Kiev Escalates War on Donbass

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February 1, 2017
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February 2, 2017
Kiev Escalates War on Donbass
by Stephen Lendman
Obama-installed putschists instituted a reign of terror on Ukrainians in February 2014 after usurping power illegitimately, committing sweeping human rights violations – with full US support and encouragement.
How Trump intends dealing with Kiev remains to be seen. His UN envoy Nikki Haley’s comment isn’t encouraging, affirming “the United States’ support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine” – despite the illegitimacy of its coup d’etat regime. 
Backing it would show Trump’s no different from Obama, pursuing imperial madness while claiming to be non-interventionist.
Overnight Tuesday, Ukrainian Forces shelled the Donbass Avdeevka/Yasinovataya/Donetsk airport area.
Civilian homes and infrastructure were damaged, casualties reported on both sides. Kiev continues regular Minsk ceasefire agreement violations, Donbass freedom fighters blamed for their high crimes.
What’s going on is related to possible improved US/Russia relations under Trump, Kiev putschists wanting rapprochement undermined.
On Wednesday, Ukrainian minister of war, Igor Pavlovsky, admitted government forces launched an offensive on Donbass, saying:
“Today, no matter what, meter by meter, step by step and seizing the opportunity, our boys are heroically moving forward.” They’re getting smashed like earlier, scores killed so far, others wounded.
Commenting on what’s going on, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “(w)e are dealing with provocative actions by the armed forces of Ukraine and individual groups” – flagrantly violating Minsk, wanting it undermined.
Since January 28, heavy fighting raged, much like during the height of 2014-15 hostilities. Reporting from Donetsk, journalist Dawid Hudziec said “(o)ver the past two days, the situation has deteriorated.”
“The Donetsk People’s Republic alone has reported more approximately a thousand shellings a day…”
DPR leader Alexander Zakharchenko cited the “Trump factor” behind Kiev’s current offensive, saying “Ukraine started the escalation of fighting because Russia and America are heading for a rapprochement. To be more precise, they are attempting to” undermine it.
Conditions are “very difficult,” he explained, adding Ukrainian forces “suffered big losses” and “won’t (break) through.”
Servey Lavrov pointedly said “(e)verybody knows who is leading the situation in Ukraine into a dead end. The latest provocations by the regime in Kiev are a fresh confirmation of this.”
“Even the deeply biased German press has recognized that the man behind all this is Poroshenko, for whom it is very important to aggravate the situation to make everybody remember about Ukraine.” 
“It is a matter of his conscience. He put his signature to the Minsk Accords, and he is obliged to comply with them.”
Putin spokesman Peskov stressed the urgency of Russia/US dialogue, given what ongoing in Ukraine, besides efforts to resolve Syria’s conflict, talks now scheduled to resume in Geneva on February 20.
Peskov said Putin and Trump only touched on Ukraine briefly during their phone conversation last week. Much more attention needs to be paid to deteriorating conditions.
Russian upper house Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko has “no doubt that sooner or later, there will be a trial over the people who are at war in Donbass with their own people.”
In closed-door session, the Security Council unanimously called for “an immediate return to a ceasefire regime.” It endorsed a Ukrainian-drafted statement, the aggressor, omitting Russian objections.
Kiev never observed Minsk ceasefire terms. Its current escalation may kill it altogether.
A Final Comment
The neocon/CIA-connected Washington Post outrageously blamed “Russian-backed forces in (Donbass for) launch(ing)” the offensive Kiev initiated – saying they’re “raining down…grad rockets and heavy artillery…on Ukrainian army positions…”
As usual, WaPo reported things backwards. Donbass freedom fighters responded to Kiev’s aggression, acting in self-defense as entitled to do under international law.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.