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Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 19.01.2019 
 
In Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine, Germany wants the innocent victim, Ukraine, to “de-escalate.” Germany’s foreign minister made this astonishing assertion in Kyiv on January 18.
 
The Russian Federation has been waging war against Ukraine for almost 5 years and launched a purposeful and unprovoked attack on the Ukrainian Navy on 25 November 2018. In a shocking statement, German foreign minister Heiko Maas said: “All sides must contribute to the de-escalation of the conflict.” Instead of coming to the aid of Ukraine, Germany appeases the Russian aggressor with moral equivalency. The German government does nothing to stop Putin’s War, but instead lectures the victim of that war to “contribute” to making it magically disappear.
 
Heiko Maas made his insulting remarks in Kyiv after he had spent the day in Moscow appeasing the invader of Ukraine in the form of Russian Federation foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.
 
It seems that Heiko Maas made a proposal to the Russian side for an international commission to monitor the Kerch Strait. This commission is suggested to include German, French, and Ukrainian experts. Sergey Lavrov dismissed the involvement of Ukraine out-of-hand. He did so despite the fact that the Kerch Strait lies between the Russian Federation and Ukraine and despite the Agreement between the Russian Federation and Ukraine on Cooperation in the Use of the Sea of Azov and Kerch Strait which was adopted by both countries on 24 December 2003.
 
Top Kremlin silovik Vladimir Putin refuses to talk to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko about the Kerch Strait attack or about the Minsk Agreement or about anything. Putin’s policy of endless delay is encouraged by Germany, which never presses the Russian Federation to meet its obligations with respect to Ukraine or the OSCE or the Council of Europe or any institution of the rules-based international order.
 
Germany is scrambling to protect its collusion with the Putin regime in building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the Baltic Sea. Nord Stream 2 is a Russian political project to bypass Ukraine as a gas transit country and to compromise the energy security of Europe. The involvement of Germany on the side of the invader of Ukraine in this endeavour is a mystery. Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the United States, the European Commission, and the European Parliament vehemently oppose Nord Stream 2 – recognizing it for the anti-Ukrainian war project that it is.
 
Without bothering to defend German corruption over Nord Stream 2, Heiko Maas presumed to lecture his hosts in Kyiv about corruption in Ukraine.
 
The junket of Heiko Maas to Moscow and Kyiv is a disaster for Ukraine and for Germany. The German foreign minister appeased Russian aggression in Moscow and tolerated Sergey Lavrov’s lies without contradiction. In Kyiv, Minister Maas indulged in “all sides” moral equivalency about the Russian Federation’s war against Ukraine – an insult to the memory of the over 11,000 Europeans who have died in Putin’s War, mostly in Donbas.
 
Photo: Pavlo Klimkin, Ukraine's FM, on the right, listening to Heiko Maas, Germany's FM, in Kyiv on 18 January 2019
Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 18.01.2019 
 
Russian forces invading Ukraine made an assault attempt near Donetsk, starting overnight on January 16-17. The attack was against Ukrainian defensive positions to the north-west of the Russian-occupied city of Donetsk. These Ukrainian fortifications lie between the village of Pisky and the settlement of Zhabunky. Ukrainian defenders targeted and destroyed the Russian column while it was being deployed.
 
Russian occupation forces in the Donetsk region of Ukraine are organized as the 1st Army Corps (the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic”). This illegal armed formation in Ukraine started seven firefights in an extensive assault on Ukrainian positions in the Zhabunky-Pisky gap. Five times the enemy used automatic grenade launchers, large-calibre machine guns, and small arms. Twice the Russians used small arms only.
 
The press centre of the Joint Forces Operation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reports that a Ukrainian soldier was wounded in action on January 17. The cautious assessment of Ukrainian military intelligence is that three invaders perished in the day’s assaults.
 
As reported by Dmitry Tymchuk of Information Resistance, the Russians were “inspired” by their anti-tank guided missile attack on a Ukrainian army truck near Troitske on January 16. That attack caused ten casualties among Ukrainian troops. This time, though, the attacking Russians were met by fierce defensive fire from the Ukrainian trenches. “The aggressor's transport was destroyed by oncoming fire,” wrote Tymchuk on social media. He went on to say: “According to preliminary data, 5 occupiers were destroyed, 3 more were wounded.”
 
The battle took place directly to the south-west of the runway of the ruined Donetsk airport. From the start of the Russian invasion of Donbas in April 2014 to the end of January 2015 a fierce battle was fought at Donetsk airport. Ukrainian defenders – who became famously known as “Cyborgs” – held the terminal buildings against relentless assaults and bombardments by the Russian army. At the end of the Battle of Donetsk Airport the Cyborgs withdrew to Pisky. The airport precinct is today a desolate no-man’s land: The Muscovites occupy territory to the south and east of it while free Ukraine settlements lie to the north and west.
 
Seven kilometres to the west of Pisky, the Russians attacked Ukrainian defences near the village of Nevelske with grenades and small arms. A similar distance from Pisky to the north, on the other side of the ruins of Donetsk airport, the Russians attacked near the village of Opytne. These attacks occurred on January 17.
 
The Russian invaders of Ukraine are violating the Minsk Agreement with these bombardments and assaults. There is supposed to be a ceasefire in effect. The latest one is known as the “New Year’s ceasefire” and there should have been a silence regime since December 29. There has not been, and that is entirely because the Russians do not want there to be peace or even a truce in Ukraine.
Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 17.01.2019  
 
Russian armed forces invading Donbas hit a Ukrainian supply truck on Wednesday. Ten soldiers from the Joint Forces Operation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were wounded. This was a brazen and unprovoked attack by the Russians, made in violation of the Minsk Agreement ceasefire.
 
The 72nd Separate Mechanized Brigade holds defensive positions east of the village of Troitske in Luhansk  region, 40 kilometres west of the Russian-occupied city of Luhansk. On January 16, two trucks providing food and water to the Troitske fortifications were attacked. Russian occupation forces fired an anti-tank guided missile at a Ural truck. The missile was fired from the direction of the village of Kalynova.
 
According to the commander of the 72nd Brigade, Ruslan Tatus, the missile struck a truck and hit soldiers unloading cargo. Ten Ukrainian soldiers were wounded, two of them seriously.
 
The driver of one of the trucks was quoted by Obozrevatel: “I just saw an explosion, gunpowder, black smoke. I did not immediately understand, then the blood went ... They were all near the truck and they were literally scattered. And I was near the truck on the other side, then I got a splinter in the neck.”
 
The Ukrainian military has been providing medical assistance to the wounded men, and evacuated them to hospitals.
 
The attack near Troitske happened on the 1,792nd day of the Russian Federation’s war against Ukraine.
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