With the removal of the weapons can wait
About the beginning of the truce from the 20th of February, the parties agreed at the meeting of the Contact group on settling the situation in Ukraine in Minsk on 18 February. February 19 this initiative was supported by the foreign Ministers of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany in the negotiations in “Norman format”, held in Munich. After the truce should be followed by the withdrawal of heavy weapons.
The armed forces of Ukraine from midnight on February 20 was not fired at the territory of the breakaway Donetsk people’s Republic (DNR), said Monday the representative of the operational command of the self-proclaimed Republic Eduard Bacurin. The decrease in the number of attacks was confirmed by the representative of the Ukrainian military operations. “The fire is not yet terminated. At this point, recorded 13 attacks, but there is a tendency to reduce their number. Heavy weapons are not used, even mortars”, — said Leonid Matyukhin, a representative of the headquarters of the Ukrainian anti-terrorist operation (quoted by TASS).
However, during the pre-truce days in DNR has recorded 882 fire from the Ukrainian security forces, he said. Of this number, heavy artillery was used 30 times, tanks — 16, mortars of various calibres — 205 times, BMP — 147, anti-aircraft guns, rocket-propelled grenades and small arms — 484 times, said Basurin.
In the same period of Ukrainian positions by militants were fired 62 times, said Matiukhin in the TV channel “112 Ukraine”. As a result of shelling, one soldier killed, one wounded.
The evening of 18 February, tougher battles under the plant, six kilometres North-West of Donetsk. As reported on his page in Facebook the General Director of Avdiivka coke plant (AKHZ) Musa Magomedov, as a result of shelling again de-energized and the plant itself, and Donetsk filtration station. 19 Feb from the shells hit the railway station of the item. According to Magomedov, by Monday, power companies managed to restore “only one input (of power supply) of the four”.
As told a source in the Verkhovna Rada, “fighting in Avdeevka are unlikely to cease in the near future.” “The fact that at the time of the previous exacerbation APU took the height which completely sweep the route Donetsk — Gorlovka and dangerousi now will try to recapture”.
Ceasefire is a condition for the withdrawal of heavy weapons. According to Basurin, DNR will begin the withdrawal of weapons only if the mode of silence will be observed for 24 hours. The evening of February 20, Basurin said that DPR plans to conduct the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the contact line on February 21, but first the self-proclaimed representatives of the Republic receive from the OSCE confirmation of the fact that the Ukrainian side started the withdrawal. Matyukhin stated that the Ukrainian side in advance made the withdrawal.
The anti-aircraft missile complex “Circle” on a pedestal in Donetsk. 19 Feb 2017
Photo: Viktor Drachev / TASS
Will they continue the success of the “Minsk”
The reduction of tension in the conflict zone, agreement on which was reached in Minsk, coincided with the signing by President Vladimir Putin of the decree about recognition in Russia of the documents issued in the DNI and LC. On Monday, the representatives of the governments of Germany and France condemned the move. “Signed by President Putin’s decree on Russia’s recognition of issued in the DNI and LC documents, from our point of view, clearly contrary to the spirit and objectives of the Minsk agreements”, — said Martin Schaefer, spokesman of Germany. That Russia’s decision is inconsistent with the spirit of the Minsk agreements and agree to the French foreign Ministry, as stated by the official representative of the Ministry Romain Nadal.
Official Kyiv the decision of Russia also condemned, but so far no response not stated. Authorities in Kiev now took a break due to turbulence in domestic politics, says senior analyst at the Ukrainian International center for policy studies Anatoliy Artisyuk. The President and his team must go through the period of the celebration of the three-year anniversary of Euromaidan, which this year is accompanied by attempts of civil activists to organize a trade blockade of Donbass, which provoked the energy crisis in the country. The expert notes that the decision Poroshenko gives Putin a trump card to which one can refer, not wanting to go on political compromises on Donbass and to implement the Minsk agreements. Putin actually strengthened the negotiating position of Poroshenko: President of Ukraine there is another point on which it is supported by the West, says artisyuk.
The decision on the recognition of documents was partly a test of the West, says associate Professor of RSUH Alexander Gushchin. The danger is that Poroshenko and other officials will begin to use the solution for passports in their favor, however, a dramatic change of the position of the West on the Ukrainian settlement is unlikely, but can minimize the drift of Western countries towards support of Russia, indicates Gushchin. According to experts, the Russian side understands that the conflict in the Donbas is to freezing, so it was a step for the recognition of passports.
Published February 13 report close to the Kremlin, of the political conjuncture scenario in which the conflict in Ukraine is waiting for the freeze “for many years, if not forever”, is regarded as the most likely.