Rostislav Ishchenko: Poroshenko Exploits the Donbass “Grey Zone” to Win Around the Banderist Electorate

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


The UAF announced an advance in Donbass of more than 1 kilometer.
This was stated on the Facebook page of the Operations of United Forces.

“The united forces have carried out a sweep in one of the settlements of the Volnovakha district located in the ‘grey’ zone. The village in which 80 people lived before the war has remained empty over four years of war,” it is noted in the message.

“After the settlement became empty, militants disappeared into the abandoned houses and from there opened fire at the positions of the Ukrainian army. To exclude undesirable provocations, members of the special units of the United Forces carried out a special operation to sweep the ‘grey’ zone, moving ahead 1200 meters, removing mines on the Ukrainian side, revealing traps and obstacles. The traces of the stay of occupational troops were recorded by the camera of war correspondents,” reported the OUF.

The name of the settlement doesn’t appear in the video, but in the comments to the video one user specified that it is about the village of Viktorovka. The DPR has denied all of this information.

We spoke to the political scientist Rostislav Ishchenko about how the situation in the border territories will develop and whether it is worth expecting an escalation of the conflict in the pre-election period.

“I think that it will develop in the same key. And all of this information about the UAF advancing or not advancing, coming or leaving, will constantly appear. Firstly, because in the ‘grey zone’ it is possible to advance two kilometers and it will change nothing. Secondly, because Ukraine doesn’t need a big war that can be lost with a bang in one-two weeks, and then Poroshenko can say goodbye to his presidential ambitions.

But an aggravation on all fronts is favorable to Poroshenko. Why wouldn’t he then say that they are slowly at war somewhere? That’s why they deploy boats to the Sea of Azov and speak about how they will sink the Black Sea Fleet of Russia, which, in fact, isn’t present in the Sea of Azov because most of its ships can’t go there. Everyone understands that this is nonsense, but why not tell it [lie – ed] to people?

It is via such methods that Poroshenko tries to win around the right-wing radicals, people who support the idea of a victory in Donbass. Thus he tries to show his activity and efficiency and create an agenda that is positive for himself.”

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