Cease-Fire in Ukraine Fails and Preparations for War Begin, - TIME


If some of the locals still believed in the conflict's cease-fire - the so-called Minsk protocol signed on Sept. 5 - they have been forced in the past week to part with their illusions. Both the Ukrainian forces and the pro-Russian separatists have been mobilizing troops and weapons for another round of vicious fighting," Simon Shuster reports for TIME.

Vasyl Arbuzov, an adviser to the local authorities in Mariupol, told the journalist about the terrorists: "Day and night, they have been bombing from two directions. "So most people, yes, are preparing for an invasion at any time, from minute to minute." On Monday, President Petro Poroshenko announced that Mariupol is prepared for defense, three lines of fortification have been erected around the city and soldiers received "modern offensive and reconnaissance weapons" from the Ukrainian military. However, Shuster doubts this would be enough, Censor.NET reports citing TIME.

"We barely held on," said Serhei Taruta, who was then serving as the governor of the region that includes Mariupol, about the August attack on Mariupol. As reported by Shuster, Taruta told TIME in September that he managed to scrounge up a stock of enormous steel plates from the city's industrial forges, working with a group of paramilitary fighters to turn them into a system of bomb-proof bunkers at the edge of the city. The Russian forces, he said, "would try to clear a path with intensive shelling, but the bunkers stood firm." As the Russian forces approached, he recalls, the Ukrainian fighters would jump out of the steel boxes and fire on the advancing Russian columns with shoulder-mounted rocket launchers. It went on like this for several days, Taruta says, before the assault subsided.

See also: First, Second, and Third Lines of Defence Constructed at ATO Border - ATO Press Center. PHOTO

But it was the rebels' decision to held elections on the breakaway territories that run along the Russian border that led to the erosion of the cease-fire, Shuster reports. The day after the results were announced, Ukraine's President called them "pseudo-elections" and pledged never to recognize the "coronated" men. I n response to the rebel ballot, he ordered parliament to revoke the key concession that Poroshenko made in September to secure the cease-fire, the article reads. "Instead, a new law must delineate a clear border for the separatist regions and cut them off from all support from the central government in Kyiv."

"If this is an attempt to starve the rebel leaders into submission, it is not likely to work," Shuster believes. "Russia has proven willing to support them with cheap fuel and other supplies as long as they keep up their rebellion against the government in Kiev. As the peace deal breaks down, they will be tempted to expand the territories they control, thus forcing Poroshenko to cede more and more land to the rebels."

Read also: Russia Wants no Peace. We Need to Liberate Occupied Donbas - Turchynov

To end with, Shuster cites Oleg Tsariov, who took the title of "speaker" of the separatist parliament after the weekend ballot. The pro-Russian uprising, he said in a statement emailed to TIME on Wednesday, "I am certain that we must close the circle. The civil war that started in Odessa must end in Odessa as well." Shuster believes this means the terrorists aim at invading "nearly all of southern Ukraine," securing Russia a land bridge to the southern region of Crimea. At the same time, Tsariov, when reached by phone on Wednesday, tried to ease up on his threat. "We are not preparing an imminent march on Odessa... But if the Ukrainians attack us, they should know that we will not just defend ourselves. We will counter attack."

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Источник: https://en.censor.net.ua/n310725