Situation on the fronts on Novorossiya has grown tense again, though sporadic fire has become a usual thing in Donbass. Ukraine does nothing to implement the Minsk Agreements neither in the political field nor in the military one, and can launch offensive as soon as it is sure of its success, military experts told EADaily. So far, Kiev continues its former tactics of keeping Donbass in permanent tension, exhausting it with regular bombardments and protracting the talks.
“Shelling has intensified throughout the month growing as intensive as in August of 2014 from time to time,” Marina Kharkova, the military correspondent of Anna-News and Donetsk-based blogger told EADaily. She said peaceful residential districts and quarters in Donetsk, the villages and towns adjacent to the engagement line, such as Zaitsevo in Gorlovka, Yasinovataya and others were affected again, like two years ago. “Dozens of houses have been damaged and destroyed, with peaceful population and fighters being killed and wounded. The Ukrainian aggressors use heavy artillery like in 2014 – howitzers and self-propelled artillery systems, which Ukraine should have been withdrawn from the line,” Kharkova said.
The military correspondent says the ceasefire has been broken actually, and the rhetoric of politicians and the military actions are two different realities.
“It is quite probable that Ukraine will launch offensive, as it has both power and desire for it. However, in case of failure, the risks of reputation damage and casualties are too high. Therefore, it is logical that Ukraine prefers keeping Donbass in the state of permanent tension, exhaust it with bombardments and win time at the talks, to launching offensive openly,” she said.
Unless it is sure in its success, Kharkova said, Ukraine will keep probing into the defenses of the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics through reconnaissance fighting, seizing neutral territories, destroying houses, infrastructures, monitoring the situation with drones, launching sabotage attacks against the militia commanders.
In her worlds, the army of Donetsk and Lugansk neutralizes these actions. The Novorossiya forces are capable enough to response, but they do not go beyond self-defense, the blogger said.
“The military act on the principle – if you want peace, prepare for war. Ukrainian fighters know this. So, their main attack force is backed with punitive units of the national battalions Dnepr (in the direction of Svetlodarsk), Azov (in the direction of Maryinka) and Right Sector (in the direction of Krasnoarmeysk). In addition to it, there are a big number of well-trained mercenaries from various countries. They have moved to the zone of military actions ready to make any provocation. It is noteworthy that Ukraine’s Air Force has intensified the flights of battle and transport planes over the frontline. All this coupled with the continuous railway transportation of military cargoes speaks of the sooner end of ceasefire,” Marina Kharkova said.
Igor Strelkov, the ex-minister of defense of Donetsk People’s Republic, the head of the All-Russian National Movement, told EADaily the current tension is the continuation of the former uncompromising and aggressive policy of Ukraine. “While Russia is trying to make peace with Kiev (quite uselessly), Kiev keeps openly demonstrating its unwillingness to go on any concessions. When a terrorist with an axe is running down the street threatening to murder someone, everyone believes him and calls police. In the case with Ukraine, Poroshenko and other ‘respectful partners’ not just run with tanks, missiles and mortars but also fire and kill people, but our diplomacy and our authorities somehow pretend as if it is a joke – as if they did it in temper and will come to senses soon and then it will be possible to make peace with them. This will never happen. Kiev has not abandoned its strategy even for a day since the signing of Minsk-1 and Minsk-2, simply because it is backed by the United States that wants to see a running sore on Russia’s body, while Donbass like the entire Ukraine is part of Russia,” Strelkov said.
As for forecasts, Strelkov said it is not clear when particularly Kiev will try to launch offensive, but it will happen at a certain moment, undoubtedly. “Kiev is waiting for the right moment to attack and is constantly preparing for it,” Strelkov said.
In the meantime, the situation is still tense on the fronts of Novorossiya. Referring to its source in the defense ministry, the Donetsk news agency reports that two civilians were wounded, a house and the power substation were damaged in last night’s bombardments by Ukraine in the Petrovsky region of Donetsk. Yet, the residents say on forums, it was not the ‘hottest’ night in their town.
On the night of July 31- August 1, in the village of Zaitsevo, 15 houses were damaged during bombardments by Ukraine’s forces. Destructions are reported in Dontesk’s Yasinovataya and Kuybishev regions too. A civilian was killed and another one was wounded in Yasinovataya. On that night alone, Ukraine’s Armed Forces shelled at the near front regions of Donetsk more than 850 times.