Saturday, January 24, 2015

We are at war

Russian troops have increased their attacks all along the ceasefire line and have begin shelling the seaport Mariupol, the last major strong point in breaking through a land link to Crimea which Russia desperately needs. The leader of the DNR has said that they will attack and advance against Ukrainian positions until they reach the borders of  the Oblasts...and maybe farther if they feel like it.  Of course 10 minutes later he denied that he said that.

The Minsk agreement is dead, though it really never had any life.  The Russian terrorists shelled Ukrainian positions, villages, towns and cities every day with artillery and rockets.  Shelling increased every time a new shipment of humanitarian aid arrived from Russia.

Troops freely moved back and forth across the border and hundreds of pieces of heavy weapons, including newly developed rocket launchers, armoured vehicles and fire control centres have been transported into Ukraine and positioned along the border of the Russian held territory in Donetsk and Luhansk. Russia's testing of new weapons reminds one of the Spanish Civil War for those seeking historical parallels.

Last week they shelled a Ukrainian checkpoint and hit a bus, killing 13 civilians.  The other day a bus stop in Donetsk City was hit and several more civilians were killed.  Of course all this is the Ukrainians doings, even though the bus stop was hit by mortar fire and the Ukrainians were several times out of mortar range.

The Russian terrorists hide behind civilians as Putin promised last year that they would.  They locate and fire from populated areas - schools, hospitals etc being favourite locations as it makes it difficult to return fire without killing civilians.  If the Ukrainian military are too cautious, the Russians will shell civilian areas and blame the Ukrainians which is likely what happened with the bus stop in the city.

Russian media is already reporting that Mariupol has surrendered. A bit premature but from the earliest days of Communism, Russian media has always been over optimistic in predicting accomplishments.  Not that I doubt it will happen.  Russia has 50,000 troops and hundreds of heavy weapons on the border with Ukraine. The invasion will come as a "peacekeeping mission" and Putin is already preparing people for the increase in Cargo 200, see Paul Goble's blog post, link below.

Putin Seen Declaring War on Kyiv the Only Way He Can – By Blaming Ukraine

Russia kills civilians in Mariupol, demands peace

Putin's new peace plan is simply his terms for Ukraine's surrender.  The Minsk agreement was not as much in Russia's favour as he wanted and he had no intention of keeping it anyway but it was a great way to buy time.


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