Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 30.08.2018
To Russia, ceasefires are opportunities to regroup for new attacks. The invaders of Europe from Muscovy expect that the people they are attacking, the Ukrainians, will respect ceasefires themselves, while Putin’s army is given leave to continue shooting and shelling. The guarantors of the Minsk Agreement, France and Germany, know very well that this is Putin’s way of war. Nevertheless, France and Germany continually force the Tripartite Contact Group to ‘declare’ ceasefires, oblige Ukraine to respect them one-sidedly, and deliberately ignore the instantaneous violations of them by Russia. France and Germany will never do anything to fulfil their obligations under the Minsk Agreement, or enforce any of its terms on Russia. The demands of the all-powerful appeasement factions in France and Germany are that Putin be allowed to proceed with his invasion of Europe in Ukraine with no effective resistance from western Europe.
A ‘harvest ceasefire’ was declared to have begun on July 1. This was proclaimed at high diplomatic levels in France and Germany. Russian occupation troops in Donbas violated the harvest ceasefire within minutes. Ukrainian forces refrained from shooting back in response for a few days, but soon enough they were obliged to return fire because the lives of Ukrainian defenders and civilians were in danger. The ‘harvest ceasefire’ never took hold because Russia violated it immediately. French and German diplomatic channels fell silent. Putin suffered no ill consequences for his aggression against Ukraine and blatant insult to France and Germany.
France and Germany did not even criticize Russia. Instead, they forced the Tripartite Contact Group working under the Minsk Agreement to declare a new ‘school-year ceasefire’ to begin on August 29. The Russia-violated ‘harvest ceasefire’ and the dozens of ceasefires that Russia broke before that one was all forgotten.
The Russian Federation broke the ‘school-year ceasefire’ immediately. It didn’t last for 10 minutes. The invaders of Europe from Muscovy opened fire with large-calibre machine guns against Ukrainian defensive positions near the settlement of Hnutove minutes after midnight when the ceasefire supposedly took effect. Hnutove is to the north-east of the free Ukraine city of Mariupol, and is part of a chain of Ukrainian fortifications along the Sea of Azov coast that are holding up the invaders from Musvovy.
Also on August 29, Russian occupation forces used incendiary munitions to set alight the dry grass on the battlefront around Berezove, west of the Russian-occupied city of Dokuchaevsk. The Russians have laid so many anti-personnel mines and there is so much unexploded ordinance from Russian shelling that the grass fires started a chain of explosions in the area. The danger from the grass fires and the explosions forced the closure of the Novotroitske check point.
On August 29, the first full day of the ‘school-year ceasefire,’ Russia attacked Ukraine 18 separate times. West of Russian-occupied Horlivka, the invaders fired on Ukrainian defensive positions near Novhorodske using large-calibre mortars which are forbidden for use under the Minsk Agreement. Grass fires were started by Russian shelling of Novhorodske.
Ukrainian officers serving with the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC) report all violations of the ceasefire regime. The JCCC is supposed to work with the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, but the OSCE SMM refuses to say that the Russian Federation is a party to the conflict, has Russian ‘monitors’ on its teams, and ignores all proofs that the Russian Federation is the aggressor in the war in Donbas.
France, Germany, and Russia have been playing silly games with Minsk Agreement ‘ceasefires’ for three and a half years. Ukrainians are being killed because Russia breaks all ceasefires with no ill consequences. This has to stop. Declaring new ceasefires after Russia breaks the previous ones is no solution. Only practical support to Ukraine for the liberation of Crimea and Donbas will end Putin’s War and bring peace to Europe.