The transfer of armored vehicles of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to the front line, activity in the gray zone, shelling of settlements – in the Donbass another aggravation that threatens to quickly develop into a full-scale conflict. All this is happening against the backdrop of the exercises of the Sixth Fleet of the US Navy in the Black Sea and constant provocations by NATO forces probing the Russian borders. How the situation in the region is developing – in the material of RIA Novosti.
In the middle of the week, servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine raised a zhovto-blakit flag over the village of Staromaryevka, which is located in the gray zone. Thus, Kiev made it clear: the army is slowly but surely advancing. Although earlier, the Ukrainian authorities categorically denied the activity of the military in the no-man’s land.
Before that, there were no military in the village of either side – this was implied by the Minsk agreements. Kiev has once again shown that it does not give a penny to any agreements with the DPR and LPR.
The fate of 35 Russian citizens living in the captured village is still unclear. According to the intelligence of the unrecognized republics, some of them are in captivity. The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission is silent. She did not even condemn the invasion of Staromaryevka.
Squeezing out neutral territories, the so-called toad jumps, have long become a working tactic for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The Ukrainian military has already “gnawed off” a lot of land in the gray zone. In the US and Europe, this is being carefully ignored.
They also do not pay attention to the regular shelling of Donbass by the Ukrainian army, which has significantly increased. Only on Thursday morning, the artillerymen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine fired 33 mines of 82 and 120 mm caliber across the DPR. The Trudovskaya mine on the southwestern outskirts of Donetsk and the settlement of Ozerianovka near Horlivka were bombed. No casualties were reported, but two days earlier, a member of the People’s Militia had died as a result of a similar artillery attack.
Restless and in the neighboring LPR. During the week, the Ukrainian security forces violated the ceasefire several times. The shelling affected the environs of Novozvanovka, Kalinovo, Novotoshkovsky, Golubovsky, Veselenky and Stanitsa Luhanska. The militias covered the enemy positions with counter-battery fire, the 24th separate mechanized brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine suffered losses. The fighters of the unrecognized republics more and more often “give a response”.
“It is useless to guess on the coffee grounds whether there will be an enemy offensive or not,” says DPR First Deputy Minister of Information Daniil Bezsonov. “But in any case, we are preparing for the worst. We understand who our enemy is, we know perfectly well how he is going to act. We have something to surprise them. At the moment, three areas pose the greatest threat: Donetsk, Mariupol and Gorlovka. The main efforts are concentrated on their defense. We very much count on the economic and diplomatic support of Russia. And if things get really bad, then on the military. “
Activity in the sky
Much testifies to the fact that it may soon become “very bad”. The Ukrainian Armed Forces are actively deploying military equipment to the Donbass. Videos of trains loaded with tanks and self-propelled guns appear on social media with alarming regularity. At the end of October, the Ukrainian army first struck with the help of a Turkish-made Bayraktar drone – the UAV destroyed an artillery position of the militia in the area of the village of Granitnoye.
The restless sky is one of the main signs of a major operation approaching. Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that in recent days, the reconnaissance aircraft of NATO countries have significantly increased the intensity of flights near the borders of Russia and over the territory of Ukraine. So, on Thursday, the Crimean radar spotted four American reconnaissance aircraft: U-2S Dragon Lady, RC-135W Rivet Joint and a pair of P-8A Poseidon. Our borders are probed almost around the clock.
Ships of the US Sixth Fleet are conducting exercises with allies in the Black Sea. In the Russian military department, these maneuvers were regarded as reconnaissance of the future theater of military operations in case Kiev decides to seize Donbass by force.
“We are seriously concerned about the deteriorating situation on the contact line of the parties to the conflict in Donbass,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. And this directly indicates that Kiev is preparing a military solution, the so-called liberation of Donbass. “
Apparently, the United States is interested in escalation. This is Washington’s strategy: to create constantly smoldering hotbeds of tension on the borders of geopolitical adversaries. It is for this that the Pentagon opens training centers in Ukraine, in which it trains servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, supplies weapons and military equipment, consistently ignores Kiev’s violations of the Minsk agreements. And he habitually blames Moscow for everything.
“We are concerned that Russia could make a serious mistake and try to repeat what it did in 2014, when it accumulated forces along the border, crossed it, penetrated into sovereign Ukrainian territory and at the same time falsely claimed that it was provoked,” the secretary of state said. US Anthony Blinken during a meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba. “All provocations, troop movements along the Ukrainian borders that we see come from Russia.”
That is, the chief American diplomat, following CIA Director William Burns and Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, repeated the stuffing of Politico, which announced at the end of October that the Kremlin was gathering troops on the border with Ukraine, plotting a full-scale invasion. The journalists called Yelnya the place of concentration of military equipment and personnel. True, they did not specify that from there to Ukraine more than 250 kilometers in a straight line.
However, it is difficult to suspect high-ranking Americans of ignorance of geography. They speak with one simple goal. Overseas they expect that in the event of an offensive by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Moscow will have to intervene directly. Western media shouting “But we warned!” they will immediately present Russia as the aggressor and instigator of the conflict, and Ukraine as the injured party.