1. Military perspective
If the Armed Forces of Ukraine were tasked with offensive operations, the blockade wouldn’t be beneficial for us.
When the border is open, when cargos and people move freely around the Donbas, we conduct intelligence and sabotage in maximum comfort. We can redeploy people and weapon across the frontline, and can get them back. Given that the defense of the enemy is not dense, built in one line, breaking through it wouldn’t be a problem with enough preparation, especially if the attack is made suddenly from the rear. Trading with the Donbas and free movement of people and vehicles made the enemy the most vulnerable.
In addition, dislocation of tank reserves of the 1st and 2nd army corps [of the self-proclaimed Donbas republics — ed.], their possible assault directions, and ways for reserves approach from the Russian Federation might be easily estimated and countered in advance.
However, what are the ATO [anti-terrorist operation – ed.] goals? No one knows them, including the top military command. Ukraine conducts no offensive operations, including tactical ones.
But when no goal has been voiced, and there is no strategy to achieve it, the war develops under its own logic. Most of the military support the blockade because they hope that breach of relations will make the leadership focus on the military part and force them to act meaningfully.
In addition, the escalation of hostilities is inevitable because the existing limitations disappear, and the contact area gets narrower.
2. Political perspective
What should we expect next after the relations with the occupied territories end?
The fewer ties are made, the deeper the breach of Ukraine-Russia relations will be. Independence of Ukraine means an absolute cut-off from the Russian Federation.
And this is not our initiative. We only react to aggressive acts by the Russian Federation, as long as it’s not possible to mend fences under continuous Russian expansion, information war, and regular interference in Ukraine’s internal affairs.
Yes, our economy will be hit hardly one more time. However, our losses were much higher in previous years, and we have to realize, however painful this is: in order to be sustainable, the economy must be independent from the country that kills Ukrainians every day. Russia is not an option nor a choice; Russia is the enemy.
Otherwise it is impossible to explain the necessity of the trade both in the society and the combat army under conditions of a defensive war. The people relate the ban on the use of heavy weapons, the prohibition of offensive operations with the very existence of trade relations. And this relationship is not between Ukraine and the occupied territories. This is the relationship between Ukraine and the Russian Federation.
There are no options for ending this war without the cut-off with the Russian Federation. To return the Donbas, we need to fight for it at all cost, genuinely, without ‘deals,’ so that the occupation stops benefiting Moscow, so that the occupation costs too much, both resources-wise and, most of all, human-wise.
Putin will stop the war only when his losses outweigh the damages he inflicts to Ukraine.
Yurii Butusov, Censor.NET