Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 29.12.2018
A “New Year’s” ceasefire is supposed to have taken effect in Donbas where the Russian Federation is invading Ukraine. Russian occupation troops violated it within minutes, though. The aggressor opened fire with grenade launchers at positions of Ukrainian defenders near the village of Zalizne, which is west of the Russian-occupied city of Horlivka. No losses were suffered by Ukrainian soldiers or civilians in this Russian attack.
The Tripartite Contact Group working under the Minsk Agreement said that a ceasefire was supposed to have begun at 00:00 (Kyiv time) on December 29.
Before the supposed commencement of the “New Year’s” ceasefire, Russian occupation forces resorted to “shameful provocations” in order to accuse the Ukrainian army of disrupting the ceasefire. This is according to the press service of the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The village of Holubivs’ke in Luhansk region, Ukraine is occupied by the 2nd Army Corps (Luhansk or so-called “LPR”) of the Russian army. On the evening of December 28, less than three hours before the ceasefire was supposed to go into effect, this illegal armed formation fired on its own positions with small arms and a ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft gun.
By firing at residential areas of the part of Ukraine they occupy, the Russian invaders hope to discredit soldiers of the Ukrainian army by casting blame on them. But the provocation by the Russians was poorly constructed, as it is impossible for Holubivs’ke to be struck by small arms and by a flat-trajectory anti-aircraft gun all the way from where Ukrainian defenders are entrenched.
“This is another failed attempt by militants to compromise United forces in the eyes of Ukrainian citizens and the international community,” read the JFO statement about the Holubivs’ke bombardment.
President Macron of France and Chancellor Merkel of Germany called for a “solid, full and permanent ceasefire” in a joint statement made on December 28. The leaders of Germany and France have made similar appeals ever since they signed on as guarantors of the Minsk Agreement of 11 February 2015. Neither Germany nor France have made any attempt to enforce the conditions of the Minsk Agreement on the Russian Federation. They also have never made the Putin regime pay a price for always breaking ceasefires using its occupation army in Donbas. With no sign of any enforcement coming from France or Germany, the “urgings” of Macron and Merkel for a ceasefire are empty words which will be ignored by the Russian aggressor.
The Russian Federation has attacked Ukraine in Donbas every day since Putin launched his invasion there in April of 2014. Yesterday, 28 December 2018, was no different. Russian invasion-occupation forces attacked the positions of Ukrainian defenders near Bolotene, Stanytsia Luhansk, and Novotoshkivske in Luhansk region, and near Opytne, Pisky, Slavne, Taramchuk, Pavlopil, Hnutove, and Vodyane in Donetsk region. One Ukrainian soldier was wounded in action.
The Russian attack on Zalizne early in the morning of December 29 is a continuation of non-stop aggression against the Ukrainian nation. The Russians completely ignored and spoiled the “New Year’s” ceasefire. The Russian Federation has no interest adhering to a “solid, full and permanent ceasefire” just as France and Germany have no interest in taking any action to obtain such a thing.
Ukraine will adhere to the ceasefire one-sidedly. The Russian Federation will violate it repeatedly – it already has. Germany and France will talk about a ceasefire but take no enforcement action against the Russians to obtain it. Putin’s War against Europe continues.