Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 30.04.2018
In an escalation of barbaric violence in Putin’s War against Ukraine, Russia is now attacking Ukrainian defenders and civilians an average of 43 times a day. Refusing to help Ukraine, the international community desperately pretends it isn’t happening.
April 28 marked four years since Russian Federation irregular forces seized the Security Services of Ukraine building in Luhansk. For four years not a day has gone by without an attack by Russian armed forces against Ukrainian defenders and civilians in Donbas. Numerous formal ceasefires have been declared, but they have only served as a means for Russia to consolidate its military positions and to resupply its invasion army. The last ceasefire which the so-called Tripartite Contact Group in Minsk, Belarus bothered to announce was the ‘Easter ceasefire.’ As is typically the pattern, the Russians used the time of the ceasefire announcement to bring in massive amounts of weaponry, ammunition, and war matériel before unleashing hell on Ukrainians.
March 24 was a turning point. Over the 37 days before March 24, Russia attacked Ukraine ‘only’ 234 times, which is an average of over 6 attacks per day. In the 37 days from March 24 to April 29 inclusive, Russia attacked Ukraine 1,613 times: an average of over 43 attacks per day.
Politicians, diplomats, and bureaucrats outside Ukraine know full-well that Russia is now attacking Ukraine with escalating ferocity. Attacks numbering in the single digits before have increased to attacks numbering in the double digits on every day since March 24. Russia is bombarding Ukraine with heavy artillery that is proscribed by the Minsk Agreement. Russia fired Grad rockets at Novoluhanske on April 25. Russia has fired from tanks on several occasions. Every day Russia is attacking with heavy mortars, grenade launchers, large-calibre machine guns, and small arms. Snipers are deployed regularly. None of this is secret military intelligence, and all of it is known by decision makers in Western democracies that claim to be friends of Ukraine and opponents of Russian aggression.
It is not too much to ask that the international community take notice that Russia is at war with Ukraine. On April 29, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine called for more pressure to be put on Russia over its escalating bombardments and assaults in Donbas in eastern Ukraine. Taking to Twitter, spokesperson Mariana Betsa wrote: “Russia needs destabilization of Ukraine. 61 attacks, mortars used. 7 UA WIA [Ukrainian soldiers wounded in action]. Urge partners exert more pressure on Ru[ssia].”
Russia is at war with Ukraine and has been for for over four years. Two chunks of Ukraine (which is the largest country that lies wholly within Europe) have been grabbed by foreign invaders from Muscovy: Crimea and a part of Donbas. Trench warfare has been raging in Putin’s War for the same length of time it ran in the First World War a century ago. These days, at the end of April in 2018, Russia is shelling across the trenches – across Putin’s invasion of Europe battlefront – an average of 43 times a day. In nobler times, Russian aggression would have been defeated and peace would have returned to Europe long ago. In these diminished times, all Ukraine is asking is for the international community to “exert more pressure” on Russia. That is the very least that should be done.