the parties,” stated the representative of the OSCE mission.
Hug also emphasised that in the near future a new patrol base in the area of Schastia could be opened. It will also promote a reduction in the number of violations of the cease-fire.
The change in the OSCE’s coverage of events in Donbass is primarily associated with the fact that European guarantor-countries supported Russia’s position and called for the strict and prompt fulfilment of Minsk-2. Based on the statements of the Foreign Ministers of Germany and France, which expressed their strict position with respect to the fulfilment of the Minsk agreements, Europe is not going to pander to Kiev and turn a blind eye to the blatant disregard of the peace agreements.
Along with the change in position of the guarantor countries, the OSCE observation mission also changed its “deaf-blind” style of work to more objective coverage of what is happening in Donbass.
As soon as the OSCE ceased to cover up the violations of Kiev and moved to more objective reports, the Ukrainian headquarters panicked. An unequivocal statement of no confidence in the OSCE was sounded from the UAF command to the Ukrainian party.
“Firstly, we must admit that the OSCE, in my opinion, has all the necessary resources to appropriately monitor the situation. As for the Ukrainian Army, we do not use neither prohibited nor no other weapons, only if our soldiers are not threatened by the enemies attack,” commented the Minister of Defence of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak about the attention of the international observers to the use of Ukrainian military weapons prohibited by the agreements.
But even if we ignore the reports of the LDPR about Ukrainian shelling, the OSCE has also repeatedly documented violations of the truce by the Ukrainian side. The most recent of such cases occurred during the visit of the OSCE to a site controlled by the LPR where forces were disengaging in Stanytsia Luhanska. Observers from the Special Monitoring Mission recorded the destruction of the checkpoint after a night of grenade fire from the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine Alexander Hug promised to include these facts in the final report.
“They (the Ukrainian authorities) provided information, as well as this side, on this process (about the units’ planned disengagement of forces and means). That is, we’ll see after a seven-day truce, whether there will be an actual disengagement of forces,” he said after a visit to territory controlled by Kiev.
The ceasefire in Donbass is valid from 31st August 2016, was approved by the guarantor-countries of the Minsk agreements, and was agreed at the meeting of the contact group in Minsk. But as is known, Ukrainian troops continue to violate the arrangements of the ceasefire. Later the contact group on settling the situation in Ukraine signed in Minsk the framework decision on the disengagement of forces and means in Donbass. The document states the disengagement of forces should be carried out at three sites. But the commanders of the Armed Forces and the nationalist battalions refused to proceed with the plan agreed in Minsk on the disengagement of troops at the three points of contact.
To maintain the fragile peace, the Republics declared their full readiness to begin the fulfilment of the peace plan, as well as ensuring the removal of entire staff in specified areas.
“In areas where we have coordinated the disengagement of forces and means, there will not be a single person with a weapon: it is the complete removal of all personnel who have weapons,” said the envoy of the Republic Vladislav Deynego.
But Kiev categorically does not participate in the latest attempt of Donbass to make peace and move on to constructive dialogue. Despite the signing of the agreements on a ceasefire and the withdrawal of troops, which the Ukrainian side agreed to under pressure from its European partners from Germany and France, Kiev originally was not going to proceed with the peace process. The leaders in Kiev are well aware that after the withdrawal of troops they will need to immediately adopt a law on special status, and for them it is virtually a death sentence. Hence the desperate resistance of Kiev “hawks” and accusations of “betrayal” in the direction of the missionaries, the OSCE, and even the European guarantors.
“But sooner or later everything will be known. Who shot down the plane, who opened fired at Maidan, who burned people alive in Odessa – everything will be known and the perpetrators will be punished according to the law,” said the Ukrainian politician Volodymyr Oleinyk.
There can be no talk of peace in Ukraine under the current ruling power. It is impossible to come to an agreement about peace with those who are hungry for war.
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